WEEKLY WANKER #041: SIR ANDREW GREEN

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The hallowed halls of Westminster are being decked out in the red, white and blue (or maybe purple?), as the establishment continues to crumble, following the election of a whole 1 UKIP MP a few weeks ago. Luckily, David Cameron has been getting into the festive spirit, declaring his (definitely illegal) plan to crack down on immigration will be unveiled in time for Christmas.  Who knows what the bigoted elves might have in store for us.

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Who else will end up in Nigel’s Purple stockings?

This week Cameron announced the coming of our new Lord and since ‘tis the season to be racist, our latest life peer is the guy who started Migration Watch, this week’s wanker, Sir Andrew Green.  Green founded the immigrant bashing organisation in 2001 and while it attempts to pass itself off as being neutral, the constant focus on the promotion of right-wing ideas suggests otherwise.

Despite asylum applications from those fleeing persecution making up only a small percentage of total migration, the group has employed hard rhetoric against those seeking asylum in the past, claiming many had no legal basis for their claims.  Migration Watch have been caught out making bogus claims themselves of course, most famously, when they once declared the economic benefits of immigration were the equivalent to “a Mars bar a month” per person, despite that being based on completely misinterpreting data.  More recently, the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at London’s UCL condemned the misuse of what Migration Watch claimed was their methodology for their own report which stated that immigration cost the taxpayer £22m a day.  The UCL researches said the Migration Watch report was “based on a serious misinterpretation of the methodology we have used in our work, which leads to fundamental mistakes that invalidate their calculations” before going on to point out what their research actually showed was that immigrants from within Europe paid 34% more in taxes than they claimed in benefits for the decade between 2002 and 2011.

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Make mine deep fried, ta.

Why would an allegedly impartial think tank target asylum seekers specifically?  Then why would they soften their rhetoric on asylum and attempt to allege that migration from new EU states was costly?  Could it have anything to do with attempting to exploit and pander to whatever fears would most assist in promoting their agenda?

Back in days of the War on Terror, which is now making somewhat of a comeback, it was all about promoting Islamophobia and open racism and xenophobia.  Yet this year, Immigration Watch are alleging it’s EU migration which is costly. For the last 2 years, UKIP, the Tories, the BNP and all their fucking chums have been bleating on about how 2014 would be the year all the Bulgarians and Romanians would flee the balmy Black Sea coast and seek refuge in a bedsit in some dreary suburb in middle England, just to annoy people who read the Daily Mail.  It never happened of course but UKIP played into these nonsensical claims, at one point alleging 14% of the ENTIRE population of both nations would come to the UK.

The growing tide of racism which Migration Watch helped orchestrate became increasingly  targeted at “Eastern Europeans” (an “ethnic group” of fanciful tabloid origins, consisting of everyone from now about 5th generation citizens, refugees from World War II, people from Central European states who’ve had the right to live here for years and of course, the Roma, who the tabloids and racist scumbags the world over have consistently persecuted.)   Migration Watch provided the respectable “research” which helped UKIP and their pals exploit fear to win votes and support.

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The soon to be barren Black Sea Coast. It’s no Milton Keynes, that’s for sure.

In another act of “impartiality” in July 2010, the group criticised a court ruling which allowed 2 asylum seekers the right to stay in the UK, rather than be deported to Cameroon and Iran, where they could face death due to their sexual orientation.  Migration Watch warned that the ruling would allow anyone “unwilling to live discretely as a homosexual in his home country” the right to reside in the UK.  4 years on, the continued disgusting treatment of the small number of LGBT asylum seekers in Britain has forced a parliamentary review, which was published on Thursday.  It found a tenth of gay asylum seekers, many processed using the “Detained Fast Track” process, were subjected to inappropriate questioning – including being induced to respond sexually to questions in an attempt to find out if they were “genuine” and having the validity of same-sex relationships challenged by Home Office staff.

 “Detained Fast Track” is a form of illegal detention where they lock you up, despite seeking asylum being legal – and then use the fact they have detained you as justification to not offer the same measly protections enjoyed by those seeking asylum who’re not locked up.  The persecution of LGBTI people fleeing discrimination doesn’t stop when they reach the UK and in supporting the deportation of people to places where the “indiscretion” of not being straight or gender conforming means they could face death, Migration Watch have attempted to ensure this remains the case.

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While the campaign suceeded, many LGBTI people are still deported to unsafe countries.

As if it wasn’t completely clear that Migration Watch were nothing more than a front for hard right ideas, the organisation has thrown itself behind calls to scrap the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects citizens from many of the things we know our Government would love to be able to do to us.  Their justification focuses on terror suspects who cannot be deported back to countries where they will be tortured.  What percentage of total migrants fit into the category of a terror suspect due to be deported under an extradition treaty to a torturing foreign state?  I suspect not many.  Yet Migration Watch suddenly has strong opinions on a Tory policy which will allow a future UK Government to operate outside international laws on a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues.

By making Migration Watch and what it does seem respectable, Cameron is attempting to ride the wave of populist immigrant bashing – in reality, he can only ever drown in it. People who are explicitly racist will trust more explicit racists than Cameron, if that’s what matters to them.  I still fail to believe that’s what matters to most people, even most UKIP voters.

Like every single other attempt by the Tories to try to pander to prejudice in the hope that UKIP supporters will come back to “mainstream” politics, this latest headline grabber from the Prime Minister will fail.  If I was a member of the gentry like David Cameron, I’d think long and hard about whether bestowing titles on  my roaster pals would win over those who vote UKIP because they are fed up, not because they think Britain is full up.

It’s really not clear why making up numbers, immigrant bashing and some added homophobia thrown in for good measure represents a public service but I’m sure we’re all really thankful to Sir Andrew Green, for his role in turning our politics into a xenophobic hellhole where two men argue about their competing visions to get rid of Europe, immigrants and human rights. So thankful in fact, we want to pay him to interfere with making our laws, forever and ever.  Amen.

So arise Sir Andrew Green, his Lordship is a wanker.

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His Lordship looks forward to his monthly treat

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Further Reading:

The influx and the exodus

WEEKLY WANKER #018: VINNIE JONES

Pride and the Commonwealth Shame

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