Thursday, 19 August 2021

Beyond hope or redemption


In a manner which uses a rather curious definition of ‘honouring commitments made’, the UK Government has agreed to take an arbitrary number, bearing no relation to either need or the criteria on which it is claimed to be based, of refugees from the catastrophe which it has helped to create in Afghanistan. But not all at once; the numbers accepted will be spread over a five year period. To qualify for this largesse on the part of the UK, refugees need to find their own way out of their country, and travel to the UK without passing through any other country which the UK Government deems safe (because if they do, they will be regarded as having passed up on the chance to be accepted in that other country), and spend potentially 4 or 5 years in a refugee camp somewhere while the UK gets around to processing their applications. Whether by action of the new Afghan government, disease or taking risks in the process, a fair number of those who might otherwise qualify will clearly never make it.

Still, never let it be said that the UK government is unable to be imaginative or innovative in its approach: holding out the possibility of posthumous refugee status is a world first. It’s also a new low for the conscience-free regime currently running the UK. Apparently, according to the PM in his speech to parliament yesterday, instead of feeling an entirely natural degree of shame at what has been done in our name, we must all take great pride in the huge strides made for women’s rights in those parts of Afghanistan which were briefly occupied by Western forces, even while we watch those rights being stripped away as the country returns to fundamentalist misogyny. It’s delusional, of course; but the participation of the UK in the original invasion was born out of the same basic delusion, which is that the UK is some sort of great player righting the world’s wrongs across the globe rather than an increasingly insignificant offshore European island. It sometimes seems as if there is no event or circumstance sufficiently powerful to shatter the delusion. Even after the UK is split asunder, and the writ of Westminster is reduced to the English rump of the UK, I suspect that those ruling England will continue to cling to their strange notions of greatness and exceptionalism. There truly is no hope for them.

1 comment:

dafis said...

The serial cock up which is the history of the last 20 years or more vis a vis the policies and actions of USA, UK, NATO, UN etc in connection with Afghanistan defies belief. Looking back from some point in the distant future people will view it with disbelief. It will be a primary case study in how not to do things in foreign policy and its related military activity. Did anyone ever get anything right ? I watched Rory Stewart make a well meaning attempt to emphasise some positives which had been gained, albeit temporarily, but really... the net outcome is a massive deficit not just in money wasted, lives and minds lost or mutilated,but also a failure to acknowledge even briefly that there had been opportunity to pursue alternative solutions in 2001-02. The rush of avenging blood lust in Bush, Bliar et al and a countervailing myopic streak among Taliban and other actors like Pakistan's ISI conjured a mess of cataclysmic proportions. Some twat said "we are where we are" I say "yes because you didn't think beyond the next step and left your empathy in your cradle"