Weekly Column

Nina Gray Hollows

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There can be nothing finer- purer- sweeter than a new-born baby. Unspoiled physically or mentally in any way. A wholly clean piece of paper on which their life will be painted. I remember when my eldest son John was born, an old Ghurkha friend of the family, Colonel Gahan came rushing down and demanded to see the baby’s feet. “Why?” we asked. “One of my duties as an infantry officer was to inspect the men’s feet- calloused, blistered, trench foot, you name it. But a new-born baby’s feet are just the most perfect thing on this earth.”John’s now got a baby of his own- and I went to meet Nina for the first time last week. Just perfect and a second grandchild to join two-year-old Fred. I once heard someone opine that all babies look like Churchill. But not Nina. A healthy head of hair and at 8 lbs a decent size too. I fell in love with her at first sight.My warm happiness at my first grand-daughter was the background to the desperate, the appalling news about Nurse Letby and her callous, wicked, vile, murdering spree against new born babies. It cannot be excused in any way- background, mental health nor anything else. It is pure evil, and I am glad that she has been put away for the rest of her natural life. I have always been opposed to the death penalty, but sometimes wonder if it could be allowed for very extreme crimes such as this.Like most people I was upset that she was not made to attend court for sentencing, thereby avoiding any kind of facing up to the realities of what she had done. Yet I understand the argument that forcing a prisoner into the dock, manacled, perhaps gagged for the occasion to prevent whatever outrage they might choose to commit in court, would be unseemly. Maybe the solution would be the one-way broadcast of the Judge’s final remarks and sentencing to the prisoner in the court cells.The killing of Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin ‘in a fatal plane crash’ is no way to deal with a criminal either, if indeed he really was on board. (My own view is that there is more to this than meets the eye, and I would not be the least bit surprised if he turned up in a luxury dacha somewhere in the future). Yet if Putin really did assassinate him in the way it appears, it reiterates Putin’s reputation as a callous murderer. No matter how wicked Putin may think Prighozin, he deserves the right of a proper criminal trial.What greater contrast in this World could there be than between the new-born baby, pure in every way, and foul toxic, wicked people like Putin, Prighozin, Letby or so many others. I suppose they too once had perfect baby feet before they were destroyed by wickedness.My love and happiness for Nina Gray Hollows might have had the effect of redoubling my grief that evil barbarism exists in this world. But somehow I would rather just look on that tiny baby as proof of the wonder that exists in this world and as a beacon of the goodness and purity to which we should all aspire. Colonel Gahan and the baby’s feet holds a lesson for us all.

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James Gray
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Published Date
August 25, 2023