The first letter today is a must-read, not only for the still ongoing debate about the candidates in the current leadership election but for the general debate which won’t stop because we’ve elected a new leader. It’s about a hot subject: FGM.
We Kippers base our arguments on data, not on hot air. This important letter by Stout Yeoman, our contributor and correspondent, does just that:
Islam, and FGM in particular, arose as topics at the recent official hustings. It was noticeable how none of the candidates appeared to be aware of any facts about FGM. They seemed to equate the issue with the rape of vulnerable, principally white girls, by Pakistani men. There was a failure of the police and social services to uphold the law. While Rotherham and other police forces had now been shamed into acting over rape gangs it remained the case that not a single case of FGM had been prosecuted. This was universally decried and several candidates wanted to make FGM a cause célèbre for UKIP but no-one appeared to realise that there are no prosecutable cases and no cause to pursue.
Since April 2015 hospitals have been under a legal obligation to report any case they come across, however they come across it, of girls and women who appear to have been subjected to some form of FGM. GPs came under a similar obligation in October 2015 and social workers and teachers have since been added to those obliged to report FGM.
In the year to March 2016. the first year of any reporting requirements, there were 5702 new cases. The data pertaining to those cases has been analysed by the Health and Social Care Information Service.
Outrageous we all cry. 5702 cases and not a single prosecution. The problem is that all but 18 of the cases were cut before they came to the UK and so outside UK jurisdiction. Of the 18 cases potentially within UK jurisdiction – cut here or British citizens taken abroad for cutting – 10 were simply piercings. That leaves 8 cases (of parents) potentially subject to UK criminal law. The Health Information Service does not provide details of these 8 cases and what happened but then they cannot because FGM is prohibited from being reported on under the Female Genital Mutilation act 2003. (The 8 possible victims have lifelong anonymity).
The extent to which the authorities have acted to try and eradicate FGM is impressive. Google `Multi Agency Statutory Guidance on FGM’ to download a raft of documents explaining what has been done and is being done.
Frank Furedi, sociologist and Spike On-line commentator, regards FGM as a moral panic. That is. something whipped up that is not supported by facts. The thousands of cases in the UK are of women cut in Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria, a long list of African countries, and Yemen and Irag before they came to the UK. The children of mothers who have been cut and give birth in the UK are subject to FGM Protection Orders.
Just as in this country, as in others, murder is not tolerated and there is no scope for UKIP in campaigning for better pursuit of murderers – so there is no case for FGM being a UKIP issue. It is at most eight potential cases in the year to March 2016 and they were dealt with. I’ll wager that the data set for 2017 shows a decline from eight.
Respectfully, Stout Yeoman
The next letter is by our correspondent Liz Phillips. Knowing someone personally and having worked with him over some years, not just meeting a candidate briefly at hustings, certainly allows for a more serious assessment, and the opinion thus formed carries weight:
I have a great advantage over many in that I have known one of our candidates for a number of years outside the political sphere. When you get to know people like this, you learn about them, warts and all! This is how I know Henry Bolton.
Many of our old seaside towns have suffered badly in the last fifty years, Folkestone the same as many, especially when the Cross Channel Ferry Port was closed. Henry, a resident of Folkestone, was heavily involved with a project to restore part of its wonderful heritage. That was how I met him.
From the outset, he stood out as being the most generous of people with time and effort and was a team player in looking at ideas and visions from others to weld into one. Surely this is what has been so sorely lacking in UKIP. The times I have tried to get member’s projects and experience into the heart of the party, only to be dismissed by a flunkey …!
UKIP is unique and its members run the whole gamut of people and professionals in all walks of life. Its wealth of knowledge from its retired members alone, let alone with those still working, with expertise from whatever area of the economy you care to mention, is the richest untapped resource needed to get Great Britain right back on its feet.
You have seen Henry’s vision for UKIP clearly set out which takes us back to being the party of its members and not of its hierarchy. If I hadn’t seen this in action, I could think ‘yeah, yeah, heard it all before’ but not this time. Under Henry, UKIP will be the party of the members and his strength will enable us to make sure that Brexit delivers the country we have so longed for.
Much as I have time and respect for others on the leadership platform, I prefer Henry’s stance with regard to those who wish to do us harm. He does not single out any one area of society but all people who have any thought of either destroying us or our way of life. I really believe Henry is the only one who can deliver it all, with us all.
Respectfully, Liz Phillips