The latest little confected outrage is that British women who are victims of forced marriage in foreign climes must pay the Foreign Office the costs of their repatriation – yes, obviously they must, how else would you organise this? We’re not, quite obviously, going to start handing out free air tickets to everyone who wants to come home now, are we?
And that’s all that is happening here. If you’re abroad, you ask for consular help, you’ll get it. And if you need to get back to Britain then they’ll help you. Sort out transferring money from your bank to pay for a ticket, issue temporary travel documents, all sorts of things. Even, if you’ve got no money, lend you some to get the ticket to get back. The system does work.
All that’s happened here is someone getting outraged that women forced into marriage abroad have to use the same system as all the rest of us. And there’s a certain truth to the idea that British peeps in trouble abroad are British people in trouble abroad, we’re all equal in the way we should be treated, no?
British victims of forced marriages overseas are being asked by the Foreign Office to pay costs associated with their own rescue, it has been revealed. An investigation by the Times found those unable to cover flights, food and shelter were made to take out a loan. MPs have condemned the practice as “astonishing” and “immoral”.
Sounds damned sensible to us.
For example, one of the erm, examples, used by The Times to show us all how appalling this is:
Government guidelines on how officials should deal with repatriating victims state that the Foreign Office “is obliged to ask the individual, [a] third party or trusted friends to fund the cost of repatriation”. In April 2017 police in Somaliland, an autonomous region in northern Somalia, raided a boarding school after Jasmin Osman, who was sent to the school when she was 19, escaped and called for help. They found 25 young women from across Europe and the US, including seven from Britain, who had been sent there by parents concerned that they were becoming too westernised. The women had been there for a year and reported being beaten and burnt for mispronouncing verses of the Koran. Other punishments included being locked in coffin-like enclosures with tiny airholes, soaked with cold water overnight, left in their own excrement, made to stare directly at the sun and being chained to walls. They were told that they could leave only if they got married.
That’s appalling treatment, of course it is, and they should be helped out of that situation. But it’s not forced marriage now, is it? So, why should those trapped in such get the ticket home for free, these girls have to take out a loan to get one?
Well, no reason, obviously. Now go to the other end of the spectrum, someone on the Costa Del Boozo who has run out of cash and doesn’t have a ticket home. Should they get a freebie? Or have to take out a loan? Does it make a difference if it’s a bloke failing under his own steam or a women sent off into this slavery by her own family? Well, does it?
No, obviously not. Therefore consular officials will indeed help and aid but when cash has to be splashed if you’ve not got it then they lend it to you. How else would you run the system?