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Even Further Right

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This is in response to Craig Murray’s post ‘Even Further Right’.

Let me preface this by stating that Craig Murray was (in my opinion) incorrectly imprisoned for “contempt of court” for his genuine coverage of a public interest court case. This was very clearly a politicisation and weaponisation of the court system 1. Whilst I don’t agree with much he says, I do respect his right to say it.

With that out of the way, onto the response.

In-Line Response

Well over 70% of migrants arriving in small boats are eventually found by the British state to be genuine refugees seeking asylum. I know this from a quite remarkable speech by Lord Kerr.

Firstly, the claim is not all migrants, it is all caught migrants. Many who arrive by boat actually do not get caught and the UK Border Force simply turn up to empty boats and burnt identification documents.

Secondly, being “found by the British state” simply means they were not found to be be genuine refugees. This means that in many cases, burning their documents has been quite successful as to the point we have nowhere to send them back to.

Thirdly, I know nothing of Lord John Kerr, but I do know humans. I know better than to take another person’s word for something, especially on such an important topic.

It really is not a pleasure to follow the noble Lord, Lord Desai, because he raises the bar far too high. I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Hoey, for this appallingly well-timed debate, to which I would just like to contribute three sets of facts. First, overall refugee numbers are currently running at about half of where they were 20 years ago. We are not the preferred destination in Europe. We are, as the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, said, well down the list of preferred destinations.

Looking at the graph of non-UK percentage from the Office of National Statistics:

ONS population statistics

As you can see, there has been a consistent and growing percentage of non-UK born residents making up the population of the UK. If immigration is not increasing, where on earth are they coming from?

The fact that refugee numbers are down simply means that more of these people are no longer classed as refugees. People are still coming to the UK at an increasing rate (and therefore the UK is still a popular destination).

Looking at another graph we can see asylum applications by year:

Asylum applications by year

As you can see, this was something popularized under John Major (PM 1990-1997) and boosted by Tony Blair (PM: 1997-2007). Since then we have been running under exceptional levels of asylum applications.

That all said, the problem has never been people claiming asylum under the proper process. The problem is when people turn up on the shores of England (because they do not turn up in Scotland), and only attempt to claim asylum if they are caught. Otherwise, these people almost definitely end up in a form of modern day slavery.

And whilst we are on the subject of preferred locations, these people migrate across the entirety of the EU, any location of which they are free to claim asylum. In fact, they are told to claim asylum in the first Country they cross. So, My Murray, why are these people travelling through the EU to France, and then performing an illegal crossing to the UK? Is France really that bad?

Secondly, yes, small boat numbers are up, partly for the reason the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, adduced — the fences, patrols and heat sensors around the train tracks and marshalling yards mean that people are now driven to the even more dangerous sea route.

All illegal routes are dangerous. Most of these people migrate for economic benefit, and hence are not able to pay for their travel upfront. They therefore get into debt with their traffickers that see them in modern day slavery, including being sex trafficked. The problem is not that we try to prevent illegal people trafficking - it’s the fact it occurs at all.

But the principal reason clandestine numbers are up is that official resettlement routes are shut. Our schemes, in practice, no longer exist. We have closed the Syrian scheme, we have scrapped the Dubs scheme, we have left Dublin III and we have not got an Afghan scheme up and running.

There’s a good reason for that. People cannot pay their energy bills, food banks are now not an option for many, we are on our knees. The homelessness of UK citizens is about to increase massively, the UK government needs to desperately focus internally.

As a Lord I’m sure none of these issues will affect you. And as Mr Murray is a Scottish citizen, I’m the sure the UK government will continue to over fund the people who hate us. But here in England and Wales, things are not okay, this has had a great cost on the people, one you are almost certainly blinded to.

The largest group crossing the channel in the last 18 months, by nationality, were Iranians. In the last 18 months, 3,187 Iranians came. In the same period, one got in by the official route. How many came from Yemen in these 18 months? Yemen is riven by civil war and famine. None came by the official route — not one.

Iran is not at war the last time I checked. I have been to Iran, it is a lovely Country. What it is on the other hand is poor. Again, these are economic migrants. The only thing they seek asylum from is poverty.

As for Yemen, there are channels available to them in the EU - why have they not applied here? Why have they not applied from Countries within the EU to enter the UK? Maybe there are good answers to these questions, but I suspect not.

My third set of facts is as in the point made by the noble Baroness, Lady Bennett. The Home Secretary says that 70% of channel crossers are

“economic migrants … not genuine asylum seekers”.

That is plainly not true. Her own department’s data show that, of the top 10 nationalities arriving in small boats, virtually all seek asylum—61% are granted it at the initial stage and 59% of the rest on appeal. The facts suggest that well over 70% of asylum seekers coming across the channel in small boats are genuine asylum seekers, not economic migrants.

Wait, what? How on earth foes this logic follow?! There is nothing here to suggest they are not economic migrants. Iran for example is not at war. The only claim they can make is that their Country specifically will kill them, and I believe a significant number of migrants (mostly young men) are claiming to be LGBT. One has to wonder how the Home Office checks whether these are genuine claims or not.

That is hardly surprising because the top four countries they come from are Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria — not Ghana, I say to the noble Lord, Lord Lilley. These people are fleeing persecution and destitution, and the sea route from France is the only one open to many of them. Why not have a humanitarian visa, as the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, said? The noble Viscount, Lord Waverley, gave the answer to the objection of the noble Lord, Lord Lilley. Those who had a valid claim for asylum would not be at peril on the sea.

Many of these locations are not at war. In terms of seeking asylum, surely persons from Ghana would suffer more simply from being poorer? It’s not like villages in Africa do not have machete wielding tyrants. And one can imagine being gay in such a place not to be a pleasant experience.

I don’t believe this is adequate rationale at all.

Unless we provide a safe route, we are complicit with the people smugglers.

If we followed this logic: “Unless we provide safe drugs, we are complicit with the drug dealers.” Somehow, I suspect this not to be the case. We do not look the other way, we actively try to stop them.

There will always be people smugglers, as long as there are people who could not migrate through legal means.

Yes, we can condemn their case and we mourn yesterday’s dead, but that does not seem to stop us planning to break with the refugee convention. Our compassion is well controlled because it does not stop us planning, in the borders Bill, to criminalise those who survive the peril of the seas and those at Dover who try to help them. Of course, we can go down that road. But if we do, let us at least be honest enough to admit that what drives us down that road is sheer political prejudice, not the facts, because the facts do not support the case for cruelty.

If we support the people smugglers and by extension encourage people to make the journey, there will be more death, not less. If we legalized drugs and encouraged people to take them, there would be more overdoses. It’s very simple.

That is a great speech and I applaud the humanitarianism behind it.

I find these arguments to be very dishonest and I hope the House of Lords do not get trapped by them.

Liz Truss was referring to the FCDO when she said the civil service was “woke” and had “creeping antisemitism”. She was specifically referring to Foreign Office officials minuting Israeli human rights violations.

This is a whole different discussion in itself. I will state this though - if Israel put down their weapons tomorrow, the followers of Islam would slaughter every single one of them. They literally believe that their utopia cannot be realised until every single Jew is ‘gone’. It is difficult to build good relations on this basis. The situation is most definitely complex and both sides have some self-reflection to do.

Truss was also annoyed by Foreign Office officials pointing out Rwanda’s very bad human rights record in relation to the plan to deport asylum seekers there. She has tried to suppress some of these minutes from FCDO officials by public interest immunity certificates, which are today being challenged in the courts.

The UK is not the first European Country to send migrants to Rwanda, but the EU courts only believe it is bad when the UK does it. It’s not meant to be punishment or torture, it is meant to be discouragement to make dangerous journeys.


As I said, I find the arguments here to be disingenuous and incorrect. I believe there are several basic reasons as to why this is a bad idea:

  1. Encouragement - Relaxed policies on asylum applications and illegal immigration (which is how they arrive on the boats) actively encourages people traffickers. We should be making this as impossible as possible, and the punishment as tough as we dare. People should not be encouraged to make such journeys.
  2. Vulnerability - Illegal migrants are vulnerable, because they have no right to work in the UK, they end up in modern day slavery, usually run by those who trafficked them. We should again not be encouraging this situation. Even if you wanted to make the case of slavery being good for the economy, these people are untaxable.
  3. Resources - We have a housing crisis, an energy crisis, a food crisis, more recently a water crisis, can we not re-consider this when we have fewer crises? We have nowhere to put them and nothing to feed them with.
  4. Unknown - There is often the argument that these illegal migrants are a net benefit, as they are doctors, mechanics, brain surgeons, etc. The truth is, these highly qualified people in their home Countries will travel to the UK through legal means. The young men arriving on boats are unqualified, unskilled, and therefore poor and willing to take a risk.

Of course, it is terrible to see people dying over and over again making dangerous journeys, and I’m sure we do not disagree that more should be done to stop it. I therefore propose we sink any French Navy vessel that escorts these dangerous non-sea worthy craft into British waters. It’s the only humane thing that can be done.

  1. We won’t go into the fact that it was the Scottish court that did this - good luck with your further devolution plans Mr Murray.↩︎