Her piece, in order to secure the maximum number of (bleeding)heartstrings in her gasping little hand before giving them the necessary tug, is illustrated with a picture of a tiny child with a suitcase, dwarfed by iron gates.
Because, yes, she’s rallying her troops with the cry: “For the chiiiiiiildreeen!”
The level of cynicism involved in the new government's proposal to send unaccompanied asylum-seeking children back to Afghanistan leaves me almost lost for words.Hmmm. Good job she put the ‘almost’ in there. The article is 800 words long…
I have been writing about asylum issues for 10 years and in that time have met many of these unaccompanied children and those caring for them… I remember a young Afghan who had slogged his way across Uzbekistan to escape from Afghanistan and had been abandoned and raped on the way. The one good thing in his life was that in the UK he found sanctuary, freedom and protection.Wow! I never knew that the UK was next to Uzbekistan…
I mean, it must be, right? After all, why not seek asylum in all those EU countries he must have crossed to get here?
I have often thought of a young Sri Lankan who came home form (sic) school one day to find neighbours clustered around his front door, trying to stop him going in. His mother and sister had been raped and murdered. His father had already been killed. His little sister was the only other survivor. He spirited her into the forest, hiding form(sic) the Tamil Tigers, foraging to exist. She fell ill and died. He was captured. He escaped and his family sold property to pay to get him out. He arrived here tipped out of a truck in a UK port…So, another one who crossed the EU to get – specifically – to the UK…
He was 15. Send him back? To what?To the family that you admitted sent him here in the first place?
And hang on. 15?
That’s not really the image conjured up by the cute little photo of the toddler, is it?
I have met children who were victims of traffickers. One I remember vividly was probably 17 by the time I met her, she wasn't sure of her age.Hmm, old enough to drink, have sex, join the army, and that’s if the age is accurate. ‘Probably’ 17 means ‘possibly older’ just as much as ‘possibly younger’…
Anna Raccoon has more on the age question.
A few years ago I was leaked a draft document by the Home Office, which made it clear that the underlying presumption is that most of these children are economic migrants.Given their determination to seek asylum from the UK, and only the UK, what other presumption could be made?
When the new government pledged not to lock children up in the UK's grisly immigration detention centres, they were responding to a mass of pressure from detainees, professionals and campaigners representing children and their families who had finally made themselves heard after many years.No. You assumed that that was what they were responding to…
I was suspicious and imagined they'd have tricks up their sleeves.And I’m delighted to say my suspicions were correct too. The answer was not ‘let them all stay’ (because to do so would encourage others), but ‘send them back’:
And here's the first: rather than lock them up here let's send them back, build a centre, put in minimal care and protection, save taxpayers' money.Yeah, who wants to save taxpayers money anyway..?
UK politicians sent UK troops into Afghanistan and are therefore responsible for the horror that is life in that country.Umm, no, we aren’t.
And yet they sit in Whitehall or Westminster chewing their pencils and working out ways to cuts costs that will be popular with the electorate.Well, fancy that! Political parties want to get re-elected! Who’da thunk it..?
Ah yes, you can hear them say, other European countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark plan to send unaccompanied children back to Afghanistan and so can we. How do they sleep at night?Pretty well, I’d say.
How well to you sleep, knowing you can still make a living off the misery of trafficked children by writing columns about how awful it is, and agitating for them to be allowed to stay? Are you not just as guilty of encouraging the trade as any people smuggler?
And how many have you taken in personally?