Telling Lies on an International Scale 75

The mainstream media have been replete with stories of a new Tory “red meat” initiative of right wing policies. “Government sources” briefed the media that Liz Truss and Priti Patel were in talks with their counterparts in Ghana and Rwanda about setting up internment camps to receive asylum seekers deported from the UK.

Apart from the fact it would be entirely illegal to deport eg Syrians or Afghans to Africa, I knew it to be simply impossible the story was true. I have had the pleasure of being friends with President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana, and with many of his family, for twenty years. Nana would never agree to such a thing; his background is as a human rights lawyer and activist.

The British Government gives a great deal in aid to Ghana, and may feel this gives it leverage, but that would be massively to underestimate Ghanaian people and history, as well as its President. Ghana has a proud tradition of sheltering refugees. It harbored at various times much of the leadership of the African National Congress, and is the spiritual home of pan-Africanism. It continues to host many tens of thousands of refugees from conflict elsewhere in West Africa. Ghana helps refugees, it does not imprison them.

Ghana was the first African colony to gain Independence. It is not going to agree to be a prison for the former colonial power to detain those fleeing from conflicts that erupted as a consequence of British invasion.

The Times was adamant that arrangements were advanced, reporting that

The focus will instead be on ensuring that vessels cannot land on UK shores illegally without the knowledge of the government. Priti Patel, the home secretary, and Liz Truss, the foreign secretary, are also in talks about “outsourcing” UK asylum claims to countries such as Ghana and Rwanda.

However I spoke to three Ghanaian ministers that I know personally, who have assured me there have been absolutely no talks with Priti Patel or Liz Truss on the issue, or to their knowledge with anybody else, and that the answer is a non-negotiable “no”. The Ghanaian government has now issued an official denial.

Of course we are used to the Tories lying as naturally as they draw breath. That the Murdoch press and other right wing media amplify those lies, without the slightest attempt at fact-checking, is no longer as surprising as it should be. But to implicate another sovereign state in their lies is another level, and they have drawn entirely undeserved suspicion on President Akufo Addo and his government. The Tories have done this purely to burnish their racist credentials with their own core electorate.

It is a further symptom of Tory racism that they presume that you can tell any lies you like about what is happening in an African country and there will be no comeback.


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75 thoughts on “Telling Lies on an International Scale

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  • Yalt

    “Plans are being drawn up.”

    This doesn’t sound like they’re already at the stage where they’d be negotiating with foreign governments, does it?

    “Priti Patel…and Liz Truss…are also in talks….”

    Talks with whom? With themselves? A careless reader might think the talks are with the countries soon to be mentioned, but the article doesn’t say that–the only prepositions that follow are “about” and “to”, who the talks are with is unspecified. A couple of aides and a Times reporter would be my guess.

    “countries such as Ghana and Rwanda.”

    Not simply “Ghana and Rwanda”, but unspecified countries that are somehow similar. Full of Africans, maybe. Or they also have two a’s in their name, perhaps.
    The Times isn’t lying; I’d guess every statement is technically true.

  • Ron

    That’s fair comment. I still read some of the mainstream media, but I also go looking for more information in subjects which interest me most, or where a given media outlet seems to have an axe to grind. I feel that’s the best way to get an overview of current affairs with the limited time I have available.

    Speaking of impartiality, what do you think of this tweet?

    Ronnie_M @Ronnie_Menzies
    Replying to @CraigMurrayOrg
    23 Jan 2022 11:39am
    That’s NOT TRUE. Below is what your friend the President is pushing through parliament right now. He also said gay marriage will never be allowed while he is in power. Is your bias because you’re the owner/director of two large companies in Ghana?

    Ghana’s law curbing LGBT rights sparks Anglican church riftAfrica News (29 Oct 2021)

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