Persecution and human rights

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From: John Jackson, Long Meadows, Burley-in-Wharfedale.

IS it me? I borrow Terry Wogan’s celebrated question of exasperation when I read with incredulity your report “Child-sex offender spared deportation loses battle for detention damages” (Yorkshire Post, January 26).

The item states that “a man who was part of a group of immigrants who lured local schoolgirls for sex cannot be deported because he is a member of a persecuted tribe”. Jumaa Kater Saleh, it says, “went to court in a bid to claim damages for unlawful detention during the Government’s failed bid to send him back to Sudan”.

Sensible thinking people, the vast majority of us that is, will be with me – even ahead of me – on this one. The 24-year-old Saleh by any reasonable reckoning had been kept at a young offenders’ institution for having illegal sexual activity with a female under the age of 16.

But the hapless individual felt he had been wrongly kept captive by the authorities and, wait for it, he believed that his human rights had been infringed.

Naturally, and with the help of the do-gooders’ lobby no doubt, he acted as any smart thinking illegal immigrant would do under the circumstances – he bunged in a claim for a substantial payout.

Fortunately, in this all too rare instance, the High Court ruled against him and common sense prevailed.

But it was a hollow victory since as he entered the country illegally, and presumably was discovered only because of his heinous crimes, he did as anyone here without permission who got copped would do and claimed asylum. It is, after all, the cop out of choice among foreign criminals and others.

And, of course, his case took years to sort out.

It now appears that, despite having no right to be in the UK and having committed offences as the member of an immigrant gang, he can remain indefinitely as a burden on the state since to deport him back to Sudan would be unlawful under the same legislation that he sought to extract damages from the British taxpayer.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, Saleh’s human rights would be infringed because he would be at risk in his native country as he is a member of a “persecuted tribe”.

Well, is it me?

Rounded educations

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

Nick Clegg prevaricates on whether to send his son to a private school (Yorkshire Post, January 25) citing “huge competition” for state school places.

Does he really expect us to accept that a child of the Deputy Prime Minister could end up in the north London equivalent of the Beano’s Bash Street?

He might wish to consider that a good state school would provide a far more rounded education, both academically and socially, than that which he had the misfortune to receive.

Congratulations to David Cameron, who has decided on 
a state education for his 
daughter.

He seems to have realised that being “all in this together” demands a much deeper commitment than some apocryphal tale about eating a pasty from a non-existent shop on Leeds City station. Progress indeed.

Indebtedness transferred

From: Jeff Thomas, Strait Lane, Huby, Leeds.

HAVING read reports (Yorkshire Post, January 23 and 26) I find it extremely worrying that the health authority in North Yorkshire is in debt to the tune of some £19m.

Quite recently we heard this might be less at £12m but whatever the figure is, it is not acceptable.

It is even less acceptable to pass on this huge amount of debt to the new GP-led Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The CCGs should stand up to be counted and refuse to accept the debt and tell the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt, to get the issue sorted out.

It appears that North Yorkshire is the only county in the country in this position.

I think it is true to say that the residents of North Yorkshire are being shortchanged.

The present funding formula does not address the fact that it is a huge rural area and funding should be made available to cover this.

The new authority should be led by healthcare professionals and not a bunch of administrators – this is absolutely vital to the new regime’s success.

Dividend imperatives

From: B Gatford, Grange Park Road, Ripon.

IT was interesting to read the different views regarding supermarkets (Yorkshire Post, January 23).

Stephen Nichols wondered if any readers remembered their Co-op “divvi” number from the 1950s.

Yes, I certainly do, ours was 2081 (at the Skipton Co-op branch on Swadford Street).

I have memories of going to the seemingly vast shop, aged eight onwards, alone, to order coal etc and reciting the number constantly so I would not forget it – as it was vital apparently.

The shop smelled amazing and interesting.

Things were always happening on the dark wood counters – coffee being ground, sugar bagged, bacon and ham 
being sliced, with all the 
different aromas merging into 
a truly special smell of that 
era.