While Mr Thirsty has kept up his social media barrage, promoting mainly Himself Personally Now, telling “Serious outbreak of lawlessness on the Kent coast ongoing. Let's see what mainstream media report” (it’s not illegal if the authorities give them asylum, is it, Nige?), and claiming “This is an issue of national security” (recycling one of his videos from last week), Paul Lewis has reminded everyone of the rules of the sea.
These state “If a boat carrying people is found within national waters [ie within the 12 mile limit], that country has a duty to rescue them to a place of safety … The duty to attempt the rescue of someone in danger is based on a strongly felt moral obligation among seafarers. This is set out in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea. All states recognise this duty”. Also, “there is no requirement to seek asylum in the first safe country”.
That was the first, welcome, dose of reality. The second and less welcome one came in the staggeringly unpleasant and ignorant responses, typical being “So the migrant boats spent 12 miles in French territorial waters in some cases escorted by the French coast guard … Why didn't the French rescue them?” They have in the past, thanks.
But do go on. “Stopping illegal immigration was high on the list of priorities and why shouldn't it be? After all who knows if there are terrorists and criminals among them plus the appalling people trafficking. France has a humanitarian duty to stop them, does nothing”. No citation, and nor will there be (same with “escorted by French coast guard”).
One member of the Brexiteer brains trust said the rules were rubbish. “It is certainly a guide to the quality of intellect of the people who frame these agreements and their sloppy thinking. Equally it attests to the lazy scrutiny of British MPs that they signed up to this without seeing the gaping holes, or perhaps they knew and stated mute”. Yeah, right.
There was more France blaming. “So we must abide by the rules but the French don't have to? They should be ‘rescuing’ them before they get too far”. To which one Tweeter felt the need to correct with “they do, but much like UK authorities, they can't catch them all, but unlike the UK their press don't get hysterical about it”. And still there was more.
Another specimen said it wasn’t really the law, and it didn’t apply anyway: “These are mostly conventions not laws and were drawn up to deal with decent people suffering accidental misfortune not criminals deliberately endangering the lives of rescue services while breaking the law”. Brown and black people in inflatables are now criminals!
And back he came for another go: “They are not refugees and they are entering the country illegally. By what loony-left convoluted logic is this not ‘breaking the law’?” Bit more of that guilt-by-decree and circular argument, demonstrating that Farage is getting his propaganda across, and there are too many people taking the SOB on trust.
If there’s too much of anything here, it’s intolerance and bigotry. No change there, then.
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