Tag Archives: Priti

Why is the UK sending children to an African country with human rights issues?

Say what you like, the UK has a more-or-less good record for looking after children – certainly in comparison with many other countries.

So why are Boris Johnson and Priti Patel sending refugee kids to Rwanda?

That country’s poor history regarding human rights is a matter of record. Its government wants us to think all that is behind it now – but we have no way of knowing the claim is true.

And children require more specialist care than adults – for obvious reasons.

Yes, we see pictures showing that

the Hope hostel in Kigali is building outdoor facilities that will include football pitches, basketball courts and outdoor toys

but how do we know that’s not just for show?

Even then, Boris Johnson refused to visit the facility, triggering alarm bells among some of us. He said it was because it isn’t occupied yet.

And more alarms must have been triggered when the prime minister’s spokesman, challenged on the policy of sending children to the east African country, could only evade the question with the weak response that

“I think 90% of those coming across are men.”

Brace yourself for a torrent of abuse stories – if this policy is put into full practice.

Source: Rwanda making preparations to take children removed from UK

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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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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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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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If rebellion against Johnson is a ‘sideshow’, why is Priti Patel making a big fuss about it?

Manic: Priti Patel looks as though her ears can’t believe the noises coming from her mouth.

Priti Patel – like Dominic Raab before her – is desperate for you to believe that the Tory rebels queuing up to give Boris Johnson the heave-ho from 10 Downing Street (before the constant partying destroys the building) are flogging a dead horse.

Why?

If their cause really is hopeless, then they don’t matter, and Patel is wasting her breath. Right?

So what she really means, when she says things like, “This isn’t about a parade [of leadership candidates] or a contest of letters,” is: “I’m very frightened that there will be a leadership contest, the guy who gave me my cushy Home Office job will lose, and I’ll be out on my ear.”

That’s why she’s making up a story that the letters going in to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, are a “sideshow”. She’s just worried she’ll lose her job!

Worse still are her apparent reasons for wanting to put Johnson’s failings as prime minister behind us all: “We need to concentrate on doing our jobs.”

“Look at what is going on in the world right now, look at the challenges that we face domestically. We can’t ignore those.”

“Our job is to deliver on the people’s priorities. They won’t thank the Conservative party for talking about itself at a time when people have anxieties, concerns, apprehensions.”

We had far more “anxieties, concerns, apprehensions” during Covid lockdown but the Conservative government was only thinking about itself at the time, with its party-a-go-go attitude.

Weren’t government ministers and employees choosing precisely to “ignore” everything that was “going on in the world” and the “challenges that we face domestically” while they were raving it up?

Isn’t it true that the last thing anybody wanted to do in Downing Street during that 20-month (at least) boozy binge was “concentrate on doing [their] jobs”?

If the government’s record had been even slightly better – if the Tories were able to shine a light on any successes over the past three years that have made our lives easier – then Patel might have had a chance to get away with it.

But their handling of the Covid-19 crisis has killed off nearly 200,000 people who could have been alive today if Boris Johnson’s leadership hadn’t been so godawful.

Their Brexit has pitched the UK into a cost-of-living crisis that may take more lives.

And their determination to sell off the National Health Service piecemeal has meant that we are all in far more danger of dying as a result than we were before Johnson took over in 2019.

We will all be better off without Boris Johnson pretending to be responsible while stinking up Downing Street with his loutish lackadaisical ‘lad’ culture (with the possible exception of lickspittles like Patel).

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Priti Patel doesn’t seem to know what BDS is about. Is that why she wants to ban it?

Smug supporter of apartheid: this was the look on Priti Patel’s face when she left Downing Street in November 2017, having been forced to resign from Theresa May’s Cabinet for trying to run her own foreign policy, apparently as an asset of Israel. Now she wants to outlaw the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign in another overt display of support for that country’s persecution of Palestinians.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against apartheid Israel is “racist and anti-Semitic”, according to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel who seems not to understand what it is about.

“Holding the Jewish community collectively responsible for what happens in the Middle East by my definition is racist,” Patel said.

But that is not what BDS does. It holds Israel responsible for the actions of its government against the people of Palestine.

Israel is not “the Jewish community” and Palestine is not “what happens in the Middle East” – unless the person suggesting it is deliberately trying to blur the issues, or doesn’t understand them.

This Writer is not going to put forward an opinion on which of those best sums up Patel’s mindset.

But I will point out that she was ordered to resign from Theresa May’s Cabinet after she had been exposed as trying to run her own foreign policy, independent of the UK’s, favouring Israel.

To quote the Another Angry Voice article of the time that best sums up her behaviour,

Priti Patel decided to completely ignore the ministerial code of conduct by holding a number of political meetings in Israel without informing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, without informing the UK embassy in Israel, and without informing the Prime Minister.

She then dug herself deeper into her hole when she was caught by lying that the Foreign Office had known about her meetings at the time, and ‘forgetting’ to mention the most significant meeting of all that she had with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She … only admitted this stuff because she got caught, and that it would all still be secret if she hadn’t been busted.

For Priti Patel to have arranged all these meetings in secret, it seems highly likely that she would have used her own communications devices to make the arrangements, rather than a FCO approved device. An obvious security risk.

The next thing to note is that all FCO approved meetings require security and sweeping for bugs. Presumably none of that happened, which is another security risk.

The next problem is that no proper records were kept of the meetings, or what was discussed in the meetings, which opens Patel up to suspicions that she could have subjected to blackmail or bribery, especially if she then starts behaving in the interest of the foreign state.

Which brings us to Patel’s conduct upon her return to the UK: She quickly started making inquiries into whether part of the UK Foreign Aid budget could be diverted in order to fund the Israeli military in the occupied Golan Heights (a policy that would have been in Israel’s interests, and that a significant percentage of British people would have been horrified by).

Additionally she told nobody that she was making these inquiries about using the foreign aid budget to fund the Israeli military as a result of her secretive meetings in Israel.

This request makes it seem that Patel was behaving like an asset of the Israeli state, working on their behalf as an operative within the UK government.

Doesn’t that seem an accurate description of Patel’s activities now – “behaving like an asset of the Israeli state, working on their behalf as an operative within the UK government”?

Source: ‘BDS movement is antisemitic,’ British Home Secretary says

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Priti Patel is refusing to pay police enough to do their job & then demanding power to criticise them for it

Here’s the contradictory nature of Tory policy exposed in all its grubby grimness:

Priti Patel has been challenged to explain whether she could “survive” on the salaries she pays to local police officers – and ran away from answering.

Meanwhile, she is demanding the right to interfere in local policing matters – possibly criticising officers for failing to do work she does not pay them enough to manage.

According to Nation.Cymru,

Detective Constable Vicky Knight, a single mother who had worked in policing for more than two decades, asked Priti Patel if she would be able to “survive” on £1,200 or £1,400 a month.

Describing how she is paid “a couple of hundred pounds a month more than the workers in McDonald’s flipping burgers” and less than her “local manager at Lidl”, Ms Knight told how ahead of her most recent pay day she had to borrow £40 from her mother so she could put fuel in her car and buy food for her son’s school lunches “because I had no money left at the end of the month”.

“I went to see an accountant and the advice was leave the police, work for 22 hours a week and claim benefits and you will be better off. How can that be right?”

Patel did not answer the question; we don’t know whether she thinks she could survive on the pay she tells police officers to accept.

But we do know delegates at the annual conference of the Police Federation of England and Wales groaned when she whined that their organisation had not been “at the table” for pay negotiations; it is currently in dispute with her because she has imposed a pay freeze for officers and there were, therefore, no negotiations to be done.

While she is depriving police of the salaries they need in order to be able to do their jobs, it seems Patel is demanding the right to criticise them for any failures.

In a row with Police and Crime Commissioners, she is planning a unilateral revision of rules that define where policing responsibilities lie, in order to grant herself more power to interfere in local services.

She wants to take back power to demand answers from chief constables on local policing matters – and ability that was given to commissioners a decade ago when their role was created.

Obviously the ability to demand answers also provides an implied ability to criticise police services for failings – even though any failures may be because she has not provided the resources to do the job.

According to The Guardian,

The proposed protocol says: “We propose to lower the threshold for home secretary intervention in appropriate circumstances. This would equip the home secretary to intervene earlier as required, thus reducing the risk of failing to deliver effective policing.”

Apparently this is a reflection of a policy adopted by Patel since she became Home Secretary, called “lean in”. Perhaps it would more accurately be phrased as “lean on“.

Another example of this policy would appear to be her demand that chief constables act “in a politically neutral manner”, which has been added to the previous stricture that they must be impartial.

This would restrict them from commenting on public policy that they believe may affect crime fighting – such as the effects of austerity. Nor would they be allowed to speak out publicly on issues of political dispute like tougher sentences or opposing the decriminalisation of cannabis, which is supported by some frontline politicians.

In their response to Patel’s proposals, commissioners said she would need to seek an Act of Parliament to impose them as they are beyond her statutory powers at the moment – “ultra vires”:

“Creation of new powers of strategic oversight can only be achieved through primary legislation and must be subject to the full scrutiny that is required of primary legislation.”

So we see a hardline Home Secretary, attempting to dictate the behaviour of local police forces while denying them the resources to their job.

How ironic that she is currently being restricted with rules imposed by her own Tory forerunners.

Source: Home Secretary confronted by ‘desperately struggling’ North Wales Constable over low pay

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Rwanda policy has made illegal migration problem WORSE

Priti Patel: she and her boss Boris Johnson are the only people who deserve to be carted off to live in an African dictatorship. They’re too stupid and pig-headed to be allowed to stay in the UK’s government.

Priti Patel’s plan to send people accused of being illegal migrants to Rwanda has not stopped boats crossing the channel but has sent some asylum-seekers into hiding – creating a cost, and time, burden for the authorities, while others have resorted to self-harm – creating work for the NHS.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced that the government is preparing to deport the first 50 migrants to Rwanda – and to spend who-knows-how-much-money defending the decision in the courts.

So, all things considered, these two idiot Tories have achieved nothing more than a waste of public money, and public organisations’ time.

What a pair of [insert expletive of your choice here].

Apparently, more than 7,000 people have crossed the channel in small boats in the first four months of the year – more than three times as many as last year and more than seven times as many as in 2020.

The latest available government figures show 792 migrants arrived in small boats in the week from 2 to 8 May.

The Tories are saying their deportation policy will take a considerable time to push through, as legal challenges will “take time”.

But Patel said she would not be deterred…

The government says the new scheme will be a major blow to people smugglers and will stop people dying on dangerous routes to the UK.

… certainly not by the facts, it seems.

Meanwhile, Johnson has been taking an opportunity to denigrate the lawyers who will stand up for the migrants’ rights.

In an interview with the Mail, he said:

“There’s going to be a lot of legal opposition from the types of firms that for a long time have been taking taxpayers’ money to mount these sort of cases, and to thwart the will of the people, the will of Parliament. We’re ready for that.

“We will dig in for the fight and we will make it work,” he added. “We’ve got a huge flowchart of things we have to do to deal with it, with the leftie lawyers.”

How strange. It isn’t the “leftie lawyers” who are wasting a fortune on a pointless policy of persecution.

It’s this profligate prime minister and his psychotic home secretary.

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Establishment racism: Non-verbal black teenager who has never left UK detained at immigration centre

Priti Patel: it seems she’s so racist, she will merrily try to deport black people, even though they are UK citizens. She just won’t carry out the proper checks.

This is beyond This Writer’s ability to comment. The level of racism displayed by the UK authorities in this story is off the scale:

A woman has described how her 17-year-old black British son was found at an immigration detention centre after going missing while being treated for psychosis.

The boy – who is non-verbal – disappeared from a hospital in Kent, where he had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act, on 7 April. Two days later, he was arrested by British Transport Police (BTP) at Euston on suspicion of fare evasion, before being detained by Immigration Enforcement near Gatwick, despite being British.

“It’s just horrific,” the boy’s mother said. “Because he’s black they just assumed ‘let’s pick him and put him in a deportation centre’.”

When the boy was returned to the hospital, his clothes contained Home Office documents that incorrectly stated his name and date of birth, and recorded his nationality as Nigerian.

“How do they know he’s from Nigeria, when he doesn’t even speak to them?” the woman said of her son.

The boy is a British citizen and has never left the UK. His mother said he would not have been able to say his date of birth properly, and would never have said he was from Nigeria.

James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, which works with people facing removal, said unaccompanied minors or children under the age of 18 should not be in detention in the first place. “In theory detention should be an absolute last resort, rather than an early step you would go to,” he said.

This is a prime example of how Priti Patel’s Home Office treats UK citizens, isn’t it?

Let’s consider the Home Office’s comments on this case…

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We rely on information provided by our policing partners when an individual is referred to Immigration Enforcement. In this case, the individual declared himself to British Transport Police to be an adult male. Police nurses assessed him and raised no physical or mental health issues.”

Yeah, but did they? Really? a non-verbal 17-year-old?

I have a doubt about that.

I don’t think the person declared himself to be anything at all.

I don’t think nurses assessed him in anything like an adequate way.

do think that this case reveals serious failures in Home Office procedures.

And I think it is Priti Patel’s responsibility to sort them out.

But I don’t think – for a single minute – that she is in any way capable, or responsible enough, to take the necessary steps.

Source: Non-verbal black teenager who has never left UK detained at immigration centre

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