Sir Desmond Swayne Suggests Afghans Shouldn’t Be “Queueing at the Airport”

Sir Desmond Swayne failed to read the room when he intervened during Starmer’s speech to say:

“[Starmer] wouldn’t want the government of this kingdom to be overthrown by a wicked and brutal regime. I venture that he would want a leading role in the resistance. He wouldn’t be queueing at the airport, would he?”

Which some seem to have taken as a suggestion Afghan refugees shouldn’t be leaving the country at all. Suspect Swayne was referring to men of fighting age. Calls of “shame” and “disgrace” from the Chamber were perhaps not entirely justified…

mdi-timer 18 August 2021 @ 11:03 18 Aug 2021 @ 11:03 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Anxious Tory MPs Intervene Repeatedly During PM’s Statement on Afghanistan

As expected, animated scenes in the Chamber this morning during the ongoing Afghanistan debate. Boris repeatedly yielding his time at the despatch box as several senior Tory MPs intervene, including John Baron, Tobias Ellwood, Mark Harper, and Theresa May. A difficult session already…

mdi-timer 18 August 2021 @ 10:10 18 Aug 2021 @ 10:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Raab and Wallace Try to Calm MPs on Conciliatory Zoom Call

Guido hears that Dominic Raab and Ben Wallace held Zoom calls with MPs yesterday in an attempt to calm backbench fears ahead of the Commons debate on Afghanistan. Apparently it didn’t exactly go to plan: Raab’s Zoom link repeatedly failed, and very few members walked away feeling any better about the situation. There’s been a dour mood across Parliament since Monday, even if the prevailing view is that the responsibility for this mess ultimately lies with Biden…

mdi-timer 18 August 2021 @ 09:29 18 Aug 2021 @ 09:29 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Patel Gets Emotional Over Afghanistan as She Announces 20,000 Refugees Scheme

Patel’s steely exterior fell away on Sky News this morning as she reflected on the humanitarian crisis Afghanistan is now facing:

Kay: “Why is this making you so emotional?

Patel: “I’ve seen it. I’ve absolutely seen in Afghanistan the level of oppression and persecution of women and girls. And it’s unspeakable.”

Her media round will have been rather jarring for those on the left who’ve come to caricature the Home Secretary as a heartless right-winger. As well as proudly announcing a new route for 20,000 Afghan refugees – 5,000 this year, with women and children prioritised – she suggested the separate scheme for repatriating Interpreters, contractors and their families could double from the current 5,000 to over 10,000. With Patel now firmly to the left of Macron, she’s having to encourage the EU Commission to do more, “there’s more they can do”…

mdi-timer 18 August 2021 @ 08:22 18 Aug 2021 @ 08:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Taliban “Boys Are Back in Town”

From dodgems to dancing, flower waving in government offices to checking out the US army’s gyms, there’s been no shortage of playgrounds for the newly-victorious Taliban to celebrate in after their blitzkrieg takeover of Afghanistan. Guido imagines they won’t have cause to stop anytime soon…

mdi-timer 17 August 2021 @ 16:41 17 Aug 2021 @ 16:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Studio Audience Returning to Question Time

Question Time has organised an emergency episode for tomorrow in light of the recall of parliament. In a welcome return to pre-Covid normality, the BBC has announced the show will feature a live studio audience for the first time since the start of the pandemic. North West Londoners will replace the 50 regulars who had become recurring talking heads via videolink at the start of Question Time’s 2021 programming. Might finally be worth tuning in again – panel line-up depending…

mdi-timer 17 August 2021 @ 14:52 17 Aug 2021 @ 14:52 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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