Home Secretary John Reid, in his speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester:
“It’s not Muslims versus the rest of us, it’s evil terrorists on one side against all civilised people on the other.”
Meanwhile, a couple of hundred miles north in Glasgow, immigration officials acting on the orders of Reid’s own department this morning launched another of their infamous dawn raids on the family of an asylum seeker.
Whether Azaddine Benai (who escaped during the raid) is telling the truth when he claims that, if returned to his native Algeria, “I’m going to get killed, not by gun, by knife to cut throat” is beside the point.
Can we really call ourselves civilised when this man’s wife and young children (aged 11 and 2 – the youngest therefore born and raised in Britain, as the family have been here for three years) are snatched out of the blue early one morning and transported to a detention centre?
Can we call ourselves civilised when both children need medical attention (the eldest being diabetic, the youngest awaiting an operation) and one has just started a new school year, yet are going to be deported tomorrow morning, allowing little time to gather supplies and belongings, let alone find legal aid and formulate a case for appeal?
The Home Office does not comment on individual cases.A spokeswoman said: “The government has made it clear that it will take a robust approach to removing people from the country where they have no legal right to be here.
“We examine with great care each individual case before removal and we will not remove anyone who we believe is at risk on their return.
“Removals are always carried out in the most sensitive way possible, treating those being removed with courtesy and dignity.”
Courtesy and dignity – a 7am raid on a young family, forcing the husband to jump from a first floor balcony in terror, leaving the wife and two young children surrounded by uniformed officials who then cart them off to a temporary
concentration camp detention centre, prior to deportation with no time to build a legal challenge to the secretive and unilateral decision to remove them.
Something “all civilised people” can be really proud of…