Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Sunday 23 August 2020

Migrant Queue Jumping ISN’T

While migrants continue to attempt crossings of the Channel from France to south-east England in flimsy inflatable boats, increasingly desperate politicians out there on the right continue to attempt to demonise the practice, blaming anyone and everyone except their own policies. Those attempting this deflection now include East Worthing and Shoreham’s Tory MP Tim Loughton, who appeared on BBC Newsnight last Friday.

Tim Loughton MP

Here’s what he said. “People who are coming across the Channel in dinghies, many of them, most of them paying money to people traffickers, illegal people traffickers, big crime, are effectively queue jumping and stealing places from those genuine refugees who are playing by the rules, who could apply, in the first port that they reach, or from the refugee camps in places like Jordan. And our policy in this country has been to concentrate on those genuine refugees, some of the most vulnerable people”.

There is only one problem with his “queue jumping” assertion: there is no queue. And the only place you can claim asylum in the UK is, er, the UK. This matters, because it is the responsibility of Government MPs like Loughton not to spread misinformation. It’s not as if we don’t know where that leads, or that we’ve already been warned about it.

Back in 2015, “In the lead up to Refugee Week, Australian Red Cross surveyed people across the country to discover just what they do and don’t know”, The Guardian reported. “It’s not a crime to come to Australia by boat without a visa and ask for protection … But we found seven out of 10 people believe it is”. Also, “There’s no official queue for people coming to Australia seeking a safe place to live. But six out of 10 people think there is”.

That article went on to explain “The United Nations process of resettling refugees in other safe countries doesn’t operate like a queue. It’s not a matter of lining up, waiting for your number to come up … The resettlement system operates as a discretionary process, based on changing criteria”. And there was a reminder of this in the UK only last year.

As so often, that reminder had to come from a BAME person: on Sky News’ The Pledge, journalist and pundit Afua Hirsch reminded her fellow panellists “There is no route for low-skilled migrants from places like Vietnam to lawfully come to a country like the UK to work. So it’s not like they’re jumping the queue. There is no queue … We need a system that does allow people … they’re doing jobs in our economy, they’re not coming to live on benefits, they’re working”. Loughton is putting forward a false premise.

Also, by denying those migrants a safe and legal route to the UK, a black economy market has sprung up, as with so many other illegal things - like drugs.

If the Tories have no proposals to address this issue, it would help immensely if they admit the fact, rather than constantly peddling misinformation. I’ll just leave that one there.

Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Jez Box said...

My constituency MP. He is truly appalling.

Anonymous said...

Concise Tim: Loughton is a lying hypocrite.

Martin Read said...

Loughton's government are built upo false premises.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

As I age, so constituency names become more incomprehensible. "Spelthorne" works better as a name for somewhere oop north, but it's in Surrey. Wansbeck feels more a speculative-builder's housing estate in the Home Counties, but it's actually Morpeth and surrounds. Are the rivers Mole and Mean so well-known their valleys are instantly located in the public mind?

And so we arrive at East Worthing and Shoreham. Shades of Lady Bracknell. Not to mention the massive and internationally-known stream, the Adur, giving the local authority another abstruse reference.

When presented with "East Worthing" as a descriptor, my mind goes to 1991: Wales 13, Western Samoa 16; and the crushing comment "It's as well we weren't facing the whole Samoa". Since the whole of Worthing would add Peter Bottomley MP, who seems a harmless old buffer, I'm having difficulty engaging here.

AndyC said...

Tim wrote:'...because it is the responsibility of Government MPs like Loughton not to spread misinformation.'

It is indeed, even though it appears no occupant of the Tory benches in the H of Cs will tell the truth when they can tell a half-truth, a misleading statement or a downright lie. Furthermore, did the Newsnight interviewer correct Loughton at the time? Was a correction given before the end of the programme? Or was it allowed to go completely unchallanged?

Anonymous said...

racist tory gammon cunt