Suella Braverman’s campaign against refugees must be resisted

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Monday 16 January 2023 17:06 GMT
Braverman has become notorious for her callous treatment of refugees and for the dehumanising language she uses about those seeking asylum
Braverman has become notorious for her callous treatment of refugees and for the dehumanising language she uses about those seeking asylum (PA)

At a constituency meeting in Fareham on Friday, Suella Braverman was confronted by Joan Salter, an 83-year-old survivor of the Holocaust. Salter, who has an MBE for her work in Holocaust education, told Braverman: “When I hear you using words against refugees like ‘swarms’ and an ‘invasion’. I am reminded of language used to dehumanise and justify the murder of my family and millions of others.”

Braverman responded by trotting out empty assurances that she shared Salter’s “concern” and “sympathy” with refugees, then said: “I won’t apologize for the language that I have used to demonstrate the scale of the problem.”

Incredibly, the Home Office later undertook a damage limitation campaign on Braverman’s behalf, insisting a video of her exchange with Salter circulating on social media was “heavily edited and doesn’t reflect the full exchange”.

Who are they kidding? Braverman has become notorious for her callous treatment of refugees and for the dehumanising language she uses about those seeking asylum. Braverman freely admits she “dreams” and “obsesses” about deporting refugees to Rwanda.

Last November, just a day after a terror attack on a refugee centre in Dover, Braverman made a speech in the Commons in which she denounced refugees as carrying out an “invasion” of the UK. That was not language designed to “demonstrate the scale of the problem”, it was language for stoking anti-refugee racism and appealing to racists. Braverman’s campaign against refugees must be resisted by everyone.

Sasha Simic


Where is the common sense on Brexit?

From the outset, it could be seen that leaving the EU was a failed project. This country benefited so much from the European connection for over 50 years. Day by day we are seeing, hearing and reading how the population is now realising that the emperor’s new clothes were just not there.

Polls are showing an ever-increasing wish to regain the advantages we have lost. Business people, travellers, musicians, farmers, fishermen, indeed everyone is suffering financially, culturally and bureaucratically. This leaves us with a problem. Who could we possibly vote for in a forthcoming general election?

I – along with millions of others – wish to be back in the EU, so why are none of the main political parties even talking about the subject? Let alone recognising the error and seeking to put a rejoin policy in their manifestos?

Colin Hayward


Inflaming tensions

Proposals by the government to veto Scotland’s new gender recognition legislation are highly questionable. Under the terms of the Scotland Act, a Section 35 order could be sought by the government, preventing the Gender Recognition Reform Bill from coming into force.

For this to be enacted, the secretary of state for Scotland must prove it has reasonable grounds to believe that the bill would have an adverse effect on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters. However, it is to be noted the Bill does not impact on reserved matters.

It is true that “equal opportunities”, as outlined in the Equality Act and the likely rationale for the UK government to block it, is reserved for Westminster.

However, the Scotland Act defines equal opportunities as “the prevention, elimination or regulation of discrimination” based on a range of protected characteristics. Gender reform doesn’t seem to fall within this reservation.

Wherever one stands on the legislation, blocking this through a Section 35 order would be unprecedented and further inflame tensions between Holyrood and Westminster.

Alex Orr


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