JAN MOIR: Why don't posturing pop stars ever protest over grooming gangs?
The awards season is over, which should mean a welcome respite from celebrities lecturing us on our bad attitudes towards the environment, gender politics, sexual harassment, #MeToo and #MooToo — the oppression of defenceless cows for their milk, as highlighted by Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscar acceptance speech.
Have I skimmed, have I missed something?
Oh yes, racism. We are all racist now, apparently.
At the Brit Awards this week, award-winning rapper Dave accused Boris Johnson of being a racist.
His argument? 'It is racist, whether or not it feels racist, the truth is our Prime Minister's a real racist,' he rapped. And it must be tru cuz he said it.
It's so exhausting, isn't it, being guilty of everything all the time?
Being such a perma-disappointment to the woke generation with their burnished morals and burning zeal to expose any instance of modern oppression and right every historical wrong in the dankest corners of society.
Yet there is one area of widespread persecution and criminality in the UK on which they all remain silent — the abuse of white working-class girls by Asian grooming gangs.
Over recent years, hundreds of vulnerable girls have been traumatised, broken, abused, raped, left unable to get on with their lives — but no high-profile crusader speaks for them, do they?
No actor dedicates his or her trophy to them, no duchess pops a concerned head over the parapet of their anguish.
No one is starting a hashtag or opening a pop-up shop or pleading for justice for them.
In fact, few celebrities have anything of note to say on the subject, even though this week saw more convictions of Asian men of mainly Pakistani descent for what have become known as grooming gang offences.
Usman Ali, Banaras Hussain, Abdul Majid, Gul Riaz and two other men were jailed for a total of 55 years for what the judge called 'vile and wicked' repeated sexual assault and the multiple rape of two under-aged white girls.
These offences took place in Huddersfield, but we have been here before — in Rochdale, Bradford, Rotherham, Oldham, Halifax, Nottingham, Telford, Newcastle, Derby, Bristol, Birmingham, Peterborough and elsewhere.
It is a contagion, a disgrace — yet don't expect the ongoing trauma suffered by these girls to get a mention when there are far more fashionable causes to get angry about.
Such as the transgender social justice initiative currently tearing the Labour Party apart or the continued insistence by some that the Grenfell tragedy is a race issue.
If you really want a race issue, consider a report published last month into a grooming scandal in Manchester, which concluded that 57 young girls were thought to have been exploited by up to 100 Asian members of a gang, despite the fact police and social workers knew what was happening.
Or note that in Oxford this month, three Asian men were jailed for a total of 49 years for raping and sexually abusing a schoolgirl, the third trial in a series of linked cases going back years.
Naim Khan, Mohammed Nazir and Raheem Ahmed — all in their 40s — were found guilty of 35 offences against the girl when she was aged between 13 and 15.
'My life has been destroyed,' she said in her victim statement. In many of these cases, the victims were not believed at first, only to be later left with shattered lives freighted with eating disorders, depression, PTSD and drug dependence.
It is not helpful, some say, to think of this national scandal in terms of race because white men are abusers, too. Indeed they are, but on this scale? Operating with such impunity in so many cities?
We all know what we can see, which is that these girls and their families have been let down and that there is still little evidence of efforts in British Pakistani communities to confront the problem.
So you must forgive me for feeling rather cynical when Dave the rapper gets into his solid groove about the race issues affecting this country today.
For if these victims had been black schoolgirls targeted by gangs of white men, there would be rioting on the streets. Or a few verses from Dave or Stormzy at the very least.
Perhaps a calming bananagram from Meghan, an invite to stay in Lily Allen's party barn, a message of sympathy from Oprah.
When he was a Labour MP, Tom Watson's West Bromwich constituency was in the absolute heartland of grooming gang territory, but if he ever got involved in the scandal, I must have missed it.
Watson had a long-standing interest in abuse cases, but only if the abusers happened to be members of a Tory paedophile ring — which, in the end, turned out not to exist and were the ramblings and imaginings of a known fantasist.
Meanwhile, the abuse of hundreds of girls went on unchecked.
How did we get here? The problem is that they are the wrong kind of victims and the wrong kind of offenders — resulting in few declarations of solidarity from feminists and little acknowledgment of their plight elsewhere.
All the stars are too busy being groovy to concern themselves with troubled, white, working-class girls from failing families whose tormentors happen to be embarrassingly and overwhelmingly of Asian origin.
So say nothing, and sing a different song instead.