This week has seemed more than most to be one that has highlighted the inequalities inherent within our nation. None of these reflections are linked, but together they show how much work needs to be done to create a more equal society.
This weekend is something of a sporting bonanza with the Grand National taking place here in Aintree (I am writing this from my parents home in Crosby), The Boat Race due tomorrow and this afternoon a game as part of Group 6 of the World Cup Qualifying heats. The inequality here is that had this game been part of the mens World Cup competition, not only would the Amex Stadium have been full, but also the TV coverage would have been a great deal more significant. Still it is great to see the Amex on TV, and as I write the English side is ahead 8-0!
The news this morning that not only had Maria Miller obstructed the gathering of evidence by Kathryn Hudson, the Parliamentary Commissioner of Standards, but that she had threatened to report Ms Hudson to various Parliamentary Committees for (in Maria Millers opinion) overstepping the line of her responsibilities. This shows once again how unwilling our MPs and Ministers are to bow to any authority that seeks to challenge their power and influence, even though their decisions often place us as residents under laws that we would rather not obey.
The tragic decision by our Parliament not to intervene in the appalling story of Yashika Bageerathi and the way in which this 19 year old young woman has been separated from her family, and put on a plane back to Maritius, bringing to an end the education which she was due to finish in a matter of weeks. Home Office guidance states that children who are in school and coming to exams should not face removal at that point – even if they may be sent to their home country in the future. Yashika Bageerathi is not a child – she is 19 years old – so the guidance simply doesn’t apply! Yet Yashika who came to the UK with her family, fleeing an abusive relative, has been sent back alone. What a travesty!
Finally my own blog. On 23rd November I wrote about the decision taken by the EU to support equal pay for men and women in all nation states. The Conservative MEPs voted against this proposal, claiming it is not the role of the EU to interfere with member states. However to ensure that they were not confused with people who do not believe in equal pay for equal work, they made this statement “We recognise that a number of Member States have legislation in place and we urge those Member States to better enforce their own legislative mechanisms to deal with wage discrimination.” For reasons I cannot explain, in the last two days this particular page on my blog has been inundated in the last two days. I am not sure why, but with the Conservative Party meeting today in Central London for its AGM and Spring Forum, perhaps these MEPs will fulfil their commitment and use today to urge the party to redouble its efforts? That at least would be a good end to a very unequal week!