Home Secretary Priti Patel has been trying to get the number of migrants into the UK down. Patel's opponents accuse of her talking tough but little else. Others accuse of her being on the far-right of the Conservative party.
Patel comes across as staunchly anti-foreigner and she was an ardent Brexiteer. Despite allegations of bullying staff, Boris kept her in position. Priti Patel has come up with all kinds of schemes to deport or process migrants. One plan was to send migrants to Ascension Island in the Atlantic. Needless to say, this did not go down too well with Ascension Island inhabitants. St Helena, also in the Atlantic, was chosen as a destination. However, these plans never came to pass and were quietly dropped.
One idea was to send migrants to Albania which did not sit well with the Albanians. Now a new plan has been worked out between the UK and Rwanda to send them there. Priti Patel signed a deal in Rwanda with her Rwandan counterpart to make this so.
Does the question have to be asked what is Rwanda getting out of this? Has cash changed hands? Is the UK investing in something in Rwanda? Either way, migrants if the plan is workable, will be transported lock, stock, and barrel.
Migrants have been coming in their droves across the English Channel. This situation has been going on for many years now. Lately, the number of people attempting this dangerous crossing has increased. They set off in unworthy vessels often packed with too many people. Most of them are picked up by British vessels and taken ashore. What happens to them largely depends on circumstances. If they already have family in the UK that increases their chances of them staying here. If not, presumably, they face deportation unless they can prove they are genuine. The migrants come from a vast array of nations facing war, famine, persecution of minorities, etc. France has been accused of not cooperating with the British to stem the tide of this exodus.
Ms. Patel will no doubt be hoping this new deal with Rwanda will put off migrants. However, many migrants have stated they find the idea of going to Rwanda worrying. The migrants though will still attempt the crossing of the most dangerous sea lane in the world no doubt. In sending people to Rwanda the UK is aping what Australia did. When Australia was faced with thousands of boat people trying to land the Royal Australian Navy was dispatched. This worked and the number of people coming to Australia dropped. The migrants coming to Australia eventually fizzled out. Australia also got a deal with Papua New Guinea to contain migrants in processing camps. Many of these individuals once processed were given the chance to become PNG citizens.
Of course, one has to feel sorry for many of the migrants, especially, if they are genuinely fleeing. Others, however, are just economic migrants and mostly men. Very few women and children are amongst this tide of humanity. The flip side to accepting migrants is that our welfare, our NHS, housing, etc, is already creaking.
Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, et al, say the government's plan is unworkable. However, Ms. Patel has challenged these parties as to what alternative they would set in place? This plan like its predecessors may indeed be unworkable. However, it may work just like the Australian plan before it. It's amazing how the government has come up with a plan to suddenly deal with the migrants. Especially, as Johnson and Sunak are facing fines for breaking the rules of the lockdown. They know that being tough on immigration is popular and a vote-winner. So, is the government taking people for fools? They are playing a dangerous game that will come back to haunt them at the ballot box.
The Archbishop of Canterbury during his Easter sermon condemned the Home Office. Describing the Rwanda plan as ungodly and he may have a point.
Of course, many Tories said on Twitter said the clergy should keep out of politics. Jacob Rees-Mogg said Archbishop Justin Welby, misunderstood the Rwanda plan. Rwanda does seem an odd choice to send people to. If this plan comes to pass it will indeed be interesting to see what happens next.