Deporting people from foreign countries is not new – but it shows we are regressing

The Empire Windrush: the people brought to the UK on this ship in 1948, the Chinese deported back to that country two years before, and Afghan asylum-seekers who face death trying to cross the English Channel are all victims of the same primitive racism.

It’s always sad to see proof that a country is evolving backwards – especially when that country is your own.

That’s exactly what This Writer saw, watching an old BBC documentary series called Mixed Britannia.

It showed me that the current fervour for shipping people of foreign extraction who have been re-defined (take careful note of that: re-defined) as “undesirables” out of the UK (destination: anywhere) is a regression to the attitudes of more primitive times.

In the series, the late George Alagiah relates what he describes as the “shameful” episode in which people who were originally from China but had settled in Liverpool, some having married local women, were separated from their families in a night-time raid, thrown onto a ship and sent directly back to their country of origin.

Their labour had previously been welcomed but then it was considered no longer to be needed and racist law-makers dispensed with their services, with extreme prejudice.

Their wives and children were not told the truth about what had happened; they were left to believe they had been deserted by their husbands.

This happened under the otherwise-progressive Labour government of Clement Attlee; it should perhaps serve as a warning to us all that we should be careful not to view history through rose-tinted glasses, or any other distorting prism.

Mr Alagiah went on to show how attitudes had improved over the decades leading to 2011, when Mixed Britannia was made.

Hindsight renders it ironic that he referred to the arrival of the Empire Windrush, packed with passengers from the West Indies who had been promised UK citizenship in return for their help in rebuilding our then-war-torn nation, as a great step forward that happened only a few years later.

Today, the Windrush Scandal is one of the deepest scars on the face of the Conservative administration of 2010 onwards; documentation proving the right of the Windrush generation to live in the UK was deliberately destroyed and people who’d had every right to believe they were UK citizens were forced through a deportation process that was entirely unwarranted, unfair, and illegal. The Tories have yet to make full restitution to those they wronged.

Today we live overlooking the river of blood (to adopt a phrase) that used to be the English Channel – where refugees and asylum-seekers place their lives in the hands of criminal gangs because they have no safe, legal route to claim asylum in the UK; the Tories have closed them all off and say anybody trying to make the crossing is coming here illegally.

Does that include people from Afghanistan who worked as employees of the UK government and its forces there for 20 years after the post- 911 invasion, as implied by this social media post about the people who died or were rescued in the tragedy that happened on August 12:

“Their labour had previously been welcomed but then it was considered no longer to be needed and racist law-makers dispensed with their services, with extreme prejudice.”

It fits, doesn’t it?

Remember: The current Conservative government has deliberately dismantled the UK’s immigration and asylum system in order to make it impossible to properly process people coming to these shores to claim asylum.

They have done this in order to fool you into thinking that our borders are being overrun by foreigners who have no reason to come here.

They believe they need to put a fake enemy in front of you because otherwise you will realise that the only real enemy you have is the current Conservative government.

At the time of writing, Mixed Britannia may be viewed via the BBC iPlayer here.

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