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Sheffield Rapist: Britain’s Josef Fritzl Is A Uniquely British Crime

by | 27th, November 2008

HAVING been told that Josef Fritzl’s crimes could only happen in Austria, Ben Macintyre tells Times readers that the Sheffield man who made his two daughters pregnant 19 times – Britain’s Fritzl – is essentially a tale of Britishness.

The man had “an acute understanding of how modern British society can sometimes fail to see the most glaring crimes”.

He wasn’t just a devious, rapist. No, he was a devious British rapist:

The appalling rapist who made his two daughters pregnant 19 times in 28 years did not need to build an underground cell, like Josef Fritzl, in which to commit his crimes: he could rely, instead, on the thick walls of British reticence to hide the horror.

Of course, all cellars in Britain are now home spas or studio flats.

“Minding your own business”, “keeping yourself to yourself”, “turning a blind eye” – these are not just British traits but organising principles of society. An Englishman’s home is his castle, and what goes on behind its walls is regarded as no business of those in the castle next door.

A castle, albeit without a dungeon. This is a British crime. It could only happen here. And it will happen more:

Not long ago the Gaffer’s crimes would not have been able to pass undetected under the natural radar of neighbourliness. Today we barely notice who comes and goes: according to one poll, fewer than one person in five across the UK is greeted by neighbours when moving into a new home.

Incest never used to go undetected. Oh, and neither did child abuse:

Perhaps the most telling remark in the horrific Baby P case came from a man who had lived for 20 years in the Haringey estate where the child was killed. “It is not a neighbourhood and we are not neighbours,” he said bleakly. “I know one or two people, good friends, but that’s it.” No one would want to live in a society of snoopers and tattle-tales.

If only were in Austria in the 1930s and 1940s. The neighbours would have told tales and snooped. Ah, those were the days…

Liz Hunt sums it all up and more in her game of Tabloid Bingo in the Tabloid Telegraph:

One can only pray that the case of the British Fritzl and the death of Baby P are the springboard for change that will truly make a difference.

Bingo!

All change. Well, now Obama is here, we can stop praying…



Posted: 27th, November 2008 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (8) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink