Yes, people in other countries see us as xenophobes and racists.
A Sudanese 16-year-old was apparently trying to cross from France in an inflatable dinghy when he accidentally punctured it with a shovel he was using as an oar.
His body was found on the shore at Calais.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said the death of the young migrant was a “brutal reminder” that people smugglers exploit the vulnerable.
But there is no evidence that people smugglers were involved. The Home Office has refused to comment on the death.
Oh, and there’s also this:
Your stated intention to introduce asylum & immigration policies designed to “send the left into meltdown” suggests that this tweet may not be wholly sincere. https://t.co/vzVqAzZBHA
— James O'Brien (@mrjamesob) August 19, 2020
Indeed, as Kent Refugee Action Network Pointed out, reports the boy had pushed off in a makeshift boat made it “likely that people smugglers weren’t even involved”.
The organisation demanded that Patel “turn her attention immediately to creating safe and legal routes so that no on else suffers the same fate”.
Fat chance – she’s playing up to the racists.
Apparently they’ve been making jokes about it…
The country is being bombed.
You lose everything.
You decide to flee & seek refuge in a country you believe will help give you a better life.
You risk all & get on a dinghy.
You sadly don’t make it and die.
Do you really think that’s funny?
Unfollow me if you do.
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) August 19, 2020
… when they’re not actively attacking people who actually made it across:
A 16 year old has died trying to cross the English Channel.
Another refugee was assaulted by a thug yesterday, moments after arriving on our shores.
My heart breaks for what we have become.
— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael_Swindon) August 19, 2020
The worst of it is that the rest of the world seems to believe that the racists represent the view of the UK’s population as a whole.
Consider what French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont said: “How many more tragedies does it need for the British to find an ounce of humanity?”
While also criticising his own government, he said the problem was that people were not allowed to claim asylum in the UK without actually being in the country. That’s what forces them to risk these dangerous crossings.
Sadly, this was just the latest in a long serious of deaths, as this list by The Guardian makes clear:
A significant number of people have died after being hit by cars in northern France as they made their way on foot to reach beaches or ports along the coast, and others have drowned in the Channel, suffocated in lorries or been hit by trains.
23 October 2019 Thirty-nine Vietnamese men, women and teenagers were found dead in a truck in Essex, England. The trailer had been shipped from the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Purfleet docks.
14 October 2019 A 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd and a 22-year-old man, also Iraqi, were discovered dead on a beach in Le Touquet, northern France.
26 August 2019 The body of Masoud Niknam, 47, was found off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. He was wearing flippers, two pairs of jeans to protect him from the cold, and a lifejacket made from netting and empty plastic bottles.
9 August 2019 Mitra Mehrad, 31, an Iranian woman, fell from a dinghy off the coast of Kent and her body was found in Dutch waters.
8 March 2019 A 19-year-old Ethiopian boy named Kiyar was found dead in a lorry at Calais, having tried to reach the UK where he had extended family.
18 November 2018 Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, a Chad national, was discovered dead under a bus by French police at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent.
30 September 2015 Berihu, a 23-year-old man from Eritrea, was run over by a train in the Eurotunnel.
17 September 2015 A Syrian man in his 20s was electrocuted while trying to climb on to a Eurotunnel freight train to England. He was found on the train’s roof after being shocked by overhead power lines near the French entrance.
No doubt that list gives joy to supporters of Ms Patel.
For the rest of us it is a catalogue of shame.
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