What an absolute state this country is turning into.

It’s getting beyond ridiculous. The focus a single tweet is getting regarding one of the most inhumane government policies proposed is actually insane.

Whether you’re from the UK or not, you may well have heard about the *currently temporary* removal of Gary Lineker from Match of the Day. In a tweet on his personal page, he likened the language used in a recent proposed government policy aimed to prevent migrants from crossing the channel to language used in 1930s Germany. The exact tweet is below.

The thing is he isn’t wrong. Anyone who studied the rise of Germany in the lead up to World War Two in school or college will know what 1930s Germany propaganda was like. It started as the blaming of Jews for the problems in German society, then seeing them as sub-human, the banning of media and censoring of dissenting voices soon followed, and before long you’re witnessing the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

Now, am I saying that the UK government is going to end up committing those atrocities? Absolutely not, they aren’t nazis and that’s not a comparison that Gary Lineker is making either. But the language that is being used against these migrants, calling the crossings ‘an invasion’, and attempting to strike fear in people that ‘hundreds of millions’ want to make the dangerous trip to the UK across the channel. It’s designed to make people feel a hatred towards people they’ve never met, to divide and distract from any of the real issues that actually are affecting the general public (see: cost of living, energy prices, NHS collapse, government corruption, etc); it’s reminiscent of many fascistic movements that blame minorities for the issues seen in society, often as they reap the benefits of being in power.

What We Should Actually Be Angry About

This whole focus on Lineker takes away the pressure that we all should be putting on one of the most inhumane policies ever proposed by a governing party here in the UK. A policy that Suella Braverman (Home Secretary and primary sponsor of the policy) could not even confirm was legal. The European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations have both come out and said that the policy is “deeply concerning” and likely contravenes international human rights laws.

The illegal immigration bill is designed to remove anyone who makes the journey across the English Channel immediately without listening to any asylum claims they may have. Whilst waiting to be removed (where to we don’t know, there’s very little specifics in the bill), all migrants would be detained, children included, before being removed. To me, one of the most worrying points in this bill is that it also removes any modern slavery protections from those who cross the channel, many of which are taken advantage of by trafficking gangs on the French side of the border with the aim of being met on the English side by traffickers and likely led into slavery.

In the ever-increasingly blurry line between politicians and journalists, Braverman wrote her own piece in the Daily Mail where she wrote that there were hundreds of millions of refugees around the world, and that billions more would want to come here (to the UK). Last year, 45,000 made the dangerous trip across the channel. Saying that billions want to come here is some of the most blatant fear mongering designed to increase hatred of those seeking asylum.

And this is all because of a crisis that has been entirely manufactured by the Tory Government. Outside of the three existing pathways for refugees coming from Ukraine, Hong Kong and Afghanistan (as long as they worked with the British army) there is NO safe route for any other refugee who has been forced from their country. Those who want to come to the UK usually have their own reasons; family are already here, there’s a common language or they’ve been unable to claim asylum in other countries.

Those that do make the dangerous journey across the channel are then housed in hotels – a recent change in government policy that has clearly been used to spark anger in much of the British public. Previously, and what has long been the recommended housing of choice was shared accommodation. This gave asylum seekers their own space and better opportunities to become part of the communities that they are housed in, but instead they’re locked in hotels that have been taken over by the Home Office. And all of this has been caused by the backlog of asylum claims at the Home Office. In 2010 the asylum claim back log was just over 6,000. In September 2022, that increased to 117,000 applications and by the end of the year there were over 166,000.

A Crisis Designed to Grow Hatred

Whether those applications are successful for unsuccessful, there’s a clear reason why immigration has become such a problem. Since the Conservatives took over from Labour in 2010, the backlog of asylum claims is 25-30 times higher now and yet we seem to ignore that like this is a brand new crisis. Yes, more migrants are coming across by boat, but those coming in through other routes are reducing and there are much fewer safe routes now than there have been previously.

The idea of migrants being the drain on society that Conservatives and those on the right would like you to be leave is farcical. The reason it is costing £72million per day to house migrants is because the government recently decided they’re going to use hotels rather than the shared housing that has been used in the past, and that they refuse to do anything about the massive backlog that has been created under their watch – its nothing to do with a small boat making a terrifying journey across the channel.

Now I’m not going to ignore the fact that there are a significant number of Albanians making the trip across the channel, for a country that isn’t at war or would appear to have a reason for people needing to claim asylum it is absolutely something that needs addressing. But if so, then that conversation needs to be had with Albania if their applications are rejected. A blanket ban on migrants who are desperate and trafficked across the channel is a disgusting way to treat those in need and fully deserves the criticism it should be getting, not to mention the likely illegality of the whole bill under the ECHR, UN human rights law, or any refugee convention that the UK is part of.

But, instead the conversation continues to be centred around an objectively true statement made by a sports presenter on his personal Twitter account. What on earth have we become…

Leave a Reply