It is extremely good news that a young gay Iranian, Mehdi Kazemi, has been saved from deportation to face likely execution in Iran, where his boyfriend has already been hanged.
But what I want to know is, why did it take such a big international campaign by many organisations, resolutions in the European Parliament, and intense last-minute lobbying by MPs here in Britain, before the Home Office agreed to grant him asylum?
Surely if the idea of asylum from persecution by brutal, murderous regimes means anything at all, this case ought to have been a no-brainer?
Is it not shaming for Britain when international websites are led to write about "a resounding defeat for the persecutory policies of Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith”?
Of course, the New Labour regime is frightened by the xenophobic hysteria whipped up by the gutter press on the subject of asylum-seekers in recent years. They ought to have faced it down, rather than apparently being perfectly prepared to allow innocent people to be sent to their deaths.