The left must admit the truth about the assaults on women in Cologne

Fifth, how could anyone possibly imagine that among a million people from anywhere there wouldn’t be some proportion of nasty, sleazy misogynists? A British legal history that includes the withholding of all manner of basic rights from women suggests that there’s nothing racially or religiously inherent in chauvinism. People tend to believe what they’re taught to believe, and the unreliable evidence of what they see around them, until free thinkers and visionary leaders call them out on it.

Sixth, it is beyond doubt that there are people living in Europe now who have been brought up in a culture where a woman would be publicly and viciously punished for allowing herself to be the victim of a sexual assault. It is utterly unrealistic to expect all those brought up in fundamentalist religious cultures – conservative Islam being the largest, but by no means the only such culture – to be able suddenly and completely to ditch all aspects of the pervasive environment they were brought up in.

Men who have been raised to believe that only a worthless woman walks through the street alone – even when her head and body are covered – only come to an understanding that this is not the case through consistent intellectual effort. There’s no excuse for not making this effort. But the fact is this: some people will heavily resist it. That, too, is human.