Tag Archives: Processing

Keir Starmer and Labour’s big idea for ‘illegal’ migration is as bad as the Tories’

Keir Starmer: yet again, he has opened his mouth only to put his foot in it. And he is the favourite to form a government after the next general election – but only because, while he certainly appears to be incompetent, the Tories under Rishi Sunak have proven themselves to be both incompetent and corrupt. Who else can we support instead?

Keir Starmer has come under fire over a plan to process migrants’ asylum claims in other countries – “offshore”.

Here‘s the idea, as explained by The Guardian:

Keir Starmer said this month that he would look at offshore schemes where migrants are processed in a third country “usually en route to their country of destination”, saying that other European countries are also considering this.

The Times reported on Monday that Labour was also looking at all options for offshore processing of asylum claims as long as British officials did the assessment and migrants were not barred from claiming asylum if they had arrived by illegal means – unlike the government’s Rwanda scheme.

The report states that “charities, the SNP and the leftwing pressure group Momentum have said it would be a dangerous path to go down”.

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Alison Thewliss of the SNP said, “Offshoring our fellow human beings is inhumane and immoral. The Labour party should be ruling out Rwanda-style plans, not helping to enable them.”

A Momentum spokesperson said it was “disturbing” that Labour was reportedly considering such a plan… “As migration experts have said, the way to minimise perilous small boat crossings is to expand safe routes for refugees. Instead of aping inhumane Tory policies like offshoring asylum seekers, Keir Starmer should be standing up for progressive values and migrants’ rights.”

Steve Smith, the chief executive of Care4Calais, said: “The colour of their party rosettes may be different but it seems their morals aren’t. Outsourcing our international obligations to other countries is a shameful policy where everyone loses.

“It does nothing to protect people who are fleeing war, torture and persecution. Just like the outsourcing racket in public services, UK taxpayers’ money will be sent to other countries for no return.”

He said the answer was obvious: open safe routes for refugees to claim asylum in the UK.

Starmer’s plan has been rubbished on the social media too:

Once again, Keir Starmer makes himself and his silly Substitute Tory Party look ridiculous.

But once again, he leaves those of us who have a political conscience wrestling with the big question for 2024:

Who do we ask to form a government, when neither of the most powerful and well-publicised parties should be allowed to?


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The Tories are lying about asylum-seekers with an old trick

Symbol of hate: the Tory government doesn’t want any asylum-seekers to stay in the UK, so ministers are coming up with bizarre and cruel excuses to get rid of them. Bibby Stockholm – the cramped, firetrap, disease-ridden prison barge the Tories hired to house them at great expense – has become the symbol of this cruelty.

Oh look – the Conservative government is cooking the books; lying about the number of people who have arrived in the UK in search of asylum.

According to The Guardian, Stephen Kinnock of the Starmer Party accused the Conservatives of “artificially withdrawing claims” if someone misses an appointment.

“It doesn’t mean they’ve been processed, it just puts people into limbo. Then essentially people are just slipping into the underground economy,” Kinnock said.

More than 6,000 people have been wiped off the list without being fully assessed in just three months, for reasons such as failing to attend interviews or appointments, and not filling in new fast-track questionnaires.

Is this a revival of an old Tory trick – cutting off support with a false claim about the people they are affecting?

We can check this by asking a few questions: Do they even receive notification to attend these interviews? Do any of you remember when the Department for Work and Pensions was cancelling benefit claims by disabled people and those with long-term ilnesses, claiming that they had missed appointments – of which, it later transpired, they had never been informed?

I think the government would need to prove these people had been aware that an appointment had been made and that they needed to attend, before taking any action.

I wonder if anybody will bother to find out.

Then there’s this:

On this, at least, we have a little guidance on what will happen.

According to Bing‘s friendly AI: “The immigration minister, Robert Jenrick, has said that if you decline the accommodation that’s provided, such as a barge, then we will consider removing your asylum support and that individual will ultimately have to fend for themselves.”

What does this mean? “The government begins the process of removing the asylum seeker from the UK. Some are offered money to leave voluntarily.”

So in other words, if people refuse to board a ship that has been condemned as a firetrap by the Fire Brigades Union and has been found to be full of Legionnaire’s Disease, they will be deported – presumably back to France.

We knew that the aim of Tory policy is to clear anybody who seeks asylum in the UK out of this country, no matter what their reason for coming here.

The more we discover about their methods, the lower our opinion of them must fall.


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Message in a bottle begs for help for Manston concentration camp inmates

Message in a bottle: the imagery could not be stronger – these people consider themselves castaways on a hostile island. They are desperate for help but all they have received is cruelty.

The war of words over conditions at the Manston “migrant processing centre” in Kent has intensified after a young girl threw a message in a bottle – begging for help – over the fence.

It was picked up by a PA news agency photographer and may be read in the video clip below (with commentary by Professor Tim Wilson):

The claim that migrants are being kept from talking to journalists seems borne out by this comment from the Mirror:

Witnesses have said they have seen security guards at the site ushering detainees inside when journalists approach the fence.

The young girl reportedly broke past security and ran to the fence to toss the bottle.

At least one government minister has admitted that the Manston camp is not being operated legally – with people detained longer than the 24 hours that the law allows. This tends to confirm the refugee girl’s claim that it is a prison:

Climate minister Graham Stuart admitted that the situation is unacceptable to the people of the UK.

But he insisted on blaming illegal gangs who exploit refugees, rather than admitting that his government has cut off legal routes for them to get into the UK and claim asylum.

And he had nothing to say about the simple fact that people would not want to come to the UK if conditions were safe in their own countries. The Tory government has absolutely no interest in helping to change that situation and stop people from trying to get here.

Sadly, there is a lot of misinformation about the number of asylum applications here. George Eaton on Twitter reckons the number of applications the UK receives are among the lowest in Europe…

… but this is not borne out by the actual numbers. Cyprus has a very low population so despite the high number of applications per 10,000 population, its 30,000+ refugees are not more than the UK’s 57,000+.

Austria has only 38,000+ applicants.

Germany, on the other hand, has a massive 190,000+ applicants – nearly four times as many as the UK.  France has nearly 120,000 – nearly twice as many as the UK.

It is only as a proportion of the population that the number of asylum applications to the UK is among the lowest in Europe.

So there is a large number of applications and we should not let anyone abuse the different between percentages and real numbers to tell us otherwise.

But that does not mean that the asylum seekers themselves should be blamed for their plight.

That is what racist Tories – and their followers among the general population – are trying to tell us and it is a message that must be rejected out-of-hand.

Yes, criminal gangs who exploit refugees for money need to be tackled. But when was the last time you heard a news report saying any of them had been caught? The Tories aren’t doing anything about it at all.

And it is vital that the situation in the refugees’ home countries must be addressed. Again, there’s no interest in that direction from your government.

Persecuting innocent people like the child who sent the message is nothing but racist cruelty. Tim Wilson is right – it is disgusting and brings shame down on us all.

Source: Girl throws message in a bottle over fence of Manston migrant facility begging for help – Mirror Online

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Is this the truth about the Manston concentration camp that Suella Braverman wants to hide?

Take a look at this chilling video report from Sky News:

Suella Braverman has admitted that the system is broken but none of her plans to remedy the situation will work because none of them are about improving conditions in migrants’ home countries so that they have no reason to leave.

This is the result:

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This is the only way to stop people coming to the UK in boats

Suella Braverman: it would have been good to run a picture of her at the Manston Concentration Camp – but she has never even been there.

Suella Braverman – already under fire for breaching confidentiality rules and lying about reporting it promptly – can’t even do her job properly, it seems.

She is responsible for conditions at the Manston Migrant Processing Centre in Kent – a concentration camp for people who have used illegal means to cross the English Channel in order to seek asylum in the United Kingdom.

It seems 4,000 people are living at the camp, which was only intended to house a maximum of 1,600 – and those only for a short time. People are supposed to be there for a maximum of 48 hours but some have already stayed for more than five weeks.

It is a hotbed for disease, with at least eight cases of diphtheria and one of MRSA.

Hundreds of people were moved there from another facility in Dover after that camp was firebombed – allegedly by a man who threw three petrol bombs with fireworks attached then drove to a nearby petrol station and took his own life.

Home Office advice to ministers has been – for some time – that they should book hotel rooms and put asylum seekers there while they are being processed. According to Robert Peston, this has been largely ignored:

And now the pressure is on Braverman. Poetic justice, some might say.

So Shapps did the right thing. But look at the reaction from just one far-right Twitter user:

Obviously it is not illegal to seek asylum in the UK, even if entry was obtained be illegal means.

And immigration is different from asylum-seeking.

But they both have the same root cause, which is that conditions in these people’s home countries are deemed to be so unsafe that they have to try to go somewhere else.

So the answer to the migrant boat problem is not to try to sour the milk by making the UK an unattractive destination; it is to seek better conditions in the new arrivals’ home countries.

This creates all sorts of problems for UK Tory governments because they are often part of the reasons other countries are dangerous for their own populations.

Like many western nations, we manipulate political circumstances all around the world in order to gain economic power. That’s why we have participated in so many wars in the Middle East and Africa; our businesses have financial interests there that disadvantage local people – and enforce their continuation with violence or the threat of it. If that leads to conflict, it seems a price our government is willing to pay.

We destabilise whole regions of the world in order to make a few quid and think nothing of the harm it does to the people living there.

And when they arrive at our door seeking asylum from the conditions our government has caused, we are encouraged to see them as the villains.

It’s not good enough. The UK government is the villain in this situation – more so for encouraging us to try to harm these refugees as the Dover petrol bomber did.

It is only by improving conditions in the countries these people are fleeing that we can reduce the numbers of people coming to the UK – numbers that are still far lower than are arriving in other European countries like Germany.

Then it will be possible to deal with the separate problem of illegal immigration – which I’m sure does exist but is being used as an excuse to attack people who are already victims.

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