There is no high moral ground for Johnson to claim against Putin

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9 March 2022

Again, “Britain”, or more accurately, Johnson himself, is the very “best in the world”!  Yes, in the face of the abject failure of the Home Office to provide visas for Ukrainian war refugees, the prime minister has found something to boast about!

    So the great generosity of the British (government!) is now proven by the fact that the “UK is the largest bilateral humanitarian donor to Ukraine” (whatever that may mean).  And never mind that the Home Office - of Windrush and Hostile Environment fame - which is so efficient when it comes to imprisoning black - and brown-skinned refugees and then promptly deporting them, can’t get its act together to process even the few sponsored (white) Ukrainians which it has decided to allow into the country!

    Out of 17,700 applications for visas under the Ukraine Family Scheme, launched on 4 March, only 640 are so far confirmed.  Just 300 visas have been issued.  Exhausted Ukrainians were sent back from Calais to Paris or Brussels to submit paperwork, and will have to wait up to 5 days before they can cross the Channel!

    Yes, this is the face of generous Britain.  However, one cannot help but compare the great outpouring of sympathy from politicians, reporters and the public for Ukrainian refugees - albeit diluted by the hypocrisy, carelessness and under-staffing of the Home Office - with the near-total amnesia over what happened just 8 months ago in Afghanistan.

    There, would-be refugees are still in hiding, unable to get to Britain - and an estimated 400 (as many as the number of Ukrainian civilians officially killed so far in this war) have been tracked down and murdered in retribution for helping the former British and US occupiers.

    Moreover, half of all Afghans currently face starvation: fathers are selling their kidneys in order to buy food for their kids.  In Yemen, where another war sponsored by the British and Americans via the Saudis, has caused untold death and destruction, 16m face starvation.  Where are the damning media reports of these catastrophes...?

    Yes, the “generous” hands of the British - and US - governments are tainted with the blood of innocent Afghan and Yemeni civilians and would-be refugees.  And while Putin’s hands may today be literally dripping with the blood of Ukrainians (and the blood of his own Russian conscripts) one can only ask: is there really that much of a difference?