The police have bowed to the mob

On Saturday immigration enforcement officers went to Peckham to pick up a man suspected of overstaying his visa. When they arrived, a crowd of protesters turned up to stop the ‘immigration raid’, blocking the van from departing. When the police turned up, they also found their way blocked. Eventually, they gave up. The arrested man was released on bail. The Home Office released a statement which said that ‘preventing immigration enforcement teams from doing their job is unacceptable.’ This was accompanied by the universally understood but officially unstated caveat: not that we’d prevent you from preventing officers doing their job. We cannot have a situation where groups feel they can

Studies in vulnerability: A Shock, by Keith Ridgway, reviewed

Keith Ridgway’s seventh book is a sultry, steamy shock of a novel, not least because nine years ago, despite the critical success of Hawthorn & Child, he retired from writing, telling his publishers he was done with making up stories. He also stopped reading — although only for a year, lured back by the likes of Muriel Spark and Georges Simenon’s Maigret series. Reading made him want to write again. The result is A Shock, a provocative collection of nine interlinked stories, jostled together like neighbours on a London street or regulars in a pub, which is where most of his characters cross paths. The composite form, popular with the