Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

If We Must Take This Brutal Rapist, Let Australia Have Back the Irritating Germaine Greer

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

If We Must Take This Brutal Rapist, Let Australia Have Back the Irritating Germaine Greer

Article excerpt


LESLIE Cunliffe, 63, kidnapped a 21-year-old student in Melbourne in 1999.

In a dungeon described as "like something from Silence of the Lambs", he strapped her to a chair, cut off her clothes and raped her during a seven-hour ordeal. Afterwards he strapped a fake bomb to her and sent photos to her family demanding a pounds 500,000 ransom.

Noel McNamara, of the Crime Victims' Support Association, said: "If you threw the book at him properly, he''d never get out of jail. He was a very brutal man."

He was released after serving 12 years of a 15-year sentence but breached bail by failing to report to police and will now be deported back to Britain, his birthplace.

If we have to take him back, and I wish there was something in the Human Rights Act to forbid it, I suggest a trade. We take Cunliffe and they take back Germaine Greer. She's committed no criminal offence that I know off but she doesn't half get on my nerves. I have before now offered to buy her a one-way ticket home.

Her latest outburst came on Question Time when she suggested little girls kissing daddy goodnight was sexual and sinister and British troops were as likely to rape as any other army. In the old days I never bought her arguments but lots of people did so there must have been something in them. Now I fear she's lost the plot.

LAST week I talked with a woman who, every morning of the year except for Christmas Day and a short annual holiday, scrubs out a branch of a well-known restaurant chain. She is paid the minimum wage.

"But you get time and a half for bank holidays," I said. Her answer was no, it was the same pay whatever the occasion. "That's illegal," I said and Googled to prove my point. Except that I was wrong.

This is what Directgov, the official website, says: "You do not have a statutory right to paid leave on bank and public holidays. If your employer gives paid leave on a bank or public holiday, this can count towards your minimum holiday entitlement.

"If you work on a bank or public holiday, there is no automatic right to an enhanced pay rate. What you get paid depends on your contract of employment."

When I worked in the public sector I took bank holidays as my right; so do most public servants.

Contrast that woman scrubbing the men's urinal every day with the fat cats at the heads of organisations, some of them in the public sector, enjoying their perks and bonuses. Compare her pension rights - nil - with theirs and then with your own.

Remuneration in this country is a mess, going from one extreme to the other. If you're anywhere else but on the bottom rung like her, count yourself lucky.

LIKE everyone else, I'm wondering why we should be offering overseas aid when it's so tough at home. …

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