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Opinion

The Tory Government’s Rwanda scheme has placed the UK on a very dangerous path

08 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Home Secretary James Cleverly during a press conference with Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Vincent Biruta after the signing of the new treaty in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Ethan Jones, director YesCymru

The United Kingdom is on a very dangerous path. Rishi Sunak’s decision to block every single reason that has been used to prevent flights, full of asylum seekers and refugees, to Rwanda has sent us further down this path.

To make this very clear, Rwanda is a country in which police shot dead 13 refugees in 2018 for protesting against cuts to food rations.

The path I’m referring to begins with an ‘F’ and it is a word many are afraid to use for fear of sounding over the top or extreme. But as calls for the UK to leave the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) gather pace, I believe its use is justified. The ‘F’ word I am talking about is fascism.

Fascism does not arrive suddenly in jackboots, it creeps in with struggling governments and embeds itself in the mainstream political discourse of the state. When governments make drastic and often poorly thought through decisions based upon self-preservation, short termism and cronyism; that is when fascism starts to snowball.

Vulnerable people

The United Kingdom is a state that is prepared to round up some of the most vulnerable people on the planet and send them to Rwanda, against their will, as if they were cattle.

Forget all the nonsense about “fighting age men” and “economic migrants” that you hear from weird little TV channels, washed up commentators looking to be noticed and shadily funded organisations masquerading as Think Tanks.

The vast majority of these people that are being vilified have their applications accepted; they are genuine bona fide asylum seekers and refugees.

The UK Government has manufactured this crisis by making it impossible for the vast majority of asylum seekers and refugees to arrive on these shores by conventional means, having closed safe routes.

As with every demographic on the planet, without exception, there is a small minority of ‘bad apples,’ however these have been weaponised by a struggling Government in Westminster, a power hungry Suella Braverman and a formidable machine of client media.

This has whipped up some ordinary people in the UK to hate on these vulnerable people and believe extreme collective punishment is necessary. This is an ecosystem in which fascism begins to thrive.

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville-Roberts MP stated; “if refugees can be denied human rights, the rest of us can too.”

Rhetoric

That statement should flag up as a concern in all of our minds, even those of you who may have been seduced by the rhetoric vilifying these people. This is where concerns of fascism should be clear and obvious to anyone that’s awake.

If this goes ahead, what will a government desperate to cling onto power do next? What will they do if our human right of freedom of assembly becomes politically inconvenient for them?

Well the former Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has already put the building blocks in place there with her introduction of new draconian policing powers.

What if they decide our human right to freedom of expression becomes politically inconvenient to them and then our human right to a fair trial? You see this is the road the UK is currently marching down draped in red, white and blue. If one domino falls against the human rights of refugees, then what domino falls next?

Complicit

This leaves Wales as complicit in the UK Government’s behaviour, as long as we are members of the United Kingdom then we have a hand in all of this and whatever its consequences are. I am very uncomfortable with the path the UK Government is now committed to and I am not reassured by the weakness of the Opposition to counter these extreme policies.

I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with the Westminster political elite and increasingly aware of a gaping chasm of political divergence between Wales and other parts of the current UK. Our Senedd has a majority committed to Wales being a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ whilst Westminster is the polar opposite.

We must all be awake and vigilant of all threats to all of our human rights, that is why the ECHR is there to act as a safeguard against rogue governments. Moves to take these rights away impact us all, regardless of the rhetoric of targeting refugees and asylum seekers.

The United Kingdom is on a very dangerous path but Wales can, and must, take the decision to step off and say “not in our name.”


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Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago

Remember the lady that stood up to Braverman and asked her to stop using inflammatory language that will lead to pain and suffering, the lady was a holocaust survivor, Braverman basically told her to shut up. Braverman now, I expect to be part of a coup inside the Tory party.

The camps didn’t appear overnight, there was a process. Next GE is removal of the Tory party, its destruction, but that leaves Labour and lets hope they are not on the same road. I don’t think they are but KS is treading a quiet path.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/14/suella-braverman-wont-apologise-to-holocaust-survivor-for-calling-migrants-invasion

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I don’t think Starmer’s Labour are in a similar trajectory either, but the crashing silence from Labour is extremely concerning. I’m aware that the right-wing media would go bananas if Labour did start to seriously question the Tories increasingly authoritarian measures, but given that, as the writes says, we are dealing with fascism, I think every decent person would come down on the side of humanity. However, even if Starmer did reverse this nasty piece of legislation, I doubt whether a Labour government would go far enough to make it impossible, or very difficult for a future fascist/Tory government to… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I think you are right on the press waiting to tear into Labour. I expect the Cons to capitalise on a press feeding frenzy this close to a GE. Not forgetting the massive social media input and attacks. Then they have also quietly increased the amount that parties can raise and spend by a lot at elections. (£19m to £34m) Leaving a problem, this Conservative Government stands a chance of winning still, I know people want them gone but been at enough counts to see surprise wins despite the polls and odds, they aint out till the last X is… Read more »

Mawkernewek
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

At the moment you could argue they are not wanting to interrupted their enemy while they are making their mistakes.

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
2 months ago

At last, at long last, well done Ethan for saying it & thank you Nation Cymru for putting it out there, I’ve been calling out the Tories as fascists for a good few years only to register looks of unease on people’s faces. Well, not any more, the reality is finally starting to sink in. The tory/ukip/edl ( insert your own description here) do not need to go around in black shirts & shiny jackboots to show what they stand for, their vile law breaking words & actions tell the the story of just what these people are really all… Read more »

Chris
Chris
2 months ago

Very difficult to argue against this without being disingenuous. The latest right to be removed is the right to strike. Greens tried to make a stand in the Lords but Labour and Lib Dems let them down. We are in very dangerous times, where outright racism has been emboldened by a racist UK government and a far right foreign owned media.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris

They started with the unemployed, then the vulnerable, then the foreign, then the minorities and when nobody cared, they moved on to the unions. Still nobody cared so they went after the NHS, the Fire Service, even the police.
Essentially the Tories took the famous Reverend Martin Niemoller warning from history as a roadmap. A hitlist even. Proved what he said is true though. People don’t care enough until its about them.

Xin Li
Xin Li
2 months ago

The Conservative Party has a government and front bench that is more racially diverse than any Welsh party.

We have record migration to the UK, but very little of it seems to be choosing to move to traditional Welsh areas.

And people were camped out outside Stradey Park Hotel protesting with signs saying “Yma O Hyd.”

Never mind. Some white bloke from Ruthin knows best.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  Xin Li

So because the Conservatives are racially diverse that makes them exempt from being susceptible to fascism does it?

Riki
Riki
2 months ago

And we are totally fine with England doing our talking for us. It’s truly pathetic! The fate of the UK and Wales itself is in the hands of foreigners. Yes, England is foreign. We need our own voice like every other respected people on earth. England are literally next door, so it’s not like we’ll become akin to North Korea or anything…so I don’t see why people are so against independence. There is virtually no down side to it, the only argument is economics but even that rapidly falls away once you realise we are just as poor in the… Read more »

Lord Custard
Lord Custard
2 months ago

There are two issues here. The first is that there are no legitimate ways for asylum seekers from many parts of the world to get here. That is wrong. The second is that economic migrants are simply coming from France illegally. That is also wrong. The UK simply can’t continue to accept three quarters of a million extra people per year, nor should it.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

What is laughable is that supporters of Braverman, Farage, Trump etc will no doubt idolise the likes of Thatcher, Churchill and Reagan, yet if Thatcher and Reagan were alive today they would be horrified at what their respective parties have evolved into today.
The ECHR was established by Churchill and is their to protect OUR human rights and not just the rights of immigrants, and our human rights should be non-negotiable.

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