The birth on 27th April 2017 of a new maytrees grandson - Henry - of course puts all other news into the shade.
Those mothers in Syria and elsewhere further south in Africa who have to flee or starve while heavily pregnant with child are on my mind at this otherwise very happy time for the maytrees' family.
As it happens a report by Aidan Hartley in this weeks "Spectator" magazine suggests that within the next 30 years or so Africa will have more people of working age than anywhere else but with few jobs to go round. A really sad paragraph or two of his article however read:
"The UK's development secretary calls what is unfolding in South Sudan tribal genocide - but President Salva Kair does not care. Last month he raised the permit fee for aid workers from $100, to $10,000...What we should expect... is a better performance from the Lords of Poverty themselves. Today the UN blames droughts or climate change but they have always occurred in Africa...In Northern Uganda the world's largest refugee camps have been forming for nearly a year as the South Sudanese flee..Suddenly UN officials sound alarm bells that a cholera epidemic is about to erupt. Send money now! What we know is that the refugees did not have cholera back home in their villages - but they find it when they congregate in camps specially established by the UN to house and feed them..."
Similarly the EU is about to argue about how many $billions the UK needs to provide for the remaining 27 EU nations upon the UK leaving the EU. If whatever sum is agreed, was to assist refugees particularly the mothers who are pregnant or with small children, or the poor in Africa that would be one thing but in fact the sums are apparently being argued for, purely to keep the EU in the wealthy ways to which it has become accustomed.
At least one EU country encouraged without the prior approval of the other 26 nations let alone the 27th which is the UK, thousands of North Africans to head for Europe from the war torn parts of that continent. Hundreds of thousands of refugees and apparently others, decided to make that perilous journey to Europe across the Mediterranean as a result. Then other EU nations which refuse to agree to what seem to be the dictats of the first, were being and perhaps still are, fined millions of Euros despite the fact that traffikers and profiteers are making killings, in all senses of that word, by putting would be refugees in overcrowded unsafe boats in my view encouraged by some EU nations. Thankfully the UK's financial effort has apparently (who knows what is in fact done in this area these days!) been concentrated on provision for the refugees in North Africa as near as possible to the homes that they have been forced to leave rather than encouraging mass fleeing in unsafe boats.
Now the EU is essentially bribing Turkey to retain more of the sadly still fleeing refugees and even seeking some payment from the UK for what may well be an illegal international restraint when really, the wealthy nations of Europe and the West and indeed the world over, should be discussing the best way of assisting and funding the starving and war afflicted peoples as near as possible to the homes they have had to leave.
The UN should be insisting that food for the starving gets to the affected peoples even if that means supporting the famine relief convoys with UN troops.
Well, baby Henry's first few hours on this earth have caused much celebration and some personal thought.