Tag Archives: refugee

Government votes down calls to change asylum and immigration reforms

Border Force: the government wants refugees picked up by these officials to be sent to a phenomenally expensive purpose-built site on Ascension Island. Lunacy.

The Conservative government has voted to support extremely expensive changes to the immigration and asylum system, in spite of objections from its own party.

Tory Andrew Mitchell said plans for an offshore processing system for asylum seekers – on Ascension Island, after bids to put one in Ghana, Rwanda, Albania and Denmark were all refused – were ridiculous.

He questioned how much such a policy would cost: “Judged by the costs of Australian offshoring the British taxpayer would face unprecedented costs per asylum seeker. It would be much cheaper to put each one in the The Ritz and send all the under-18s to Eton.”

David Davis previously described such a move as creating “a British Guantanamo Bay”.

Lords had removed the measure from the Nationality and Borders Bill last month, but MPs voted by 302 votes to 232, majority 70, to disagree with the Lords and put it back in.

A Lords amendment which sought to guarantee the UK takes in at least 10,000 refugees a year, which was rejected by 313 votes to 227 – a majority of 86 votes.

An attempt by peers to cut the time asylum seekers have to wait before they can work from 12 to six months was rejected by MPs by 291 votes to 232 – a majority of 59 votes – but the government did offer to meet concerned Tory MPs to discuss the issue further.

The legislation will now return to the Lords for peers to examine again in what is known as ‘parliamentary ping-pong’.

Source: Government sees off calls from some Tories to change asylum and immigrations reforms

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Tory Braverman slammed over immigration, Lebedev and Abramovich

Suella Braverman: another cringeworthy performance.

UK Attorney General Suella Braverman took a pummelling from the public and other panellists on the BBC’s Question Time over the Conservative government’s contradictory attitudes.

The Tories claim to want Ukrainian refugees while making it hard for them to enter the country, and claim to be sanctioning Russian oligarchs while actually giving them all the help they could want to keep their assets from being frozen or removed.

Braverman argued in favour of the heavy number of checks on refugees – but with half of those seeking entrance to the UK being children, does her claim that they are needed to prevent terrorist attacks really ring true?

Labour’s Wes Streeting pointed out what we all know about Boris Johnson’s relationship with now-Lord Lebedev – that the prime minister ignored advice from the security services that they were unhappy with his nomination to the House of Lords and put him there anyway. Challenged to refute the claim, Braverman evaded the issue.

And Streeting also pointed out that sanctions against Russian oligarchs in the UK act so slowly that Roman Abramovich was able to remove all his assets before they bit.

As even former Torygraph editor Max Hastings said, “The Conservative Party’s relationship with Russian oligarchs is a badge of shame for this country.”

See for yourself:

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Inside the Facebook groups where desperate Ukrainians are searching for spare rooms | JOE.co.uk

I told you this was happening and here’s the proof:

New Facebook groups have emerged that serve as platforms for Ukrainian refugees and British hosts to make their ‘match’. In emotional posts, Ukrainians share the horror they have endured over the last three weeks.

As well as sharing details of traumas they have already suffered, Ukrainians are pointing out the qualities that make them good house guests. Examples include being “sociable”, “tidy”, “hardworking” or even “clean” and maintaining a “healthy lifestyle”.  Hobbies like cooking and baking are highlighted, with some offering to do housework, washing, gardening and nannying “just for joy”.

UK residents who are found to be fit to host will be given £350 each month to do so, and will be required to keep refugees for a minimum of six months. Many are offering their home for as long as is needed.

Social media groups do appear to be matching people quickly.

There are concerns that this is demeaning.

But there are also concerns that vulnerable people would otherwise struggle to access the Tory government’s Homes For Ukraine scheme because it demands that UK sponsors know their names.

And even with the help of these Facebook pages, there are worries that those who might not speak English, who have significant mental health issues, who are physically unwell, or who might not have any access to social media won’t be helped.

Does anyone have any idea how to help them?

Source: Inside the Facebook groups where desperate Ukrainians are searching for spare rooms | JOE.co.uk

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Gove slams criticism of ‘ungenerous’ scheme that only helps refugees IF YOU KNOW THEIR NAME

Michael Gove: This Site has better pictures but the Spitting Image dummy’s cheeks look like what he was talking in the House of Commons.

Housing and Communities Secretary Michael Gove had a rather spectacular meltdown in the House of Commons when he attacked critics of the government’s new Homes for Ukraine scheme.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

This Writer recalls there were a few allegations about him flirting with a certain white powder a while ago. Based on this performance, one has to question whether the claim was accurate.

He banged on the Dispatch Box, he strutted up and down the Chamber, he wagged his fingers around in aimless gestures, and as for his language… “Chuck it?” Really?

Let’s have a look at that “ungenerous” claim.

Under the new scheme, people who wish to offer a rent-free space in their home or a separate residence, for at least six months, can register their interest online.

Each household housing a refugee will be offered £350 a month, tax-free. They will not be expected to provide food and living expenses but can choose to offer this.

But they can only sponsor a Ukrainian national to receive an entry visa into the UK if they already know the individual by name.

Bearing in mind that 43,800 people signed up for the scheme in its first five hours, I wonder whether they all have that kind of connection with people from the eastern European country.

Time will tell but people are already having their say about Gove’s outburst – and it hasn’t been complimentary:

(Gove was probably referring to a claim that the “hostile environment” policy was made possible because a Labour Home Secretary (Alan Johnson?) authorised the destruction of many documents proving that people of the so-called Windrush Generation (for example) had a right of residence in the UK. The documents were destroyed during the term of his successor, Theresa May, though.

May went on to coin the term in a 2012 speech: “The aim is to create, here in Britain, a really hostile environment for illegal immigrants.” So it is her policy – Conservative policy.

The last point is very good: the accusations aren’t that the UK isn’t generous but that the Conservative government running it isn’t.

The UK’s citizens didn’t create the conditions under which Windrush people were thrown out, and they didn’t create the conditions in which Ukrainian refugees are being refused entry.

A Tory government is – one that contained Michael Gove in some capacity.

He’s got a lot of cheek, coming out with that.

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PMQs: Boris Johnson suffers meltdown over Ukrainian refugees

Meltdown: Boris Johnson lost his thread, his reason, and possibly his mind trying to defend his government’s execrable record on admitting Ukrainian refugees. The reason is clear: he’s trying to obstruct them as much as possible, but he can’t be seen to be doing so.

Boris Johnson’s appalling record of turning away hundreds of refugees from the UK – because they didn’t have the right paperwork – led to him suffering an apparent meltdown during Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament.

We all know the situation, and I can illustrate it with a few tweets:

So the UK demands a mountain of paperwork – somebody was asked for a utility bill; who thinks to bring one of those along when they’re running for their life? – and turns people away in any case.

Reading from a file (!) Johnson tried to say this wasn’t true – but his claim about visa centres being open across eastern Europe rang false after the BBC had revealed a “pop-up” centre for Calais – discussed in Parliament yesterday (March 8) had failed to appear today.

His speech fell into hesitation and incoherence partway through. He managed to pull himself together enough to deliver a rehearsed line about the importance of checks – but was almost immediately contradicted by another questioner:

“When will refugees from the Ukraine be welcome in the United Kingdom?”

I think we all know the answer to that, under Johnson’s government:

When they no longer want to come here.

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Did #PritiPatel really want to attack asylum seekers with #sonic weapons?

Labour left-winger Diane Abbott has been attacked by the Tories and their client media – including the Express – for claiming that Priti Patel wants to use “sonic booms” against asylum seekers as they cross the English Channel in small, flimsy boats.

But was she wrong?

Here’s what Ms Abbott wrote:

The Express admitted,

Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD) are already installed on two Border Force vessels but are used to issue voice commands, the Home Office said.

However, Downing Street policy experts called for them to be used as sound cannons that emit loud, high-frequency noise powerful enough to induce vomiting.

So there was evidence to support what she was saying. Apparently these sound cannons can induce ear damage so bad that people could go permanently deaf.

But while Downing Street may have been all in favour of deafening people including refugees from Afghanistan who were abandoned in the UK’s withdrawal from that country last year, the Home Office denied that any such plan was being considered…

… after Ms Abbott made her claim.

Are you convinced by that?

Whatever the truth of the matter, the good news is that the Tory government cannot, now, use LRADs aboard Border Force ships in the way Ms Abbott described, without causing severe reputational harm to the Home Secretary and her department.

Refugees seeking asylum in the UK can take comfort from that – if from little else.

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#OperationRedMeat: How destroying the UK’s institutions may save #BorisJohnson

Operation Red Meat won’t help you or anybody you know. Its only purpose is to save Boris Johnson’s career by destroying much-loved UK institutions and making promises that, let’s face it, our lying prime minister won’t keep.

Boris Johnson is pandering to the worst demands of his backbenchers in a desperate bid to stop them booting him out of 10 Downing Street, it seems.

He has apparently drawn up a list of extreme actions that he hopes will persuade his Parliamentary party not to challenge his leadership.

They include:

  • Promising to end the BBC licence fee, putting the existence of the UK’s beloved public service broadcaster in jeopardy.
  • Announcing plans to tackle the backlog of operations in the NHS that has arisen because of his party’s failure to fund and staff the public health provider properly.
  • Lifting Covid-19 health protection measures (otherwise known as restrictions) on January 26, whether it is safe to do so or not.
  • Ordering the military into the English Channel to stop foreign nationals from crossing to the UK.
  • Forcing the 1.5 million people who are out of work and on Universal Credit into government-funded skills and job training (but not creating actual work for them).
  • Publishing Michael Gove’s “Levelling-Up” White Paper, that aims to improve neglected towns in northern England. So far, so-called “levelling-up” money is notable for having been used to improve a Tory aristocrat’s driveway, costing the public £300,000.
  • And announcing a workplace booze ban to end the drinking culture in what has been called “Club Downing Street”.

If any of that sounds good to you, it shouldn’t.

The BBC remains the best creator and broadcaster of TV and radio in the world – because it is funded by licence fee and does not have to pander to shareholders, advertisers or even ratings. This means programming for minority interests is not only possible, but encouraged. Johnson’s plan will make it the same as every other broadcaster – if it survives. Culture secretary Nadine Dorries has leapt at the opportunity to kill off this huge national asset, like the raving dunderhead she is.

How will Johnson tackle the backlog of operations that his own idiocy has run up? He’ll probably farm it out to private companies, funnelling even more of our money into shareholders’ pockets. If previous records are any yardstick, many of the operations will be botched and NHS surgeons will have to repair the damage.

Johnson’s attitude to Covid-19 has been wrong throughout the crisis. Here he is being influenced by his backbenchers who don’t care about public health but do want the proles to get back to work, making money for them and their doners. If he lifts the measures that protect us too soon – again – he will pitch us back into crisis.

What will happen when the Royal Navy – intentionally or otherwise – sinks a boat full of refugees? How will Johnson respond to the international incident he will have created?

Funding skills and work training may seem a good idea, but there is no guarantee that this training will be of any use at all; based on Johnson’s criteria for handing out Covid-19-related funding, it seems likely that it will be a tick-box exercise for hastily-created firms founded by friends of Conservative MPs to take more money from the public purse.

The failings of “Levelling-Up” are already well-documented, and publishing a White Paper is not the same as putting the right money in the right places. In fact, experience of Johnson suggests the exact opposite will happen.

And announcing a booze ban isn’t the same as stopping the drinking culture in Downing Street. Far from it. Johnson is a liar. He’s most likely to tell us he has done something, and then carry on partying as though no scandal happened at all. What do his MPs think the public will do, when we find out that he has let us down again?

The whole strategy – if it can really be dignified with such a description – is being called “Operation Red Meat”. One questions how Johnson arrived at the title.

Is it because he intends to rip the best parts of the UK – its finest institutions – into bloody shreds and then feed them to his toadies?

We can all foresee the harm Johnson is planning. Here’s just one comment on his plan to destroy the BBC:

And then, of course, there’s this:

Worst of all is: You won’t have any say in whether this happens or not.

The decision will be left with Conservative MPs – and we all know that their first priority has never been the good of the nation; they will do whatever they think will enrich themselves in the extreme short term.

You’ll get your chance to vote them out in 2024. If these plans – including the Police, NHS privatisation and anti-refugee Bills – have been enacted by then, it will be too late to save the institutions that have made Britain great.

And the alternative, of course, will be an extreme right-wing organisation masquerading under the name of the Labour Party, whose policy platform will bear no resemblance at all to traditional Labour philosophy.

In other words – and purely for your information: Boris Johnson is trying to use this threat to his leadership as a way of screwing you even harder than he was doing before.

#BritainFirst v #RNLI: whose side are you on?

Not backing down: donations to the RNLI increased by 2,000 per cent in a day after Nigel Farage tried to stop them rescuing refugees. It would be nice if the same happened because of this campaign by far-right bigots.

Britain First? Britain’s Farts, more like!

(And I’m sorry if you feel This Writer has coarsened Vox Political with my choice of language but it is entirely appropriate in the circumstances, I think. They leave a bad smell wherever they go.)

The far-right political organisation has started bombarding the Royal National Lifeboat Institution with thousands of emails purporting to be from “concerned citizens”, trying to get the charity to stop rescuing everybody in danger of drowning in UK coastal waters and instead to concentrate only on “saving British lives”:

This is of course a hate campaign against Johnny and Janey Foreigner, orchestrated by, as it happens, a pitiful gang of old, bald men with a chip on their collective shoulder:

As an old, bald man myself, This Writer is angry that these old farts are giving us all a bad name.

They aren’t concerned citizens – they’re bigots.

Fortunately the RNLI isn’t the sort of group that is ever going to pander to this kind of racially-motivated hatred.

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Hastings lifeboat crew blocked from launching Channel rescue. Will the criminals be punished?

Homicidal hate: Priti Patel has already tried to stop lifeboat crews from rescuing refugees with planned legislation. Now, hate-filled racists are apparently lining up on beaches to make sure that innocent people drown in the Channel.

Hate-filled xenophobes blocked a lifeboat crew from launching to save refugees in danger of drowning in the Channel, it has been confirmed.

Everybody involved in the obstruction is guilty of a criminal offence punishable with an unlimited fine – it has been an explicit crimes since 2006. But will they face justice?

The lifeboat was able to launch, but crews had to call on police to end the obstruction.

The incident came to national attention last week when a caller on James O’Brien’s LBC radio show told him she had witnessed the group blocking the lifeboat, shouting: “don’t bring any more of those home, we’re full up, that’s why we stopped our donations, and that kind of really horrible stuff.” She added: “It was really upsetting, and you could hear the hatred in their voice.”

She said as the “lifeboat crew pulled the boat out and were going to go into the water”, a group of people “stood directly in the line of the boat so the boat couldn’t be put in the water.”

Sussex Police confirmed the incident to LBC:

In a statement, Sussex Police said: “Just after 4pm on Saturday, November 20, police were made aware of reports of a disturbance near to the Hastings RNLI Lifeboat Station.

“A police officer attended the scene while also being supported by colleagues monitoring the situation on CCTV.

“No arrests were made.”

So it seems nobody will be punished for the crime – this time.

But will it embolden others to do the same – or worse?

And what does it say about the United Kingdom, that people here are willing to stand in the way of rescuers in order to ensure that other people drown in the Channel?

The incident has sparked outrage in many people – but not everyone.

Liam Thorp tweeted: “It must take a special level of hate in a person’s heart to try and block a lifeboat from saving people from drowning. This is despicable.”

His views are representative of many.

And Labour MP Nadia Whittome added her support to the RNLI volunteers:

I won’t publish the bile that has emerged from the haters.

The fact that racists feel emboldened to physically try to stop a life-saving rescue from taking place shows just how low the Conservative government has dragged the country.

It shows that everybody in the Tory government, from Boris Johnson to Priti Patel, down to the lowest-level civil servant pushing through her policies of hate, is also a racist who wants innocent people to die.

And it shows that everybody working in the media organisations that promote this hatred is a homicidal racist too.

Is that you?

If so, This Writer would like to know how you justify yourself – and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

How do these people sleep at night, knowing that they have tried to ensure that another person – who has done them no harm at all – will die?

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#PritiPatel’s #pushback: she’s facing strikes at home while losing support abroad

Does Priti Patel think she’s going to beat the backlash against her over refugees… with lies?

That’s the impression This Writer gets from Sajid Javid’s comments on TV:

For clarity, Alex Taylor was playing down Germany’s role in resettling refugees. That country hasn’t just taken in one million people; it’s taken a million every year since 2013, two years before Javid’s record starts.

Just taking it from 2015, that’s seven million people, or 280 times the number the UK took in during the same period.

Javid is one massive liar, isn’t he? And in this case he was doing it for his colleague, who was apparently busy talking to European leaders. Was she lying to them? I think they’d know too!

The language is fascinating if you like psychoanalysis. Patel says she’s talking with European leaders to “prevent further tragedies” in the Channel, without actually saying what she considers to be a tragedy in this instance.

We know that she has a so-called “pushback” policy that, if she goes through with it, will force refugees out of UK waters – to drown elsewhere if their transport is as flimsy as the raft that capsized in the Channel last week.

So she doesn’t consider these people dying to be a tragedy.

She considers the bad publicity attracted to the Conservative government by them dying to be a tragedy.

That’s how it seems to This Writer.

Another analyst’s dream is the tweet quoted below, which Clare Hepworth accurately describes in her response:

“We agreed more co-ordinated action was needed”. To do what?

Patel didn’t say – and that implies that it’s not going to be pleasant for refugees/asylum-seekers. This in turn means it is unlikely to be popular with the public – so she held back the details.

But while she’s off talking with her opposite numbers in Europe – a job that would have been much quicker and easier, by the way, if her boss hadn’t ticked off Emmanuel Macron with his Twit diplomacy – she’s facing court action by the workers she expects to enforce her “pushback” policy:

The PCS union, that represents Border Force staff, has joined Care 4 Calais to demand that Patel publish the legal basis of “pushback” and details of how she expects it to be carried out.

If she refuses, then they will launch judicial review proceedings to establish whether the policy is even legal.

General Secretary Mark Serwotka said, “The ‘pushback’ policy being pursued by the Home Secretary is unlawful, unworkable and above all morally reprehensible. Our border force members are aghast at the thought they will be forced to implement such a cruel and inhumane policy.

“PCS will not rule out all forms of industrial action, including disrupting the implementation of the Pushback policy if the Home Secretary insists on going ahead.”

He also said people trying to reach the UK should be allowed to so via safe routes so that their claims can be assessed here.

And his wish may be granted before his union gets as far as court:

It seems M. Macron was the only major French politician who was still in favour of a treaty known as the Le Touquet Accords, which allows the UK to police its borders at places like the Port of Calais. This makes it easy to turn refugees back before they are able to use the ferry like everybody else.

But BoJob has upset Macron. And with a French Presidential election coming up, and other candidates like Michel Barnier (remember him?) advocating an end to Le Touquet, it seems pretty soon the refugees will have their safe route to the UK after all.

Once they get here, it won’t matter what officials say; they’ll be on UK soil and may legally claim asylum.

That would really mess up Patel’s plan.

The claim that the UK takes more refugees than any other European country is blown already.

Any claim to be trying to be humane to refugees would also be blown.

Her policy would be in tatters.

And everyone who supported her crusade against refugees would be very upset with her.

Take a look at the question below:

It’s based on an old Patel lie – that refugees should settle in the first safe country they can reach.

With all the elements lining up against her, Patel may end up wishing her parents had done just that.

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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