Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter


The Fourth Reich in Little England

Yesterday, the ultimate in law-making. Declaring the truth not to be the truth. Declaring the lie to be the truth. The Rwanda Bill passed the House of Lords and the House of Commons, both under siege from a Conservative party desperately clutching at the straws of xenophobia and racism. Today, an aggressive increase in the amount the UK spends on its defence spending. Where will it end? Today Rwanda, tomorrow the world? There are echoes here somewhere, and I’m not the only one to put a finger on it.

Sunak is not even bending fact into a more manageable shape; he’s burning it up and throwing it into the air, his greying hair covered in the ashes of his promises to govern with integrity. Perhaps we’re all remembering incorrectly, and the UK wasn’t actually ever known for its compassion, tolerance, and caring. They were just illusions, and Sunak and his mob are finally pulling the mask of the misshapen behemoth the UK has always been. Imperialist expansion, supporession, genocide and murder. That’s the UK’s history in four bullet points. And that history is now and then, and before that.

It would appear that World War II was just a blip in the trajectory of the UK from totalitarianism under murderous kings and royal families to totalitarianism under murderous prime ministers and the Conservative party. World War II when a, by all accounts blood-thirsty and racist, career politician decided he would try to stem the tide of fascism coming across the Channel from Germany. And aided in this heroic endeavour by the US. Perhaps he was just worried that he wouldn’t be able to implement his very own style of fascism. But that cynical view of mine doesn’t accord with how instrumental he was in creating the European Court Of Human Rights, the ECHR, that essential guardian of human rights. No, that war was a blip, and Churchill’s actions thereafter were briefly altruistic before he went about dismantling the rights of everyone abroad who wasn’t white.

And now we’re here, in the UK, either the largest outdoor lunatic asylum in Europe or the largest open-air prison in Europe (take your pick). Those of us who don’t have dual nationality with a European country can’t get out for any substantive amount of time. Those feeling conflict, persecution, murder, famine can’t even get in to claim asylum. The Rwanda Bill basically declares every asylum seeker, every refugee, an illegal entrant into this holy grail of a country. It breaks international law. It is not illegal to be an asylum seeker. It is not illegal to be a refugee. This government’s policy on immigration is inhuman, inhumane, and racist. The Conservative party is illegal, inhuman, and inhumane, and racist.

Was this country ever really a sanctuary for those in need? It seems to me we’ve been taught the wrong history. But then, what with the underfunding of Humanities education, that should be no surprise to anyone.

We should all be ashamed of what this government has been allowed to do with this country.

To paraphrase Shakespeare – This inspid throng of kings, this cesspit isle … this unhappy breed of thugs, this little world, this shitpile set in the sewage sea, which serves it in no way at all or as a stench offensive to the world, against the ridicule of happier lands … this cursed plot, this soiled earth, this shame, this England….

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