Week 30-01-14 Archive

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Syrian women who have been sexually assaulted or raped are to be given priority refugee status in Britain

So far, we have forked out 600 million to help finance camps in countries such as Jordan, Turkey and Iraq for people fleeing from the madness of Syria

It could be said that this is an Arab problem and let Arabian countries sort it out. After all, the various tribes and factions of many Moslem nations have been murdering each other for centuries and are likely to go on doing so in the foreseeable future.

Nothing we do is going to stop it and, as long as they saw each other's heads off, they may lay off the rest of us

Well, it is a point, but - on the other hand - 600 million is not a lot in the great scheme of things, and it is ostensibly going to peace loving civilians who are the innocent victims of the current conflict

However, there are those who take this point of view partly because our Government has been adamant that it will not start taking these refugees into Britain, already in the final stages of decades of colonisation by Muslims from many other Arab, Asian and African countries

Now the Government, having spent more on Syrian refugees than any other European nation, has changed its mind. It has said that some Syrians seeking asylum will be allowed in, although they will be subject to selection. It is the selection process that must be challenged

The sick and the elderly, yes. Adults injured by bombing, shelling and shooting, yes. Children, traumatised by what they have seen, most certainly yes. But women who have been sexually assaulted or raped. Why?

Our Government has said, quite specifically, that such women will be high on the list of criteria to qualify for asylum status here and this is quite ridiculous

To begin with, how are claims of sexual assaults to be proven? It is almost impossible to tell truth from lies and who could blame any women who - knowing it will get her away from the nightmare - falsely claims she has been a victim

As it is, it is almost certain that thousands and certainly hundreds of women have been raped. But considering all the horrific crimes that have been inflicted on civilians in Syria including men, why should women be singled out in this way?

What of rape victims elsewhere. Reliable reports from reliable sources say that, for example, countless women have been raped in the Central African Republic, where tribes are at war. Are we to allow in these thousands of people on this basis? Mass rape is also reported as a result of the conflict in Southern Sudan

No decent person in their right mind would condone rape or sexual assault but it is an unfortunate fact of life - and, indeed, death - that it is simply just one of the awful things that happens in war

It is perhaps bad enough hat we have to apply any conditions to allow asylum to the refugees from Syria, but this should not be one of them

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Tree huggers look away! They say every cloud has a silver lining and this applies even to the Somerset floods

Badgers over an area as wide as 15 square miles have been drowned. This is good news for dairy farmers as it greatly reduces the chance of TB in their cattle

Perhaps the Government could spend the money they save by not having to cull, on dredging the rivers and ditches