What do microaggressions have to do with acid attacks?
Our politicians cannot bring themselves to say that this violent sex offender should never have been granted asylum.
We are led by lunatics. What other conclusion can you draw after the past 24 hours, following the horrific alkali attack in south London and the sickening attempts by the political and media classes to downplay the appalling, central fact of this case: that the alleged perpetrator was a convicted violent criminal who should never have been in this country at all, an Afghan national who was granted asylum on his third attempt and following a conviction for sexual offences.
On Wednesday night, 35-year-old Abdul Ezedi allegedly travelled down from Newcastle, where he resides in a halfway house, to Clapham in south London. There, he threw a corrosive substance – believed to be an alkali – on a 31-year-old mother and her two children. He was reportedly known to his victims. They are still in hospital, nursing life-changing injuries, while Ezedi remains at large. If his own burned, blackened face is anything to go by – apparently Ezedi also injured himself in the attack – you can only imagine what damage was inflicted upon that poor woman and her children.
As more facts have emerged, the more stomachs have turned. If Ezedi is indeed the perpetrator, then this looks like the most horrendous and preventable of attacks. He came to the UK in a lorry in 2016 and applied for asylum. He was convicted of sexual assault and exposure in 2018. But was granted leave to remain in 2021 or 2022, after two failed applications and one – dare I say it – questionable conversion to Christianity. If we had a moderately functional asylum system, he would have been nowhere near south London on Wednesday night. That he was is a moral outrage.
So, has this horrendous incident sparked even a moment of soul-searching on the part of our political class, who seem wilfully blind to the dysfunctions of our asylum system? Has it fuck. The response has been typically infuriating. Politicians are desperate to just change the subject. Take London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has bravely called for tougher enforcement on laws around corrosive substances. We need to ‘educate young people about the dangers of these things’, he said, apparently unaware that Ezedi came to the UK in his late-twenties. Now that’s what I call leadership.
Easily the most grotesque response was reserved for Newsnight, as is often the case these days. Last night, alleged Tory MP Caroline Nokes and Labour’s Bell Ribeiro-Addy, whose Streatham constituency the attack took place in, were invited by the BBC’s Kirsty Wark to hold forth on… microaggressions. I’m not making this up. After some obligatory throat-clearing about how awful the attack was, Wark suddenly pivoted. ‘I was surprised to hear how many microaggressions that you’ve faced’, she asked a visibly relieved Nokes. Thus ensued a conversation about how men calling women ‘darling’ or whatever puts society on a slippery slope to violent misogyny. ‘It may start with a microaggression, Bell, but it can end up with something incredibly serious’, said Wark. Ribeiro-Addy then began piously intoning about ‘ever-increasing incel culture’.
A clip of the exchange has gone viral, but it’s really worth watching the whole thing. Because it’s actually much worse than the snippet suggests. Both Nokes and Ribeiro-Addy were asked, point blank, whether it was right that the suspected alkali-thrower was granted asylum given he had been convicted for sexual violence. Both basically said yes. ‘His asylum status, though, is not really the issue of concern’, said Ribeiro-Addy. ‘Well, it was done by the courts’, added Nokes. ‘None of us know the circumstances of that and I think it’s wrong to comment on that at the current time.’ When is the right time, Caroline? We’re all dying to know.
Nokes has got most of the stick on social media, as is often the case when she is invited to fire up both of her brain cells. But Ribeiro-Addy’s comments are arguably more shameful. After all, this attack took place on her patch. In addition to the victim and her kids, nine people were injured after they came to their aid – so toxic was the substance in question. The lives of her constituents were put at mortal threat because our asylum system cannot bring itself to deport a dangerous sex offender – and she seriously thinks that’s ‘not really the issue’? You don’t have to be some hardline anti-asylum type – convinced that all the people who come here are a walking security threat – to recognise how insanely wrong, reckless and inhumane that decision was.
The facts are still being pieced together, but there’s a non-negligible chance the victim was of migrant or refugee background herself. She was reportedly a resident at the nearby Clapham South Belvedere Hotel, currently set aside for housing refugees. Another resident said the woman ‘prayed to Allah’ as she was being treated after the attack. This could turn out to be another sickening twist: a woman and her kids come to Britain seeking a better life and this horror befalls them, all because our asylum system is incapable of distinguishing between those who need and deserve our help and refuge and those who obviously do not.
The likes of Nokes, Khan and Ribeiro-Addy seem to have become prisoners of their own virtue-signalling. There is obviously nothing anti-migrant or anti-asylum about acknowledging that some people should not be offered leave to remain – such as the sex offenders, murderers, ISIS propagandists and Albanian gang lords who are (remarkably) among those who have been granted the right to stay in this country in recent years. If anything, these pose-striking idiots are wrecking the pro-asylum cause by allowing it to be associated with swinging the door open to dangerous scumbags. But they just don’t care. Preening on TV and on Twitter is apparently more important than public safety and actually helping the people they claim they want to help.
We are lumbered with rulers who are as dangerous as they are stupid. Our political and media elites would rather dissemble and deflect from ‘uncomfortable’ issues than risk succumbing to basic common sense. This week, an MP announced he is resigning from parliament because his life is constantly being threatened by Islamists. The great and good’s response? They urged MPs to be nicer to each other. Then, a woman and her two kids were pelted with a corrosive substance by a man who should never have been here. And politicians started babbling about microaggressions. The sooner we get rid of our demented ruling class the better.
Tom Slater is editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_
Picture by: Metropolitan Police.
To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.