It will have come as no surprise to anyone who's been involved in grassroots solidarity with refugees that a new Amnesty poll, published yesterday, has found overwhelming support among the British public for people fleeing conflict and persecution. Over three quarters of British people would accept refugees into their neighbourhood or home, the survey results show, and 70% say the government isn't doing enough to help.
As it is overwhelmingly women and girls who are bought by men, any policy which is constructed out of a denial of that truth is meaningless. If we stop for a moment and imagine that that statement reads 'it is overwhelmingly black people who are bought by white people' it's clear that no Human Rights organisation would be trying to obscure that fact in any policy.
This is a pan-European emergency, which requires a pan-European response. We need to reinstate the search and rescue operations immediately and this time it must be properly funded, including by the UK. It is completely unacceptable to refuse help when we know men, women and children are drowning in their hundreds.
Quite contrary to the claims of the ticking bomb acolytes, torture is not something that governments are somehow "denying themselves" in the fight against terrorism or other criminals. Instead, as Amnesty confirms, torture is actually "flourishing" in the modern world. The last thing we need is people coming up with exotic ways to justify it.
Firstly, Northern Ireland is not your normal western liberal democracy. As Mick Fealty said, there exists two worlds in Northern Ireland. One is progressive, cosmopolitan, tolerant, ambitious. The other is a minority that extorts, blackmails and wields arbitrary power over a moderate majority. The politicians are complicit with these economic vandals and thugs.
The tenacity and forthrightness of Amnesty's founding members is truly remarkable and admirable. These were ordinary people with ordinary jobs, who appointed themselves as moonlighting human rights defenders. They picked up their pens and wrote to heads of state, demanding that they release prisoners.
In one very bloody seven month period, from August 1988 to February 1989, at least 4,500 people, some of them teenagers, were executed, according to Amnesty International. This works out at an average execution rate of one person almost every hour for over 200 days.