Monday, 31 May 2010

Mock Outrage At Other People's Racism I & II?

Under the headline 'French admit they are racist', the Daily Telegraph claims: "One in seven French people admit to being racist and many have prejudicial views of immigrants, homosexuals, blacks, Arab and Jews, according to a survey released on Sunday." Maybe its about time that the Telegraph brought out a French edition to catch a few of those potential punters?

The Daily Flail trod a fine line in their story 'Police in race row over 'Polish rioters' training' between trying to imply censure of Cambridgeshire police's 'war games' in Peterborough between 'us' - Blue Force aka the good guys - and 'them' - the Red Force aka rioting football fans from the fictional Eastern European country Felacia (i.e. Poland) and angry mobs of economic migrants protesting at poor wages.

Liberty wondered why it was necessary for the hundred plus college students drafted in to play the rioters (usually it is other cops that do this but obviously they don't have the manpower nowadays, despite Operation Iceni - they do like their portentous names for these games - involving cops from Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex) "to pretend to be Eastern Europeans." According to the Flail, Chief Superintendent Nigel Sunman of Cambridgeshire Constabulary insisted "there were no racial overtones to the exercises." That's good to know then.

And whilst we are still in Cambridgeshire, it seems that the UK Border Agency are trying to keep Oakington IRC open until June 2013, despite on numerous past occasions saying that the intended to close the detention centre in the near future. Opened in 2000, the former RAF base was initially due to close in 2006, but the Home Office applied for an extension, planning to install new security. South Cambridgeshire District Council's planning committee refused permission as it objected to a new 5m high security fence but eventually gave in to government pressure. That permission runs out next month and UKBA had long claimed that they 'hoped' to close the centre by last December.

However, it looks like they intend to keep the size of the immigration detention estate as large as possible. Just last week it was announced that Harmondsworth detention centre at Heathrow airport is to double in size to 623 places with the building of a new wing, a move heavily criticised by the outgoing Chief Inspector of Prisons. In the meantime, if and when the new government eventually stop the detention of children, a few additional spaces will also be available. But no that many as it also appears that they will continue to detain the children's parents, possibly fostering them out or, as is more likely, locking them up in some other form of glorified prison. One of the spurious argument used in favour of the detention of children was that it helped prevent the trafficking of minors. How on earth could the separating of children from their parents possibly make them any safer or help prevent the sort of trauma they undergo following dawn raids?

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