When I was fifteen (or maybe sixteen), I made some very dodgy life choices.
I dyed my hair blond, then black, the two dyes mixed, resulting in it going purple.
I bought, and frequently wore of my own volition, a pair of jeans which had a tartan print on them.
I got my ears pierced. Both of them.
I even bought a record by Bruce Willis.
Thankfully the internet didn’t exist, so I didn’t get groomed and persuaded to go off to Syria, live with IS, bear a child. Although given the aforementioned track record I wouldn’t want to rule out the possibility of much of that happening.
If anyone wishes to haul me over the coals, prosecute me for my crimes against fashion, or against the ears, then so be it.
But I would remain a British citizen, a luxury which was ruthlessly stripped from Shamima Begum this week.
Let’s be clear: I am in no way condoning her actions, or her apparent lack of remorse.
But she was just fifteen, young, vulnerable, and ultimately exploited.
So for Home Secretary Sajid Javid to strip her of her British citizenship and try and palm her off on another country, where she has never lived, has no links to, no history with, is outrageous.
It’s the action of a man posturing as a tough guy, positioning himself as a potential leader of the Conservative party.
Shamima was radicalised here, in the UK. In Bethnall Green. London. We should be letting her back in – and of course letting her feel the full force of our justice system for any crimes she may have committed.
And at the very least, maybe we can learn from what happened to her, and try to prevent it happening again.
She’s our problem. She’s our mess to clear up.
I’m sure Morrissey would love the fact I’m posting this in association with the above: