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After America pulled out of Afghanistan in 2021, abandoning it to the Taliban, every sinew was strained to bring Afghans who had been loyal to Britain to safety.
At great risk to British service personnel working in Kabul, and at huge expense, some 11,600 individuals and their families were rescued and brought here.
Naively, perhaps, we might have expected a bit of gratitude for offering them sanctuary.
Not a bit of it. Fast forward to 2023 and we learn that 40 rescued Afghan families, including some 150 children, are outraged.
Why? Because after spending 18 months in a four-star hotel in Kensington, a stone’s throw from the Victoria & Albert Museum in one of London’s most exclusive districts, they are now being told by the Home Office they are to relocate to Yorkshire.
On the website of their London hotel, single rooms are advertised at £217 per night.
At great risk to British service personnel working in Kabul, and at huge expense, some 11,600 individuals and their families were rescued
Wetherby is gorgeous. A safe place to bring up kids, with cycleways, good schools and one of the lowest crime rates in England
The cost to British taxpayers housing families in that hotel alone surely runs into millions — even before we consider the cost of free health care, educating their children and other benefits.
Some of the Afghans claim that after 18 months, their children’s mental health might be damaged if they were forced to move to the pretty historic market town of Wetherby. I know it well, having spent many years in Yorkshire.
Wetherby is gorgeous. A safe place to bring up kids, with cycleways, good schools and one of the lowest crime rates in England. The average wage is a handsome £30,501.
Yet that’s not good enough for these Afghan refugees — several of whom say they will refuse to go.
Dependency culture doesn’t take long to foster, does it?
If these guests find the thought of moving to a different free hotel so oppressive, perhaps they could cast their minds back to the hellish Taliban regime they left behind.
Half of their country is starving. Its women are being brutally oppressed. Anyone back home would swap places with them in a heartbeat.
What a mockery these people are making of our hospitality.
In every UK city, we pass homeless men, many of them military veterans who have served this country. They lack a clean and safe bed. But these ungrateful refugees all sleep safe and sound, paid for by us.
A survey reveals we’ve become so isolated three in ten of us don’t know our neighbours’ names, let alone talk to them. Not true round my way. I know where they all live because Amazon keeps delivering their parcels to me.
Delilah’s a Gee-whizz
The furore surrounding Welsh Rugby banning the team’s anthem Delilah, supposedly because it endorses violence against women, reminds me of meeting the writer of the lyrics, Barry Mason.
I asked him ‘why, why why’ it was such a hit.
He told me, tone deaf as I am, to sing the chorus, ‘My, my, my Delilah’, then said even my terrible performance was proof of the secret to its lasting success.
It’s set in the key of G, so anyone can sing it.
Ted’s words of comfort for Larry
My dear moggie Ted is upset to hear his Downing Street counterpart Larry has been treated for cysts.
Number 10 cat Larry has been undergoing treatment for cysts. Ted hopes Larry’s not suffering from the same painful ones that have left his once-upright ears comically drooped
Ted hopes Larry’s not suffering from the same painful ones that have left his once-upright ears comically drooped.
But, as Ted adds reassuringly to Larry, his sad ears make him even more lovable.
Hounded for decades, former soldier David Jonathan Holden is convicted of the 1988 manslaughter of a man he thought was an IRA member.
Meanwhile, the families of the victims of the Real IRA’s 1998 Omagh bombings — which killed 29 people — have yet to see a single person brought to justice. Such skewed priorities should trouble us all.
What is it about men in fat suits that film critics love so much? Brendan Fraser receives rave reviews playing a morbidly obese man in The Whale and is nominated for an Oscar, while Gary Oldman ridiculously won Best Actor for chunking up to play Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.
But Gwyneth Paltrow, who played a female ‘whale’ in Shallow Hal, never got a look in.
Trepidation for tomorrow’s Happy Valley finale. Women of a certain age have invested much in the 55-year-old gran — and no- nonsense cop — Sergeant Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire).
What a joy to see a middle-aged Yorkshire lass of a larger size becoming the heroine of a TV hit.
If the BBC kill her off, I and millions of women will be cancelling our TV licences.
Baywatch star Pamela Anderson, 55, reveals every twist of the ‘wild adventure’ of her life in her memoir and Netflix show.
She was abused as a child, handed around like a tray of cocaine to men at the Playboy mansion and suffered disastrous marriages — yet she survived.
It reminds us of the recent biopic, Blonde, about Marilyn Monroe. Two platinum bombshells who both sadly ended up alone.
As Rishi Sunak tanks in the polls, American scientists are investing millions to bring back the dodo. Any chance they could clone a few real Tories while they’re at it?
The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt says fuel duty may have to go up as he can’t promise to keep the current 5p cut.
And now they’re considering £300 on-the-spot fines for people using wood-burning stoves. If they can’t tax it, they fine you for it.
Rishi is right to stand firm and deny the strikers inflation-busting pay rises.
We don’t have the money and nor should an economy in recession now be blackmailed by Labour militants determined to bring down the Tory Government.
Humble-bragging TV presenter Fearne Cotton hits out at the online trolls who say she’s ‘too thin’ in the carefully posed selfies she likes to post on Instagram.
‘This sort of attention is not cast upon men, ever!’ she shrieks.
The difference is that pictures of famous men are mostly taken by strangers — they’re not Fearne’s self-promoting pity-me pics
Not true, Fearne: look at all the comments after Jeremy Clarkson was snapped on the beach.
The difference is that pictures of famous men are mostly taken by strangers — they’re not your self-promoting pity-me pics.
Family doctors are threatening to strike, claiming they don’t earn enough to see patients in person and describing a pay offer as ‘insulting’ and a ‘slap in the face’.
Given that their average salary — funded by the taxpayer — is about £110,000, surely their delusion and greed is a slap in the face for us?
Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid storms off set, angrily shouting at her lowly-paid colleagues who made mistakes on her autocue.
As the most overpaid woman on TV, earning £1.1 million, Susanna has been adrift on that show since Piers Morgan left, exposing her for the flimsy auto-cutie she really is
As the most overpaid woman on TV, earning £1.1 million, you’d have thought the supposedly professional Reid might know how to improvise.
The sad truth is that Diva Susanna has been adrift on that show since Piers Morgan left, exposing her for the flimsy auto-cutie she really is.
This dress Ora that?
Promoting her new single, You Only Love Me, in New York, singer Rita Ora wore ten outfits within 24 hours
Promoting her new single, You Only Love Me, in New York, singer Rita Ora wore ten outfits within 24 hours, including a barely-there black bondage number and a body-hugging red Lycra dress.
Well, at least the clothes provided a welcome distraction from her vocals.