LondonNet News Headlines
30/05/01
Blair Attacks Refugee Convention
- PM threatens 'swift returns' for failed asylum-seekers

TONY BLAIR continued the sneaky pincer movement against the opposition Tory Party on the race issue today, by saying his government would adopt harsher measures against asylum seekers if returned to office following next month's expected General Election.

During the past week, Blair's Labour Party has managed to label the Tories as racist for its attacks on 'bogus' refugees and multi-culturalism, while brazenly stepping up its own campaign against immigrants. Today's intervention by Blair centres on the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees, which the Prime Minister wants scrapped in favour of a system that better deters asylum seekers.

"The 1951 Convention was drawn up for a vastly different world in which people did not routinely travel huge distances across multiple borders," Blair said, happily ignoring the fact that one of the driving forces behind the convention was precisely the mass movement of people after the Second World War.

Blair went on to say that any future re-write of the convention should concentrate more on "ensuring that those who are not entitled to benefit from [its] provisions are dealt with swiftly, through quick decisions and an effective system for returns. This must be a priority should we win the next election.

Earlier this week, refugees were hit by another attack from Labour, which said it wanted to discriminate against selected groups of asylum seekers. "It was recognised that it was necessary to discriminate on the grounds of nationality or ethnic origin," said a Home Office spokesperson. "The alternative is to subject all passengers of every nationality to the same degree of examination at immigration control, which would lead to inconvenience."

Groups to be selected for the extra attention include those, like Tamils, Kurds and Somalis, from severely war-torn countries and those, such as Afghans, from some of the world's most oppressive regimes.

To add another slice of gall to the mix, International Development Minister Clare Short yesterday paraded Labour's global conscience to Parliament. "A world of equal development, where people have the chance of a decent life, is achievable," Short said.





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