While Boris Johnson pretends he is working hard as London's Mayor by gallivanting about in India as part of his campaign to become the next Prime Minister, I am struck by how little practical good these expensive junkets do anybody, certainly anybody in Walthamstow. He's had a few pictures taken of himself surrounded by children and holding cricket bats. He's eaten a few decent lunches. And he has engaged in megaphone diplomacy with his enemies in the British Home Office to argue for even more Indian students to come to London and fill what he thinks is a gap in the market for people undertaking low paying jobs while they study. But what good is any of this for Walthamstow? I don't see any good coming out of his holiday at all so far.
There is one useful thing he could do while he is in India however. He could demand that the Indian government hands over Aman Vyas to the British authorities to stand trial here for the rape and murder of Michelle Samaraweera on 30th May 2009. Mr Vyas was arrested in Delhi in July 2011 on suspicion of her murder and for assaults on two other women in Walthamstow and his extradition has already been approved by an Indian magistrate. There are no legal barriers to Mr Vyas's return to the UK to face a trial.
The only thing holding up Mr Vyas' arrival to face justice is a deliberate decision by Boris's hosts to delay justice for political reasons. (Behind the two-faced smiles the Indian Government are not really very good friends to Britain these days). So it shall be interesting to see if Boris's post Olympic fame makes any difference for justice or Walthamstow by pursuading the Indian government that they really should be implementing that extradition without any further delays.