I had the misfortune to hear Vera Baird on Radio 4 earlier, demanding that forced marriages should be left as they are, as to prosecute the perpetrators would only "alienate the victim from their immediate family."
After a short lie down, and a trip to the garden to retrieve the radio, I composed myself.
I understand that humans in groups develop their own cultures. We have no inner core value so invent them to suit our surroundings and ensure the survival of the fittest. If it doesn't succeed, the group die out. Yes, it's that old monster, evolution.
Some cultures have decided that the best way to ensure wealth, power and property are transferred correctly is to arrange marriages - actually a smart idea, if both partners consent. Then some cultures have decided to really keep it in the family and forcibly marry you to your own cousin, presumably to reduce the amount of presents at Christmas. One set of Grandparents keeps the bills down.
Alas, nature has a way of dealing with this. Genetic defects soon put a stop to that little game. Ask the Ashkenazi tribes of Israel of the Pakistani tribes of Bradford how well that is going. It isn't. We weren't designed for forced marriage (read procreation) to close relatives. Studies show that the "natural state" is that a man and a woman part after seven years of child raising to increase the genetic chances of successful offspring. don't put all your eggs in one basket as they say. Probably a lot of sense in that argument. Not many species marry for life.
Back to Vera. Vera is not dumb, she once held high office in this land. Vera attained high office by pandering to every culture she encountered in the hope that it would increase her share of the vote. Vera knows that women are enslaved by marriages they never agreed to, yet Vera will not and cannot upset the multi cultural apple cart for fear of losing influence - I would have love to have seen her offering dinner to cannibals in exchange for votes, but I digress.
Vera. If prosecuting the immediate family of those who abuse a girl is "cruel" and "unnecessary", because it would alienate her from her "loving family", why did we not hear you decrying the rights of victims of Paedophilia to challenge their tormentors for the same reason? Not enough votes in it?
Never, ever, trust a Politician. Ever. Bastards.