Really, these constant attacks on the credibility of asylum seekers are becoming too offensive for words. The latest racist accusation being used by the Right is that some of them are faking their ages to gain special treatment. The abominable Tim Blair takes a predictably fatuous line, sneering at the fact that some of those claiming to be teenagers have no hair.

Well, actually it's quite possible that they can be both balding and under 18. These people are clearly under great stress, and this has long been known to cause hair loss.

And anyway, why this obsession with age? It's so linear, so patriarchal. Much as focusing on biological descent in discussions of racial issues is clearly fascist, so is using chronology alone to determine age. Basically, if someone believes that they are of a certain age then that is part of their identity. Each individual has the right to determine his, her or its identity, without any interference from the state. If the men in those photos feel like children, then that should be the end of the matter.

Those old sayings "you're as young as you feel" and "age is just a state of mind" come to mind here. They are not only true generally, but should have legal force when assessing claims for asylum. To say anything else is undeniably racist, fascist and (needless to say) ageist as well!