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Jaffer kapasi was just a teenager when he stepped off a charter plane at London’s Stansted airport in October 1972. It was very cold, he remembers, the more so perhaps since he and his family had boarded the plane in the sunshine of Uganda. His parents were disorientated and depressed.

They spoke little English and were leaving behind a comfortable life in east Africa, complete with servants and chauffeurs. From the airport the family was taken by bus to a former army barracks in Essex, and then on to a similarly spartan camp in rural Wales.

The Kapasis were victims of Idi Amin, the thuggish dictator of Uganda. On August 4th 1972 he had announced that all 76,000-odd people of Asian descent in the country had to leave within 90 days. Amin’s decree was an act of economic suicide.

Ugandan Asians accounted for about 90% of the country’s tax revenues; with their expulsion, the economy all but collapsed. The consequences for Britain, one of the principal destinations for newly minted refugees, were far better. The Economist

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