Tag Archives: seeker

Did Patel drop her ‘pushbacks’ policy against asylum-seekers – or did it never exist at all?

Patel: did she deliberately mislead members of the House of Lords last autumn and is the Home Office trying to cover up for her now?

This is odd.

The BBC is reporting that Priti Patel has abandoned her plan to turn back migrant boats crossing the English Channel, ahead of a court challenge.

But The Guardian has already told us that this policy never existed at all.

It certainly seems true that the High Court was going to hear a legal challenge by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), and the NGOs Care4Calais, Channel Rescue and Freedom From Torture on May 3.

But it also seems true that the court had already refused the Home Office permission for public interest immunity against publishing the details of its alleged pushback policy – and those details, once brought into the light, showed that there was never any plan to turn back asylum seekers.

The Home Office comment that “there are extremely limited circumstances when you can safely turn boats back in the English Channel” therefore rings true.

But the Graun also said that Patel had assured a House of Lords committee that turning boats full of asylum-seekers away from the UK was “absolutely still policy”, last autumn.

The claim that the policy has only now been dropped has muddied the issue.

So it seems to This Writer that the Home Office needs to publish the policy that was written into the Nationality and Borders Bill at the time she spoke those words, to allow us to establish whether she lied to Parliament then and an attempt is being made to deceive us now.

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Priti Patel accused of lying to parliament that migrant boats will be turned away

Liar: it seems clear that Priti Patel deliberately misled Lords into believing that asylum-seekers caught trying to cross the English Channel would be turned away, and tried to keep the policy stating otherwise secret.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has been accused of deliberately misleading Parliament and the public into believing that her Nationality and Borders Bill includes a plan to turn migrant boats away from the UK.

In fact, previously-unpublished clauses of the Bill explicitly state that pushbacks will not be applied against asylum-seekers.

The details came to light after the pushbacks policy was challenged by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), and the NGOs Care4Calais, Channel Rescue and Freedom From Torture.

The Home Office had applied to the High Court for public interest immunity against publishing the details – a mechanism used over sensitive issues such as organised crime, terrorism or national security. But judges said disclosure did not “give rise to a real risk of serious harm to the public interest”.

Patel gave evidence to the House of Lords’ justice and home affairs committee last autumn in which she said turning boats full of asylum-seekers away from the UK was “absolutely still policy”.

Now it has been revealed that a key part of the previously-unpublished policy states that anyone in a dinghy who indicates they wish to claim asylum in the UK should not be pushed back but instead escorted to UK shores. Almost everyone who uses this method to reach the UK is an asylum seeker according to the Home Office’s own data.

So she lied to Parliament.

Correct me if I’m mistaken, but isn’t there currently a huge row over whether Boris Johnson should be ejected from his job as a member of the government because he’s believed to have deliberately lied to Parliament?

So, shouldn’t Patel also face the same penalty?

In fact, it seems to This Writer that she should be summarily ejected; this is an open-and-shut case.

Source: Priti Patel accused of misleading parliament over refugee pushbacks

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Unrepentant, racist Johnson refuses to retract criticism of the Church over Rwanda

Justin Welby: the Archbishop is right and Boris Johnson is wrong – and racist.

If anything shows that Boris Johnson couldn’t care less about being fined for attending lockdown-busting parties, or his dishonesty to Parliament about it, it is this.

Instead of repeating his apology to each and every Conservative MP in a meeting on Tuesday evening, he instead opted to rally support by singling out an enemy for them to hate together: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Church of England.

His reason for whipping up this animosity?  Senior clergy had been “less vociferous” in their condemnation of Vladimir Putin than of plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Johnson’s claim is not true; both Mr Welby and the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, have denounced the invasion of Ukraine as “an act of great evil” and have called for Russian troops to withdraw.

But it seems Johnson is upset because his racist plan to send people to Rwanda if they arrive in the UK illegally has been opposed by the Church’s leaders on moral and ethical grounds.

In Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Johnson said he had been surprised that the Church’s top clergy had opposed what he described as a plan to  “end the deaths at sea in the Channel as a result of cruel criminal gangs”.

But he has not explained how a plan to deport people who have arrived in the UK will stop deaths, at sea, of people who have not got here yet.

The plan to resettle migrants in the African dictatorship of Rwanda is riddled with serious issues to do with race and human rights, as described in this Vox Political article.

Johnson’s claim to be trying to stop Channel deaths is an attempt to gloss over the drawbacks in his policy – along with, indeed, his own racism.

Both he and his racist Home Secretary Priti Patel simply don’t want Johnny and Janey Foreigner taking asylum – which is legally theirs – in the UK. He’s upset with Welby and Cottrell for highlighting his shortcomings.

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Patel strikes again: asylum seekers to be deported to African dictatorship

Justifying the unacceptable: as always, Priti Patel has shown herself to be callous, immoral and possibly homicidal.

Priti Patel has announced a “cruel and inhumane” deal to transport asylum seekers crossing the English Channel to Rwanda – a country where her own government has expressed concern about “extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture”.

Patel praised the record of the east African country on human rights. It was the site of the genocide of 800,000 people, exactly 28 years ago in 1994, in which members of the minority Tutsi group were murdered by the majority Hutus.

The genocide was carried out with shocking efficiency. Lists of Hutu government opponents were handed out to militias who killed them, along with all of their families. ID cards bored details of people’s ethnic group, so militias set up roadblocks where Tutsis were slaughtered. Thousands of Tutsi women were forced to become sex slaves.

The slaughter ended after 100 days, when the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front when a military victory against the Hutu government. The country is currently a dictatorship run by the RPF.

Critics of current president Paul Kagame have been murdered – or suffered assassination attempts – and concerns have been raised about the conviction on terrorism charges of Paul Rusesabagina, subject of Hollywood film Hotel Rwanda about his role saving more than 1,000 people during the genocide.

Only last year, the UK government – of which Priti Patel is Home Secretary – expressed serious concerns to the United Nations over “continued restrictions to civil and political rights and media freedom” in Rwanda, and called for independent investigations into those “allegations of extrajudicial killings, deaths in custody, enforced disappearances and torture”.

And now Patel wants to send vulnerable refugees, who may have been victims of atrocity and torture, to this country. Perhaps she considers Rwanda’s record to be mild in comparison with her own views on what should happen to asylum-seekers.

It is – and always has been – a bizarre pose from the daughter of economic migrants from Uganda (originally of Indian origin). If she thinks the current wave of asylum seekers should not be allowed to stay in the UK, why haven’t she and all her family packed themselves off back to Uganda?

And is this really about solving the UK’s illegal immigration problem – or about saving ‘Big Dog’ Boris Johnson’s bacon?

He has been named by the Metropolitan Police as a criminal for attending illegal parties in Downing Street during Covid-19 lockdown.

According to the Telegraph, he’s facing a second fine over former communication chief Lee Cain’s leaving party, where he is understood to have made a speech and remained in attendance for a considerable amount of time.

The knock-on effect is that he has lied to Parliament – an offence for which there is only one penalty: He must resign as prime minister.

But the overprivileged, entitled criminal and liar doesn’t want to go, so it seems he is looking for a way to distract us from his crimes.

So suddenly he’s on our TV’s appealing to NIMBYs (people who say Not In My Back Yard to particular events or plans) across the UK to support what he called a “shared humanitarian impulse” with a nation whose human rights record is, let’s be honest – terrifying.

This Writer hopes it’s a grave miscalculation.

People don’t want to be overcome by waves of refugees seeking to settle in the UK in response to the foreign adventures of Tory (and other) governments who have merrily bombed their own countries into rubble, but there is an obvious answer to that: stop bombing their countries.

The excuse that asylum seekers are encouraging and enriching people smugglers is a lie. In fact, Johnson’s government – and especially Patel herself – is encouraging people smugglers by closing off all legal routes into the UK.

He says they should only take such legal routes, but that is impossible when they don’t exist!

So I hope the people of the UK see through this transparent attempt to whitewash a dirty, corrupt politician by scapegoating people who only want to be able to live in peace, in a peaceful country.

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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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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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#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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#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.

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Did refugees who died in Channel include Afghan soldier endangered by UK withdrawal?

Not ‘migrants’ – ‘refugees’, ‘asylum-seekers’ or simply people: and the boat pictured here is much sturdier than the one in which 31 people have died.

Now the Tory government is twice damned over the deaths of 31 refugees while they were trying to cross the Channel to the UK.

It seems one of the people in the boat that sank was an Afghan soldier who had worked with Armed Forces from the UK.

It has been revealed that UK authorities left behind a wealth of information, including the identities of Afghan nationals who worked with them, when they scuttled off like rabbits for the planes out of that country.

Afterwards, it seems, no help has been provided to those people, despite the evidence that their lives are in danger as a result of UK government bungling.

So it’s no wonder if one family had tried to make their own way out to seek asylum – rightly, of course – in the country they had helped:

Sadly, that family ran into the wall of exclusion that has been put up by the same Tory government that had endangered them. Court action has been launched against the Tories over that policy, but too late for these people:

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary whose policy is the basis for the court action, has dutifully expressed her sorrow at the loss of lives, and done… nothing else. This casts doubt upon her sincerity:

And she’s not the only one:

(Labour’s Keir Starmer attacked the Tories, only last week, for failing to block all refugees from getting onto UK shores.)

Of course the Tories and their client journalists are closing ranks. The cover story is that refugees are not safe because they are resorting to people traffickers to smuggle them into the UK, and these criminals are putting them on craft that are deathtraps:

Fine words from Natalie Elphicke, who herself was caught trying to pervert the course of justice by influencing legal proceedings against her husband Charlie. Her punishment was one day’s suspension from Parliament, which is an odd penalty for a criminal offence.

Ms Elphicke was also found to be one of the MPs who have a second job – at the height of the corruption scandal over these forms of employment – and to be a hypocrite who said Marcus Rashford should concentrate on his day job (football) rather than campaign for school children to have decent meals during the Covid pandemic.

In her comments she also ignored the fact that all the legal routes into the UK have been closed by her colleague in the Home Office. And there’s also this:

So the Tory government had closed legal routes into the UK, but if someone manages to get here by other means and then claim asylum, that claim is legal.

Enter Tory journalist Quentin Letts to trot out the lie that these people come to the UK with “expectations” that they can get benefits here, that they can get a job here, and that the UK is “a soft touch”. When he appeared on Good Morning Britain with that nonsense he got short shrift:

Bringing this back to the Afghan soldier who was said to be in the boat: if the claim is true, he wasn’t coming because he thought the UK was “a soft touch”; he was coming because he had been endangered by the UK government – the Tories who are now so desperately trying to justify themselves with lies about criminals and benefits.

Lies told by killers – whether overt or inadvertent. The refugees and asylum-seekers are the innocent and blameless.

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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Tragedy in the Channel as 31 PEOPLE die. The real refugee crisis is these deaths


Public figures including Priti Patel and Boris Johnson have rushed to mouth condolences after 31 people, including five women and a girl, died in the English Channel while trying to reach the UK.

It’s sickening hypocrisy from the government that has done its best to ensure that people are more likely to drown than reach our shores.

And what happens if we find evidence that Patel’s Home Office policies contributed to the deaths?

Remember: Patel’s Nationality and Borders Bill proposes that anyone arriving in the UK by an illegal route, such as by a small boat across the Channel, could have their claim ruled as inadmissible, receive a jail sentence of up to four years, have no recourse to public funds, and could have their family members barred from joining them, in breach of the UN refugee convention and the European Convention on Human Rights.

It states that refugees should use safe legal routes – but there are no such routes.

Clause 38 of the Bill potentially criminalises rescuers of asylum seekers if they are deemed to be “facilitating” their arrival in the UK. It has already set Patel at odds with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which has a Royal Charter to rescue anybody facing drowning within UK territorial waters – no matter what their legal status may be.

The Home Office has said the Bill is intended to target “ruthless people smugglers” and organisations like the RNLI – and individuals – would be allowed to continue humanitarian rescue work – but mere assertion doesn’t cut any ice. If so, why amend the law to criminalise all rescues?

Now consider the rhetoric coming from the Tories after today’s tragedy – the biggest single loss of life in the Channel since the International Organisation for Migration started collecting data in 2014.

Boris Johnson said the UK would leave “no stone unturned” to stop human trafficking gangs.

He was trying to justify the unreasonable and potentially fatal policy in his government’s Bill.

As for Priti Patel: It turns out she was told back in November 2019 that her policies were causing asylum-seekers to use more dangerous routes into the UK:

“A policy that focuses exclusively on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes, and push them into the hands of criminal groups,” the report said.

She wasn’t interested then – possibly because the report’s advice was to provide more legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK, and to address their reasons for wanting to leave their own lands. She is keen to continue ensuring there are no legal routes.

So Tory policy is to ensure that refugees/asylum seekers have no choice but to use illegal means to arrive in the UK – even if it means they may drown.

They have stoked hatred against these people – who may be fleeing the effects of warfare in their own countries, either caused directly by Western governments like the UK’s Tory administration, or using weapons sold to the combatants by those governments.

And they have falsely claimed there is a refugee crisis in the UK, with the number of refugees spiralling out of control.

Take a look at the graph below. Does it look like the UK has a serious crisis to you?

Oh, and Keir Starmer and his Labour racists aren’t blameless either.

Only last week, Starmer accused the government of failing to do enough to stop crossings: “The home secretary repeatedly says in strong language what she is going to do about the immediate problem and delivers absolutely nothing,” he said.

But it isn’t Starmer’s opponents’ territory; it’s his own because he is as racist as Patel and Johnson.

Given his comments, he should not be allowed to claim any moral high ground if Tory government policy is indeed found to have contributed to this tragedy.

The solution is to open up legal routes into the UK and treat people using them as human beings who deserve to have their reasons for coming here judged fairly. It always was.

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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