Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be

The obituary of Lord Varley of Chesterfield, formerly known as Eric Varley MP reminded me of the horrors that this country went through in the sixties and seventies; the difficulties that were compounded by stupid political decisions; and the desperate need for reform that was, when it came, unpleasant to many people. If only Eric Varley had his way once or twice rather than the fanatical Anthony Wedgwood Benn, later Tony Benn, or the duplicitous Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, those reforms might have started earlier.

Incidentally, it is interesting to note that Varley, who actually did come from a mining family was rather right-wing (it would be interesting to know why he opposed Britain's membership of the Common Market) while that child of privilege, Tony Benn, has always been on the extreme and disastrous left of the party.

However, just as I sat there thinking that we have been through difficult periods before and maybe we shall get through the one we are experiencing now as well, I found the news item, which my colleague on EUReferendum had already covered.

In their wisdom, the Law Lords have gone further than the ECJ or the ECHR had ever expected them and ruled that sham marriages of illegal immigrants were perfectly lawful and investigating them was a breach of their human right to family life. Do their lordships stop to think, one wonders. What connection is there between a sham marriage carried out with the sole intention to circumventing the laws of this country and family life?

Another thought strikes one: what of forced marriages, perhaps carried out in order to keep some member of an extended family in Britain? Are we to understand that while the men in question must not be investigated because it would be a breach of their human rights, the unfortunate women or young girls can be kidnapped, abused and raped?

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