Could asylum seekers BE any more fabulous?!?
Not only do they manage to escape their own countries after fleeing terrible persecution, they manage to make a new life for themselves here despite the British government persecuting them just as much – as well as managing to royally piss off the right wing press on an almost daily basis.
The Daily Express are terribly upset about asylum seekers over-running our country, eating our children, etc etc, and it’s recently got a whole lot worse – you can now get asylum if you’re gay (claim the Express). A judge said “they must be free to go to Kylie concerts and drink multi-coloured cocktails” (claim the Express).
Wow. BULL SHIT ALERT.
Let’s go through the facts one by one for the sake of the Daily Express writers, shall we?
1. An asylum seeker is someone SEEKING ASYLUM FROM PERSECUTION.
2. Some people are PERSECUTED BECAUSE OF THEIR SEXUALITY.
3. THEREFORE, yes, some people will need to be granted asylum BECAUSE THEY ARE GAY.
4. Asylum seekers live on a MAXIMUM of £33.50 a week – often less, and often paid in food vouchers instead of money. Going to a Kylie concert and drinking a single cocktail would leave an asylum seeker starving for the rest of the month.
This whole fuss has come about because of a recent ruling that fear of persecution over sexuality is valid grounds for claiming asylum. This ruling came after two men, from Cameroon and Iran, were initially refused asylum and threatened with being sent back to countries where they would face imprisonment, torture or execution. They were told to just suck it up, go home and BE DISCREET.
Maybe the Daily Express haven’t noticed, but being gay isn’t about listening to cheesy music, and having a keen eye for fashion and interior design. If you’re going to face torture for liking sugary cocktails and pint-sized Australian singers, it would be annoying, but not that difficult to get around. If you’re going to be tortured for who you are and who you love, it’s kind of a different story.
It’s really great news that the Home Office now has an official policy of accepting people’s asylum claims based on their sexuality – however this doesn’t change their reputation for branding people’s legitimate stories of oppression as lies, or just ignoring their own policy and detaining and deporting people regardless (like when they said they would no longer detain children).
As socialists, we believe that the world belongs to all of us – Cameron, Clegg and the Daily Express have no business deciding who should or shouldn’t be allowed to come and live in Scotland.
Say it loud, say it clear – refugees are welcome here!