His answer to everything: Rishi Sunak is trying to distract us from the real problems facing the UK – by pointing us at an invented bogeyman: migrants whose Channel crossings are only illegal because his government criminalised them.
It was a nice piece of political theatre. But what actually happened over the Tory government’s controversial Rwanda policy?
Well, we could start with this:
It seems to This Writer that Rishi Sunak got everything he wanted: his Rwanda deal is back on, sure – but more importantly for the Tories, they have used it as a smokescreen under which they have destroyed human rights in the UK.
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The European Court of Human Rights is being denied jurisdiction here. So, if you are in the UK, your human rights aren’t protected any more. Oh, you thought it just applied to asylum-seekers?
The UK no longer complies with United Nations treaties on refugees.
The Human Rights Act and the Modern Slavery Act have been bypassed. If you are in the UK, that will have an effect on you if the Tories – or any other UK government decide they want it to.
Government ministers will get to decide what happens to people coming to the UK – and, if you are in the UK, whether those decisions will be applied to you as well. You will have no recourse to the courts for a legal judgement.
This is because the changes have been made to UK law – and UK law applies to all UK residents (apart from members of the government and the super-rich who can bypass it, obviously).
In fairness, the changes to the law haven’t happened yet – but they will. Here’s a reason:
I dont agree with Baron Sikka that the Tories are trying to find a platform on which they can win a general election and save their careers (that’s what he means by “save their skins”). They’ll rubber-stamp these erosions of your rights because they want to.
Still, some have optimistically speculated on what might happen if opportunistic Tory MPs break ranks and rebel. We’ll discuss some of the events mentioned here, further down the article:
Some have taken a more pragmatic view, accepting that the changes will happen and what they mean:
That is fascism: powerful nationalism, disdain for human rights, identification of “enemies” as a unifying cause, obsession with national security.
If you don’t recognise those words, I’ve just quoted four of the 14 generally-accepted “warning signs of fascism”.
Rishi Sunak announced this descent into fascism in a press conference at 11am yesterday (December 7). The press asked whether the vote on it would be treated as a confidence issue, and he made it clear that it would not:
So there it is.
Is he really relying on Labour to support him? No. Don’t be fooled. He expects his Parliamentary party to support him; the words about Labour were simply to undermine Keir Starmer’s electoral position – make him look weak on immigration. And, of course, these words are meant to make Sunak’s position seem acceptable.
Consider the words of Mhairi Black, in the video clip below:
“[Fascism] arrives under the guise of respectability and pride, that will then be refused to anyone that is deemed different. It arrives through the ‘othering’ of people – the normalisation of human cruelty… The warning signs are there for everyone to see – whether they admit it or not.”
Here’s the economist Richard Murphy:
If you don’t share his view, consider yourself to have joined the ranks of the fascists.
How did we get here? Well, the most recent events were probably kicked off by Keir Starmer, when he put his own boot into the Rwanda deportation policy at Prime Minister’s Questions:
We were reminded that only 100 people can possibly be sent to Rwanda, and that the deal is reciprocal, meaning Rwandan people will be sent to the UK. That means it will not make any difference to inward migration into this country.
The scheme’s cost was mentioned by Starmer but Sunak coasted over it. In fact it is now at least £240 million, as the government has provided an extra £100 million very recently. If we send anybody there, in the end, we have to pay for their accommodation and upkeep for five years.
Meanwhile, the Tories have lost 17,000 asylum seekers. These people have just disappeared.
Late in the afternoon, this landed on ‘X’:
“We said we would do what was needed to stop the boats.” This wasn’t it. This Writer has heard nothing from the Tories to show that they have actually taken any steps to ensure that Rwanda is safe for asylum-seekers, as the Supreme Court’s judgement implied that it should.
My impression is that this Bill will be nothing more than a declaration that the government says Rwanda is safe. That is no way to reassure anybody.
In any case, it won’t “stop the boats”. That part of the problem is being handled via international agreements to target the “criminal gangs” and reduce the number of people leaving their countries of origin in the first place – as This Site has always claimed was necessary.
That didn’t stop James Cleverly, the new Home Secretary, from spouting that tired old line – and getting hammered by people who see this vote-grubbing publicity stunt for what it is (an attempt to win votes from racists after a campaign to convince them that Johnny Foreigner is secretly invading):
Then Rwanda threw a fly in the ointment: its government issued a statement saying it could not support the deal if it does not adhere to international law.
Clearly, Minister Biruta, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, had read the new Bill and spotted the parts that depart from international law.
Two hours later, Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick resigned, saying the new Bill did not go far enough for him:
These events fuelled debate on the subject, which continued overnight:
Suella Braverman, the former Home Secretary, also stuck her oar in – but was dismissed by the BBC’s Nick Robinson who, on the Today programme, said her attitude was that it was “all about her”. Still, her intervention may be divisive within the Conservative Party.
Then Sunak held his press conference. Here’s an analysis of it:
Again, speculation came back to whether this is a vote of confidence.
And again, we come back to the fact that every Tory MP knows their career is at stake. Their government is failing in the opinion polls and they may lose their seats at the next general election.
So it is in their best interests to put that election off as long as possible, in the hope that their party’s fortunes will improve.
Also, it should not be considered a secondary issue that the destruction of human rights represented by the Rwanda legislation is something many Tory MPs have desired for a long time.
Wait, watch and learn: the Tories are rushing their Rwanda legislation through Parliament so it won’t be long before we find out whether I’m right.
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