Tag Archives: shift

A teenager DIED on the Channel and racists are revelling in it. Is this how we want the world to see us?

Blameshift: rather than accept the UK’s part in the deaths of asylum-seekers crossing the Channel, Priti Patel tried to blame people smugglers who are unlikely to have been involved. The “UKaid” sign in the background is ironic in this context.

Yes, people in other countries see us as xenophobes and racists.

A Sudanese 16-year-old was apparently trying to cross from France in an inflatable dinghy when he accidentally punctured it with a shovel he was using as an oar.

His body was found on the shore at Calais.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the death of the young migrant was a “brutal reminder” that people smugglers exploit the vulnerable.

But there is no evidence that people smugglers were involved. The Home Office has refused to comment on the death.

Oh, and there’s also this:

Indeed, as Kent Refugee Action Network Pointed out, reports the boy had pushed off in a makeshift boat made it “likely that people smugglers weren’t even involved”.

The organisation demanded that Patel “turn her attention immediately to creating safe and legal routes so that no on else suffers the same fate”.

Fat chance – she’s playing up to the racists.

Apparently they’ve been making jokes about it…

… when they’re not actively attacking people who actually made it across:

The worst of it is that the rest of the world seems to believe that the racists represent the view of the UK’s population as a whole.

Consider what French politician Pierre-Henri Dumont said: “How many more tragedies does it need for the British to find an ounce of humanity?”

While also criticising his own government, he said the problem was that people were not allowed to claim asylum in the UK without actually being in the country. That’s what forces them to risk these dangerous crossings.

Sadly, this was just the latest in a long serious of deaths, as this list by The Guardian makes clear:

A significant number of people have died after being hit by cars in northern France as they made their way on foot to reach beaches or ports along the coast, and others have drowned in the Channel, suffocated in lorries or been hit by trains.

23 October 2019 Thirty-nine Vietnamese men, women and teenagers were found dead in a truck in Essex, England. The trailer had been shipped from the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Purfleet docks.

14 October 2019 A 17-year-old Iraqi Kurd and a 22-year-old man, also Iraqi, were discovered dead on a beach in Le Touquet, northern France.

26 August 2019 The body of Masoud Niknam, 47, was found off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium. He was wearing flippers, two pairs of jeans to protect him from the cold, and a lifejacket made from netting and empty plastic bottles.

9 August 2019 Mitra Mehrad, 31, an Iranian woman, fell from a dinghy off the coast of Kent and her body was found in Dutch waters.

8 March 2019 A 19-year-old Ethiopian boy named Kiyar was found dead in a lorry at Calais, having tried to reach the UK where he had extended family.

18 November 2018 Mahammat Abdullah Moussa, 25, a Chad national, was discovered dead under a bus by French police at the Eurotunnel terminal in Folkestone, Kent.

30 September 2015 Berihu, a 23-year-old man from Eritrea, was run over by a train in the Eurotunnel.

17 September 2015 A Syrian man in his 20s was electrocuted while trying to climb on to a Eurotunnel freight train to England. He was found on the train’s roof after being shocked by overhead power lines near the French entrance.

No doubt that list gives joy to supporters of Ms Patel.

For the rest of us it is a catalogue of shame.

Source: Channel crossings: Body of teenage migrant found on French beach – BBC News

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Cameron would enslave you – that is his ‘compassionate Conservatism’

This dribbling liar wants to abolish your human rights and replace them with an exploiter's charter, designed to make it easy for his friends in business to work you until you drop and pay you a pittance for it. He thinks you're stupid enough to vote for it.

This dribbling liar wants to abolish your human rights and replace them with an exploiter’s charter, designed to make it easy for his friends in business to work you until you drop and pay you a pittance for it. He thinks you’re stupid enough to vote for it. Are you?

It seems certain people are starting to think in some extremely self-defeating ways – opening themselves up to exploitation by our government of millionaires.

Look at this, from a Facebook thread started by a person asking when it became normal for working people to be asked to do 14-hour shifts. He said it seemed that companies were cutting down on staff and doubling everyone’s hours up, because it is cheaper, and voiced the opinion that making anyone work that long is barbaric.

In response, another person wrote: “A job is a job. I’d do anything to get one. Even if it was 14 hours a day… No one wants to hire complainers. There’s plenty of people who would work for pennies.” Worst of all (because it shows a lack of awareness that is staggering: “I’d rather keep my family fed, clothed and warm than worry about me.”

This person clearly did not understand that they were buying into a situation in which employers can reduce pay and increase hours as they please, exploiting workers to the limits of their endurance, because “there’s plenty of people who would work for pennies”. Not only is were they accepting the conditioned helplessness against which this blog warned in early 2012 (Stand up, you slaves! – published in Vox Political: Strong Words and Hard Times, available now in print and as an ebook), but this is exactly the sort of treatment the Human Rights Act, the minimum wage and the European Working Time Directive were set up to prevent.

The Conservative Party would abolish all of them. Only today, David Cameron said Britain needs to scrap the Human Rights Act.

Just think about that. The Prime Minister of the UK wants to remove the human rights of its citizens. If ever there was a reason not to vote Conservative, it’s that.

He’s arguing that abolition is necessary to make it impossible for “people who are a threat to our national security, or who come to Britain and commit serious crimes” to “cite their human rights when they are clearly wholly unconcerned for the human rights of others”.

This is a legitimate concern but it does not require the scrapping of a law that protects people from exploitation in many, many other ways. Besides, concern over this single issue may be addressed by amending the legislation (admittedly not a simple matter as it would involve negotiations with Europe, and this is unpalatable for Conservatives as it suits their purposes for the EU to appear unreasonable).

Do you want the Human Rights Act scrapped?

This would legalise “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” (although not torture itself, which would still rank as an assault offence against a person), including poor working conditions.

It would legalise servitude and forced labour – which would be handy for Conservatives who have been forcing jobseekers into such situations for several years, contrary to article 4 (2) of the European Convention on Human Rights (which the UK Human Rights Act ratifies in British law).

You would lose the right to a fair trial. Coalition plans, under inJustice Minister Chris Grayling, mean you are likely to lose this right anyway, but the UK would be in contravention of the HRA and the European Convention if it puts these plans through and the Act is not repealed.

There is an article regarding retroactivity – nobody may be punished for an act that was not a criminal offence at the time it took place. It is a matter of debate whether this could be used to combat the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Act that was brought in so hastily in March, to retroactively legalise the government’s Workfare/Work Programme schemes (the kind of forced labour that the Act also seeks to prevent). Thousands of people were owed millions of pounds in illegally-removed benefit before the Act was passed. It meant that this money would not have to be paid. Isn’t that punishing somebody for an act that was not criminal when it took place?

You would lose your right to privacy in your family life, home and correspondence. Again, this would be useful for a government that wants to poke around your emails, as Theresa May wants with her snooper’s charter.

You – and I – would lose the right to freedom of expression. We would no longer be allowed to hold opinions, receive and transmit information and ideas, that run against the wishes of the government of the day. This blog would be banned.

(Actually, some of you may think this is a good idea – but do you really want the government to tell you what to think? Do you want people to be imprisoned, or heavily fined, for holding a different opinion?)

You would lose the right to free assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions. So any congregation of a large group of people would be illegal, and groups of workers would lose any legal right to have their collective interests represented in an organised way to management. This opens the door to exploitation in a big way.

The prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status would be lost – meaning, for example, that nobody could object to the so-called ‘racist vans’ that were patrolling London recently, telling Conservative voters that the government was being tough on illegal immigrants.

There are others. It is worth looking up the Act, and the Convention, just to see exactly what protections they provide – and what the Conservatives want to take away from you.

They say they would produce a ‘Bill of Rights’ protecting the freedoms they want to keep. These would naturally include only those rights they believe would not interfere with their plans to render you powerless, with no right of redress against their exploitation of you.

Think about it hard.

Are you really so stupid that you’ll let a proven liar distract you, just because he has honey on his forked tongue (as a far better writer once put it)?

I don’t think you are.