The scandal in Rotherham beggars belief. It makes you question what is going on under the surface.

An enormous number of abuse cases, police failings, social care failings and an absurd fear of being labelled racist. Reading it renders me numb because it is unbelievable that this can happen and happen here, in the UK. On top of the BBC turning a blind eye to the Jimmy Saville events, Cyrille Smith and various other scandals, it makes you think the UK is a nation of paedophiles being policed by ineffective incompetents. It’s like watching a TV show and we await the heroes to sort it out. They’re not coming, are they? They’re too busy thinking about themselves. It doesn’t seem real.

Dealing with racism first. The authorities were apparently turning a blind eye to abuse in case they were deemed racist because the perpetrators were of a certain ethnic origin. The danger with racism is always that it becomes such a taboo subject that it swings too far across the line and becomes reverse racism. There’s no excuse for racism but there’s also no excuse for running from things in case it looks racist. That’s a lack of support from superiors who are also scared of being branded. It must stop. I know of real life examples of people suspended from jobs because of absurd allegations of racism. That’s unacceptable as much as being racist. There’s no trust.

The race of the perpetrators has nothing to do with the appalling events. The media were very quick to label the instigators as of Pakistani origin. I cannot see how that is relevant and I can only see it as an attempt to demonise that ethnicity. Given the sensitivity of the situation around Muslim people and the events in the Middle East, it’s particularly unwelcome. The people involved should be hunted down and punished severely – whatever their colour or origin. Any people found to have turned a blind eye should also be punished as far as possible. I do, however, wonder if turning a blind eye is a criminal offence and not just incompetency. At the very least – and it’s not nearly enough – they should be sacked and not allowed to work in a position of trust ever again. Waiting for people to resign is stunning – there should be no choice. They should be publically named and publically shamed.

Rotherham is in the spotlight. It’s unlikely to be an isolated case. How long do we have to live in a soft society? Where’s the promised Big Society? Too much focus on human rights and sensitivity. Meanwhile, vulnerable people suffer.

Over simplifying, the fear of being labelled racist appears to be worse than allowing child abuse to happen. The world has gone mad.