Labour will continue using firetrap barge to house migrants if elected, says Kinnock

The barge: Bibby Stockholm has been modified to take nearly twice as many asylum-seekers as it would have accommodated when it was a prison, creating serious humanitarian concerns – and meaning that there would be no escape for many if a fire broke out there.

The Labour Party has confirmed that, if elected into government, it will continue to house asylum-seekers in converted barges that have been condemned as fire hazards by the Fire Brigades Union.

Reactions have not been positive:

The Guardian report states that Shadow Immigration Minister Stephen Kinnock admitted the prison barge Bibby Stockholm (and others like it) would remain in use after a Labour government came into office because it would take time to sort out the mess the Tories have made of the UK’s immigration and asylum system.

Crucially, he did not even estimate how much time it would take to clear the 172,000-person backlog of claim processing enough to dispense with the barges.

Their use would clash with long-standing left-wing humanitarian principles of solidarity – supporting people in need in a humanitarian way (not possible on an overcrowded barge that is a floating fire hazard).

This in turn supports claims that Keir Starmer has changed Labour into nothing more than a Substitute Tory Party (This Site calls it the STP) that is practically identical to the Conservatives in its main policy aims because Starmer believes that will attract, from the so-called ‘Establishment’, support that he needs in order to seize power for himself.

Starmer’s supporters have been quick to point out that Labour has not said it will keep the barges forever – but this is sidestepping the fact that the party has said it will keep them indefinitely.

A better message would have been that Labour will get rid of them as soon as possible. The fact that Kinnock chose not to describe his party’s policy that way should be deeply worrying for any “traditional” Labour voters who actually pay attention to whether that party is actually sticking to any of the long-standing principles that make it worth electing.

At a time when even hard-right-wing activists like John McTernan are admitting that Starmer’s party cannot win an election without help from the Left, this is a critical – and unforced – blunder.

Would you vote for a Labour Party that doesn’t treat all people with equal respect?

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3 thoughts on “Labour will continue using firetrap barge to house migrants if elected, says Kinnock

  1. gillyflowerblog

    Whilst I don’t have much truck left with labour, Kinnock minor did actually say a short period of time, in the interview I heard. It will take some time to sort out, as the tories will do as little as possible to solve the situation in a humane manner, and will then pass the blame on. If the rotten tories carry on as normal, then we will be left in a hellish situation

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      How long is “a short period of time”?

      What he was saying was that these people will be left in this godawful situation indefinitely, under a Labour government.

      Is that really good enough?

Comments are closed.