Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

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Location: London, United Kingdom

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Tory Hypocrisy and Hope for the Asylum System

Just listened to Shadow Foreign Secretary speak on the radio about the Government giving amnesty to economic migrants while sending people back to Zimbabwe at the risk of persecution. Firstly, I agree that the government's decision to deem Zimbabwe safe is a decision which should be criticised.

However Mr Fox's comments seem to confirm my suspicions that when Michael Howard and David Davis were speaking about the need for quota's for asylum seekers and how Britain could not take an unlimited amount of people fleeing persecution, that this 'principle' would not be applied uniformly but rather in a politically motivated matter.

In fact, it would not be stretching it to say that Tory pressure has largely influenced the Labour government's policies on asylum which have led to the current situation. When Sri Lanka, where suspected tamil tigers are subjected to horrendous persecution and torture was deemed to be a 'safe country' by the Blair Government media and opposition attention was negligible.

Again, this is not to say that the government should not be held to account but it does seem awfully disingenuous on the part of the Tories after the campaign that they ran on asylum to criticise, unless this is the beginning of a reform of Tory asylum policy.

On the bright side, the notion that admitting bogus asylum-seekers in cases where there is a risk that they might be persecuted on return may well gain ground in the Labour party as a result of this fiasco (see here).

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