Dear West Country Voices,
First of all – thank you so much for bringing the shocking measures proposed in the Nationality and Borders Bill to the attention of the public. Having monitored current affairs since publication on 10 December 2021 of your ‘Remove Clause 9 from the hideous Nationality and Borders Bill’ article, notable is the sinisterly overt news blackout from mainstream media channels – even Sky News – hinting at a very disturbing laxness.
In 2019, as a consequence of the Shamima Begum removal-of-citizenship matter, I wrote to my Conservative MP and challenged a seemingly laissez-faire but dangerous similar proposition by the-then home secretary Sajid Javid. To me and with my little knowledge of the law, the proposal appeared overnight to cast me – as a Brit of colour – as a second-class citizen. Caroline Nokes MP – one of the more decent Tories – addressed my concerns with an explanation of the circumstances in which citizenship could be revoked:
If the Home Secretary is satisfied that:
it would be conducive to the public good to deprive the person of his or her British nationality, and that they would not become stateless as a result of the deprivation
where the person acquired the citizenship as a result of their registration or naturalisation, the registration or naturalisation was obtained by means of fraud, false representation or the concealment of any material fact.
“Conducive to the public good” means that it is in the public interest on the grounds of involvement in terrorism, espionage, serious organised crime, war crimes or other unacceptable behaviours.
I later circulated the correspondence to Runnymede Trust and BARAC UK; earlier submissions to Dr Faiza Shaheen (economist and inequalities activist), as well as the Channel 4 News team, had, disappointingly, elicited no response.
But now, under the terms of this Nationality and Borders Bill, in an apparent ‘development’ of Javid’s breath-taking proposition, 10 per cent of the population are suddenly but silently relegated to second-class citizenship without the slightest warning. I even understand that the bill took just nine minutes to pass through the house of commons’ first reading, reaffirming to me that many of the UK’s citizens are the casual victims of the insidious ‘relatability’ test.
As well as the Nationality and Borders bill’s Clause 9, there are also the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (which will restrict protest) and the Elections Bill – which demands voter ID – nefariously being hurried through. They bear all the hallmarks of distraction techniques favoured by the self-serving, morally-moribund, Machiavellian chief-in-charge – all targeting the same section of the population and signalling to me that we are on the edge of a fascist precipice – an ethno-nationalist, authoritarian state, not unlike that of a certain regime nearly a century ago. Back then, of course, all that happened was that the original racial imperialists toppled the-then neo-imperialists. The originals are in now full resurgence.
The second paragraph of the article from editor-in-chief Anthea Simmons of West Country Voices also pretty much nails it here:
“Could it be that they assume White privilege means it will never apply to them? Could it be that they rejoice to see some of our population enshrined in law as second-class citizens, in a permanent state of insecurity and fear? Could it be that they know that this brutal hardline treatment of ‘others’ is like fresh meat for their fans, baying for the punishment and exclusion of anyone who isn’t White/AngloSaxon? Whatever it is that makes them confident that this is not an horrendous assault on freedom and democracy, whilst wearing a mask is, it’s nasty, cruel and horribly reminiscent of 1930s Germany.”
This bill is just the latest salvo in the war declared on Black and Asian Britons when the current incumbents came to office. Joining other attacks from Patel, Dowden and Jenrick, the despicable Liz Truss adds her second, evil little ‘bury truth/back in your box/know your place’ gift to Britons of Black and Asian heritage. The first instalment – last Christmas – implied she was taught more about racism and sexism than she was about English and maths at her 1980s Leeds school. Pumped and empowered, she was set on finally turning the clock back on the whole grievance-filled saga. A few weeks ago, she cackled from the turret of a tank on the Estonian border ‘Thatcher-style’ and, after unloading on Putin, in front of the world, she swiftly pivoted the cannon round to fix her sights on domestic minorities to deliver her second evil little Crimbo ‘gift’. In a dig at simple cries for truth and reconciliation, she urged Britain to stop the guilt about its colonial past.
And despite the country being in the midst of an absolute NHS and mental health crisis and meltdown, Patel ‘and co’ use their power and platform to ramp up division and stress, to unsettle and visit their long-harboured vendetta on the non-Anglo-Saxon minority population of this country.
We cannot, must not and will not forgive or forget this harm.