A little over a week ago the Dutch government collapsed. I know I have you hooked with that zinger of an opening. Which means that Mark Rutte, one of Europe’s longest serving PMs, is on his way out. Rutte is the tall, urbane figure who became familiar during the Brexit negotiation years, as news footage featured him smiling from one gilded political antechamber to another, always suggesting a positive outcome in the offing.
It was immigration that did for his coalition. The right-wing of the four-party grouping wanted to heavily limit immigration, citing overcrowded migration centres. Rutte didn’t want to, and so the government toppled. In a curious piece of political symmetry, the only European leader to last longer is the less than immigrant-embracing Kremlin favourite, Orbán of Hungary.
Around the same time as the shenanigans in The Hague, the UK government were leading their own hardline anti-immigrant dance. It started with Home Secretary Suella Braverman telling the country that the “system is rigged against the British people” because appeal court judges found the Rwanda removal policy was not legal. That’s the home secretary stoking a sense of victimhood based on a nebulous enemy who have it in for ALL OF US.
- Immigration is a positive. It’s time the UK accepted that fact.
- Illegal Immigration Bill: How does UK refugee policy compare to the rest of the world?
- Here’s what people in Dover really think about UK immigration
Not enough? Robert Jenrick, the minister of immigration, upped the tempo. Jenrick decided a couple of Mickey Mouse cartoons on the wall of a children’s asylum reception centre were too welcoming, so, charging in on a steed of trusty white paint, he gave those kids what for and painted over the walls. This was not “a welcome centre”, dontcha know!
What did you do at work today, dear? Well, there was this dangerous wall in a place where confused, maybe scared, unaccompanied children far from their homes are brought…
That’s now his legacy.