I will not call Suella Braverman dishonest but she is wrong - GulfToday

I will not call Suella Braverman dishonest but she is wrong

Boris Johnson, Suella Braverman

Boris Johnson, Suella Braverman

As a fully-paid up member of “polite society”, I ought to be deeply offended by Suella Braverman’s divisive, poisonous politics. Well, I am. What’s a bit more perplexing, in fact, is that she claims that she’s just telling it like it is, and if her “honesty… upsets polite society, then I’m sorry about that.” It’s rude for those of us in polite society to call people dishonest, so I’ll stick to “disingenuous”. According to Braverman, she’s just interested in policy, in stopping the boats, in helping the prime minister to get his migration policy right and to win the next election — and she wishes only to serve her party and the nation.

She does like to make herself sound like the Mother Theresa of the Tory party, but we all all know what she’s up to — preparing the ground for her inevitable leadership bid. This may come before or after the Labour landslide, but her opportunistic ambition is so obvious she should be locked up under one of her own oppressive public order laws. Braverman, and I’m trying to be fair to her — another trait typical of those of us who move in polite society — is probably right that Sunak’s latest attempt to resuscitate the Rwanda plan is doomed.

It doesn’t go far enough, as her new unexpected ally Robert Jenrick points out, to make the policy immune to legal challenge, and will indeed be nobbled in due course by legitimate legal review. The problem for Braverman (and now Jenrick, a former Sunakian gone rogue) is that their alternative is equally flawed and based on the misunderstandings that Number 10 has — politely — pointed out to them.

To make the Rwanda policy work would require such an a complete abandonment of international human rights laws and conventions that the government of Rwanda finds it unacceptable. Personally, I’m delighted that, without being snobby or patronising, this small nation — only independent since 1960 and with its own experiences of genocide — should have taken such as stand against a former imperial power that fancies itself as requiring no external guidance on such matters as human rights, because “Britain invented them”.

As Vincent Biruta so admirably puts it: “It has always been important to both Rwanda and the UK that our rule of law partnership meets the highest standards of international law, and it places obligations on both the UK and Rwanda to act lawfully. Without lawful behaviour by the UK, Rwanda would not be able to continue with the Migration and Economic Development Partnership.”

Indeed so; and a timely reminder that if Braverman’s policy — to defy all of the international refugee conventions — was attempted, then the treaty with Rwanda recently signed by James Cleverly would be rescinded by them. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs. If you’re going to resign (or, in Braverman’s case, get sacked) from government on a matter of policy or principle, with a view to “positioning” yourself for the future, you really ought to make sure that your own “principled stand” makes some sort of logical and practical sense. That is what the likes of Boris Johnson and Michael Heseltine did, for example — and they profited from it. Braverman’s stance hasn’t been thought through, and that in itself is reason enough to dismiss her as a leadership contender, though she undoubtedly has some following on the Tory right. She’s really not as skilled a politician as she needs to be to get to the top — and she’s peaked.

One last irony: Braverman and her friends like to talk an awful lot about sovereignty. In her personal statement the other day, she declared that: “The Conservative Party faces electoral oblivion in a matter of months if we introduce yet another bill destined to fail. Do we fight for sovereignty or do we let our party die?” She’s right about the oblivion bit, but she is very wrong about sovereignty. When your whole immigration policy and indeed political “offer” becomes, absurdly, based in the Rwanda plan – and the goodwill of another sovereign power – it is doomed to failure. As with Brexit, Braverman’s fight for absolute British sovereignty over migration cannot succeed; and for that exact reason her party will die. Politely, Ms Braverman, you’ve got it wrong.

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