All too often I find myself in a state of bewilderment over one thing and another which appears to make no sense to me at all though must presumably do so to others.

It was madness in years gone by to be deported to Van Diemen's Land for stealing a lace hankie or a loaf of bread but haven't we simply changed that madness for another.

There has been a rather nasty trial in England over a man and his wife setting a fire in which six of their children died...for various reasons they weren't charged with murder but with manslaughter...he was sentenced to life imprisonment which is the maximum term for manslaughter. But he'll be able to apply for parole after seventeen years. Why?

What's the point in saying 'life imprisonment' in the first place...

His wife was told she'd be sentenced to fifteen years but would only have to serve half that time...so why not sentence her to seven and a half years in prison then...

Do they solemnly announce she'll serve fifteen years to give her a fright and then tell her they were only joking...?

In another case in Saudi Arabia a young man has been sentenced to be paralysed from the waist down because when he was fourteen he stabbed his friend and caused him to become paralysed...it's the eye for an eye system of punishment.

Other countries are protesting to the Saudi government in strong terms and asking that they re-consider the boys sentence...one of the protesting countries is Britain. But an explanatory note at the end of the news article explained that Britain dare not intervene nor protest too strongly because Saudi Arabia is the country which buys the majority of the arms which Britain produces.

That's alright then...we can't have contracts to supply vast quantities of arms put in jeopardy after all.

It could well be that the Saudi boy who stabbed his friend is a nasty thug who has never shown any remorse and I suppose however strongly we may feel about a punishment which we personally feel is barbaric, each country's laws are different and they are not always as committed to the rehabilitation of wrong doers as most of those in the west profess to be.

What rankled with me was the footnote explaining about the importance of the sales of arms being the reason behind the lukewarm response to a sentence best described as mediaeval.

When we no longer care about the individual...when our minds are always set on profit at all costs...when a human right is virtually ignored because of the danger of losing hard profit...then I truly despair for mankind.