It takes a rare type of noodle to liken the British Government to Hitler’s so the Commons must count itself blessed by the election of Imran Hussain. We might not have had anyone quite so soft-headed to say what he said in the last moments of PMQs.
To be “absolutely clear,” he said with an absolute lack of clarity, the Government’s new proposals on the small boats are at the same time, “far-right,” “dystopian,” and “appeasing”. What a clash of ideas in those few words.
If and when the migrants are taken out of their hotels and housed in holiday camps, the idiocracy will liken Butlins to Birkenau and Imran Hussein will feel he is in the mainstream of opinion.
The Nazi links are too tempting. Even when they are ridiculous they are irresistible. Jews, we will recall, weren’t risking everything to get into Nazi Germany.
The LOTO must have felt he’d had a better day by asking a number of short questions he knew had lamentable answers. How many failed asylum seekers had been sent back whence they had come? Oh, we’ve almost doubled the number of people sent back, Rishi Sunak said. “To two,” we scoffed in the gallery. And that wasn’t far off. LOTO said, “The number is 21. Out of 18,000.”
And how many asylum applications had been processed – it had been 4%, what was it now? Oh, our nimble PM said, we had 6,000 more of something or other, and all sorts of agreements with other countries to take back their huddled masses.
Yes, but how many asylum applications had been processed? LOTO claimed it had gone from 4% to under 1%. “From the unacceptable to the almost non-existent.” (Is there really no one in his office who can turn a phrase?)
That drop in performance is presumably the result of a massively increased inward flow of migrants. Not an invasion, obviously, we don’t call 50,000 refugees an invasion. Even if by next year they outnumber the British army.
‘It’s shocking but not surprising,” the SNP’s Stephen Flynn said, that the Government claimed 100 million foreigners would move to the UK, if they could. And yet more outrageous – Flynn was rocked to his core – it had been claimed that number might be in the billions. Billions!
But it’s almost certainly true. That 100 million figure, Rishi pointed out, was a United Nations’ figure. What an underestimate it must be. Half the world’s population are living on a fiver a day, why wouldn’t they want to come and live in a country that will give them a house and an income, and in the fullness of time a flat-screen TV and a free burial when the ambulance fails to turn up in time to get them into one of our world-leading Intensive Care Units?
For all LOTO’s small scores today, there is no sense Labour will do anything to stop the inrush becoming an actual invasion. The factors preventing a small boats solution are core to Labour ideology: public service indolence and a cat’s cradle of human rights legislation.
If there is a way, Labour clearly lacks the will. Rachel Reeves at the press luncheon the other day said they would need to deal with migrants. Her solution? Labour would process them more quickly.
If Labour think the next election is in the bag they would do well to think again. They’re behaving as though they’re hosting a year-long, pre-election rally. In Sheffield.