Those Chagos Islanders

From the newswire:

A long-running legal battle by families expelled from their homeland islands in the Indian Ocean will be decided today at the House of Lords.

Hundreds of Chagos Islanders are expected to arrive for the ruling by the Law Lords on the Government\’s last chance to keep them from returning home.

Some 2,000 residents were forced out when the British colony was leased to the US in the 1960s to build an airbase at Diego Garcia.

The courts ruled in 2000 that the Chagossians could return to 65 of the islands, but not Diego Garcia.

In 2004, the government used the royal prerogative to nullify the rulings, but this was overturned by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

In June this year, the Government went to the House of Lords to argue that allowing the islanders to return would seriously affect defence and security.

It\’s extremely difficult to see that the Government has a leg to stand upon here. Here\’s hoping the Law Lords agree.


11 thoughts on “Those Chagos Islanders”

  1. Its an absolutely foul decision that seems to amount to an assertion that the Crown can do what the hell it likes with overseas territory by dint of right of conquest.

    Feudalism at its best, eh!

  2. “Of course, there’s always the ECHR, in a nice little touch of irony”

    There’s no irony in relying on something outside the patronage of New Labour to secure basic rights (did you mean HRA instead of ECHR?).

  3. I have never been able to understand what the government’s problem was, or is. The American base is on an outlying island; when I flew over it several times in the early 1960s – no one was living there. We did see one man once; standing next to his canoe. I understand the islanders visited to harvest the coconuts. So why not just let the Chagos Islanders return to their homes – they didn’t live on Diego Garcia!

  4. The UK government’s problem is that the US government doesn’t want the islanders back.

    The reason the US government doesn’t want the islanders back is trickier to determine, but I suspect it has something to do with the whole base being TOP SEKRET!!!! Whether that’s just paranoia, or whether the Americans are up to something unspeakable that the islanders might otherwise discover, is a question we’re unlikely to find an answer to any time soon if ever.

  5. “I think Julia meant the European Court of Human Rights”

    Indeed. Here’s hoping they win there – it’d be one in te eye for NuLab.

    “Whether that’s just paranoia, or whether the Americans are up to something unspeakable that the islanders might otherwise discover…”

    It’s a bunch of people who want to return to their homes. Not the Scooby Gang…

  6. So what we see is the most toe-curlingly hypocritical rubbish posted by UKIP supporters.

    What of the European Court? If it overrules the House of Lords, isn’t that “infringing on our sovereignty?”

    The plain fact is that the House of Lords decision is consistent with what the British State has always done with our “ancient and precious freedoms” – shown once again that they don’t exist.

    It wouldn’t simply be “one in the eye for NuLab” it would be telling Whitehall where to go – and that would never do, would it?.

    Here is what the UKIP thinks of the Court:

    The European Court of Justice is of course not a court of justice. Its purpose is to ensure that the political will of the European Union is enforced in Member States.

    So those evil foreigners would be interfering in our inalienable right to be fucked over by our overlords.

    Better put a stop to it – so over to you Tim.

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