Friday, January 19, 2007

I Want to be an MP to Fight for People Like This...

If you've got a blog, please link to this story as it illustrates perfectly what's wrong with our country's immigration system. Mark Coleman is a white Zimbabwean national. He came to this country two years ago to escape Mugabe's terror regime. He's now being threatened with deportation. He doesn't qualify to stay under the Grand Parentage rule because both his Grandparents, although British subjects, were born in India rather than on British soil. The fact that his Grandfather fought for Britain during the war and was put in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp is by the by. The Home Office say they will deport him if he doesn't leave voluntarily. They say he is no danger, yet he knows he is.

So while the Home Office lets dangerous criminals into the country without batting an eyelid and does nothing to deal with escaped foreign prisoners, they are insisting on deporting a law abiding man whose family have a history of serving this country. And to rub it in he was persuaded to apply for asylum by the Home Office who then refused him. Mark says:
"I think my grandparents will be turning in theor garves after everything
they did for this country, they fought for its freedom and this is how their
grandson is being treated.

Boris Johnson is his local MP and is fighting his cause. If ever any of us needed a reason as to why we want to go into politics, this case illustrates it - to fight for justice for those who the system lets down. Full story from the Telegraph HERE.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Completely agree - Is it right that residents of commonwealth countries who have stood by Britain for generations are being put in second place behind residents from the expanded EU?

Anonymous said...

He was born in a commonwealth country of parents who were both born in commonwealth countries. He is not a holder of a UK passport, therefore he has no right to abide in the United Kingdom. His status is no different from the millions of other commonwealth residents who want to reside in the UK. Wait a minute, silly me, he's white, that's the difference isn't it.

Iain Dale said...

Simplisi, you are really living up to your name and being so simplistic aren't you? It's nothing to do with him being white, as well you know. If you are accusing me of being racist, just say it and make yourslef look even more of a fool.

Anonymous said...

What does him being white have to do with it?

I do hope you are not suggesting he is more worthy of staying in Britain because he is white than the many black asylum seekers from Zimbabwe we are deporting. But I am sure you are not.

As for the grandparent stuff, Blame Mrs T's 1980 act for that.

Anonymous said...

The Home Office at its "best" again. Nothing changes in this country does it?

Clearly this chap cannot be deported back to that shite hole of a state Zimbabdwe becuase of our old friend the Human Rights Act. Matters not whether the threat to his Article 3 rights comes from the state - which it might - or private actors.

He should argue that his deportation would expose him to a serious risk of being subjected to treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention.

See Ahmed v. Austria (1996) ECHR 25964/94 and the House of Lords decision in
Regina (Bagdanavicius) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] UKHL 38.

Sooner the Home Office is reviewed and re-organised the better.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I stumbled across the Boris Johnson article yesterday. Another scorcher by BJ, but it just confirms that life is always harder for people like us who play by the rules.

But you will get your reward in heaven, is what my mum might have said - but some of us don't quite want to wait that long.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a "They say he is no danger, yet he knows he is."

Is this a typo - I presume you meant 'they say he is in no danger'?

Anonymous said...

Ian, I'm not accusing you of being a racist. There have been other cases of people from Zimbabwe who have been sent back to face Mugabe's corrupt regime. We meed to support all these people and look again at the criteria we use for deciding on asylum applications. It seems to me from what I read that "targets" seem to result in more being refused entry even when they deserve to be admitted to the UK. Being a resident of a commonwealth country should count for more than it currently does.

Anonymous said...

I thought that Zimbabwe was too dangerous to deport people to? Or is that only for certain ethnic groups?

Peter North said...

Iain Dale - More racist than Jade Goody.

Anonymous said...

Just interested, Iain, but why did you tell us he was white?

Kafka said...

Had an equally blood boiling instance down South the other day. Two late-middle-aged Iranians & their daughter have been refused asylum. Both parents are blind, and both are Christians. They are seeking asylum because Christians are persecuted in Iran. They've been here for some years and their daughter is studying here, but some jobsworth decided they represented some sort of menace, so they're down for deportation on the 25th. The only person seemingly on their side is their local vicar.

Anonymous said...

He's just an easy target.

Because he has played by the rules the government know where he is.

It's so much easier to deport him rather than hunt for those who enter the country and disappear.

bebopper said...

It would certainly help if he was black. Reid and his ilk see white Zimbabwians as descendants of Ian Smith and the "kith and kin" generation. The communist Mugabi would have struck a chord with ex-commie Reid and all whites would have been seen as brutal oppressors.
The reality now is that Mugabi and a few cronies live the life of Riley while the majority, black and white must long for the colonial past.
As Mark Coleman has said: if he returns to Zimbabwe, he would be beaten to a pulp and sent off for "re-education". That happens to people, white or black who try to leave the country. Of course he should be allowed to stay here.

Karswell said...

The fact that the bloke is white could be relevant if he is likely to be subject to racial discrimination in Zimbabwe - I don't know the answer to this but someone else might.

Anonymous said...

I think some of your correspondents are missing the point completely here. The Racist regime is Mugabe's. The whites are being persecuted because of the colour of their skin, he is also quite happy to persecute members of other minority tribal groups. Mugabe's survival is only ensured by Western lack of interest (no oil) and the fact that the Chinese are buying up the natural resources of the bankrupt state. He is entitled to asylum, and we have a duty to our kith and kin. I will link happily

Anonymous said...

What he should have said, that he is a brazilian Gay with a dodgy Portugese passport, and hangs out with dodgy polititions.
Would have been made more than welcome.

Anonymous said...

Not accusing anyone of racism but let's be honest, if this chap was a black muslim fleeing somewhere like Darfur, Iraq or Somalia no one would give a toss.

Except maybe Michael Howard, which wouldn't be much help..

machiavelli said...

You're so right Iain - my partner and I fought a long hard battle with Immigration; they wanted to refuse him leave to remain because an Immigration Officer once put a wrong stamp in his passport 6 years ago, even though this hadn't been a problem during previous renewals.

The only way we managed to sort it out in the end was by phoning up the officials and asking them if they'd like me to transfer the call to my boss (let's just say they still remember him at the Home Office). That got them to sort it out in 24 hours - after a year of trauma and upheaval.

It's such a pity that it took threats to get these cretins to do their job; my own (Lib Dem) MP was less than useless in dealing with the situation.

It seems that IND just go after whoever is easiest to find (i.e. those who should be here but may have filled in the wrong form, or were the victims of Royal Mail) rather than those who they should be after.

machiavelli said...

anonymous 1:14 -
The more gay Brazilians here the better; at least they're easy on the eye!

jane said...

the Home Office record on Zimbabweans is disgraceful. but I did have former constituents who were white Zimbabweans who refused to apply for asylum because they felt (and told me) that as white poeple this would be impossible and inappropriate for them. He should get asylum.

Anonymous said...

So is Iain saying that anyone who has grandparents who were born in the Commonwealth should take precedence over other asylum seekers and have automatic entry?

If that is the case then surely there would be millions in Zimbabwe (black and white)who would be elible to come and live in the UK. Let alone any other commonwealth country which has internal problems.

I really don't think we should have a point system based on your colour and what your parents did in the war!

verity said...

If he were black and had AIDS, he'd be helped up onto the gravy train.

Sorry, all you people with such fine sensibilities, but it was the whites who turned Zimbabwe into a rich, productive, multi-racial paradise. Any pre-Mugabe Zimbabwean will tell you how little racism there was and how every mixed around and went to each other's parties and met each other for drinks. Mugabe changed all that and persecuted the whites. They have a moral right to refuge in the land of their fathers. What a tragedy it would be if someone arranged to have Mugabe assassinated. Or we could have another international show trial, now the Saddam show's over.

Anonymous said...

Hold on a minute let's be absolutely clear here. Mugabe is no different to Saddam. Comrade Bob is suspected of crimes against humanity down in the Matabeleland. This is why he clings to office so he continues to enjoy immunity from criminal charges. No doubt the odious toad would like to move to France or the UK but thanks to universal jurisdiction he is out of luck.

His regime practices widespread systematic acts of violence against its opponents. There is no rule of law - the Chief Justice was hounded out of office - and court judgments are ignored. There have no been free and fair elections for years. The so called "army veterans" kill, rape and loot with impunity. In short it is little better than Somalia and it must be virtually impossible to claim as the Home Office is doing that it is safe to send someone back there, whatever their skin colour.

Andrew Woodman said...

I wondered when I read this how may people would read white and then shout racist inspite of it being obvious why it's relevant. I do hope Boris wins with this. Surely there is room for common sense in government.

Anonymous said...

Iain is correct to mention that he is white, because it means he will be in particularly mortal danger if he returns to Zimbabwe - which is something that should have been taken in to account in the asylum decision. In all other respects colour is not of relevance.

Kim du Toit said...

Coleman's being White has everything to do with what he faces back in Zimbabwe.

The plain fact of the matter is that when Coleman is deported back to Zimbabwe, he will face a life of persecution because he is White. Anyone who attempts to deny this is either naive or an outright liar.

Compare this with treatment given by the British Government to refugees from other countries, whose stories of "oppression" are not only undocumented and in many cases fabricated; yet they are allowed to stay in Britain willy-nilly.

It's also a fact that the British government treats White Rhodesians spitefully, in a spirit of "well, they brought it on themselves with UDI, and now they can live with the consequences".

In terms of the contrast, it's hard to ascribe their behaviour to anything else.

Anonymous said...

The fact that he is white is actually quite important, as Mugabe's regime actively discriminates against, tortures and sometimes kills, white people. It should be noted, of course, that plenty of other people are treated the same in Zimbabwe, but more for their political opinions rather than the colour of their skin.

Anonymous said...

If only that Mrs Thatcher hadn't handed Rhodesia over to that murdering scumbag Mugage none of this would be happening. Ah I remember in 1978 when the Tories promised, 'We will be standing by our kith and kin' Tories couldn't trust them then, can't trust 'em now'

Little Black Sambo said...

Zimbabwean, Rhodesian, or whatever he is, Mark Coleman is British, culturally, racially and through his family, so he should have the right to stay here. Why should "kith & kin" not matter.
Compare Mr Coleman with a "fellow"-Zimbabwean called Stalin Mau Mau, one a group of Mugabe's thugs who, tired of killing white farmers, was given asylum in Britain - asylum, that is, from the desolation he and his friends have created. Recently he was running a supermarket in Leigh-on-Sea.

Rocinante said...

This may be stating the obvious to your US readers, but may not have occurred to those in UK: get this man a plane ticket to Mexico. Then he's a short walk through the desert across a virtually uncontrolled border into the Land of the Free.

Also, has some kind of fund been set up to help him defray his legal costs and how do we contribute?

Anonymous said...

I really don't think we should have a point system based on your colour and what your parents did in the war!

I do. Well, not the colour part - that's only relevant if we're considering whether the gentleman in question is going to face racial persecution in Zimbabwe - but I would call "what your parents did in the war" very relevant.

I would place people who have given honourable military service in wartime, either in the British Army or those who fought alongside us, right at the top of the immigration list. Their children come next.

No, this isn't a race thing either - we have treated the Gurkhas shamefully, and were I to be Prime Minister, I wouldn't stand for it.

no longer anonymous said...

"Wait a minute, silly me, he's white, that's the difference isn't it."

What's wrong with the idea that people with British ancestry i.e. their recent ancestors were British citizens, can qualify for British citizenship? It's no different to the system the Germans have.

Anonymous said...

Tories in favour of asylum seekers ? What is the world coming to? Oh, but he's white. That makes it OK.

Guessedworker said...

It is high time for white self-loathers and swallowers of Marxist philosophy everywhere to ask themselves why they love the sound of this word "racist" so very, very much.

My theory is that they love it because they can employ it to force us to agree with them, and that placates their sense of self-loathing.

The worst of it is these defectives have power, and are capable of destroying, indeed WILL destroy if they possibly can, the career of anyone who thows their little defamations back at them.

Thus Ian has to dash out a quick "I'm no racist" line. In Islam they call it dhimmitude. In Gramscism its "captured intellect". However you name it there is evil in it, and there is cowardice.

I am a Conservative/nationalist blog owner and a man of private means, and no one can destroy my career for a minor slip from perfect "correctness". So here's my view of the Coleman affair:-

Mark is not just white. He is one of us, one of our kith and kin. We have a natural obligation to one another that we do not have to non-kin. It is an obligation usually characterised as reciprocal altruism. It is, fundamentally, acceptance in our house.

In contrast, we are under much less, and perhaps no, obligation to non-kin. The two are not morally comparable.

Nature has no Marxist scruple. Neither is she vulnerable to manufactured political outrage. Let us have courage sufficient to be true to our natures. Help those close to us, who will help us back - as family do.

Anonymous said...

This 'government' has been trying to kick people out of this country for years now to make their figures look good. Not just back to Zimbabwe, also try Iraq. I know of a case where the person concerned would have been killed had they gone back because of their political beliefs.

What Mugabe has done in Zimbabwe is nothing short of scandalous. The country is in ruins and many thousands are dead. The average age of death is now the mid 30s - I think the lowest in the world. But the UN and everyone else ignore the genocide going on. Why? Sadly I think oil might have something to do with it. Plus it's 'just' Africa and most inhabitants are black so frankly nobody really gives a damn.

Yes something has to be done about it but there are some like South Africa who stand back and watch this all going on, on their doorstep.

10 years or so ago Zimbabwe was thriving. I hope in my lifetime it might be thriving again.

jc said...

Unfortunately there are hundreds of cases like this. Personally I would be in favour of much more relaxed immigration controls but hat does not find favour with the Daily Mail etc. So we end up with people like the man mentioned who dont fit the rules but really should be allowed to stay.

Anonymous said...

No doubt being white in Zimbabwe may mean that the person in question may face difficuly. However there are many more black Zimbabweans who have being persecuted by Mugbabe. Also I would suspect that the white Zimbabwean lives on average are still somewhat more comfortable on average than the average black Zimbabwean.

As for being white or having British ancestary - then does that mean we have an obligation to those people who live in the US and Australia who's ancestors moved many centuries ago? Again - as for the war - well there are probably millions of Indians, Chinese, Americans, Russians, Australians, Canadians,New Zealanders and South Africans among many other countries who had grandparents who fought for the Allies.

As far as I can see if your grandparents weren't even born in the UK, let alone your parents or yourself then you can hardly be considered British. Once you have left this shores and taken nationality elsewhere then you are no longer British nor your subsquent children.

His case should be treated like any other asylum seeker.

towcestarian said...

I have a close relative who used to work in the immigration department of the Home Office. One of the reasons he left was because from the mid 90's the place became full of lefties who would bend over backwards to give whites of colonial descent a hard time in these type of cases.

Philipa said...

towcestarian - interesting post!

And Bojo's blog post on immigration law can be found here

permanentexpat said...

What a s**thole of a country...& I don't mean Zimbabwe.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Am looking forward to your coverage of a sample of the people who are not white who are in the same or probably rather worse situations than Mr Coleman. Farhat Khan's visit to Number 10 - and she has been to Buckingham Palace also - are on the Number 10 website. Cover that too please.

Steve & Celia Coleman said...

As the parents of Mark Coleman, may we thank all those people, including our daughter's MP Boris Johnson, for all their comments regarding Mark's situation. As background, three of our four parents (Mark's grandparents, now deceased) have held British passports, with his maternal grandmother holding an EU British passport, and the fourth, his paternal grandmother, an Irish passport. Both of our families are of British descent and in the case of Mark's mother can be traced back to 1160! Both our fathers were encouraged by the British Government of the time to settle in the then Southern Rhodesia. As a family we have always considered ourselves British by descent and all our traditions have been based on being English.

Finally we both have close relatives (1st cousins, nephews and nieces) living in England as British citizens.

Our hope is that Mark can regularise his position and continue to live in and contribute to England
Steve and Celia Coleman
Costa Rica
Central America

Get real said...

Okay, lets get some facts straight. The reason why Mark Coleman's race and parentage has been brought up is because he originally applied for British Citizenship under the "Ancestry" condition and was denied as neither of his parents were born on British soil, although some may argue that India (at the time) was considered to be British soil as it was a British colony. This is also the reason why his grandparents' history of fighting for this country has been brought up.
Secondly, as much as "Verity" would like to kid him/herself about the multi-racial paradise that Zimbabwe used to be, lets get real. Having grown up in Zimbabwe during the Ian Smith days and experienced the "whites only" areas and black neighbourhoods that ran riot in the country, and subsequently moved into one of the affluent white neighbourhoods soon after the 1980 independance, only to have all our white neighbours slowly trickle out of the neighbourhood into more expensive, more exclusive predominantly white neighbourhoods, I know this is not true.
And thirdly, the reason why Mark Coleman should be granted asylum by the British government (and I feel this way being a Black Zimbabwean who would probably be refused asylum!) is because he WILL be persecuted upon return to Zimbabwe on the basis of his failed asylum application, and this would happen whether he was black or white. Some may say it may even be worse if here were white, but as this has never happened to me, I am in no position to say.
So let's not lose sight of the bigger picture by getting bogged down in the nitty-gritty of the black and white argument.