There, readers have been told that “Migrants who board boats to cross the Channel or come to Britain via other illegal routes will be routinely denied asylum under new laws to be unveiled today by Priti Patel, the home secretary. In a major shake-up of asylum rules, the government plans a two-tier system where migrants are treated differently if they pay criminal gangs to help them come to Britain”. Why should that be? But there is more.
“Patel says it is ‘morally indefensible’ that people paying traffickers ‘elbow’ aside genuine asylum seekers. The home secretary will unveil a six-point plan that will be outlined in a ‘fair borders bill’ to be published next year”. Those quote marks are doing some seriously heavy lifting. So who has brought forth this steaming pile of weapons grade bullpucky?
Once again, following Andrew Norfolk in having his reputation sprayed up the wall in service of the Murdoch agenda, it is the ST’s political editor Tim Shipman who has conducted the interview, and once again does not appear to have seriously interrogated his interviewee. For starters, there is the casual use of the word “illegal”.
Someone who is seeking asylum is not “illegal”. They just aren’t, whether the audience is the Tories’ supposed “virtual conference” or not. And on the subject of Ms Patel getting away with talking out of the back of her neck, we arrive at those Human Rights.
May Bulman of the Independent picked that one up: “'We see people using human rights, modern-day slavery, as reasons why they cannot be removed' - Priti Patel … Because these ARE reasons why some vulnerable asylum seekers cannot be removed. It's the law”. Once again: everyone gets human rights. Not just people the Tories want to get them.
It wasn’t the only aspect of Shippers’ shipping of bull that left her unimpressed. “Also not sure about [The Sunday Times]’s claim that the no. of [people] paying traffickers to get to the UK is on the rise … We need to remember that the rise in boat crossings is largely due to a shift in method away from stowing away in lorries (far less visible)”.
Also, why is someone who may have paid for their place in one of those inflatable boats not a “genuine” asylum seeker? Moreover, the idea that those people are “elbowing” others out of the way infers there is some kind of quota for asylum applications. It would be interesting to see a reliable citation for that one. Because there won’t be one.
But we do know that the legal profession will also be targeted, especially after the Sunday Sun spelt out its disdain for them in today’s suitably frothing editorial. Why Ms Patel has a problem with human beings exercising their right to legal representation is worrying, as is the idea that some ways of arriving in the UK are being arbitrarily labelled “illegal”.
So let me help Shippers and his pals. Priti Patel is irredeemably incompetent. You know this. So stop taking dictation and say so. Tell the truth. That’s what real journalists do.
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