Aasiya Noreen, aka Asia Bibi, is a Pakistani woman who follows the Christian faith. In 2010, she was convicted of blasphemy after an argument with another woman whilst picking berries and sentenced to death by hanging. She spent the next eight years in solitary confinement on death row. Many campaigns had been started to secure her release including a petition of signatures from 400,000 people. Pope Benedict XVI also called for her release. The case was overturned due to insufficient evidence. She cannot be released though until the case goes through the review process which notoriously can take years to conclude.
The overturned conviction raised many problems as Imams claimed she should be hung for the blasphemy was allegedly against the prophet Mohammed. This caused mass protests and some civil unrest, highlighting the case across the world. Minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti and the Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer were assassinated for advocating on her behalf. Muslim cleric Maulana Yousaf offered a reward of 500,000 Pakistan Rupees to anyone who would kill her.
Calls for this Christian woman to be granted asylum in another country gathered momentum until the Government of Pakistan made an agreement with the Tehreek-Labbaik political party to bar Asia from leaving Pakistan.
Currently, the Canadian and Italian Governments are working to get Asia and her family asylum. She remains in Pakistan. HOWEVER. It is widely reported that the British Government has refused Asia asylum on the basis that this act of Christian kindness could cause unrest amongst the Pakistani community already domiciled here in the UK. One can only shake one’s head in incredulity at this if it is true.
We have received many thousands of often dubious asylum seekers. Many thousands of refugees, too. We could not it seems, find it in our hearts for fear of upsetting a community who follow the religion of peace, to offer a crystal clear case of asylum to a Christian woman and her family so brutally persecuted by the religion of peace in her home country, for the fear that she would not be safe in Great Britain in 2018.
On this, the 11th of November it is armistices day, I, among many hundreds of thousands proudly wear my red poppy as a symbol of remembrance to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The poppy is not a symbol of war. It is red, not to commemorate blood, it is red because that is the colour of the poppies that grow on Flanders field where so many unidentified soldiers lay dead. HOWEVER, this simple symbol, this simple remembrance of what took place has been politicised.
A group calling themselves the “peace pledge union” from New Zealand came up with an idea of a white poppy. This white poppy has on this 100th year since the cessation of the first world war caused much grumbling and hand-wringing. The white poppy is a symbol of pacifism. This is not new; it began in 1926 by the “no more war movement”. They were first sold in 1933 in this country by the Co-operative Women’s Guild.
This is the first year that the St George Ambulance service have allowed their volunteers to wear the pacifist poppy. As of November 7th, this year, 119,555 white poppies have been sold, the previous record was 110,000. Many chose to wear the white poppy alongside the red one to reflect war and no more war.
Keith Vaz MP was supposed to be under investigation by the Parliamentary regulatory bodies for a variety of things since 2016. As a result, he stood down as chair of the Home Affairs committee. These matters include rent boys, bullying members of staff, a clerk called Jenny McCullough who questioned his expenses claim for a trip abroad, drugs and the like. He has been declared “too ill” to take part in this investigation yet was seen yesterday 10th November at the Leicestershire football game. He is MP for a Leicestershire constituency.
HOWEVER, speaker Bercow has blocked a freedom of information request by the BBC into the trips abroad by Vaz. He has used his veto to refuse the journalists the papers they have requested. Bercow argues that the papers should come under the parliamentary privilege, therefore stopping the request going to tribunal.
Amber Rudd the former Home Secretary appearing on ITV`s Good Morning Britain denied when questioned that the 21,000 cuts to Policing manpower since 2010 have had an impact on the 119 murders in the Capital London this year. HOWEVER, she did lay the blame on drug use and intimated the very weak reasoning that middle-class people are to blame for using drugs in greater quantities.
There is also a reasoning for this atrocious level of murder and over 250,000 stabbings being promulgated, and that is that these young people have no support in the community. No teen workers and youth clubs. Well in Windemere, Preston, Tewksbury, Sunderland and many many more towns and cities throughout Great Britain, kids living there have no youth clubs and £30,000 a year salaried ex-gang member acting as youth workers. They are not though on a daily basis disemboweling each other.
The suffragettes campaigned throughout the early 1900`s for the enfranchisement of women. After a break from campaigning during WWI, they achieved the vote for women in 1918. A hundred years later on the centenary of that great win the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd was asked to grant pardons for the suffragette women. You would have thought that this would be a right and proper thing to do. The Labour Government during the negotiations for peace in Northern Ireland granted pardons for IRA bombers. HOWEVER, she said “that could be tricky,” and they remain unpardoned.
There is always a HOWEVER. Many things are wrong with this world. One thing for sure is that they will never be resolved nor put right when we use the word