Gay man to be deported to Uganda?

Uganda is not a very groovy place to be if one happens to prefer same-sex sex. Not only can one be imprisoned for life if one engages in ‘repeated acts of homosexuality’, the government keeps threatening to pass a Bill making such acts punishable by death.

And where legislation falters, the mob takes things into its own hands, and the prospect of
extreme violence is never far away.

How nice to hear, then, that good old Blighty is planning to deport a gay man back to Uganda because the judge refused to believe that he is gay (despite expert evidence to the contrary), and is adhering to the old guidance about which countries are safe (Uganda was only recently added to the list of unsafe countries for gay people, following an Amnesty report). You can read more here.

Legal aid, domestic violence and immigration

The UK Government is currently debating the Legal Aid Bill, which seeks, amongst other things, to remove legal aid from immigration and some asylum-support cases. This Bill is bad news for a number of different people, but immigration and women’s rights groups have particular concerns about the way this will affect women. An example is the proposal to remove legal aid from women whose visa is linked to that of their partner (who has indefinite leave to remain), but who is being subjected to domestic violence by that partner, and so wishes to end the relationship. A woman in such a situation can apply for indefinite leave to remain under the domestic violence rule. But immigration law is complex and women in abusive relationships are often traumatised. Legal advice is essential in such cases, otherwise there is a real risk that women will be trapped in abusive relationships for fear of jeopardising their immigration status. A small victory has been won by rights groups, as the Government has realised this, and decided to allow legal aid in such cases. You can read more here.

Fortress Britain

Every evening, when I’m sitting in my warm, secure house, tucking in to a hearty plate of food, I turn on my expensive flat screen TV and I hear news of those pesky brown people over in North Africa and the Arab Spring nations fighting each other – some minor matter to do with democracy, I gather. Anyway, it now seems that some of them have had the gall to come over to Europe to ‘escape the violence’. Quite a nuisance they’ve been in parts of Italy, sleeping in the streets, and requiring food. The Italian authorities have been calling for other EU countries to help ‘share the burden’ of dealing with these people, and I was growing quite pale at the thought that some of them might even make it as far as Britain. You can thus imagine my great relief when I heard about our own, dear Teresa May’s response on Monday. I was rather worried our government might not see these brown people for the workshy scroungers that they are, and might start saying we’d got to provide some sort of help to people who’ve been fighting against dictatorial regimes propped up by Western governments, had their lives ripped apart by violence, lost loved ones in the struggles, had to leave everything they own and come to a hostile continent, mostly populated by rich strangers who can’t seem to recognise a fellow human in genuine need when they’re staring them in the face. Luckily, Ms May poo-poohed any ridiculous notions of ‘burden-sharing’ and said that countries have got to co-operate to stop this huge deluge of brown people from entering Britain. So we can all sleep easily in our beds, knowing that our government will be working to strengthen our borders. A relief!

Italy and strife in North Africa

The recent and ongoing unrest in North Africa, including the civil war in Libya, has led thousands to flee their homes and make for a safe haven. For many, that has been a small island called Lampedusa, off the coast of Sicily. The Italian authorities now have the problem of dealing with these refugees, which – for anyone who knows a bit about the workings of Fortress Europe – is not just a practical issue, but a politically charged matter. The authorities need to act quickly, however, as Amnesty reports that the refugees are existing in appalling conditions. Italy has started to take migrants to the mainland, but communities in the South of Italy are angry that they are bearing the brunt of caring for them. Italian leaders also feel that other European countries are not doing enough to help.

We are here because…

Video footage from the All African Women’s Group of women asylum-seekers. The accounts talk about the violence and horror they endured back home and their fight for justice here.

From the Press Release:

It is a testimony to women’s strength and courage, that despite great trauma, we find ways of overcoming silence and invisibility. Many of those interviewed have survived rape and other forms of torture, seen their loved ones killed, been driven from their home by wars, endured years of separation from their children, suffered violent and abusive relationships, been imprisoned/detained . . . yet have refused to give up. Some have won safety and protection, but for countless others, the daily battle for survival and justice continues, made harder in a climate where the services and resources we all need are being cut to the bone.

We hope you will: watch, listen, comment, and want to work with us to stop the injustices which are exposed in these extraordinary interviews.

It’s multiculturalism that’s to blame!

It’s so nice to know that it is tolerance that is breeding radical terrorists , not feminism.   Let’s thank the British PM for this bit of insightful analysis:

In what aides described as one of the most important speeches in the nine months since he became prime minister, Mr. Cameron said the multiculturalism policy — one espoused by British governments since the 1960s, based on the principle of the right of all groups in Britain to live by their traditional values — had failed to promote a sense of common identity centered on values of human rights, democracy, social integration and equality before the law… He called on European governments to practice “a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and much more active, muscular liberalism,” and said Britain would no longer give official patronage to Muslim groups that had been “showered with public money despite doing little to combat terrorism.”

Perhaps most controversially, he called for an end to a double standard that he said had tolerated the propagation of radical views among nonwhite groups that would be suppressed if they involved radical groups among whites.

Opps!  What’s this about suppressing radical views among whites??  I thought the British National Party was doing a pretty good job of spreading radical views??  Maybe some of our British writers or readers can sort this out.

How best can we reduce the number of students coming to the UK?

Cameron’s coalition wants your views. Cameron et al. want to reduce the amount of migrants to the UK, and have identified international students as a problem. Rather than coming, studying, and then buggering off back home again, some of them come here wanting to bring their families with them (shock), to work whilst studying (gasp), and some even arrive with a view to settling here once they finish (horror). One of the problems is that some of those pesky foreigners aren’t studying on degree level courses, and can’t even speak English properly. (They’re called ‘language courses’, Dave.) Whilst Cameron et al. want to continue attracting the brightest and the best students to our universities (and then ensure they leave promptly afterwards), they want to tighten restrictions to ensure it’s mainly these people who can come. In essence, they want to make student visas harder to obtain. You can read more from Cameron et al. here. I’ve skimmed the documents – I’m already late for work – but I couldn’t see any economic analysis of the costs and benefits of these foreign students. I can tell you two things, however, from working at a Russell Group University: (i) foreign students are a big source of university income; (ii) whilst Cameron et al. want to continue attracting students to such universities, the current visa requirements caused problems for three students that I know of, this year alone. They eventually arrived, but missed over half the term, due to visa complications. That might not seem like a lot of students, but a philosophy department isn’t a big place.