Category Archives: Immigration

Blow for fascist Patel as court rules housing migrants in Napier Barracks ‘unlawful’ and ‘unreasonable’

Priti Patel: of course the decision to put migrants in the “squalid”, “filthy” and overcrowded Napier Barracks was “unreasonable”. Does she look reasonable to you?

The fight against Priti Patel’s fascist policy of forcing migrants to live in concentration camps like Napier Barracks in Kent has taken a major step forward.

The High Court has ruled that a Home Office decision to force migrants to live in the “squalid” and overcrowded former barracks was “unlawful”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel may now have to pay a damages claim against her, and the ruling could lead to further cases from any other men held at the camp who can bring similar evidence to court.

Mr Justice Linden made his judgement after considering evidence including details of a fire that broke out in the camp in January, and an outbreak of Covid-19 earlier this year that infected 200 people.

The judge said the camp’s failings included overcrowding, the use of communal dormitories during a pandemic, lack of ventilation, “filthy” facilities, significant fire risks, run-down buildings, and a “decrepit” isolation block that was not fit for human habitation.

He said: “I do not accept that the accommodation there ensured a standard of living which was adequate for the health of the claimants.

“Insofar as the defendant considered that the accommodation was adequate for their needs, that view was irrational.”

And he criticised the “detention-like” setting for the men.

He said: “They were supposed to live voluntarily pending a determination of their applications for asylum.

“When this is considered, a decision that accommodation in a detention-like setting – a site enclosed by a perimeter fence topped with barbed wire, access to which is through padlocked gates guarded by uniformed security personnel – will be adequate for their needs, begins to look questionable.”

Let’s be honest: these people were imprisoned there, without trial – without even having committed a crime, in accommodation that was unfit for human beings to the extent that hundreds of them contracted a disease that could have been fatal.

This Site has been reporting on the situation at Napier Barracks for a considerable period, and it would be unreasonable for Priti Patel to say she had been unaware of conditions there:

Journalist arrest after Kent refugee camp protest shows how the Tories put down dissent

As the Home Office ships more people into concentration camp, join the fight to close Napier Barracks for good

Responsibility for conditions at Napier lies squarely with the Home Secretary herself, as the Home Office’s advocate said Patel had decided the barracks could be used safely by “introducing safeguards”.

But it is clear that any such safeguards that were introduced were not enough. Is this another example of Tories refusing to fund anything that doesn’t generate a direct profit for themselves or their donors?

The judge declined to rule that the barracks could not be used to house migrants in the future – but he said there must be significant improvements.

From the judgement itself, we may reasonably deduce that these would include changing the sleeping arrangements to end communal dormitories, taking down the barbed-wire perimeter fence, padlocked gates and guards, and giving the entire site a clean.

But this is one example of Tory racism that they won’t be able to whitewash away.

Source: Napier Barracks: Housing migrants at barracks unlawful, court rules – BBC News

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Pidcock nails Patel over racist Tory system that criminalises immigrants

The BBC’s Politics Live had a little discussion of the incident in Pollokshields, Glasgow, when two men facing detention ordered by Priti Patel’s Home Office were released after residents turned up en masse to help them.

It seems Patel is planning to expand her detention facilities. Why’s that, then?

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Letters wrongly demanding that UK citizens seek ‘settled’ status could be part of established Tory plan

Around six months ago, This Writer received a form letter from the Department for Work and Pensions, demanding details of my self-employed earnings from me (if I recall correctly) and saying my claim for Carers’ Allowance was in danger if I didn’t respond.

I found this behaviour extremely odd as I had quit Carers’ Allowance more than a year previously.

I wrote back, pointing this out, and also the fact that we had agreed at the time that I had done the right thing and that my finances were in order.

I did not receive a reply – neither acknowledgement nor apology.

I mention this because yesterday, on Twitter, I read the following:

It seems there are more such cases:

The Home Office letter, according to the article, tells long-term British citizens they risk losing the right to work, benefits and free healthcare unless they apply for UK immigration status in the next six weeks.

The article states that people are concerned that it reveals weaknesses in the Home Office’s databases, but I don’t think that’s right.

It seems more likely to be an attempt to repeat what I think the DWP was trying to do to me – catch me out by inducing me to provide evidence that could be used against me; a fishing expedition.

And the Home Office has the perfect cover for it at the moment: Brexit.

So officers can say (as they have) that they are using every avenue available to ensure that everyone who needs to apply for the EU settlement scheme may do so, before it is too late and they have to face other consequences.

They say the letter does include a paragraph stating that those who already have citizenship that they do not need to apply – but this is buried on page two, far below the shock announcement that recipients may lose their right to work, benefits and free healthcare (free? It’s supported by our taxes/NI).

It seems clear to me that the Conservatives are abusing their control of the UK’s bureaucracy in order to cause as much fear and confusion as possible, keeping the public off-balance.

This makes people more susceptible to manipulation – and more likely to accept that they deserve punishment when they haven’t done anything wrong.

It’s gaslighting – and right on the border of fraud.

It could be interpreted as a new development of the Tory government’s racist “hostile environment” policy.

I wonder how many people have been fooled by it – and how many other such scams are being run by the Tories?

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Humiliation for Patel as crowds block immigration officials from removing Muslim immigrants

If anybody was still in doubt that Priti Patel is an insensitive bully, then those doubts should be dispelled now.

She has just tried to detain – in order to deport – two Muslim immigrants who had settled in Scotland, during a Muslim Festival: Eid al Fitr.

Some on the social media consider it an attempt to bully the Scottish people after they returned another SNP government to the Scottish Parliament and leader Nicola Sturgeon immediately announced that there will be another referendum on Scottish independence from the UK:

If it was, then it has backfired badly because Patel’s immigration officials were forced to release the men after hundreds of residents of Pollokshields in Glasgow surrounded the Border Agency van in Kenmure Street and refused to let it leave.

Officers said they were freeing the men for the safety of everyone involved following a stand-off in Glasgow that lasted for nearly eight hours.

The pair, both Indians, [had been] detained on suspicion of immigration offences and were released on bail pending further investigation.

Video clips on the social media show how public feeling against Priti Patel’s heavy-handed bullying grew, from this…

… to this, as the men were released:

And opponents of Patel and her continuation of the Tory government’s illegal “hostile environment” policy have made their feelings clear:

Sadly, we know Patel will not learn from her mistake. This message strikes as being all-too-accurate:

One other person will be regretting the incident, despite the fact that his heart was in the right place: Howard Beckett, candidate for leadership of the UK’s biggest trade union, Unite.

Mr Beckett tweeted in anger when the situation in Glasgow became clear, and his words were ill-chosen, for the reasons described in Owen Jones’s tweet:

But the Unite leadership candidate recognised this, acknowledged it, deleted his tweet and apologised:

He then (rightly) published further messages attacking Patel’s shockingly inappropriate and oppressive behaviour:

While his initial message was wrong in the language and concepts it used, it would have been equally wrong for him to back away from the issue after realising his mistake.

By the same token, it would also be wrong for anybody watching and commenting on what happened (Owen Jones take notice) to side with Patel against Beckett because of it:

If either of them is a racist, it could only be Priti Patel.

Source: Immigration officials release two men after crowds block van | The Independent

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Evil Priti Patel rejoices as she ends freedom of movement for 66 million UK citizens

Happy hater: Priti Patel’s new law would have deported her own parents. The big question is: would she care?

“Dumpy she-Hitler” Priti Patel has publicly celebrated ending a fundamental freedom for every citizen of the United Kingdom.

Her Immigration Bill has just passed into law, meaning that those of you living in the UK will find it just that little bit harder to leave the country in the future – especially if we’re going to the European Union.

As for immigrating out of the burnt-out wheelie bin Patel and her fellow Tories have made of the country – forget it!

She didn’t mention that in her publicity tweet, though.

No – like the true-blue fake she is, she emphasized the aspect that would appeal to the Brexiters who voted for her cruelty…

… little knowing that it affects them as much as it does people from other countries.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that Patel’s own parents would not have been allowed into the UK under the laws that she has introduced – that’s the level of hypocrisy she exemplifies:

Still, it seems unlikely her parents will be upset by their daughter’s new law – father Sushil Patel ran for election to a council as a representative of UKIP, meaning that – in her family – she’s probably the nice one.

Vilification of this hateful spite queen has been running through Twitter since she made her announcement – but it seems she is protected by a thick shield composed entirely of bigotry, from which the condemnation will rebound like water off a snake’s skin.

We can enjoy it, though:

How ironic that this has come on a day when supporters of Donald Trump have been announcing that they plan to quit the United States and come to the UK.

They’ll get cold comfort here: all they’ll find is Priti Patel waiting to deport them.

They’ll probably end up on Ascension Island or St Helena.

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A teenager DIED on the Channel and racists are revelling in it. Is this how we want the world to see us?

Blameshift: rather than accept the UK’s part in the deaths of asylum-seekers crossing the Channel, Priti Patel tried to blame people smugglers who are unlikely to have been involved. The “UKaid” sign in the background is ironic in this context.

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:

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…

… when they’re not actively attacking people who actually made it across:

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.

Source: Channel crossings: Body of teenage migrant found on French beach – BBC News

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Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Cleaning up: people who can least afford it are being charged for NHS treatment, despite being the ones who keep hospital beds clean and equipment available.

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is?

He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied.

In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it.

The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.

Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that ministers have had to cheek to suggest that these staff – who are on the lowest pay possible – need an “incentive” to continue working.

Typical Tory thinking – Johnson reckons everybody is as lazy as he is!

In fact, people on low incomes – especially those on zero-hours contracts – already have an incentive to work. It’s called “survival”.

Apart from a tiny minority for whom a zero-hours contract works because it fits into their own lifestyle – people who already have enough money to live on – nobody would take up such a job if it wasn’t the best they could get.

Zero-hours jobs offer no sick pay or holiday pay; and the wages are the lowest employers can get away with offering.

And, of course, they are designed to facilitate termination on short notice.

So we see a situation in which Boris Johnson claimed he was ending an unfair charge on people who have worked tirelessly to save us all from Covid-19…

… when instead he was continuing to inflict it on the people who most deserved to have it lifted.

Remember when Nye Bevan said Tories were lower than vermin?

If he were around today, no doubt he would admit that he overpraised them.

I feel sure he would agree with me that Johnson is lower than sewage.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of ‘cynical broken promise’ as some foreign NHS and care staff still pay surcharge | The Independent

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What will you say when they ask what you did in the class war?


I seem to have hit a nerve when I said the Tories are waging a class war on anyone who isn’t filthy rich.

In fact, two Vox Political articles touched on this class war – the first implied it, the second made it explicit.

Today I opened Twitter to discover those words all over the place:

I’m not claiming credit for calling a thing by its name – this is “multiple discovery”, “simultaneous invention”, “synchronicity” or, if you like, an expression of the “zeitgeist”. More and more people are simply coming to realise, understand and accept that it is the policy of the UK’s Conservative government to push them down unfairly.

That is what the decision – and it was a decision, deliberately made – to punish ‘A’ level pupils who weren’t from private schools was all about. Yes, Gavin Williamson and the other Tories are saying it was down to a mechanical system, an algorithm – but that algorithm was written by a human being who intended it to give an advantage to the children of very rich people.

In this way, the Tory class war has stolen your children’s futures and given them to the undeserving rich.

It’s what the decision  – and it was a decision, deliberately made – not to fight Covid-19 in any meaningful way was all about. Tens of thousands of people in care homes have died – your relatives, maybe – because Matt Hancock and the other Tories said people with Covid-19 who lived in those homes should be sent back to them – never mind the fact that they did not have isolation facilities and the virus would run through those places like wildfire and be transferred to others by part-time staff who worked in different homes run by the same – private – firm.

The Tories – and their private business collaborators – failed to source personal protective equipment, ventilators, tests and the facilities to carry out tests. The lockdown they imposed was half-hearted and failed to stop the progress of the disease. Now that they have lifted it, albeit with a few measures still in place, more people are contracting the virus again. So they have stopped reporting the daily number of infections.

And the Tories have rewarded their private business collaborators for their failures with hugely expensive contracts to continue failing us – all at the public expense. Serco’s test and trace contract has been renewed, even though we know it won’t stop any second wave (really just a resurgence of the first wave that was suppressed but never went away).

You won’t get justice against the Tories by the normal means available to civil society because the Tories have either corrupted them already or are in the process of doing so. Boris Johnson illegally terminated Parliament’s last session in the autumn of 2019 and what was the result? He called a general election, lied to us until he was purple in the face and was rewarded with an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

Now he is using that power to ensure that the courts will not be able to stop any more of his corruption by planning a curb on judicial review of government activity. He is imposing a dictatorship – just as he told you he would, if you could have been bothered to read page 48 of his election manifesto.

The police won’t help. Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock, Gavin Williamson and the others are all above the law – no matter what they do. Try reporting a cabinet minister for a crime and see how far you get. They’ll tell you they’re treating it seriously, bounce the accusation around a few different departments and then say there’s no evidence. I’ve been there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died already because it is Tory policy to kill claimants of sickness or disability claimants, who they consider to be “useless eaters”. That’s why the newspapers have been full of reports showing people with long-term illnesses and disabilities starving to death.

They wanted your homes so they imposed the Bedroom Tax and took them away from you.

The list goes on and on.

And still, too many people think they are the best choice to run the UK – even though the economy is in its deepest recession ever, and Brexit means it may never recover. You will suffer – they won’t. They have been stockpiling your cash and will simply use it to sit out any unpleasantness in the future.

But I feel sure a tipping-point will come – a flashpoint. I wonder how much we will all have to lose before that happens. I’m guessing it’ll be pretty much everything.

By then, many people may think there is nothing they can do. I am reminded yet again of Martin Niemoller’s poem about how the Nazis came for different groups who received no help from anybody else until, by the time they come for the author, there was nobody even left for him to ask.

But I am reminded of another group who were put in a similar position. When I visited Bosnia in the 1990s, I was told how – when the tanks from other countries moved in – the people, who were weaponless, left their homes and went up into the hills. They came back at night, when they took weapons – and lives – from the soldiers who had taken everything from them. And slowly, they took back their land from their oppressors.

I can see that happening here in the future.

I would rather it didn’t.

But it will, if people of good conscience don’t wake up, get up and put up a fight.

Keir Starmer won’t do it. He agrees with the Tories. That’s why he’s busy turning the Labour Party into Tory Lite Mk II (New Labour was Mk I) and accusing anybody who disagrees with him of anti-Semitism.

If you don’t want this to fall into violence, then you need to think what else you can do.

The ‘A’ level fiasco creates opportunities. Already some further education institutions have said they will take students who were downgraded, on the basis of their predicted results. Some haven’t. Clearly we should take note of the side that each University, each college, takes. Those who do the right thing should be rewarded in whatever ways we can. Those who do not should be shunned – meaning not only that we should not even try to send our children there, but that we should reject their graduates when they seek employment with our businesses. We know they won’t be any damn good anyway.

And employers who turn down applicants on the basis of the Tory algorithm’s discredited results should also be named, so we can stop buying their products.

That’s the best – non-violent – response I can conceive on the spur of the moment, and these things need to start happening now.

We’d better get to it, if we don’t want to roll over and die. And yes, that means you.

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Ice Cream giants take on Priti Patel over refugees. But are their motives really so pure?

Yes, it’s great fun watching Priti Patel losing whatever’s left of her sanity shouting at Ben & Jerry’s.

The ice cream manufacturer took a side in the debate over asylum-seekers taking to boats in attempts to get into the UK:

And Patel ill-advisedly responded:

It seems the company has a history of political activism, and recently made quite a hit by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

But a lot of political commentators should have done a bit of research before voicing wholehearted praise for the purveyors of ‘cookie dough’ ice cream (my personal favourite, although I have to try to source it from other makers now).

Steve Topple, of The Canary is the only journo (I’ve seen) who actually understood what’s going on:

That’s exactly what this is.

It is impossible for me to support Ben & Jerry’s making a stand in support of refugees because Ben & Jerry’s has a factory on a former Palestinian village of Qastina, that was destroyed by Israeli troops in 1948. When that land was stolen, it undoubtedly turned a lot of people into refugees. Yes, it was a long time ago but I hope nobody is stupid enough to try to make a point out of that.

Ben & Jerry’s also sells into illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – land that has been occupied by the use of armed force, its rightful owners displaced.

It is unacceptable for a firm that is complicit in the creation of so many Palestinian refugees to claim the moral high ground over the issue of refugees coming to the UK – much though This Writer would wish the opposite to be the case when the other disputant is Ms Patel.

Still, we can always enjoy the fact that she’s #ShoutingAtIceCream – just for the absurdity of it:

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The Tories crippled their own border controls. Don’t let them use their own stupidity to boost racism

Tories like scapegoating immigrants – and have been doing it for decades: the current fad is for claiming illegal immigration feeds modern slavery, but the underlying threat has always been that Johnny Foreigner is taking your job. It’s an old con.

This Tory hypocrisy is a little too rich for our taste.

Boris Johnson’s government is whipping up jingoism against refugees secretly crossing the Channel to get into the UK:

It seems ministers have conveniently forgotten that successive Tory governments were responsible for stripping the country of its ability to catch the people-smugglers.

Former prime minister Theresa May, during her term as Home Secretary, spent years cutting Border Force, the organisation that – we’re told – protects our borders.

I published this story in 2014 and matters have only become worse.

If it can’t manage now – and the Tories have had to appeal to the Navy for help – that’s their fault and they should own up to it.

Instead, they’re trying to turn their latest fiasco into a crusade against Johnny Foreigner sneaking onto our shores and boosting modern slavery.

How utterly vile.

I accept that it is perfectly understandable to want to keep unmonitored people out of the UK during a time of international contagion.

However:

The issue is why these people want to come to the UK at all. If we really wanted to stop them, we need to help end their reasons for leaving their own homelands.

(Obviously, making the UK an unattractive destination has failed as a strategy.)

My guess is, these people are running away from wars, and the fallout from wars, that the UK helped start under recent Tory governments.

So whichever way you turn, the finger of blame points at the Conservatives.

It leads me to ask whether this is an attempt at distraction – and if so, I’m wondering what’s so bad that the Tories are happy to expose themselves to ridicule, simply to divert attention away from it.

Source: Home Office seeks military help over migrant crossings – BBC News

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