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  Opinion   Columnists  21 Jul 2023  Farrukh Dhondy | As UK goes after the boat people, leaks are found in Brexit exclusion

Farrukh Dhondy | As UK goes after the boat people, leaks are found in Brexit exclusion

In his words: "I am just a professional writer, which means I don't do blogs and try and get money for whatever I write."
Published : Jul 22, 2023, 12:41 am IST
Updated : Jul 22, 2023, 12:41 am IST

The children who have been trafficked into Britain, perhaps with the connivance of their parents, arrive here without them.

Walt Disney died during production of the film The Jungle Book (1967). (AA File Photo)
 Walt Disney died during production of the film The Jungle Book (1967). (AA File Photo)

“And the punters said to Bachchoo

‘Speak to us of Passion!’ And Bachchoo replied

‘It is that which is in and then out.

It is that which passes and leaves little-used detritus behind

It is that which pays the Bangladeshi workers their living…’

And the punters cried out: ‘Bangladeshi workers? What have

They to do with powerphool emotions?’

‘Emotions? Oh, you mean Passion? I thought you meant fashion

And were using your Bangladeshi accent’.”

From The Profit of Conlil Gibberish, by Bachchoo

I am no fan of Mickey Mouse but confess a lifelong passion for the discourse of Baloo the bear from The Jungle Books, despite the fact that Kipling spelt “bhaloo” without the “h”.

I have always admired the original illustrations of the Jungle Books by Rudyard’s father, the artist and principal of several art colleges in the Indian subcontinent, John Lockwood Kipling.

However, for the cartoon version of the Jungle Books by Disney, a cuddlier “Baloo” was designed for the screen and was probably a comforting, entertaining image for children.

A few hundred of these -- I mean children -- have in the last year attempted to cross the English Channel from France and seek asylum in the UK. The Tory government under Hedgie Soongone and his home secretary Cruella Cowardperson (both of immigrant stock and Indian descent -- alas!) doesn’t want them here.

The children who have been trafficked into Britain, perhaps with the connivance of their parents, arrive here without them. They are technically separated from their families and some of them are possibly orphans.

There has been a much-touted insistence from this self-same Tory government that all these asylum seekers, who are brought to the shore, by the British Coast Guard or Navy, from their very unsafe rubber dinghies, and claim to be children are not. They say, with some truth,

that some eighteen or nineteen-year-olds might appear and claim to be fifteen or sixteen and therefore under age. Gentle reader, I have to admit that this may, in a few cases, be true.

Desperation certainly leads to petty deceit.

I recall all this because a fellow called Robert Jenrick, a minister in Cruella’s home office, has recently demanded that the facility that houses these asylum-orphans -- facilities that have murals of Mickey Mouse and the Disney Baloo on the walls -- should be cleansed of these murals as they appear to be signs of welcome to these children.

Jenprick (Sorry yaar, this damn predictive text! --fd) doesn’t want them to mistake the mood of this government -- “you are not welcome here and we’ve just passed a bill through Parliament, despite objections from the House of Lords and MPs from our own party -- probably all Communist infiltrators -- to pack as many as we can off to Rwanda”. (This is a plausible mind-read, not a quote!)

This Illegal Migrants Bill is a part of Hedgie and Cruella’s strategy to win votes and influence nasty people. Their slogan is “Stop the Boats”. Their bill empowers the British government to send those boat-arrivals, whom it deems to have no claims to shelter, from whichever cruel part of the world (are there any others?) they have fled to seek asylum here, to Rwanda.

Hedgie’s government has spent millions of pounds already on this daft Rwandan plan and not one person has yet been deported in this way as the procedure has met with obstruction from the European and the British courts. But Hedgie and Cruella obviously think that “Stop the Boats” is catchy and will bring swathes of the electorate to their side.

At the same time, this government admitted last week that Brexit has caused a severe shortage of workers in the building industry and they now propose to hand visas to people qualified to work in it. A little leak in the Brexit exclusion?

It is vital that they do as, concurrently, this government has promised to build houses to overcome the acute affordable housing shortage in the country. Of course, there is no shortage of housing for mafia Russians, rich Arabs and black-money-wallas of the Indian subcontinent. They don’t live in Hedgie’s buildings -- or wouldn’t if there were any!

What Cruella obviously knows is that these asylum seekers pay an average of £16,000 to the trafficking criminal networks who stuff them with floating gear into rubber dinghies which have powered engines. It wouldn’t take the government Einsteinian intelligence or Sisyphian determination to find the manufacturers of these dinghies, this floating gear and the motors attached to the dinghies. And from the manufacturers of these to the traffickers.

And there are other ways. The asylum seekers themselves could identify the people who took their money or put them on the boats? And yes, if the British police can initiate whole departments to infiltrate and report on left-wing organisations, why can’t it infiltrate the trafficking mafia? Who can then be apprehended, tried and sent to Rwanda?

No, better for vote-garnering to make these wretched people and children unwelcome.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Jenprick now went further and instructed the asylum-orphan refugees to paint murals of devils poking welcome sinners into black pots of boiling oil or other cliched terror images.

Oh wait! I have another literature-inspired suggestion for him. Why not limit the daily menu of these child-refugees to that which Oliver Twist -- in the original Dickens -- had to put up with? As I recall, not very welcoming.

Tags: farrukh dhondy column, brexit, jungle book