Immigration and related issues, mainly in the United Kingdom.

Details of other pages are at the end of this page


Extracts in date order, except latest additions first. Updated 25 June 2019

Politics – Conservative Party
Javid suggests post-Brexit migration salary rules could vary by region
Jamie Grierson
The Guardian, 25 June 2019.

Migrants coming to the UK could face varying minimum salary thresholds depending on where they live under proposals put out for review by the home secretary, Sajid Javid.

The white paper on post-Brexit immigration policy, published in December, included a to-be-determined minimum salary threshold for high-skilled workers. The current minimum salary for most experienced workers coming from non-EU countries is £30,000.

Javid – after infighting within the cabinet over maintaining the current £30,000 threshold for all high-skilled migrant workers coming to the UK post-Brexit, as well as warnings from business, universities and social care – has asked the government's chief migration advisers to review the levels before they come into force from 2021. ...

Javid has asked the migration advisory committee to consider how future salary thresholds should be calculated; the levels of salary thresholds; whether there is a case for regional salary thresholds for different parts of the UK, and whether there should be exceptions to salary thresholds, for example because workers have newly started the occupation or because they work in an occupation in shortage.

The committee is expected to present its findings in January 2020.
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Illegal immigration – lorry drivers
Criminal network of Romanian lorry drivers made £3 million ferrying more than 320 migrants to Britain
Peter Allen
MailOnline, 25 June 2019.

A criminal network of Romanian lorry drivers made at least £3 million smuggling illegal migrants into Britain, it emerged today.

The astonishing figure was released by French police who made 17 arrests while smashing the human trafficking ring.

It extended across Europe, and involved the drivers packing their lorries with a cargo of men, women and children. ...

A surveillance operation coordinated by the French and involving a number of other police forces including ones in the UK was opened last August.

It logged 259 attempted border crossings over the past year, with 167 thought to have succeeded.

This led to 'a minimum 327 migrants reaching British territory,' the source added, saying that 'the turnover of this criminal organisation is estimated at nearly 3.6 million euros [£3.21 million].' ...

Smugglers have been known to charge five figure sums to families trying to start a new life in the UK.

Many come from countries such as Iran and Vietnam, and join lorries in Romania during their journeys to Britain.
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Multiculturalism – Islam, Conservative Party members
Nearly half of Tory members don't want a Muslim prime minister
Jen Mills
Metro, 25 June 2019.

Nearly half of Tory party members said they would prefer not to have Britain led by a Muslim, a new poll shows.

Only 8% of members agreed with the statement that they 'would be proud of Britain if we were to elect a Muslim as our Prime Minister', while 43% agreed that 'I would prefer to not have the country led by a Muslim'.

Polling carried out by YouGov revealed anti-Muslim attitudes running through the party.

A total of 40% of members believe that we should lower the number of Muslims entering Britain.

In comparison, only 5% wanted to see fewer Christians or Jewish people enter the country.

The online poll of 864 adults was commissioned by Hope Not Hate and carried out between June 14 – 18.

It showed many people buying into Islamophobic myths, such as 67% who believe 'there are areas in Britain that operate under Sharia law', as opposed to just 18% who do not believe this to be the case.

In addition, 45% believe 'there are areas in Britain in which non-Muslims are not able to enter', as opposed to just 34% who do not believe this to be the case.

The poll also found that 39% of members believe that 'Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain amongst the Muslim community'.

When asked about immigration, only 3% say that policy should be geared to higher Muslim immigration, compared to 12% for people fleeing war, 16% for Jewish people and 25% for Christians.

Despite the poll results, only 8% of members said they thought there was a problem of Islamophobia or racism towards Muslims within the Conservative Party. A total of 79% don't think there is a problem.
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Politics – Conservative Party
Jeremy Hunt vows to abandon Theresa May's immigration target if he becomes Prime Minister, insisting Britain should not 'pull down the shutters' after leaving the EU
Michael Blackley and Claire Ellicott
Daily Mail, 24 June 2019.

Great Britain should not become Little England, Jeremy Hunt said yesterday as he pledged to abandon the tens of thousands target for immigration.

The Tory leadership hopeful told the Daily Mail that he would abandon Theresa May's flagship pledge to limit the numbers moving to the UK.

Calling for flexibility, the Foreign Secretary said Britain could not 'pull down the shutters' after leaving the EU and said skilled workers should be prioritised.

He also vowed to end the plan to stop those earning less than £30,000 migrating to the UK for jobs.

In an interview with the Mail, Mr Hunt said: 'I think there needs to be flexibility for the whole of the UK, because at the point of Brexit we need to show the world that we're not going to change our fundamental national character, we're not going to be a country that changes from Great Britain into Little England and pulls down the shutters and says, foreigners not welcome.

'We must bring down immigration rates but the way to do that in the long run is to increase the skills levels of our own people so that we train more doctors, more nurses, and then we have less need to bring people in from overseas.

'But I think we do need to review the £30,000 salary level and I am not a supporter of the 'tens of thousands' target.' ...

The Conservatives' 2017 election manifesto said: 'It is our objective to reduce immigration to sustainable levels, by which we mean annual net migration in the tens of thousands.'
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Politics – racism, Liberal Democrats
Frontrunner for Lib Dem leadership is accused of 'smearing the country' after branding the UK 'racist'
Brendan Carlin
Mail on Sunday, 23 June 2019.

The frontrunner to be the new Liberal Democrat leader was branded 'ridiculous' last night after claiming the UK is a 'racist country'.

Jo Swinson, the favourite to succeed Sir Vince Cable as Lib Dem party boss, was accused of smearing the entire nation with her 'absurd' remark.

The Scottish MP, currently the party's deputy leader, made the comment while raising concerns over challenges faced by black people in public life.

In an interview with the New European newspaper, Ms Swinson, 39, stunned even fellow Lib Dems, saying: 'I recognise that ours is still a racist country.

'We have not dealt with those issues as much as we would have liked to even if there has been progress in some areas.'

Tory Minister James Cleverly, whose mother is from Sierra Leone, condemned the blanket description. ...

'For Jo Swinson to brand the entire country racist is as absurd as it is offensive and untrue.'
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Immigration abroad – multiculturalism, suicide, France
The Suicide of France
Giulio Meotti
Gatestone Institute, 23 June 2019.

"Regarding France in 2019, it can no longer be denied that a momentous and hazardous transformation, a 'Great Switch', is in the making", observed the founder and president of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, Michel Gurfinkiel. He was mourning "the passing of France as a distinct country, or at least as the Western, Judeo-Christian nation it had hitherto been presumed to be". A recent cover story in the weekly Le Point called it "the great upheaval". ...

... A kind of abyss now separates peripheral France – small towns, suburbs and rural areas – from the globalized metropolis of the "bourgeois Bohemians", or "bobos". ...

On the other side, is Paris. "All the metropolises of the world know the same fate. This is where wealth flows and where the alliance between the 'winners of globalization' and their 'servants', immigrants who have come to serve the new masters of the world, keep their children, bring their pizzas or work in their restaurants", writes the distinguished social commentator Eric Zemmour in Le Figaro. From now on, he writes, "Paris is a global city, not really a French city".

The globalized, "bobo-ized [bourgeois Bohemian] upper classes", according to one of France's most respected authors. Christophe Guilluy, are filling the "new citadels" – as in Medieval France – and are voting en masse for Macron. ...

"Since moving to France in 2002, I've watched the country complete a cultural revolution", Simon Kuper recently wrote in the Financial Times.

"Catholicism has almost died out (only 6 per cent of French people now habitually attend mass), though not as thoroughly as its longtime rival 'church', communism. The non-white population has kept growing".
Macron, Kuper explains, is the symbol of "a new individualised, globalised, irreligious society".

France's flight from Catholicism is so evident that a new book, L'archipel français: Naissance d'une nation multiple et divisée, by the pollster Jerôme Fourquet, has described the cultural failing of the French society as a "post-Christian era": French society's displacement from its Catholic matrix has become almost total. The country, Fourquet states, is now implementing its own de-Christianization. And there is only one strong substitute at the horizon. There are today already, according to a new academic study, as many Muslims as Catholics among 18-29 year-olds in France; and Muslims represent 13% of the population of France's large cities, more than double the national average.

... A report from Institut Montaigne, "The Islamist Factory", has detailed the radicalization of the French Muslim society. Instead of integration, assimilation and Europeanization, Muslim extremists in France are pursuing multiculturalism, separation and partition. The enclaves of immigrants at the edges of French cities, posits Gilles Kepel in his book, La Fracture, foment "a rupture in values with French society, and a will to subvert it". ...

France's "Great Switch" is underway. As the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut recently wrote, "The Notre-Dame fire is neither an attack nor an accident, but a suicide attempt."
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Crime – gangs, violence, Birmingham
The brutal gangsters terrorising Brum - and how crack police unit brought them down
Andy Richardson
Birmingham Mail, 23 June 2019.

An army of gang members have been terrorising Birmingham - and police have doubled the strength of a crack unit to clamp down on them.

An estimated 40 separate violent gangs exist in the city - some infamous for their violent murders and reign of terror.

Birmingham's Organised Crime Unit has been battling gangs linked to 'turf wars' and knife or gun crime. ...

In total they say gangs have around 400 members, and have been linked to a wave of crime across the city including shootings, stabbings, robberies and carjackings.

The unit has already brought many prominent gang members to justice, including those linked to the Burger Bar Boys, Frankley Killers, the 247365 and the 61 groups, as well as members of the 23 Drillas.
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Racism – Islamophobia
Everyone loses from the desperate attempt to paint Britain as an Islamophobic country
Ed Husain
Daily Telegraph, 22 June 2019.

This week, the Tory leadership candidates all committed to launching an independent inquiry into "Islamophobia" within their party. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt must be careful not to walk into a trap.

Islam is now the second largest religion in Britain and the fastest growing faith in many of our cities. With nearly four million Muslims living across the country, what happens inside Islam and to its adherents has an impact on every one of us, religious or not. To ensure an easy integration of Muslims into British society and secular co-existence, we must be free to talk about Islam, indeed even be critical of certain Muslim practices. Such free discussion must not in any way be prevented because it has been labelled "Islamophobia". ...

... "Islamophobia", as it is defined by those promoting the concept, is distinct from the sort of prejudice you or I would recognise. It is a grievance industry – popularised by Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations to mobilise Muslims as a group against the West. It also seeks to shut down debate, within Islam and beyond it. ...

Let us be honest: from the book-burnings in Bradford against Salman Rushdie, to the rise of extremism in the Nineties on university campuses, to suicide bombers from Dewsbury killing 52 people on the London Underground, to the mass murder at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, there is something going wrong within sections of the British Muslim community. This cannot be ignored. ...

... If in Britain we forbid constructive criticism of Islam and Muslims under the blasphemy law of "Islamophobia", future generations will not forgive our cowardice. ...

In reality, it is the rise of Islamist extremism in and against the West from the Eughties onwards that is the true cause of anti-Muslim sentiment.
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Crime – child sexual abuse
Grooming gang members who raped and sexually assaulted girl, 12, jailed for a total of 27 years
Jon Lockett
The Sun, 22 June 2019.

Two grooming gang members who sexually abused a 12-year-old girl have today been caged for a total of 27 years.

Mohammed Akram and Usman Khalid were found guilty of sexual abuse following a three week trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Their vulnerable victim was targeted aged just 12 and raped numerous times over a number of years in what cops say was an "abhorrent and depraved" crime.

She was 12 when Akram, 33, sexually abused her for the first time, with 31-year-old Khalid's single assault of the girl happening when she was the same age. ...

The pair are the latest to be jailed following investigations by officers from West Yorkshire Police's Operation Tendersea team, Examiner Live reported.

They were investigated as part of a gang that groomed and abused girls, some as young as 11, between 2004 and 2011 in West Yorkshire.

Last year, 20 of the gang's members were sentenced for the "inhuman" abuse of a total of 15 girls, leading to a total jail term of 257 years between them.
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Crime – fraud, language tests
Men who oversaw English language test scam at Manchester colleges are jailed
Charlotte Dobson
Manchester Evening News, 22 June 2019.

Two men who oversaw systematic cheating on English language tests at colleges in Manchester and Salford have been jailed.

Mehboob Jilani and Muhammad Bilal were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud at an earlier trial and were sentenced on Friday.

Jilani and Bilal were managers at Secure English Language Test (SELT) centres when they carried out the scam.

It involved arranging for individuals who were fluent in English language to repeatedly sit SELT exams on behalf of foreign nationals.

They fraudulently obtained qualifications that would then be used to support applications for student visas or jobs.

The scam was carried out at Innovative Learning Centre in Charles Street in Manchester, Apex College, also in Charles Street, and Manchester College of Accountancy and Management in Eccles.

All of the colleges were accredited to deliver the tests on behalf of Educational Testing Services (ETS), a company licensed by the Home Office. ...

A third man, Shaid Iqbal, who had acted as an 'agent', supplying applicants or test takers for the scam, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud before the trial.
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Immigration – Europeans
Almost 700,000 European citizens have been granted leave to remain in the UK after Brexit, new figures show
Daily Mail, 21 June 2019.

Almost 700,000 people have been granted leave to remain in the UK after Brexit, the Home Office said.

Some 166,900 people applied to the Government's EU settlement scheme in May to secure their post-Brexit status, statistics released on Thursday show.

As of May 31, the total number of applications since the scheme was opened was 788,200, with 668,000 applications concluded, according to the Home Office release.

Of these, 66 per cent were granted settled status and 34 per cent were granted pre-settled status.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid told Parliament on June 10 that the number had risen to more than 800,000, and that almost 700,000 people had been successful. ...

Overall, the majority of applications were made in England (726,700), with 33,600 from Scotland, 17,600 from Wales and 9,000 from Northern Ireland.

The Home Office figures show that Poles continue to apply more than any other nationality, with 132,400 Polish applications.

There were 110,900 Romanian and 91,400 Italian applications.
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Politics – Conservative Party, Government
Consultation? No, a rubber stamp for more immigration
Alp Mehmet
Conservative Woman, 21 June 2019.

A few days ago the Home Office released a list of some 130 organisations with which it is currently engaging on a year-long consultation over the future immigration system.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the exercise was intended to gather the views of a range of bodies to reflect as wide a spectrum of expert and public opinion as possible on the post-Brexit border and visa arrangements.

If only. A cursory glance at the 130 assorted bodies reveals that, in the main, the list is replete with pro-mass-immigration business lobbyists and NGOs of one form or other.

Incredibly, in the face of all evidence, one fervent pro-immigration activist took the opportunity to claim that the Home Office announcement showed that Sajid Javid was 'refus[ing] to consult migrants on his plans for changes to the system'. This was blatantly contradicted by the fact that bodies on the list of consultees include the fervently pro-immigration lobby groups the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and Migrant Voice, among others.

On the contrary, there is not one organisation that seems to have been selected to express the views of ordinary people, let alone that I can recall ever pressing for a reduction in immigration or questioning the regularity with which so many foreign nationals enter the country, ostensibly for a limited time, and end up staying indefinitely, often illegally.

It seems that our future immigration legislation is to be shaped in accordance with the needs and wishes of business, academia and high migration pressure groups. Yet again, as I have often said in recent years, the government have shown little interest in what the great majority of the public wish to see, and which they themselves have promised in three consecutive manifestos – a significant reduction in net migration levels from the average of nearly 300,000 per year since 2014.

Most worrying is the clear risk that if the White Paper proposals are implemented or made even laxer as a result of pressure from so many organisations keen to loosen controls further, there is a serious risk that immigration will spin out of control, as it did in the Blair/Brown Labour years, or indeed in 2015 and 2016 when it hit all-time record levels. ...

Whatever one might say about Mrs May /.../ her failure as Home Secretary to bring net migration down to anything like tens of thousands is pretty damning. ...

Not that efforts to reduce immigration can be ascribed to her successors, the first of whom all but ignored the issue while the present incumbent has appeared systematically to hamper the enforcement regime intended to deal with illegal immigration. ...

Most of the mechanisms meant to identify and locate illegal immigrants have been suspended – despite between 70 per cent and 80 per cent of the public (polled by YouGov in April 2018) supporting such measures.

Meanwhile, in the course of the Conservative Party leadership contest, Mr Javid made clear that there will no longer be any attempt to reduce net migration and he has openly abandoned the tens of thousands target, stating in interviews that 'it is not about numbers or arbitrary targets'.

Astonishingly, Mr Javid claimed on LBC on 10 June that, when it comes to immigration, people were 'not concerned about the overall . . . number'.
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Employment – salary rule
The U.K.'s £30,000 salary rule for migrants is not all it seems
Frey Lindsay
Forbes, 21 June 2019.

An infamous minimum salary threshold for migrant workers in the U.K. is not as strict as commonly thought. According to the Migration Observatory at Oxford University, around a quarter of people working in the U.K. on Tier 2 visas earn less than the £30,000 threshold generally required by the Home Office, thanks to exemptions offered to sectors suffering labor shortages. The exemptions offer some hope for a business-friendly migration regime after Brexit.

Tier 2 visas are those given to skilled migrants who have been offered a job in the U.K. As a general rule, someone wanting to come to the country will need to make at least £30,000 per year to earn a visa, though it can be slightly lower if the migrant is a new entrant to the labor market. But if a job is on the 'shortage occupation list', which covers around 9% of the U.K. jobs market, the salary threshold is lowered. ...

The Migration Observatory obtained the figures on Tier 2 visas via Freedom of Information Requests to the U.K. government. According to Madeleine Sumption, the Director of the Observatory, the purpose was simply to find out how many exemptions there were to the £30k rule. "The data show that the exemptions are significant and they admit a substantial number of people (under the threshold)," she said.
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Immigration abroad – extremism, Islam, France
Revealed: Islamist Infiltration of French Public Services
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 21 June 2019.

French media have leaked details from a report on Islamic extremism within the French public service, claiming that many in the public sector are concerned about Islamist infiltration.

The new report, which has been compiled by MPs Éric Diard of the conservative Republicans and Éric Poulliat of President Emmanuel Macron's La République En Marche! (LREM/Republic on the Move), questioned senior officials, researchers, and workers such as police and firefighters about Islamic radicalisation.

According to leaked information from the report given to French news magazine Le Point, many of those interviewed by the MPs expressed concern over the issue, with one of the most poignant stories coming from a trade unionist from the RATP, the company in charge of the public transportation system in Paris. ...

Police also said that they had difficulty dealing with radicalised officers after they were discovered, citing a lack of legislation to help them dismiss those found to be radicalised. ...

In 2017, it was also revealed that despite being on the terror watch list, known in France as the S-File, another individual was able to become a police officer.
[Site link]

Racism – Islamophobia, free speech
New Islamophobia definition could be 'bully's charter,' warns former equalities chief
Charles Hymas
Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2019.

A proposed new definition of Islamophobia could be used as a "bully's charter" by Muslims to silence critics and promote intolerant views, a former equalities chief has warned.

Trevor Phillips, who chaired the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (ECHR), also claimed the row over Boris Johnson's comments on Muslims was "pure dirty politics" and was being used to "get" the Tory leadership frontrunner to scupper his ambitions.

His comments follow yesterday's declaration by the five remaining leadership candidates backing Sajid Javid's call for an independent investigation into alleged Islamophobia in the Conservative party.

The new definition of Islamophobia, which could, in effect, make it racist to criticise Islam or "Muslimness," was lodged by an all-party group last year and was backed by Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and some local councils.

Its immediate introduction was, however, rejected by the Government, which said the issue needed more consideration. ...

... Officials from the Government's Equalities Office have advised ministers that the law "defines 'race' as comprising colour, nationality and national or ethnic origins, none of which would encompass a Muslim or an Islamic practice."

The think tank Policy Exchange warned that it could have a chilling effect on free speech, saying sections of the media were beginning to fight shy of covering "Muslim" stories because of fears of complaints under formal media watchdog procedures. ...

More than 750 British Muslim organisations, 80 academics and 50 MPs support the definition, ...

However, Mr Phillips said: "What's actually happening here is that the definition is the foundation of a bully's charter. You get a university or a local authority to adopt this extremely vague, wide-ranging definition. Anyone who says something that could be presented as, in any way, related to Muslims can then be shouted down.

"Essentially they are told they are Islamophobic, that they are bringing the institution, council or Government department into disrepute under their employment contract. That makes them sackable."
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Racism – Islamophobia, free speech
Conservatives must not empower the hardliners with a needless inquiry into Islamophobia
Nick Timothy
Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2019.

It is bad enough that, during their leadership debate, the BBC selected questions from a former Labour staffer and an anti-Semitic imam. But far worse was the attempt to bounce the candidates into an independent inquiry into Tory "Islamophobia".

There are many examples of Tory activists and councillors being rude about Islam. Some have been deliberately offensive about Muslim people. Some might have broken the law by inciting religious hatred. The next Tory leader should investigate these cases and decide whether the party has an institutional problem. But they must not play the Islamophobia game, and not just because opponents are trying to create a false equivalence with Labour's endemic anti-Semitism.

The real problem here is the concerted effort to create a one-religion blasphemy law for Islam. The device campaigners are using for this is a new definition of Islamophobia, produced by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims.

There are many issues with this definition, not least that it has been influenced by Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), a campaign group accused of promoting extremism. According to Sir John Jenkins, who reviewed the role of the Muslim brotherhood in Britain, MEND has "exerted an important intellectual influence" on the definition. It is an organisation that worries the police and security services. ...

The all-party group's solution is for the state and other organisations to accept its definition of Islamophobia. This claims "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness".

This is fatuous. Muslims are not a racial group. /.../ It is racist to judge a black man because of what he inescapably is. It cannot be racist to judge somebody because of what they have chosen to believe.

And this is the problem. Islam is a body of ideas. Those ideas are not above the law of the land or above debate. There is not even a single body of ideas about which all Muslims agree. ...

The attempt to define Islamophobia – and ultimately criminalise it – is an attempt to define normative Islam in a hard-line way. ...

And they are trying to marginalise and criminalise legitimate debate about Islam. ...

The all-party group says it accepts "free and fair criticism or debate" about Islam. But it also says "the notion of free speech and a supposed right to criticise Islam" often "humiliates, marginalises, and stigmatises Muslims" and amounts to "anti-Muslim racism". Criticism of Islamism, ir argues, is a "constitutive part" of Islamophobia. ...

No religion – Islam included – is above criticism, debate, satire and scrutiny. /.../ The Islamophobia game is a sinister attempt to limit free speech, marginalise moderate Muslims, and boost Islamism. We must not fall for it.
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Racism – Islamophobia
Conservative leadership candidates seek an inquiry into 'Islamophobia'
Professor Christopher Hallpike
Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2019.
[Letter to the Editor]

I see that Sajid Javid has persuaded his colleagues standing for the Conservative leadership to have an inquiry into "Islamophobia" in the party.

A useful preliminary would be an inquiry into why there is such a thing as Islamophobia in the first place, when there is no such thing as Hinduphobia or Buddhistphobia.
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Repatriation/deportation – Europe
Belgium: Just 6.5 Per Cent of Failed Asylum Seekers Are Deported
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 20 June 2019.

A new study by Dutch authorities on the rate of deportations of failed asylum seekers across Europe has found that only 6.5 per cent of illegal migrants in Belgium are actually sent back home.

The study, which was released this week, is based on figures from the European Union statistics agency Eurostat and covers a period from 2013 to 2017, French-language Belgian magazine Le Vif reports.

Asylum seekers from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, and Eritrea are the main focus of the study which found other countries across Europe to have much higher rates of deportation but none that approached even half of the failed asylum seekers.

Norway stands out as one of the highest with 25 per cent of illegals being returned to their home country, followed by the United Kingdom at 19.4 per cent and the Netherlands at 18.2 per cent. ...

Germany, which bore the brunt of the migrants in the 2015 migrant crisis, has had immense problems with the deportation of failed asylum seekers to the point where the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) reported last year that the vast majority of failed asylum seekers from Africa would likely be able to remain in the country.

BAMF reported that in the first half of 2018, 27,250 African migrants had been denied residency or asylum but of those only a mere 3,164 were actually deported.

Later that year, German parliament president Wolfgang Schäuble also admitted that it was unlikely failed asylum seekers would ever leave the country saying that they should instead stay and integrate into society.
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Repatriation/deportation – Pakistanis, illegal immigration
UK wants Pakistan to take back thousands of migrants: Qureshi
Murtaza Ali Shah
The News International, 19 June 2019.

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Britain wants Pakistan to take back thousands of Pakistanis who have overstayed their visit visa in the UK and have no status but cannot be sent back to Pakistan without a proper treaty.

At a press conference at the Pakistan High Commission here, the foreign minister said that the UK govt wants Pakistan to sign re-admission treaty so that the overstayers and others living illegally could be sent back to Pakistan. Qureshi said signing this treaty will be helpful for those Pakistanis who apply for the visit but their visas are rejected because Britain is cautious of visa applicants.

"We have initiated dialogue on this. This will help those who are genuine visa applicants. This will help Pakistan more," said Qureshi. It's understood that nearly four million illegals currently live in the United Kingdom. Of these, more than 30,000 are believed to be Pakistanis. More than 70,000 are from India, 25,000 are from Bangladesh and the rest from other parts of the world. ...

He said around 1.5 million strong Pakistani Diaspora in the UK is a vital link between the two countries and gives strength to our bilateral relations.
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Immigration abroad – deportation, USA
Donald Trump pledges to begin deporting 'millions of illegal aliens' next week
Nick Allen
Daily Telegraph, 19 June 2019.

Donald Trump has vowed to begin removing millions of illegal immigrants from the United States starting next week. ...

He said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement would "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States," adding: "They will be removed as fast as they come in."

There are an estimated 12 million people in the United States illegally, mainly from Mexico and Central America.

A White House official said the new crackdown would focus on more than one million of those who have already been issued final deportation orders by judges, but still remain in the US.

The official said: "Countless illegal aliens not only violate our borders but then break the law all over again by skipping their court hearings and absconding from federal proceedings.

"These runaway aliens lodge phony asylum claims only to be no-shows at court and are ordered removed in absentia. Enforcing these final judicial orders is a top priority."
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Crime – gangs, Birmingham
Guns, knives, drugs and organised crime: The astonishing number of gangsters in Birmingham
Charlotte Paxton
BirminghamLive, 19 June 2019.

Gangs are now 'driven by drug dealing not postcode wars' claim police - after it emerged 400 people are now linked to organised crime in our city.

Officers have revealed there are more than 40 Organised Crime Gangs (OCGs) operating in Birmingham - comprising around 400 members.

And there are even more classified as Urban Street Gangs.

West Midlands Police disclosed the shocking figures just weeks after the force doubled the strength of its Birmingham Organised Crime Unit.
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Multiculturalism – disadvantaged children
Two-thirds of the UK's worst-off children are white British but are often ignored, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has warned
Eleanor Harding
Daily Mail, 19 June 2019.

Two thirds of the country's most disadvantaged children are white British – but all too often are ignored, the Education Secretary has warned.

Damian Hinds said the focus of social mobility discussions tended to be on ethnic minorities that needed a helping hand, while the white majority were mentioned 'in passing'. ...

Mr Hinds said he was focusing his attentions on coastal areas, which tend to have large populations of poor white children whose attainment lags behind the rest. ...

For example, when examining black African children alone, data shows they have a 'significantly higher rate' of participation in university than the white British population.

However, when they get there, they are less likely to complete the course and less likely to get a top degree, he said.

He added: 'There is another group of children, who we often mention, but sort of in passing, sometimes, which is white British children. Among the disadvantaged population, the lowest performing group is white British children. ...

'When we talk about ethnicity, we tend to talk about all other ethnicities and then sometimes say, "of course, we must not forget white British children". Almost two thirds of the cohort of disadvantaged children are white British children.'
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Asylum – children, cost
Kent County Council faces £6.1m shortfall in cost of looking after asylum-seeking children
Paul Francis
KentOnline, 19 June 2019.

Kent County Council is facing a £6.1m shortfall in the costs of looking after vulnerable asylum-seeking children, blaming government under-funding.

A report says the financial hole covers the last two years and points out a series of factors that have left it without sufficient money to meet escalating costs. ...

Social services chiefs say while the number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children - known as UASCs - is significantly down compared to what it was in 2015, there is evidence of a rising trend.

The report says 2018 saw 172 arrivals compared to 948 in 2015 but "it is of note there have already been 87 referrals between January and May 2019 compared to just 45 during the same period last year".

At present, the council looks after 267 UASCs and a further 895 who are classed as care leavers. ...

One of the biggest pressures is attributed to a government requirement on councils to offer all care leavers support up to the age of 25.
[Site link]

Asylum – refugees, government scheme
UK to resettle 5,000 more refugees in expanded scheme
Lizzie Dearden
Independent, 18 June 2019.

At least 5,000 more refugees will be resettled in the UK under a renewed government initiative.

The Home Office said the "most vulnerable" asylum seekers identified by the United Nations would be transferred from 2020 onwards.

A programme that started in 2015 focused on Syria, but the government will now take refugees from beyond the Middle East and North Africa and provide emergency resettlement where lives are at risk.

The government said that although it had agreed to welcome between 5,000 and 6,000 refugees in 2020-21, the actual number will depend on factors including the amount of suitable accommodation provided by councils.

The home secretary said Britain has resettled more refugees from outside Europe than any other EU state since 2016.

Sajid Javid, who is running to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister, added: "It's vital we continue to do all we can to help the world's most vulnerable.

"Under our new scheme, thousands more people fleeing conflict and persecution will have the opportunity to build a new life in the UK.

"I'm proud of the world-leading work we have done in the Middle East and Africa so far – but there is so much more to do." ...

The government said it was on track to deliver on its pledge to have taken 20,000 Syrian refugees by May 2020, and thousands of people had been resettled through other routes. ...

The government commitment to resettling 5,000 more refugees will be separate to a community sponsorship scheme, which allows groups to directly support asylum seekers. ...

Reset, a charity leading community sponsorship schemes, said around 300 refugees had been resettled by 60 local groups so far.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – schools, teachers scared
Teachers are 'too scared' to discuss Empire, director says
Anita Singh
Daily Telegraph, 18 June 2019.

Children are no longer taught about Empire because well-meaning educationalists are "frightened" of discussing the subject, Gurinder Chadha has suggested.

The British-Indian director of Bend It Like Beckham was talking in the run-up to the launch of her new ITV series. ...

Chadha's last project, Viceroy's House, explored Partition and the end of Empire through the eyes of Lord and Lady Mountbatten. But she worries that the history is unknown to schoolchildren today.

"Most children in British schools aren't even told now that there was an Empire, that the British ruled India," she told Radio Times. "Of course, it's wrong." Asked if that was because educationalists wanted to avoid giving offence in multicultural classrooms, Chadha replied: "Yes, they're frightened of telling the truth."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigrants, driving licences, New York, USA
New York latest state to approve driver's licenses for illegal immigrants
Alex Dobuzinskis
Reuters, 18 June 2019.

Illegal immigrants to the United States will be able to obtain driver's licenses in New York under a bill passed by the state legislature on Monday and signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The state Senate in Albany voted 33-29 to approve the legislation, which previously passed in the Assembly. Democrats control both chambers of the legislature.

New York will join at least a dozen other states that allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, becoming the second most populous state after California to take that step. ...

Cuomo, a Democrat, had expressed concern that if the bill was enacted it would create a database of undocumented immigrants that federal authorities could use to deport them.

But the New York state attorney general has declared the bill had safeguards against that, Cuomo's legal counsel, Alphonso David, said in a statement. ...

New York state Senator Luis Sepúlveda, the measure's Democratic sponsor, said in a statement it will benefit the children of illegal immigrants by allowing their parents to drive them to school.

"In a time when immigrants' rights and livelihoods are being severely threatened, the Green Light Bill is a clear message that we New Yorkers will always choose to lead with courage and love and to fight for everyone's right to the American Dream," Sepúlveda said.

He also said it will improve safety on the roads.
[Site link]

Crime – fraud
The millionaire businessman and his very bizarre £1,000 offer to paperboy
James Campbell
Hull Live, 17 June 2019.

He was a well-known face in Sutton as the respectable owner of the local post office.

But behind Kuldip Singh's smiling demeanour was a man hiding a dark secret.

Singh was in fact making hundreds of thousands of pounds by supplying illegal workers to three East Riding horticultural firms without a valid licence.

Singh, then living in Kingswood, made £1,562,970 through his crimes and he was brought to the attentions the UK Border Agency, now Border Force.

He was sentenced to six months' imprisonment, suspended for two years, in 2009 after admitting offences under the Gangmaster Licensing Act. ...

An investigation was launched into Singh's finances under the Proceeds Of Crime Act after the prosecution which determined he needed to hand over £1.5m.

Under the act, he was ordered to sell his business, his family land in India and six cars to pay back the money he made through his crimes. ...

Still he failed to pay back the money and ended up being jailed for three and a half years for default of payment.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – smuggling migrants
Arrested: organised crime group smuggled 308 migrants to the UK
Europol, 17 June 2019.

French and Romanian authorities arrested 11 members of an organised crime group (OCG) involved in the smuggling of 308 migrants to the UK in a joint action day. Eighteen house searches were carried out in Romania, where firearms and around €480 000 in cash were seized during the searches. ...

The OCG was composed mainly of Romanian truck drivers, intermediaries and leaders.

Smuggled migrants were mostly from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Palestine.


The truck drivers promised 'guaranteed transit' to the migrants and charged them a fee between €11 000 and €14 500. The total illegal proceeds amounted to approximately €3.4 million.

So far, 59 active OCG members have been identified.
[Site link]

Asylum – refugees
Over half of teachers have witnessed anti-refugee sentiment in the classroom
British Red Cross, 17 June 2019.

Over half (52%) of teachers surveyed say they have witnessed prejudice towards refugees in their classroom, according to research from the British Red Cross.

The charity polled over 750 primary and secondary school teachers across the UK, with four in five (80%) of those who have witnessed anti-refugee sentiment believing that children are influenced by the negative opinions of their friends and family, and over half (54%) identifying the media, including social media, newspapers, magazines and TV as a contributing factor to this behaviour. ...

To combat this, during Refugee Week (17-23 June) the British Red Cross will deliver hundreds of workshops across the country, to educate over 3,000 young people on the reality of what it means to be a refugee. ...

The Red Cross has also launched a new social media movement - #EveryRefugeeMatters - to try to change the conversation about refugees online. ...

The British Red Cross is the largest independent provider of support to refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK. Last year the charity distributed almost 20,000 food parcels to refugees in the UK and helped to reunite almost 1,000 families separated by war and conflict, as well as providing volunteering and education opportunities across the country.

... Last year, 5,777 refugees were settled in communities across the UK.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – criminals
Home Office 'loses' 750 foreign criminals including rapists and killers on the run to dodge deportation
Mark Hookham
Mail on Sunday, 16 June 2019.

Tory leadership hopeful Sajid Javid is facing criticism over the Home Office's failure to find hundreds of foreign criminals who have gone on the run to dodge deportation.

Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal 747 offenders from overseas, including convicted rapists and killers, have vanished after being released into the community.

A senior immigration source last night gave a grim assessment of the likelihood of the fugitives ever being caught.

'It's not usually something we like to publish, but once you vanish you will only get caught by luck,' he admitted. 'There are no resources any more.'

Foreign citizens – including asylum seekers, those caught entering the UK unlawfully and those overstaying their visa – are meant to report regularly to immigration centres or police stations if there are potential grounds to deport them.

But the figures, released under Freedom of Information laws, reveal that as of last September, 49,381 foreign nationals have disappeared.

Alarmingly, an additional 747 foreign criminals – 681 men and 66 women – have also gone missing. ...

Under Home Office rules, all foreign nationals given a jail sentence are considered for removal from the UK.

But in a damning report in June 2017, Chief Inspector of Borders David Bolt revealed officials had lost track of 753 foreign criminals who faced deportation and that the team trying to find them had only 11 staff.

Campaigners expressed shock that the number of foreign criminals 'on the run' has shrunk by only six since Mr Bolt's report.

'This is clear evidence of the continued failure of the Home Office to ensure the prompt removal of foreign offenders,' said Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of Migration Watch UK. 'Resources are clearly stretched, but there also seems to be a lack of political commitment.' ...

A Home Office spokesman said 48,000 foreign offenders had been removed since 2010, adding: 'We have a dedicated team working with the police and others to track down, arrest and return absconders to custody. Since the team was formed in 2009 it has traced 2,250 absconders'.
[Site link]

Repatriation/deportation – criminals
Four Rochdale grooming gang members are STILL in Britain with one living back at home again a decade after abusing girls as young as 12
Darren Boyle
MailOnline, 16 June 2019.

The victims of a notorious Rochdale grooming gang have been 'failed again' after it emerged four men have still not been deported a decade after preying on girls as young as 12.

Shabir Ahmed, 66, Qari Abdul Rauf, 50, Abdul Aziz, 48 and Adil Khan, 49, were among nine men convicted in 2012 of a catalogue of serious sex offences against vulnerable victims in Rochdale.

As the only groomers to have dual UK-Pakistani citizenship, they were at risk of being deported back to Pakistan - but none of the four appear to have been deported or be facing deportation.

Ahmed, known as 'Daddy' in the gang, is still serving a 22-year jail term for rape but Rauf is back living at his home address in Rochdale and Aziz has also been seen in the town, locals say.

Khan's exact whereabouts are not known. ...

The Home Office will not say whether a decision has been made to deport any of the four.

A spokeswoman said: 'We do not routinely comment on individual cases.'

Maggie Oliver, the detective who resigned from Greater Manchester Police and turned whistle-blower over the botched Rochdale inquiry, said: 'It doesn't surprise me they won't be straight with their answers after all this time because they don't want a public backlash.

'Ultimately the truth does have a way of coming out. The process most of these girls have been through has led them to expect very, very little from the authorities.

'They expect nothing and are not disappointed. They have been failed again and again and again.

'They do see some of these men around Rochdale on a fairly regular basis.

'It is really distressing for them, there's nothing that the girls can do. It's actually disgraceful.'

In 2016, then-home secretary Theresa May ruled it would be 'conducive to the public good' to deprive the four of the right to remain in the UK.

They then fought, and lost, a long legal battle against deprivation of UK citizenship, losing a final Court of Appeal ruling in July last year. ...

Lawyers said it is probable the four will invoke the European Convention on Human Rights to argue their right to a family life would be impinged if they were removed from the UK. ...

Nazir Afzal, the lawyer credited with pursuing the groomers, overturning an earlier decision not to prosecute, said: 'I am concerned that despite the efforts that have been made to ensure they are no longer a threat to women and girls in this country, that they remain in this country and the process continues and is prolonged.'
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – Englsih Channel
More migrants intercepted after crossing Channel in first six months of this year than in whole of 2018
Jamie Johnson
Sunday Telegraph, 16 June 2019.

More suspected migrants have crossed the Channel and entered the UK in the first half of this year than in the whole of 2018.

With the arrival of more than 150 people since the end of May, the number of suspected migrants intercepted by border force in 2019 has soared to 511, according to Telegraph research, with dozens more collected by French officials.

In the whole of 2018, some 312 people reached the UK in small boats after crossing the Channel, with 227 more stopped by the French.

Dover MP Charlie Elphike has said the crisis "now threatens to turn into a Summer of chaos on the Channel."

On Saturday morning, 40 people who claimed to be from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, were intercepted in two boats just off the Kent coast and taken to shore by Border Force agents. ...

On May 31, Britain saw a record number of boats and people trying to enter the UK illegally, as some 74 people were intercepted in eight separate vessels.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Raab's 'fairer' system to cut immigration
Tim Shipman
Sunday Times, 16 June 2019.

Dominic Raab has outlined plans for a new system that would "substantially reduce" the number of migrants coming to the UK. ...

Raab, who finished fourth in the first round of voting for the Tory party leadership, is privately warning MPs that Boris Johnson might implode in the glare of publicity. ...

Today Raab unveils an Australian-style points system that would assess migrants by their skills, qualifications, education, experience and salary. Those achieving the required number of points would enter a pool from which employers would select workers.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Africans, USA
Record number of African migrants coming to Mexican border
Andrew Selsky and Patrick Whittle
Yahoo News / Associated Press, 16 June 2019.

Undaunted by a dangerous journey over thousands of miles, people fleeing economic hardship and human rights abuses in African countries are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers, surprising Border Patrol agents more accustomed to Spanish-speaking migrants.

Officials in Texas and even Maine are scrambling to absorb the sharp increase in African migrants. They are coming to America after flying across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and then embarking on an often harrowing overland journey.

In one recent week, agents in the Border Patrol's Del Rio sector stopped more than 500 African migrants found walking in separate groups along the arid land after splashing across the Rio Grande, children in tow.

That is more than double the total of 211 African migrants who were detained by the Border Patrol along the entire 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) U.S.-Mexico border in the 2018 fiscal year. ...

The immigrants in Texas were mostly from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. Cameroonians have also been traveling up through Mexico and into the U.S. in larger numbers and seeking asylum at ports of entry.

... Also on the waiting list are Ethiopians, Eritreans, Mauritanians, Sudanese and Congolese. ...

A few days after the big groups of African immigrants were apprehended in Texas, federal officials dropped off dozens of them in San Antonio. Officials in the Texas city sent out a plea for French-speaking volunteers for translating work "and most importantly, making our guests feel welcome."

Many were bused to Portland, Maine, about as far as one can get from the Mexican border and still be in the continental United States. Word has spread among migrants that the city of 67,000 is a welcoming place. Somali refugees were resettled in Portland in the 1990s. ...

More migrants are on the way. Mexico is on pace to triple the number of African immigrants it is processing this year, up from 2,100 in 2017.
[Site link]

Crime – illegal exports
Illegal eel exporters exposed by Countryfile
BBC, 16 June 2019.

Dealers looking to illegally export European eels from the UK have been exposed by BBC Countryfile. ...

An export ban on the endangered species has been in place since 2010.

Organised crime gangs are said to be smuggling about 350 million live baby eels - or 'glass' eels - every year to Asia, where they are farmed and sold as a delicacy.

Andrew Kerr, of the Sustainable Eel Group said the illegal trade in glass eels, also known as elvers, was estimated to be worth about £3bn a year.

Mr Kerr told the BBC: "It's the most trafficked animal by number and by value.

"It leaves here at one Euro each and then one year later, having been grown in the 900 eel farms of inland China, it's worth 10 Euros - and that's pretty tempting.

"This is the greatest wildlife crime on the planet." ...

The team was also approached by a UK-based commodities trader who said he had a client in Asia who was looking for glass eels to be exported to South Korea.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – explosions, Sweden
Number of bomb attacks in Sweden has surged this year
The Local [Sweden], 16 June 2019.

The number of attacks with explosives has increased significantly so far this year, according to the latest official figures, with 93 attacks up until the end of May.

By the same time last year, the tally was at just 63.

According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, which collects the figures, there were 162 explosions reported last year. Figures are not available for earlier years as, the council only began counting explosions as a separate category in 2018.

"There's an arms race going on in the world of organised crime," Stockholm University criminologist Sven Granath told Swedish state broadcaster Sveriges Radio. ...

"If we accept this this is the real rate of growth, it's a lot and of course very serious," Manne Gerell, Associate Professor in Criminology at Malmö university, told the broadcaster.
[Site link]

Politics – national populism
Europe's Populists Are Here to Stay
Matthew Goodwin
Wall Street Journal, 15 June 2019.
[Mr. Goodwin is professor of politics at the University of Kent]

National populism isn't going away anytime soon, because it is anchored in deeper currents that have been swirling beneath Western democracies over many decades and still have a long way to run. ...

To make sense of what's really going on in the rise of national populism, we must consider several wider currents now colliding in European politics. Four are key, each one beginning with a D.

The first is distrust, generated by political institutions that have become less representative of the groups that are most likely to cast a vote for national populists: people without degrees and the working class. There are more women and ethnic minorities in our legislatures than ever before, which should be celebrated, but there have never been fewer nongraduates and people from blue-collar backgrounds.

The rise of a highly educated and thus typically socially liberal political elite, or what some scholars in Europe call "diploma democracy," hasn't only put greater distance between the rulers and the ruled. ...

These voters have good reason to feel left behind and left out. In Britain, only 3% of lawmakers have experience of working-class occupations, while 18% have only ever worked in politics. ...

Such voters aren't giving up on democracy, as some commentators argue. Overwhelming majorities say that they want to live in a representative democracy. /.../ Many people simply want more of a say over the decisions that affect their nations and their daily lives.

A second key current is destruction: widespread fears that national identities, cultures and ways of life are slipping away. When eight in 10 Trump voters support building a wall on the southern border, or three in four Brexit voters, worried about how immigration is changing Britain, voted to "take back control," they knew what they were supporting.

For three decades now, almost every major study in Europe has found that wanting to reduce immigration is, by far, the strongest predictor of whether or not somebody will vote national populist. ...

The problem is that many exaggerate the pace and scale of generational change. The young are usually more liberal than the old, but many of them are receptive to national populists. In Britain, more than 40% of 18-24-year-olds, and 58% of the slightly older 25-49-year-olds, recently said that immigration is "too high." ...

Third, national populists are tapping into worries over deprivation – not objective economic loss, but relative deprivation. Tens of millions in Europe feel that their ethno-cultural group is being left behind relative to others, while liberal politicians, media and celebrities devote far more attention and status to favored migrants, minorities and other newcomers. ...

The final factor in the national populist upsurge is dealignment. Historic tribal loyalties to the older parties are breaking down across much of the West. ...

Populists are unlikely to stage a complete takeover, but they will become a permanent and more disruptive fixture on the landscape. Europe is aging, North Africa is unstable, migration will remain high, Islamist terror looks unlikely to fade and there may yet be another financial crisis. In facing these problems, many of the established parties simply look lost.
[Site link]

Crime – knives
Knife and offensive weapon offences reach highest level for decade
Frances Perraudin
The Guardian, 14 June 2019.

Numbers of knife and offensive weapon offences have risen to their highest level for nearly a decade, with the number of cases dealt with by the criminal justice system up by more than a third since 2015, figures have revealed.

Figures on sentences handed out for such crimes, published by the Ministry of Justice, showed there were 22,041 knife and weapon offences formally dealt with by the criminal justice system in the year ending March 2019.

This represented an increase of 34% since 2015, when the number was 16,438, and is the highest rate since 2010, when the number was 23,667.

In the year ending March 2019, 37% of knife and offensive weapon offences resulted in an immediate custodial sentence, compared with 22% in 2009, when the data was first published. The average length of the custodial sentences rose to the longest in a decade, from 5.5 months to 8.1 months.

The new figures include the offences of possession or threatening with an offensive weapon or possession of an article with a blade or point. They do not include murders or assaults that may have involved knives or offensive weapons.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics in April showed a 6% increase in all offences involving knives in 2018. Police recorded 40,829 such crimes, the highest number the ONS has on record since 2011.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration
Police smash gang of smugglers suspected of making millions of pounds by sneaking more than 300 illegal immigrants into the UK
Rebecca Camber
Daily Mail, 14 June 2019.

A smuggling ring thought to have made millions sneaking more than 300 migrants into the UK has been smashed by police.

Officers in Romania and France arrested 11 gang members suspected to be part of a major international smuggling operation made up of 59 mainly Romanian truck drivers, middlemen and leaders.

It is believed the gang, who are suspected of transporting 308 migrants to Britain, made £3 million charging £9,700 to £12,800 for a passage through the Eurotunnel or ferries across the Channel.

French and Romanian authorities raided 18 houses on Tuesday, seizing weapons and wads of cash worth £444,000.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – London
London's DNA has always been diversity, not its 'Englishness'
Arjun Neil Alim
Evening Standard, 14 June 2019.

A few years ago I was in Dehradun, a bustling city in India's mountainous north. A man at a colourful fruit stand began to chat to me, and was visibly startled by the accent of the boy opposite him. He asked me where I was from, suspecting I was not local. I could have given any number of answers but the word "London" slipped out. It seemed the simplest way to explain how I could look like him, speak his language (poorly), and yet be a native of another place entirely. ...

More dangerous is the claim that recent immigration and globalisation have somehow stripped London of its culture. Some conservatives claim that one rarely hears English in the streets, or that London has imported people and customs that fundamentally threaten its singular identity. /.../ The 2011 census revealed the capital to be the first major UK region with a minority of white Britons, setting off hysterical claims of the death of English London.

Complaints of this type focus on globalisation and migration, to suggest the city has changed beyond recognition. Yet those who mourn the death of a quintessentially "English" London tend to have two things in common: they rarely live in London, and they misunderstand that a Londoner is not simply an Englishman or a Briton.

London has never been a purely English city. ...

... The Centre for London found in 2018 that only half of Londoners strongly identified as "English", with more opting for "British" and even more simply for "Londoner". ...

Londoners are largely comfortable with multiple identities. ...

In past and present, Londoners, Britons and the English live side by side, embracing seemingly contradictory identities and sharing heritage, culture and social challenges. Statistics about demographic change are misleading – London was never a purely English city and it belongs to no single label. Sorry, but things weren't better before.

It is said that cities are laboratories of modernity. Back in Dehradun, my new friend observed me with fresh interest. Perhaps he was studying me for evidence of my exoticism. Or perhaps he understood that I, along with eight million others, am heir to the most ambitious experiment of them all.
[Site link]

Crime – drugs
SULLY LINE TRIAL: Drug dealers given jail sentences totalling over 80 years
Jenny Loweth
Telegraph & Argus, 14 June 2019.

Twelve men and a woman have been jailed for a total of more than 80 years for their roles in the Sully Line "ring and bring" drug dealing operation that netted up to £4 million in just over a year.

The line, that was first set up in 2012, received 229,000 calls between July 2017 and August last year, Bradford Crown Court heard today. ...

Six men were sentenced for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.

Mohammed Assan, 26, of Quaker Street, Undercliffe, Bradford, was jailed for 11 years and four months.

He and his brother, Mohammed Ayaz, 29, of the same address, were directors of the Sully Line, playing a leading role in its operation. Ayaz was imprisoned for 13 years and two months.

A third director, Tassawar Aslam, 34, of Victor Street, Heaton, Bradford, was locked up for ten years.

A storeman for the line, Amir Rehman, 28, of Lumb Lane, Manningham, was jailed for eight and a half years. ...

Mujahid Mahmood, 28, of Hollins Street, Bradford, was jailed for ten years. Described as a "trusted lieutenant" for the operation, he fled the country part-way through his trial. He was believed to have flown to Islamabad and will serve his sentence if he is arrested on a warrant.

The ring's "communications man" Sheraz Mahmood, 31, of Airedale College Terrace, Undercliffe, Bradford, was jailed for five years and four months. ...

Seven defendants were jailed for supplying Class A drugs by street dealing for the Sully Line.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Don't mention the i-word
Kathy Gyngell
Conservative Woman, 13 June 2019.

All ten Tory leader candidates have now launched their leadership campaigns. ...

If they got bottom marks for consistency and vision (no telling us our island nation's story and its real moment in history and so its political social and economic challenges) they really did get top marks for avoiding the real issues. Not least the i-word one. I don't pretend to have digested every detail of the various leadership launches of this 'conceit' of contenders, but by my count between them the word immigration was mentioned once. Just once.

And Boris might as well not have bothered. Yesterday afternoon he dextrously managed to include it only to dismiss its import as fast as he introduced it. Brexit, he told us, 'wasn't just about immigration though people were entirely reasonable in wanting national control.' /.../ That was it. ...

From another podium somewhere else in London, Sajid Javid was focusing on his 'back story', making no reference at all to the global millions who seem only too keen to replicate his family's pattern. ...

So there we have it – not just one but ten potential leaders who either think immigration is not a problem or don't dare mention it. It is, as Sir Andrew Green said on Tuesday, astonishing.

Or is it? Aren't the Tories just like the BBC – quite happy to delude themselves and us that immigration is not a worry, just a matter of overcoming irrational anxiety?. ...

The truth is, as Sir Andrew writes, that the country has reached a crossroads on immigration, and so has clearly has the Conservative Party. It will bring the Tories to the parting of the ways with the people unless they have something serious to say about it and face the facts for once.

These are that annual net migration into the UK has averaged nearly 300,000 over the past five years – that is roughly the population of Newcastle. Yet until Labour came to power in 1997, Sir Andrew reminds us, net migration was never more than 50,000 a year and was sometimes negative. Nine years of Conservative government and they have failed to get a grip on it.

Today the UK's official population is just under 67 million, up 9 million since 2001 and 5 million since 2009. ...

The dangers to the fabric of our society are already there to see. Already 71 per cent of Britons believe that immigration has made communities more divided, rising to 78 per cent in areas that have experienced large-scale immigration in recent years. The problem is one of scale and speed, not of individual migrants. David Goodhart has pointed out that too many people coming too quickly into a society makes it difficult to retain a sense of cohesion and stability and we risk becoming an increasingly segregated country. ...

But so far there is no Conservative leadership candidate who appears to have the courage or determination to take his or her head out of the sand on this fundamentally important issue for the country.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion in 8 countries
What's the impact of immigration, according to Europeans and Americans?
Tanya Abraham
YouGov, 13 June 2019.

With immigration becoming a more pressing national issue in recent years, a new YouGov survey conducted in seven European nations and the United States has sought to find out exactly what citizens believe to be the impact of migrants on their country – for good and ill.

In all countries except France, the most commonly agreed benefit of immigration has been better food. This figure was highest in the US, Norway and Britain, where around half of people (between 47% and 50%) think migrants have had a positive impact on cuisine.

Migrants' contribution to the national culture is also widely acknowledged, being the second most frequently mentioned benefit of immigration in most nations (and third in the US and fourth in Germany). Again Americans, Britons and Norwegians are the most likely to feel their nations have benefitted in this way at between 39% and 42%, along with 38% of Swedes.

In contrast to the other nations, the French are most likely to see the biggest benefit of immigration to have been on sport at 32%. Alongside the Germans, they are, however, the least likely to be able to name any benefits of immigration, with only half (between 51% and 52%) being able to put their finger on anything that migration has made better in their country.

The most commonly given downside of immigration is increased crime, coming top of the list in five of the countries we surveyed and second or third in the others. It is especially likely to be cited in Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Norway (at between 62% and 68%).

People are also consistently worried about the impact immigrants have on national security (between 31% and 62%) and their country's welfare systems (between 33% and 48%).

In Britain and Sweden people are more likely than those in other nations to see a negative impact on housing (between 44% and 45%) and healthcare (between 36% and 37%, alongside 39% of French people).

The impact on jobs is also a bigger concern in Britain and France (29% each) and the US (32%) than elsewhere.

The proportion of people who gave at least one negative impact of immigration is higher in all countries than the number who were able to give a positive one – except in the US where 71% could name something good that immigrants have done, compared to 65% who could point at something bad.

Looking at combined answers to the positive and negative aspects of immigration reveals that one in four Americans (27%) believe it only brings benefits, making them the most pro-immigration nation. Britain comes a distant second in this regard, on 18%.

By contrast, 33% of Germans were only able to name negative consequences of immigration, making them the most sceptical of the countries. They are followed by France, Finland and Denmark where a quarter (between 24% and 27%) likewise have nothing good to say about immigration. ...

... In Britain 39% think immigration's impact has been more bad than good compared to 37% who think it has been more good than bad.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, Australia
'We call it for what it is': Police say 'African gangs' are responsible for terrifying crime spree across Sydney - after Melbourne cops avoided the words at all cost
Karen Ruiz and Lauren Ferri
Daily Mail Australia, 13 June 2019.

New South Wales Police have identified 'African gangs' as responsible for a terrifying spate of robberies across Sydney. ...

At least 20 stores, including JB Hi-Fi and Bing Lee locations, have been hit by teenagers taking off with thousands of dollars in goods.

'We are talking about an organised gang of African thieves,' Assistant Commissioner Jones told The Daily Telegraph.

'We are not trying to downplay this in any way, shape or form.'

The comments come just days after detectives insisted Sydney was not facing the same African gang crisis as Melbourne. ...

Previously, Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton refused to identify the city's problem as an 'African' gang crisis.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Conservative leadership candidates must face up to the challenge of immigration
Lord Green
ConservativeHome, 13 June 2019.

In my first article on Tuesday I set out the enormous consequences for our society if immigration were to be allowed to continue at anything like the present rate – overall net migration is still running at more than a quarter of a million a year. ...

To re-connect with voters, the new Prime Minister will have to start by recognising that the Conservative government has failed (after nine years in office) to deliver on their signature manifesto promise – to reduce annual net migration to the 'tens of thousands'.

Yet a careful reading of current policy indicates that the omens are not good. A White Paper on post-Brexit immigration policy sneaked out just before Christmas would do very little, if anything, to reduce the numbers. It proposed that all migrants, whether EU or not, should be considered on the same basis, that there should be no cap on economic migration, and that the level of qualifications required for skilled workers should be reduced from degree to A-Level.

It has also been suggested, more recently, that the salary requirement should be reduced from the present £30,000 a year to perhaps £25,000, or even as low as £21,000.

Astonishingly, and depending on the salary threshold finally agreed, between six million and nine million full-time jobs held by UK employees would be exposed to new or increased global competition. ...

Indeed, it is extremely risky. A policy devised by a Home Secretary anxious to demonstrate his business-friendly approach is taking the severe risk that his post-Brexit immigration policy will simply run out of control. We all saw what happened after Labour came to power in 1997 when their policies, also intended to be business-friendly, ran out of control. Net migration tripled in a few years. It took several years to tighten the system but, even then, they were unable to reduce the net inflow. ...

A similar episode in the years to come, added to their dubious record on Brexit, could well spell the end of the Conservative party.

Let us not forget that there are real consequences. For example, according to projections by the Office for National Statistics, England (the destination of nearly 90 per cent of immigrants) will have to build one home every six minutes night and day just to cope with added demand resulting from immigration at current levels.

Young people realise what this means for their future. With so many being priced out of the housing market and struggling to get a foothold on the property ladder, it is no wonder that a clear majority (55 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds support reducing net migration significantly (Deltapoll, June 2018).

So how Conservative members and voters feel about the scale, pace and nature of change wrought by high immigration should be at the forefront of every candidate's mind.

Clearly, this key issue must be gripped by the new Prime Minister. It will take courage and determination to deliver the significant reduction in immigration that nearly three-quarters of UK adults wish to see; this includes majorities in all UK regions (including Scotland) and the majority of Remain voters (Deltapoll 2018).
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Crime – gang rape
Woman was drugged and gang raped by four men while another looked on
Martine Berg Olsen
Metro, 12 June 2019.

Two men have been jailed after a woman was drugged and gang raped by four people while a fifth watched.

The victim was forced to relive the horrific ordeal in court after the two men charged with rape denied the offence.

Hemin Salimpirik, 33, and Kuchar Rahim, 35, were jailed for a total of 32 years after a judge said they had plotted with the other men to have sex with her.

A sentencing hearing at Newport Crown Court on Tuesday heard both defendants were found guilty of rape.

Two other men were also involved in the abuse while a fifth man watched on without assisting the woman but they have not been charged. ...

As a result of her ordeal the woman told the court she had suffered from nightmares and had fears for her safety. She also had to move from her home as she no longer felt safe there.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Poland
Poland's two-faced immigration strategy
Makana Eyre and Martin Goillandeau
Politico, 12 June 2019.

They knew nobody, spoke no Polish and had arrived in a country where the government would soon promise a firm crackdown on immigration. Instead, they were quickly made to feel right at home – along with the 2 million other Ukrainians who have resettled in the country in the last four years.

When it comes to the European refugee crisis, Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has distinguished itself with fiery anti-migrant rhetoric. But when it comes to finding workers to take on the low-paying jobs Poles no longer want, the government has been quite happy to let in a historic influx of badly needed foreigners.

In 2017, the last year for which figures are available, Poland issued more visas to foreign workers than any other country in Europe. Eighty-five percent of them went to people from Ukraine – a predominantly white, Christian country – looking for work.

"This has been, as far as I'm aware, the single biggest migration of people from one European country to another in such a short space of time in recent history," said Daniel Tilles, an assistant professor of history at the Pedagogical University of Kraków.

... Many of those newcomers do unskilled work as replacements for Polish nationals, who are either rejecting lower-paid jobs after five years of falling unemployment in the booming country, or have migrated elsewhere in Europe, chasing higher salaries. ...

Poland's massive migration numbers, and the warm welcome Ukrainians have received, stands in marked opposition to the anti-migrant electoral campaign that helped bring PiS to power four years ago. ...

Hardly any Muslim refugees, including those fleeing wars in Syria and Yemen, have been resettled in Poland. The Ukrainians migrating to Poland are white Christians. ...

... Joblessness has fallen in Poland every year since 2014, leaving unskilled jobs vacant as Poles climb the employment ladder. Since 2015, hundreds of thousands of Poles have left to work in other EU countries, especially the U.K.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel
Migrants - 38 picked up by Border Force in three cases off Kent in Dungeness and Greatstone area
Sam Lennon
Kent Online, 12 June 2019.

Nearly 40 migrants have been stopped trying to make their way to Kent today.

Authorities dealt with three separate incidents, involving a total 38 people on the British side of the Channel, plus another involving 15 people on the French side. ...

Today's figures mean that since November 8 there has been 69 incidents involving 724 people. ...

The figure rises to 80 cases, involving 868 people, if those stopped by the French and brought back to France are included.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – black culture
How black culture went mainstream
K Biswas
New Statesman, 12 June 2019.
[K Biswas is co-chair of the Race Beat, a network for people of colour in the media]

In a global marketplace, Britain's multiracial culture is arguably its biggest selling point – reflected in its art, advertising, film and music. The Afro-Caribbean diaspora – numbering less than 2 million – now takes centre-stage in Britain's youth-culture mainstream, ensuring that a new generation embraces minority voices. ...

The big myth, Boakye reveals, is that Britain, indeed the entire human species, has overcome "the racism of our collective history". As an English teacher, he has seen up-close an "irreconcilably, hopelessly Eurocentric" curriculum and biases running deep in the DNA of an educational system with a fetish for the "white working class" (he rues that not once in his professional career has he been asked to consider the "black working class").

And yet he remains hopeful for the future – no more so than around the apparent rise of "MLE" (Multicultural London English), a "millennial, patois-born sociolect that scares the shit out of people like [historian] David Starkey". Boakye – his heart still in Brixton ("the nexus of south London's, if not the UK's, Jamaican community") – witnessed at least two generations of British youth adopt "the sounds, rhythms, colloquialisms and phonetics of Jamaican patois".
[Site link]

Diversity – discrimination
A straight white male's lot is not a happy one
Frank Haviland
Conservative Woman, 11 June 2019.

What do you want from your police force? More bobbies on the beat? An efficient response to crime? A healthy zeal for catching criminals? Too bad, because the Old Bill are now more concerned with diversity quotas.

As with so many industries, the police have been expanding their remit (along with their girths), and have decided that previous guidelines as to what constituted a PC weren't quite pc enough. ...

You might worry that the slight downside to this woke rebrand is that Plod is now unfit for traditional policing – don't fret, though, they gave all that up ages ago. Burglary, assault and robbery are out; harassing the elderly over blog posts and censorious monitoring of Twitter are in. ...

Above all else, there is a rabid urgency to employ anyone other than Mr White Male – for he (the vilest of criminals) yields no woke points whatsoever. It was disappointing that none of the UK's police forces has yet managed to achieve its desired vibrant diversity, so it was time to up the ante.

It was into this sea of sickening wokeness that physics graduate Matthew Furlong, 25, swam in 2017. Furlong was turned down from his dream job of becoming a copper by Cheshire Police when it transpired that not only was he hideously white, he also wasn't nearly disabled, black, transgender or gay enough. ...

Traditionally of course, it was competence you had to fake at interview; nowadays, it's incompetence you need. Furlong's flaw was that he hadn't polished his victim status, nor done his oppression top button up. ...

Furlong's treatment at the hands of Cheshire Police is symptomatic of a deeper malaise – what we might call the David Lammy approach to problem-solving: whatever the issue, you can find a white man somewhere to blame for it. ...

And while the words 'white' and 'male' are bad enough alone, placed in conjunction they are now the most dangerous combination in the lexicon – the 100ft neon swastika for any self-respecting social justice warrior.

... Ponder why stores refuse to sell T-shirts with the innocuous slogan 'It's ok to be white'. Imagine Jon Snow commenting that he'd never seen so many Muslim postal votes in Peterborough – you can't. Muse on the relentless headlines: 'White men must be stopped: The very future of mankind depends on it'. Ask yourself why this is considered acceptable? ...

... the clamour for diversity is selective. You will never hear the Left complain that Asians are over-represented in tech; that blacks swamp the NBA, or that women have an unfair advantage in teaching, nursing or psychology. The Left doesn't care, which renders their virtue disingenuous and ugly.

Thankfully for Furlong he has now been taken on by Cheshire Police. His case however, highlights a worrying trend. Any society which prizes appearance over substance cannot succeed – a lesson it is high time we relearned.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – violent crime, Sweden
It's Time for Sweden to Admit Explosions Are a National Emergency
Paulina Neuding
Quillette, 11 June 2019.

The bomb exploded shortly after 9 a.m. Friday in a blast that ripped through two apartment buildings and could be heard for miles. ...

It is the kind of news we usually associate with war zones, but this bombing took place in Linköping, a peaceful university town in southern Sweden. Remarkably, it was not the only explosion in the country that day; another, seemingly unrelated, blast was reported in a parking lot in the city of Gothenburg earlier in the morning. Three explosions have been reported in Malmö since Tuesday morning. ...

Sweden has experienced a sharp rise in explosions in recent years, predominantly related to conflicts between warring criminal gangs. The use of explosives in the Nordic country is now at a level that is unique in the world for a state not at war, according to police. In response, the government issued a first-ever "amnesty for explosives" in the fall of 2018, allowing people in possession of such weapons to hand them over to police with immunity. But this didn't stem the tide: some 50 explosions were reported in the first three months of 2019 alone – an average of more than one every other day and an increase over the same period in 2018, a year that saw a record number of more than three blasts per week. ...

There has been a corresponding marked escalation in gang-related shootings, which increasingly take place in broad daylight. Sweden had 45 deadly shootings in what police refer to as "criminal environments" last year, which is an increase by a factor of 10 in one generation. /.../ And systematic witness intimidation, paired with a code of silence in the country's socio-economically weak immigrant areas, has made this type of crime difficult for the Swedish legal system to tackle.

The rise in gang violence and other types of crime – including sexual offenses and a wave of robberies against children – has had far-reaching implications for Swedish society. /.../ A recent survey in the country's three largest cities showed that safety is now the main priority for Swedes who are looking to buy homes. ...

Before any specific issues can be addressed the Swedish government must acknowledge the severity of the matter. In the past few years, the rise in violent crime in Sweden is attracting growing attention from international media. How has the Swedish government responded? By launching an elaborate PR campaign for foreign audiences that plays down the challenges – especially those in the country's immigrant areas.
[Site link]

Immigration – politics, public opinion, Conservative Party
Andrew Green: Debating immigration has been marginal to this leadership election. That should change.
Lord Green
ConservativeHome, 11 June 2019.

The Conservative Party is clearly struggling after disastrous results in the European elections and the Peterborough by-election. So it is astonishing that we are now well into a leadership contest with barely a peep from the candidates on an issue that is crucial to our country's future and therefore of real importance to the membership. I refer, of course, to immigration.

... In ten years time, Brexit will be sorted one way or the other. But, if we are not careful we might find ourselves set on an immigration policy that will change the whole nature of our society against the wishes of a strong majority of our people.

In short, our country has reached a crossroads on immigration, and so has the Conservative Party. The current massive levels of immigration could be reduced without serious damage to our economy, were there sufficient political will. The forthcoming leadership election will therefore be the moment to decide whether to go for a leader who is prepared to tackle immigration or for one who has failed to heed the public's repeated calls to reduce it.

The situation is certainly serious. Annual net migration into the UK has averaged nearly 300,000 over the past five years – that is roughly the population of Newcastle. Yet, until Labour came to power in 1997, net migration was never more than 50,000 a year and was sometimes negative. Since 2010, nine years of Conservative Government have failed to get a grip on it, ...

The implications and consequences for our future are stark. A level of net migration continuing at present levels would take our population from about 66 million today to 100 million by the end of the century. ...

As I have already suggested, the character and nature of our society are already being changed without the consent of the majority of our population, three quarters of whom support the reduction of net migration levels to the 'tens of thousands'.

It is not just about numbers. I was struck by a recent article in Prospect by Tom Smail. He lives in Haringey in North London, and he wrote: "Immigration has become not, as I once thought, a welcome addition to the English way of life, but a source of disquiet." He continued "I speak four languages .... but the multiplicity of languages outside my front door and the almost total absence of English leaves me feeling like a stranger in a once familiar land".

He explained later that "it is not that I prefer English people to other people. Frequently I do not. It is that, in order to have a functioning, cohesive society, there needs to be some shared sense of what that society is."

There is indeed evidence that mass immigration is damaging the bonds that bind our community together. Demos found in 2018 that 71 per cent of Britons believe that immigration has made communities more divided. This reached 78 per cent in areas that had experienced large-scale immigration in recent years.
[Site link]

Crime – drugs, adults' claim to be children
Foreign drug dealers use slavery laws to be TREATED AS CHILDREN - police powerless
Luke Chillingsworth
Daily Express, 10 June 2019.

Police are being forced to treat hardened drug lords as children and even offer them foster care as criminals twist Theresa May's anti-slavery laws to their advantage it emerged today.

Mrs May's slavery laws, enacted when she was Home Secretary in 2015, give trafficked children freedom from prosecution under section 45 of the Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Slavery laws, even if they have committed serious criminal offences. The National Referal Mechanism (NRM) then gives the youngsters foster care in a scheme aimed to transform the lives of vulnerable youngsters. But the policy is open to exploitation, with police given just 24 hours to prove that a criminal is an adult before UK law states that they must be placed in care, something police chiefs say is "impossible" in such a short time span.

Speaking to The Sunday Times which uncovered the loophole, Detective Sergeant Stuart Peall, Head of Lancashire constabulary's exploitation team, said: "How do you prove the age of a foreign national inside 24 hours who won't even tell you their real name?

"In most cases it is simply impossible. Age assessments take weeks. There is no way of doing it inside that timescale. The law means there is a presumption they are under 18 unless we can prove otherwise within hours of arrest." ...

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is so concerned at the levels of abuse in the system that it has passed evidence to the Cabinet Office involving four criminals who have abused modern slavery laws.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Sajid Javid promises to SCRAP Theresa's 'crude' 100,000 net migration target if he becomes PM as Home Secretary launches searing attack on May's legacy
Martin Robinson
MailOnline, 10 June 2019.

Sajid Javid today revealed he would scrap Theresa May's promise to cut net migration below 100,000 calling it a 'crude' figure'.

The Home Secretary, who is in charge the UK's border force, has said targets on the number of people entering Britain would stop if he is the next prime minister.

Mr Javid, who is fighting to take over as Tory leader, said that the UK must focus on skills and not numbers after leaving the EU.

He told LBC: 'I'm a big fan of immigration. It doesn't matter whether you're from India or France, you're treated the same. From speaking to people, they're concerned with having control over immigration rather than crude numbers.'

Mr Javid has finally ruled out keeping the 100,000 net migration target after months of clashing with Theresa May over the issue. ...

Mrs May had strongly resisted pressure to abandon the 100,000 net migration target from senior ministers, who argue it is not achievable.

She insisted ministers were united behind her but had been forced by the Cabinet to backtrack over proposals to include a £30,000 minimum salary threshold for higher skilled workers applying for five-year visas. ...

Mr Javid has insisted that Britain is ready for its first non-white prime minister as Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson backed his campaign yesterday.

The Home Secretary, whose father was a bus driver who came to Britain from Pakistan, insisted the country needs an 'outsider' to 'shake things up'.
[Site link]

Terrorism – Hizbollah
Iran-linked terrorists caught stockpiling explosives in north-west London
Ben Riley-Smith
Daily Telegraph, 10 June 2019.

Terrorists linked to Iran were caught stockpiling tonnes of explosive materials on the outskirts of London in a secret British bomb factory, The Telegraph can reveal.

Radicals linked to Hizbollah, the Lebanese militant group, stashed thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate - a common ingredient in homemade bombs.

The plot was uncovered by MI5 and the Metropolitan Police in the autumn of 2015, just months after the UK signed up to the Iran nuclear deal. Three metric tonnes of ammonium nitrate was discovered - more than was used in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people and damaged hundreds of buildings. ...

Yet for years it was kept hidden from the public – including MPs who were debating whether to fully ban Hizbollah – until today.

It raises questions about whether senior UK government figures chose not to reveal the plot in part because they were invested in keeping the Iran nuclear deal afloat. ...

A well-placed source described the plot as "proper organised terrorism", while another said enough explosive materials were stored to do "a lot of damage". ...

Ice packs, seemingly harmless and easy to transport, provided the perfect cover, according to sources. ...

The decision not to inform the public, despite a major debate with the US about the success of the Iran nuclear deal, will raise eyebrows.

Keeping MPs in the dark amid a debate about proscribing Hizbollah will also be questioned. The US labelled the entire group a terrorist organisation in the Nineties, but in Britain, only its armed wing was banned.

... It was only added to the banned terrorist group list in its entirety in February – more than three years after the plot was uncovered.
[Site link]

Terrorism – terror, BBC language
BBC bosses accused of 'sanitising' Islamist attacks after it emerges reporters will be told to stop using the word 'terror' unless quoting someone else
Katherine Rushton
Daily Mail, 10 June 2019.

The BBC has been accused of 'sanitising' terrorism under plans for an effective ban on journalists using the word 'terror'.

Reporters will be told to avoid using the word to describe any terror attack, unless they are quoting someone else.

Instead, they will refer to terror attacks by naming specific details, such as the location and the method of slaughter used.

The controversial edict means that the BBC will no longer use the phrase 'terror attack' to describe the massacres at London Bridge or Manchester Arena, as the corporation did when the atrocities occurred.

Reporters would describe them as the London Bridge van attack or the Manchester Arena bomb attack instead.

But yesterday, MPs and experts accused the broadcaster of 'failing in its public service duty'. ...

According to well-placed BBC sources, bosses are eager to report terror attacks consistently, regardless of the terrorists' political ideology. But instead of branding them all as terror attacks and risk accusations of bias, it wants to avoid the word altogether.

A senior news source said: 'It boils down to that phrase, 'One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter'. ...

Many BBC reporters are angered by the decision, which will come into force when the BBC's new editorial guidelines are published this month. ...

BBC reporters are already advised to steer clear of 'terrorist' and 'terrorism', under guidance first drawn up during the IRA bombings. ...

A BBC spokesman said: 'People should wait to read the editorial guidelines.'
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual exploitation
Council apologises to girls who were 'let down' as report says opportunity to stop groomers was missed
Tony Earnshaw
Telegraph & Argus, 10 June 2019.

The independent expert running a review into a sex grooming scandal has published his report.

And Dr Mark Peel said officers with Kirklees Children's Services DID know that young girls were being sexually abused – and that an opportunity to smash the grooming ring was missed. ...

This was despite one case file referring specifically to "sexual exploitation" by Asian males who gave one victim – known as 'Girl 8' – drugs and alcohol.

And after reviewing two case files he wrote: "It is my contention that Children's Services officers knew at the time that these young women [were] most likely to have been engaged in inappropriate, exploitative and illegal sexual activity to the extent that they had sufficient evidence to conclude these vulnerable young women were at risk of 'serious harm'.

"In both instances however it would appear that, other than recording this information, no subsequent preventative safeguarding action was taken, and that thus an opportunity to break the child sexual exploitation (CSE) ring operating in Kirklees, and protect these girls directly and others more generally, was lost."

Kirklees Council has apologised to girls that were "let down". ...

Dr Peel, who is chair of Leeds Safeguarding Children Partnership, worked entirely from social work case files.

He did not review police files or those held by schools. ...

He said the limited four-month time-frame of his investigation meant adopting a "least worst" approach and not interviewing any of the young victims or former staff of Kirklees Children's Services. ...

He said in two cases which included clear evidence of child sexual exploitation (CSE) crucial information had been completely omitted.

"It would appear that no action of any kind was taken in both these instances.

"No discussion with senior officers and managers, no checking of facts or communication with colleagues from other agencies and no direct engagement with the young people and their families in order to protect them." ...

He describes "the seeming lack of concern and remedial action" as being "almost alien" in 2019 but that in 2007 it was common across the UK "both professionally and organisationally". ...

Dr Peel suggested that there should be "a comprehensive review" of all target historic CSE case files held by Kirklees Children's Services beyond the 22 girls featured in the court case.

And he said that his independent review "should in no way be seen as an alternative to a public inquiry". ...

The council acted following the imprisonment of 20 men who were found guilty of child sex offences including rape, inciting child prostitution and abduction of a child. The group was sentenced to more than 200 years in prison.

Among those jailed was ringleader Amere Singh Dhaliwal, who was convicted of 54 offences against 11 girls.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
Study: Smugglers Earned as Much as $2.3 Billion Helping Migrants Cross Border in 2017
Mairead McArdle
National Review, 10 June 2019.

Smugglers pulled in anywhere from $200 million to $2.3 billion in 2017 in payments from migrants they helped enter the country illegally, according to a new study commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security.

Migrants pay from just under $4000 to over $11,000 each in smuggling fees, depending on the amount of help they request and whether it includes transit all the way from their home country and actual passage across the U.S. border, according to the study, Human Smuggling and Associated Revenues, produced by the Rand Corporation for DHS. "The wide range reflects uncertainty about the number of migrants that travel northward, their use of smugglers and the fees they pay," the report said.

Meanwhile, drug lords charge traffickers another $30 million to $180 million annually to use their routes.

Somewhere around two-thirds of migrants who make the journey pay a smuggler to help them get across the U.S. border, the report estimated. ...

Arrests at the southwest border increased for the fourth straight month in May as authorities continued to grapple with an unprecedented influx of migrants from Central America.
[Site link]

Crime – smuggling, chimpanzee meat
Chimpanzee meat being eaten in UK as border force urged to bring in DNA testing
Helena Horton
Sunday Telegraph, 9 June 2019.

Chimpanzee meat is being served as a delicacy at British weddings and sold as 'bush meat' on market stalls, it has emerged. ...

Leading primate scientist Dr Ben Garrod has said he was told by customs officials just weeks ago that a ton of bush meat from West Africa had been confiscated on a flight bound for the US.

He said it was routinely smuggled into Europe and the UK - which could cause the spread of serious disease as the meat is unsanitary and chimpanzees are very genetically similar to humans.

The University of East Anglia professor has called for DNA testing to be used on meat imports, and for more resources to be put into research in order to stop the trade.

"It's rife. It's in all the major cities across Europe and the US. We have seen bush meat confiscated in the UK in checkpoints at borders," he told The Sunday Telegraph. ...

In 2011, chimpanzee meat was understood to have been detected during a Trading Standards raid in the West Midlands. A year previously, the first research on the import of bush meat into Europe found more than 270 tons passing through the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris alone. ...

The professor /.../ warned that the "next big pandemic" could be spread through illegally smuggled chimpanzee meat. He said: "HIV originally came from primates. We are so similar, so the potential is there for various pathogens and viruses to be transmitted or mutate."
[Site link]

Racism – hate crimes
If we are to have a shred of free speech then we cannot make it illegal to be unkind
Lionel Shriver
Sunday Telegraph, 9 June 2019.

Yet more hate crime: Jonathan Osborn, the head of King Edmund School in Essex, discovered an Instagram account (already taken down) poking fun at his school's teachers. With a whole horrifying 300 followers, the account "mocking" his staff drove Mr Osborn to contact the police, who are now investigating whether a "hate crime" has been committed. ...

The Crown Prosecution Service states: "The term 'hate crime' can be used to describe a range of criminal behaviour where the perpetrator is motivated by hostility or demonstrates hostility towards the victim's diability, race, religion, sexual orientation or transgender identity. These aspects of a person's identity are know as 'protected characteristics'." If we apply that standard, then, prosecutable students who contributed to that Instagram account would need to have targeted teachers who were disabled, Asian, or gay, for example, and for the very reason that they were disabled, Asian, or gay – not because they were bossy or officious.

Two problems here. First off, I object to the concept of "'protected characteristics". I was always taught that a core principle of democracy was "equality under the law". Hate crime laws single out particular groups to whom different laws apply. If you're a straight, able-bodied, white atheist, we can be as mean to you as we like, and you have no recourse to the courts. In Essex, presumably the cops can go after any child who made fun of a teacher who has "protected characteristics", but teachers outside these special circles are fair game. This is just?

Worse, hate crime legislation continually adds more protected categories. ...

... But if we're to have a shred of free speech left, being unkind can't be illegal. "Hate crime" and "hate speech" laws effectively criminalise hatred itself. We're passing laws against emotions. So why not ban jealousy, bitterness, anger, and bad moods next? What a wonderful world awaits, where being unpleasant gets you arrested.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Europe
For Central Americans, Fleeing to Europe May Beat Trying to Reach U.S.
Melissa Vida
New York Times, 9 June 2019.

An increasing number of Central Americans have been weighing their options and begun heading to Europe instead.

The number seeking asylum in Europe has increased nearly 4,000 percent in the last decade, according to official figures, and the rate of arrivals is accelerating. Nearly 7,800 applied for asylum in Europe last year, up from 4,835 in 2017. ...

Suyapa Portillo, an associate professor at Pitzer College who has studied Central American migration, said that the bar for entering Europe was lower because a visa is not required for entry, as it is for the United States.

Spain is the first choice for many Central Americans because of the shared language, established networks of friends and family and opportunities to work in the informal economy. ...

Mr. Hernández's own journey to Europe cost him $2,000: the price of a plane ticket to Spain and a hotel reservation to show the authorities that he was there as a tourist. ...

An estimated 8,000 asylum cases from Central America are pending in Spain, and the backlog is not shrinking appreciably. ...

The Spanish Asylum and Refugee Office said most of the asylum applications from Central Americans were based on the threat of gang violence – an entrenched problem in many countries in the region, and one often cited by asylum seekers.

But Spain rarely recognizes gang violence as a reason for granting asylum. A spokeswoman for the asylum and refugee office said that many claims of persecution did not justify international protection. ...

Those who are denied asylum can appeal the decision, extending their legal stay in Spain. ...

Most Central Americans heading for Europe, however, do not apply for asylum protection, instead overstaying their tourist visas – generally in Spain or Italy. There are no official figures on how many immigrate in this way, but some estimates say the number is many thousands higher than those applying through official routes.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Sajid Javid: make it easier for overseas students to work in UK
Peter Walker
The Guardian, 7 June 2019.

Sajid Javid has said he wants to see an end to tough rules on overseas students being allowed to stay in the UK to work, arguing for what he called a more "flexible, sensible attitude" to immigration.

In comments that go against Theresa May's longstanding approach, the home secretary, who is among a crowded field hoping to succeed her, said he would loosen the current rules, which restrict overseas students to six months of work after finishing their studies.

"I want to see more international students come to our country," Javid told an event in London organised by the thinktank British Future.

"If they're coming here, studying in our great universities, if they want to work afterwards we should make it easier for them to stay and work, and not say, you've got to go back home, just for the sake of it. We need a more positive attitude to this. I think the country would welcome this." ...

His announcement has been welcomed by Jo Johnson, the former universities minister who is seeking to amend the immigration bill to change the six-month limit back to its previous timeline of two years. ...

At the British Future event, Javid reiterated his intention to scrap the Conservatives' long-standing – and never met – official target to limit annual net migration into the UK to the tens of thousands. ...

He spoke more broadly about the benefits of immigration, and how he felt that the control over numbers following Brexit could change public attitudes.

"I think it's been fantastic for Britain," Javid said. "I think we'd be a much worse society today – I don't just mean economically, but I include that, and culturally, every way – if we didn't have the approach to immigration we've had of successive governments over the last few decades."
[Site link]

Diversity – advertisements, television
Advertisers are 'trying too hard' to demonstrate diversity by shoehorning in minorities, study finds, as it reveals third of commercials now feature black people
Amie Gordon
MailOnline, 7 June 2019.

Advertisers have today been accused of 'tokenism' by 'shoehorning ethnic minorities' into TV commercials.

Channel 4 claims brands are 'over representing' the black and minority ethnic (BAME) community by including 'one black friend within a group of white people.'

A study of 1,000 adverts shown in the UK over two months found 37 per cent featured black people, though they make up about 3 per cent of the British population.

The study undertaken by YouGov for Channel 4's sales arm found that advertisers 'shoehorn' in ethnic minorities in a bid to appeal to as many consumers as possible.

Researchers wrote: 'Many minorities criticise brands for 'trying too hard' to show diversity through shallow representation of different groups.

'Across groups, many criticise how Bame characters are still shown as the 'one black friend' within a group of white people.'
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam, prisons
Muslim gangs 'beat prisoners' who will not convert to Islam
Richard Ford
The Times, 7 June 2019.

Muslim gang leaders are orchestrating violence in top-security jails, including administering beatings to force inmates to convert to Islam, a report has said.

The gangs operated under the guise of religion, with a hierarchy of leaders, recruiters, enforcers, followers and foot soldiers, the report by the Ministry of Justice said. One non-Muslim inmate said: "There is an underlying pressure for people to convert and join the gang.

"Their tactic is to befriend someone when they come in. If they don't convert, they will then start spreading rumours about them, that the person is a snitch, so that they will be ostracised. Then the beatings follow."

Gang members told researchers that their strength of numbers on the wings spread fear among other inmates. One Muslim prisoner said: "They know they're only going to three other jails and they know there will be brothers waiting there to stab them."

The findings are based on interviews with 83 male prisoners and 73 staff at three of the eight high-security prisons in England, which are not named. ...

Leaders of the gangs were believed to be instigators of much prison violence but kept themselves out of trouble by ordering enforcers and foot soldiers to carry out the attacks. ...

Inmates who tried to quit gangs faced punishment, the most serious of which was for denouncing Islam, it added. One prisoner said: "If I said I didn't want to be a Muslim, I'd need to watch out in case someone stabbed me." ...

There were 13,008 Muslim prisoners in England and Wales at the end of March, about 15 per cent of the total jail population. At the end of last year 175 prisoners were serving sentences for terrorist offences linked to Islamist extremism.
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
The next Tory leader will owe far more to Cameron than Thatcher
Fraser Nelson
Daily Telegraph, 7 June 2019.

It's still unclear who will win the Tory leadership but it is, by now, becoming clear what will win. Liberal Conservatism is back in the ascendancy, proclaimed not just by Boris Johnson but almost anyone who hopes to beat him.

"The L-word is not a dirty word," Michael Gove proclaimed to a sell-out crowd in Westminster on Wednesday night. As prime minister, he said, he would make Britain the country that liberal-minded people the world over will admire the most. To this race we can add Sajid Javid, an avowed globalist, and Andrea Leadsom, who says she would declare a "climate emergency" on day one. They are all quite serious. ...

... The referendum result was a profound psychological shock for a great many in Westminster, who continue to see it as an inherently extremist project.

... But take away the European question, look at those tilting for the crown – and what are we left with? The biggest collection of bleeding-hearted, latte-sipping, social-justice-warrior wets ever to fight over the Tory crown. ...

Brexit has been so powerfully defined by its enemies that it's easy to forget the profoundly liberal and globalist nature of the Vote Leave campaign. ...

Did everyone who voted Leave agree with this agenda? But the two authors of this campaign – Mr Gove and Mr Johnson – are the MPs most likely to make it to the final of the Tory leadership contest. ...

Both are social liberals, both are passionately in favour of immigration and environmentalism ...
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
US detaining hundreds of African migrants at border after 'dramatic rise' in arrivals
Chris Baynes
Independent, 7 June 2019.

Hundreds of African migrants have been arrested in Texas after a "dramatic rise" in arrivals at the southern US border, according to patrol agents.

More from 500 people from African countries were detained near the frontier city of Del Rio in the past week, said US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which warned of a "humanitarian crisis".

Most were families from the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola.

"The introduction of this new population places additional burdens on processing stations, to include language and cultural differences," said Del Rio sector chief patrol agent Raul Ortiz. ...

At least 300 African migrants have also travelled on to San Antonio, Texas, about 150 miles from Del Rio, with hundreds more expected in the next few days. ...

So far this year more than 33,000 people have been arrested in the Del Rio area after entering the country, more than double the figure for the whole of the last financial year.

About a fifth were migrants from Mexico, with the remaining 80 per cent originating from 38 other countries.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Islam, Hungary
Aung San Suu Kyi and Viktor Orban agree 'continuously growing Muslim populations' is one of greatest challenges
Emma Snaith
Independent, 6 June 2019.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, and Hungary's far-right nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, both see immigration and "continuously growing Muslim populations" as one of the greatest challenges facing their countries.

As part of a rare trip to Europe, Ms Suu Kyi, who has been condemned for her handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis, met the Hungarian leader in Budapest on Wednesday.

"The two leaders highlighted that one of the greatest challenges at present for both countries and their respective regions – southeast Asia and Europe – is migration," the Hungarian government said in a statement after the meeting.

"They noted that both regions have seen the emergence of the issue of coexistence with continuously growing Muslim populations." ...

Mr Orban has called for immigration to be controlled by national governments, not EU bureaucrats, and says he will resist any bloc-wide attempt to strip Hungary of its right to protect its borders.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, Mexico
Mexico will reinforce its southern border to stem illegal immigration - minister
Reuters, 6 June 2019.

Mexico will reinforce its southern border after an "incursion" of hundreds of Central American migrants into Mexican territory on Wednesday, Interior Minister Olga Sanchez said on Thursday.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – crime, deportation, Denmark
Denmark Admits Country Has 'Big Problem' With Criminal Migrants
Chris Tomlinson
Breitbart, 5 June 2019.

Danish Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen has admitted that his country has a "big problem" with migrant criminals and has defended new measures from the government designed to make deportations easier.

The minister's statements come in reaction to a study by Danish media that discovered Somalis were by far the largest foreign nationality in Denmark to be convicted for violence with 916 convictions between 2014 and 2018, Danish tabloid B.T. reports.

"Your data clearly shows that there is a big problem with criminal foreigners that we should not have in our society," Poulsen said and went on to defend the Danish government's migration policies saying, "we have tightened the expulsion rules so that we can more easily expel foreigners."

Poulsen also added that he had recently tabled another bill that will allow judges to order the deportation of migrants who refuse to turn up for their court dates.

Peter Kofod of the populist Danish People's party (DF) also commented on the figures that revealed that Somalians had been convicted of a total of 1,111 crimes in the last five years saying, "It's pretty wild numbers that B.T. has uncovered. It supports, as we in the Danish People's Party have pointed out for years, that we in Denmark have a challenge with immigration from a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East."

"It's tragic, and we have to respond to that. We must do this by sending people back home and not taking new ones in. It must be the lesson that for too many years, in Denmark and the rest of Western Europe we have had too much from immigration from certain areas," he added. ...

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also commented on the issue saying that while he would prefer that Somalis left the country voluntarily, he would not rule out forced deportations.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
More than 55,000 children caught at border in May
Stephen Dinan
Washington Times, 5 June 2019.

The government set another grim record in May with more than 55,000 children nabbed by Border Patrol agents along the southwest border.

They were part of more than 130,000 unauthorized migrants Border Patrol agents and officers at the ports of entry encountered last month, up from about 109,000 in April and far higher than the 51,000 or so nabbed in May 2018.

But even record overall numbers shield the true expanse of the crisis, officials said.

As much as 60 percent of agents' time is now spent babysitting illegal immigrants rather than patrolling the border, and they're setting records for making rescues of migrants in distress. Meanwhile border detention facilities are packed, with more than 19,000 people in space that is already in crisis when it reaches 6,000.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – illegal immigration, USA
Border officials are finding more cases of unrelated migrants posing as families
Anna Giaritelli
Washington Examiner, 5 June 2019.

From mid-April through May 31, Immigration and Customs Enforcement interviewed 1,126 people who claimed to be traveling with a family member when they were taken into custody. Of that group, 206 "fraudulent families" were found to have fabricated familial relations either by verbal statements or with bogus legal documents. A family consists of two or more people, according to ICE.

The agency uncovered 422 fraudulent paper documents or verbal claims in that six-week portion of its continuing investigation.

ICE presented 399 cases for prosecution to the Justice Department and has had 315 accepted. ...

A total of 58,000 people claiming to be part of a family crossed the border in April alone. Despite the small rate of unrelated families, ICE's new acting Director Mark Morgan, said the trend must be addressed. ...

Approximately 30% of rapid DNA tests of migrants who were suspected of arriving at the southern border with children who weren't theirs revealed the adults were not related to the children, the Washington Examiner reported last month.
[Site link]

National identity – Englishness, London
Just how English is London?
Eric Kaufmann
UnHerd, 5 June 2019.

John Cleese's recent tweet about London – "not really an English city any more"– has been the subject of vigorous subsequent discussion.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, amid the furore, tweeted his own view: "Londoners know that our diversity is our greatest strength. We are proudly the English capital, a European city and a global hub."

So how English is London? Well that depends very much on what is meant by 'English'. A significant problem with the word is that its ethnic and national meanings are often confused or blurred.

Ethnic groups, for instance, are large-scale communities which consider themselves to be descended from common ancestors, are attached to a particular 'homeland' and are distinguished from other ethnic groups by cultural markers such as religion, language or appearance. Nations, on the other hand, are territorial-historical communities with a degree of political aspiration. They are different things, though the same word is used to describe them.

'English' is both an ethnic and national designation. The English, for example, are the largest ethnic group in most of the more populated parts of English-speaking Canada, in the American state of Utah and in northern New England /.../. They are also an overwhelming majority – around 70% – of the population of England. In London, however, they make up no more than 45% of the total.

Cleese, then, was right – if he was talking about ethnicity.

Equally, those of English national identity are also a majority in England, but not in London. Of England's residents, 60% said they were 'English Only' in the 2011 census. In London, this was only 37%. This is because more than any other groups, ethnically English people also claim their national identity to be 'English'.

And while ethnically English people tend to claim Englishness as a nationality, minorities lean towards a British identity. ...

But was it ever thus?

No. In fact, over the course of Cleese's lifetime, there has been considerable change in London's ethnic and national composition. While it's true that London has always received immigration, this has typically been on a small scale. Jewish immigration, for example, was only about 5,000-10,000 per year at its height in the late 19th century.

And while no ethnicity question on White Britishness was asked until 2001, we can use the ONS LS to track 2001 and 2011 London residents back to the 1971 census. This method finds that London was around 86% White British in 1971: an ethnically-English city with a modest minority. By 2011, the ethnic English were in the minority. ...

So, in these strict terms, it seems Cleese is on pretty solid ground in making his claim that London "isn't an English city any more". It is only English in the sense that it is located in England. But if we were to follow that to its conclusion, then all accents heard in London must be English ones, which would be an absurd thing to say.

Can we, therefore, dismiss Cleese's critics as overreacting? Well, not necessarily.

There is nuance to this story. There is a sense in which London is still English: the majority of its population is native-born. The UK-born (nearly all English-born) formed nearly 80% of the city into the 1980s, and while this had dipped to 60% by 2011, natives remain a majority.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel, France
Imam jailed for helping refugees try to cross English Channel
Samuel Osborne
Independent, 4 June 2019.

An imam has been sentenced to two years in prison in France for selling inflatable boats to people smugglers to take refugees across the English Channel.

The man, a 39-year-old Iranian refugee, was found guilty of earning thousands of euros through buying dinghies and selling them to traffickers, The Times reported.

A member of his congregation, a 29-year-old man from Senegal, was also jailed for nine months and banned from visiting Nord and Pas-de-Calais for three years. ...

Both defendants claimed they were initially unaware the boats were being used to traffic refugees across the Channel.
[Site link]

Crime – violence, police, London
Stop and searches in London up 423% as police try to get grip on violent crime
ITV, 4 June 2019.

The number of stop and searches under enhanced police powers has increased by 423% in a year in London as Scotland Yard tries to get a grip on violent crime.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House said searches under Section 60 of the Public Order Act 1994 leapt from 1,836 in the 2017/18 financial year to 9,599 in 2018/19.

The number of Section 60 orders authorised went up by 219% in the same period, he told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee on Tuesday.

The powers allow officers to stop and search anyone in a designated area for a limited time.

"I think we use it far more assertively than before, but I think it is an appropriate use," said Sir Steve.

"They are authorised either in anticipation of serious violence or immediately after serious violence."

He told committee members that homicides are down around 30% year on year, while knife injuries for under 25-year-olds are down nearly 20%, although knife crime as a whole has remained flat.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel
Home Secretary Sajid Javid is urged to 'get a grip' on UK's borders after a record 74 migrants are caught trying to sneak across the Channel into Britain in just one day
Glen Keogh
Daily Mail, 3 June 2019.

Sajid Javid was urged to 'get a grip' on Britain's borders as the sunny weekend weather brought a record number of migrant crossings from France.

A total of 74 people, including women and children, were intercepted on Saturday having crossed the world's busiest shipping lane. ...

A criminal investigation has now been launched but the volume of migrants still reaching Britain has raised questions over the Home Office's failure to deal with the influx.

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover, said: 'This crisis was meant to have been dealt with at Christmas, yet numbers continue to rise. It looks set to surge to record levels... The Home Office needs to get a grip on this crisis.'
[Site link]

Diversity – multiculturalism, London
A city without citizens
Brendan O'Neill
Spiked, 3 June 2019.

This person says she often feels lonely and isolated, like a foreigner on her own street. Does that make her racist? In the eyes of the chattering-class defenders of the cult of diversity who raged against John Cleese last week, it probably does. Cleese caused a storm when he took to Twitter to reiterate his belief that London is 'not really an English city anymore'. /.../ Let's leave to one side that Cleese is not the best judge of life in London, given he spent his early years in a posh public school in the south west of England and now spends much of his time in the Caribbean. Regardless, he has a point. And his detractors know he does. ...

... Brent, in the jargon of the diversity industry, is 'one of the most diverse boroughs in the UK'. What this means in real terms is that just a third of its inhabitants are White British. The population is predominantly Asian and mixed-race and recently there has also been a huge influx of Eastern European migrants.

Many will say, 'So what? Non-white people can be Britons too.' And they would be absolutely right. But the point about Brent, and the other London boroughs that are less than one-third white British, like Harrow, Ealing and Newham, is that this demographic phenomenon is not simply down to more migrants moving in, but also to large sections of the white British population moving out. To celebrate the so-called diversity of these boroughs is effectively to celebrate the creeping self-separation of London communities; to be relaxed about the fact that white Britons and people who are not white Britons increasingly live apart. You can call that diversity if you like; I call it segregation.

Demographically, London has changed enormously in recent years, but it has become tantamount to a speechcrime to say anything critical about these developments. Take the fact that a few years ago, London became the first great Western capital to become majority non-white. Just 45 per cent of London is white British. Is that an uncomplicated Good Thing? Where have the white people gone? Why did they leave? As the BBC reported in 2013, in the first few years of the new millennium, 620,000 white Britons left London – the equivalent of the entire population of Glasgow. Should that worry us? ...

Both London's white Britons and its newer arrivals lose out when discussion about demographic change is chilled and censored with accusations of 'racism'. White Britons' concerns, which are so profound that they are leaving in their hundreds of thousands, are ignored. And newer immigrants' linguistic and cultural handicaps are cynically transformed into evidence of London's 'rich cultural tapestry'. ...

The problem is that if you reduce London to a symbol, you reduce its inhabitants to symbols, too. What is the role of white Britons in this Brave New London? It is to nod along uncritically to the cult of diversity. Fail in that duty and you will be branded racist.

... To me, however, it is clear that London feels like a city without citizens, and while that might benefit elites that prefer their populations to be passive and separate, it is a disaster for the people of this great city and for the values of the United Kingdom.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – children, asylum seekers, Netherlands
16,000 children missing from Dutch asylum shelters: report
Janene Pieters
NLTimes, 3 June 2019.

Over 16 thousand children disappeared from asylum centers in the Netherlands over the past 4.5 years, NRC reports based on figures from the central agency for the reception of asylum seekers COA and Nidos, the organization that has custody of all unaccompanied foreign minors in the Netherlands. These kids left the asylum centers and their current whereabouts are unknown, the newspaper writes. ...

The largest group of missing child asylum seekers come from Morocco, 325, followed by 190 children from Algeria, 167 from Afghanistan, and 114 each from Syria and Eritrea. The first three countries are considered "safe", which means that asylum seekers from there stand little chance of getting refugee status in the Netherlands. But asylum seekers from Syria and Eritrea are almost always given a residency permit.

The group of children who disappear from the asylum process is likely even larger, according to NRC. The foreigners police in Rotterdam regularly find foreign minors, who are put on a taxi and sent to the reception center in Ter Apel to start their asylum procedure. But not all children actually report to the reception center, a police officer said to the newspaper. They are dropped off at the center's door, but don't go inside or leave again a few hours later, before being assigned a guardian.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – English Channel
74 migrants held as 'record number' of boats intercepted in English Channel
Patrick Grafton-Green
Evening Standard, 2 June 2019.

Seventy-four people including children have been detained after eight small boats were intercepted in the English Channel.

The vessels were intercepted by Border Force officials off the UK coast on Saturday.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid called the situation "deeply concerning", while Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, said it was "a record number of boats in a single day". ...

Only one of the eight vessels made it to shore, landing at Winchelsea Caravan Park beach, East Sussex.

Two other vessels were stopped by the authorities in France.

The Home Office said all those detained have been assessed and cleared by medical staff and were now being processed by immigration officials.
[Site link]

Bias – discrimination
Cambridge University discriminates against white, conservative men, Oxford academic says
Rebecca Speare-Cole
Evening Standard, 1 June 2019.

Cambridge University discriminates against white, conservative men, an Oxford academic has claimed.

Professor Nigel Biggar said Cambridge has done "serious damage" to its reputation as well as intellectual freedom.

A spokesman for the university said it utterly refuted the claims. ...

The University of Oxford academic incited fresh anger on Friday after comparing Cambridge's handling of Professor Jordan Peterson with that of one of its own academics, Dr Priyamvada Gopal.

Writing in the Oxford Magazine, Prof Biggar said the Canadian psychologist was treated in a "grossly discourteous" and "humiliating" way.

Prof Peterson was awarded a visiting fellowship by Cambridge before having it rescinded in April.

At the time, the psychologist accused Cambridge of being "unprofessional" after he found out he was being stripped of his fellowship due to complaints from the student union. ...

Prof Biggar, who is head of Oxford's McDonald Centre for Theology, Ethics and Public Life, is currently leading a study on "Ethics and the Empire" which analyses the impact of Britain's imperial past.

He said that he complained to the Master of Churchill College about Dr Gopal's attacking of the project on social media.

However, he said the university stood by her right to make the remarks on social media.

Prof Biggar then compared the two episodes, claiming it showed that Cambridge "does in fact discriminate on the unjustifiable grounds of race, gender, and above all morals and politics".

He said: "If you're non-white, female, and aggressively 'woke', then you'll be accorded maximal benefit of doubt, given a pass on official norms of civility, and let free to spit hatred and contempt on social media.

"However, if you're white, male, culturally conservative, and given to expressing reasoned doubt about prevailing mores, you'll be given no benefit of doubt at all.

"And, should you do so much as appear to transgress ill-conceived norms of inclusiveness, you'll be summarily and rudely excluded."
[Site link]

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