Entitled asylum seekers living the life – at tax payers expense (?)

This post: circa 3,500 words, estimated reading time: 16 minutes

Prisoners, caged like animals

This post was prompted by an article by WalesOnline, claiming asylum seekers are being caged like animals.

The short Facebook post read like this:
“Caged like animals, eight to every empty, cold room. Made to wait in the rain to be fed. Forced to shower together with just two washing machines between 200 of them. Inside the Welsh barracks hiding desperate people.”

The full title on the website article read thus:
“The unacceptable conditions inside the dilapidated army barracks being used to house asylum seekers which they call a prison. The conditions are so poor, the men claim, they feel like caged animals”

It got my back right up, because clearly they were not caged. The photographs showed the ‘prisoners’ wandering around, seemingly OUTSIDE the so-called ‘prison’ camp, protesting. Basically they were holding cardboard signs of the “down with that sort of thing” variety. Funnily enough, if you read the article deeper, it suggests they (the Welsh) don’t want the refugees there, and would the English kindly these asylum seekers back!

This is leaving aside the fact it is acceptable for British soldiers, but simply not good enough for asylum seekers – who, instead of being grateful for the rescue, demand better.

Also, according to the article, three of the men (it’s nearly always men, isn’t it!), are from South America!

What, they couldn’t get over Trump’s wall and sneak into the US? Seriously now, they felt is was easier, safer and better to cross 8,858 km of ocean from San Salvador to Dover than head a few miles south to Venezuela? The fact it was easier to find passage across the Atlantic than find a safe place in Brazil, or any of the other 30-odd countries in South America is mind-boggling.

Notably, if you read the article it says, and I quote:
They say around 40 men have already been removed from the camp since arrival and sent back to hotels in Cardiff and London.

The complaints from these ‘prisoners’ include there’s no wi-fi, no TV and just one ping pong table.

I’m sorry, a minute ago you said you are “caged like animals”, now it’s “we want wi-fi, in a hotel”.

Just to compound it, because an army barracks is not good enough, nor is a hotel good enough, one of these ‘prisoners’ has a placard saying he wants “a house, not a hotel”. Fresh off the boat, not a penny put into the system, and he wants to be given a house. Because, presumably, in loony Britain, it is now his human right to be given a house, just like that. I want, I get. That’s how it works, if you are an asylum seeker. It seems.


Refugee wants a house, not a hotel


Little match girl?

No women or children here, just men, complaining. You notice that too, eh?

Another of the long list of complaints is that it’s cold here!

Mate, you’ve just left from the wilting heat of the equatorial regions, Africa, and Middle-Eastern deserts to the move to the frigid north, what did you expect? We are officially a near-Arctic state, we literally border the arctic circle, we don’t do balmy weather in the UK. In fact us northerners reckon our own southerners are a bunch of wet-Nelly pansies, so you’ve got begger all chance of much sympathy for that.

Personally I think the season is unseasonably warm, but they you go. I posted about this a few years ago. According to a news story at the time, a group of illegal immigrants turned up at a police station and begged to be deported – because it was cold, wet and miserable in the UK. They’d had enough of our inclement weather and wanted to go back home, where it was warmer and dryer. (See A refugee’s tale)

Caged? Really?

Clearly they are not “caged like animals”, which looks like this, only worse, far worse.


Caged like animals


Entitled much?

Entitled lot, ain’t they. Came here with nothing, want to be put up in 4 star hotels like some of their mates. If Wales Online is going to pull the “Caged like animal” shaming, perhaps they should show pictures of what caged animals really look like. The images offered by Wales Online are luxury compared to the reality of what some farmers put animals through, in the name of profit, of keeping rich women in mink, and keeping multi-nationals in cheap eggs. To name but a few.

There are plenty of people living on the streets in the UK that would welcome this level of hospitality. The problem with these (so-called) ‘asylum seekers’ (in truth a number are economic migrants) is they want everything for nothing. They perhaps heard of migrants getting put in 4 star hotels and want the same. Perhaps feel they “deserve” it, despite having never put a single penny in tax, national insurance, or anything else. (Bit like a few Internet-based companies I could list).

Still, they are not “caged like animals”, they are merely restricted to barracks while their claim is being processed, a process often hampered when they lie about their age and discard their travel documents before arriving.

Compare and contrast:

Daily Mail (): Up to 50 hotels across Britain benefit from £4billion ten-year contract to house asylum seekers
“Having successfully reached the UK as asylum seekers, they are now guests of the British taxpayer with free accommodation and a £39.60 weekly spending allowance”

(amended with:) “An earlier version of this article suggested that asylum seekers are given three meals a day plus a £39.60 weekly spending allowance. We would like to make clear that those in full board accommodation do not receive an additional cash allowance.”

Guardian (2020): Are asylum seekers really living in luxury hotels? – Q&A
“Far-right activists have claimed falsely that refugees are given £40 a week and are displacing homeless veterans”

Two stories, two national papers – and one just called the other a ‘far-right activist’. :D

As I mention below, the media tell you what they want you to hear, and while they may not lie, they will be careful and selective to ensure the ‘truth’ is the ‘right’ version. A truth that matches instructions and directives of the publisher’s owners. (i.e. Nothing happens without the boards say). Which is a polite way of saying the editors, journalists and so forth report what they are told, not what they necessarily want. But, and this is important, they do say it, so either swallow the bitter pill (so to speak), to pay their mortgages, or they are fully on-board with the bias.

Caged indeed!
If a ‘real’ pandemic wiped out 90% of the human race, with 7 billion dead, we’d still recover in a few centuries. Meanwhile, wholesale extinctions are going on all around the world. And where animals are not being hunted or forced out of existence they are crammed in cages, just so rich people can get ever richer, and the richest of all can swan around in skinned animals to display just how wealthy they are.

Being ‘caged like animals’ isn’t wandering around, like premium free-range chickens, it’s more like this: CAFT: Mink farming, or this: 10 reasons cages suck for hens. Or worse. ‘Humanity’, the irony; we are the least ‘humane’ species on the planet.

Media bias and agenda

I am currently studying forensic psychology, and the paper I am working on (presently some 25 pages long, including citations) covers media bias. I’ll spare you the science, but suffice to say that at least as far back as 1950 social scientists and psychiatrists began to pay attention to the press, to media bias. The more they looked, the more they found. All over the world. In the same rough proportions. All out of whack with reality. Sensationalising crime, pushing this or that topic. Publishers, after all, are in the business of making money, and bad news sells.

Here’s the rub – nearly all news is fake news, even the stuff that is 100% true!

Sounds contentious, smacks of conspiracy theory too, but the reality is mainstream media cherry pick the most depressing, contentious, alarming and generally miserable and annoying stories they can dig up – because real day-to-day life is boring! It’s 364.5 days of going to work, coming home, and that one day you saw a milk float overturn, taking a corner too fast. News is 365 days of curdled milk, 24/7. Escaped lunatic axe-murderer angle preferred, it sells extra copy. Gotta fill those column lines.

We may spend our lives looking at cute videos of cats on youtube, but we don’t want to waste our time reading bland and mind-numbingly boring stories of how Fred’s cat – Tiddles – was rescued from the shed roof. How many people these days even read beyond a click bait link before diving in to add their tuppence, and maybe get a few likes from other people who also failed to read the article.

This is the reality of mainstream media and news publishing:

“The process defines nine forms of media bias that can occur during the three phases of news production: in the first phase, “gathering of information,” the bias forms are:

(1) event selection,
(2) source selection, and
(3) commission and omission of information.

In the second phase, “writing,” the bias forms are
(4) labelling and word choice.

In the third phase, “editing,” the bias forms are
(5) story placement,
(6) size allocation,
(7) picture selection, and
(8) picture explanation.

Lastly, bias by
(9) spin is a form of media bias that represents the overall bias of a news article and essentially combines the other forms of bias, including minor forms not defined specifically by the news production and consumption process.

Hamborg, F., Donnay, K. & Gipp, B. (2019), ‘Automated identification of media bias in news articles: an interdisciplinary literature review’, International Journal on Digital Libraries, 20, 391–415 (2019), doi.org/10.1007/s00799-018-0261-y

The conclusion of the above paper – and there are thousands of similar academic studies – was this:

News coverage strongly influences public opinion. However, at times, the news coverage of media outlets is far from objective, a phenomenon called media bias. Media bias can potentially negatively impact the public, since biased news coverage may influence elections or public opinion on societal issues.

O’Connell (1999) suggests such pessimistic sensationalism and over-representation of crime is a “deliberate attempt to condition the news-consumers”. He concluded that it distorts public opinion due to the immersive nature, and the cumulative effect of its repetition, citing the availability heuristic.

Here’s the essence: If, every day, for months, the front page news began “Another child raped by an immigrant from (here)”, how long would it take the public to turn on people from (there)? How long before even you start to assume nearly everyone from (there) is just the same? That they are dangerous deviants and need to be driven out. A week, a month, a year?

My view, a common view, is that nearly all the people coming over as (illegal) refugees are the same: young, healthy, and reasonably well off. The women and children, it seems, if they are even shown, are huddled up freezing outside razor-wire fences in places like Bulgaria. Is my view biased (by the press and media), or accurate? How would you or I even know?

Just remember, whether a blog, like mine, or a globally known media outlet like the BBC or The Times, there is a bias, even an agenda, always. Even in the most balanced of them. If you read the right-wing view, read the left-wing view too. Pick out the facts.

On prejudice and discrimination

Up front, I’m not a fan of ‘asylum seekers‘. Not so much because of race, or faith, or culture, or for claiming asylum, but because of four other reasons:

Firstly, by action or inaction, they allowed their own country to get trashed, and bailed.

Secondly, they dragged that same attitude over with them.

Thirdly, it’s nearly always young, healthy men (depicted), not women and children. It ain’t right.

Lastly, emphasised by 3), they are (it appears) mostly economic migrants, not genuine asylum seekers.
(Noting ‘refugee’ is a different argument from asylum seeker, morally and legally, though it’s nuanced. (e.g. compare climate refugees to Edward Snowden or, arguably Salman Rushdie)).

Plus, we’re full. Hundreds of thousands of migrants a year is not manageable without eroding the standard of living on the ‘invaded’ land. Basic economics. There are too many people, breeding too fast, living too long. Even without war, famine, and climate concerns, it’s too much for the system. If disaster struck the UK and we moved en mass south and east, within days France, Norway, etc. would be wanting to shove us back in the water. How it is.

I’m a realist, not a xenophobe, nor a racist, though I do feel certain cultures and religions need the equivalent of a ‘belt upside the head’ to behave themselves. Anyone that considers my views ‘racist’ are generally virtue-signalling* ignoramuses, dim-witted idealists with rose-tinted glasses that see the best in people and have a name for anyone that doesn’t meet their lofty standards. News flash: take the glasses off and see the real world! There are plenty of cultures that are partly or wholly misogynistic, a label that can also – still – be thrown at most of the ‘free western world’. The Western corporate capitalism culture, where profits come first, again, wrong. Religions that allow or have allowed – in the name of their ‘god’ – torture, burning people alive, or tossing them off a building, because of ignorance and intolerance, again, wrong.
*(The irony of such folk othering people they feel are othering others is lost on them!).

The BBC have a reasonable section explaining prejudice and discrimination, get y’self hence if you need educating!

A more academic list can be found here: Institute of Racial Relations: definitions

I may talk to trees, animals, insects, and indeed computers, but I abhor religion. I don’t expect my computer to reply when I grumble at it. (OK, fine, there’s the psychosis thing, but I know those replies are not real!) I neither have nor need canticles, ayahs, tablets of stone, nor any other instructions from fictitious deities. (I have enough trouble staying in the real world without added fantasies, cheers). I don’t for a moment think (most) animals understand my words, though I do know they generally understand my intent. When I pick up a wasp or a bee and escort them out, on my bare skin, I talk to them, reassure them, and they go, peacefully.

Religion, to me, is like the lunatic running round the kitchen flailing at the wasp, terrified of getting stung, and incidentally pissing off the wasp. Then you invent a ‘god’ or ‘gods’ to explain things, like plagues of wasps. Then you invent rules, you know, to guide the uninitiated. Then you ask the gullible and fearful to donate to the ‘church’, ‘cos these good works aren’t cheap. Next thing you know the priests are living in luxury, while the peasants are eating mud and begging for forgiveness for their ‘sins’. Then, before you know it, you are cannon fodder in a pointless crusade against the heathens that don’t follow the Church of the Wasp. (P.S Any gold looted belongs to the Church, as do the occupied lands). No, not a fad of organised scams, sorry, religions. I’m not ignorant of them, I just consider them a tool of manipulation, to control the weak-minded. We fear what we don’t understand. The foundations of the ‘holy’ Roman empire were laid with blood. That I understand.

Random thought. I have a long leather coat. It’s a nice coat, I like it. But I don’t wear it, because it looks stupid on me. It belongs on someone much younger, slimmer, taller. Discrimination again. People of a certain age are expected to dress appropriately, so as to make others feel more comfortable. Because being different is not acceptable to the masses.

Until recently I wore my hair long. That wasn’t acceptable either, at my age. Fact is I only have it short now because ‘at my age’ it’s not long flowing blonde locks, it’s a grey, frizzy mess. I don’t much care what people think, but when it’s uncomfortable and ugly to me also, well, more trouble that it’s worth.

But the Pope wears a long flowing frock, and that’s normal. Fine!

I acknowledge some religions are better than others, though feel that many that could be considered good are often evil at heart, or in origin. I can give countless examples, but existence of words like heresy and apostate say it well enough. Many long established religions supported slavery. Looking at you too, Catholics. And it still goes on, as does the hypocrisy. “Love thy neighbour – unless they are the same gender, in which it’s an ‘unholy’ joining, the penalty for which is death. It’s not the ‘right’ type of love. Not that I’m that way inclined, it’s just not my (or your) place to judge.

Any faith (or government) that historically or currently justifies ostracisation, brutality, torture, mutilation, murder and genocide through doctrine is NOT a ‘good’ faith, it’s controlling and totalitarian. It is, arguably, evil.

The label most commonly tossed around is either anti-Semitism, or, moreso, Islamophobia. Did you known atheophobia is a thing too. Not only is it offensive to some to prefer one faith over another, it’s also offensive to follow none!

I used to be content to be an atheist until some scientists announced we all have “god-shaped area in our brain” (incidentally depicted as a cross and no other religious symbol). Moreso, bizarrely, the article – mercilessly spammed by New Scientist – claimed atheism (not believing made up tales of gods) is a form of religion! Even the ruddy Guardian tossed their tuppence worth in, reporting atheists tend to be seen as immoral – even by other atheists: study

So, now I prefer derogatory moniker of infidel (literally “one without faith”).

Anyway, I’ve made friendships with all sorts of people, of all sorts of faiths and races, from Wicca to Muslim, from Native Americas (Blackfoot) to Sudanese migrants. I take people as they are, on a one by one basic.

Finally: it’s not the asylum seekers’ fault, entirely

Please take the above heading with caveats!

However if a ‘refugee’ seeking ‘asylum’ looks 35 and says he’s 14, and the moronic officials take him at his word (don’t want to offend, do we?), well, rubs me up the wrong way. If they ‘lose’ their passports and travel documents just before arriving, after travelling thousands of miles across numerous safe countries, well, call me ‘Doubting Thomas’. I am cynical, and I acknowledge I have biases (everyone does), but there are limits. If – as appears a lot of the time – they need lies and deceit to enter the country as economic migrants, well, I’d rather they were not here, thank you. Go home, fix your own country!

On that note, however:

That’s not to say there aren’t some genuine asylum seekers, just that they are in the minority. Pedantic, I know but ‘asylum’ is more ‘a‘ person (or family) seeking safe haven from a specific threat – think the Hunchback of Notre-Dame seeking sanctuary in the cathedral. Refugees fleeing war is a different argument, even though it on face value the needs are similar. It’s like this: if you are fleeing war in Syrian, and make it to say France, you are safe; but if you are fleeing a fatwa after upsetting a Syrian imam, well, France is not safe.

Nor to argue that if foreign governments (like the UK, France, US, etc.) hadn’t invaded half the Middle-East protecting oil reserves, countries like Iran and Iraq wouldn’t now be shelled out warzones. Feel free to add harvesting of diamonds, gold and produce across Africa, and all the other examples of Western greed, diminishing and pillaging third world countries in the name of profits and quarterly dividends. You may toss in Saudi Arabia’s conflict with Sudan, Yemen and so on. (Oil and religious differences, again).

I may argue ‘they don’t belong here’, but equally will argue we (largely the West) destroyed their countries and nations and heck, why shouldn’t they follow the money home.

Then there’s other ‘get rich quick’ schemes adding to the woes – like France’s ‘colonial tax’, the CFA Franc. When France officially pulled out of Africa, in a fit of malicious spite, they trashed everything – building, books, agricultural equipment, everything, then they took all the doctors and scientists back – and have been milking the former colonies dry ever since. (e.g. BBC (2019): African migration: Is the CFA franc forcing people to leave? )

It all comes home to roost!

Mostly though, the problem is not the refugees. Nor is it the sanctimonious virtue-signalling crowd. It is not even the Machiavellian distortions of the press. It due to a wholly inept governments, especially ones that want to be seen to ‘do good’ – while most of their country want entirely the opposite action.

Ask the Germans what they think of Merkel after she allowed millions of ‘refugees’ to pour in. Or the French, for whom areas of Paris are ‘no go zones’ for none Muslims. Parts of the UK are now the same, apparently. If you were to put up a huge sign saying “Muslims not welcome here”, the council and police would be round so fast. Yet a sign goes up saying “Whites not allowed“, well, don’t want to offend, do we, so it’s not that bad. Within a few years the population mix of some cities – cities, not towns – will change so much that the native white people are expected to be in the minority in their own country within a few years, if not already. A similar change is happening in America.

Contrast these two:
Birmingham Mail: The area of Birmingham that are no-go areas for white people

Guardian: Revealed: the stark evidence of everyday racial bias in Britain

Point here is again othering. White folks racist to other ethnicities, and they racist back. And it’s all ignorance, and intolerance. A Pakistani family move here, to be part of the UK, then murder their own daughter for dating a white boy her own age. A Muslim travels a few hundred miles north to murder another Muslim for putting up a sign wishing his customers ‘Happy Christmas’. Immigrant Poles saying they don’t want the Romanians pouring into the country, so basically putting the ladder up behind them. Need I continue?

I was in a renal ward for a while, close to dying, as it happens. There was a truly horrible old white guy, racist with it. There was an old and deeply religious Christian white guy, lovely man. There’s a deeply religious Sudanese Muslim, also a lovely man. And others. Some of us made it out alive, some died the same day they arrived. Death is a great leveller, sometimes. Apart from the obnoxious old fart in the corner, we all got on great. Looked after each other. The old Sudanese man taught me a little Arabic, I helped his grand-daughter with her computer and Spanish homework if she was visiting and he was away for dialysis. We were not ‘this’ faith, or ‘that’ colour, we were simply people getting on. You have to look beyond the differences.

But government type, council officials, general busy-bodies, they are different. They, I feel, don’t see the world like normal people, or even racists, their view of the world is warped, twisted out of line with reality, ruled by tables, tally sheets, and reports. Authoritarian, blindly, religiously bureaucratic; and below those layers is naked greed. The love of their power, however trite, or unwieldy. It’s about keeping that power, that control, and the side perks. It’s why you cannot really ever trust a politician.

Try that “I demand a house, I’m a refugee” in somewhere like North Korea, see where it gets you. Australia is starting to get the idea. Dump them on an island with a tent until they are processed, or booted out. Great deterrent.

Finally – in my opinion, though others consider it contentious – we have a glimmer of hope, perhaps: Australian-style offshore asylum plan driven by No 10.

You have two possibilities, one unreal, deeply unpopular, and wholly unsustainable, which is the current system:

Keep letting ‘them’ in, in ever greater numbers. Foot touch the shore, that’s it. Home free. Garrison if you are unlucky, or – if you complain – a nice hotel, or even a house. Doesn’t matter that the whole world is plummeting into recession (‘cos Covid) and there isn’t the money to cover the furloughs. Doesn’t matter that the influx is affecting crime rates. Doesn’t matter the injustice that people are living on the streets, or living on the poverty line, while billions are spent waiving immigrants through, rubber-stamping their entry, on hotels and so forth.

There’s another, more personal reason it ticks me off: my aunty was nearly deported. She has lived in the UK for over sixty years. But, a couple of years back she faced deportation, because she’d lost her landing papers (or never had them). Took over two years to sort. She lost her job, wasn’t allowed to work. She was *- GASP* – an illegal immigrant.

Smiley jailtime
The Home Office was determined to toss her – and others like her – back to their birth countries. Others – doctors, scientists, engineers – were summarily booted out of the UK, in some cases losing their houses, businesses, all their possessions. They’d come here legally, from American, Canada, Oz, New Zealand, but a new law – forced on the UK by the EU – changed the rules.
(e.g. Guardian (2018): Immigration scandal expected to spread beyond Windrush group)

So educated, white, Commonwealth folk were forced out of the country, while often illiterate refugees, many of whom can’t speak a word of English (noting others are highly educated) are waived on through.

What message does that send out, eh?

That we are a soft touch!

Now, instead suppose – at least until they are thoroughly vetted and processed – they are hauled off to an off-shore facility, bare necessities like food, clothes, water, roof over their heads, and absolutely nothing else. No hotels, no games consoles and TVs, no luxuries. Different message: We are NOT a soft touch. Undesirables will be sent back to their own countries.

Like my Sudanese friend, who was a retired engineer, if they are here, legally, integrating, good luck to ’em. The chancers, not so much, we have enough of those already.

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