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Tuesday 1 March 2022

UK Cross Party Refugee Shut-Out

As Sergei Lavrov, a worthy successor to Andrei Gromyko as the grim and unsmiling face of Russian foreign policy, transmitted the demands of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and his gangsterist rĂ©gime to the outside world, that “the West must not build military facilities in countries of the former Soviet Union”, and claiming that invading Ukraine was to stop the country acquiring nuclear weapons (yeah, right), the refugee crisis has intensified.

He doesn't want to open the door of welcome ...

The EU has responded accordingly: “All refugees from Ukraine are welcome, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised. ‘Everyone who has to flee Putin's bombs will be welcomed with open arms’”. Ukrainian citizens can visit EU member states for up to 90 days anyway; the Union is already ensuring that those fleeing the conflict can remain for longer. But here in the UK, all is rather different.

The Government of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude wants to be seen to be tough on migration, if not tough on the causes of migration. So it was that yesterday, Benidorm Holiday Rep Home Secretary Priti Patel told the Commons that she was “widening the definition” of “immediate family” to allow a further 100,000 refugees to come to the UK. But then a problem entered.

Mark Easton of the BBC had the bad news for so many relatives of Ukrainians living in the UK: “Asked today if Ukrainian pensioner refugee Valentina Rumyantsyeva could come to London on the Eurostar having been turned back on Saturday, the Home Secretary said 'yes'. But [The Home Office] has since told me she is still not eligible to join her daughter”.

This morning, Easton added “Someone from [The Home Office] contacted Ukrainian refugee Valentina in Paris after my piece last night promising she would get a visa to the UK. Still nothing in writing. But on what basis? The current rules mean she remains ineligible. Compassion or desperate PR?” At that stage, the opposition was unimpressed.

The charge was led by Yvette Cooper: as Paul Waugh of the i Paper told, she “today asked [Priti Patel] if her visa policy would mean an elderly Ukrainian woman stuck at Gare du Nord could now join her daughter in the UK. ‘Yes’ replied the Home Secretary. But she really meant ‘No’”. Which sounds like Ms Patel may have misled the Commons.

So, after all that, and a disastrous interview of Dominic Raab - frighteningly, he is Bozo’s deputy - by ITV this morning, what would a sensible, principled and empathetic opposition have done, after 40 Tory MPs urged their party to follow the EU’s lead? What would the Labour Party of old have done? What would Nietzsche have done?

... and, sadly, it seems that neither does he

Sadly, as the Independent has reported, “Speaking on Monday evening the opposition party's international development spokesperson was asked about demand but would only say the process for applying to come to the UK should be ‘simplified’. Preet Kaur Gill said the UK's visa website needed to be improved and that ‘only those people that have family members in the United Kingdom’ wanted to come to Britain”.

Is there so much political capital to be gained by being intolerant? Is this what the UK has now become? A country where there is cross-party support for turning away refugees?

The lurch to the right continues, unhindered by humanity. Shame on the Labour Party.

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Anonymous said...

It might just be that Lavrov got his "grim and unsmiling face" not from some long dead character but from, say, Blinken, Bozo, Macron, Von Der Leyen, Biden any other number of "grim and unsmiling" faces in NATO. Maybe even from the tinpot harpy Truss.

It's such a small personality world these days.......

Anonymous said...

In other news Sweden and Switzerland are no longer neutral nations. They support arms imports into a war zone.

Not that Switzerland was ever really neutral. Not while its banks harbour secret accounts of assorted international murderers, thieves, money launderers and drugstore dealers. You know, the kind of criminals ignored by corporate media Uriah Heeps.

Anonymous said...

Nuke the Kremlin!

Mr Larrington said...

Meanwhile, hideous gammon poster-boi and Father Jack's stunt double Sir Edward Leigh, he say: 'In Lincolnshire we've done our bit with immigration from Eastern Europe' - and praises disgraced former International Development Secretary Piggi Patel for 'not throwing away the rulebook' for people fleeing Ukraine. The great roaster.

Anonymous said...

From another forum:

Five truly disturbing takes I've read on here this week.

1. Joe Biden's response to the hostilities will cement him as one of the great world leaders of our time.

2. China wants to invade and occupy Australia.

3. In order to de-escalate the situation, NATO should assassinate Putin.

4. Russia - specifically its highly sophisticated "twitter farms" or whatever in St Petersburg - is directly responsible for swaying political majorities in the country where this tech was invented and controlled. This despite the fact that it demonstrably can't win the propaganda war against fellas filming each other de-mining bridges with their bare hands, and a few Ukrainian shitposters backed up by Oz Katerji and Ian Dunt.

5. Putin is going to annihilate the planet because he has Parkinsons.

I've often tried to vocalise how things felt during the fevered run up to the invasion of Iraq (and Afghanistan for that matter) but always come up short. Was always impossible to convey the sheer amount of bloodthirsty clamour for escalation of hostilities by people who knew they wouldn't be affected. Or the amount of lies spouted to justify it.

This is as close as I remember it being. Definite parallels between the McCarthyism towards anyone who doesn't think it's a Marvel good-guy vs bad-guy movie.

That it's mainly from extremely comfortable fellas in their forties and fifties who never have or will see real violence makes it even grimmer, and is reminiscent of the Ballard quote I saw the other day: "The suburbs dream of violence. Asleep in their drowsy villas, sheltered by benevolent shopping malls, they wait patiently for the nightmares that will wake them into a more passionate world."

Anonymous said...

I am afraid of what's coming. Tribalism is growing and the war drum is getting louder. It's looking like things could get out of control very quickly and it will be game over for all of us.