British Airways, as an employee I’m begging you, please stop deporting migrants

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Sunday 18 August 2019 17:20
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UK to deport aspiring astrophysicist to Pakistan where she faces death or forced marriage to cousin

British Airways recently celebrated record profits of £1.95bn for 2018. Next week, colleagues around the business will also be celebrating the airline’s 100th birthday.

We teach our young people in education the following British values:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

Despite these values, we needlessly accept Home Office contracts by regularly deporting people to countries around the world who have escaped persecution, torture and risk of death for living the values that we teach. We deport people who have been persecuted for their faiths and beliefs, their gender identity and sexuality, for fighting for democracy and equality and for seeking a better, safer life here in the UK.

Instead of deporting migrants and refugees, we could be joining Virgin Atlantic, one of our main competitors, in ending forced deportations from the UK. Our airline could help those fighting for positive change in the world and stand with those seeking freedom from brutality and persecution by ending forced deportations. We could celebrate those who seek to live their true lives peacefully with us.

Please let us end forced deportations and live the values that we seek to celebrate. Make this centenary year one with genuine meaning and compassion. Let’s mark this centenary with another love letter, not only to the British people, but to those who seek refuge from across the globe we so proudly serve by announcing the end of forced deportations on our aircraft.

A British Airways employee (via Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants)

Jo Swinson is right

I suspect that the thoughts of many MPs, about a possible government of national unity, is that they might consider crossing that bridge... but only when they come to it. Other votes may need to be won in parliament first. I believe that Jo Swinson’s statement that a non-party leader is more likely to gain the required cross-party support (extending into Conservatory rebel territory) is correct. Right now, any vitriolic debate about a government of national unity just risks increasing disunity.

Giuseppe Enrico Bignardi
Springfield Park

Stop criticising the prime minister

Derogatory – some may say snide – remarks about the prime minister by the leader of the house do neither him nor parliament any credit at all.

Further, the essential basis for the government of this country is the majority view of the people.

Neil Coppendale
Shoreham-by-Sea

International law

Nothing is new under the sun. In the first decade of the 17th century, Dutch fishermen would encircle the teeming herring off the coast of East Anglia and fight off the English in their smaller boats.

The “father of international law”, a young Hugo de Groot, was called in to justify this (and the Dutch breaking the Portuguese spice island monopoly in the Indies) in a slim work, Mare Liberum (Freedom of the Seas).

In a battle of the lawyers, the English had John Selden counter with Mare Clausum (Closed Seas). The result: international law was born. After any Brexit all must adhere to the relevant codification of that law in the third UN convention on the law of the sea, and not revert to violence.

Glen Plant
Address supplied

Independent Minds Events: get involved in the news agenda

A new voting system

Benjamin Kentish’s article “Labour trade union ally says party is trading female MP seats so they can be filled by ‘favourite sons’” (17 August) illustrates why we must change our first-past-the-post voting system where we have no choice of the party candidate we have to vote for.

I propose that for voting purposes only we combine four Westminster seats into a voting area to give us a choice of four Brexiteer and Remainer candidates (two male, two female?) so that the most popular parties and persons are returned. The “price” of a seat would be 25 per cent of the votes and then more voters would get “what the voters voted for”.

John Davies
Bury St Edmunds

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