Crackdowns, cruelty and pointing the finger

Prison ship berth available on short term lease. Would suit single gentleman with experience of incarceration. Only 485 cabins left. Any refusals and there’s a one-way ticket to Ascension Island with your name on it waiting at the departure desk.

There are presently something like 136,000 people trying to claim asylum in the UK and a backlog of around 50,000 sitting in hotels waiting on their notification, so even if the Bibby Stockholm barge presently docked in Portland, Dorset, does take its capacity of 500 (it was originally built to hold about 220) it’s a drop in the ocean, or rather the English Channel.

Rishi Rich and Cruella Braverman are well aware of this, Rishi in particular is supposed to be good at sums so he knows that the figures don’t add up.

But the barge (and heaven forbid a fire should break out on board) was never meant to be a solution to the immigration issue, it’s a symbol – a message to a specific group of potential voters the Tories are targeting, people who can’t tell the difference between crackdown and cruelty, or don’t care – that they mean business.

They see these people as mirror images of themselves who just need to be convinced of that and the votes are in the bag.

But what do Rishi Rich and Cruella see when they look at their reflection?

They would say that they respect the law, yet in reality that only applies when they actually agree with it. If the law decides against them, in their minds the law is at fault, not them and they will do whatever it takes to change it. Amnesty International is wrong, not them and now in a new twist, lawyers doing their job are being demonised – made out to be either ambulance chasers or out and out crooks – for providing immigrants under threat of deportation with their human right to legal representation.

It all sounds one step away from dystopian to me.

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It’s refreshing to hear that people have been saying thanks but no thanks to being included on Liz Truss’s dubious honours list. A knighthood for six weeks’ work when many people work a lifetime before being recognised, if at all, would certainly not be a good look, but I suspect being associated with the person who crashed the British economy before the No10 Downing Street loo seat was even warm would be even worse.

If you must buy into the Rishi and Cruella blame culture for the country’s cost of living crisis, look no further than the disastrous short-lived Truss/Kwarteng pairing. The real cause of our woes is certainly not sitting on a barge in Portland, but of course, the PM and his evil cronies don’t want you thinking like that.

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I’ve never seen the point of tablets – to me they are the 8-track cartridge of the modern day computer/smartphone world – but I’ve finally found a use for one so I’ve been looking around this week to see if I can pick up a reconditioned iPad for a decent price.

On social media a couple of days ago I saw someone advertising exactly what I need “in emasculate condition” and had to dismiss it immediately.

It could be going for a fiver and I still wouldn’t be able to bring myself to buy it.

It’s hard enough dealing with the daily supply of press releases from so called professionals who don’t know how to us a comma or a capital letter

The urge to give someone this thick as a brick a good slap would just be too much to resist.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

Tipping Point:

Q: Because of its ability to run on water, the basilisk lizard is also known by which religious name?

A: Gandhi?

Q: How many sides does a pentagon have?

A: Eight

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Edward Case

Columnist