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What's the first word that comes to mind when somebody says "Rwanda"? Africa? Hot? Genocide?

It is with those words in mind, particularly the last one, that I was rather mystified by the British government describing Rwanda as a safe place to dump asylum seekers.

Unfortunately for the Tories, their plan to announce to great fanfare the booting out of loads of skanky unwanted foreigners, which just happened to coincide with a period right before local elections, hit a bit of a snag.

Basically, if one treats people like shit, they should expect to be called out on it.

But this corrupt government, rather than accepting that the plan was bad and that really something different needs to be done, is instead lashing out at every critic. The archbishops should shut up and mind their own business. The UN, why are we still funding it? (didn't Trump try that ruse?) We want to ditch the ECHR that we helped set up.

So let's look at a few things. The general perception, reading the Daily Mail comments, is that these people illegally enter the country and they get housing and benefits and mobile phones and...
My first question would be "Why?". I don't want to sound harsh, but if any part of that is true (especially given that there are quite a few homeless natives around), then it really ought to be obvious why everybody wants to come to the UK.

But here we reach a massive hulking roadblock. The idea that everybody wants to go to the UK is a British idea. A little under thirty thousand illegal migrants made their way to Britain last year. The place is being overrun. Overrun, I tell you.

Except, in 2021 France delivered 733,069 visas, which was 2.3% higher than the previous year. Germany takes around 400,000. Spain about 350,000, and Italy just under 300,000. And the UK loses it over a value that isn't even a six digit number if you add together the last five years.

Next, it is worth pointing out that according to the CPS website, the decisions of the EHCR are not binding upon the courts of England and Wales. It is binding on EU member states, and in some British law where the UK and EU legislation is identical, but since leaving the EU, it's generally not binding.
Furthermore, the ECHR did not outright block deporting immigrants. It simply stated that the process of British law should be followed through with the people concerned present, because we all know that the miserable excuse of a Home Secretary would never voluntarily bring anybody back.

Of the two hundred migrants supposed to leave on that flight, the final... what was is, seven? The final seven were given a stay by the ECHR. The other hundred and ninety three were dealt with by the local British courts. So if you want to look at it like that, the EU's great interference in British sovreignty saved about 4% of the migrants. The country's own legal system saved the other 96%.

Which, really, ought to be setting alarm bells ringing as to the government's concept of how to treat people. You'd have thought that proper planning would have been made, and everything would have been set up to efficiently process people, determine that they don't have the right to stay in the UK, so on the plane with you, enjoy the sunny Rwandan sunsets.

But, alas, no. This was a hastily cobbled together diversion to make people forget about Partygate and the mishandling of the pandemic and the economy, and the shocking jump in electricity prices and the inflation that the Bank of England now suspects is going to hit 11%, and that people are starting to go on strike... it's the potential beginning of the meltdown... and rather than make any concrete moves to rein things in, this right wing government thinks that the best talking point is to complain about the thousands of immigrants, hundreds arriving by the day, and how they should be dumped in middle-Africa. Anywhere but here, but I suspect Rwanda is the only place that accepted the bribe. It's an expensive (£120,000,000 to Rwanda, and something like £500,000 per flight) diversion to make it look like...
...I wanted to write Frau Patel, but that's actually insulting to Germans who haven't been the enemy for over half a century, so... make it look like that infernal hell-bitch Home Secretary is getting something done about the migration. Instead of, you know, realising that there's a bunch of people who might be willing to pick the crops and drive the trucks and all the things that EU people used to come and do.
You know, before Westminster decided that making the country great again meant becoming a pariah state.

Amusingly, the UK no longer qualifies for the Dublin Convention, in that migrants are obliged to stay in their friendly EU country of entry in order to be processed and assessed. Because, well, it's an EU thing and the UK is no longer a part of the EU. So the government can't send them back to, say, Greece or Italy.
This is truly how one "takes back control" of their borders.
The European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights don't actually have anything to do with the European Union itself (neither does the Council of Europe, come to think of it), but decades of lies and bluster have muddied things up to the point where one only needs something to have the word "European" in it for a certain type of person to instantly see red. But by doing this, they have aided a corrupt government to kill the fundamental rights of movement (people, services, goods) between the UK and the EU, pretty much wrecked the EU market as far as UK businesses are concerned, are in the process of buggering up Northern Ireland's fragile peace process, and have pretty much lost control of the borders. Of an island.
But it's everybody else's fault.


To be fair to Rwanda, it now ranks as one of the best countries in Africa. It's still painfully poor (the majority live on less than $2 a day), but it has made massive advances since the bloodshed of the mid '90s.
Which, if nothing else, means it probably shouldn't be used as Britain's open-air prison.


My UnBirthday

Today I celebrate my UnBirthday. I did exactly nothing special, because it was overcast and 30°C outside.
The forecast is for it to be 36°C tomorrow, and 38°C on Saturday.

I want to go to a vide grenier in a nearby(ish) town on Saturday. It's supposed to be 30°C by 11am, so I think I ought to get up at my habitual time to be there for about 8 or 8.30, so I can be back home and cool come the blast of heat.
It is supposed to reach a peak of 38°C at 5pm, and plummet in the early hours to settle in the mid 20s from then onwards. I rather suspect Saturday night or early Sunday morning will be marked with some impressive thunderstorms.


I took some sweets in to work, as is normal. And had to explain all over again, many times, why I'm forty eight and a half. <sigh>
Is it really so hard? If you were a winter baby, you'll know... it's a pretty naff time to celebrate a birthday. At least, in the northern hemisphere.


Remember I was excited to see the cherry blossom? Well...

A cherry
A cherry that the birds haven't eaten...yet.

The metallic purple (lilac?) flower of the iceplant is looking quite radiant.

Iceplant flower
Delosperma Cooperi.

I've let the scented pea grow wild. It is self-sown, and this year seems to enjoy climbing what remains of the old electricity pole. The bees, butterflies, and hummingbird moth adore it.

Scented pea
Scented pea.

My potatoes seem to be doing well.

Photo by he who walks between the rows.

The adjoining field of wheat has turned brown literally overnight. You can see the farmer's new solar panels, that might be proving more useful than a field of crop in this weather. I hope the heat doesn't wreck the crop.

Fields of wheat
Fields of barley wheat.
The line of green through the middle is a field of maize. It's about a foot tall now.

My shallots have collapsed. This isn't the heat, they actually did this beforehand. I was sort of expecting them to flower or something. A woman at work said it's normal, just leave them in the ground until the leaves have turned completely brown, then harvest.


The melons are getting bigger. They'll have to pick up the pace to be ready in August!

Melon...and is that a weed I see?

Speaking of picking up the pace, my leeks are getting ever bigger. Well, so long as Anna doesn't go psycho and take a running jump into the giant playground that is <cough> the freaking vegetable patch, CAT! </cough>

(at least she doesn't treat it as a giant litter tray, there is that...)

And, finally, while the blossom on the apple that I have called GC-161 was really impressive, it coincided with a harsh frost which meant that most of the flowers failed to form apples. However, a few did survive. I'll need to see if I can figure out something to protect the apples from the wasps, who usually get there before I do.

The apple of my eye?

The other apple, the Bramley, failed to flower this year. Well, it has leaves so it isn't dead. If it wants to take some time to settle into it's new home, that's fine by me.


I'm going to water the garden now (it's brought up from a well so I'm not wasting anything from the public water supply) in preparation for tomorrow's heatwave, and then... I don't know. Something for dinner.

To be honest, I've not had much appetite since the deadly burger. And this heat isn't helping. I've been eating a lot of bowls of cereal. Plenty of Weetabix. People are like "oh, two Weetabix is good, three is a little too much". No, two is a child's breakfast. For me, it's quite easy. Put four Weetabix edge-on into the bowl, then break a fifth in half and put a half on each side. Then pour in about half a litre of milk to cover them. Go overboard with the milk, you'd be surprised how they soak it up. Then eat it. No honey, no sugar, for the love of god no chocolate. Just Weetabix, cold milk, and a spoon.

I might, however, go for a steak haché and mash ready meal. Just for a change. I'd really like pasta, but it's far too hot to be boiling stuff.

But, first, water the veg...



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David Boddie, 17th June 2022, 01:56
I found Weetabix to be inconsistent in recent times, with bits that are too cardboard-like for my liking. Maybe they export the lower grade stuff to Norway.
VinceH, 18th June 2022, 13:38
Weetabix was my family's most regular cereal when I was young. It was one for the younger members, two for the older members. As the oldest, I therefore got two. 
So, yes, one or two is for kids. I tend to only have a light breakfast (if any) so if I was to opt for Weetabix, I'd *probably* have three. It's hard to say, though; haven't touched them in years, so I can't remember how big or small they are, but I bet they're smaller than I remember (and/or may have reduced in size at some point), so that three might turn out to be four. 
I won't find out, though; cereal isn't my thing, other than the 'just add boiling water' porridge pots I keep handy for when I forget to buy other things. The next 'emergency' option before that is waffles (and beans) - I always keep waffles in the freezer. Otherwise, though, my normal breakfast when I bother is toast, and I'll sometimes add a fried egg (if I have any - I don't often buy eggs). More rarely, it's bacon, eggs, sausage, etc... (It's when I have a hankering for such that I buy eggs!) 
Rick, 18th June 2022, 14:54
I feel I should clarify... Breakfast is on workdays only, and it's Frosties (sugar rush!). 
The Weetabix I'm talking about is for dinner. Or sometimes lunch. 
I'm writing today's blog entry right now, and guess what's in a bowl beside me. ;)
VinceH, 19th June 2022, 01:31
Yes, you said dinner in the post. I said breakfast because that's when I used to have the 'bix as a kid and when I'd be most likely to now if I was to bother with cereal.
J.G.Harston, 20th June 2022, 00:14
Years ago I used to have Frosties for breakfast. The recommended servering barely covered my spoon. Fill the bowl, cover in milk, second bowl, nice bit of brekkie. I think I worked out I'd had six "bowls" as my normal breakfast. 
mmmm.... and the occassional treat: the last of the Frosties with the top of the milk. mmmmm.... I miss my green-top farm milk....

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