Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Sponger in the money

Frit thanks the Telegraph for putting some figures on ex Guantanamo inmate Binyam Mohamed. He has been given temporary admission to Britain which allows him to claim his accommodation costs and £35 a week in vouchers. He will undoubtedly be claiming untold sums in legal aid, his lawyers already having said they may sue the British government for compensation over claims that MI5 colluded in his alleged and very lucrative torture. He first claimed asylum at the age of 16. His application was initially turned down in 1994 but accepted in 2000 (I make that a six year legal process) and he was given temporary leave to remain until 2004, by which time he was in Guantanamo Bay. If his refugee status is restored he could claim £60.50 Income Support or, more likely, receive Disability Living Allowance of up to £113.75 a week if he is deemed unfit to work (instead of unfit to live). He would also receive Local Housing Allowance of up to £240 a week if he returned to North Kensington where he was living before he left for Afghanistan, plus council tax relief of around £1055.27 a year. And he is only young. The sums he is set to make and the sums others are set to make from him over the next forty or fifty years will be truly huge.

Figures are always good. Those who rule us hate figures. They prefer to deal in lofty ethical concepts such as “human rights” whilst the figures simply accumulate in the bank accounts unseen and unremarked.