Fast Track 55

I am delighted that a judge yesterday ruled that the Fast Track asylum appeals system is illegal. It is the most appalling abuse, specifically designed to limit the capacity of individuals in life threatening circumstances to properly develop and present their legal case and put it before a judge. The system of putting law-abiding people, often families, into detention harsher than our harshest maximum security prisons, allowed just one hour a day out of a tiny cell for exercise, is a minor inconvenience compared to the fundamental denial of proper right to justice. The recent unjust deportation of Majid Ali was just the latest of a series of fast track cases I have encountered. Nadira has finished the script of a short film about a tragic couple, based on substantial research of true stories of fast track detention, and is developing the production.

Reading online comments on media articles about this judgement, it is extraordinary how many people have forgotten that this dreadfully inhumane fast track scheme was introduced by New Labour, and its parents were Jack Straw, Lord Falconer, and the rest of the callous war criminals.

I agree entirely with the campaigners who state that having rightly ruled fast track illegal because of its denial of justice, to suspend the judgement while the government appeals is entirely illogical, and holds that denial of justice is less important than inconvenience to the executive. Theresa May is sufficiently bloody-minded to go ahead with fast track deportations in the interim. I fear she will even speed them up.

I am on my own fast track at the moment. A week today I have to leave for Ghana, and before I go I have finally to put the finishing touches to Sikunder Burnes and get it to the publisher. So forgive me if I disappear for a bit.

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55 thoughts on “Fast Track

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  • Anon1

    Furthermore Andrew, why do the migrants pass through so many wealthy countries, risking everything, in order to get to the UK?

  • Villager

    Anon, the English language perhaps? Which is fast becoming the international language of the World? Does anybody have a take on why that is the case?

  • Anon1


    In fairness, I believe the original cause of your complaint with Craig was excessive posting about Scotland. Admittedly, Scotland bores us all. There will be no end to it. A permanent small majority in favour of the union and a permanently aggrieved ranting Scotch nationalist minority against, headed by the awful Gnasher and combined with all the tribalism and sectarian difficulties, it’s a fucking grim future indeed.

  • OldMark

    ‘Furthermore Andrew, why do the migrants pass through so many wealthy countries, risking everything, in order to get to the UK?’

    Anon 1- that is the irrefutable point about the Stansted hijacking, which Andrew ignores- it may well be the case that Germany is now more favoured than the UK as an immigration destination, but in the early years of this century the UK was clearly at the top of any asylum shoppers list, which is why the Afghan hijackers in Feb 2000 flew over Germany and the Netherlands before landing at Stansted. And it is in in that context that NuLab (in a largely cosmetic attempt to stem the flow) borrowed the idea of a ‘fast track’ decision making mechanism applicable to ‘high risk’ countries, which they introduced later that year.

  • nevermind

    So what is the right term for secretive, off the record camps on a secluded island were migrants, economic, or other, asylum seekers and refugees are clumped together in a camp for time in memorial, a paid for policed holding pen for humans who dared to pay traffickers to get away from whatever calamity they try and get away from.

    Its not that there isn’t enough strife and disorder around the world, do we really have to add inhumanity to this cauldron?
    And please do not call them detention camps, what could they possibly be detained for but their human existence?

    And I don’t mean Diego Garcia, the crown of inability in the UK’s International foreign debacle league tables.

    These are not criminals as one can meet swooning round west London, enjoying Britain’s libel laws and no questions asked banking facilities, the access to other offshore havens, the lack of accountability due to strategically diminished public services and the neocon leadership.

    These are people who want change, are from oppressed minorities, come from a lifelong of tribal oppression in East Timor and elsewhere, Malaysia, the Philippines etc.

    Abbott might not be as smart as Blair, but he surely is as ruthless.

    Nobody has any rights to the term concentration camps,, just as nobody has any wisdom to part with, because these camps have existed throughout modern history in various forms and with a variety of brutal regime’s.

    I suppose dying of heatstroke, swallowing razor blades, or for being suspected of informing the guards on a island because you can’t get off is sheer bliss compared to the nasty Boer camps, the ideological killing fields of Cambodia, the many other holocausts, oh dear another trademark term, that have happened and from which not a single lesson has been learned.

    Not a single difference between Netanyahu, Abbott or Hitler, please feel free to add your own, best sponsored forcible remover.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    “Concentration camps, gulags… Over-egging it a bit, Nevermind? You do have a strange and if I might say so, rather dark imagination.”


    He most certainly does, Anon1. “Macky” would add “sinister”.

    With a deep longing for violence as well – he occasionally announces his desire to clock me. LOL.

    Essentially more of a Neverhadamind than a Nevermind.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)

    From Fedup:

    “Very true, because in those [concentration camps, gulags]the inmates were allowed to fraternize and work in work parties. The detention camps on the other hand have no such a regimen and inmates are mostly locked up for twenty three hours of the day”.


    So the Nazi and NKVD gaolers made the inmates work out of a concern for their well-being – can’t have them getting physically sawft and fwabby or feeling lonely, can we….

    That was a truly aooalling comment from Fedup.

    I wonder whether he – like his mentor – also posts on neo-Nazi websites?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita e' bella)


    “These are people who want change, are from oppressed minorities, come from a lifelong of tribal oppression in East Timor and elsewhere, Malaysia, the Philippines etc”

    In which case great and unremitting pressure should be applied on those oppressive governments to get them to change their ways.

    Pressure on those third world govts by Western govts (and others).

    One has to address the problem at its roots.

    Wuld you agree with that, Nevermind?

  • Mary

    It is said that Cameron is pally with Blair and that he takes advice on foreign policy from Blair.

    This fits.

    ‘PM urged to pull plug on inquiry into the Iraq war’ – Headline in today’s Independent on Sunday.

    ‘Chilcot report into Iraq war ‘unlikely to be published for another year

    The Chilcot report has taken six years and cost £10m but is “unlikely to be published for another year at least”, according to sources close to the inquiry.

    The Independent on Sunday understands the inquiry is still asking the Cabinet Office to declassify documents, suggesting that the report into the Iraq war is still being written.

    David Cameron is now under pressure to scrap the inquiry. Lord Morris of Aberavon, a Labour former Attorney General, has asked the Prime Minister to assess “the case for discharging the Chairman and members of the Chilcot inquiry, and inviting the Cabinet Secretary to set out a mechanism for an interim report to be produced on the basis of the evidence gathered”.’

    I said at the time that it was a sham, a piece of theatre created to squelch public anger.

  • Mary

    Marr has Lord Sacks coming on later to talk about his new book on religious violence.

    What does Lord Sacks think of the daily attack by Israeli settlers and zealots on the Aqsa mosque?

    What does Lord Sacks think of the IDF thugs shown in this horrifying video beating up a Palestinian man whose crime was to ask for the cessation of tear gas as it was affecting his family’s health?
    13 June 2015


    Phil’s IP address was found in the “Banned IP’s” list and has been removed. WordPress says:

    “When a Visitor comes from any of these IP’s they will be presented with a 404 ‘Page Not Found’ Error Message.”

    There was a previous incident. A moderator clicked “Ban IP …” accidentally. WordPress displayed a confirmation request. The moderator did not confirm but WordPress blocked the IP address anyway. Coincidentally, another moderator noticed the block almost immediately.

    Don’t know what happened this time.

  • Habbabkuk (Mary's Nemesis0

    Mary – as swift as ever with her diversionary posts. Two within the space of 7 minutes, the Original Troll is active this morning! 🙂

  • fedup

    The detention centres are awful, but they can’t be seriously compared to concentration camps, and it devalues the case to say so.

    Craig, we would have to agree to differ on this issue. The notion of defacto “standard of Evil” getting set around WWII era has been for too long; too sacred and unparalleled, for reasons of political expediency. In fact most people are conditioned to forward the conventional wisdoms in an almost knee jerk reaction, without so much as missing a heartbeat in the process in an autonomic reaction.

    Alas Evil has been using this smoke screen to get on with wreaking havoc around the globe on humanity at large. One half of a million Muslims incarcerated in various black prisons/detention camps evidently direct result of the War On Terror scam. The economic/political/desperate would be immigrants/illegal entrants maltreated and kept in almost solitary conditions en mass including children are not considered “Evil enough” because the defacto standards of Evil have been set back in the past and no Evil can equate the super Evil of the past!

    It is time to snap out of the religious fashion dogma and face up to the fact, Evil is Evil regardless of the temporal and locality differences, and fact that those “ultimate Evil constructs” of the WWII ear were no more than a slave camps that provided the “Free Market Operatives” with free labour and no union trouble, is getting lost in the recantations. This fact in the conventional wisdom is never refereed to, although all too often the “forced labour camp” may be mentioned in passing.

    Although most records of the human endeavor have been broken over and again. When Evil is concerned the needle has been on a certain bunch of record holders, regardless of the actuality of the events, and veracity of claims!

  • Mary

    Yes ‘Mary’s NemisisO’ LOL. Try a Pitman’s typing course.

    Two very important subjects were raised.

    The comments went off topic yesterday afternoon btw.

  • nevermind

    Abbott is operating concentration camps, in the absence of any other term.

    I do not except ‘detention camps’, nor do I take note of habbi’s last ditch attempts to discredit posters here, poor muts. Just as the US does in Guantanamo with ‘suspected’ terrorists and the IDF does in Gaza, all slightly different but with the same results, the loss of human rights and regress are palpable on Manus island.

    maybe Habby wants to buy Rambutyo island right next door and start his own private concentration camp away far from the not so interested media. Tea dances guaranteed every afternoon, with the Guv’nor having the first dance…..

  • craig Post author


    Of course humankind is as capable as evil as ever. Stalin and Pol Pot were killers on a comparable scale to Hitler. All that is a truism.

    But the concentration camps killed millions of people, a very large number of them Jewish. Plainly British immigration detention centres cannot be viewed as comparable by any sane person.

  • fedup

    But the concentration camps killed millions of people, a very large number of them Jewish. Plainly British immigration detention centres cannot be viewed as comparable by any sane person.

    There lies the problem, the concentration camps killed millions of communists, homosexuals, union activists, prisoners of war, etc. To attribute the concentration camps as to one single section of the undesirables in the Nazi eyes, only exacerbates the current autonomic reaction to the very notion “ultimate standard of evil”.

    You are suggesting that the current detention camps are not killing the inmates, thus these are not as evil! However, what is the duration of the length of the inmates’ stay in these detention camps? Post their deportation what kind of a future awaits these inmates is not entertained, and even thought of? (why do these are migrating here and elsewhere is never hinted at?)

    There are many ways to skin a cat, and there are many ways to kill and annihilate droves of people without appearing to be doing so. This is manifest in every day Gaza, and West Bank, but as ever, the historical narrative and sacred nature of these narratives are so deeply routed that none dare to question or mention the ultimate standards of Evil, no longer cut the mustard and are not fit for the purpose! Because to do so is simply not permitted, in a kind of a promoted universal code of self censorship and abhorrence.

    I mentioned early the one half of a million Muslims incarcerated in various black camps/prisons, without even so much as a slight care. Millions of Iraqis are killed in the war on Iraq, and the figures are officially held at one hundred thousand, millions of Syrians, Libyans, Afghans, Yemeni are killed and there is not so much as an inch column in the history of the world to denote this.

    When do we move on from the record holders of the standard of ultimate evil? If only to identify and finger the new Evil and the record holders thereof?

  • Mary

    Tony Blair lobbied Treasury minister on behalf of Arab state
    Questions over former PM’s talks with Treasury minister before a £1 billion property deal was signed with Abu Dhabi equity group

    Mr Blair is estimated to be worth in the region of £60 million Photo
    13 Jun 2015

    Tony Blair privately lobbied a British minister on behalf of an Arab state attempting to secure deals in the UK worth hundreds of millions of pounds, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.

    Mr Blair held talks with Lord Deighton, the then commercial secretary to the Treasury, in July 2013, on behalf of the United Arab Emirates shortly before the signing of a £1 billion property deal in Manchester.


    Lord Deighton’s previous – LimpIcs and Goldman Sachs.

  • lysias

    In the first several years of Nazi rule, the concentration camps killed relatively few people.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    The Irish-American expert on Germany has spoken again. But to what purpose?


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “But the concentration camps killed millions of people, a very large number of them Jewish. Plainly British immigration detention centres cannot be viewed as comparable by any sane person.”

    But as you’re aware, Craig my dear, you’re not talking to terribly sane people a lot of the time on here.

  • lysias

    To what purpose? My point is, the fact that a system of camps isn’t that murderous in its first years says very little about what it may become.

  • Mary

    Nothing has changed. Witness Guantanamo.

    ‘History of concentration camps

    Many countries have used concentration camps often during wars or times of trouble and fighting.

    United States
    The first modern concentration camps in the United States were created in 1838. At this time, the United States government, led by President Van Buren, decided to remove the native Cherokee population from their lands and place them all in concentration camps.’

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