Why are asylum-seekers to be electronically tagged? What is their crime?

Priti Patel: it would be better if she were not only electronically tagged but also gagged, to prevent her causing further harm to innocent victims.

Priti Patel’s Home Office is planning to electronically tag asylum-seekers arriving in the UK, as though they were criminals (or people accused of criminality) rather than refugees from persecution.

The decision has been likened to “victim blaming” – an opinion endorsed by This Site – although the Home Office itself is twisting language to claim the trial will examine whether electronic monitoring can help maintain regular contact with migrants and help to progress their claims.

Perhaps someone has been in contact with the “Nudge Unit” to get help to convince us all they’re doing the right thing? If so, it’s not working!

Ministers faced calls to abandon the “farce of a policy” after suggestions that those who recently avoided being sent to Rwanda after a legal challenge could be among the first to be tagged under the programme.

Clare Moseley, founder of the Care4Calais charity, said: “I think it’s outrageous. Refugees in general do not abscond. There’s no data that shows that they do – they never have done. They are here to claim asylum, so why would they? They’re not criminals, they’re victims. Things happen to them. They didn’t cause it. It’s just another part of the government criminalising refugees, which is basically victim-blaming.”

Apparently the number of decisions on asylum applications has plummeted while Patel has been busy victimising innocent people, created a huge backlog.

And of course, by attacking victims of persecutation and exploitation, she is doing nothing to eliminate criminal people-smuggling gangs.

The Tories get away with this by “othering” the asylum-seekers and refugees.

By making them look like criminals, they are hoping enough of the electorate will be gullible enough to believe that is what they are. I hope they are mistaken.

Source: Outrage over scheme to electronically tag asylum seekers arriving in UK

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Are Tory Rwanda deportations part of a nasty election strategy?

Don’t believe the hype: these two are on the same side really.

Found on Twitter: here’s a thread that’s worth reading.

This Site has been making the same point for years, of course.

Of course, if Starmer is allied with the Tories on this issue, then is he really the man to lead the Opposition to them?

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Tory government slammed for bullying and trying to silence the disabled – Dorset Eye

Well done to Dorset Eye for picking up on this:

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has accused the government of “using its might” to “bully” and “silence” disabled campaigners in the courts.

People allegedly damaged by the drug Primodos are in a high court battle with both the UK government and the German pharmaceutical company Bayer.
Campaigners say that both the company and the UK regulators were aware of the potential risk of the pregnancy test drug to deform babies in the womb.

Mr Burnham is calling on the government to drop the case and “compensate them for the damage they have suffered”.
Primodos has been described as “the forgotten thalidomide”, however manufacturer Schering, now owned by Bayer, has always denied any association between the drug and malformations, saying there is not sufficient scientific evidence to support the claim.

In 2020 an independent government review found that the drug should have been removed from the market in 1967, a decade before it was, and that UK regulators had been repeatedly warned of the risk.

Read the full article here: Tory government slammed for bullying and trying to silence the disabled – Dorset Eye

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Is the government being honest with you about rail strikes?

Rail service: this is a generic image of a train and isn’t meant to represent any of the services that won’t be running.

This is from a BBC report about forthcoming rail strikes by the RMT union:

It is not for the government to intervene to stop rail strikes, the transport secretary has said – despite unions calling for talks.

Grant Shapps said the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) request for a meeting was a “stunt” and claimed it had been “determined to go on strike”.

The union said politicians were failing to prevent three days of industrial action.

Labour claimed ministers wanted the strikes to go ahead to “sow division”.

Strikes will take place on almost all major lines across Britain on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, as well as on the London Underground on Tuesday.

Is it a stunt by the union, though? Or is it one by the government?

Let’s look at what the Conservatives’ Facebook page has to say:

Keir Starmer’s own MPs back the week of rail chaos – with no concerns for the commutes 𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚𝙡𝙡𝙚𝙙, operations 𝙙𝙚𝙡𝙖𝙮𝙚𝙙 and businesses 𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙.

Also:

Labour’s Strikes will prevent doctors, nurses and patients getting to hospital. Instead of backing the NHS, Labour are backing strike chaos.

There’s nothing about the reason for the strikes, you’ll notice.

So let’s find out from somebody who actually uses the train services likely to be affected. This is by Paula Peters, a long-time disability-campaigner friend:

A lady passenger was trying to book a taxi to get to work for next Tuesday first day of rail strike. Taxi told her sorry you’ve got to book on the day.

She was calling the rail workers all sorts so I put her straight on a few things.

I said, you use the rail network a lot right? See you got kids there.

Said the RMT are striking to not only fight for their terms & conditions, asking for increase in pay as they haven’t had one a long time and prices are rising, but they are fighting rail maintenance cuts, cuts to maintenance workers hours, stop the closure of ticket offices, fight against the reduction of services.

What do you mean rail maintenance? She said. I said you see engineering work sometimes don’t you? Replacing track, repairing it. She said yes. I said well the government want to cut rail maintenance jobs and it puts your safety at risk, because if track isn’t maintained there would be a serious rail accident which could lead to serious injury and loss of life.

She thought for a moment. She looked at her kids. Imagine if you your kids your husband were caught up in a rail accident and one of your family were seriously hurt.

That’s what the RMT are fighting back against. To protect your safety and everyone who travels on the rail network.

By this time 30 passengers on the carriage I was in were listening intently.

I said, look, next week may inconvenience you, but think about rail maintenance cuts, cuts to services, lack of ticket offices. Lack of platform staff. That these guys have families to feed and they are struggling too.

There was silence. Then a conductor whose name is Chris walks through the train.

I said excuse me are you RMT. He said he was. I said you on strike Tuesday? He said he was.

I stood up shook his hand. Then shouted out, SOLIDARITY to the RMT!

The carriage erupted into cheers.

You see?

When you actually know a little about matter like this, it can change your perspective completely. Are any of you opposing the rail strikes now?

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Geidt resigned because he wouldn’t ‘cover’ for Johnson’s law-breaking

Lord Geidt: he has spoken out to clear up confusion about his reason for resigning as Boris Johnson’s ethics advisor – and the reason is clear: Johnson is determined to continue law-breaking and Geidt wouldn’t be a part of it.

So now we know.

Lord Geidt did not resign because he objected to plans for steel tariffs that might breach international law.

He resigned because he refused to give advanced cover to the prime minister – Boris Johnson – where there is contemplation of doing anything that may breach international (or indeed national) law.

To This Writer, it seems clear that Geidt was concerned that he might be creating a precedent that would give Johnson carte blanche for unlimited law-breaking in the future.

How sad that it has taken three days since his resignation for this to be revealed.

You can find out how the story developed on the BBC by reading articles here

Here...

Here

Here

And here. They reveal much of the way the UK’s government has been trying to break the law while misleading the people about it, it seems.

And Geidt’s resignation confirms that, after Partygate, Boris Johnson is determined to continue breaking the law.

Why aren’t we seeing renewed calls for him to go?

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Julian Assange’s extradition to USA is rubber-stamped by Priti Patel

Protest: you can tell the strength of public feeling in support of Julian Assange from this image – but the law is the law, even if it is a bad one.

The UK Home Secretary who wants to send asylum-seekers to a country with a record of human rights abuses has approved the extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. Is anybody surprised?

The decision flies against fears that Assange will be mistreated by US authorities who – it is alleged – planned to either kidnap or assassinate him while he was in UK custody.

The United States has been foiled in its attempts to prosecute Assange for around 12 years after he published reports on Wikileaks that alleged war crimes and corruption by that country.

The US government wants to prosecute Assange for 18 alleged crimes – 17 of them under a 1917 terrorism act – because his reports allegedly caused risk to the lives of American military personnel.

No evidence has been brought forward to substantiate the claim. US prosecutors have admitted that they do not have any.

Those said to be responsible for the alleged war crimes and corruptions have not faced any form of justice and were allowed to walk free, despite the allegations and the evidence supporting them.

The US has been foiled in its attempts to bring Assange to trial for 12 years – firstly because the journalist, fearing his own life would be under threat if he was brought into US custody, fled to the UK’s Ecuadorian Embassy seeking asylum, which he received until 2019, when he was arrested for breaking UK bail by British police.

He has stayed in Belmarsh Prison since then – long after his jail term for the bail offence was over – because the US had applied to extradite him and he has a history of absconding.

This has led him to suffer mental ill-health, according to his supporters.

It led a court to deny the US extradition request in January 2021, on the grounds that his mental health would suffer much more if he were subjected to the US penal system, which is far more hostile that that in the UK.

Meanwhile, it is understood that US secret service operatives planned to either kidnap or assassinate Assange, while he was in UK custody.

Former CIA director and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, confronted with the allegation, said the 30 sources who spoke to Yahoo News reporters “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency” – which seems to be an admission that the claims were accurate.

It seems that in 2017, US intelligence agents plotted to poison Assange. They bugged the Ecuadorian embassy in London so they could listen to meetings with his solicitors, followed Assange’s family and associates, targeted his then six-months-old baby to steal his DNA, and burgled the office of his lawyer.

Given this information, one would expect a UK court to dismiss any extradition request at once, on the basis that Assange’s life is in clear danger.

Unfortunately, the UK has a one-sided extradition treaty with the US – signed during Tony Blair’s period in office – that makes no provisions for such circumstances. Indeed, the UK must take US assurances that a suspect will not be ill-treated at face value, with no evidence requirement, and US claims cannot even be cross-examined in court.

So it should be unsurprising that the Home Office has said the courts found that extradition would not be “incompatible with his human rights” and that while in the US “he will be treated appropriately”; the law binds them into saying that.

Once extradited to the States, it seems Assange will face a kangaroo court, rather than receiving any actual justice.

The law under which he is charged does not allow a public interest defence, meaning he cannot argue that he was holding the US government to account by publishing details of its alleged war crimes.

And as Assange is not a US citizen, it seems he would not enjoy constitutional free-speech rights.

Furthermore, the US authorities have arranged for his case to be heard in Alexandria, Virginia – home of the US intelligence services, where people cannot be excluded from a jury because they work for the US government – prompting fears that Assange will be judged by people with a vested interest in supporting their employer.

He could go to prison for 175 years, according to colleagues at Wikileaks – although the US government says the term is more likely to be between four and six years. Who do you believe?

Assange has 14 days to appeal the decision and Wikileaks has said that it will.

Otherwise the UK will send a man to a foreign country whose government, we understand, has already tried to kill him, to face a trial on crimes for which there is no evidence, judged by people employed by the prosecutor, facing a possible 175-year prison sentence – on the basis of safety assurances that aren’t worth the time it takes to speak them.

So much for British justice!

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Investigation launched against four Met Police officers who strip-searched black schoolgirl

All four Metropolitan Police officers who strip-searched a 15-year-old black schoolgirl while she was on her period are now being investigated for gross misconduct, it has been revealed.

It had been claimed that the girl, known as Child Q, smelled strongly of cannabis and may have been in possession of drugs.

So police were called to her school and subjected her to an intimate body search without any other adults present.

The incident took place almost two years ago but only came to light in March this year after a safeguarding report was published. This Site has previously reported on the incident here.

The Local Child Safeguarding Practice Review found that the strip search should never have happened, was unjustified, and racism “was likely to have been an influencing factor”.

“Four constables have now been advised that they are being investigated for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour at the level of gross misconduct,” the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said.

However, it added that this “does not necessarily mean that disciplinary proceedings will follow”.

“We are looking at complaints that her mother was not given the opportunity to be present during the strip search, and that there was no other appropriate adult present,” it added.

“We are also considering whether the child’s ethnicity played a part in the officers’ decision to strip search her.”

If the officers are found to have breached policing standards, they could be dismissed from their jobs.

Source: Investigation launched against four Met Police officers who strip-searched black schoolgirl

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Was Tory crackdown on protest really prompted by this oil-funded think tank?

Targeted: Extinction Rebellion members – here protesting at a Murdoch print works – were briefly defined as an extremist group. Although they have now been removed from the list, Home Secretary Priti Patel has continued to refer to climate protesters as “criminals”.

A Tory crackdown on legal political protest was devised by a right-wing think tank that is funded by the US fossil fuel corporation ExxonMobil, it has been alleged.

And it is easy to see the reason: it removes the right of ordinary citizens to protest against the climate-wrecking policies followed by the oil industry.

According to Open Democracy,

Policy Exchange explicitly said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion (XR) in a 2019 report that got the attention of Tory MPs and peers.

The report called for protest laws to be “urgently reformed in order to strengthen the ability of police to place restrictions on planned protest and deal more effectively with mass law-breaking tactics”.

Sections of Priti Patel’s controversial policing bill, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, appear directly inspired by the Policy Exchange report.

The Policy Exchange report that appears to have contained the seeds of the policing bill was later cited in the House of Commons by Tory MP Steve Baker, who urged ministers to read it, and in the Lords by Tory peer Matt Ridley. Baker is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group that has received money from groups with oil interests in the US. Ridley is a member of the group’s academic advisory council.

Patel said openly that the legislation was intended to stop tactics used by Extinction Rebellion. The home secretary first pledged to introduce the bill just over a year after the Policy Exchange report was published.

Policy Exchange does not disclose its donors, but openDemocracy has uncovered that ExxonMobil Corporation donated $30,000 to its American fundraising arm in 2017.

There is much more information on the Open Democracy site (link below).

Circumstantial evidence?

Maybe – but then it isn’t likely that the Conservative Party, Policy Exchange and ExxonMobil are ever going to admit conspiring to silence legitimate political protest.

Source: Policy Exchange: Was oil-funded think tank behind anti-XR policing bill? | openDemocracy

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Who thought the first deportation flight to Rwanda would be stopped? You were right!

Priti Patel: she announced the deportation flights in April – and has been humiliated by the cancellation of the first.

Yes – some of us saw this one coming from a long way away!

The first flight to deport people seeking asylum in the UK to live in Rwanda instead has been halted after a series of last-minute legal appeals.

Oh what a shame. Another Priti Patel plan bites the dirt – and not a moment too soon.

The flight was called off after the European Court of Human Rights intervened.

In a statement hours before the flight’s planned departure, the ECHR said it had granted an “urgent interim measure” in the case of an Iraqi man, known only as “KN”, and one of seven remaining passengers.

An out-of-hours judge was then tasked with examining the remaining half dozen cases.

The flight was originally intended to take 30 people to the African country that is accused of human rights abuses – but has been cancelled after the number was whittled down to nothing.

The architects of the scheme – Boris Johnson and Priti Patel – have said this is a setback but they are determined to make it work.

Johnson suggested lawyers representing migrants were “abetting the work of criminal gangs”.

But this is reducing the situation to a ridiculous degree.

The plan will break the 1951 Refugee Convention that has set the standard for the way that governments should deal with people fleeing persecution in other countries for more than 70 years.

Johnson and Patel have sidestepped the convention by ignoring the complex set of problems surrounding each asylum-seeker and refusing to accept that their arrival is to do with anything more than the criminal acts of people smugglers.

The government has also been accused of acting irrationally in treating Rwanda as a “safe third country”. Critics have correctly pointed out that Rwanda’s record on human rights is flawed.

Still, Patel has vowed that the government will “not be deterred” from its plan and “many of those removed from today’s flight will be placed on the next”.

It’s threatening language from an extremely unpleasant individual.

One can only be left with a sense that the UK’s government is acting against the best interests of the asylum-seekers in its care – unloading them onto a foreign country without the slightest interest in their well-being.

That, of course, is exactly the reason these people don’t want to go.

Johnson and Patel have said they may consider changing the law to make it possible to push the deportations through.

That is exactly the behaviour of a rogue state.

Source: First deportation flight to Rwanda halted after last-minute legal appeals

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EU to launch court action against Liz Truss’s smuggler’s charter for Northern Ireland

I can’t say I blame the European Union chiefs.

As mentioned on This Site before, Liz Truss’s plan to ease the burden on businesses caused by the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit deal effectively creates a “smuggler’s charter”.

It creates the concept of “green lanes” and “red lanes” for trade, with goods coming from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) into Northern Ireland and which are staying there using the green lane – meaning no checks and minimal paperwork, while goods moving from Great Britain through NI into Ireland or the wider European Union would use the red lane –  continuing to be checked at ports in Northern Ireland.

How would anybody know the “green lane” goods were stopping in Northern Ireland – or even whether the goods in the lorries were really as described in the paperwork?

I previously suggested that, alongside plans to ease checks on goods coming into the UK from the EU, this could create a people-smuggling pipeline all the way through to Ireland, wrecking any strategy to prevent it put up by Priti ‘Send ‘Em To Rwanda’ Patel.

The UK also wants the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice (ECJ) to have no future role in deciding disputes involving the protocol, with an independent arbiter sitting in judgement instead.

Independent, as defined by whom? I can see legal disputes over who should judge rattling on until Doomsday.

In response, the EU has indicated it will restart legal action it began in March last year, when it accused the UK of delaying, without consultation, the enforcement of parts of the protocol relating to customs checks – and may go further by taking the UK to the ECJ over claims it did too little to set up border control posts and share data with the EU.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if the very law intended to remove the UK from ECJ judgments led to it facing just such a fate?

The problem facing the UK’s Tory government – particularly those dunces Liz Truss and Boris Johnson – is that unionists in Northern Ireland are likely to tear up the Good Friday Agreement if they can’t get free trade between the Province and Great Britain.

That could lead to a resurgence of the infamous “Troubles”.

Sadly, the Labour opposition has no better ideas. Keir Starmer has said negotiation with the EU is the best way forward – but advocated using “guile”, which implies that he wants to deceive the EU into giving UK vested interests what they want.

Level heads can see that no workable solution is being suggested by anybody. They all seem determined to upset each other rather than find a way forward.

How sad to see our supposed national and international leaders squabbling like children.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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