Priti Patel Border Force Review – OpEd – Eurasia Review

When in opposition, Alexander Downer, destined to become Australia’s longest-serving foreign secretary in John Howard’s Conservative government, was easy to bully. Australian Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating was particularly keen to confuse an individual inclined to don fishnet stockings and affect a plum disposition. Never, he suggestedif there had been a finer piece of fairy-thread ever put on a stick.

During the Howard years, Downer held a position that has become virtually irrelevant, outsourced to the US State Department and the fossil fuel lobby. It was during this time that Australia stepped up its draconian approach to refugees and border security, pushing back naval arrivals and creating a network of concentration camps that has since been marketed around the world. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel is positively pot for it, but has only managed to embrace aspects of the ‘Australian model’, including relocating arrivals to offshore facilities and co-opting the Royal Navy in an interception role.

Efforts to use third countries to process asylum claims have been frustrated, although Patel has opted for a legislative route to obstruct the process and limit the settlement rights of unwanted migrants. Although she allowed the use of paper pushbacks, these have yet to happen and are the subject of a legal challenge by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and the charity Care4Calais.

Boris Johnson’s government has made a habit of exploiting the former career of Australian Conservative politics. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been endorsed for a role as trade adviser for Global Britain, an appointment that has not gone down well with critics worried that a reactionary dinosaur has been brought into the fold. With Abbott’s guidance, Global Britain risked becoming a nostalgic Britannia of pink gins and wallahs, Union Jacks flying high.

Downer, for his part, settled into the soft furnishings of British public life, serving as High Commissioner for a few years, becoming a presence around Australia House and King’s College London as as founding president of the international school of government. Obviously, he is considered very clubbable, a member of the Royal Over-Seas League and chairman of the trustees of the right-wing think tank, Policy Exchange.

Lately he has been asked to undertake a review of Britain’s border forces, a task he is likely to enjoy. In this area, reform can mean little: tougher policies, hardened sentiments, and the adjustment, if not the complete circumvention, of international law. The number of migrants attempting to cross from France in 2021 was estimated at 28,431. In 2020, it was 8,417. The Home Office fears the number could reach 65,000. A siege mentality s is well and truly rooted.

A Home Office statement noted Patel’s commission of a “wide-ranging independent review of our Border Force to assess its structure, powers, funding and priorities to ensure it can keep up keep pace with rapidly evolving threats and continue to protect the border, maintain security and prevent illegal migration.

Patel does not stoop to consider the right of asylum, or the safety and well-being of those who cross. It’s all security and border protection. “Since Border Force was established in 2011, its mandate has expanded to respond to the evolving border threats we face, and in recent years it has supported the implementation of the government’s Brexit commitments. and COVID-19 measures.”

According to statements by the UK government, Downer was “delighted” to lead the review, one wrongly labeled as independent. “As an independent reviewer, I plan to conduct a robust, evidence-based and results-oriented review.”

Downer is unlikely to be troubled by the evidence. For him, the results are already determined and are sure to offer comfort to Patel. The clue was in a piece written for the Daily Mail last September, openly praising Patel’s efforts. Although the Home Secretary is ‘widely ridiculed on both sides of the Channel… I know a ‘push-back’ policy can work’. Never a fan of the finer details, the Aussie suggested a sneaky approach bordering on deception. “My advice to Ms Patel would be to introduce an unheralded ‘push-back’ policy, and to keep the French informed only when needed.”

The opinions of members of the Policy Exchange think tank are also laced with such presumption. In a report published on February 16, the authors consider the need for a “plan B” which would be to send people trying to enter the UK on small craft back “to a place outside the UK – that either the Channel Islands, sovereign bases in Cyprus or Ascension Island – where their asylum claims would be considered.Ideally, “Plan A” would involve the French taking responsibility for preventing arrivals in the first place.

Downer’s anti-refugee resume is long, though he seems to have been over-credited with the original peaceful solution enacted by the Howard government from 2001. So is politics general banning of ships loaded with asylum seekers and refugees. to Indonesia and the potential water tombs. That said, he was an important figure in driving negotiations with countries such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea, both of which became indispensably bribed to help Canberra’s sadistic solution.

That’s enough to worry the PCS. A spokesperson noted Downer’s role as the ‘first architect of Australia’s inhumane immigration policy’, saying his recent support for the pushback solution made him ‘a totally inappropriate choice to lead this review “. General Secretary Mark Serwotka also expressed his opposition to any pushback policy “on moral and humanitarian grounds, and we will not rule out industrial action to prevent it from being taken”.

The only saving grace in this pointless review to predetermined conclusions is the difficulty Britain faces in implementing a rollback policy that does not violate international law. French officials keep reminding their British counterparts of this. And without French cooperation in this endeavor, any proposed harshness will be mitigated.

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