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Civilisation creeps forward - sometimes taking a step backwards.

It is not that it is just bad manners or ungallant for a man to force himself on a woman, (of any age) - it is (and should have always been) - utterly unacceptable behaviour under any circumstances.

But of course, it wasn't. Men have mistreated women from time in millennia and no doubt, though hopefully in rapidly declining numbers, will continue to do so. What has changed is that women have a much stronger and increasingly louder voice, and those voices are being heard and will not be silenced.

This started to happened many moons ago, even before Florance Nightingale patrolled the wards with her lamp. It has, like all the ills of the world, taken too long and cost some too much. From slavery to Holocausts, from Executions to Basic Freedoms. The fight against the unenlightened is seemingly neverending.

Brave people stand up, and usually, it takes a lot of people to get knocked down by the powers that be - before any change begins.

I tell my children about the two great strengths; that of the Reed and the mighty Oak - "and when the strong wind comes, the reed bends and then, when the wind has abated, springs back and straightens. But the Oak, if blown over, cannot get back up and is downed for good - so when you decide to make a stand, make sure it is worth dying for."

That is precisely what so many heroic people have done over the ages. They make a stand, and at best are made to look foolish, and at worst are incarcerated, tortured or even executed. Change can be slow and very painful and very costly in human lives.

That is how civilisation has moved forward, because of brave people, being true to their inner-selves, understanding clearly - that if you do nothing, you are complicit in perpetuating the wrong, or that, that is evil. And doing nothing to some people is not an option.

Hence the lady blocking the lift and Senator Jeff Flake's change of heart. That is how change happens.

That is the courage that we all admire. It is just that some of us are slower than others to recognise the wrongs in our everyday midst, and most of us are cowards at heart. So these wrongs and evils are allowed to continue, longer than they should.

Judge Bret Kavanaugh may, or may not be a good chap. Still, no matter how badly he wants the Supreme Court appointment, he should have recognised by now that fighting this appointment, with the allegations against him is unseemly for a judge, particularly the way he has challenged it. In his defence to the Senate judiciary committee, he exuded, very publicly, all the qualities we do not want to see in a High Court Judge, let alone a Supreme Court Judge.

He is in a "no-win" situation here, and however unfair he may think this is - he should be wiser enough to withdraw. Fighting on only increasingly taints him and the Supreme Court.

Doctor Blasey Ford may be brilliant, and for all we know, could be a manipulative woman. Perhaps she should be awarded an Oscar for her appearance before the Senate judiciary committee. Still, much more likely, is simply a lady who has been wronged, even if it was over three decades ago. Whatever her motives, It is a brave act she has done and a service to civilisation and a strong message to how young men should not treat any woman - ever, no matter how old they are. I suspect Dr Christine Blasey Ford is telling the truth.

Once again, there are a group of people who have fallen short and found to be wanting in all of this sad episode. They are Trump and his supporting Republican Senators.

The whole world, after his Bafoonish Narcistic UN appearance last week, are aware that Trump has no moral compass. But what a shame that so many Republican Senators seem to have utterly lost any ability of judgement. The only real exception is Senator Jeff Flake, who hopefully will also recognise that Judge Kavanaugh is a non-runner.

Meanwhile, over on this side of the pond, we have our own mounting problems. Again, ironically, they are mostly founded around a dogmatic attitude to an isolationist strategic policy, individuals egos and an inability to listen and compromise.

Rick - Suffolk - UK - 2nd April - 2020


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