It seems like a notion from some dystopian novel. The British government have been hatching plans to fly uninvited asylum seekers, migrants and refugees to a processing facility in Rwanda, Africa. PM Johnson and his hapless Home Secretary seem to imagine that this will disrupt the activities of people smugglers and staunch the flow of queue-jumping migrants into our country. Yesterday, a reported six hundred of them came over from France in inflatable boats. Thousands more are bound to follow this summer.
The government haven't talked through their half-baked ideas in The Houses of Parliament. They have just announced the scheme. Some cynics have suggested that this is all about Johnson distracting the public and the media from his own domestic woes. Like Sunak, he has received a fixed penalty notice for partying during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and he is likely to receive two further fines. Ironically, he broke his own rules. You just couldn't make this stuff up.
Compared with many African countries, Rwanda seems more prosperous, settled and forward looking. However, is it the right place to process thousands of would-be migrants who have left their homes in search of a better life? Will the migrants be imprisoned? How will they be treated? And what is to stop them from leaving Rwanda and making new attempts to get into Britain?
There are so many questions to be asked about this arrangement, not least - how can it possibly succeed? How much will it all cost? How will the Rwandan people react? Will there be teams of translators? Will Ukrainian migrants be sent to Rwanda with everyone else? Are there no better ways of tackling the continuing migrant crisis?
Personally, I would rather see Johnson, Patel and Sunak sent to Rwanda. Apparently, matoke (green bananas) occupy one third of Rwanda's farmland. I feel sure they could secure manual jobs in the matoke plantations or join mountain gorilla viewing expeditions in The Volcanoes National Park.