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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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HomeNewsThe Tories need a reboot to beat the virus in the Lords

The Tories need a reboot to beat the virus in the Lords

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THE Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill passed its third reading in the House of Commons last week. Following a desperate speech from Rishi Sunak to ratify it (which saw him all but get on bended knee), the Lords are taking their sweet time stalling the Bill for further inspection. Everything hangs in the balance for Rishi as the no-confidence votes pile in and his leading pollster and special advisor resigned. Considering all the hours spent negotiating the UK-Rwanda Agreement on an Asylum Partnership treaty, it’s adding insult to injury that Conservative Lords aren’t co-operating.

As most are diehard delusional Remainers, after the embarrassment of Brexit this could be their chance for payback. One last hurrah before the Brexiteers swoop in and finish them off. I refer of course to the challenger party, Reform, which is steadily climbing the polls.

Although of course the plan isn’t a panacea and there is still the ECHR to contend with, the main objection to this scheme hinges on whether Rwanda is a ‘safe country’. Perversely, safety in this context is not measured by whether one would be afraid to walk the streets of Kigali alone at night (which in light of murder statistics would be more dangerous in many US and UK cities). The determination is based on likelihood of deportation to another hypothetically (and as yet unnamed) unsafe country. But that is in fact the entire basis of the treaty – to provide a safe venue for asylum seekers to have their claims reviewed and processed, and if they succeed on the merits to then be permitted lawfully to enter the United Kingdom.

In the same way these puffed-up cowards tried to block Brexit, pushing aside the rule of law gives way to speculation and whataboutery. The argument goes: we don’t know where the poor darlings will end up; they could be sent back to their countries of origin to face torture. Therefore it is ‘unlawful’ to enable a process to address the small boats crisis and further incur the wrath of the ECtHR, which last time (as everyone remembers when the first Rwandan flight tried to take off in 2021) managed to stop the deportations and would doubtless do so again.

I tried listening to the Lords’ debate on Rwanda this week and disappointingly much time was spent on other subjects including hedgerows and vaccine hesitancy – the latter topic hijacking discussion with reference to some naughty refusenik convention at the Carlton Club. How I wish I had known about it and gatecrashed!

If the situation, as fuelled by the Lords and faced by the Tories, now seems entirely displaced from any logic, it could be a helpful analogy to think of it like a software application. Computer programs (or at least successful ones) typically span four stages of life before dying out like stars to be replaced with newer and hotter products. These are: 1) innovation 2) effectiveness 3) efficiency and 4) flexibility. While resilience is also a key factor that spans the life cycle (and not only of technology but of most animals), it is plain to see that none of the above factors are present within the current leadership.

At any given point failure in any one of these criteria will hasten death and many such offerings have withered on the vine for failure to innovate, or have been cut short by cumbersome, dysfunctional utilities and the inability to adapt to new circumstances. Flexibility to grow and respond to changing environments is critical. (If you’d like to geek out on this topic, see this handy guidance for IT investors and developers, which says that ‘innovation is driven by the market, technology or a new vision’.)

In short, the Tories need a new vision. What they have instead is a pernicious virus in the Lords, eating away at the code until they flatline. Their files are all corrupted and the only thing which can save them now is a complete reboot with new operating systems. To avoid meltdown, they could look to the example of Nigel Lawson, Margaret Thatcher’s Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1986. He came up with the ‘Big Bang’ to deregulate London’s financial markets, which flipped on the lights of our financial cosmos and turned the City into the world’s brightest hotspot overnight.

Perhaps the Brexiteers can come up with something similarly ground-breaking; and since we are on the subject of stars, let’s leave the ECHR to twinkle in the dust, in a galaxy very far . . .

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Bridget Jones 2024
Bridget Jones 2024
Bridget Jones

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