Sometimes, it’s the small details that reveal the scale of the problem. Last week, it was revealed that a Dover branch of Domino’s was forced to close after Border Force officers ordered 700 pizzas to feed migrants who had crossed the Channel. On November 10, some 703 migrants landed on the Kent coast. The next day, there were a record 1,185 arrivals. Total cost of pizza: £7,000. That was on top of 3,000 chicken shish kebabs ordered from takeaway places across the county. Then, oh joy, up trundled two burger vans, apparently ordered by Border Force after migrants complained that the kebabs had been “cold”. Will you scream or shall I? I know, let’s do a group scream at the ingratitude and iniquity of it all.
A note on another £1,789 pizza order in October said: “Purchased by Clandestine Operational Response Team for use at Tug Haven, where we have migrants arriving on small boats.” Back in August 2020, Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, made Dan O’Mahoney the “Clandestine Channel Threat Commander”. The title sounded imposing, promisingly military. We were told Mr O’Mahoney was responsible for “making the Channel route unviable for small boat crossings” including stronger enforcement measures and “adopting interceptions at sea and the direct return of boats”. Terrific. As far as I can remember, there was no mention of authorising the purchase of several hundred Domino’s Stuffed Crusts.
When news of the pizza purchase was leaked, a source said that, in future, Border Force would be making payments for migrants’ food in amounts of £500 and under. Because those would not have to be disclosed. Presumably, it has occurred to the Clandestine Channel Threat Commander that the public would not be amused to learn how much of their money is being lavished on fast food while veterans who sleep on our streets have to rely on soup kitchens for sustenance and, every day now, anxious people are calling their energy provider to check that their horrendous gas bill is correct. (It is.) There will be no Domino’s this winter for those families. They can’t afford it because they’re not asylum seekers; they just live here.
Almost 25,000 economic migrants, or “asylum seekers”, have made that Channel crossing so far this year. And how many have been sent back? Five. Not 500, not 50. Five. It beggars belief.
The broken asylum system costs more than £1 billion a year. The latest Home Office figures show that even before the recent arrivals, 125,000 cases were being considered. Of those, 5,900 were awaiting the outcome of a never-ending legal appeal (what Ms Patel calls “the merry-go-round”), with around 39,500 waiting to be deported. In 2013, some 47,000 failed asylum seekers and foreign criminals were deported. This dropped to a low of 8,000 last year. Mind you, that looks positively competent compared to 2021’s grand total of five. With the asylum process in meltdown and migrants being schooled to game the system, I think it’s becoming pretty clear that it is the British people who are, in a very real sense, the Stuffed Crust.
What is astonishing, apart from the pizza bill, is that this serious threat to national security is presented as if it were merely a political embarrassment or an issue of migrant welfare. The Labour Party, which should be defending the interests of the poor who bear the brunt of immigration in the shape of overcrowded housing, schools and hospitals, is about as much use as a chocolate Santa in a smelting furnace. The Government may be all at sea (sadly not in a gunboat), but at least its stated aim is to deter economic migrants. Labour says it wants to create “safe routes”, that is to actually facilitate the traffic from France. This week, Shadow Home Secretary, Nick Ungoed-Thomas, accused Priti Patel of “dangerous incompetence” saying, “We’ve seen a 292 pc increase in people risking their lives in small boats crossing the Channel.”
Seriously, that’s what Labour thinks is the danger here. Migrants risking their lives? What about the potential risk to British men, women and children posed by young guys from Iraq, Syria and Iran who destroy their documents deliberately to make it harder to challenge their status as refugees? Young guys who have probably seen that advert posted on Instagram by people-smugglers promising that if they convert to Christianity when they get to the UK they can win asylum “in the shortest possible time with the lowest possible cost”. They can even expect assistance, as The Telegraph has revealed, from gullible clergymen who christen wolves when they should be ministering to their flock.
All I can say is the Home Office must have breathed a huge sigh of relief last week when a failed asylum seeker and Christian convert by the name of Emad Al Swealmeen blew himself up. Iraqi-born Swealmeen, who had his claim rejected in 2014 but still managed to be in the country seven years later, was just minutes away from causing carnage, either at the Remembrance Day service at Liverpool Cathedral or at a maternity hospital. It was possibly only a malfunctioning detonator, not border security or the asylum system, which kept scores of new mothers and babies safe. We should, I think, have been far more upset about that near-miss. Outraged, in fact, that a would-be mass murderer pulled the wool over the eyes of officials while spending money the UK so generously gave him on a cake-decorating course. Did they teach him to make bombe Alaska?
It keeps on happening. In 2017, a bomb on a District Line train at Parsons Green injured 30 people. The bomber was Ahmed Hassan, an Iraqi asylum seeker who arrived in the UK in 2015 claiming to be under 18. At a 2016 immigration interview, Hassan told officials he had been in contact with Islamic State and was trained to kill. Despite this slightly worrying admission, while his asylum application was being processed, Hassan was placed in foster care.
In 2020, three men enjoying a picnic in a park in Reading were stabbed to death by Khairi Saadallah, an asylum seeker from Libya who had avoided deportation from the UK five times using £107,000 in legal aid to do so. The Reading jihadist was a Christian convert – of course he was. Faking a faith is standard practice to persuade officials that you’ve “assimilated”.
Need I go on? The safety of the public, which should be the Government’s priority, is put at risk every single day with thousands of unknowns scrambling onto the Kent coast. Undoubtedly, many will be decent people seeking a better life for themselves. But it only needs one member of Isis to cause devastation.