Our plight is rich in absurdity. The UK needs new workers and people want to come here. The real problem is populist politics
‘Suella Braverman reportedly wants to deport migrants not just to Rwanda but to Peru, Belize, Paraguay and anywhere she can land a plane.’ Photograph: Tayfun Salcı/Zuma Press Wire/Rex/Shutterstock
Thu 3 Nov 2022
There is an unmarked warehouse outside Hull station that should be a museum. It is where hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of Jews fleeing eastern Europe’s pogroms at the end of the 19th century were isolated before crossing to Liverpool for ships to America. There is nothing new in the squalor of migration. It is about desperate people, and increasingly desperate politicians.
Britain’s latest immigration obsession is about both. For politicians, the root of the desperation is an electoral lie, that Brexit would enable the government to “take back control” and slash numbers coming in. This week in a parody of such control, the home secretary, Suella Braverman, reportedly wants to deport “illegal” migrants not just to Rwanda but to Peru, Belize, Paraguay and anywhere she can land a plane. She has already donated £120m to Rwanda in return for taking 400 refugees, not one of whom she has yet sent. It is wildly extravagant gesture politics.