A convicted jihadi wife has claimed a local council breached her human rights by not giving her new home (Stock photo)
According to the homeless charity Shelter, more than 1.15 million families are currently on the waiting list for social housing.
Two-thirds of them have been in temporary accommodation for over a year. Another 27 per cent have been waiting up to five years for a suitable home to become available.
Overall, there is a national shortfall of around 800,000 properties. The crisis is particularly acute in London. So you would be forgiven for thinking that the vast majority of these unfortunate folk might be eternally grateful for any kind of roof over their heads.
Most are appreciative, I have no doubt — or would be, in the event of their number coming up on the escape committee.
But sadly not one particular woman, who has rejected seven different houses because they weren’t big enough, or not in the right place, or something. This discerning, some might say ‘picky’, mother-of-two is suing Brent Council, in North-West London, for — yep, you guessed — breaching her human rites.
On legal aid, naturally.
The council has even offered a £5,000 grant towards a deposit, which would help her take out a mortgage and buy her own place. This, too, has been rejected out of hand.
So who is this doughty campaigner for social justice? I’d love to be able to name her, but I am prevented by a Reporting Restriction Order issued by Deputy High Court Judge Karon Monaghan QC at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Newspapers are not allowed to tell you her name because it could help to identify her children, aged five and nine. This is despite the fact that she was named extensively during her high-profile trial at the Old Bailey and subsequent conviction for terrorism offences.
Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention that. She was sentenced to 28 months in 2014. Her husband, who is described as a former Islamic State commander, left the UK the previous year to fight in Syria.
Apparently, she is banned from social media and considered to be such a threat to national security that she has to report regularly to the Funny People.
Her legal action against Brent began after she was released from prison. Since then she has turned down an assortment of homes, on the grounds that they were too far from her parents, with whom the kids were living while she was doing porridge. One amusing aspect of her claim centres on a complaint that private landlords are reluctant to deal with her because of her criminal record.
You couldn’t make it up.
How dare any landlord refuse to accommodate a convicted Islamist fanatic, married to an Izal bigwig? What could possibly go wrong? I mean, it’s her yuman rites, innit?
This woman’s legal battle has already cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds, while she has been put up in B&Bs and hotels for the past 16 months.
There’s never any shortage of money when it comes to defending the rights of terrorists and other criminals who wish us harm.
While we may (or more likely, may not) be pulling out of the EU and the European Court of Justice, we will still be subject to the jurisdiction of European human rights laws, the incorporation of which into British statute was once described by Tony Blair as his proudest achievement in government.
Here’s what puzzles me about this case. We can’t name this woman as it might identify her kids. But, seeing as she’s considered a threat to national security and in danger of further radicalisation, why the hell haven’t her children been taken into care?
The young men were our grandfathers, our great-grandfathers, many of whom would never return. Yet in the film restored by Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson they appear jaunty and ebullient in the face of the dangers ahead
After all, surely they are at grave risk of being brainwashed and radicalised by their mother.
Why are we forced to bankroll her attempt to blackmail Brent Council into providing them with a satisfactory home where they can all be together? Consider, too, the way in which the authorities make special arrangements for the families of convicted terrorists like Captain Hook, currently serving 999 years in an American supermax prison, and odious hate preacher Ram Jam Choudary, about to be released after serving a derisory half of his sentence.
Still, this madness is at least consistent with the craven approach of the authorities, who are terrified of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’.
That’s one reason why they go out of their way to pretend that we face just as much of a threat from so-called ‘extreme Right’ fanatics as from Islamists.
Look, no one denies there are dangerous Right-wing loonies out there, as evidenced by the horrific murder of Labour MP Jo Cox and the vehicle attack outside Finsbury Park mosque.
But to maintain there is some kind of equivalence between a handful of knuckle-scraping neo-Nazi wannabes and a well-organised, well-funded global jihadist movement is absurd.
That, naturally, hasn’t stopped the UK’s terrorist watchdog this week talking up the threat from the Far-Right, which basically consists of a few skinheads above a kebab shop in Romford.
I’m not trying to make light of the problem, but when was the last time any Right-wing extremist hijacked a plane, or blew himself up on the Underground, or beheaded someone on the internet, or attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, murdering and maiming dozens of innocent young people?
Until that happens, or until we lavish legal aid on a neo-Nazi criminal so that he can sue the local council for a better house, I’ll stick to worrying primarily about Islamists and the outrageous determination of our own Government to appease them.
Everybody back on the coach! Maybe we should send a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles to Calais, label them ‘Croydon or Bust!’
Loved the story about the British lorry driver who spotted two illegal immigrants stowing away in his rig at the French port of Dunkirk.
They hoped he would smuggle them across the Channel, but hadn’t realised he was actually heading to Holland.
Once they worked it out, they pleaded with him to stop but he just put his foot down, eventually dumping them in Belgium.
Sounds like a plan. Maybe we should send a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles to Calais, label them ‘Croydon or Bust!’, and then, once the illegals are all on board, tell the drivers to transport them to — oh, I dunno — Berlin and beyond.
Everybody back on the coach!
Acting Met Commissioner Craig Mackey (pictured) locked himself in a car while PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death
Having spoken at CID dinners and been humbled by the courage of young coppers presented with bravery awards, I am reluctant to accuse any officer of cowardice.
But how else are we supposed to judge the actions of acting Met Commissioner Craig Mackey, a one-man risk assessment form, who locked himself in a car while one of his officers was being stabbed to death in front of him outside the House of Commons?
I have little to add to the eloquent condemnation of Mackey by ex-Chief Superintendent Philip Flower in Wednesday’s Mail.
Mackey is retiring with a knighthood, on a full pension, which is more than can be said for his heroic, murdered officer PC Keith Palmer.
In another lifetime, a bottle of whisky and a loaded service revolver would have been a more honourable way out.