23 February 2010


On the Today programme, Phil Woolas described right-wing opposition to Labour's oppressive immigration controls as "banonkers". It most certainly is both bananas and bonkers to want to impose even harsher controls on immigrants, but the portmanteau did make me smile.

This latest attack on Labour is ridiculous. The charge is that immigration policy was chosen to deliberately encourage an influx of immigration to manipulate Britain into a multicultural society.

An open-borders encourages nothing. People are free to choose whether they are coming or going. If an immigrant wants to come here then that's up to them, not the government. Perhaps a multicultural society is inevitable with an open-borders policy. But that is society finding its own form without government sticking its beak in. Indeed, it is the people who wish to restrict immigration who expect the government to deliberately manipulate society for their own ends.

Anyway, in tribute to this awesome new word to describe the nationalists, xenophobes, bigots and racists who want to persecute people for their own convenience, I've done a little mash-up. Enjoy!

16 February 2010

Your Mom's a Scum-Sucking Pig

...yeah you heard me David Wright.

And Eric Pickles is fat and likes to eat pies like a fat man.

I does politics me.

15 February 2010

Missed Off The Shopping List?

Apparently the Lib Dems will not go into a coalition, but would support a minority government who makes concessions in four key areas - the Lib Dem 'shopping list':

• Investing extra funds in education through a pupil premium for disadvantaged children.

• Tax reform, taking 4 million out of tax and raising taxes on the rich by requiring capital gains and income to be taxed at the same rate.

Rebalancing of the economy to put less emphasis on centralised banking and more on a new greener economy.

• Political reforms, including changes to the voting system and a democratically elected Lords, that go further than proposed by Labour.

These sound like the same four objectives outlined by Nick Clegg last month.

I support all four, but to my mind there's one glaring omission: the restoration of civil liberties.

Throughout this parliament, the party has spent a lot of time talking up a Freedom Bill that would reverse the countless erosions of civil liberty by consecutive Conlabourtive governments. The party created an in-depth website that goes into the history of civil liberty, the detail of the 20 freedoms we'd restore, along with a petition and quiz. During the leadership contest, here's what Nick Clegg said would be his first bill as Prime Minister:

...and here's what Chris Huhne said:

So it always seemed like a top-level priority to me. And so it should be. Civil liberty is a crucial element of liberalism. It is central to our values, and is fundamentally what unites the social- and classical-liberal wings of the party.

As mainstream British politics comes to a broad consensus around economics, the dividing lines are becoming increasingly about the amount of government intervention necessary for society. By not giving the proposals set out in The Freedom Bill their deserved place in this shopping list, it seems that all this good work in setting out our stall for the general election may fall at the last.

3 February 2010

Racism within the UK Border Agency

It's not racist to impose limits on immigration. Shame then that it appears there is a culture of racism within the body which imposes limits on immigration.

I of course don't use the term 'racist' lightly.

A whistleblower has revealed to the Guardian her experience of working at the UK Border Agency in Cardiff.

The whistleblower claims:
  • UKBA staff kept a toy gorilla that was placed as a badge of shame on the desk of any officer who approved an asylum application
  • An official tested the claims of boys from African countries who said they had been forcibly conscripted as child soldiers by making them lie down on the floor and demonstrate how they shot at people in the bush.
  • The authenticity of an asylum seeker claiming to be from North Korea was determined by the UKBA asking whether they chop suey
  • If an asylum case was difficult, the UKBA's advice was simply to refuse it and "let a tribunal sort it out".
  • A UKBA manager is quoted as saying "If it was up to me I'd take them all outside and shoot them" regarding their asylum seeker clients.
  • When asked about the case of a Congolese woman, a member of the UKBA legal department said "Umbongo, umbongo, they kill them in the Congo."
Like I said, racist.

The chairman home affairs select committee, Keith Vaz, acknowledges the "culture of disbelief and discrimination" within the UK Border Agency. Vaz also said that "a number of ex-UKBA workers who have spoken out", so this whistleblower is not alone.

Whilst searching for comments regarding this report, I came across Twitterererer @benjimmin who works for the UKBA - I presume in Manchester, as listed in his Twitter profile. He kindly replied to me asking for his reaction to the claims made by the whistleblower: "I've never seen behaviour like that. I think I'd leave on the spot if I did." I sincerely hope this reportedly racist culture is limited to this one branch in Cardiff.