The first person I saw today was 58 year old man from Iran. He has lived in the UK for twenty years, little English, with four children, two under twenty. and never worked. He had been a lawyer in Iran, not as though he wasn’t educated and intelligent. He had diabetes and heart disease. He said he couldn’t walk because his feet were painful.

In Iran, his gaolers had hung him up by his belt every day for six months, and whipped the soles of his feet with a bamboo cane. His brother died in jail. His father was shot dead by the soldiers who had arrested the brothers. Eventually his torturers grew bored, released him and he came to the UK in the back of a lorry. His wife joined him a year or two later. He had nightmares and sweats, his poorly controlled diabetes appeared ten years ago. Then last year his wife died. His two youngest children, aged fifteen and sixteen years, looked after him. His two older children took him to his appointments and his elder daughter made sure there was food.

Could he work? It is doubtful. There are no treatments for his injuries, stress, torture and living in fear of retribution from a government that exacts revenge on its citizens globally. How did this happen in a country that was once one of the epicentres of civilisation? Times change, values shift and technology is at the global beck and call of dictators, technocrats and silicon valley. Now, he might not even make it out of Iran.

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