Folk Devils of the Far-Right

Last year, when the Rotherham child abuse scandal broke the narrative was ready-made. The perpetrators were Asian men, the victims were white girls: it’s multiculturalism, stupid! The proponents of diversity and tolerance were painted as rape apologists. It was a particularly powerful case. An estimated 1,400 underage girls had been abused by these men. The emotional pitch is strong and piercing. The forces of reaction often set out to monopolise the most emotionally-satisfying answers. So a lot of people actually blamed ‘political-correctness’. As if the social services feared accusations of racism so much that they covered up a systematic pattern … Continue reading

Africa: ending poverty remains key to halting armed conflicts

Better peacekeeping and peace enforcement by African governments may wind down the growing number of conflicts on the continent. But only social and economic change will prevent new ones – and that’s going to take time. There are currently 28 countries in Africa involved in of affected by 21 armed conflicts. Their numbers have grown following a decrease in armed conflicts after the end of the Cold War. New ones have emerged, and they are principally rooted in the meagre levels of social and economic development that most African populations have to endure. According to the Pretoria-based Institute for Security … Continue reading