28 July, 2007


Secondary news

A BBC Radio 4 reporter scratching round for local vox pops on the Stockwell Gardens shooting came up, among others, with "a ninety-year old who has lived all [their] life in the area" and "a man who arrived a week ago from Eritrea, having moved here to avoid the violence of his home country".

I'm curious about the chap from Eritrea. Did he turn up on a tourist visa and is staying with friends/contacts with a longer-term view to disappearing into the woodwork, perhaps obtaining some false documents to ease his path? Did he turn up at Heathrow immigration and say, "Hello, I'm from Eritrea. It's a touch rough where I come from and I was looking for somewhere a bit quieter to live. Can I stay here?" And the nice immigration people said, "Of course. Just pop along to Lambeth council and they'll fix you up with somewhere to stay."

I mean, how does this work then? Not even "in fear of his life due to persecution in his home country and seeking asylum on those grounds", but "it can get a bit violent in Eritrea, not that I am in any particular danger, but I'd prefer somewhere a bit quieter".

Is this part of Gordon Brown's clampdown on immigration abuse, then?

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