Calling All Rwandans: Calling All Africans 203

UPDATED: The BBC now reports UK to give asylum seekers one-way ticket to Rwanda

Some asylum seekers who arrive in the UK on small boats across the Channel will be given a one-way ticket to Rwanda, under new government plans.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is in the African nation to agree a £120m trial involving mostly single men arriving in Britain on boats or lorries.

BBC home editor Mark Easton, reporting from Rwanda, said ministers face legal hurdles and substantial costs.

Refugee organisations have criticised the plans as cruel and urged a rethink.

When the Tory government announced it was in talks with the government of Ghana over opening internment camps for asylum seekers in that country, I was quickly able to confirm with Ghanaian ministers that this was simply a lie; the subject had never been discussed and would not be discussed.

I am hoping that the same may be true of Rwanda, and the Tories may simply again be making up stories to placate their racist base. Certainly the Times reported that Johnson was this week forced to delay an announcement as arrangements were not yet in place. But unlike Ghana, I do not have contacts with the government of Rwanda so I cannot be certain.

What I am sure of is that it would be a massive disgrace to any African country to host prisons for locking up those fleeing persecution – including fellow Africans. I do not wish to believe that any African state would cooperate with the continent’s largest former colonial power, which still retains colonial possessions, in the systematic imposition of racist detention. It would be a terrible blot on the good name of Rwanda, and a terrible blot on the good name of Africa.

We must call on all Rwandans, wherever they may be, to express through your contacts and institutions your unhappiness at any Rwandan involvement in such a scheme. It is only racism that determines that refugees from wars and disaster from Eritrea, Syria or Libya should be treated differently (by the UK) from Ukrainians or political dissidents from Russia (though God knows the UK has failed to offer the real help to Ukrainians it promised).

A policy which is going to include using naval boats to push struggling Africans and others in small craft back in the cruel sea, which will include shackling Africans, who have done nothing except flee war and starvation, to fly them to Rwanda, should not for a moment be entertained by any African country. No amount of money promised by Johnson and his crew is worth selling the souls of the Rwandan nation for this scheme.

We must also call on the African Union to adopt a policy that no African country will host immigration detention camps for former colonial powers. We must call on His Excellency President Macky Sall of Senegal, Chairperson of the African Union, to bring the matter forward. I call on Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa, Nana Akuffo Addo and Muhammadu Buhari to make sure there is a firm African Union policy against this evil. We must especially call on President Paul Kagame of Rwanda to follow the Ghanaian example and immediately deny Johnson’s claims.

This really is an issue where Africans, both in Africa and in the diaspora, particularly in the UK, I believe could get a reaction from their governments if everybody feeds in their concern by whatever means is available to them.

Africa has been for many years the victim of white racism. Africans should never act as the facilitator of white racism.

I am contacting a number of people to see if I can organise a delegation to Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and OAU Headquarters in Addis Ababa to lobby against Johnson’s prison camps.

I am very happy to hear from anybody who can contribute in any way to efforts to unite Africa against this shameful proposal.


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203 thoughts on “Calling All Rwandans: Calling All Africans

1 2
    • M.J.

      It does appear to be the Switzerland of Africa judging by descriptions. It is clean, things work, well-trained citizens join in voluntary clean-ups like the Soviet “subbotniki”, and dissent from the government is tolerated about as much as in Russia (the fact thereof being denied, of course). Mussolini would have liked it. He might have said “Wow! You ACTUALLY get the trains to run on time!”
      I imagine Boris might say “Look I’m fighting for Democracy in Eastern Europe. So please, indulge me a little dalliance with Fascism in Africa.”

  • Jon

    Some updates from Declassified on the subject of Rwanda:

    • Home Secretary Priti Patel travelled to Kigali, Rwanda, to launch what the government is calling its New Plan for Immigration. Under the proposed plan, asylum seekers who arrive in Britain by boat may be sent to Rwanda to have their claims processed.
    • Rwanda is run by Western ally Paul Kagame, whose regime is accused of torture and assassinating political opponents.
    • Patel has been met with severe criticism over her plans, which she said Home Office officials have been working on for the last nine months. The Scottish National Party’s leader in Westminster said Patel’s plan was “evil” and “absolutely chilling”.
    • Rwanda’s foreign minister Vincent Biruta said: “We would prefer not to receive people from neighbouring countries, immediate neighbours, like DRC, like Burundi, Uganda or Tanzania.”
    • Meanwhile Boris Johnson announced the Royal Navy will take over control of migration in the English channel from civilian agencies.
  • M.J.

    Just noted the helpful ‘click to edit’ facility. Thanks to the computer geeks who made it possible to have a few minutes grace to clear up typos. 🙂

      • Lesley

        I am very sorry but there needs to be some deterrent. These people are fleeing Shit existences they are not all refugees otherwise they would be happy to stay in the first safe county. (With a few exceptions). They want a life not a tent. Understandable. They want life and all it gives house, job, money. choices.
        But England cannot give everyone the same level
        of life for ts indigenous people- we have too many to offer great salaries and housing for all. Unless we have to all live like those inCalcutter or Bejing. Full to the brim We need to help countries be better safe places so it does offer what we have and there is no need to leave. We are seeing these populations implode and when we do something it is wrong and destabilises. Very sad but I am already feeling claustrophobic and worry what everyone is going to do to earn a living. .

    • mark cutts

      Ian. Agreed entirely.

      Have you ever noticed that when people get nervous they talk a lot? Adjectives – embellishments – “It’s very real” etc etc and Johnson et al are prone to this. The credulous media believe all this guff as if it’s real and is really going to happen when all it is is a Local Election 125 million quid stunt.

      Unfortunately Patel doesn’t get it (no surprise there) and the band will play on. It may come off – it may not.

      Next business (real business) is the matter of blaming Putin for rising energy bills, but his name will not be at the top of the energy bill and Johnson will be asked as to what he and his lackeys are going to do about it?

      Reality is a bark and the dogs are arriving so diversions will work temporarily but not forever.

      This is Johnson’s and anyone else who follows him’s fate. Big questions await and answers will be required. If they are not alternative answers will be demanded. Starmer has none and he will be bypassed.

    • Bayard

      “This is a political intervention to get partygate off the front pages and stir up the culture wars “

      Indeed, I suspect that there is a list of such “dead cats” in a file somewhere to be used as required, just as there is a list of nasty pieces of legislation waiting for the Queen to snuff it, when it can be rushed through Parliament whilst everyone is distracted.

  • M.J.

    It was disillusioning to find out that Rwanda’s own president had suggested setting up refugee centres in his country, ostensibly on humanitarian grounds. As the Rwandan opposition might suggest, a good investment as well. Even a minor slice of £120 million should ensure a very comfortable retirement for Rwanda’s rulers.

  • Ian

    Nobody asked Johnson today what right he has awarded himself to forcibly fly a person thousands of miles to a place where they have no friends, relatives or contacts, without any means of leaving, except overland in extremely dangerous circumstances. Dumping people in a hostile environment reeks of UKIP which the Tories basically are now. And in a country noted for its incarceration of asylum seekers, torture and impoverishment. This beggars belief. And he sold it as ‘compassionate’, and how ‘generous’ we are. Patel is there, why as an immigrant’s daughter doesn’t she stay there, since it is apparently the height of luxury and full of opportunities for slackers like her?

    • Suhayl Saadi

      I once met a senior man from the Indian film industry who, in casual conversation over dinner, described the asylum-seekers at the English Channel – at that time, mostly Syrians – as, “trash”. “you don’t want that trash here”, he told me. That’s the sort of attitude held by noxious politicians like Patel. Also, some (I emphasise, some, by no means all) brown/black Tories try to outdo Norman Tebbit – they have something to prove. Finally, look at the BJP in India: Supremacism+Neoliberalism. I should add that Pakistan, of course, is no better. So, I am not at all surprised that the daughter of what used to be called, disparagingly, “a coloured immigrant” behaves in this way.

    • nevermind

      Rwanda does not want Ugandan refugees, Ian, she would have been sent back by Rwandas third Reich supporters.
      Excellent facility to edit, thanks, this should make moderation much easier, no more time spent on my typos. well done

    • Dom

      This policy isn’t some un-British aberration due to the Tories taking a Trumpian/Kipperish turn. Offshoring asylum seekers to 3rd countries was first proposed by New Labour two decades ago. By the same token, there is little meaningful distinction between the southern border regimes of Trump and the Democrats. It’s just that all the moralistic hysteria ceased when Trump went away. EU border policy meanwhile could not be more obviously contingent on the skin colour of refugees

  • name required

    perhaps if those single men self identified as women the evil tory ploy might be circumvented.

    yes i am being abstruse, and on purpose too.

    but to make a point.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    It’s unbelievable, even that someone would conceive such a scheme.

    I know it’s not the same thing and one always hesitates to make such comparisons for fear of the opprobrium that might descend upon one’ s head, but it reminds me eerily of Nazi Germany’s plans to send European Jews to Madagascar.

    One question: Will Ukrainian asylum-seekers also be sent to Rwanda, or will this just be for supposedly ‘non-white’ asylum-seekers like Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans, Kurds and those from other parts of Africa and Asia? In other words, will there be an apartheid system for asylum-seekers?

    Finally, we played/play a central role in creating the wars and economic hells that lead people to leave their countries in the first place, then we send them to Rwanda?

    Why not Siberia?

  • Ian

    “It’s worth remembering that one reason why there has been such an upsurge in the cross-Channel boat crossings is because it became extremely difficult to get into Britain in the back of a lorry. Tighter security at the Channel ports, technology, Brexit and Covid all conspired to make the road and ferry route impractical. So desperate people took even bigger risks with their lives – they did not just give up and settle in France.

    So, yes, new routes will be devised to get into Britain – by sea, by road, by ferry, and by air. Migration may be reduced, though not by much, and at enormous human and financial cost. The irony, of course, is that it used to be much easier to control this type of migration when the UK was in the EU, there was the Dublin Regulation on claiming asylum, and cooperation between the French and British authorities.

    Now the British have to pay the French to do the impossible job of patrolling their entire north coastline, and it has failed. Now Britain has tried to copy the Australian approach, and that too will fail. Frankly, even a threat to sink the boats would fail. So would abolishing what meagre benefits and accommodation the refugees receive on arrival (on the bogus assumption they see the UK as a “treasure island” of welfare).

    These people have crossed continents and risked everything they own and cherish, including their own lives, to get to Britain. Even Priti Patel’s Rwanda plan isn’t going to put them off. They’re not invaders. They’re not evil criminals. They’re not scroungers. They just want a better life. But this Rwanda scheme will push them underground and inevitably into poverty and crime. It will make things worse, for everyone.”

    Some sense from the Independent,

    • Shardlake

      Do I detect a certain amount of sarcasm there ? That Labour leader you refer to actually gave an interview to the Huffington Post on February 25th, 2020, relating to the Assange extradition hearings indicating Judge Baraitser should be left to get on with the good job she was doing.

      • nevermind

        Indeed Shardlake, he did, and for anyone hoping to get a comment with regards to this measure from him during the local election, forget it, he will be batting this one away, i.e. ‘the local issues we are standing up, is why I’m here today’. Equally issues that involve tighter, more empowering communities, such as onshore wind power, or the lack of mental healthcare policies.
        Anything politicians pledge/honor or promise at election is merely fictional and does not have to be the truth, according to what this countries judiciary says.
        As for the issue of deportation to a country not so Priti chooses, and taxpayers pay for, it is a hideous NSDAP policies, learnt on a trip to Israel so it seems, it will be cheered on by the likes of the AFD in Germany.
        The Tories are morphing into a dictatorial stage were their own conduct and actions are not up for debate, scrutiny or justifications, they are a law to themselves and the establishment loves it, they can carry on with their usual exploitative demeanor’s and actions, ain’t that right Mr. Radcliffe, ‘fracking ueber alles’, blaming XR for high petrol prices, and molding the law around their destructive policies, is again on the agenda.
        How long before the strings break?

  • Mist001

    I’ve lived in France for nigh on 15 years and have found the language extremely difficult to get to grips with and so, my French is very basic at best.

    I’d say that most migrants and refugees are in an even worse position than me when it comes to understanding French. However, most of them can speak and understand rudimentary English and that’s why they head to the UK. They have virtually no chance of filling out French forms, understanding what they are being told and what people are saying to them but in the UK, they have at least a better chance of resolving their situation.

    I really don’t believe that it’s anything to do with benefits, free housing and all the rest of the stuff we’re told, it’s purely because they can speak basic English and things are easier for them in an English speaking country and that rules out the majority, if not all, of Europe.

    • M.J.

      Your story of your struggle with French is very interesting, because I took it up as a hobby a couple of years ago using an app, but I’m still very much a beginner. I remember asking myself whether I was mad for trying to learn a whole natural language which I didn’t grow up with. All those verb endings (which I have to constantly refer to in a beginners’ grammar). I’ve an old Linguaphone course from a charity shop which I might get round to, I’ve heard good reports about Linguaphone courses via the internet.
      Years ago I read that learning a language was a vast task, but that the secret was to lay the foundations well. Possibly this is the mistake us adults make, trying to go too quickly, and once essentials are forgotten, we flounder.
      And yet – there seem to be people who have a gift for languages, who become fluent in them at a pace the rest of us can only wonder at. Children are geniuses at learning languages, perhaps because they are more open to a subconscious aspect of language learning that we adults somehow lose as we grow up.
      Back to refugees – could it be that urgency enables them to learn more quickly? I read once that people fighting with the resistance during WW2 learned French quickly because their lives depended on it. Not that I would recommend such a method.
      Still on refugees in France – if I knew that the British would bot me out all the way to Central Africa I suspect I would stay in France. That may well be the government’s thinking.

      • Mist001

        My son who is 14, is fluent in French, English, German and believe it or not, Latin and Greek! My daughter who is 6, is reasonably fluent in French and English so yes, it seems to be far easier for children to learn new languages than it is for adults. I tend to have good days and bad days when it comes to speaking French and it’s incredibly frustrating when you can’t understand what’s being said and they can’t understand what you’re trying to say, so imagine how difficult it would be in France for a refugee or immigrant whose rudimentary second language is English.

        I should also say that every immigrant here that I speak to, almost without exception, speak very good English.

        • M.J.

          “I should also say that every immigrant here that I speak to, almost without exception, speak very good English.”

          That’s impressive (apart from your son’s evident gift for languages – maybe he’ll be a good candidate for the Diplomatic Service), because my understanding is that English can be a difficult language for people who haven’t grown up with it. I marvel that people can do very well in academic studies and professional life in a second language. Perhaps capacities sometimes come to us when we need them, an aspect of Providence.

    • Laguerre

      French is not that difficult. I’ve been in France longer than you, and I know lots of foreigners who’ve adapted to French without too much trouble. Only the British (and Americans) have that monolinguality that prevents them speaking other languages. The rest of the world does understand that you have to speak others’ tongues.

      And indeed there are lots of refugees who seek asylum in France, probably 5 to 10 times as many as attempt to cross to UK. It is not really a question of preference for UK, when you look at the figures. Whatever Le Pen says, the movement of refugees into France can’t really be stopped, as there are long open continental land borders. In that sense Britain is better placed, as the sea helps Patel’s brutal policy, and only a very small number of refugees actually manage to get into Britain.

      • Suhayl Saadi

        Interesting. Also, quite a few refugees will be from Francophone Africa – ex-colonies of France or Belgium. So perhaps many of those remain in France, and perhaps then the UK sees a self-selected cohort (though quite a few from the DRC do still get to the UK). Syria was a French ‘mandate’ (colony) so the second language in Syria (and Lebanon of course which was created by France) is French.

        • Laguerre

          Actually the second language in Syria used to be French, but is no longer. They never did like the French. Lebanon is still more Francophone than Syria, but it’s often mainly among the Christians, of different varieties.

  • Willie

    Fabulous policies from our government. They’ve certainly taken a leaf from 1930s Germany.

    What better solution than to send the human detritus that washes up on our shores to camps in Rwanda. As sub humans removing the detritus of men, women and children certainly fits the bill. And an adoring electorate in our new Brexit Britain just warm to it.

    But let us be clear, crystal clear, these scum, these vermin, this detritus who would com3 to our shores will not succeed. No we will never ever ever surrender to their onslaught. The fictional Alf Garnet was right wasn’t he when he said ‘ its yer Wogs, innit “ and “ send em back “

    There, does that sound like a racist rant? I think it does, I’m sure it does. But you know what, that’s the mindset of our government and to a huge extent the mindset of many of our population to whom they play.

    And that’s the appalling society in which we are being forced to live and be part of. Off now to sing there will always be an England, and England shall be free. God bless us, and no surrender …………….

    • Shardlake

      The next move will be to have aircraft runways built on southern beaches where these poor wretches get straight off the rubber dinghy and onto a waiting Con-Air flight fully gassed up with enough fuel to reach Rwanda. I’ve heard many illogical schemes proffered by this apology for a government but the very idea of treatng human beings in the manner Ms Patel suggests takes the biscuit. Appalling woman.

      • Jimmeh

        > Appalling woman

        Indeed; she seems to revel in being as horrible as possible.

        But that is partly built-in to the role of Home Secretary. Jack Straw was appalling; Blunkett was appalling; Howard was appalling.

        But I think this is something sewn into the genes of the Home Office. New ministers are given an intensive briefing by the permanent civil servants when they start the job. My guess is that they face a barrage of blood-curdling analyses from security personnel, along with back-shelf racist policy proposals the civil servants couldn’t sneak past the last three incumbents.

        It was Reid that said the Home Office was “not fit for purpose”, and broke out the justice department. But what’s left seems to be the same old incompetent, bigoted, freedom-hating Home Office. It seems to take an intelligent, tough Home Secretary to resist those civil servants at all (and Patel is weak-minded). Anyway, even a tough-minded Home Secretary doesn’t seem to be able to make more than a small dent in the Home Office old-guard.

  • Gatuna Eric

    Dear Mr. Murray and everyone,

    Unfortunately, the dire expectations in my previous post have been borne out: the Tory and Rwandan governments have happily concluded their “bold” and “historic” cash-for-human-flotsam scheme.

    Rwanda, UK hail ‘bold’ migration deal

    Twelve things about historic Rwanda-UK migration deal

    Some notes:

    1. This deal does not mean Rwanda is open to just any refugee, only to those who have “paid”.
      Ukrainian refugees are specifically called out for exclusion, since they “enter the UK through an existing safe and legal route”.
    2. Of course, UK tax payers are footing the bill. Apparently, anti-immigrant logic agrees that cost is not an issue as long as they are “over there”.
      (Of special relevance here is the protest about costs from the now banned Rhys Jaggar in this comment.)
    3. Not that it matters in a material sense now, but opposition has been voiced:
    4. “We do not support this deal. How could a richer, bigger country be unable to host refugees and think they could just dump them in Rwanda because they have money. It is unacceptable,” said Frank Habineza, President of the Democratic Green Party and member of parliament.

    5. The question: “Who casts a darker shadow, the Tories or New Labor?” — can be posed an interesting exercise in futility, but Tony Blair is absolutely “big” in Rwanda (the government). The point being, the current Rwanda government policy is one of unimpeachable opportunism. We shall work with both sinners and saints as long as it gets us what we want.
    • Laguerre

      Presumably Britain will stop paying for these people in Rwanda at some point, as they will never be “processed” and come to Britain legally (to do so would defeat the point). At that point they will starve, as Rwanda can’t pay for them.

  • Tony Pringle

    Successive UK governments have been propping up Afwerki in Eritrea with banking, mining and insurance services, a dictator who has had no elections in 30 years. His citizens flee what he calls National Service, nothing more than actual slavery down the pits, across the Med to end up slaving again for EU/UK mafias on tomato canning farms or in garment sweatshops. By all accounts it’s a beautiful country, plague on all their houses!

    • Bramble

      Doubtless suggested to her by her friends in the “only democracy in the Middle East”, who tried it out and found it an unmitigated failure themselves.

  • nevermind

    Patel has a fascist brain and she can not conceive ideas that involve dealing with refugees/migrants in this country, because the education of the electorate by succesive Governments has evolved along class and traditional schools that have been fostered by rich minority views and values that treat these isles as theirs thiefdom.
    They are the descrndants of slave traders, free booters and pirates many who waved the royal standard on their ships when carrying slaves or stolen goods.
    These people are traditional repeat offenders and have tto be judged and dealt with.
    The people have only one use to racists, to cheer on their brain farts such as this unchristian wasteful wastrels policy.
    She needs disappearing to Saudi or to Belmarsh.

    • M.J.

      I think that people like Boris and Priti believe that deporting asylum seekers from countries outside European culture to deep inside Africa will be as good a deterrent to future attempted crossings as Spain or Portugal shooting at the boats bringing them, but with more respectability. Once they land in Rwanda the UK will wash its hands of them, and they will be at the mercy of the Rwandan government – and therefore, while they remain in the country, have to be careful what they say in public.
      I regret that their thinking about deterrence for individual asylum seekers (though not smugglers) may be right. If I were an asylum seeker in Northern France, and had already survived untold hardship to get there, and knew that people like me would be arrested on arrival in the UK and deported 4000 miles South to a African dictatorship, the prospect would seem as bad as going back to Square One. I bet that I would opt to stay in France, since that could open doors to the EU more widely, if I obtained French citizenship eventually.

  • Neil Munro

    I believe that the French call this social dumping. Africa should not be treated as a dump. The fact that the UK considers refugees to be garbage is an indictment of the UK not the refugees.

  • M.J.

    Imaginary reconstruction from a concentration camp for refugees, Kigali, in the near future:

    The private Air Removals Company has won the tender for cheap and efficient deportation of asylum seekers from the UK. Having landed by boat they are handcuffed, put on aeroplanes and flown to Kigali, and then taken to a large hut in a processing compound, containing hundreds of wooden bunk beds with straw mattresses. (The hotel originally used for propaganda photographs has long since returned to accommodating wealthy tourists and visiting foreign dignitaries – such as the fat cat executives running the Air Removals Company).

    A senior Army Officer strides into the hut and one of his assistants blows a whistle.
    ‘Now listen! Some of you have spread lies about us. Look!’ He holds up a newspaper report in the UK. ‘This report claims that asylum seekers in Rwanda are treated badly, have no prospects and have posted negative comments on social media. Either the person/s who did this surrender right now or all phones will be confiscated. Anyone with incriminating material will be arrested!’
    No one answers. ‘Sergeant!’ the officer nods. Soldiers go through, searching for and seizing mobile phones. Smartphones are especially sought for and placed in a separate bag.
    The next morning several asylum seekers who owned smartphones are dragged away, some kicking and screaming, by the security police. They are never seen again.
    In the evening Colonel Bigali returns with a smile on his face. (He was very pleased when a former American president referred to him once as a “Bigly” man in joke, and boasted of it long afterwards). He doesn’t come empty-handed.
    ‘To show you how benevolent we are, you will be provided with recycled Nokia phones connected to the State Network, with 15 minutes of free international calls per week, and one hour worth of local calls per week. They cannot be used with the internet. Remember, anyone who tries to spread lies about us will be severely punished!’ The Nokias are handed out, and the names of recipients recorded.
    No negative reports about the camp or Rwanda have since been recorded. This fact is cited frequently by politicians making the case for the policy.

  • Reza

    The Archbishop of Canterbury is the perfect liberal hypocrite who feigns concern for the poor and dispossessed while protecting the establishment from anyone who threatens the corrupt status quo. Hence Justin Welby’s attack on Corbyn at the height of the 2019 GE campaign.

    • M.J.

      From what I know about him, I have too much respect for the Archbishop of Canterbury to be readily willing to agree with such a description.

      From a quick Google search, Welby’s reported words were:

      “That the Chief Rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews ..
      They should be able to love in accordance with their beliefs and freely express their culture and faith.. None of us can afford to be complacent. Voicing words that commit to a stand against anti-semitism requires a corresponding effort in visible action.”

      Have you any citations where he refers to Corbyn by name?

      • Reza

        Except the Tory Chief Rabbi was not compelled to make any such statement, as Welby and the rest of the elite knew only too well.

        Welby knows just as well as the Chief Rabbi that Boris Johnson (his fellow Old Etonian) is the author of antisemitic novels and that the Conservative Party membership contains a far higher proportion of antisemites than the population at large let alone the Labour membership under Corbyn.

        Like other liberals Welby feared Corbyn because he threatened to enact meaningful change.

        • M.J.

          So you have no citations of Corbyn by name on the part of Welby.

          The first and third sentences look like subjective speculation. The second one looks illogical, since if Welby and the Chief rabbi knew that there was anti-semitism in the Tories, worse than Labour, why try to make it more likely that they come to power?

          This all adds to no case against the Anglican Primate – no solid evidence at all!

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            ” The second one looks illogical, since if Welby and the Chief rabbi knew that there was anti-semitism in the Tories, worse than Labour, why try to make it more likely that they come to power?”

            It would be illogical for a Cheif rabbi to make it more likely that an anti-semitic party should come to power. You should ask the chief rabbi why he has done that since the rest of us can only speculate. My speculation is that you can be as anti-semitic as you like as long as you don’t support the palestinians, as far as the Chief rabbi is concerned. The Chief rabbi might have mentioned Corbyn by name when he made the statement that the Anglican Primate refers to.

          • Reza


            An antisemitist is person who uses unfounded accusations of antisemitism to demonise leftwingers and support for the Palestinian cause.

            The Tory Chief Rabbi and the Old Etonian Archbishop are both proud antisemitists.

      • pete

        “any citations…”

        You know perfectly well that Corbyn was not mentioned by name, it is specifically noted in the report on the speech – see
        So why ask for a citation? There can be no question that Welby enjoys a privileged position and was never likely to make a call for a radical left leadership in parliament, whatever he might think about the plight of the poor or the plight of Palestinians. His concern has always been about the maintenance of the status of his church, it is all “thoughts and prayers” signifying nothing.

        • M.J.

          Like I said – there’s no evidence against him. No citations. All perjorative statements about his main concerns are unfounded speculation.

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            “All perjorative statements about his main concerns are unfounded speculation.”

            He could clarify these points and so remove the need for speculation.

      • Bayard

        “That the Chief Rabbi should be compelled to make such an unprecedented statement at this time ought to alert us to the deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews ..”

        What “deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews ..”? Might he be referring to the totally fake “deep sense of insecurity and fear felt by many British Jews ..” promoted by the Blairites in the Labour Party as part of their campaign against Corbyn? If so , he is guilty either of collusion or indolence.

      • johnny Conspiranoid

        You don’t have to refer to someone by name to make an attack on them. You can just refer, with approval, to a vicious propaganda campaign obviously designed to target that particular individual.

  • Greater Noida Job

    On March 4 2018 the British/Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found incapacitated on a bench in Salisbury.
    The British government asserts that they were affected by a chemical poison of the so called Novichok group. The case led to a diplomatic conflict as Britain accused Russia of an attempt to kill the Skripals. No evidence was provided by the British government to support those accusations. The Skripals have since vanished

  • Alyson

    Just speaking as devil’s advocate here, but the kindness of the citizens of Dover, bringing warm clothes, food and friendly smiles, to the big, burly men from Iran who are arriving in sail boats, gave me pause for thought as to what kind of country Britain is, that they might be feeding back to their senior officers. Assuming they are special forces scouting for information. A lot of single men are arriving in small boats. Who remains at home to look after the women and children?

    I would consider providing safety to women and children to be a priority. They face huge risks and dangers on the journey. Families can be resettled and integrated all over the UK. But hundreds or potentially thousands of single men, travelling up from war zones of the Middle East and sub Saharan Africa is potentially an invasion force, which is difficult to integrate.

    Somali gangs in rural England rob farms, carrying machetes, and return again and again tot the same farms they have robbed before. Gangs of any kind are a problem. But violence is uncommon in the UK.

    The sheer numbers arriving now are making it difficult to identify vulnerable people from those who will fight hardest to get scarce resources.

    Anyway, given that my comments tend to go straight into the spam dungeon, this controversial ambivalence will probably sink without trace. It is never acceptable to generalise about a category of people in a way that is detrimental to their safety and wellbeing. And Britain is generally welcoming to all races and cultures. But the Home Secretary has national security as her brief and her decisions may reflect her own journey from Africa to Britain and the hurdles she and her family were required to surmount.

    [ Mod: I haven’t noticed any comments from you in the spam bin. Six days ago, one of your comments (which started “Meanwhile in other news, “) was suspended for being off topic, with the following mod note:

    [ Mod: Off topic.

    Sorry, Alyson, the comments on Craig’s articles are meant to be comments on Craig’s articles – not commentaries on other items that happen to be in the news.

    If you want to raise other items for discussion, please start a new thread in the discussion forum. ]

    Please ensure that the comments you post relate to the topic of Craig’s article and don’t introduce a different news story for debate. ]

      • Alyson

        The big burlies were Iranians in small boats of 2-4 and were photographed looking puzzled at the kindness they were welcomed with. The Somalis came several years ago, via official routes and have been settled in many communities. Most of them have built their lives anew. A few are in violent criminal gangs.

        There are good people bravely rescuing refugees. Merkel was courageous in welcoming so many to Germany, and the open hearted Brits are now welcoming Ukrainians into their homes, and would no doubt offer likewise to other ethnicities, if it was approved to do so.

        In France the sans papiers are networked across the country. Some are transient. Others have settled in unregulated spaces. There are open hearted idealists sharing everything with them.

        Rwanda does not seem to be a safe haven however, and whatever the reasons for fleeing home, no one should be sent officially into harms way.

        • Alyson

          What I mean, is that a range of outcomes depend on different policy decisions, and that those decisions have to be made. Outsourcing is what we did with our convicts and we exported colonial conquest to Australia. Welcoming Jewish refugees to Palestine didn’t turn out so well for the land owners who built villages to welcome the Europeans, who moved them off their land and out of their homes. Planning to accommodate refugees is about individual stories and cultural identity. Would Rwanda be so terrible if villages were built and they could keep their cell phones, and receive funding to integrate jobs and skills?
          Incarceration is wrong, and detention centres in the UK are far from ideal. What is the constructive way to plan for increased population, food security, and land management? Do we build new villages for refugees? Do we host them all in our homes?
          We look at the outcomes of previous policies, and define the categories of new arrivals, and this is an imperfect process

          • M.J.

            I would agree that the question of what individual countries should do is not easy. Brexit and the doctrine of a “hostile environment” hasn’t made matters easier. I think it should be an international effort, and informed citizens’ assemblies could play a part in setting policy.
            But the root causes need addressing, and the UN seems ineffective, making international action difficulty. What to do, for example, about indefinite conscription in Eritrea that causes people to flee.

  • Gatuna Eric

    As long as there is money on the table, one would struggle to drive home any point argued from just a moral, legal or even just plain human decency position, to the current leadership in that entire region (save in some cases, maybe Tanzania). We are now being told Kenya would have participated in this repugnant betrayal had Ms. Patel (on behalf of UK tax payers) offered them enough money.

    Rwanda takes the UK asylum seekers burden Kenya rejected:

    Kenya, which already hosts about 800,000 refugees, most in camps and others in urban centres across the country, declined the offer to take in the migrants citing an already burdensome number in the country, the official said.

    “On a cost-benefit analysis, the money being offered is too little to manage these numbers. If refugees were a big business, maybe we would be rich. But it costs more to host them.

    “Even if a country is paid, funds go to schools and other welfare stuff. In three to five years, this becomes your problem because what you need are jobs and other elements for basic sustainability,” the official told The EastAfrican.

    • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

      So – finally we now all know that on behalf of Her Majesty’s Royal Government’s behalf – shit actually does come out of the Royal arse hole.
      Really? Can’t believe it for a moment.

    • Henry Smith

      “Kenya, declined the offer to take in the migrants citing an already burdensome number in the country,”

      If only we had ‘leaders’ who were as honest.

      • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett

        There are serious issues of legal obligations relative to refugees arising under both international and domestic law(s). If the Rwandan proposal is viewed simply as a matter of politics or ‘political will’ – this misses the point. There are people who are genuinely fleeing conflict situations ( such as the Ukrainians) and no decent human being would nor should simply view such people as human garbage to be dumped in a distant African country.

  • Yuri K

    I read the news today, oh boy:

    “The court issued a formal extradition order in a hearing Wednesday, leaving UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to rubber-stamp his transfer to the US after a years-long legal wrangle. Assange is able to appeal the decision.”

    One step closer to Assange extradition.

    I wonder what do you consider the misfortunes of Assange, Salmond and your own: is it a bug in the system or a feature?

    • Jimmy Riddle

      Yuri K – yes – I read something in the news about this too. I’d like to see something in the `discussion forum’ about Julian Assange and the this latest news. I feel unqualified to start it since I’m ignorant about the implications – but would be grateful if someone who knows something can indicate what is going on.

  • portside

    Liberal pundits are using this Rwanda story to propagate the idea that Labour would be more compassionate toward refugees. But there is no evidence to support this assumption, other than during the Corbyn interregnum which the pundits are still doing their utmost to delegitimise, Under Corbyn’s predecessors Labour contributed mightily to the idea that migrants are less than human and that human rights should not apply to them. It was Labour governments who began the trope of the bogus asylum seeker and who built multiple detention centres including Yarls Wood.

    Some highlights from when Labour was last in power..

    • In 2002 home secretary David Blunkett warned children of asylum seekers were swamping schools and introduced a bill banning them from attending (they would be educated seperately from local school kids). The Refugee Council accused him of “appeasing the views of racists and bigots”.
    • In 2000 the Blair govt stopped asylum seekers receiving benefits, giving them vouchers instead which could only be spent on what the govt deemed essential. Bill Morris head of the T&G (forerunner of Unite) said the vouchers were “fuel for the ugly face of racism & discrimination”.
    • Another Labour Home Secretary, John Reid, attacked “foreigners who come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits”.
    • In 2007 Labour’s Immigration minister Liam Byrne spoke about wanting to “create a much more hostile environment in this country if you are here illegally”. Sound familiar?
    • In 2004 David Blunkett introduced a bill allowing for “families who exhaust their legal fight for asylum be denied welfare payments if they refuse a free flight home. Destitute parents could have their children taken into care.
    • David Blunkett introduced plans to stop asylum seekers from working while their claims were being processed. The head of the Refugee Council warned that asylum seekers will face destitution without the right to work. Blunkett did it anyway.
  • Robert Wursthaus

    ‘There is nothing innovative or humanitarian about Britain’s new policy of shipping asylum seekers, “on a one-way ticket“, thousands of miles to central Africa. Nor is there anything surprising about the choice of destination: Rwanda. Boris Johnson’s government has simply copied wholesale a programme established by Israel eight years ago.’
    ‘Patel’s fingerprints on the scheme are noteworthy. In 2017, she was called back from an official visit to Africa as international development minister after it came to light she had conducted clandestine meetings – hidden from her own department – with Israeli officials and lobbyists. She was forced to resign. But those ties have never been properly scrutinised.’

    • Alyson

      If I recall, she was using government aid money to invest in rare earth mining concessions owned by Dick Cheney et al. It was a means to evict Syrians from their villages in the Golan Heights, using privately funded security forces linked to the mining companies. The villagers settled near the newly defined border in Syria and appealed for international jurisdiction to allow them to return. Not the aid normally envisaged but shrewd placing of herself in geopolitical manoeuvring

  • Ottomanboi

    Oh the delights and conveniences of globalism, maybe the «first world» could export its rapists, murderers and social misfits too. Social «toxic waste» to add to the hazardous landfill material and drugs already being dumped in Africa.
    Organisations such as the Arab League, African Union etc are too ready to kowtow to anybody with a chequebook, more weightier than a conscience.
    Kagamé’s fiefdom.

  • John

    I don’t understand the objections to this policy. It is an attempt to dissuade economic migrants from coming to the UK. What is wrong with this? It is wholly impractical to allow people to live in the UK simply because they want to do so and, more importantly, the UK population does not want (and has never wanted) such a policy. There are 1 billion people in Africa – we could not realistically accept even a tiny fraction of them coming here. If you don’t believe in an “open door” policy then how do you propose to restrict the number of people coming?

    • Ewan2

      It seems that western govts and corporations tend to exploit the countries from where these people come from, installing puppet-corrupt leaders, controlling the prices for their resources by the money-markets etc.
      Maybe we could ban people in the UK ftom moving to places with better jobs and wages.

      We would have more money aswell if large corporations would pay a fair tax, they are much more of a burden than a few thousand migrants/jobseekers looking to improve their lot.

    • Stevie Boy

      If the government wants to truly dissuade migrants and refugees from coming to the UK then the solution is easy !
      Stop bombing their homelands, stop interfering in the politics in their countries, stop supporting corrupt governments in their warmongering, stop supplying arms to countries and start providing true economic, humanitarian aid.
      In short, help countries to provide better conditions for their citizens rather than destroying them.

      • John

        I agree that the government shouldn’t do any of these things, but not all of the migrants coming here on boats are from countries the UK has ruined in some way. Many of them simply want to move to a more prosperous country and are prepared to pay people smugglers to get there (I believe about £5k – £10k). The UK population clearly do not want this to be allowed and it should not be allowed. I don’t see that a strong deterrent policy is some kind of racist sin.

  • nevermind

    Europe smothered by racism and woke christian allures. Whether Macron or Le Pen wins, France will go into spasm as the cobsolidated EU and the newly anointed Nato members in Scand8navia slowly raise their arms to a 45deg. angle.

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