Wednesday 15 November 2023

Rwanda, Suella Braverman and the truth

 This morning the Supreme Court of the UK, not a European quango or court, deemed Suella Bravermans Rwanda policy illegal. Braverman did not stay long enough in the job to see the abject failure of her key policy. If you read her rather pathetic letter to Rishi Sunak properly, she gives the game away. The key passage is 

I was clear from day one that if you did not wish to leave the ECHR, the way to securely and swiftly deliver our Rwanda partnership would be to block off the ECHR, the HRA and any other obligations which inhibit our ability to remove those with no right to be in the UK. Our deal expressly referenced ‘notwithstanding clauses’ to that effect.

This demonstrates that she knew full well that the Rwanda plan was illegal under the current law. To change the law requires an act of Parliament and to get this passed through Parliament, which is not always straightforward, with such contentious bills. There was absolutely no point trying to bring in such a plan without doing this. Her own words demonstrate the fact that she was basically completely incompetent. She continues

For a year, as Home Secretary I have sent numerous letters to you on the key subjects contained in our agreement, made requests to discuss them with you and your team, and put forward proposals on how we might deliver these goals. I worked up the legal advice, policy detail and action to take on these issues. This was often met with equivocation, disregard and a lack of interest.

Again this is rather disingenious. Braverman was a senior member of the cabinet. It is beyond belief that she hadn't raised any issues at cabinet meetings, with regards to an absolute keynote policy. The only reasonable conclusion is that she did not have the support of the cabinet with her 'proposals'. Braverman was sacked by Sunak, she didn't walk away. If she'd flounced out, having had zero support from Sunak, with serious cabinet support, this would be credible. 

I'm not a fan of Sunak or his government, but I have a degree of sympathy with him in relation to Braverman. She clearly has a far higher opinion of her own talents than her colleagues do. It has been interesting how few have  supported her. Those that do, have axes to grind of their own. There does not seem to be a flood of letters into the 1922 committee demanding a leadership contest. 

It seems to me that Suella Braverman is the sort of character who believes she is always right, far cleverer than everyone else and not bound by the rules that come with the job. I have worked with people like her. They fire off email after email, so that they have an 'audit trail' to support their absurd behaviour. Often they don't read replies, or dismiss them out of hand. He claims of "equivocationm disregard and a lack of interest" reminds me of such colleagues. They send long emails and when you calmly explain that such things are not possible, you get just such accusations. I suspect that Braverman was given to going off on one in Cabinet, and colleagues would sit on their hands, waiting for her to run out of steam before they got on with grown up business.

The sad truth is that a huge amount of cash and time has been spent on a policy that Braverman herself knew was illegal under the law as it stands. No decent person wants to see small boats crossing the channel. It is dangerous and people die. As I understand it, the vast majority of those crossing ion boats have a legal right to remain. Even if Rwanda had been legal, it would have meant a tiny number would have been sent there.  Bravermans gamble was that this would deter the boats. Given that there is a risk of dying getting in a boat, and the odds of deportation would be tiny, it seems to me a completely ridiculour proposition that the policy would ever have done more than give her a paper victory.

I suspect that Braverman's gamble was that the hard right in the Tory party would rally to her, bring down Sunak and install her as leader. I'd guess that any sane and rational Tory wouldn't touch her with a  bargepole.  The problem with sending letters like this, is that it shows everyone that you are a very vindictive person. Is that the person you'd want as your boss? I suspect that many MP's tell Braverman what she wants to hear, to get rid of her. I am very familiar with that when I have been canvassing. Every time I've stood, I've had far more people telling me they'd vote for me than votes I got. With the likes of Braverman, it is the best way to shut them up and get rid of them.

The problem with the likes of Braverman is that they have their own truth. It is one where they are always right. It is one where every bonkers scheme she proposed would work perfectly and the only reason they've all gone wrong is because 'dark forces' have sabotaged her. 

Finally, I have to say that I think Parliament needs people like Braverman. They say things that people don't like hearing. I feel the same about the likes of Jeremy Corbyn. There are over 600 MP's and we need people to say things that are offensive, unpopular and devisive at times. It is the only way that democracy works, when the majority decide to pass, bat can authentically state that the case has been made, listened to and dismissed. They should, however, never be let within a million miles of serious government job. 


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