Can migrants be sent back to France by Priti Patel?

Can migrants arriving in the UK, or attempting to get here be sent back to France? Priti Patel the home secretary, who’s favourite nursery rhyme is ‘I’m a little despot, short and stout’ seems to think so. Does she honestly ever bang on about anything else? Well I’ve got some news for her, since incredibly, she doesn’t seem to know, or rather her own inbuilt dislike of people fleeing warzones or poverty appears to dominate her thinking.

Firstly, referring to these people who may be trying to get to the UK as all being ‘migrants’ is a media spin tactic and one Patel embraces, since it implies these people do not need to be here, they just want to come here, no doubt to ‘steal our jobs’, or other common refrains to that effect. I had no idea Brexit was a migrant! It is racist baiting rhetoric from racist right wing sources and that should be condemned by anyone with an ounce of sense.

The fact is these people may be coming here for a whole host of reasons, but put yourself in their shoes for one moment and imagine how desperate their plight may well be, if they’re prepared to try and cross the channel from France to try and find a better life for themselves, particularly if its families with young children. We’ve all seen the pictures of rescues at sea, we’ve all seen the horrific images of when these crossings go tragically wrong, so just think about that. A great many of these so-called migrants are in fact refugees and that’s a major, but often omitted difference.

Now sorting out refugees from migrants happens when these people arrive and seek asylum. Nobody can be turned away when they apply for asylum it is law that they have every right to remain here whilst their application is reviewed. Sadly under the Tory regime we are enduring, they’re not doing a great job of this. We are not supposed to send people back to unsafe destinations, yet it happens. For years, the Tories have been sending people back to Afghanistan under the pretext it was safe, when actually it was only under occupation by Western forces. How did that work out?

While the rest of the world takes tens of thousands of legitimate refugees from there now, we’re only taking 5,000 a year over the next 4-5 years. How I wonder will those in the years long queue to come here survive in the meantime? We said the same thing over Syria, Theresa May as Home Secretary pledged to take 20,000 Syrians over 5 years too. Target was missed and government attitudes have not changed, in fact they’ve only hardened further. Every legal means of coming here to seek asylum have been removed, so whilst the Tories can do nothing about international law regarding people seeking asylum once here, they’ll make it as difficult as possible to get here to start with. and so we come to that question of France.

Can we turn people around and send them back to France? The answer is no. I’ll repeat that again for the serially inept Tory MP Helen Whately who was doing the media rounds on this this morning, the answer is no. It is a violation of international maritime law – if you find someone in trouble, you have to rescue them. Can you order them to turn around? Not if it is unsafe to do so and when many of these people are arriving in small boats and dinghies, attempting to cross one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, it is beyond doubt that they are in danger and should be rescued. Our rescue services can only bring them here, the RNLI for example, so it is dependent upon who exactly rescues such people as to where they end up taken.

Now when it comes to Priti Patel, she’s got serious form for this. She’s already attacked the RNLI for daring to rescue people and has threatened them with legal action if they don’t stop rescuing people and bringing them back here. It is their remit, they will not leave people at sea to die no matter how much she might want that and fair play to them – her attack on them led to a massive upsurge in donations to the RNLI, which operates as a charity and I’m sure such donations were indeed very welcome.

Nonetheless, Patel as recently as July paid the French £55m to increase their border patrols to stop people leaving France and heading here. With the best will in the world however, we’re talking massive stretches of coastline on both sides and you simply won’t catch them all. Sure there’s a safety aspect to stopping them leaving, if they can be stopped for their own safety they should, but it is impossible to stop the most determined from trying again and some will inevitably make it. Of course if this country provided a legitimate means of coming here to seek asylum, they wouldn’t need to take such desperate measures, so perhaps think on that as you ponder the realisation Priti Patel would rather throw tens of millions of pounds at the French to stop tiny boats leaving France, typically at night, often overcrowded, rather than provide a safe route to asylum.

Of course the other concern is that if you want to return people to France, you kind of need France’s permission to do so. They’ve refused. They won’t enable Patel to violate maritime law or endanger lives, as our border force are instructed to actually turn boats around. Our government would face legal action if they did so, so much as once.

Priti Patel has a problem with migrants. It never ceases to amaze me that her own parents came here as refugees in the 70’s from Uganda, that she has such a hardline stance against anyone wishing to come here and seek asylum from another country. The fact is her desire to turn boats around would be illegal, France will never accept these people back anyway in order to safeguard their lives, something our government refuses to prioritise. The RNLI thankfully will and it remains to be seen if Patel follows through on threats to target them for doing so. Anyone once here can claim asylum, it is for them to make their case for that, with the odds stacked against them even if they’re fleeing a warzone, such is the state of that system under the Tories. Our government are spreading racist, divisive rhetoric and desperate people fleeing goodness knows what shouldn’t be scapegoated by despotic little madams like Patel, or anyone else.

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British response to refugees is shameful.

The sight of people trying to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban moved in and took over was harrowing to see. People cramming onto aircraft if they were lucky enough to get on one, some so desperate that they were tying themselves to the wheels or clinging onto the sides, literally risking death to escape, only for death to claim them, yet our sorry excuse for a government? They all seem to be on holiday while it happens.

As with any war, innocent lives are not only lost but displaced as well. It happens every time and sadly all too often this side of the story isn’t spelt out, isn’t told, all too often our media play it down not wishing us to be informed as to what the human cost is. Death figures are harrowing of course, but they are numbers on a sheet, people displaced by war, driven from their lands, homes destroyed, jobs gone, nowhere to go and in need of help that doesn’t always come – well, these are real people, still there and the picture becomes far more complex.

For those countries that do put their hands up, that do acknowledge their role and that they need to play a part in helping the innocent caught up in atrocity deserve to be applauded for their efforts. Germany have said they’ll evacuate 10,000 Afghans, naming translators and human rights lawyers specifically – those who worked with the West for 2 decades and are at risk of execution if caught. Angela Merkel has also said that she’ll work with other European countries to facilitate more. Good luck with dealing with Emmanuel Macron of France on that, since he seems more interested in blocking flows of ‘migrants’ from Afghanistan – they aren’t migrants, they’re refugees, learn the difference –  and has vowed to develop an EU initiative to stop them. Pandering to the far right in his own country to try and save his own political hide at the expense of displaced victims of war. Centrism for you – people hanging off planes and falling to their deaths and he wants to put the boot in.

The US plan on taking 30,000, Canada 20,000, even Uganda has pledged to take 2,000, now there’s a country that knows something about citizens displaced by war.

But what of the UK, how many are we taking? Boris Johnson is on record as saying we must not turn our backs on Afghanistan, Boris Johnson has mumbled something about an Afghan refugee scheme this week, but would they really want to come here given our track record?

Since 2008, the UK have deported, under the guise of repatriation, 15,575 Afghans back to their home country on the basis that their country was safe. It’s another untold Windrush story. By 2015 an average of 100 Afghans a year were being sent back, including people who arrived here as children, have known nothing else. Their formative years were spent here, they studied here, passed qualifications here, were raised by foster families here, but the minute they hit 18, back they went. In fact an investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found Afghan children were more than twice as likely to be refused permanent asylum as children from anywhere else.

How many more days will it be before Johnson informs us how many refugees the UK is going to take? Why is it taking so long? Why also, is he not being put under any pressure by the opposition, where is Keir Starmer in all of this, how many refugees does Labour think we should take? Oh, he’s apparently going to wait until the government produce some numbers first. Pathetic, he’s going to Captain Hindsight this as well. Johnson will name a number and he’ll go that’s not enough and raise him what? 100? A thousand? and then Johnson will go slightly higher. This is what passes for leading the opposition these days, utterly useless. Canada has already received a planeload of refugees, whilst we can’t make our minds up how many we’ll take still!

It’s hardly surprising, Johnson was on holiday and the de facto deputy prime minister and Geography impresario, Dominic Raab, who also, without any trace of irony is the foreign secretary was also away! He was warned ahead of heading off to a beach in Cyprus, that things were escalating in Afghanistan and that he shouldn’t go. Naturally, being all about himself as Tories invariably are, he went anyway. He’s had to be dragged back, refusing to budge for several days and mumbled a mealy mouthed ‘nobody could see this coming’ when he got back! Literally the PM and Deputy PM were absent from duty, nobody holding the fort, because y’know, don’t these Taliban types realise the UK is on its hols! Nobody could see it coming? You were told before you left! Jeremy Corbyn warned Blair about this in 2001, but y’know, who listens to jam making vegetable botherers! Well he was right again!

He’s also mumbled about increasing aid to Afghanistan by 10%, but this is after the UK cut foreign aid there by 78% just last month! They knew the Taliban was advancing then and all the while aid and military were being pulled out. What bloody good is 10% after that you pathetic worm of a man and who will it be paid to now, the Taliban?

And of course wherever there’s talk of the UK taking people in from elsewhere you just know Home Secretary Priti Patel will have said something dreadful and that chronic woman has already squealed about migrants – again, they aren’t migrants! They haven’t made a choice to come here, they’ve literally nowhere to go, the very definition of a refugee – they’re seeking refuge for heavens sake! She wants to make sure we only take people of value apparently! Good job Ted Heath didn’t feel the same way when he opened the UK up to refugees fleeing Uganda, since that included Patel’s bloody parents! Uganda, the same country now taking 2,000 refugees, which is 2,000 more than we currently are!

Patel is more concerned about the message this will send to other refugees who might want to come here. She is inhumanly cruel and callous, it is just astonishing given her own personal family history that she thinks the way she does and worse, that she’s in a position of privilege such as she is as Home Secretary.

We owe the people of Afghanistan. We stoked dissent there during the Cold War, we trained many of the fighters who later became part of the Taliban back in the 80’s to fight the Soviets. That proxy war left a country torn apart by civil war which laid the foundations for the Taliban to take it over. Displaced Afghans came here as children only to be sent back the minute they turned 18 as the country was deemed safe, during the 20 years a Western supported government held up but in reality the entire thing was built on quicksand. Trillions of dollars wasted without giving any thought to the country being able to support itself and its gone to hell inside 10 days.
Our government, We in Great Britain, we owe the people of this country a lot. We’ve caused chaos over the last 40 years in Afghanistan as a nation, the least we can do now is take some of those who’s lives have been destroyed thanks once again in part to this country, offer them a new, permanent home somewhere safe to rebuild. We should all demand it, we as a country need to do our part.

UPDATE:

Its now emerged we’ll be taking 20,000 refugees, but over the course of 5 years! What the hell these people are meant to do while they wait I don’t know, but this is effectively washing our hands of the situation and should shame us all. Demand better.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.

The Real Pandemic is our Politicians

Freedom day looms, but its more Free-doom day in the eyes of many and its not just rotten lefties like me saying it, though sadly the ones you want to be saying it, the ones you want to be calling it out for what it is, our own leaders are failing us. It doesn’t matter what party it is, there’s no concerted pushback against opening up. You might’ve guessed Keir Starmer wouldn’t, too busy with yet another relaunch of himself as he is, still oblivious to the fact Labour’s biggest problem is him and the fact nobody can stand his forensic nothingness, but besides that his track record of supporting the government over repeated Covid mistakes, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation makes him little better than the ruling party, particularly when he’s refused to put forward alternatives, bereft of any ideas that he is. He’s a seat warmer and its maddening that he cannot formulate an idea or a position as more and more people have repeatedly fallen ill or worse since this pandemic began.

As bad as government handling has been though, they’re set to make their biggest mistake of all, tearing up most of the COVID restrictions, reopening the last businesses and venues still closed even though we’re seeing cases rise across the country. Yesterday there were 51,870 new cases and 49 fatalities. That’s the highest since January 11th, when we were a week into the lockdown at the beginning of this year. No sign that they’re going to take that route again now, not with the new Health Secretary sajid Javid and his opinion on opening up being ‘irreversible’. Mr Irreversible, despite being double jabbed, tested positive for COVID himself just today.

Yesterday 1,220 scientists condemned the move. Some convened an emergency summit over the issue of Freedom Day just yesterday, from India, to Italy, France to the US and this has been covered by the Financial Times and Independent to their credit, demonstrating the seriousness of this and their response is chilling even in the middle of a heatwave.

It has been variously described as a ’danger to the world’, on the basis that we act as an international travel hub and a virus outbreak here, particularly of a new variant, of which all the conditions for developing are now in place, will readily spread to the rest of the globe. It has been described by these scientists as ‘unscientific and unethical’, by US scientist William Haseltine, renowned for his work on HIV and AIDS who said ‘It is leading to disaster as we can see in the numbers. I follow the numbers daily in the UK and I am extremely dismayed to see the very rapid rate of increase in infections in a population which is vaccinated like we are. I believe that the strategy of herd immunity is actually murderous: I think that’s a word we should use, because that is what it is; it is knowledge that you are doing something that will result in thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of people dying. It is a disastrous policy, it’s been clear that that’s been the case for some time, and to continue to espouse that policy is unconscionable.”

Most tellingly I felt came the message from Prof. Michael Baker of New Zealand’s COVID advisory group, who has called out the UK government’s real response from the start – an approach of herd immunity rapidly identified as unacceptable. It’s very hard to argue with the New Zealand experts when they’ve called it right from the start, their government has acted accordingly from the start and their death toll is in double figures as a result instead of 6 figures and climbing as ours is. Why will our government not see reason or listen to reason? Why is the public still apparently backing Johnson right now?

For a start, Johnson is still for the most part shielded by the media, but the continued presence of Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance continue to lend credibility to Johnson’s plans. Whitty is on record as saying recently that with the number of people doubling in hospitals every three weeks we could get into quite scary numbers soon and that we shouldn’t underestimate the fact we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast. Well WHY for the love of God man, do you still stand next to Johnson at those pressers? WHY do you still help him carry out his plans by lending credibility to what he’s doing, by appearing with him? I have to say I’m heartily sick and tired of Whitty’s warnings, when he still turns up to support the government, when he will also trot out lines like there’s ‘no clear evidence’ that delaying opening up would make a difference. Constantly giving contradictory instruction. 1,220 scientists around the world would disagree with that, the stats taken over the last 18 months of this nightmare and the resulting lockdowns combined with vaccinations would suggest there IS clear evidence!

I’m not the only one laying into him, The Lancet’s editor in chief Prof. Richard Horton has gone so far as to say Whitty was ‘wilfully misrepresenting public opinion’ with claims that the Prime Minister’s approach is supported by public opinion – he’s right and Whitty standing in support at all those public announcements is helping to drive public opinion. Stop turning up to them, then lets see what happens to public opinion!

If over 1000 scientists unanimously condemning Johnson isn’t enough for you, if Independent SAGE, if the most eminent peer-reviewed general medical journal, The Lancet condemning our government isn’t enough, the British Medical Journal have also weighed in. Upon opening up they expect record breaking case numbers and most worryingly we’re expected to see our hospitals struggle. Over the last 18 months we’ve lost a lot of medical staff, between getting burnt out during this pandemic or due to Brexit, with so many foreign nationals working in the NHS leaving. We’ve already seen hospitals on black alert, queues of ambulances waiting to get into A&E and planned ops being cancelled & now ever increasing COVID cases too. Hospitalisations are up 621%, ventilator cases are up 338% since the end of May and we haven’t hit Freedom Day yet, when things will get so, so much worse.

What we’re also seeing amongst these positive cases too is that a large percentage of them are amongst the young, just take a look at this graph from Test and Trace on primary schools:

Kids don’t get as ill they keep saying, well I’ve had 4 of them test positive and all have been ill with it. Fatalities will be down though because of vaccination some of you will say, well take a look at this from the ONS:

You can see on the left there infections and you can clearly see schools are driving it once again. We already knew they did, Johnson called them vectors of transmission, yet still they won’t be closed and they even removed the need for masks! Fortunately some schools, my own childrens included, ignored this and reinstated mandatory mask-wearing. Supermarkets have done likewise, they can see the writing on the wall. Then look at the other graphs, hospitalisations and deaths and which groups are most susceptible? The elderly. Again. The double-jabbed elderly. The vaccines are not 100%, people can still catch it if double jabbed, people are still dying despite being double jabbed. The vaccines are not in and of themselves the panacea Boris Johnson and his regime promised they would be and that’s because they had no way of knowing, they keep making shit up. Do they mitigate spread and levels of illness? Of course, but with each variant springing up that becomes less and less the case and when Freedom Day looks set to turn us into a giant petri dish of an island, a plague island, with measures designed not in any way to save lives, but to put economic interests first, all we’ll end up doing is developing another variant, more vaccine resistant variants, more cases of long covid, the long term effects of which are not known, but which are now showing to cause organ damage. What shape will our economy end up in if we end up with more of the workforce being left unable to work? It is economic as well as societal self-harm.

On top of all of this, the Tories got their second reading of their NHS Privatisation Bill through this week which will increase privatisation of our NHS, as well as remove the duty of care to us it has. How dangerous is this? Imagine having treatment refused because you’re too expensive to treat? What if that’s as a result of your having COVID? Labour has been pathetically weak on this as well, but when Starmer’s recently former chief advisor was a healthcare lobbyist and some of their current biggest donors stem from private healthcare, this should come as little surprise. They’re failing us as usual these days, but on the NHS its unforgivable.

In situations where both main parties are shit, the Lib Dems tend to start picking up votes, but that isn’t really happening either, which implies the Tories still enjoy support for what they’re doing.

What they are doing is presiding over an utterly irresponsible, world threatening act of violence against their own people, other nations and combining that with undermining our strained NHS at the same time, pushing policies to wilfully collapse it. Even the Tories who came in after Attlee and Bevan appreciated the value of the NHS, keeping it going, its still going to this day, but the Tories of today view it as a cash cow opportunity for their rich mates, particularly in American Healthcare.

Our leaders are failing us here on all fronts. Boris Johnson is an abscess of a Prime Minister who needs to be excised. To achieve a realistic, lasting end to this pandemic, we need rid of him. His idea of Freedom is Herd Immunity for all of us and it doesn’t work. 150,000 people have already lost their lives to demonstrate that and that’s set to rise because that isn’t enough death to preside over for Bozo. More of us will get ill, more of us will die, more of us will be on the sick, more of us will become financially more stressed, but there will be no mitigation, no support. You can ditch your mask, but at what cost to others? Already out of fear of being told to isolate people are deleting the app designed to keep us informed and keep us safe so they can keep working and that is only going to help the virus spread even more.

The blame for this MUST be landed squarely on the Tories. They have the majority, they’re driving this, it’s Johnson doing what he likes rather than putting our needs first and the best bit for him is that when it all goes to hell, he can blame us for not exercising the caution he told us to. When you change rules to guidelines, it’s setting up a blame game. This has gone on too long, there’s no end in sight still and the buck has to stop with him not us. If scientists around the world are so alarmed, then they need to have a word with their leaders. Ours are failing us. They’re the real pandemic. We’re infected by right-wing politicians acting for themselves and nobody else.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.