Backlash after Priti Patel berates media over Channel’s “migrant” label | Immigration and asylum


Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would ask the BBC and other media to reflect on their language after the term “migrant” was used to describe people who drowned in the Handle.

In the House of Commons, Brendan O’Hara, SNP MP for Argyll and Bute, said he was “absolutely appalled” to hear a BBC 10 hour news anchor call the channel’s victims migrants, which he said was dehumanizing, and he invited the Minister of the Interior to join him in asking the media to reflect on their choice of language.

In response, Patel said: “Even during Afghan operations and Operation Pitting [the Kabul evacuation] I’ve heard a lot of what, frankly, sounded inappropriate about people fleeing. So yes, I will.

But his conviction has met with accusations of hypocrisy after years of controversial rhetoric from conservative politicians, including former prime ministers.

The Home Secretary recently adopted the term ‘economic migrants’, a label favored by far-right activist Nigel Farage but seen by charities as an attempt to undermine the motivations of those who risk their lives to leave the country. France.

She claimed that 70% of people who come to the UK via small boats are “single men who are indeed economic migrants” and “not genuine asylum seekers”.

The Refugee Council stressed that in fact the opposite is true: almost two thirds of arrivals are considered genuine refugees. Analysis using data from the Home Office and requests under freedom of information laws shows that 61% are likely to be allowed to stay after applying for asylum.

In January, four charities – Freedom from Torture, Hope Not Hate, Detention Action and the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants – wrote to Patel urging him to temper his “deceptive and inflammatory” rhetoric, which they say exacerbated far-right hatred towards asylum seekers.

In 2015 David Cameron as Prime Minister was heavily criticized for speaking of a “swarm of people crossing the Mediterranean”. He then defended his use of the term ‘swarm’ and said he was determined to drive away the people living in the Calais camps as they attempted to reach Britain, likening some of them to burglars. “They are economic migrants and they want to enter Britain and the British people illegally and I want to make sure our borders are secure and that you cannot enter Britain without permission,” he said. declared.

As Cameron’s Home Secretary, Theresa May – as she tried to prevent an exodus of Tory voters to Farage’s Ukip – coined the phrase ‘hostile environment’ for her flagship immigration policy which served as a backdrop to the European pre-referendum years.

Then came Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, a politician who likened Muslim clothing to letterboxes, called Commonwealth citizens “piccaninnies” and drew conclusions about “partially Kenyan” ancestry. Barack Obama.

Under his leadership, the Conservative Parliamentary Party’s Common Sense Group emerged, a unit of 25 libertarian Conservative MPs who campaign on a wide range of issues and recently referred to people arriving in the UK as ‘migrant invaders’.


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