Over the weekend we learned from The Spectator that over 6,000 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) were reported by NHS staff last year (tens of thousands more are thought to go unreported). Despite being illegal in the UK since 1985, despite the appalling scale of the abuse, there has not been a single conviction for this terrible betrayal of a child’s love and trust in her parents.
Meanwhile the broadsheets, led by The Telegraph, report that Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary barely suppresses his anger when he talks about criminal investigations into alleged abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan by British troops. He has pledged to provide legal support to servicemen under investigation, but omits the rather obvious point that it is his ministry which funds these enquiries with taxpayers money (expected to exceed £57m by 2019).
Not a single case has been brought to trial much less resulted in a conviction but instead of shutting it down Mr Fallon hides behind European Human Rights laws and extends the remit of the investigation. Meanwhile, not a single one of our European partners in NATO feels the need to hold enquiries of similar scale into the actions of its military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Fallon’s failure to act decisively is another example of what David Cameron described elsewhere in the news as his ‘lily livered cabinet colleagues’ failing to confront their ministerial responsibilities.
But I have a radical idea. Why not divert the funds and the investigators talents to an issue where a terrible injustice is being perpetrated against children, where there is irrefutable evidence of abuse and where an investigation is urgently needed to eradicate the illegal practice of female genital mutilation. Even Mr Fallon can agree that defending the innocence of children is a better use of resources.
SPIN ZHIRA: Old Man in Helmand is the unauthorised, unvarnished and irreverent story of one man’s midlife crisis on the front line of the most dangerous district in Afghanistan where the locals haven’t forgiven the British for the occupation of 1842 or for the Russian Invasion of 1979. Of course, all infidels look the same so you can’t really tell them apart.
A JOURNEY OF LOVE, SERVICE AND ADVENTURE. EXCELLENT!
A MODERN WARFARE LITERARY CLASSIC! OUTSTANDING READ.
ENTERTAINING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING AND COMPULSORY TO READ.