Oh do fuck off Ms. May

A British citizen whose family believe he is being tortured by American secret agents has suddenly had all his rights as a UK national removed by the Home Secretary.

Mahdi Hashi – who MI5 once tried to recruit as a spy – has been deprived of his British passport, denied access to consular assistance and may never return to Britain. He is thought to be being held in an African prison.

It may well be that the law gives Theresa May the right to strip a British citizen of that citizenship.

But it shouldn\’t. They work for us and by definition a citizen is one of us.

He\’s been a naughty boy? Try him and put him in jail. But he\’s still one of us.

Shit, we used to send gunboats out to kill Johnny Foreigner when they forgot this vital point (Don Pacifico anyone?).

The Home Secretary has just shat on the very concept of civil liberty.

52 comments on “Oh do fuck off Ms. May

  1. Thanks to the previous government handing out British passports like confetti in a malicious attempt to import Labour voters and “rub the right’s noses in diversity”, I’m not sure the assumption that a UK national is “one of us” is realistic anymore.

    There has to be reciprocation. Do you think Muslim rape gangs or Jihadists feel like “one of us”? Or is their British passport a mere document of convenience that allows them to get closer to their intended victims?

  2. What Steve Said.

    In what sense is this guy ‘one of us’? Only in the sense that politicians and bureaucrats – a.k.a. the people libertarians usually affect to despise – decided to bung him a passport.

    If it’s wrong for a politician to cancel his citizenship, why was it OK for politicians to give it to him in the first place (I think we can all guess which decision featured the most ‘due diligence’)?

    Ditto, if we can’t trust politicians to run healthcare or schools, why should we trust them when they tell us murderous Islamonazi lunatics are now, in fact, regular Joe, salt of the Earth, Brits, guv?

  3. why should we trust them when they tell us murderous Islamonazi lunatics are now, in fact, regular Joe, salt of the Earth, Brits, guv?

    1. We don’t trust them.

    2. There aren’t native born Brit islamonazis?

    3. There aren’t native born Brit non-Muslim murderous lunatics?

  4. In what sense is this guy ‘one of us’? Only in the sense that politicians and bureaucrats – a.k.a. the people libertarians usually affect to despise – decided to bung him a passport.

    This is also about people being honourable. You make a commitment to people, you stick by it. It might be that some moron underling ticked the wrong box. It doesn’t matter. You gave him the right of citizenship.

    And “public interest” says that he remains as a citizen and gets treated just like a citizen. Because if they’ll give consular support to a non-white man who is suspected of Islamist extremism, they’ll also do it for you.

  5. TA, perfectly put.

    1 and 2, by all means be fussy about who you make a citizen, but don’t go back on it.

  6. Indeed. We should make a big underground prison, preferably combined with a no-wage pay-for food uranium mine, into which we put all the bureaucrats and politicians that handed out the citizenships like candy and their islamofascist clients.

    But we should not be delivering them present-wrapped to CIA:s “Arab Spring”-generated “interrogation experts”.

  7. There may (I’m not sure) be an argument for a one-off removal of citizenships granted during the Blair years.

    But even if there is, that should be the whole lot; we certainly shouldn’t be selectively removing citizenship from certain individuals who are causing the government a bit of embarrassment.

  8. “@Luke // Oct 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    TA, perfectly put.

    1 and 2, by all means be fussy about who you make a citizen, but don’t go back on it.

    Why not? If some politcian went mad and gave loads of pedophile worshippers citizenship why can’t another undo it?
    From the sound of it he got his passport through fraud i.e. they claimed asylum when obviously they can visit Somalia. So he and the 100,000s of others who got passports through fraud should lose them.

  9. “Shit, we used to send gunboats out to kill Johnny Foreigner when they forgot this vital point (Don Pacifico anyone?).”
    If we still did that we would have sent tanks to Bradford in 88 to kill those who wanted to kill Rushdie.

    Tim adds: Ah, but then I’m one of those who think we should have. Not tanks, to be sure, but prosecutions for incitement to violence most certainly.

    Civis Britannicus Sum and all that.

    And yes, I really do and will defend that. To the Don Pacifico point. That’s why we have the Armed Forces. To defend the rights of the citizenry.

  10. If they can take away his passport and citezenship then they can take away yours.

    Didn’t Tom Paine say something about precedents reaching yourself?

  11. David said: “From the sound of it he got his passport through fraud i.e. they claimed asylum when obviously they can visit Somalia. So he and the 100,000s of others who got passports through fraud should lose them.”

    I disagree. If they can take his citizenship from him they can take mine. And it appears they can do so without needing to put it in front of a judge.

    If his citizenship was obtained by fraud he should be charged with fraud or whatever offence applies – but it shouldn’t be taken from him. The mistake (if it was a mistake) by the state in granting him citizenship cannot be corrected by the state making another mistake.

  12. A British passport does not make this man “one of us ” . There is a bit more to it than that .
    Naivety is not becoming in a blog Meister !

    Tim adds: Yes, a passport does make someone one of us. That is the definition of “one of us”. If you think that skin colour, religion, age, sex or anything else determines it then you are just plain, flat out, wrong.

    As my example of Don Pacifico shows.

  13. Oxonymous (#10) said “If they can take away his passport and citizenship then they can take away yours”

    That depends on whether they restrict the taking away to those who acquired it other than by birth.

    The “thin end of the wedge” has already been inserted when they gave themselves the power to do this. Therefore the selfish argument that they might do this to me doesn’t really apply here.

  14. I don’t believe the law differentiates between ‘born here’ and ‘not born here’. If it doesn’t, then taking away Johnny Once-was-a-foreigner’s passport is no harder than taking away mine.

    Isn’t it a bit fetishistic to get attached simply to the location of one’s birth? Don Pacifico was about as ‘un-English’ a man as you could get. His birth in Gibraltar didn’t change that, and doesn’t make him necessarily more worthy of citizenship than foreigners.

    You know, believing in things like rights and due process is only actually important for these difficult cases. I would rather have one or two knob-heads retain their citizenship, rather than giving Jack Boot Theresa the ability to cross me off the list.

  15. @Richard
    “The “thin end of the wedge” has already been inserted when they gave themselves the power to do this. Therefore the selfish argument that they might do this to me doesn’t really apply here.”
    Quite right my brother is always going to be family come what may. I hope my wife will be but there exists the possibility of divorce.
    IMHO the same difference should exist for those who were born British and those who acquired British passports.

  16. “Oxonymous // Oct 28, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I don’t believe the law differentiates between ‘born here’ and ‘not born here’. If it doesn’t, then taking away Johnny Once-was-a-foreigner’s passport is no harder than taking away mine. ”

    Have you heard of google? If you use it you find that you are wrong.
    “British nationals who are naturalised or registered may have their certificates revoked (and hence lose British nationality) if British nationality was obtained by fraud or concealment of a material fact.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_nationality_law#British_citizenship_by_naturalisation
    I know a parasite who lied to get British citizenship I
    wonder who I can grass them up to.

  17. David,

    Please. Relying on Wikipedia? Try the British Nationality Act 1981.

    Now, yes, s40.3 is fine – you can be legally deprived of something you fraudulent require.

    However, s40.2 does not distinguish between, as Oxonymous stated, Brit-born and Brit-acquired.

    However^2, you could have more reasonably brought up s40.4 – somebody made stateless might have grounds for judicial review as the SoS can’t make a person stateless (but ‘satisfied’ is a legally weak word). But then also note s41.2 – no appeal if the SoS so declares. Yah boo sucks.

  18. How come the ‘thin end of the wedge’ argument doesn’t apply to the joint? After all, if they can jail people for armed robbery, they can jail anyone, right?

    This guy lied like a rug to get a passport, then took up arms against this country. That’s two good reasons for the boot right there.

    All people are proving when they talk about slippery slopes is that the case for ejecting this guy is rock solid. Get back to us when the government really does try and eject a neurosurgeon from Madras who’s lived a blameless life in Scunthorpe.

  19. Well done David & SE.

    Here’s the bit of law they’re referencing:

    (2)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.]

    (3)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status which results from his registration or naturalisation if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of—
    (a)fraud,
    (b)false representation, or
    (c)concealment of a material fact.

    TW might argue with (2), but since in the present case she’s applying (3), which is standard contract law.

    It’s unfair to bash Ms May on this one.

  20. “Thomas Gibbon // Oct 28, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Well done David & SE.

    Here’s the bit of law they’re referencing:

    (2)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status if the Secretary of State is satisfied that deprivation is conducive to the public good.]

    (3)The Secretary of State may by order deprive a person of a citizenship status which results from his registration or naturalisation if the Secretary of State is satisfied that the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of—
    (a)fraud,
    (b)false representation, or
    (c)concealment of a material fact.

    TW might argue with (2), but since in the present case she’s applying (3), which is standard contract law.”
    I thought it was under 2. Which I can understand people being concerned about, thin end of the edge etc. However I doubt it. I really doubt my foreign born wife is in any danger from this case (unlike from Mr Hashi who is much more dangerous).

  21. Hmm, interesting; it seems the original 1981 version didn’t apply to those who were born British:
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/61/section/40/enacted

    The ability to deprive a natural born Englishman of his birthright appears to have started in 2002, for conduct “seriously prejudicial to the vital interests” of the country, and to have been broadened to “conducive to the public good” in 2006.

    But subsection 4 appears to stop it applying to anyone who is born British and without dual nationality (judicial review should sort out the vagueness of the Secretary of State being “satisfied”).

  22. David, of course your foreign born wife is at risk. We UK born peeps can just make up the rules as we go along,

  23. It’s weird that there are supporters of arbitrary power wielded by politicians with no chance for appeal.

    And it’s strange that the Mail has a more sensible and liberal view than commenters at chez Worstall.

    Many of us would, at first sight, applaud measures that were aimed against radical preachers and other ungrateful troublemakers in our midst. It is tempting to say ‘kick them out and be done with it’.
    But if you license the use of arbitrary authority against others, then you license its use against yourself.
    We are a great civilisation mainly because we invented the idea that power should always be under the law. Whatever the temptations, we should not abandon that tremendous principle.

  24. Retrospective rulings are WRONG
    If HMG thinks the guy is a bad’un then say so and carry out a trial, but don’t just use a New Labour procedure to deprive him of his rights.
    I accept David’s and Thomas Gibbon’s points – who can argue against them – but we need a trial to revoke citizenship that has been previously granted.

  25. Do the commenters who say Hashi obtained his nationality through fraud have a cite?

    Because I am struggling to find evidence for that.
    I wonder if they are confusing him with someone else…

  26. Tim adds: Yes, a passport does make someone one of us. That is the definition of “one of us”. If you think that skin colour, religion, age, sex or anything else determines it then you are just plain, flat out, wrong. As my example of Don Pacifico shows.

    In a strict legal sense, he may be wrong. But if mere possession of a passport makes you British then merely taking it back makes you not British. An administrative decision either way. Once the meaning in the passport has been debased to this extent, it hardly matters.

    Maine used to say that in the modern world we have moved from obligation to contract. We have moved from statuses being ascribed to us because of who we are to a free association of people who make whatever private contractual arrangements we like. This seems to me to be more of the same trend.

    It used to be the case that you had to be British by blood to be British. Now Blair has prostituted that citizenship not merely to the point of meaningless. However if we are replacing that idea of a “blood community” to one of a contractual obligation – you are British not because you are of British descent but because you wanted to join the Club, you were accepted as a member of the Club and no one Blackballed you – then I don’t see why that process should be one-way. You break the Club’s rules, we expel you.

    Yes, there are issues about civil liberties, but they are procedural issues. The government could abuse this process so it should not be a pen stroke of the Minister. Not that we should not do it at all. I do not see how getting a devalued and debased travel document of convenience makes the rest of us obligated to someone for the rest of their life. The ties that bind no longer bind.

    Normally most people here would be happy that those old rules have been replaced by more modern contractual arrangements. So where is the problem here?

    And repeatedly citing Don Pacifico – one of the worst foreign policy decisions of the time – does not make it more convincing. Especially given the British government cannot protect us at home much less over seas. As does not want to. Let them at least protect us from a token Islamist or two. At least in the brief period before the Muslim community becomes a majority in Britain when Don Pacifico would be treated very differently indeed.

  27. “It used to be the case that you had to be British by blood to be British.”

    No it didn’t. I do wish all the racists would wake up and realise that undeniable fact. It has never been the case, ever.

  28. Dave – “No it didn’t. I do wish all the racists would wake up and realise that undeniable fact. It has never been the case, ever.”

    Actually it kind of did. The law may have said otherwise, but when people treated even Disraeli like a foreigner, you can see that it did.

    Traditionally Britain had a very clear general understanding on what it was to be British. Even if the law said otherwise. Other people may have moved here, but that did not make them British much less English. That took longer.

    You can see this by the number of smart arse Leftists who refer to the Royals as German. The Royals have been here a little while. They are part something else by blood but even that does not matter much.

  29. The people suggesting Hashi obtained his British nationality by fraud are simply wrong.

    His family claimed asylum on his behalf when he was five years old; once he was 10 he was eligible by residence for indefinite leave to remain; once he’d also had indefinite leave to remain for a year, he was eligible for citizenship.

    It is 40.2 above, not 40.3, that May is applying. I’d agree that there is some justification for the existence of 40.3.

    SMfS: you’re rather disingenuously conflating “is treated as British by some members of the public” with “is a British citizen”.There are still plenty of people who don’t view Brits of non-British descent as properly British, as there were 200 years ago. But that has absolutely no bearing on whether they *are* or not.

  30. SMFS (#30), I’m not sure that Disraeli is a very good example. He was, despite his Jewish ancestry, leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister in an age of a fairly wide franchise.

    Indeed from memory did’t his election results improve vs the Liberals when the franchise was broadened?

    Weren’t there a couple of Indian MPs in the late 19th century as well? At least one of them a Tory and for reasonably mass-electorate constituencies? Suggests that, at least in Empire days, we really were all broadly regarded as British.

  31. @john b // Oct 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    The people suggesting Hashi obtained his British nationality by fraud are simply wrong.

    His family claimed asylum on his behalf when he was five years old; once he was 10 he was eligible by residence for indefinite leave to remain; once he’d also had indefinite leave to remain for a year, he was eligible for citizenship. ”
    He claimed asylum and now he can go back without fear – isn’t that fraud?

  32. And if we’re looking for historical precedents for nationality, in contrast to Don Pacifico may I suggest Lawrence Durrell?

    As British as you can get, even to the extent of complaining about the weather and living abroad.

    Lost his British citizenship in the 1960s (under one of the Immigration Acts) because his family had gone out to build the Raj so early that he, his parents and his grandparents (*) had all been born in India and so he didn’t qualify as British.

    (* certainly his paternal grandfather, but I think his other grandparents as well)

  33. David (#33) said “He claimed asylum and now he can go back without fear – isn’t that fraud?”

    Not necessarily, the fraud depending on whether it was true at the time.

    And if he is being tortured by the Cousins in Africa, perhaps he was right that it wasn’t safe for him to go back?

  34. David: short answer is no.

    Once a refugee has been legally resident in the UK for five years, they may claim indefinite leave to remain. After that, it doesn’t matter whether their old country has become an earthly paradise in the meantime; they have the legal right to live in the UK, and that’s that.

    Richard’s point (that it would seem Somalia isn’t very safe after all) would also be relevant, even if the above wasn’t the case.

    On Durrell, he will have been one of the last remaining British Subjects.

  35. If David thinks a five year old and family committed fraud in seeking (and gaining asylum) 18 years ago when the country was dangerous because today it isn’t dangerous, isn’t the “short answer” that David is an idiot?

  36. The other comment being – and making the flying assumption that the family lied, is it right to punish 23 year olds for the frauds of their parents 18 years ago?

    Different if you caught it while he was still a minor and deport the family (on s40.3).

  37. “no” is shorter than “David is an idiot”, but both would indeed seem to apply.

    SE: indeed, and of course it wouldn’t be right. The current programme in the US to avoid punishing the well-behaved kids of undocumented immigrants for their parents’ misdeeds is a very sensible step in the right direction.

    If he wasn’t in somebody’s dark jail, then I reckon Hashi would have a decent case against HMG under HRA2003. But I don’t rate his chances of getting to bring one any time soon.

  38. Richard>

    “And if we’re looking for historical precedents for nationality, in contrast to Don Pacifico may I suggest Lawrence Durrell?”

    No. He was never stripped of citizenship. He never had citizenship in the first place. He kept the citizenship that he did have, although Parliament legislated changes in the benefits attached to that citizenship. That’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

  39. @
    “If David thinks a five year old and family committed fraud in seeking (and gaining asylum) 18 years ago when the country was dangerous because today it isn’t dangerous, isn’t the “short answer” that David is an idiot?”
    Why don’t you go there on holiday? It is meant to be really nice?
    Ask to meet Al Shabab they are very nice

  40. john b // Oct 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    SE: indeed, and of course it wouldn’t be right. The current programme in the US to avoid punishing the well-behaved kids of undocumented immigrants for their parents’ misdeeds is a very sensible step in the right direction.”
    People shouldn’t benefit from crime. I know lots of people who would love to live here but are too honest.

    Of course Somali wasn’t very nice in the past most Muslim countries aren’t – that is why I don’t the UK to become like them.

  41. “john b // Oct 29, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Once a refugee has been legally resident in the UK for five years, they may claim indefinite leave to remain. After that, it doesn’t matter whether their old country has become an earthly paradise in the meantime; they have the legal right to live in the UK, and that’s that. ”
    That is now how it should be IMHO a) if they are not a beneficial person they should have to go back when conditions improve b) if they go back home
    as soon as they get refugee status then their status should be removed.
    I know a bogus Colombian refugee and despite having a British passport she still goes home via Ecuador in case she gets caught (she credits our Government with too much intelligence).
    I am in favour of asylum because of what happened to the Jews in World War II. However I don’t think many Jews visited Nazi Germany during World War II. Many refugees do what they claim is the same today – and surprisingly almost all survive!!!

  42. john b – “The people suggesting Hashi obtained his British nationality by fraud are simply wrong.”

    Aren’t you simply suggesting his family were the ones who committed fraud?

    “you’re rather disingenuously conflating “is treated as British by some members of the public” with “is a British citizen”.”

    No I am not. I am being very clear about the difference between holding a passport and being British. And like it or not, the British tradition always has been based on race.

    “There are still plenty of people who don’t view Brits of non-British descent as properly British, as there were 200 years ago. But that has absolutely no bearing on whether they *are* or not.”

    I tend to think that British people have made a determined effort to move beyond that race based determination. However I don’t think anyone else has. Do Black people with British passports see themselves as British? More and more I think. But English? No. So this man in particular looks like someone who was not and did not want to be part of the community but held a passport. That is a valid distinction to make.

    32 Richard – “I’m not sure that Disraeli is a very good example. He was, despite his Jewish ancestry, leader of the Tory Party and Prime Minister in an age of a fairly wide franchise.”

    Isn’t that precisely why he is such a good example? If even an outstanding example of assimilation, such as it was, as Disraeli was still viewed as foreign, who wasn’t?

    “Weren’t there a couple of Indian MPs in the late 19th century as well? At least one of them a Tory and for reasonably mass-electorate constituencies? Suggests that, at least in Empire days, we really were all broadly regarded as British.”

    No, British people were broad minded about who they would elect. Doesn’t mean they viewed them as British. Especially given one of the first Indians elected in Britain was for the Communist Party – ie people devoted to the total destruction of Britain. That is, if you ignore Lord Liverpool who was part Indian by descent.

    After WW2, Britain rounded up all the half-Black children born in the UK to a wide variety of African-descended Fathers – American, African, Afro-Caribbean, or whatever – and had them all sent to the US to be adopted there. Despite the fact they were fighting racism, they still saw being British as being White.

  43. David – “That is now how it should be IMHO a) if they are not a beneficial person they should have to go back when conditions improve b) if they go back home as soon as they get refugee status then their status should be removed.”

    Come on. This is unrealistic. No one is going to be deported if they came here at 5. The only real question is why should they be here at all? What does granting asylum do for Britain? You can see the wasteland that is much of the older inner city working class neighbourhoods and answer that question for yourself. America has had centuries of bitterness caused by (forced) migration of Africans. We are doing it to ourselves.

    “I know a bogus Colombian refugee and despite having a British passport she still goes home via Ecuador in case she gets caught (she credits our Government with too much intelligence).”

    And there’s the problem with the asylum system. Not so much that there are bogus applicants. Although there are. But who the f**k decided to take even a single one from Colombia? We are giving asylum to supporters of FARC now? This is the same insanity that has the leaders of the Philippine’s Communist party running their war from the Netherlands.

    “I am in favour of asylum because of what happened to the Jews in World War II.”

    Nothing wrong with the system of asylum as it applied then – most German Jews did escape. Their problem was that they did not escape far, to France, Belgium and Poland, so the German Army soon caught up with them. However that does not mean the new system should be a suicide pact. As it is. The system encourages people to flee, it encourages people to lie, it encourages exactly the sort of immigrants we do not want, it protects people from justice they should not be protected from and it means the end of Britain as it has existed. When mass settlement of Turks started in the Byzantine lands, historians correctly judge it as a disaster. How did that work out for them?

  44. SMfS: “I am being very clear about the difference between holding a passport and being British. And like it or not, the British tradition always has been based on race”.

    OK, you’re either using a definition of ‘British’ that makes no sense, or a definition of ‘race’ that makes no sense.

    70% of the genome in SE England (and less as you get further west and north, down to about 10% in Ireland) comes from the Basque-relatives who were the first people to settle the British Isles in about 10,000BC; the other 30% comes from everybody who came subsequently.

    But the term “everybody who came subsequently” encompasses vast swathes of people who were long uncomplicatedly and uncritically accepted as British. Nobody claims that the descendants of Saxons, Normans, Huguenots, or indeed of anybody white who was not a native Briton, are not British. So that can’t sensibly be the definition you’re using.

    When that claim is applied, it is applied solely to people whose genomes have about the same variance from native Britons’ DNA as the migrant groups above, but whose genetic heritage is expressed in certain skin colours. Since these people are no more different genetically from Britons than the people in the first group, this also can’t sensibly be the definition you’re using.

    SMfS: “The only real question is why should they be here at all? What does granting asylum do for Britain?”

    Approximately, nothing (that’s nothing positive or negative: in general, the costs of refugees are offset by the benefits they provide). In this context it’s worth noting that most of the “former working class neighbourhoods” you cite – although I doubt you’ve ever visited one – aren’t populated by refugees at all, but by legal economic migrants and their relatives.

    In general, acts of kindness and mercy don’t provide direct tangible immediate benefits to the people who carry them out. Otherwise they wouldn’t be acts of kindness and mercy.

    (on the SWAMPED TO DEATH!!!!! point, refugees account for 0.25% of the UK population. Even if they all simultaneously rose up in murderous revolt against their hosts, it wouldn’t be too hard to stop them).

    SMfS: “Nothing wrong with the system of asylum as it applied then – most German Jews did escape.”

    This is an amazingly daft statement. Yes, many German Jews escaped to France, Belgium and the Netherlands (virtually none to Poland) and no further. This was because of how the refugee system worked (or didn’t) at the time – because vast numbers were being refused entry to the US and UK and the UK mandate in Palestine. Not because they unwisely thought that remaining right on Germany’s borders would be super-safe.

  45. “Approximately, nothing (that’s nothing positive or negative: in general, the costs of refugees are offset by the benefits they provide). ”
    Possibly true for non Muslim refugees. Although I don’t trust all Government statistics – maybe you do?
    For Muslim refugees and immigrants the loss of free speech in 89 was a greater cost than 100x times any benefits they brought.

  46. David: you’re mistaking “refugees” for “people you don’t like” and/or “Muslims”. The people marching against Mr Rushdie in 1989 were not refugees. To a close enough approximation, *none of them* were refugees.

  47. john b – “OK, you’re either using a definition of ‘British’ that makes no sense, or a definition of ‘race’ that makes no sense.”

    Actually it is neither. I am sorry you do not understand the difference between the popular use of a word and the strict legal definition, but that is not my problem.

    “But the term “everybody who came subsequently” encompasses vast swathes of people who were long uncomplicatedly and uncritically accepted as British.”

    If they had been here a long time and had some degree of intermarriage, sure. If they assimilated to the point of hiding or even denying their foreign origins, sure. But Britain has never had anything like the vibrant multi-cultural slums it has now.

    “Approximately, nothing (that’s nothing positive or negative: in general, the costs of refugees are offset by the benefits they provide).”

    Then it ought to be abolished.

    “In this context it’s worth noting that most of the “former working class neighbourhoods” you cite – although I doubt you’ve ever visited one – aren’t populated by refugees at all, but by legal economic migrants and their relatives.”

    You are quibbling. Nor do you have any idea where I grew up or where I used to live. But I will agree the legal immigration system is also utterly out of control.

    “In general, acts of kindness and mercy don’t provide direct tangible immediate benefits to the people who carry them out. Otherwise they wouldn’t be acts of kindness and mercy.”

    Our asylum system has nothing to do with kindness and mercy.

    “(on the SWAMPED TO DEATH!!!!! point, refugees account for 0.25% of the UK population.”

    Then it will make no difference if we abolish it. So it ought to go.

    “This is an amazingly daft statement. Yes, many German Jews escaped to France, Belgium and the Netherlands (virtually none to Poland) and no further.”

    Actually quite a lot to Poland.

    “This was because of how the refugee system worked (or didn’t) at the time – because vast numbers were being refused entry to the US and UK and the UK mandate in Palestine. Not because they unwisely thought that remaining right on Germany’s borders would be super-safe.”

    Many were refused entry to the US, but if anything proves the perils of asylum, it is the immigration of Jews to Palestine. The locals objecting, quite violently. And ending up in refugee camps where they remain to this day.

    My comment was, as usual, true and accurate. You have no idea about their thought processes but it is unlikely they wanted to leave Germany at all, much less Europe as a whole. But they had to and the system worked.

  48. “john b // Oct 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    David: you’re mistaking “refugees” for “people you don’t like” and/or “Muslims”. The people marching against Mr Rushdie in 1989 were not refugees. To a close enough approximation, *none of them* were refugees.

    I did say refugees and immigrants. Of course there have been some famous Muslim refugees in the UK.
    Abu Qatada and the person the police thought Jean Charles de Meneze was when they shot them.

    Back on the subject of refugees not costing us anything. That does come from a government source and it is hard to believe. I know some bogus refugees who cost a fortune.

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