Saturday, 18 May 2024

Nasty Nine of Oldham

Many people were shocked to learn of the ‘grooming’ trials going on in the north. Clearly a crime that until now largely ‘slipped under the radar’ it has the potential to stir up many passions, some ugly. Some wish to sweep it under the carpet to hide community divisions, some wish to use it to increase those divisions. How we ensure this doesn’t happen is a debate for another day. Today however we turn to our resident poet, Jasan, to reflect upon the ‘good and bad’ actors in this drama.

In any democratic and liberal society, crimes by a handful, especially if they are of minority origin, shall provoke a soul searching debate of national significance; as the Oldham nine of Pakistani Origin have done, who were sentenced today for 70 odd years behind bars for grooming and abusing young girls of the host community background. Already the tremors prompting shock waves of racial tones roll fast towards the peaceful beach.

The crime is unpardonable in any civil society and especially by men of faith who are supposed to pray seven times a day.
Yet the fact remains not all Muslim men are guilty by association of this heinous crime.
Another ironic and yet a shining point in all this is that the law man – Nazir Afzal, the prosecutor -who took the case back to the prosecution and eventually to the courts is a muslim too.

Amid these conflicting juxtapositions travel my poem to a saner and safer zone.
Hope the poem is sensitive enough to all the values and ideals it is supposed to uphold

Jason Jesuthasan
Nazir Afzal – the Law Man
and the Nasty Nine of Oldham
“They ripped away all my dignity and all my last bit of self-esteem and by the end of it I had no emotion whatsoever because I was used to being used and abused daily,” a victim’s statement.

Nazir the law man – a man of virtue
While the nasty nine were sexual predators
In their hands suffered shameful torture
Countless girls – hell’s wrath be on these tormentors

Dangle morality forever between prayer and pleasure
Tangled amid sin and prejudice – the truth
Nazir and nasty nine give a tool to measure
The good and evil these isles have given birth

Nazir and Nasty nine, both in this melting pot
Called Britain which still holds its head high
Standing tall to be just and apt
In that light may this sad saga pass-by

May the law and justice forever reign supreme
For the guilty to be punished as the law dictate’
Yet, prejudices may not throw peace to the fire
And let not the guilt of a handful mire
This nation into the evil minds of the extreme


© All rights reserved. Requests for permission to reproduce or translate-whether for sale or non-commercial distribution, should be addressed to E.Jesuthasan, e-mail

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