Words that can start fires

7 March 2023

It’s not just the lack of safe routes that is pushing desperate people into small boats, it’s also the government's racist rhetoric.

Each time the Home Secretary utters her incendiary rhetoric, pmore desperate refugees - with no safe alternative - pile into small boats, risking their lives.

The far right are capitalising on the false illusion peddled by Braverman that all refugees are trying to come here. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most refugees remain in the regions of conflict and the UK is low on the list of countries to go to. 100M are not coming here. Not even 250,000. But she wrongly implied this and it’s time for her dangerous rhetoric to stop. Words have consequences. Why did she not mention  the 220K Visas issued to Ukrainians coming here under safe humanitarian routes, or the 150K Hong Kong residents who came here since June 2020? These are much much larger numbers, yet she has falsely implied that 100M “migrants” are on their way here. A tiny fraction of the worlds refugee population make their way to the UK because they may have family here, or because of language or work or study. But this false and fascistic messaging is repeated and continually filtering down to the street. The people at greatest risk  are those refugees accommodated in hotels dotted all over this country, that are being targeted by the far right, like tinderboxes waiting for a spark. 

People in these hotels are living a miserable existence, unable to start their lives, while observing Ukrainian war refugees being provided with safe passage, free travel, the right to work, benefits and safe passage even for their cats and dogs, while brown and black e are demonised and left to drown. They are merely providing a profit for asylum accommodation contractors like Mears and SERCO, shipped like parcels between hotels wherever a profit can be made, with no regard for their local connection to lawyers, universities or urgent medical appointments. 

We urge the Home Secretary to stop ramping up her fascistic rhetoric. 

The Home Office’s failure to plan has resulted in millions of pounds being spent on hotel accommodation that goes to contractors - not refugees, who are kept in limbo. And now this Home Secretary is about to spend billions of pounds of tax payers money on sending brown and black refugees to Rwanda. To what end? 

There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s. This is no slur. It is fact. The line has been crossed by this government, this Home Secretary, the so called Children of immigrants. Fast forward to today and it would be our mothers and father who would be on those boats. Like drowning our mothers and fathers. Like sending them to Rwanda. Yet none of this cruelty will work. These are war refugees and the words of politicians can start fires.

As of 28 February 2023 220,300 Ukraine Scheme visas have been issued to Ukrainians fleeing the war (Ukraine Family Scheme visas: 66,300. Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme visas: 153,900). 

Over 144,000 Hongkongers have moved to UK in 2 years since launch of BNO visa scheme - the emigration path that was launched after Beijing imposed the national security law on the city in June 2020.

There are no safe routes for Syrians, Afghans, Yemenis. They are - literally - left to drown. 

Don’t blame refugees. The reason the Home Office is spending millions a day on hotels is because it failed to plan for the year on year rise anticipated in the global refugee crisis, like building housing and now they are going to spend BILLIONS sending refugees to Rwanda only for them to be brought back by people smugglers several months later. 

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