Nothing Great about Britain

Cotton is your only man for the 1/4 zip tops.
Keep away from the wool and polyester.

Mine are all wool. Cotton ones tend to last about two of herself’s washing and tumble dryer cycles. Woe betide me if I put anything of hers in the tumble dryer though.

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Informative rating.

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Time stamped it for the relevant part:

Looks more like a half zip.

Wit I think you mean

Gullis is an absolute cunt. A Neanderthal.

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Workhouses, not wokehouses

Tories’ 2024 election song:

They never went away you know.

From The Times no less.

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Decent article if anyone could do the needful

HUGO RIFKIND

Rwanda can’t be dream and deterrent all at once

In Kigali, Suella Braverman was all smiles about a scheme she says will scare off boat migrants. How does that work then?

Hugo Rifkind

Monday March 20 2023, 9.00pm GMT, The Times

Whenever I’m reminded of Suella Braverman gushing “That’s my dream!” about front pages showing planes taking off to Rwanda, I find myself thinking of the way Queen Elizabeth I in Blackadder said “I dreamt once that I was a sausage roll”. Hey, each to their own.

Something, though, does seem to be making our home secretary feel pretty dreamy. The Home Office complained this weekend about a cropped photo that showed her roaring with mirth at a Kigali construction site, without showing that the people she was with were roaring too. I’m not clear why they bothered, because every other photo of Braverman in Rwanda also seems to show her beaming, as do all the videos. On my own delightful wedding day, I reckon I was about a quarter as happy. My dog isn’t even this happy when I give him a bit of cheese.

What is she so happy about? At the weekend, her cabinet colleague Oliver Dowden gave a much more downbeat view, telling Sky News: “I don’t relish any of this and I really wish we didn’t have to do it.” No such hand-wringing angst for Suella: she’s jubilation all the way. Even allowing for the most benign and pro-Suella spin imaginable, though, what is the source of her glee? Does she think she’s helping people? Is she picturing future joyful failed asylum seekers, leaping merrily in the African sunshine? Or what?

Much has been said already about whether the government’s Rwanda plan is immoral. The King, Gary Lineker and the Archbishop of Canterbury think it is; others think otherwise. If you wish to make your own assumption about which side I’d be on, oh well. For the purposes of this column, though, I’m more interested in what the government thinks success looks like. Because the only success I can envisage, even from their perspective, doesn’t have much to do with Rwanda at all.

Rwanda is supposed to be a deterrent. Take it from Braverman. Last week, before she left, she said the policy “will act as a powerful deterrent against dangerous and illegal journeys such as small boat crossings”. For this to work, though, people on boats will obviously have to believe there is a strong chance Rwanda is where they will end up. Exactly how strong I couldn’t say, but bear in mind they already face a non-negligible risk of actually dying. So far, indeed, this has been more likely to happen (about 40 people since 2021) than being successfully sent Rwanda-wards on a plane (no people).

The plan, says Braverman, is for Rwanda eventually to The difficulty she has, though, is that she can’t simultaneously threaten migrants with how awful Rwanda is while also going there and smiling so much. Or indeed, without giving the government of President Paul Kagame the hump. So, mere days after talking about deterrence, she’s now calling resettlement for lucky, lucky migrants and attacking her critics for the “gross prejudice and snobbery” of saying pretty much what she herself had just said.

I feel faintly mad even pointing this out, but if the numbers we send are not huge (and they won’t be) and the deterrent effect thus small (which it will be) then our situation will not be much improved. Indeed, along with spending millions to house asylum seekers in hotels, we’ll now spend millions on sending a small handful to Rwanda too. Well done, team.

Yet for a true deterrent, if that’s what we want, there are only two real options. One would be to heavily regulate our economy, growth be damned. The other would be to jail these poor people here instead. Sweep them up off the beach, bung them in detention, make it awful, keep them there for ages.

The problem with that isn’t just that Charles, Gary and Justin might kick off. We also couldn’t afford it. The entire British prison population is fewer than 90,000 people, so God alone knows where we’d keep tens of thousands more every year, let alone the backlog of 166,000 asylum cases we already have. This is also why ministers occasionally float the domestic fantasies of disused cruise ships or old holiday parks. None of it ever happens. None of it ever will.

The Rwanda scheme pretends to be a way of offshoring the problem. Really, it’s a way of offshoring the fantasies. In Kigali, one of the places Braverman went to do her weird smiling was the Bwiza Riverside Estate, portrayed as a place being built to house people who come off planes from here. In fact, the Rwandan government announced the very same estate last year as affordable housing for locals, and with no mention of our boat people at all. Who knows how many will actually end up there. A handful? None at all?

I understand why this has turned into a binary political thing, because what doesn’t? On the left, social media memesters now routinely call Braverman a Nazi, which anyone with even the smallest knowledge of actual Nazis should find preposterous. For her supporters, meanwhile, this is all now about a fight with lefty lawyers, European judges, the bleeding-heart woke blob and so on. You can even feel “Rwanda” turning into a totem, like “Brexit” before it, as a test of purity and patriotism to be deployed come the next election.

The cynic in me wonders if this is what she’s really smiling about. Every brick laid on Rwandan soil helps build that political citadel, as does every shriek from the left.
Or perhaps that’s me being overgenerous. Surely, though, there are enough grown-ups left in her party to recognise absolute nonsense when they see it. Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt, people with brains: don’t they squirm in mortification whenever it hits the news? They must know this mad, divisive, white elephant of a policy isn’t the answer. How long are they going to pretend?

Lineker 1 Sharp 0

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Lance Forman is a former Conservative MEP and donor to Liz Truss’s leadership campaign


Awareness level

Approve South Park GIF

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:joy::joy::joy::joy::joy:

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Was that the Woody Woodpecker tune they were playing?

Honestly it’s hilarious stuff altogether