AS Ann Bradshaw wrote in TCW last week, Home Secretary Priti Patel has conceded to heavy lobbying and allowed so-called ‘asylum seekers’ to work at care homes to replace the thousands of employees who have lost their jobs due to not wanting the coronavirus vaccine.
The decision is undoubtedly a bad one, for all kinds of reasons, and was rightly described by Heritage Party leader David Kurten as ‘despicable’. It certainly won’t fly with the vast majority of the British public, let alone Conservative Party voters, who already feel that the government is handling the illegal immigration crisis badly. One can only wonder if similar measures will be used to fill gaps in the NHS once those who refuse to take the jab are similarly fired.
However, what the care home move exposes is something far more pernicious and sinister: the stealth ways that the government is going to get the illegal immigration amnesty that it clearly wants, but can’t blurt out honestly yet.
Boris Johnson has openly called for illegal immigrants to be given an amnesty several times, both when he was London Mayor, and during his stint as an MP, mainly during the Windrush scandal (though that had no link whatsoever to illegal immigration).
This stance has continued into his prime ministership. In his first speech in the job, he said: ‘I think that our arrangements, in theoretically being committed to the expulsion of perhaps half a million people who do not have the correct papers . . . I think that legal position is anomalous . . . we need to look at our arrangements for people who have lived and worked here for a long time . . .’
It can be seen through this lens why the government not only has done a very poor job with illegal immigration, but has done everything it can to encourage it.
There was a vaccine amnesty in early 2021, whereby those illegals who were in Britain were allowed access to coronavirus vaccines without fear of being deported or arrested. Health Minister at the time Ed Argar stated that the migrants are ‘entitled’ to the vaccine and that their ‘immigration status’ wouldn’t be chased up.
There is the biased media coverage in the migrants’ favour, not to mention the endless efforts of the government in grovelling to them whenever they are supposedly in peril. The latter is particularly interesting; in 2019, Johnson promised that those coming illegally would be sent back, while Patel went on and on about being tough on the subject matter as recently as the 2021 Conservative Party conference. Now, that script has completely flipped – hence why Patel stated that there was no ‘quick fix’ to the problem following the death of 27 migrants in the English Channel.
Meanwhile, those who attempt to cover this story, such as Nigel Farage and freelance journalist Steve Laws, are harassed by the police or arrested for their trouble, indicating a desperate attempt by the government to intimidate critics of their policy.
From here, it’s not hard to see how this is going to end.
It’ll start with Johnson and Co declaring that the large numbers coming are unavoidable and can’t be stopped (which of course isn’t true). It will lead to sympathetic media coverage and government messaging – presumably this will come in the form of showing how excellent many of them are as care workers, with any negative stories being swiftly buried as ‘misinformation’. Finally, any dissenters will be dismissed as bigoted dinosaurs.
Then the amnesty will come into force, and all the usual problems will follow – if we have learned anything from the several experiments of amnesty in other countries, from Spain to the United States, it’s that not only does it not work, it dangerously doesn’t work. Not least because the numbers of illegal immigrants tend to massively increase, given that the amnesty works more as an incentive than a deterrent, and thankfully Britain has been very wise to dodge that bullet so far.
However, there is some evidence that this is not going according to plan.
In a desperate bid to boost his declining popularity, Boris Johnson has initiated Operation Red Meat, whereby he will actually enact some conservative policies to please his base and Parliamentary party – one of these policies includes using the armed forces to turn illegal immigrants back.
Meanwhile, the threat of political upsets in the near future – most notably that of the aforementioned Laws standing as a Ukip candidate in next month’s Southend West by-election on a hardline platform on this topic – could spook the government into acting far sooner on this issue, and stop pretending that it isn’t within its power to do so, given that they certainly had the resources to lock the entire country up.
Until then, we have to be alert to whenever they become softer on the issue as with the care workers before it is too late.