Features Australia

Balhatchet job

3 February 2018

9:00 AM

3 February 2018

9:00 AM

Just when you think the cowardice of those highly-placed in the West (with the exceptions of Trump and Netanyahu) can go no further, another public figure reveals new depths of caitiff appeasement and cultural maschocism.

One wonders whether it is an Eloi-like refusal or inability to face reality, or some agenda even more sinister.

While the number of women and girls in England and Wales of Muslim families suffering genital mutilation was estimated recently to be about 137,000, there has apparently not been a single prosecution for this mass infliction of torture, grievous bodily harm, the ruining of human lives and the flouting of Britain’s criminal law and social and human values. That’s right: Zero. A very few – less than 100 – protection orders have been issued.

The police commander tasked with tackling female genital mutilation, and other so-called ‘honour’ violence and child marriage, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s head on the subject, Ivan Balhatchet, has excused the lack of any convictions by saying there are ‘many nuances’ to the crime. Many nuances? What is ‘nuanced’ about irreparably slashing a girl’s or woman’s external sexual organs, maiming her for life? Is anyone capable of doing this to a daughter fit to have more children?

As well as a disgusting and criminal assault on the individual, this demonstration of police impotence must be profoundly damaging to the whole civic order – a capitulation of civilisation before barbarism and a demonstration of the Enlightenment’s and Western civilisation’s craven inability to defend or even assert fundamental values (And, of course, there is an echoing silence from most of the churches, or perhaps a reluctance to ‘address the interfaith narrative’ of female genital mutilation? Not to mention the feminist sisterhood.).

Balhatchet gave this explanation in response to Jonathan Nicholas, a police officer of 30 years’ service, author of Who’d be a Copper? and other books, who wrote demanding to know why there had not been a single conviction. The commander stated:

‘Thank you for your letters received dated 10th October 2017 and 12th January 2018 [sic]… May I apologise for the tardiness in my response.’

Some might consider an apology to the victims to be more approprtiate. Balhatchet continued in less-than-illuminating prose:

‘You can appreciate that as the National Policing Lead for this portfolio the need to prioritise resources to tackle all forms of Honour-Based Abuse, including Female Genital Mutilation. This includes working with both statutory and non-governmental organisations, in ways to prevent FGM and protect girls and women.’

I thought the ‘National Policing Lead’ might have something to do with arresting criminals. Evidently not. The letter continues: ‘There are many nuances to this crime type, which even third-sector charitable organisations, do not claim to share a nexus with your rationale of concerns for the lack of successful prosecutions [sic].’ Balhatchet’s remarks, if they can be called that, possibly say more about him than they do about anything else. He presumably put some thought into composing them.

While it is impossible to interpret them with certainty, and more appropriate to regard them as a satire on bureaucratic gobbledegook, they were, when reported, widely interpreted as confirmation that the police (and courts?) do not consider it appropriate to prosecute those responsible for FGM. Islam is not mentioned, though FGM is a virttually entirely Muslim practice. Avoiding howls of Islamophobia evidently trumps protecting girls and women from agonising mutilation. This would be in line with a very similar statement from the West Midlands Police, which said it felt ‘Prosecuting/jailing parents [is] unlikely to benefit [the] child].’ By the same logic it might be argued that prosecuting murderers is unlikely to benefit the victim. Are the West Midlands Police not aware of that esoteric criminological concept known as ‘deterrence’? Like West Midlands Police, Commander Balhatchet made a rapid climb-down after a furious backlash on social media, tweeting: ‘I apologise for this letter. It is not clear at all. FGM is the appalling abuse of children. It is unacceptable that there have been no successful prosecutions. Working with others, this is something that needs to change…’. Well, that’s all right, then. All that was lacking was the insertion of the words ‘in a very real sense’ somewhere.

When Freedom Of Information requests revealed that police were referring just 5 per cent of all honour-based crimes to prosecutors — despite the number of reports surging by 68 per cent between 2014 and 2015 — Balhatchet said that: ‘ “Honour” based abuse is a complex crime’, and referred to potential issues within ‘community or family networks’. Once again, this translates as a simple surrender of the most basic civilised values to an onslaught of cultural barbarism. Balhatchet previously excused the low number of convictions for ‘honour killings’ on the grounds that it was a ‘complex’ crime. It can be seen as a step to a Sharia Britain.

Not only does Female Genital Mutilation deprive women of the possibility of sexual pleasure, but frequently condemns them to a lifetime of pain and infection. They are deprived forever of one of life’s most joyous experiences and deepest intimacy, and are categorised forever as not fully human things. Germaine Greer once argued that attempts to outlaw FGM amounted to ‘an attack on cultural identity’, stating: ‘one man’s beautification is another man’s mutilation.’ This, of course, is simply the counter-culture par excellence. To attempt to accommodate this savagery, or excuse it, can only be called treachery to the values of the Enlightenment and of Western civilisation.

One longs for a worthy successor to that good old soldier of the Indian Raj., General Sir Charles Napier, who, when Hindu priests explained it was ‘the custom’ to burn widows alive on their husband’s funeral pyres, replied, with no mention of nuances: ‘Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them … My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.’ There is a statue of Sir Charles Napier in Trafalgar Square, largely paid for by the admiring soldiers he commanded. It is to be hoped the legions of political correctness will not destroy it, as Ken Livingstone previously tried to do.

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