2007 - 2021

Priti Patel Must Be Sacked


British politics is bewildering, and slightly terrifying. Here we are ruled by a government we didn’t elect that includes individuals such as the Home Secretary Priti Patel who has presided over a toxic and racist immigration policy and cultivated an atmosphere of hate. This disastrous and inhuman set of policies has now culminated in the deaths of 27 people, including a pregnant woman and three children yesterday. The tragic incident has not unleashed a wave of remorse and a u-turn in policy from the British government but a doubling-down in the toxic rhetoric that spews from the Home Office and the far-right of the Tory party and its media outriders.

To be very clear this is a refugee crisis not an immigration crisis.

As Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing, a refugee and migrant homelessness and human rights charity said:

“Letting refugees drown is not asylum policy, it’s tantamount to collateral murder by governments that should know by heart the lessons of the Second World War. The responsibility for these deaths lies with Europe and the U.K. who have abjectly failed to create safe corridors for the sliver of a fraction of the world’s refugees who risk their lives on dangerous journeys to arrive on our shores. Instead of finding a humanitarian answer, they have stopped rescue missions and sounded dog whistles to the far right. The more that governments try to stop refugees arriving, the more they fuel the human trafficking trade, and the more refugees who will risk death by drowning in order to take a chance at fleeing persecution, in order to reach family already here and saving loved ones back home. Stopping refugees from reaching the U.K. goes against the Geneva convention on refugees. They have a basic human right to seek safe sanctuary here.”

Instead we have a totally toxic media narrative about refugees cultivated by our own Home Secretary. Refugees do not have to seek asylum in the first “safe haven” they enter. There is no requirement for that in the Geneva Convention on Refugees to which the UK is a signatory. The reality is that she ended safe routes for refugees. She consistently demonises them. Just last month she said most people arriving here were “not genuine asylum seekers”.

That was a complete lie as this report from the Refugee Council points out:

91% of people came from just ten countries where human rights abuses and persecution are common. These include Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and Yemen.

According to the Home Office 98% of people coming across the Channel apply for asylum. The report sets out the likely outcome of their asylum claims, based on what is known as the grant rate, meaning that people will be able to remain in the UK. It shows that the majority of people crossing the Channel are likely to be recognised as being in need of protection at initial decision stage.

While the Home Secretary lies about the problem she has created myths of British exceptionalism take the place of humanity and decency. One myth is that Britain is a generous and enticing place which hands out great benefits and is a welcome shelter for so many (reality here).

In reality if you look at the refugee issue globally, UK’s contribution barely registers. Many of these countries are much smaller than UK, all are poorer. The truth is that far more asylum-seekers make their applications in France, Germany and Spain, and have them granted, than in the UK. The UK processed 29,456 new asylum applications last year, down from 35,737 the year before and a peak of around 84,000 in 2002. Rounded to the nearest thousand, the 2020 figures for France, Germany and Spain are 82,000, 102,000 and 86,000 respectively.

 

 

Instead of facing the crisis, the refugee crisis is being weaponised by Patel, Farage and the Brexiteers to push through increasingly authoritarian practices and to blame the French.

As Bella Sankey, the Director of Detention Action put it many in the media and the Government treats this as a political game:

“Rest in perfect peace all you souls who have perished in the Channel today. Just think of all the people hearing news of their loved ones tonight and dealing with that horrifying, excruciating first punch of grief. It is hideous that in 2021, the UK Government, with all its money and power, is content to sit by and allow the tiny strip of water that surrounds our island be turned into mass grave. Boris Johnson & Priti Patel could end this sociopathic farce tomorrow. But they won’t. They will bang on about the French and the people smugglers. The only reason the people smugglers exist is because the UK operates a border on the French coast where people are prohibited from claiming asylum. We have created this problem and we could end it tomorrow with a safe corridor or a humanitarian visa. as funded an escalation of this crisis. Millions of pounds spent which leads to riskier journeys and so more & more children die. It’s grotesque. Civil servants have warned our Home Secretary is a ‘moron’. She’s a national embarrassment and should resign immediately. Refugees in the UK tonight will be triggered and traumatised. Those of us who work with refugees are at breaking point. The Government treats this as a political game. It’s not. If they were serious about stopping child deaths they would speak to us about how to end this. They don’t. They vilify us and anyone who supports refugees. They are the ones gaming the system for their own political ends. It’s self-serving, xenophobic, authoritarianism. It’s terrifying and it should not be normalised.”

Sankey is quite right. We must demand that the Prime Minister immediately sacks Priti Patel as Home Secretary for her culpability in this tragedy.

 

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Comments (15)

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    When you read some of the comments on MSN you could believe that if the Tories went down the death camp route they’d maybe have to settle for a hung parliament at the next election. The comments really are that bad.

  2. Stevie says:

    Patel is atrocious even by Tory standards

  3. Hugh Hunter says:

    I hate to say this, but I’m reminded of Nazi Germany before the war struck out. The breeding of hatred towards imigrants, is a trademark of the Tory elite today. Evil beyond comprehension. Not a humane bone in any of them, and the disgrace in post as the Home Secretary today should know better, being in this country by the good fortune of her own immigrant family.

  4. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Of course Johnson will not sack Patel. His own jaikit is on a shoogly peg and, in the past he has not been able to sack anyone. In any case the ‘furore’ about asylum seekers has enabled the Tories to deploy the Brexit ‘controlling our borders’ trope, and the media have amplified this. And, the latest opinion poll shows that after two polls of Labour with a wafer thin lead, the Tories are once more in the lead by 3%.

  5. H. Neary says:

    Er, we took back control of our borders to:

    1. Increase asylum seeker numbers
    2. Pass the job over to France
    3. Drown foreigners

    Answers on a postcard………………………………… 🙂

    Granted Patel isn’t in the same league as Bozo, but someone had to vote for an MP who’s skillset seems more suited to that of a bouncer in a back street grogshop.

    Someone should set up a help group to steer her electorate toward normality methinks.

  6. Derek says:

    I emailed this to a friend earlier on.

    “I’ve been smelling rats in the news all day. Why are all these right-wing bastards wringing their hands over some drowned refugees? They’re ideological fellow-travellers of Katie Hopkins, who referred to asylum-seekers as “cockroaches”. Peppa Pig’s been awfy quiet, too; I think he’s doing a Brer Fox and lying low for a bit. None of them seem to realise that if we stopped bombing and shelling the crap out of their countries then they wouldn’t have to leave to seek a new life outside a warzone. Army modernisation announcements, too. So much for COP26… ”

    What’s going on that they’re trying to deflect from? Ireland? I haven’t noticed it yet.

  7. SleepingDog says:

    Why not deport Patel to Israel, the country she committed de facto treason with? If the UK had reasonable treason laws, of course, it would be de jure treason and a default option.

  8. Douglas Hepburn says:

    I don’t think Pretty Useless should be sacked, I think she should be arrested prosecuted and jailed. Even by the low standards that is Toryism she is quite exceptional – and not in a good way. Pandering to the most base levels of right wing hate, racism and xenophobia, she is inexcusably evil. Anyone unsure of why we so desperately need get our Independence and remove the millstone that is England from our necks need look no further.

  9. Wul says:

    How would this work if there were a land bridge between France and East Anglia? Would our government lay a minefield perhaps, only processing asylum applications from people lucky enough to cross without being blown to bits?

    I nearly vomited the other day (before this latest mass drowning) when I heard Patel warming up her new “Turn Back the Boats!” catchphrase.

  10. Bubbles says:

    Hatred is actually coming thro in all of this rant from Mike Small. And commentators.

    And no one actually ever with all their mighty words and nasty criticisms of MPs tries to formulate a solution on paper that would convince the government and the British people how to tackle this humanely. We are hearing nothing valid from the opposition parties.

    Instead of aiming hatred at individual politicians please put forward a proposal that makes sense otherwise you are just hot air!

    1. Wul says:

      @Bubbles:

      Proposal:
      Let refugees come to the UK safely. Let there be a safe zone, on the EU continent, which is under UK administration, where refugees wishing to come to the UK can apply for asylum and quickly receive an outcome. Let these people be welcomed and treated humanely.

      Anyone who can get together the cash to leave their country and travel thousands of miles to safety is likely to be a very resourceful and useful citizen. Let us encourage them here. If England doesn’t want them, send them to Scotland.

      Let us spend a greater percentage of our countries wealth on our public infrastructure, so that the influx of thousands of new people does not put a strain on our (currently underfunded) public health and education infrastructure. Let us create a well-funded and well-paid National Re-settlement Programme for new UK citizens. Let former refugees work in this service.

      Let us stop interfering in the affairs of foreign countries and stop de-stabilising them in order to ensure a ready supply of fossil fuels (that are killing us). Let us not bomb these countries and make their people hate us.

      ….I could go on for several pages. It’s all so obvious. It just takes a change of heart. People in need are never the problem.

      1. Bubbles says:

        Some good points but you rather overstate the obvious.
        Most of it is naive in the extreme.
        But thank you for trying .

        1. Wul says:

          Yeah, it’s “naive”.

          To change the way you look at other people from “Immigrant Problem” to “Fellow Human Being in Need”.

          It’s you that’s naive pal. It is you that is not being “realistic”.

          Here’s a simple way to analyse these “complex” “problems”. If it was your son or mother fleeing from danger and hoping to start a new life in a safer place, would you open your door to them?

  11. Meg says:

    I walked from the shelter of the car to the Tesco store.achingly cold in the few steps…snow wind storm…I thought of the people huddled on a boat in the open..the children crying and sea sick..the cold reaching into their bones…we have come to crisis point
    Subjects of an elite system with hearts made of stone counting it’s coffers of gold reserves and enjoying great profit from creating chaos and fear.

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