The political crisis of the 21st Century is universal governmental incompetence. Local, regional, national or international, there seems to be a huge deficiency in statecraft in the world; here, if nowhere else, Britain leads the world.
The Bismarkian talent for setting a trap, using the media, pouncing with blood and iron, defeating your enemy, uniting your new Empire and being home for tea and medals as in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 is the kind of 4-dimensional chess that Putin was credited for being a grandmaster at, before being revealed as an incompetent checkist thug with Napoleon (3rd) tendencies. However, noting the filthy mess that Prussian planning produced in the 20th Century, and the suffering of the French people, the 30,000 shot in Paris by the rightist reaction and the dirty fight between fascism and communism and their criminal offshoots that continues to this day should leave no one feeling comfortable.
Processing in Rwanda
A man who can make every situation worse, the Prime Minister announces that all unaccompanied male migrants will henceforth be sent for processing in Rwanda. Rwanda, that place with lovely guerrillas that murdered a million of its own citizens a generation ago…. Obviously…. Maybe he got a text from Vladimir saying “Sasha, I have a bit of a PR problem with all of this Ukraine stuff. Can you release a policy so awful, ridiculous and brutal that it gets me onto page 8 for a bit…just until I’ve got time to fix a few tanks… otherwise I might release that kompromat..?”
It’s a possibility. After all, the notion that a careful Whitehall department has analysed the options, considered the issues, looked at the implementation and consequences and then someone actually had the nerve to propose that we do this staggers the mind. Great Britain, my nation that I was taught would protect the weak, and stand up for the world’s oppressed will arrest unaccompanied males from the beaches, and take them to directly to Rwanda where their “application will be processed” is so fantastical as to be beyond irony.
What if they run away? What if they hide in Canterbury Cathedral and claim sanctuary? Do we have “beaches of sanctuary”? What happens when people go to the beaches to protect the people arriving? Do they get arrested for assisting a person in distress at sea? What about the counter-demo by “Migration Watch”? Who polices all of that when you can’t get into Kent by motorway anyway because of the (Brexit) created 25 mile traffic jam? Do we have immigration police checking garden sheds for escapees and being reassured by our good resistance that “it’s ok they’re Ukranians?
So many questions, so few answers.
A reputation for decency?
It’s impossible to have a grown-up conversation with a government like this. They have taken what remains of our national reputation for decency, chained it to a rotting corpse and thrown it over the side to distract from their own shady dealings, incompetence and lies. The tragedy, of course, is all too human. People, good people who are young, educated, diligent, ambitious and just what this old, tired, breathless country needs are being targeted for persecution by our government. People whose parents think about them every day and hope they’ve survived. People who die trying to swim from Asos in Turkey to Lesbos and whose corpses are buried by the good Turkish fishermen when they wash up alone, naked, with no name or nationality. People. Our government and its offshore, stateless, billionaire media owners (not refugees – they buy their passports fair and square!) say that they’re after the evil people smugglers – who seem so available that any 17 year old Afghan kid can find them in a Calais car park, every documentary maker can interview them, but our highly specialised security-minded, James Bond inspired government can’t.
So after being turned down by Albania, finding that the Ascension Islands are waterless, the Falklands are too far away and Rockall is too small, they pick Rwanda. Maybe they were the only ones who didn’t leave the “pariah-state” Whatsapp group?
We are so much better than this
Those young men are an international issue. They’re leaving home as my grandfather left Ireland because of war, or famine, or trouble. There are 35 million of them and this country accepts a vanishingly small number. I recall a conversation that I had with a patriotic Englishman who told me that he hated immigrants. I said, if the USA can give “citizenship for service”, and induct young men into the armed forces or other work, and produce patriotic individuals desperate to succeed in society, why couldn’t we? He seemed fine with that. Stick a flag on it and they’ll likely salute it. Immigrants and their children can make the “best” conservative citizens every bit as much as anyone else, so why does the right wing of the Tory Party want to hurt them? I suppose they think there are votes in it. May they be educated by the decency of the Great British electorate to show that here, as has been proven many times, we are so much better than this.
May Rwanda and Britain succeed and may the beauty of our good earth be dignified by the citizens of our world. Get this lot gone.