One morning in late October a large cruise ship flying the Panamanian flag anchors off Ramsgate. Customs, who have been watching her for some time as she made her way up the English Channel, send a cutter. Its crew report that the name of the ship is Windrush 2, with five thousand asylum seekers on board, all claiming asylum. Her captain says they are not trying to enter the country illegally as all of them, having a well-founded fear of persecution in their own countries, are claiming asylum under the 1951 UN Convention on refugees. He wants the border force to ferry them ashore, adding that similar ships are on the way. This method is far safer for the refugees who now can undertake the journey risk free and in comfort, while not breaking the law by failing to seek asylum in the first safe country they come to (Britain is their first safe country) and of course it is much cheaper. The only difference is the size of the transport.
There is much huffing and puffing in the Daily Mail about our island kingdom. Various ministers appear on TV to ‘vow’ this outrage will be speedily ended. Meanwhile, just as they do every day, convoys of charity workers head for Ramsgate, (they will advise all their clients over 18 to claim they are under eighteen) the Home Office books all the town’s available hotel rooms and beyond, teams of immigration lawyers arrive. Talks go on until midnight in the Treasury about funding legal aid for the migrants as each has a right to be properly (and expensively) defended. A convoy of Border Force ships set out for the Windrush 2 to take off the migrants; on board are BBC reporters on the lookout for human interest stories to sweeten the public palette for this latest migration dish about to be forced down their throats.
With the exception of the size of the boat this is the exact state of migration today. Windrush 2 is what Einstein called a ‘Gedanken’ experiment, a ‘thought experiment’ laying out the principles of an idea to see its consequences.
Priti Patel proposes to stop asylum seeking growing into a scandal of Windrush 2 proportions by making it an offence for illegal migrants to enter the UK without permission. In future, asylum seekers will have to apply to a British embassy or consulate abroad where their cases will be assessed, and if genuine will be given papers to come to Britain.
Lawyers will make mincemeat (and loads of money) of her proposals, claiming every one of the passengers on Windrush 2 is making an urgent claim for shelter, just as a man fleeing a gang in the streets might seek shelter in a nearby house. Time is of the essence. If you are in a country where you are being pursued by the police, waiting for the British Embassy to give you permission to come to Britain would be highly dangerous. Better buy a passage to Calais from the gangs.
The lawyers’ case is a tissue of lies, just as the entire history of illegal migration into Britain from the 1980’s onward is based on a huge lie. Modern asylum seeking is almost all economic, a considered financial decision taken over many months by a migrant and his family often with plans for his entire family to follow. Just as foreign aid is money given by the poor of one country to the rich of another, illegal asylum seekers are rich people moving from a poor country to a rich country in order to avail themselves of the pension funds and social security of the latter’s poor.
Allowing illegal migration to go unchecked is an assault on the very idea of nationhood, a breach of our frontier, an invasion as terrible to some as the French endured on seeing German soldiers marching through their streets through lines of cowed and silent civilians. We did not ask for this. But those who rule us no longer care what we want, even worse, they no longer care they don’t care. They know they have the means to crush us; by jail if we speak out, by taking away our jobs, by telling our children lies about our history, by demolishing our statues and ripping up our history. How long are we going to tolerate this gigantic lie?
Editorial Published 1st September 2021