Demographic change

No, neither for nor against this:

The most recently published official figures for the ethnic make-up of the population come from the 2011 census. It found that 86pc of people in England and Wales were white, down from more than 94pc in 2001. That matches the current workforce statistics for this year, which show just under 14pc of those in work or looking for work are from ethnic minorities.

But it is one hell of a change, isn’t it? 8 percent of population in only 10 years. 8% is about the level of white population in South Africa for example.

One hell of a change.

It’s almost worth asking who was asked about this?

Interesting number

South Africa despite whites making up 8 per cent of the population

The UK BAME population is getting on for twice the size of the South African white one.

It is socially acceptable to call for Africa for Africans and not to do the same for the UK. Or, perhaps, the inverse. Funny that.

Note what I’m not saying, that calling for Britain for Britons is a good idea. It’s just the difference in the social acceptability of the two which I find interesting.

Just to clarify on asylum seeking

Any time you say something like “asylum seekers should seek in their first safe country” you get referred to this Full Fact piece. Which is a masterpiece of not quite being clear. It’s necessary to read between the lines more than a little to pick out the real story here.

Do refugees have to stay in the first safe country they reach?

The answer to that is, of course, no. Anyone can, of course, go to any country that will have them.

The trick being performed here is in this phrase:

Incorrect. The UN Refugee Convention does not make this requirement of refugees, and UK case law supports this interpretation. Refugees can legitimately make a claim for asylum in the UK after passing through other “safe” countries.

Sure, anyone can make a claim anywhere.

But there’s a huge difference between who *must* grant a claim and who *may* grant a claim if they should so wish.

The asylum seeker, refugee thing, is a right in international law. Rights are things which must be granted. They are not privileges which may or may not be, they are rights which are due simply as being a human being in this specific situation.

If you are at risk in your own country then you have a right to seek safe haven.


However, that *right* extends only to that first safe haven you reach. It’s not the one next door, it’s the first your reach. That first safe haven *must* grant you that asylum, that safe haven. That’s what the right is.

Now, other places might well be willing to grant you safe haven. But they don’t have to. Those after your first safe lace might well do so – and just to be clear I’ve no problem with the UK doing so for all sorts of people in large quantity too – but that is a privilege at their discretion, not a right to be had a of, umm, right under international law.

Which is why people do get denied asylum in the UK as they are deemed to have that right elsewhere – in, perhaps the previous place they were before the UK.

Which is why I say that asylum seekers *should* – please note, not have to – claim in that first safe haven. Because that’s where that asylum is a right to which they have an absolute claim under international law. Claiming anywhere else is a privilege which they may or may not get granted.

As the Guardian says:

There is no obligation under the refugee convention or any other instrument of international law that requires refugees to seek asylum in any particular country. There has, however, been a longstanding “first country of asylum” principle in international law by which countries are expected to take refugees fleeing from persecution in a neighbouring state. This principle has developed so that, in practice, an asylum seeker who had the opportunity to claim asylum in another country is liable to be returned there in order for his or her claim to be determined.

The BBC:

But what happens if they have passed through a safe country on their way to the UK?

There is a general principle observed by many countries that asylum seekers who have passed through a safe third country where they could have claimed asylum can be sent back there in order to make their claim.

All of those waiting in Calais to cross the Channel fit into this category. They are in a safe country but few will have reached France without having crossed another EU border beforehand.


However, asylum-seekers may be returned to a country that is deemed safe based on reliable, objective and up-to-date information, and where they could have sought asylum provided that a fair process is available to them, there are proper standards of reception and their rights under the Convention will be respected in practice.

Me, I’d say this is all a fair enough basis for saying asylum seekers *should* apply in first safe haven because that’s where they’ve got that legal right to it. Anywhere else it’s a privilege which they may or may not be granted.

And I’ve got the Guardian, the BBC and UNHCR on my side in this too. And, as it happens, international law on asylum seeking.

Plus the law:

7.3 However, as currently drafted, they allow claims to be treated as inadmissible only if
the asylum applicant is accepted for readmission by the third country through which
they have travelled or have a connection. A stronger approach to disincentivise
individuals is needed to deter claimants leaving safe third countries such as EU
Member States, from making unnecessary and dangerous journeys to the UK.

7.4 The changes separate the readmission requirement from the inadmissibility decision,
allowing us to treat applicants as inadmissible based solely on whether they have
passed through one or more safe countries in order to come to the UK as a matter of
choice. They will allow us to pursue avenues for their removal not only to the
particular third countries through which the applicant has travelled, but to any safe
third country that may agree to receive them.

Note the point being made there. The first safe haven point always existed. The change in the law (Dec 2020) doesn’t change that first safe country thing either. It changes the ability to deport to, but not that general ability to refuse an application if this is not first safe country.

Or, The Guardian:

Ministers have quietly changed immigration rules to prevent people fleeing war or persecution from claiming asylum in the UK if they have passed through a “safe” third country, prompting accusations of a breach of international law.

From 1 January, claims of asylum from a person who has travelled through or has a connection to a safe third country, including people coming from EU member states, will be treated as inadmissible.

As you can see that’s slightly garbled from what the law says but that same distinction about safe countries is still made.

As here:

In the first two quarters of 2021, 7 cases were deemed to be inadmissible, meaning there was sufficient evidence that the asylum applicant had travelled via, or has connections to, another safe third country, and that country will take responsibility for the asylum application. The UK is preparing the return of these applicants.

First safe haven might be something the UK government can ignore if it wishes. It might be of minor relevance to the vast majority of cases. It could be that it’s a distinction that *shouldn’t* be made on moral or other grounds. But there’s absolutely no doubt that it’s a concept that does exist in the relevant law.

As to the other country being willing to accept them. This is rather “Hmm, so, does the concept of first safe haven exists” “Err, yes” “So, what do we do about it?”” “Ahh, that’s difficult”. OK, it is difficult, but we have established that the concept exists, haven’t we?

A natural experiment

It is not surprising the bishop couldn’t recall Swealmeen: the Anglican cathedral had confirmed hundreds of asylum seekers from Muslim countries in recent years. The Home Office regards this as something of a scam: if the conversion to Christianity is accepted as genuine by a tribunal, asylum will be granted because such apostates are at risk if returned to their country of origin.

Last week The Times revealed an ad placed on Instagram by a people-smuggling network, claiming that conversion to Christianity was a way of winning an asylum claim “in the shortest possible time with the lowest cost”. In 2016 the Dean of Liverpool admitted there had been no similar rush to convert to Christianity among Muslims who already had British citizenship: “I can’t think of a single example.”

If you change just the one variable then do you get a different result?

Just poking around on a Sat afternoon

And came across a Spanish property site. Sorta, Zoopla for Spain.

Armfuls of places at €20k. Houses of some size at €40k. Some of which aren’t ruins but look habitable. OK, this is Huelva province, by the Algarve border.

But what else is it I’m missing. Are these prices plus take on a mortgage? Or is this what property costs in some parts of Spain?

And are there nice parts where this is still true?

Bloke? What’s it like your way? No, not sheds in the wilds, but townhouses/big flats even if around a backstreet somewhere?

Couldn’t possibly happen, don’t be absurd

Of all the ludicrous things to predict:

Mass migration due to climate change may lead to an increase in racial tensions and community clashes in the UK, police have been warned.

Abject nonsense. After all, having 14% of the nation foreign born has led to nothing but the joys and strengths of diversity. Why would more of the same not have the same outcome?

Ms. Shriver does have a point though

For Britain to remain Britain, it has to remain predominantly white. To say so, Shriver insists, is not racist. It is difficult, though, to know what else it could be. “For westerners to passively accept and even abet incursions by foreigners so massive that the native-born are effectively surrendering their territory without a shot fired,” Shriver claims, “is biologically perverse”.

This is the language of the British National party, of the AfD in Germany, of Marine Le Pen in France. To describe immigration as “incursions by foreigners”, to view black or brown people moving into your town as “surrendering one’s territory” and to regard non-white immigration as “biologically perverse” is not just to stray into racist territory, it is to jump head first into the swamp.

We can recast the argument. For Zimbabwe, or South Africa, to remain truly African it is necessary to cast out the Europeans. One place did so and there are plenty making the same argument in the other. Entirely true that it didn’t work out well and it wouldn’t, but that’s not the same point.

If ethnicity, or race, or culture, don’t matter then they don’t matter. If they do they do.

It’s not the poor moving, is it?

Jadhav*, 18, from Bangladesh, arrived in Italy 10 months ago, but is still haunted by memories of his journey with people smugglers across the Mediterranean Sea.

Only the poorest of the poor would risk such horrors, eh?

Determined to seek a better life in Europe, Jadhav had flown to Egypt via Dubai before reaching Libya by land. He worked for a year in Tripoli – in a supermarket, as a welder and laying roads – where he was jailed for 11 days, tortured, and released only after his parents sent ransom money.

Well, actually, no. To be able to afford that as a Bangladeshi he’s upper middle class at least. The poorest of the poor, the rickshaw drivers, the farmers on an acre of paddy, these folks are on 3,000 Tk (£30) a month. Plane flights don’t feature in their possibilities.

Well, OK, And?

Black, Pakistani, Bangladeshi people, whose very presence in Britain is inextricable from our colonial past, still live in the most deprived areas, in crowded housing, in places with the worst air pollution, subject to a range of toxic conditions that have huge impacts on health outcomes.

Large scale migration into Britain is a pretty new thing. A siubstantial portion of that BAME population is first genreation.

OK, so which society has ever had first generation migrants at the top of the socio-economic pile. Other than those which have been invaded that is? For we do have that example of the Normans in our own history.

So, the discovery that first generation migrants are not top of the socio-economic tree is a surprise to whom?

That’ll do it!

The Home Office has ordered a major overhaul of the Border Force amid growing frustration over the failure to stem the flow of illegal Channel migrants.

The two directors general of Border Force and Immigration Enforcement are to quit their posts and will be replaced by a single supremo tasked with curbing the crossings and overhauling Britain’s “broken” asylum system.

Consultants are also said to have been recruited to investigate a merger of the two Home Office directorates as the Government seeks to regain the initiative after a doubling in illegal migrant crossings this year and the failure to deport any to “safe” third countries.

Let’s shuffle the bureaucracy!

Alternatively, we could get St Steve with his performing lions on the beach at Dover……


Children of immigrants from deprived backgrounds are up to twice as likely to have a degree compared to their white peers, but this doesn’t translate into greater employment prospects, research has found.

That the first generation all run corner shops, the second are doctors and accountants is a cliche because it happens so often. Education is seen as the way up.

The counterfactual – at least, an interesting one – is what happens to the second generation without the education, not what happens with the second compared to the indigenes. And the effect is of course considerably better off and greater employment possibilities.

Just look at what happens to the second generation where education isn’t so prized……

A tad harsh perhaps

Denmark has passed a law enabling it to process asylum seekers outside Europe, drawing anger from human rights advocates, the UN and European Commission.

Well, where?

Denmark has yet to reach an agreement with a partner country, but Stoklund said there were negotiations with several candidate countries.

In April, Denmark’s immigration minister, Mattias Tesfaye, whose father was an Ethiopian immigrant, appeared in Rwanda on an unannounced visit to the central African nation, which led to the signing of diplomatic agreements on asylum and political matters.

Well, yes, that could well reduce the flow of asylum seekers into Denmark…..

For our own problems with those coming over the Channel. Why not put our processing centre in some exciting part of France like, say, Lille?

Interesting numbers

Lucy Moreton, professional officer for the ISU immigration union, said Border Force was being overwhelmed by the “phenomenal” numbers of illegal migrants now crossing the Channel.

More than 560 reached the UK over the weekend, including 336 in 19 boats on Friday, a record for a single day in 2021, surpassing the previous high of 209 on April 28.

500 over a weekend?

Well, yes, George, yes

During the first three months of the pandemic – from 1 January until lockdown on 23 March last year, 18 million people arrived in the UK from abroad. But only 273 of them were obliged to quarantine. By contrast, across the 12 months to March 2020, 23,075 people were thrown into immigration detention centres: prisons for people who have not been convicted of any crime but are suspected of entering – or remaining in – the country without the correct paperwork.

We do quite often stick people in prison before conviction:

1. Population. The prison population stood at 79,514 on 30 June 2020. The sentenced prison population stood at 67,352 (85% of the prison population); the remand prison population stood at 11,388 (14%) and the non-criminal prison population stood at 774 (1%).

It’s what we do with people suspected of a crime that we’re not sure will show up for their trial and or punishment.

Immigration fun

An infection control specialist who has been offered a job as a senior NHS biomedical scientist to help tackle the pandemic is facing deportation by the Home Office, prompting fresh calls for a more “humane” approach to skilled migrants.

The government has refused Charles Oti, 46, from Nigeria the right to remain in the UK even though the job he was offered is among the government’s most sought-after skilled positions.

Hmm. OK, the laddie’s Nigerian. On what grounds should he – or should he not – be here.

However, the Home Office – which recently accepted that Oti suffered experiences akin to torture during a racist attack in Northampton – said he faced being deported because he did not have the correct documentation.

That’s all they tell us. We don’t know whether it’s just failing to have got a form signed for permission to stay. Or that he swam the Channel and has no docs or rights at all.

Funny that really.

That’s a fairly big change

“By 2031, one in five Britons will be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background and that number is forecast to increase to almost one-third of the population by 2061.

It was democratically decided, wasn’t it?

After all, we have those who insist that the price of tampons must be democractically decided. So larger questions must be too, right?

Barnardo’s white privilege

These are just a few of the experiences that those from a visible ethnic minority have to deal with regulalry – you may have even failed to notice – until now – that you don’t’ have to deal with the same barriers. It is important to be aware that being born with a certain skin tone affords people certain advantage in life that people of another skin colour are not afforded. By creating greater awareness and understanding we help to build a fairer and more equitable society for future generations.

Apparently it doesn’t include spelling or grammar.

Because of the intersectional nature of society, this means that it’s incredibly likely you have experienced some form of oppression – the gender pay gap is still 18.4%.

Or statistical numeracy. Or even logic – as we all know some to all of that gap is because of voluntary differences in male and female behaviour.

For example, while white British women are paid on average £11.21 per hour, Pakistani women make £10.10.

That’s casuistry – black British women get paid more than white. Sure, largely a London effect but still.

BAME* young carers and their families identified language barriers as one of the key reasons they’re unable to access support.

And isn’t that just a surprise. Not speaking the language of the country you’re in makes things difficult.

Be open to start the conversation with others who are interested and willing to learn, even if they don’t understand.
Share fact-checked resources, examples, information and statistics with others.
Look after your mental health, and take breaks where needed.
Keep cool – stick to the facts and show some patience.
Pause the conversation with someone refusing to listen – suggest they continue their research.

And when do these ghastly little shits start to do any of that themselves?

Well, actually Honey, it’s about half of it

Small Axe is great: now let’s have some films about black life outside London
Lanre Bakare

The ‘authentic’ black British experience doesn’t begin and end in the capital. It’s time the UK film industry woke up to that

Begin and end perhaps not.

There are about 2 million blacks in the UK, about 3% of the population. Half and half African and Afro-Caribbean.

Half of those are in London. So, the median, mean and modal black experience of the UK is London. Seems a reasonable enough target for the film industry, no?

We’ve heard this before

But this kind of appointment is not an exception for this government; it is the rule. Again and again, those who deny or question the impact and cause of racism are selected for key equality positions: Trevor Phillips, who was suspended from the Labour party over alleged Islamophobia, was appointed to the inquiry on the impact of Covid-19 on ethnic minorities; Dr Raghib Ali, who denies racism has any role in disproportionate coronavirus deaths, was appointed a government Covid adviser; and Tony Sewell, who has questioned the idea of institutional racism, was appointed chair of the government’s commission on race and ethnic disparities. On top of this, Truss’s fellow equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, has bizarrely claimed that the authors of some of Britain’s bestselling anti-racism books “actually want a segregated society”. With Munira Mirza, a strong critic of Theresa May’s Race Disparity Audit, installed as No 10’s policy director, it’s clear that the current government is unlikely to identify systemic racism as the cause of racial inequalities in health, criminal justice, housing, employment or any other area – regardless of the litany of independent racial inequality reviews that suggest otherwise.

Anyone who doesn’t already agree with the programme can’t be allowed to monitor, decide upon, design or control the programme.

Of course we have democracy, it’s just that as The Party is objectively correct then therefore only Party members may stand for election…..