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UK's Rwanda Policy designed to undermine the Judiciary and International law
Policy originated from the Bruges Group
The UK’s Home Secretary Suella Braverman has lost her appeal against a court judgement blocking the deportation of refugees who arrive in boats across the English Channel.
Link to her statement on the decision below.
This is just after to cost of the scheme has been estimated at costing over £100,000 per deportee. This is scheme is more expensive than the alternatives, this isn’t a policy designed to save money, the Conservative Party will make Rwanda a major plank of their campaign at the next election labelling the Labour opposition as supporting “uncontrolled immigration.” The argument will be made that Labour care more about foreigners than looking after their own people, strain on infrastructure will be cited, however if the Government was worried about looking after their own people then why aren’t they addressing the UK’s current infrastructure issues?
For instance a report on school buildings has warned of the dangerous state of dilapidated buildings, warning that there is a real risk of deaths occurring if action isn’t taken soon. Six years after Grenfell tower burned down killing many of the inhabitants there are still many educational and residential buildings with dangerous cladding. Many schools do not meet basic fire safety standards and an alarming number of schools still have walls and ceilings stuffed with carcinogenic asbestos.
Despite the very real threat of schools becoming death traps, the government seems set to deliver backdoor funding cuts to education through not funding yet another year of annual pay increases.
While the Rwanda scheme about political narratives for a General Election, its purpose goes beyond that. The government it setting itself against the courts, both within the UK and its international obligations. The Brexit phrase of Take Back Control is being bandied about again, as is “the will of the people”, and it seems likely that if the government continues with trying to force through the Rwanda deportations it will require an attack on the independence of the courts.
At this point its worth returning my favourite graphic.
Consider the framing of public debate on the “boat people”, consider the opaquely funded think tanks, campaign groups and journalists who claim that Rwanda is the only solution.
Rwanda’s government is accused of a number of human rights violations, from the shooting of protesters to the treatment of the LGBT+ community.
The UK endorsement of Rwanda as a safe country and the deal its signed could be considered a branding exercise for the Rwandan government and is yet another example of the UK showing it doesn’t care about human rights abuses when it comes to handing out contracts.
The usual characters are calling for the UK to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights which is separate and predates the EU. Goodwin is a member of Toby Young’s Free Speech Union.
At this point its worth considering where the Rwanda plan originated, the Bruges Group which is closely linked to the creation of the ERG “Brexit ultras” of mainly Conservative Party MPs which also had a large overlap with the Covid Recovery Group of MPs that supported the Great Barrington Declaration.
An overview of the history of the Bruges Group from Open Democracy is availing below.
The Bruges Group has also been engaged in culture wars, adopting narratives from the US that lean heavily into far-right conspiracy.
It was at a Bruges Group event in 2019 when Braverman was first criticised for references to “Cultural Marxism”.
in 2018 the Bruges Group caused controversy for handing out a booklet at the Conservative Party Conference referencing the far-right Great Replacement Theory.
Niall McCrae is a also a representative of the Workers of England Union founded by Robin Tillbrook of the fringe far-right English Democrats party which contains many former BNP members. Tillbrook also has links to the Neo-Nazi Patriotic Alternative which is linked to far-right terror group National Action.
The Workers of England Union (WEU) have been promoted by the Bruges Group, Toby Young’s Free Speech Union and Daily Sceptic disinformation site, and many GB News presenters. The WEU is also popular with anti-vax and covid disinformation groups such as the interlinked groups HART, Safer to Wait and the Together Declaration.
Ethan Thorburn, Communications & Campaigns Officer for Andrew Rosindell and Editor at think tank The Bruges Group, is Orthodox Conservative's Head of Operations
From the Vice article,
Turning Point UK
Common Sense Group
New Culture Forum
Alice Grant is also a GB News presenter, the Legatum funded channel appears to have recruited the majority of its younger members from Turning Point UK and the Orthodox Conservative.
The New Culture Forum is yet another organisation linked to the Free Speech Union and NatCon.
Dark Money and the Far-Right
The Orthodox Conservatives are deeply involved in the UK’s anti-abortion movement.
The majority of organisations in this piece have direct links to the National Conservatism Conferences organised by the Edmund Burke Foundation. The Bow Street Group and Common Sense Society which is linked to the Common Sense Group have been large donors to NatCon events, while the Free Speech Union was founded with the support of Peter Thiel’s chief of staff, Thiel is NatCon’s main billionaire backer.
The Orthodox Conservatives have their own manifesto which is very similar to the New Social Covenant’s and NatCon’s Statement of Principles.
This brings us full circle back to Braverman who was a keynote speaker at the recent NatCon UK conference.
National Conservatism ideology doesn’t believe in international obligations, national governments should not be beholden to international law. Its a form of political deregulation akin to libertarian corporate ideals that all regulation should be opposed, but married to authoritarian principles in regards to culture.
If the UK decides to pull out of international obligations then it sets a precedent for other countries to follow, they will go from tacit endorsement of the actions of the Rwandan government to creating the political space for other countries to erode human rights.
National Conservatism is the next step in mainstreaming the policies and narratives of Christian Nationalism. The policy agenda supported and pursued by NatCon includes anti-abortion, anti-LGBT+, anti-migration, and the banning of books from school libraries. In many countries the desired policy agenda would require the rolling back of rights, which would be much easier to implement without international law or an independent judiciary.
NatCon and the wider movement is international in nature, victories in one country embolden action in others, consider the Hungarian CPAC in Hungry where Viktor Orban was presented as a model for others to follow.
Whatever happens to the Rwanda policy going forwards, its already succeeded part of the objective, developing a narrative that seeks to remove restrictions on the executive and erode rights.
When “boat people” lose rights, we all do.