Migrants are not a crisis, but this does not solve the problem – Conservative Article
Following on from the previous Liberal article, migrants are not a crisis. History is filled with examples of mass migrations of people moving from one place to another. People move to areas where they will be safer, have a better quality of life and better quality of life for their loved ones. Any GCSE geographer can tell you this. Migration is a never-ending flow that will continue as long as life exists.
Now, to the definition of asylum seekers and its difference to refugees. The reason why using the Navy in protecting the channel is justified is because anyone crossing the channel to arrive in Britain without going through official channels, as stated in UK law, is an illegal immigrant. This sadly has negative connotations, despite being the truth.
Firstly, it is very justifiable to question the intentions of migrants actively avoiding official asylum-seeking applications to the UK. Not only for the safety of Britain’s current population but also to keep it safe for genuine refugees wanting to enter the country. On top of this, it is not fair on migrants who are taking legal channels to enter the UK. It is the equivalent of skipping the queue. How can you give some migrants priority over others, especially when some are breaking the law?
Addressing the speculation of ‘right-wing racism’, I believe it is quite prominent to note that UK initial acceptance rate for asylum seekers is at 52%, an all-time high in modern history. This is significantly higher than the 12% in 2004 under Tony Blair’s Labour government. The rhetoric of ‘scapegoating’ is also misplaced and just another way to irresponsibly throw the term ‘racist’ around.
Malice towards migrants is different from racism and is irrespective of political leaning. Some of the worst discrimination towards Irish migrants during The Troubles was in Liverpool, a long-term Labour stronghold. When my family came to England in the early 1970s there was an overwhelming anti-Irish sentiment. This was often displayed in the form of ‘No Irish, no blacks, no dogs’ on signs written by landlords.
If you asked a typical British person forty years ago to describe a terrorist, they would have said a white, Catholic, Irishman (like my Grandfather). If you ask a person today, they will say a non-white Muslim. Neither of these descriptions is fair or true. They are stereotypes. This did not prevent discrimination towards my family because they were migrants, or because they spoke with funny accents, or because they had a different religion. Again the same is true today.
This unjustified malice to migrants is a product of lack of education. Not liking someone purely on the basis that they were born in another country is ridiculous. However, being cautious of who you allow to enter your country through is acceptable. Background checks and legal proceedings are necessary. Denying entry to those who ignore them is also acceptable. If you wish to live in a country you must respect its laws.
So, the sentiment that the current Conservative government is stirring up racist beliefs is completely wrong. It is a dangerous rhetoric to spread.
First of all, this current Parliament is the most diverse ever, with Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems all gaining MPs from ethnic minorities. Secondly, Conservative party diversity is at an all-time high with the most diverse Conservative cabinet ever. Abby herself refers to Priti Patel’s ethnic origins, alongside the migrant origins of other key cabinet members including Boris Johnson himself. This is simply trying to vent anti-Conservative sentiments through half-truths and irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric.
Referring to Joseph’s statements about Sajid Javid. I believe he has simply not understood what Javid is saying, or not wanted to. It is not a case of ‘France should suffer more migrants’. It is a case of coming to the UK via dinghies is incredibly dangerous. If migrants choose to go through the official migration channels they do not have to risk their lives on these small boats. Alongside the fact that actually using the UK system is the legal way to enter.
Having been rejected by France and wanting to come to the UK is fine. Just do it officially. Choosing to ignore proceedings and cross in a dinghy is illegal, dangerous, and irresponsible. Especially when not actually trying to apply for asylum first. Alongside this, Joseph has quite literally attempted to put words in the mouth of Javid whilst clearly not understanding his actual message, which is rather worrying.
Migrants will always come and always go; migration is a constant, dynamic flow. The only real crises are wars. Civil wars and conflicts still rage around the world; this is the issue which needs solving.
A world where there are no refugees, only migrants, is what people should be aiming for. We should not attack the Conservative party for wanting migrants to enter legally. A prerogative that the Left seems to have forgotten, which belongs to each citizen of the UK; to be safe knowing everyone who enters a country is only looking for a better life, and not wanting to attack the liberties of its current population. The 1974 Birmingham Pub bombings are evidence of what happens when people enter unchecked.
From the point of view of a third-gen Conservative migrant; migrants are not a crisis. The rhetoric of racism that the Left enjoy keeping prevalent in politics is a disgusting display. You cannot achieve equality by calling Conservatives racist. I am not quite sure how non-white migrant Conservatives can be racist towards other non-white migrants.
I benefit from the hardships my family went through in order to live in England. I can understand why other migrants do the same. I am better off because my grandparents left their home to endure decades of discrimination. Yet reading Abby and Joseph’s stances on migration, I do not believe they truly understand migration or what it means to be a migrant. Perhaps they should leave migration policy to the people, which they quite readily signposted as migrants, within the Conservative government.
Written by Guest Conservative Writer, Peter Pearce
Point of Information
Channel crossings are not a choice. We can’t criminalise existence – a Liberal Response
I don‘t agree with this response and here are a few reasons why.
Firstly we can not compare those crossing the channel in inflatable vessels to typical migrants, nor the Birmingham bombers. It is insensitive, inappropriate and wrong. There are children in these dinghies who have been born stateless as their family homes have been bombed beyond return. They’re not seeking a better paycheque.
I agree with Peter’s indication that stereotypes can be divisive. However, I am confused about why he continued to contribute to the false narrative of foreigners being terrorists by referencing the tragic Birmingham bombings in relation to migrants. The bombers, members of the IRA, were part of the United Kingdom and that was the problem. The IRA wanted out, not in.
Yes, both the IRA and refugees have to cross a body of water to get here but the similarities end there. Do you really think there’s a risk of weapons being brought over in the overcrowded inflatable dinghies? I can’t imagine a decision between spending money on a more stable boat, or weapons to bomb the UK borders ever occurring.
Designating refugees a criminal status if they do not use an official route is a bit ridiculous. These people are simply trying to live. The longer refugees spend waiting for help, the less of a chance they have of any future.
Whilst you can choose to interpret them as ‘illegal immigrants’, we’re not living in an algorithm. If there’s enough flexibility towards rules to defend Cummings fatherly instincts at the height of the pandemic, I’m sure there’s enough human compassion to comprehend why parents feel forced into risking the channel. We can’t criminalise survival.
However, we need to remember there is nothing illegal about entering the UK to claim asylum. In fact, the only way to claim asylum is to enter the UK. You can’t order asylum status over an app.
What was illegal was the proposed method of the Conservative government. The proposal to use the Royal Navy was withdrawn because it was unlawful by international standards. For now, before Brexit, the government does have to abide by human rights standards which extends to not allowing people to drown.
I do think there is a racist faction of the right. Something that is much more dangerous to ignore than not to point out.
I know we all seem to laugh off our Prime minister’s upfront racism but drowning hurts more than words do. We should be critiquing the reasoning’s behind why the government is proposing to become more hostile to those beyond our borders.
Peter says the real crises are ‘civil wars and conflicts’, and I agree. But this is because of the impact it has on human life, and the refugees crossing the channel are a part and direct consequence of these crises. Furthermore, we have also contributed to some of these conflicts. The crisis is not just the economic cost of causing them.
We should not blame those ‘skipping the queue’ in an attempt to survive. We should be blaming those causing the crisis. You can not criminalise someone’s existence, but you can criminalise violence.
Finally, this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one. Yes, the acceptance rate is higher under the Conservatives now, but there were nearly three times as many applications under Labour’s government. Furthermore, the UK gets around three times fewer asylum applications per head than other European countries so neither party should be too quick to pat themselves on the back.
Written by Guest Liberal Writer, Abby Milnes
Law and Order – a Labour Response
I must first commend Peter for taking out such a lengthy response to Abby’s article. This was necessary because Abby and I broadly agree on the matter. I wish I had enough words to address every point that Peter makes but Brandolini’s law prohibits me, and we have a lot of legal stuff to get through.
Peter argues that the use of the Navy is ‘very’ justified because entering the UK without using official channels is illegal. The link he uses to support this is a menu with no specific content. I don’t have time to read every link in this menu but I suspect that the necessary information would not be forthcoming.
Let’s prop Peter up by pretending that he had linked to Article 31 of the UN treaty. This states that refugees entering illegally must not be penalised if and only if they are ‘coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened’. This is why Javid believes he is justified in saying that: “if you were a real, genuine asylum seeker then you could have done that in another safe country’.”
Unfortunately for both Peter and Javid, the law is complicated.
Lord Justice Simon Brown made some important observations in a 1999 High Court ruling. These are concerning three refugees who were arrested for travelling with illegal documents from stepping-stone territories.
Firstly, he observed that there is “no international tribunal able to rule authoritatively on the true construction of the Convention”. Brown refers to Lord Lloyd’s dictum in Adan v Home Secretary  1 AC 293 regarding the convention. Lloyd states that “One cannot expect to find the same precision of language [in the convention] as one does in an Act of Parliament drafted by parliamentary counsel.”
So, Lord Justice Simon Brown rules that in ruling over individual cases, the intentions of the UN convention should be informed by drawing on the guidance from the UNHCR: “No strict time limit can be applied to the concept ‘coming directly’ and each case must be judged on its merits.” Given the complexity of asylum claims and the abundance of boundary cases, Brown set the legal precedent that “some element of choice is indeed open to refugees as to where they may properly claim asylum.”
If we’re all for law and order, how about innocent until proven guilty? In this case, the name of innocence is refugee, the name of guilt is migrant. My modest proposal is that channel crossers be assumed as refugees or at the very least ‘asylum seekers’ by the media, politicians and the press until proven otherwise.
As we have seen by the proper legal consideration of the matter, Sajid Javid’s apriori claim that channel crossers are migrants by definition is in fact pure ideological trash. Given this, the use of the Navy to turn back people crossing the channel is unjustified, especially in light of the fact that Peter admits: we are not currently facing a migrant crisis.
Written by Guest Labour Writer, Joseph Cradick
I am going into my second year at the University of Exeter studying a flexible combined honour in Geography and Politics. My interest in politics and geography stems from an interest in current events and the wider world, with geography being the study of all world processes.
I am a graduate of the University of Exeter where I studied politics, philosophy and economics. I used this fantastic opportunity to pursue my deepest interests in the subjects of moral philosophy and political psychology.