LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Putting politics before welfare of the victims

ARTICLE (December 29) regarding response from Dominic Beck — Why I’m Pulling Out. Just how arrogant can one person be!

The action of pulling out of the next general election was forced upon him by the decency of ordinary people, the voters. God bless them, they at least have some understanding of what has taken place and the hurt felt by victims and their families caused by this man’s political ambitions. By attempting to stand as the Labour candidate for Rother Valley next time around, this man once again drags the reputation of this town back through the gutter in my opinion, and is beyond scandalous.

First he has the temerity to suggest that happenings in the past make it difficult for him to lead the campaign; what an understatement. It makes it impossible either now or in future and displays the judgement of a boiled beetroot and the moral compass of a rotten apple.

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His next claim is that he was only 19 at the time. Naivety is no excuse; one would expect by that age he must have known right from wrong, but like the rest kept quiet, while being aware at some point that young people were being abused. Councillors of all ages are made aware from the outset of their careers of their responsibilities of safeguarding and their role as corporate parents. His whinging sounds like that of a schoolboy; it wasn’t me sir, and even if it was I am not admitting it. Simply pathetic, he is not 19 now and should have realised his political career and that of his colleagues is finished. Rotherham people have spoken.

He then carries on suggesting that he supported the Jay investigation and the report. A report that found cabinet members “unfit for purpose”; just what from that outcome does he not understand? I don’t see anything unambiguous in that statement. I believe it was clear to all, that unfit was not just for six months, it meant unfit in perpetuity. If he really wants to serve the town as he states, he along with the rest should go.

We are also aware that Cllr Beck was aided and abetted in his endeavour to become an MP by Cllr Hoddinott, a member of the selection panel, and also deemed “unfit for purpose”. No surprises then that they think they can do what they want in Rotherham. It is apparent that their only concern is for the Labour party and the people of the town come second, and whose only purpose is to vote for them. This upsurge of support for victims must have come as a complete shock, but a welcome one in my opinion.

Many of the victims were young girls and one might have expected that Cllr Hoddinott would understand that physiologically and emotionally everything being internal, just how the abuse that took place might affect those young people? It now appears not a chance; politics and friendship take a higher priority than accountability or the physical and emotional damage incurred by those involved.

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Throughout the period since this scandal was exposed local leadership has been totally absent around this matter. Let’s now hope that this will begin to be redressed at the next local elections.  

Allen Cowles