Peter Rhodes on unsolved burglaries, in-care kids and can straight guys play gay guys?

In the 1960s' campaigns to legalise abortion, one of the regular banners was: “Every child a wanted child.” More than half a century on, it is reported that 80,850 children were taken into care in 2021. Nobody saw that coming.

UK immigration policy
UK immigration policy

As the row over the Northern Ireland Protocol rages, why is it that the sort of people who are so relaxed about breaking English law (blocking motorways, damaging statues, etc) get all pious and outraged over breaking international law?

No surprises in this week's Home Office data showing that during the past three years, across vast tracts of England and Wales, not a single burglary has been solved. The police gave up on burglaries years ago, regarding them as no more than an insurance matter. So if a burglar removes your valuables in the early hours, don't expect the police to come running.

However, if you happen to recognise the burglar from years ago and say: “Hang on, you're not a bloke, you used to be Big Brenda at the Dog & Duck.” then you have committed a hate crime and hordes of cops will turn up to arrest you. Mind how you go.

The silliness goes on and on. Tom Hanks who won an Oscar for playing a gay man in the movie Philadelphia, says he wouldn't do it today because “I don’t think people would accept the inauthenticity of a straight guy playing a gay guy.”

Meanwhile the Royal Shakespeare Theatre's artistic director Gregory Doran says choosing an able-bodied actor to play the disabled Richard III “would probably not be acceptable.”

Acceptable to whom, for goodness' sake? To a noisy handful of uptight activists or to the majority of cinema and theatre patrons who simply want to see brilliant performances? In terms of discrimination, there's no difference between telling an actor: “You can't have the job because you are disabled / gay / trans” and: “You can't have the job because you are not disabled / gay / trans.”

The boats keep coming, the game goes on. You may apply for asylum - but only if you first cross the English Channel in an inflatable dinghy with a dodgy outboard. Is UK immigration policy based on Common Law, international law or It's a Knockout?

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