ON the very day I watched the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the head by the Taliban brought to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for prolonged treatment, I saw these pictures of drunken women students on the streets of Newcastle.
Some were wearing little more than their bra and knickers for the night’s “Pimps And Hoes” theme for chaotic Carnage bar crawls.
What struck me was how these supposedly educated women would so shamelessly behave in public for what was billed as “a fun, tongue-in-cheek event”.
No such thing. And it’s a sobering thought that Malala Yousafzai, 14, was shot on a bus in front of her friends for hitting out against the ban on female education.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “Malala’s bravery in standing up for the right of all young girls in Pakistan to an education is an example to us all.”
In contrast what an example these boozed-up freshers are. And how easy do they take for granted all that Malala was fighting for. Too much is given on a plate to some girls who value it as much as themselves.
That’s why they ended up in the gutter. Whatever our cultural differences, whatever would Malala make of them – women with all the privileges and none of the good sense to keep their skirts on? We all know where their brains are.
It takes the biscuit having the nerve to appeal for wedding sponsors
Here’s a couple who had no qualms about contacting us with what many would call a begging letter from Janie, 35, from Southwick, which read: “My partner and I have planned our civil partnership for August 10, 2013.
“We wondered if there were any companies out there who would be willing to sponsor it, by offering us free or cheap service or products.
“In return we will give you advertising space at the reception, included with invitations, thankyous and speeches, and we hope to have at least local press coverage, possibly even a magazine covering the story. If you can help please firstname.lastname@example.org”
What cheek. I don’t see this as thrifty, just blatant begging. It was destined to spark debate.
And there were abusive comments posted on our website, which were removed.
After advertising their love to the world and wanting to cut costs, they reckoned they had hit on a novel way which they say is popular in America.
Put yourself up for this kind of public appeal and you have to be prepared for the consequences of being denounced.
Maybe the couple who met on Facebook and have been together two years, are so wrapped up in each other they reckon businesses would be falling over themselves to give them a day of their dreams.
They said they weren’t worried about the reaction their unsusual way of saving money might provoke.
Well, it certainly did provoke comment – and not the kind they were banking on.
Janie said: “Our friends and family seem to think it’s a good idea to help with the cost. They were quite surprised, but generally it seems to be a good a good reaction.”
Throw it open to a wider audience and those with the cheek to ask in the first place have to have thick skins when what they thought was a master move isn’t shared.
“We’ve read that it’s a popular thing in America,” said Janie. Well, so much rubbish that has polluted our society has been shipped over here. Here’s another example.
The principle of finding sponsors for your nuptials devalues any relationship. Love should be enough.
Help at hand for those struggling
IT’S all too easy to forget that there are mothers in this city who are as dependent on charity as in 1886 when George Hudson, a Monkwearmouth entrepreneur left a legacy to help fatherless children buy food, clothes and education.
Today benefits are in place but even those mothers who are working and known to this charity, show how there is still great need in so many homes for a little helping hand, something to fall back on.
Now a small number of places are available for anyone who would like to be considered for a bit of extra support through pocket money, gifts and sweets at Christmas and Easter, vouchers to buy uniforms and money for college books.
To qualify for help, certain requirements must be met, such as a father must be dead or terminally ill.
For mothers struggling and robbing Peter to pay Paul, the charity is a godsend.
Mother-of-five Monica’s husband died eight years ago at 36, following complications after a heart transplant.
“I heard about the charity through a friend but was reluctant to seek help,” Monica says.
“I was proud and at first I felt embarrassed but I was struggling.
“I don’t feel embarassed now. It’s friendly here and you meet people in similar situations.
“My husband worked to support us. The charity helped a lot to give the children a little bit extra. Otherwise Christmas would have been pretty dismal.”
If you would like to be considered, don’t be shy about applying and do write to The Administrator, George Hudson Charity, 54, John Street, Sunderland.
HAVE a baby with a star – for £15k.
Having a footballer, rock star, a genius or a Formula 1 racing driver father your child is the premise behind the Fame Daddy celebrity sperm donor website.
It claims to have 40 A-listers on its books and for a fee starting at £15,000, the “premium insemination service” provides prospective parents with sperm from the donors – which they can use to try for a child.
The site also claims that by using sperm from “a proven winner” women can give their child “a head start in life”.
Highly questionable. In fact, this site should come with a warning, given that high achievers can be the most flawed characters.
I can think of many so-called stars who would be the last person I would have wanted any child of mine to run the risk of inheriting such no-good character traits.
How have we become such a sick, celebrity-obsessed society?
The Axe: The Colling Hitlist
LET the axe fall on the copper who hit a “terrified” blind man with a 50,000 volt Taser gun after he mistook his white stick for a samurai sword.
Stroke victim Colin Farmer, 61, collapsed in shock after he was hit in the back with the gun while walking down the street in Chorley, Lancashire.
“The whole thing was like being trapped in a nightmare,” he said.
The police had received reports of a man walking through the town armed with a samurai sword but unlike Mr Farmer, the copper wasn’t blind who tasered him. Surely he could see it was a white stick and not a weapon.
Mr Farmer, who has suffered two strokes and walks at a “snail’s pace”, was unaware of the reports and had no idea a police officer had mistaken his thin white stick for a weapon and ordered him to stop before pulling the trigger on the Taser gun.
Mr Farmer cried out: “I’m blind! I’m blind!” And then, while on the floor, he was handcuffed by the officer from Lancashire Police.
Mr Farmer said he heard shouting on the street but did not know what it was about and thought he was about to be “attacked by some hooligans”.
He was taken to Chorley Hospital for treatment and was later released.
Chief Superintendent Stuart Williams, from Lancashire Police, said: “We received a number of reports that a man was walking through Chorley armed with a samurai sword and patrols were sent to look for the man.
“One of the officers believed he had located the offender. Despite asking the man to stop, he failed to do so and the officer discharged his Taser.
“It then became apparent this man was not the person we were looking for and officers attended to him straight away.
“Lancashire Constabulary deeply regrets what has happened. We have clearly put this man through a traumatic experience and we are extremely sorry.
“We have launched an urgent investigation to understand what lessons can be learned and the matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.”
Mr Farmer is reportedly considering legal action against the force.
An apology is not enough. What is cause for serious concern is that trained policeman, albeit in times of pressure, cannot see what is staring them in the face – a white stick not a martial arts weapon and still pull the trigger.
Thank goodness they aren’t routinely armed as some would want. It would be a sad day for us all and no mistake.