Tag Archives: deport

Shadow Cabinet member tries to excuse herself over failure to protest ‘Windrush’ deportation flight

Rosena Allin-Khan: no responsibility?

How do we feel about this?

Dr Allin-Khan is referring to a letter by Holly Lynch, signed by more than 60 Labour MPs, deploring Priti Patel’s decision to deport more people including, it was said, at least one person who was of the Windrush generation or descended from it.

On her website, Dr Allin-Khan adds:

“As a member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet, my role is to intervene in matters related to mental health (because I am the Shadow Minister for Mental Health). Members of the Shadow Cabinet do not speak in debates, sign letters, sign EDMs or intervene in matters which are not related to their role. This rule has been in place for as long as I know, it was the same when Jeremy Corbyn was leader.

“I have noticed that my name was put on a list along with 12 colleagues, suggesting we were the only people not to sign this letter. No member of the Labour Shadow Cabinet signed the letter, indeed, almost three quarters of Labour MPs didn’t sign the letter. Does that mean that they don’t care? No, of course not. Sometimes they miss the deadline to sign, sometimes they can’t sign, sometimes they make representations in different ways. It’s very disappointing that some would single out me and 12 other colleagues, suggesting we were the only ones not to sign – simply to fit their political agenda.

“My background has seen me work in war torn countries, disaster zones and refugee camps helping the world’s most marginalised and vulnerable people. I always care deeply about these issues and to suggest otherwise is incorrect. I’ll continue to liaise with my colleagues in the Home Affairs team with regards to this, and other important issues.”

My recollection is that Dr Allin-Khan is distorting the issue. Shadow Cabinet members weren’t criticised for being the only Labour MPs not to sign and it seems to me that she was deliberately creating a “straw man” argument with a ready-made response (that other Labour MPs also failed to sign).

As for her claim about Shadow Cabinet members:

Maybe that is true.

Perhaps it should change.

It seems Shadow Cabinet members are using their position to avoid expressing opinions on the most important matters of the day – the actions of the Tory government – abrogating their responsibilities as members of Her Majesty’s Opposition.

Meanwhile they line up to vilify members of their own party when they are accused – falsely, as we learned in the case of Jeremy Corbyn – of breaking party rules that are so badly-written that they can be made to mean whatever the current leader desires.

Isn’t that, you know… wrong?

Some people seem to think so:

Oh, and it seems Shad Cab members like Dr Allin-Khan can’t even face the responses their protests attract:

Meanwhile, Home Secretary Priti Patel has taken the opportunity provided by this failure of opposition to attack critics of the flight, saying it involved the deportation of “vile criminals” and was nothing to do with the Windrush scandal.

In that case, why did the flight contain only 13 people after last-minute legal challenges succeeded in gaining a reprieve for 23 others?

Oh, that’s right. As Ms Patel said, it was all the fault of “do-gooders” and “lefty lawyers”.

She comes across as a bad Scooby-Doo villain, after the mask has come off: “I would have got away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you pesky lefty lawyers!”

Sadly, in her case, the significance of the mask is reversed. In Scooby-Doo it was always a fright mask being replaced by the villain’s rather ordinary face. With Ms Patel, it is the genuine, hate-filled, face that is the horror.

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Less than a week after the EHRC damned the Tories over the Windrush scandal, deportations continue

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

It is ironic that the Conservative government’s own review of its behaviour in the Windrush Scandal was called Lessons Learned, considering its plan for a mass deportation to Jamaica tomorrow (December 2) shows that the Tories have learned nothing.

The Home Office failed to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) under the Equality Act 2010 when implementing Theresa May’s “hostile environment” strategy, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

May’s plan, which commenced in 2012, was originally intended to make staying in the UK as difficult as possible for illegal immigrants – people who do not have leave to remain, in the hope that they would leave of their own accord.

But the policy’s severe harm to members of the so-called Windrush generation – whose documents showing that they were allowed to stay in the UK were destroyed by May’s Home Office shortly after she took over responsibility for it in 2010 – was ignored, dismissed and disregarded, despite the fact that the Home Office was warned about it repeatedly.

Perhaps part of the responsibility for this lies in the fact that the Tory government, obsessed with outsourcing work to private, profit-making firms, told landlords, banks, doctors and employers to carry out ID checks and report people who lacked adequate documentation.

As a result, thousands of people – yes, thousands – were denied access to health care, benefits and housing, before being deported illegally.

Engagement with representatives of the Windrush generation – people who came to the UK, mostly from Jamaica, to help rebuild the country after World War Two, after the government of the day promised to allow them to settle here (see the 1948 Nationality Act) – was limited.

Most of the government’s Windrush victims are still awaiting compensation.

Some have died before receiving it.

The EHRC report said the consequences – which have included several deaths – were “foreseeable and avoidable” and the organisation’s interim chair, Caroline Waters, said the treatment of the Windrush Generation was “a shameful stain on British history”.

This Counterfire article is damning in its condemnation of the policy:

Dehumanisation and discrimination are built into the very concept of the ‘hostile environment’. For the Tories, the purpose of the policy was twofold: to divert growing anger at their austerity policies and to undercut the rise of far-right rivals like Ukip by appropriating their unabashedly dehumanising and racist ideology.

That’s right – the Tories under Theresa May adopted a deliberately racist ideology. And the policy of dehumanising victims was taken directly from the Nazi playbook, as Jews know very well from bitter experience.

Counterfire continues:

The lives of migrants and ethnic minorities are routinely exploited and endangered for the political gain of those in power in this way. This is not recognised in the EHRC report, which is only able to recommend a set of vague rectifications that rely heavily on the government’s good will, such as the recommendation for the Home Office to ‘prioritise and act early’ on its Equality Act duties.

The Home Office under current Home Secretary Priti Patel has made a public commitment to avoid any similar events occurring.

So it is strange that Ms Patel is determined to force as many as 50 more people out of the UK – including another member of the Windrush generation – in a specially-chartered flight tomorrow:

Immediately after it was revealed that the flight was taking place, no fewer than 82 BAME celebrities wrote to six airlines known to have carried out such flights, begging them to reject contracts to carry out any more. It is not known which airline has been engaged to carry out tomorrow’s flight.

Signatories included the author Bernardine Evaristo, model Naomi Campbell, historian David Olusoga and actors Naomie Harris and Thandie Newton, as well as lawyers, broadcasters and NGO chiefs. Leading Windrush campaigners including Michael Braithwaite and Elwaldo Romeo also signed.

And now – better late than never – 70 MPs and peers have also written to Patel, demanding that the flight must be cancelled:

The letter, co-ordinated by Labour’s Clive Lewis, states:

You have previously committed to ‘righting the wrongs’ concerning the Windrush scandal. But eight months after the Windrush Lessons Learned Review was published, the recommendations have still not been fully implemented, it adds.

“Planning a pre-Christmas deportation flight demonstrates that the Home Office has so far failed to learn any lessons.”

The letter also highlights the threat posed by Covid-19 to anybody being forcibly deported:

“The conditions of deportation, such as shackling detainees to ushers for long journeys in potentially cramped conditions, risk exposing people to the virus,” the letter reads, adding that Black people are already at an increased risk of contracting coronavirus.

And there is the more tangible threat of deportees suffering harm or death at the hands of the authorities when they arrive at their destination:

“We know that five UK deportees were killed between 2018 and 2019. Some people in detention have scars from past abuse in Jamaica, or siblings who have been murdered.”

Strangely, Labour leader Keir Starmer has not signed the letter – nor have 12 of his front benchers. They are: Angela Rayner, Anneliese Dodds, Nick Thomas-Symonds, Lisa Nandy, Ed Miliband, Jon Ashworth, Rosena Allin-Khan, David Lammy, Jess Phillips, Rachel Reeves, Wes Streeting and Yvette Cooper. Are we to conclude that these MPs approve of the Tories’ racism?

On the other hand, one of the signatories is former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn:

There is absolutely no doubt that the Conservative government’s racist deportations of people who have every right to remain in the UK should stop. This Writer also has absolutely no doubt that they won’t.

Priti Patel’s record marks her out as a vicious racist who delights in dehumanising and tormenting others.

It is sad to see that she faces no opposition from the so-called Opposition front bench.

But we should remember that the people who have opposed this obscenity are those who have been vilified by the Tory Establishment and their lackeys in the mainstream media. They have lied to us; they are not to be trusted.

And we need to find better ways to oppose them.

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Is Priti Patel’s latest pronouncement an attempt to have homeless people murdered?

I’m only using this image because I haven’t got one of her dressed as a Nazi.

‘Dumpy she-Hitler’ Priti Patel is at it again, it seems.

Only a day after it was claimed her attack on “activist lawyers” she said were frustrating the removal of migrants led to a “violent, racist attack” in a London law firm by a knife-wielding man – who actually injured a staffer…

… she is now calling for homeless people to be deported:

Priti Patel has been criticised for allegedly planning to deport homeless people who repeatedly engage in low level crimes.

The home secretary has reportedly asked Home Office officials to discuss new immigration rules that would make it easier to deport rough sleepers who engage in “persistent anti-social or dangerous behaviour”.

It is understood Patel wrote to ministers on Friday to inform them of the plans, according to the Mail on Sunday.

After it was revealed, the scheme was blasted by commentators who warned “somebody is going to end up getting hurt”.

Damn right – somebody is going to get hurt. Most likely, it will be a homeless person (or many), attacked by people of similar mentality to the knife-wielder in the London law firm mentioned above. Or the lawyers trying to stop them being sent to Ascension Island.

And it occurs to me that Priti Patel must know this.

She knows that somebody got hurt after she had a go at “activist lawyers”.

Only an irresponsible (or psychotic), homicidal fascist would then suggest that another societal group should be targeted for deportation in those circumstances.

But that is exactly what she has done.

So it seems to me that the UK now has a Home Secretary who is deliberately trying to incite people to commit the crime of murder.

Source: Priti Patel criticised for ‘planning to deport homeless people’

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#Nazi-thinking #Tory: #PritiPatel wants to deport asylum-seekers – to the South Atlantic

Yes, the devil horns again: Does anybody have an image of Priti Patel in a Nazi uniform?

The UK’s Home Secretary goes from dire to diabolical.

The latest chapter in her descent to damnation is this, from the Financial Times:

Here are some details:

This is Nazi thinking:

Patel’s Nazi sympathies are becoming increasingly pronounced; consider her attack on travellers, only days ago.

And nobody in the Johnson government – or the wider Conservative Party – has lifted a finger in question.

Still, I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised.

The parallels between the Tories and Nazis are strong.

Just look at the way they treat people who have disabilities.

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Corrupted morals: men who allegedly toppled Colston statue to be punished but Priti Patel goes free

Over it goes: the toppling of the Colston statue, back in June. By a curious coincidence, nobod involved in pulling it down could be seen in this image.

People who toppled – and then sank – a statue glorifying slavery during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the summer are to be offered a bizarre punishment.

The five, who pulled down the statue of slaver Edward Colston in Bristol, will have to pay a fine that would go to a charity supporting people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities in Bristol – which is more than Colston ever did.

They will also have to complete a questionnaire by Bristol City Council’s history commission, explaining their reasons for attacking an exploiter who considered black and minority ethnic people to be property during a week of protests against their mistreatment.

That’s going to be an uncomfortable read for these history commissioners.

This Writer would be unsurprised if every answer contained harsh criticism of them for even asking such a stupid question.

Worse still is the fact that four more people – three men and a woman – may face criminal charges over the incident:

Avon and Somerset police said its investigation had been completed.

It said: “Following a review of the evidence, detectives will now approach the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision against four people – three men, aged 32, 25 and 21, and a 29-year-old woman.”

Meanwhile, the Home Office is reportedly resuming deportation of asylum-seekers after it was prevented from sending a flight to Spain a few weeks ago.

Lawyers for the deportees demonstrated that the government had rushed the flight in order to deny the refugees their right to appeal.

It’s a direct correlation with the attitude of slavers like Colston, who also refused to allow foreign people any rights.

So we have to ask ourselves:

Who should really be explaining their actions – the protesters who tore down a statue of a historic slaver, or Priti Patel, the home secretary who treats people like slaves today?

Source: Men allegedly involved in toppling of Colston statue offered cautions | UK news | The Guardian

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Priti Patel has ashamed us all with her mistreatment of asylum-seekers

Remember this?

The Guardian has reported on what happened to these people – and it reflects very poorly on Priti Patel and her Home Office.

The 11 men were left destitute after being dumped in Madrid, Spain, by the Home Office chartered flight:

Barbara Pomfret, an adviser to corporate companies about social responsibility, who is based in Granada, said she wanted to offer support to the asylum seekers, especially when she learned they had been left in the street. The 40-year-old paid for food and a few days of accommodation for the group and set up a crowdfund page with her husband, Thomas Pomfret, to help support them.

“As a UK citizen I am ashamed that our government would leave asylum seekers on the streets with absolutely no support. As I see it the only difference between me and this group of people is luck. And if I was ever so unlucky as to find myself in a similar situation I hope that someone with more luck would be willing to help me.”

Several of the asylum seekers told The Guardian they had close family members in the UK. All had fled persecution and some had experienced torture.

All but one of them say they were removed from the UK without having their identity documents returned to them. Home Office sources said they were looking into this.

The Home Office has said it is under no obligation to monitor the treatment of asylum seekers it has returned to another country.

In other words, Patel and her cronies would have been happy if these people had starved, as long as it was on the streets of some other country.

I am reminded again of the words of Tony Benn: “The way a government treats refugees shows how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.”

I am also reminded of the way the Tories have treated sick and disabled people they have unfairly cut off from receiving benefits; they never bothered to check up on the well-being of those people so we have no idea what happened to them.

So Ms Pomfret is right: we should all be ashamed of living in a country whose government turns its back on people who need help.

Source: Woman who helped deported Syrians ‘ashamed of UK government’ | UK news | The Guardian

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Patel resumes refugee deportation – and attacks on ‘activist lawyers’. Why aren’t her own legals on strike?

The Home Office tweet about ‘activist lawyers’ that was released only a week ago. Officials have been barred from using the phrase but the Home Secretary continues to do so.

If I was a lawyer working for the Tory government, I would be on strike from today in solidarity with my “activist” colleagues whose only interest is in ensuring that the UK’s government does not break the law.

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has tweeted that deportations of refugees who came to the UK by small boat have resumed with a flight to Spain.

She stated that this happened in spite of “activist lawyers” – in an act of defiance against those who achieved a ruling from her permanent secretary that the use of the phrase by Home Office officials was inappropriate.

Unfortunately Matthew Rycroft’s pronouncement does not apply to the Home Secretary herself, so she broadcast this on Twitter:

The tweet has provoked a wave of protest, which This Writer expects was exactly what Patel wanted:

Yes, I think it’s what she wanted – because for every tweet in protest, she’ll have roused people like this commenter:

It creates division.

And division allows Tories to act without inhibition – and the rule of law is diminished in favour of Tory dictatorship.

The tweeter who complained about migrants moving into the North of England has received angry replies, meaning that smaller arguments are breaking out, diminishing the larger point against Patel:

You see how it works?

That’s why I say the best response to Patel would be a strike by people in the legal profession working for the government.

But will it happen?

Or are government lawyers far more interested in fat salaries than in upholding the law itself?

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More Tory racism: Priti Patel wanted to deport girl so she could be subjected to genital mutilation

Irony: the posters behind Priti Patel in this image extol the virtues of ‘UK aid’ – but her idea of helping foreigners is sending them away to suffer genital torture.

Dept of calling-a-spade-a-shovelling-instrument: this decision shows that Priti Patel wanted to send a girl away to have her genitals cut – because her victim is of Sudanese origin.

Ms Patel refused to grant asylum to the girl – aged just 11 – in the knowledge that she would be returned to an area of Sudan where the prevalence of female genital mutilation (FGM) is 97.7 per cent.

The mother’s claim for asylum was rejected after Home Office officials deemed she lacked credibility. But it later transpired through family court proceedings she was a reliable – albeit highly traumatised – witness.

The girl, who is thriving at school and only speaks English, was brought to the UK in 2012 by her mother, herself a victim of what is known as type 3 FGM whose two sisters died after being cut in their native Sudan.

The single mother, who brought her daughter to Britain to protect her from FGM, exhausted her appeal rights in 2018 and was given notice of the family’s removal to Bahrain where they lived before coming to the UK.

The day before she was due to board a plane, Suffolk county council obtained an FGM protection order, preventing the girl’s departure.

Court documents explain the family were likely to be directed from Bahrain, where their citizenship has expired, back to Sudan. They are from North Kordofan state where the prevalence of FGM is 97.7%. Three of the girl’s cousins are known to have been cut.

After a series of hearings, the Family Court ruled that the girl and her mother should be allowed to remain in the UK.

But Patel launched an appeal claiming that the immigration court’s risk assessment of overseas FGM – “that there was no substantial grounds for believing there was a real risk” – should have been the starting point in the family court.

A Court of Appeal judge found the home secretary “misses the point” because assessing risk is different in the family court where the child’s welfare is central to inquiries – rather than simply being the dependent of an adult making a claim.

The Home Secretary’s – costly – legal challenge was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on June 15.

Charlotte Proudman, a barrister on the mother’s legal team, has accused the Home Office of hypocrisy in digging its heels in over the case and says its unwillingness to protect the girl makes a mockery of FGM protection orders, designed to stop those at risk being taken abroad.

Proudman, who specialises in cases of gender-based violence, said: “It is appalling and shameful the home secretary is wasting taxpayers’ money to score points around policy yet amid the political jostling is prepared to risk the effective torture of this girl.

“With one hand the department is pursuing FGM prosecutions in Britain. With the other it is sending girls abroad to get cut, simply because they are not British.”

“It is sending girls abroad to get cut, simply because they are not British.”

That’s racism. That’s Priti Patel. That’s the Conservative government. And it’s also the British way – which is why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important.

Source: Priti Patel accused of ‘shameful’ bid to deport girl at risk of FGM | Global development | The Guardian

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Home Office chartered a plane to deport EU citizens during lockdown WITH NO SOCIAL DISTANCING

The Home Office: only a fool would believe its publicity material.

So much for the lockdown. So much for social distancing. So much for any suggestion that the UK’s Tory government is interested in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

And so much for the lie that the “hostile environment” policy has ended.

The Home Office chartered a private plane to deport dozens of EU nationals during lockdown, despite government stay-at-home instructions stating that people should not fly unless it was essential.

The private jet, understood to be from Titan Airways, took off from Stansted last Thursday, 30 April. The flight to Poland was chartered at a time when air travel had fallen by 95%.

A woman on the flight said there were about 35 passengers, accompanied by around 40 to 50 Home Office escorts and plane crew.

The woman, who was placed into quarantine on her arrival in Poland, questioned whether it could be defined as “essential travel” and said it was impossible to adhere to physical distancing rules during the flight.

Source: Home Office chartered plane to deport EU citizens during lockdown | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

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Patel’s policies would deport her own mother. Why believe her when she says Johnson isn’t racist?

Priti Patel: there will be no aid in the UK for people of colour while she is Home Secretary, it seems – unless they’re rich.

Is Priti Patel a person of colour who hates her own race?

The evidence seems to indicate this.

Consider the reaction to rapper Dave’s decision to change the lyrics to his song Black at the Brit Awards. He sang – well, hear for yourself what he sang:

Some commentators – like those at Spiked – criticised the performance, but were shot down by others. Look at this from Twitter:

And some, like LBC’s James O’Brien, considered it to be a diversion from the debate about Dave’s subject matter – racism in the Tory government – because it gave people an opportunity to talk about Dave instead:

Fortunately Ms Patel was on hand to drag the discuss right back to the fact that her government – and indeed her own actions – are as racist as the prime minister himself.

The Home Secretary, who recently tried to deport 50 people (and succeeded in removing 17) based on spurious claims that they were criminals (all had already paid their debt to society; their only crime, it seemed, was that they are not white), defended Mr Johnson:

“I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it’s the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister.”

But Ms Patel went on to unveil another racist policy on the same day.

The plan is to refuse entry to the UK for any EU immigrants who aren’t coming to a job that pays at least £25,600. This means so-called “low-skilled” people will no longer be allowed into the country.

Critics have already attacked that equation of low pay with low skill – and This Writer can certainly support them in that. I never had a job that paid £25,600 in all the time I was employed by various newspaper firms and I’m sure most reporters still don’t receive that much.

Worse still, for Ms Patel, is the fact that – under these proposals – her own parents would have been refused access to the UK and she would never have been able to join the Conservatives to become the Home Secretary proposing them.

She had to concede the point in an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari. As it happens, I have also been interviewed by Ferrari. He was attacking me over lies that had been printed about me, so I was able to point out that the claims were false.

Ms Patel was not in the same position and had to admit that he was right. And look how she justified it:

“The policies are changing. This is the point. We are changing our immigration policy to one that’s fit for purpose for our economy, based on skills.”

But she isn’t.

As already stated, there are plenty of high-skilled people on low wages. There also happen to be plenty of complete numbskulls on astronomically high pay – racist Ms Patel and her racist prime minister are two of them.

She tried to point out that her parents came to the UK because they were fleeing Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of Ugandan Asians in 1972, and said they would have been allowed entry as refugees.

But it seems she was lying: it seems her parents arrived in the UK in the 1960s. She herself was born in London in 1972, which suggests that her parents’ immigration into the UK was nothing to do with Amin’s persecution.

Also:

The UK’s current Tory government has also sent refugees back to their countries of origin, where some have faced persecution and even death.

So the evidence seems clear.

Who, then, will believe a word when a racist defends a racist?

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.

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