Wisbech and Chatteris readers' views on Saudi Arabia, parenting laws and the Budget
Here are the letters from the March 30 edition of the Fenland Citizen.
UK and US supporting murderous regime
Boris Johnson recently made a goodwill visit to Saudi Arabia – just after the regime beheaded a record 81 people in one day.
This exceeded the total number killed in all of last year. All had been “found guilty of committing multiple heinous crimes’’ and holding “deviant beliefs,” the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
It said they included people linked to Yemen’s Houthi rebel forces or “other terrorist organisations.”
Backed by the West, and British-made weaponry in particular, Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition that has been fighting in Yemen since 2015.
“The Crown Prince told journalists he plans to modernise Saudi Arabia’s criminal justice system, only to order the largest mass execution in the country’s history,” campaign group Reprieve said.
According to Reprieve: “There are prisoners of conscience on Saudi death row, and others arrested as children or charged with non-violent crimes. We fear for every one of them following this brutal display of impunity.”
Saudi Arabia’s last mass execution was in January 2016, when the kingdom executed 47 people.
US president Joe Biden has made noises about pressure on Saudi Arabia to be less repressive.
He declassified an intelligence report concluding that its ruler Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
But now the US and Britain are begging Saudi Arabia to cooperate over boosting oil production to make up for the withdrawal of Russia’s supply.
So don’t expect Johnson or the US to demand action over Saudi Arabia anytime soon.
Amazed this situation is still going on
Regarding your story in last week’s Citizen about the PAPA group fighting for equal parenting rights, from my own personal experience I find it amazing that this situation is still going on.
Between 1998 and 2000 I represented myself at Family Divorce Court – it’s only in recent years you can get a mutual divorce.
Before that, one of you had to have committed adultery or domestic violence to get a divorce, meaning one parent was the reason for legal proceedings to take place.
Between 2000 and 2005 I was a member of ‘Families Need Fathers’ and also a ‘McKenzie Friend’.
I prepared paperwork as well as represented fathers who couldn’t afford solicitors in family divorce and child contact proceedings at the old county court in Cambridge.
In my own case the court awarded itself and a solicitor as guardians for the children’s best interests.
Naturally, in those days, because the woman carried and gave birth to the baby, it was deemed they had a natural biological connection.
The mother would keep the child and daddy would have weekend contact.
The best moments not created by Governments
The decisions announced at the dispatch box will affect the prices we pay, the pound in our pocket.
Before the conflict, there was already a squeeze on everyone’s wallet coming. Since the outbreak, day by day, the uncertainty around the economy, and the impact of what’s unfolding, has only become more acute. If the size of the Chancellor’s dinner matches the scale of the spending, the opposition will be disappointed – he only had one slice. The big decisions were, in the main, taken several weeks ago. Don’t roll the drums for big financial drama. Despite lots of chatter about increasing defence spending, there wasn’t actually a formal request from the Ministry of Defence for any extra funding.
Although every day brings new calls for more help with rocketing energy bills, the Treasury has been reluctant to move from the extra support they promised already, which was only announced last month. That’s in part because the Treasury is instinctively cautious with cash. But also because price rises are so hard to predict and may go on for many, many months.
The moments that make life worth living aren’t created by government, aren’t announced by government, aren’t granted by government.