Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment: Such a joy to be able to run good news

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 June 2017

Abdul Hassan can stay in the country. Picture: CATHY DAVISON.

Abdul Hassan can stay in the country. Picture: CATHY DAVISON.

Catherine Davison

With the government now even less “strong and stable” than before, it’s nice to be able to report on someone who really is finally able to plan his future.

Abdul Hassan has had a year no 18-year-old should live through. He put on a brave face even as he faced the risk of deportation to Bangladesh – a country to which he feels no more connection than do you or I. His father is dead and his mother severely mentally ill. In his own words, he has nothing in Bangladesh.

Now a judge has made the entirely sensible decision that Abdul really does belong in Britain, where he has built his life, been to school and secured an enviable apprenticeship (enviable, at least, if you find that sort of thing interesting – I must admit a career in finance really wouldn’t be my cup of tea).

Which is how we end up with that rarest of things – a piece of genuine, unadulterated, good news. I cringe every time someone says to me, “that’s the newspaper with all the crime in it, right?” – and while I will always defend covering those stories, it is always a marvel when I can put something nice on the news stands.

Sadly, Abdul was far from the only person in the borough with an uncertain future. As our Hidden Homeless series highlighted earlier this year, thousands of families are stuck in temporary accommodation because there aren’t enough council houses. Schools across Hackney face budget cuts that are threatening teachers’ jobs and students’ education. Many of our neighbours are EU citizens who don’t know if they will be granted the right to stay after Brexit. We live in a time of turmoil.

I hope Abdul’s success will give some of those people hope. We at the Gazette will continue to champion their causes – and what I hope will be their successes.

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