Monday, February 26, 2007

The brutal reality of our asylum policy

From Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in the Independent, The brutal reality of our asylum policy

"the plight of asylum-seekers and migrants forcibly deported every day to confirm that John Reid is a man of steel.

Reid has declared war on some of the most oppressed of the world. His department operates policies and practices of institutionalised savagery, rebranded as efficiency. On Tuesday, Tough John will tell us his office is deporting more people than the numbers of "bogus" asylum applicants coming in. To get to target, they pick low-hanging fruit - babies, tots, mums, who will go quietly weeping...

In January, New Labour politicians marked Holocaust Memorial day promising yet again "never again", while sending off black people to be incarcerated or obliterated.

Is there an adequate world in English to describe such fraudulence...

Who speaks for disbelieved and despised asylum-seekers? Nobody in politics, a handful of religious leaders and journalists, and some ordinary Britons of conscience, too few. The national mood is toxic, and even nice liberals now choose to believe that the majority who flee here are scum or cunning terrorists. These newest recruits to Close Britannia have never met a single asylum-seeker in person, which is why their generic condemnation is so guilt-free...

Our Government has in effect torn up the Geneva Convention. It embodied the repudiation of barbarously efficient Nazis who believed some were born less human than others. That barbarism is back again. Can we stop the flight of shame tonight and save ourselves? Lord Macaulay once described Britain as "the sacred last refuge of mankind". That is the heritage we must reclaim from the bully boys of New Labour."

Colin Firth has also written to the Independent outlining the case of a man the UK is about to deport to the Congo, a nurse imprisoned and tortured for refusing to administer morphine overdoses, who managed to escape and make his way to the UK in 2002. This nurse, along with 22 other adults and 19 children are being flown back to their homeland today, a place where 4 million people have been murdered since 1998.

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