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The British Prime Minister’s insignificance

27 March 2013

10:56 PM

27 March 2013

10:56 PM

Here is David Cameron’s problem in a nutshell. During his immigration speech on Monday he said:

‘Put simply when it comes to illegal migrants, we’re rolling up that red carpet and showing them the door.’

Just two days later it was once again made clear that the red carpet is firmly in place and no such door in sight. Abu Qatada came to the UK illegally on a forged passport in 1993. He is wanted in Jordan to face terrorism charges. Abu Qatada is an illegal migrant. Yet he ‘cannot’ be shown the door.

The government needs to realise one thing: that as long as we remain a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights, words like those spoken on Monday only show the British Prime Minister to be a wholly insignificant figure. There is only one logical end to this. But it involves taking a decision that David Cameron apparently does not have the political courage to take.


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  • global city

    Would anybody still insist that we should still be in the League of Nations? ECHR has passed it’s mandate and become a threat to the basic principles it is supposed to uphold. Those who plead that we have to remain in order to send a message need to think about ending up in a position where an unelected institution can over-rule a stable democracy, especially on minute aspects of a law, rather than the broad sweep of ‘human rights’. They are supposed to apply the laws and principles agreed by its members but it has moved further and further into realms where it is now the problem. They should not make and advance law, but they have done so for 50 years, leaving them exposed now as a dangerous impediment to the rule of good governance.

    We MUST pull out of the organisation, unless radical reforms can be agreed immediately, in order to protect our democracy. Same goes for the EU and the UN, for much the same reasons.

  • PollyGlot

    Abu Qatada? Nonsense! It’s Jeremy Irons in makeup with whiskers.

  • http://bullxead.blogspot.com/ bullxead

    I don’t remember any public reaction on release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from prison on compassionate grounds. He was convicted Murderer and terrorist. Still no one understand – what was crime of Abu Quatada?

  • Simon Morgan

    There are other ways to skin this cat. All supermarkets, when they see him or any relatives approaching, will have mysteriously run out of all food stocks -except pork. His tv can only play homosexual movies – 24 hours a day. His papers and magazines only have cartoons of the bearded gorilla in them. We have the technology, people!

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    Hope springs eternal. Personally I think it’s good the UK nation can stick to such comprehensive principles. We can’t affect the way other nations are evolving and developing and they can’t affect our position I think.

    But I do think Jordan as a nation might be generous and flexible enough to kindly help pay the man’s daily living costs for us here in the UK. Whilst Jordan really wants to bring to their justice system a man who is living at the expense of the ordinary member of the general public, we could do with some help please to pay for his special needs.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yeah, great when sticking to those principles when everyone else is cheating will result in the very vehicle of those principles being destroyed, as it is being.

      Still, we can sit on the dung heap of what’s left and feel smugly satisfied that we did the right thing – although of course we won’t be able to say that then.

  • The Sage

    As so often is the case, Douglas, you are right on the money.
    As I have said here before, so what if Jordan uses torture to extract evidence. It’s not our problem. Abu Qatada is a Jordanian (that is when he’s not using forged passports) and he should face justice in his own country in just the same way as any other Jordanian.
    Are we to provide refuge for every Jordanian who might have to stand trial?
    Of course not, so why can’t this fellow go back home to face justice in the usual and torturous Jordanian way. In any case, I’m sure there are much worse criminal justice systems around the globe and, of course, our own is so blemish free.

  • darwins beard

    Another shocking display of lack of sovereignty of the UK and highlights one of the many many reasons we should leave the EU.

    I hope Qatada’s lawyers sleep well at night, I wonder if we could extend airspace for American drones over his house ?

  • Abhay

    This must be tormenting every right-thinking citizen and anyone imbued with patriotism.

    1. This dangerous, religious fanatic came in illegally using forged documents and this country cannot get rid of him.
    2. He lives here with his family and their life-style is paid for by the tax-paying citizenry.
    3. Deportation attempts fail.

    How must Britain’s enemies be viewing this whole bewildering episode? They are not going to see this as some principled stand taken and respect the British for it. They would perceive it as weakness and folly and devise new ways to exploit it further.

    Any state has limited means and those are for its own citizens first, not for illegal aliens. How can such a foible be endlessly supported? Where is the sense in that? Why is he not in a detention centre where normally people should be if they enter a country without valid documents?

    • Simon Morgan

      Yes, yes – but reality, truth, fairness and justice don’t have anything to do with it. The ECHR does.

  • Donafugata

    If we cannot be rid of him by fair means then why not er, try something else?

    • Austin Barry

      Surely, our security services have a ‘wet’ department which could persuade Qatada to take a ramble on Harrowdown Hill, Oxfordshire? Or why not sub-contract to Mossad?

    • anotherjoeblogs

      he seems to hate britain and british life/values and continues to stay, can we make him love britain and british life and then maybe he will leave ? ’tis the way of muslim logic.

    • Noa

      Bedroom tax?

  • http://www.facebook.com/wewill.nsurrender Wewill Nsurrender

    Lie/Fib/Con cant and wont do anything about this as their strings are being pulled by the crooks in Brussels , if you want this to stop you have to vote UKIP they are the only party that CAN and WILL get us out of the crooked claws of the EU deport all illegals and give Britain back to the British . UKIP is the answer people

    • AY

      there wasn not a sound from Farage about Islamization. not even talking about some program of actions.. just not a sound.

      • Austin Barry
        • AY

          he is talking in AUSTRALIA. just search UKIP website on islam and muslim – it returns random noise dated by 2007 and 2010. UKIP are establishment hopefuls, so sure that their snobbery is their charm.

          the only decent politiciians in the UK are Paul Weston and his new Liberty GB party.

  • Incognito

    1. Why, if Qatada is such a notorious terrorist, has he never been charged with any criminal offence? We have a perfectly-functional court system, so what’s the problem, Douglas?

    2. What do you believe that Cameron would need to do, to be able to send defendants to countries where they face torture? You’ve admitted that we’d need to leave the ECHR, what about the EU? And what about our obligations under various UN charters, not to mention domestic jurisprudence? Having identified the costs, please explain whether you believe they’re worth paying.

    Or are you just throwing red meat to your readership?…

    (See here for actual mature analysis: http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2012/11/26/debating-the-abu-qatada-affair-gavin-phillipson/)

    • http://twitter.com/WholeLottaSusie Sue Ward

      We don’t need to prosecute him here. He is an illegal immigrant, wanted for terrorist crimes in his own country. Just deport him!

      • Incognito

        Sue, two questions (and perhaps read the link I posted above before replying):

        1. English law (note, *English* law, and *English* judges) raises issues regarding the use of torture, so are you suggesting that we send him back regardless? If so, please define the boundaries within which you condone torture: would you support sending back people accused by regimes in North Korea, or Iran? What about the people we sent back to Libya under Gaddafi?*

        2. If he is, in your words, “wanted for terrorist crimes”, then why not prosecute him here, thus saving all the time, expense, and interminable Tory party conferences speeches that are entailed by the deportation route of which you seem so fond?

        I realise that frothing at the mouth, waving ones copy of The Daily Telegraph in the air, and shaking ones fist at the care home nurse is awfully cathartic for little Englanders of a certain age, but it would be lovely if the coffin-dodgers could bring something to the table other than xenophobia and jingoism for a change… (Not you Sue, of course, byt many of the people frequently commenting on these issues).

        (* Going a bit further back, what about all those Jews in the 1930’s whose exodus from Germany so angered the The Daily Mail? Just why *is it* that all these judges don’t bow to Sun/Mail/Telegraph headlines, and obey the latest moral panic? Bunch of Oxbridge lefties? Or perhaps something about the Rule of Law?…)

        • edlancey

          If one more of you useful idiots mentions the Daily Mail in the 1930’s…

          • Bert3000

            Strangely enough, many of us think that supporting Hitler was unforgiveable. I realise that there are many here who, had they been born, would have been enthusiastically stabbing the British armies of the Second World War in the back, but that’s not alright.

            Having supported Hitler, the only vaguely decent thing for the Daily Mail to have done would have been to apologise and cease publication. It’s still here.

            • edlancey

              ” enthusiastically stabbing the British armies of the Second World War in the back,”

              funny that, since the very people who dredge this up are the same people who are enthusiastically enabling our enemies today.

            • Colonel Mustard

              If you are going to start whining about doing the decent thing and apologising then when it comes to the Labour party and all its grisly fellow travellers we would be here a very long time. But of course it doesn’t work like that. Moral outrage is reserved for anyone or anything lefties disagree with, regardless of truth or facts.

        • zakisbak

          Oooooh,and you were doing so well.Calm,reasoned,(albeit with the dubious blog link).
          And then it all just kind of started to spill out didn’t it?
          The bile that is.
          “coffin-dodgers”,”xenophobia”,”jingoism”,and the eternal clincher of all arguments,”The Daily Mail”.

          Regarding the Rule of Law,(just LOVE the capitals by the way,really works),how does “illegal immigrant” grab ya?

          Ah,not THAT Rule of Law.
          Okey dokey.

          • Incognito

            Ha ha, yes! I do struggle to keep a straight face, sometimes – I know that doesn’t come across through the internet, sorry! 😉 It was just *too* tempting to encourage a bite… :)

            Anyway, as much fun as us playing to caricatures is (and I *do* like both of your responses), what about my substantive questions?

            I *agree* with you that illegal immigrants should be deported (though I prefer the term ‘economic migrants’, because it is both less politically loaded/hijacked, and it more accurately describes their motives). What I’m not sure about is a) whether, in general, we’re overreacting compared to the size of the problem, and b) what precisely to do with specific problems like Qatada – like you, I would dearly love to have him out of the country, but I can’t see a way to do it lawfully.

            Please believe me: I started off thinking, ‘WTF! Why can’t we just get rid of oxygen thieves like this?!’, but when I put some effort in to reading behind the headlines, I realised why I don’t want to be a lawyer, let alone a judge: it’s *hideously* complex…

            Peace and love… :)

            • fubarroso

              I don’ think the term “unlawful economic migrant” quite describes Abu Qatada. “Enemy insurgent” rings true though.

              • Incognito

                Yes, indeed, thanks fubarroso – I was unclear: I meant most people who arouse legitimate ire are unlawful economic migrants. Abu Qatada I suppose could be termed an alleged enemy insurgent, but alleged criminal would be simpler. As I mention a couple of times, I’d dearly like to be rid of him too. But normal English law governs what we do to people re. risk of torture, and international humanitarian law (aka ‘law of armed conflict’) only applies if you’re in a warzone (I know East London’s rough, but it’s not *that* bad…). Hence my questions:

                1. Why, if Qatada is such a notorious terrorist, has he never been charged with any criminal offence? We have a perfectly-functional court system, so what’s the problem? If he is, in Sue’s words, “wanted for terrorist crimes”, then why not prosecute him here, thus saving all the time, expense, and interminable Tory party conferences speeches that are entailed by the deportation route?

                2. English law (note, *English* law, and *English* judges) raises issues regarding the use of torture, so is anyone suggesting that we send him back regardless? If so, please define the boundaries within which you condone torture: would you support sending back people accused by regimes in North Korea, or Iran? What about the people we sent back to Libya under Gaddafi?

                3. What do you believe that Cameron would need to do, to be able to send defendants to countries where they face torture? Douglas has admitted that we’d need to leave the ECHR, what about the EU? And what about our obligations under various UN charters, not to mention domestic jurisprudence? Having identified the costs, please explain whether you believe they’re worth paying.

        • FrankS

          It’s too late for me, but maybe there’s still time for you to die young.

        • http://twitter.com/bbcgoogle Rockin Ron

          In answer to your questions:
          1) He should be sent back to his own country. Regarding sending suspects to their own countries, I think that is a sound principle and we should decide on a case by case basis. Just because they treat their people inhumanely should not impose a burden of protection on the UK. This is not condoning torture but recognising other courntries are free to operate under their own laws. Straightforward.

          2) He is here illegally and Jordan wants to prosecute him for terrorism related crimes. We should comply. His case should not be heard in the UK. Simple.

        • Julian_F

          Has one forgotten one’s apostrophes?

        • Colonel Mustard

          Well, they didn’t seem to have much problem obeying the moral panic of Hacked Off.

    • Donafugata

      Perhaps, if the likes of Hamza and other undesirables knew that they would be sent to some hell-hole that did not respect human rights of any kind, it may act as a deterrent. Either they would think twice about committing a crime or coming here, as convicted criminals,in the first place.

      The very reason we are lumbered is because they all know the UK is a soft touch and will grant them more consideration than their victims.

  • mightymark

    I wonder if we are alone in finding this kind of inconvenience in findings under the ECHR. If not why can we not try to amend it to take account of current circumstances – especially re terrorism?

  • zanzamander

    The international charity that David Miliband is going to head has many influential, wealthy and respected “overseers” like Madeleine Albright, Kofi Annan, Condie Rice and Henry Kissinger. Also among the luminaries is princess Firyal of Jordan – a country, according to our courts, that tortures its won citizens.

  • terence patrick hewett

    In September 1971 Alec Douglas-Home the then PM expelled 105 Soviet diplomats for spying: Cameron should man-up or get out.

    • fubar_saunders

      1971? Wasnt that Ted Heath??

    • http://twitter.com/MisterQuintus Tony Quintus

      Expelled diplomats, ie told them to leave and they did, which was his right, had they not left they would have seen their diplomatic protection lapse and gone to jail. In other words, nothing to do with the current situation at all.

  • Bert3000

    Maybe we should go back to having a justice system, in which people are punished when there’s been some evidence of them having done something wrong, instead of ministers posturing about punishing people they don’t like the look of and then pouting like spoiled children when the courts tell them they can’t hand out sentences and deportations willy nilly.

  • Eddie

    Some people would say he’s armless enough…

    I say, he’s a prime candidate for a nasty accident in prison…

    Funny though how, if anyone dares to criticise people like Abu Hamster or any other Islamo-rodent, they are quite likely to get a knock on the door from the local plods, warning them against so-called ‘hate crimes’ and incitement to religious and racial hatred on Twitter, email etc.

    Yet, if one is like Mr Hamster, and incites hatred against, well, just about everyone who isn’t exactly like him – and if commits a crime (being an illegal immigrant) and steals money from taxpayers in benefits (which is what illegals like him do) then you 1) get your family to stay here at public expense; 2) you get the law protecting you as though you were the victim!

    • Eddie

      I think an Abu Hamster fan is going up and down this thread voting against all posts that criticise his Islamo-hero.
      Well, it makes a change from playing with fireworks…

      • Eddie

        Some people would say he’s armless enough…

        I say, he’s a prime candidate for a nasty accident in prison… Perhaps his beard could get stuck in the mangle or something? Or someone could accidently on purpose set light to it?

        Funny though how, if one dares to criticise people like Abu Hamster or any other Islamo-rodent, one is quite likely to get a knock on the door from the local plods, warning them against so-called ‘hate crimes’ and incitement to religious and racial hatred on Twitter, email etc. There is a law against criticisng any Muslim, I think.

        Yet, if one is like Mr Hamster, and incites hatred against, well, just about everyone who isn’t exactly like him – and if one commits a crime (being an illegal immigrant) and steals money from taxpayers in benefits (which is what illegals like him do) then you 1) get your family to stay here at public expense; 2) you get the law protecting you as though you were the victim!

        Hoorah! The World Turned Upside Down is here at last!

  • Mike Barnes

    “But it involves taking a decision that David Cameron apparently does not have the political courage to take.”

    How do you know he doesn’t have the courage? He might, but regardless it’s irrelevent because the main reason he can’t make that decision is that he doesn’t have a majority of the seats in Parliament.

    • Donafugata

      If Cameron were to make a few courageous decisions, he probably would have a majority. The trouble is, he can’t seem to connect the two.

      • http://twitter.com/MisterQuintus Tony Quintus

        That makes absolutely no sense, he couldn’t take the tough decisions until he was elected, but you wanted him to take the tough decisions to win a majority?

        • NeilMc1

          He lost the election because he reneged on the “Cast Iron” promise. If he hadn’t proved spineless and less than honest over that he would have easily won a majority. But that is not who he is.

  • Snews

    So is it Mr Cameron the dictator, or can the court be allowed independence from Mr Cameron.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ken.ward.3304 Ken Ward

    send him up to the international space station.

    • Simon Morgan

      Listen – we can’t start contaminating space with these people. They are our problem. Leave the rest of the norrmal universe out of it, for the love of, ahem, god.

  • Patonback

    Wonder if UKIP would put up with unelected European judges putting the interests of this waste of space before the interests and safety of this country’s citizens?.

    • http://www.facebook.com/wewill.nsurrender Wewill Nsurrender

      UKIP is the only party that CAN and WILL put a stop to this by getting us out of the clutches of the criminals in Brussels . Vote UKIP

      • petermorris

        UKIP might want to take the UK out of Brussels and the EU but that won’t solve the problem because the ECHR is a creature of the Council of Europe, not the EU. It began following the attrocities of World War II and is well intentioned. UKIP had better bone up on the legal position or it will look like a bunch of amateurs.

        • Noa

          “..UKIP had better bone up on the legal position or it will look like a bunch of amateurs.”

          Well they can’t make bigger fools of themselves than David Cameron, Theresa May and the entire conservative element of this Frond of a government.

  • Mouse

    Unless the present government starts acting in the best Interests of the English, Indigenous people, one of the more extreme political party’s, will sweep them aside, come the next general election. We have had enough of this nonsense and if a protest vote is the only thing that will change things, then I know many of those I talk too, are prepared to take that step.

    • fubar_saunders

      You’re right, Mouse but I’m afraid it might take longer than two years for the populace to wake up to it. Its only a matter of time.

  • Muhammad Imran

    Such extrimist are also bad name to the genuine immigrant who are learned honest and contributing to British economy by their hardwork on the otherhand like them are just adding population for clearing hands on benefits Its being polticised for nothing if govt doesnt like simply kick him out procrostination like Hamlet which is the tragic flaw of Qutada story why??????

    • AY

      what was that?

    • edlancey

      ‘genuine immigrant’ ; ‘flying pigs’ ; ‘hen’s teeth’

  • chaser@gibtelecom.net

    Send him to Gaza. He is after all a Palestinian refugee.

  • http://twitter.com/davemac1969 David Paul McKiernan

    Perhaps we should roll him up in an oriental carpet and ship him to Brussels.

  • Daniel Maris

    “Abu! Hi! Look over here!! That’s it – you’re looking gorgeous…that’s it…pout, pout…give me defiance, give me insolence – beautiful…come on, think sexy, think Caliphate…Umma…Sharia…that’s it, now you’re smiling, now you know you’re all power, you’re all animal, a sleek tiger…”

    • DazEng

      LMAO. Quality

  • snookerq

    Reality is more nuts than fiction.

    • Daniel Maris

      I think that’s unfair to nuts. Let’s say: “off the planet”.

  • http://twitter.com/AbbeyLane5 Abbey Lane

    Why does he constantly deceive? He’s rolled up the red carpet? No, this country remains wide open to all comers, as always.

    • Daniel Maris

      You may be on to something there. It can’t be illegal to deport him to another EU country where he won’t face persecution or the death sentence! :) Job done!!

      • Incognito

        But who would take him? That’s the problem. Do you reckon that we could simply pay the Cypriots to, ahem, host him?… Goodness knows, they need the cash, and apparently the holiday trade is down because of the crisis – we could even chip in towards the cost of electronic tags/ball and chain/whatever necessary to keep him on the island.

        I reckon he’d be a *rubbish* swimmer, too – Cyprus would be just right…

        • AY

          no problem whatsoever. just deport him with family to that “tribal area” in pakistan, which is infested by such creatures anyway. the drones overhead will guarantee his human rights and good behaviour.

          • petermorris

            It is not possible to deport someone to anywhere you like. You can only deport them to where they came from in the first place. If he came to the UK on a forged passport, can’t we just put him in jail and throw away the keys?

            • Daniel Maris

              If North Korea can kidnap people walking along the beach, maybe we can deposit someone on a beach far, far away…

        • Simon Morgan

          Just send him to us here in sunny Australia. We have a government dominated by left-wing pinheads, and of course, Julia Gillard ( a card-carrying member of the SWP ). Wales dumped that cretin on us, And England has been dumping assorted other villains on us over the years. Qatada would fit right in.

          • NeilMc1

            Simon – maybe we could do a swap for Shane Watson. He doesn’t seem that popular there and we would gladly have him.

            • Simon Morgan

              This man has the effrontery to knock our bowlers for six. Not just our bowlers, of course. But I’ve often wanted to have him knobbled.

          • Colonel Mustard

            As we are on a roll and might as well be hung for a sheep as well as a lamb, can we send you Harriet Harmon, Tom Watson, Chris Bryant, Owen Jones and Evan Harris as well? They all represent a clear and present danger to the liberty of the individual in the UK and I think they would all get on extremely well with Gillard.

            • Simon Morgan

              I’d have to draw the line Harmon. Sorry, but that really would be too much…

          • petermorris

            And Gillard’s opponent comes from England. Don’t you have any real Australian politicians?

            • Simon Morgan

              :-)) But please remember we are a nation of ‘immigrants’ here. I’m confused now – I should really be calling calling you all pommy b**ta*ds.

  • agent zigzag

    empty drums make the most noise

    • Eddie

      Some people would say he’s armless enough…

      I say, he’s a prime candidate for a nasty accident in prison… Perhaps his beard could get stuck in the mangle or something? Or someone could accidently on purpose set light to it?

      Funny though how, if one dares to criticise people like Abu Hamster or any other Islamo-rodent, one is quite likely to get a knock on the door from the local plods, warning them against so-called ‘hate crimes’ and incitement to religious and racial hatred on Twitter, email etc. There is a law against criticisng any Muslim, I think.

      Yet, if one is like Mr Hamster, and incites hatred against, well, just about everyone who isn’t exactly like him – and if one commits a crime (being an illegal immigrant) and steals money from taxpayers in benefits (which is what illegals like him do) then you 1) get your family to stay here at public expense; 2) you get the law protecting you as though you were the victim!

      Hoorah! The World Turned Upside Down is here at last!

      • agent zigzag

        eddie : i was referring to david cameron

        with regards to the ‘radical cleric’ i think his presence here is wrong, very damaging and as the comment above mine/ yours says – ship him to brussels and let them deal with him.

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