Those who are expert in the matter tell just that there are thousands of cases of slave labour in this country. Quite a few of them are to be found in London homes owned by Middle East sheikhs and royalty. Of course, the government prevents the police from investigating those for fear of upsetting the rich owners. If only we had a Wilberforce among our MPs!
But we’ve just had an astonishing case of an Indian couple, Pooja and Ajay Chandhok, hiring a woman in India from the Adivasi caste, Permila Tirkey, 39, and bringing her to this country in 2008 when her passport was removed, she was not allowed to learn English, worked 18 hours a day for 11p an hour, slept on a foam mattress on the floor and was not allowed to phone her family back home.
What’s astonishing about it is not that it happened in this country but how she ever did manage to escape from it. Thankfully, it was discovered by one means or another — how, we are not told — and the Chandhocks were fined £184,000 by a tribunal in Cambridge.
But, of course, the caste system exists everywhere in every country of varying degrees of severity and visibility, albeit described very differently in many cultures so that you’d hardly recognize it. Hierarchy and the conditioning of minds in childhood is the key instinctive method by which human society of different sizes and sorts is pinned together. Without it we should shatter into chaos. But, please, do let us clean up more cases of the sort of brutality as formerly practised by the Chandhocks!