On Friday, a 28-year old Sudanese asylum-seeker was shot dead by armed response police officers in Glasgow, after stabbing six people. I don’t doubt the bravery of those police officers, nor that this was their last, not first, resort. This is a tragedy for all concerned, and for my hometown. And at the centre of the tragedy is a young man whose hopes of a new life were cut short. His name was Badreddin Abadlla Adam.
I am not a journalist, and I have not researched his background. But until last year, Sudan had lived under a 30-year long dictatorship, that had imprisoned and tortured opponents and practiced ethnic genocide in Darfur. This young man never knew what it was to live in a society at peace. He was precisely the kind of person who should qualify for asylum, having made it to the UK, most likely through the exploitation of people traffickers.
Before any facts were established, Nigel Farage had tweeted that this was precisely the danger to our citizens we face for allowing illegal immigrants. To be clear, this man was not an illegal immigrant, he was an asylum-seeker. But Farage is not entirely wrong, in as much as we do treat asylum-seekers as criminals. From the moment they arrive, they experience the ‘hostile environment’, official government policy (only just acknowledged and now to be reviewed) of making their life so miserable that they will choose, at any point in the process, to voluntarily return home. Preferring to take their chances with a genocidal dictator than in a democracy. Let that sink in.
Then, rather than direct resources to provide essential, expert mental health support for people suffering from PTSD, money is given to private companies to provide the most basic accommodation. Asylum-seekers being an income stream for unscrupulous landlords. In effect, they become property.
And so, yes, it is perhaps inevitable that sooner or later some such young man might just break, with devastating consequences for those who happen to be around him.
And it is easier to blame immigrants than to take responsibility for our own actions.
According to the most recent statistics I could find, two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales; and a further two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in Scotland. As Scotland has a much smaller population, I can only assume that it is an even greater problem there than south of the border, that the men of the long-term, predominantly white, British population cannot control themselves and are a danger to those around them, especially British women.
And the silence is deafening.
So, don’t give me your bullshit about how we are civilised men of honour, taking a principled stand to protect our communities from those who would betray us with their bleeding hearts.