Braverman’s brutal Britain

Dear God, what a nasty, miserable, brutal, and cold hearted island we live on under this detestable Conservative regime. If you are a whiny bleating Tory snowflake who still supports this government when evidence of its institutional cruelty is so apparent and abundant you should not just be upset at being called detestable. It’s your lucky day, now you can also get upset about being called a fool and and an enabler as well.

Today there was a truly shameful performance by this week’s Home Secretary in the House of Commons. Suella Braverman did not just, as we had all expected, refuse to take any personal responsibility for the failure of the UK’s asylum system, and waved away her repeated security breaches.

When questioned by Labour Shadow Secretary Yvette Cooper about her repeated security breaches, Braverman accused Labour of playing ‘political parlour games’ in order to prevent her cracking down on the ‘scourge’ of illegal immigration, and claimed she was the victim of a ‘political witch hunt.’ In Braverman’s eyes she is the real victim here, and anyone who has the temerity to point out her wrongdoing and short comings is playing into the hands of criminal gangs of people traffickers. She singularly failed to clear up questions about whether she had ignored legal advice saying migrants could not be detained unlawfully, insisting she did not ignore the advice as multiple sources have claimed, but also admitting that she did not release the unlawfully detained migrants, claiming there was nowhere to send them – that, Suella – would be a you problem, you made it a problem for the unlawfully detained migrants.

That was all bad enough, but Braverman also doubled down on her brazen victim blaming and for good measure threw in some appallingly incendiary language. On the day after a white pensioner threw petrol bombs at a migrant centre in Kent, Braverman chose to refer to the refugee crisis as an ‘invasion’. Let’s be very clear here, if you throw petrol bombs at people because of their race, their religion, or their immigration status, you are a terrorist. You don’t get a free pass because you are a 66 year old white British pensioner from southern England. You are a terrorist, and you have been radicalised by the Daily Mail, the Express, by BBC favourite Nigel Farage, and by right wing Conservative politicians like Suella Braverman. Attacks on refugees don’t come out of nowhere; they are the end result of hate and xenophobia whipped up by politicians and media outlets.

Radio 4 had Nigel Farage on at lunchtime on Monday calling asylum seekers criminals, Natalie Elphicke MP was on BBC yesterday saying much the same thing. Such an inappropriate, reactionary response from politicians and the British media to the petrol bombing of a centre for refugees. Perhaps if the BBC didn’t keep platforming Nigel Farage there might not be such widespread hysteria about refugees and asylum seekers in a country which takes in proportionately far fewer refugees and asylum seekers than many other European countries. What the hell is wrong with the BBC that it thinks that the appropriate person to go to for comment on a terrorist attack on migrants was the man who has spent the past decade and a half normalising the demonisation of immigrants. Naturally Farage used it as an opportunity to tell us that he is the real victim here and he won’t let ‘lefties’ prevent him from ‘speaking out’ – read scaremongering – about immigration.

It’s a damning indictment of the UK and its ruling Conservative party that it has given us a Home Secretary and a media which are openly fanning the flames of bigotry and contributing to a growing climate of hate against people fleeing war and persecution. Yet that same party whines like a baby when its detestable abuse of its power is called detestable.

The performance that we witnessed in the House of Commons on Monday from the Home Secretary was, and this is not a word to be used at all lightly, genuine fascism. Language like that Braverman used, calling migrants “invaders” and referring to migration as a ‘scourge’ whips-up hatred and spreads fear and division. That is precisely the purpose of that kind of speech. It’s not shameful, Braverman has no shame. It’s deliberate fearmongering straight out of the fascist playbook. The Tories are basically reheating National Front and BNP rhetoric and making it their own policy when it comes to immigration.

What is beyond belief and comprehension is that Braverman is using the same vile and incendiary language, the same dehumanising and fear mongering terms to describe immigrants and refugees as were used by Enoch Powell in the 1960s to describe Braverman’s own parents. Powell was disowned by his party for his fascist hate mongering against migrants, Braverman is embraced by the Conservatives and occupies one of the great offices of state. That is how far to the right the Conservatives have pushed the envelope of what is deemed to be ‘mainstream’ political discourse. Fascism doesn’t march up to us wearing jackboots and wielding clubs, it comes up to us in smart suits and sober dresses, telling us that it’s our friend and that it is the voice of ordinary people, people in whose interests it claims to be acting, exactly as Braverman did on Monday.

Braverman went on to describe the immigration system as ‘broken’, without the slightest flicker of recognition that it’s her party which has been in charge for the past twelve years and it’s the Conservatives that broke it.

Braverman is weaponising hate in order to bolster her political position. All she did was to illustrate yet another reason why she’s totally unfit to be Home Secretary, and by refusing to take action again her, Sunak merely tells us all that he is not the leader of his party but rather is a weak and ineffectual hostage of its warring factions.

Sunak knows that if he sacks Braverman, he immediately faces the wrath of the far right European Research Group which was only placated by him offering Braverman one of the top posts in government. So Sunak has to keep her there, despite the mountain of evidence that she is unfit for office. But Braverman’s bravado did nothing to put to rest the questions about her competence and her honesty. She will continue to poison Sunak’s tenuous grasp on power and on the Conservative party, and when she does crash, as she most assuredly will, she will take what is left of Sunak’s reputation with her and will prove once and for all that the Conservatives cannot become a credible party of government by changing their leader again. It’s not May, Johnson, Truss, or Sunak that is the problem, it’s the entire detestable lot of them.



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