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Saturday, 3 September 2011


Two stories caught my eye in this morning's newspaper. First the disgrace of foreign nurses being registered to work in the UK despite not having seen a patient for twenty years while British nurses without up-to-date training have had to leave the profession. Hopefully, as the scandal has emerged in evidence to a House of Lords inquiry, someone somewhere will get a grip on this farce and do something about it, simply by ignoring the plainly stupid EU rules if necessary.

Far more disturbing and with little or no hope for the victims is the ongoing disgrace of rape and slavery in the (so called) Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Guardian video here is harrowing enough but look a little deeper on the Internet and the story is even more harrowing where in addition to rape being used as a weapon, children as young as five are raped through ignorance and superstition. Men are not immune either.

Poor people in many countries suffer in misery to provide the life styles to which we in the West have become accustomed and the best of intentions in dealing with human rights abuses can go awry. Meanwhile the misery of men and particularly of women and children continues. The United Nations organisation say they are addressing the challenges but compare the glitzy image in this video with that revealed in the Guardian video above.  

Using any computer or using any mobile phone to text a friend has been made possible by the blood, sweat and tears of raped women and children who mine the necessary minerals. It doesn't bear thinking about and, tragically, for the most part we don't but as the Libyan conflict subsides, is it too much to hope that world leaders will turn their attention to these suffering women and children or will they wait for the next shoot-out to wade-in in the hope of claiming another victory?

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