When mass deportation becomes an ordinary survey question.
Helen De Cruz

“no payment” and “all must leave” is justified because they are within the option set defined by current British political discussion,”

Mr Steel-Maitland gives a perfect example of the normalisation of inhuman, not to say fascist, policies that are more reflective of the narcissistic anger of the mob and demagogues, than a serious approach to the difficult questions we all face. He thus misses the very point that led the authors of “When mass deportation becomes an ordinary survey question” to write in the first place.

Opinion surveys of this type and indeed inchoate referenda are a danger to representative democracy. Complex discussion becomes impossible, experts are discredited and a dictatorship of the majority reigns supreme. It is not just that the Remain voters have lost the referenda but that they must be silenced and disappeared altogether from the current British political discussion. I sincerely hope that Messrs Corbyn and Starmer are deeply embarrassed at being prayed in aid of such alternatives.

Putting the proposition “all must leave” without explanation is almost mystical. As if by magic they will be gone. The reality of course would be much different. Leaving aside the morality for a moment, there would be enormous international consequences. Countries that would accept the unwilling return of alleged citizens would need to be found. The devolved assemblies would likely have different views and two at least would hardly cooperate with such lunacy. Damage to our standing in the UN would be near fatal. As well as the actions of potential deportees, community reaction needs to be considered. It would be likely to result in a considerable storm of protest against deportations, with dire consequences for public order. The practical demands on the police, the army and the immigration services would be enormous to the point of being unaffordable in both economic and democratic terms. The role of lengthy court proceedings would need to be considered, as well as outcomes overturning whatever cockeyed legislation underpinned deportation. I don’t know what kind of slimmed down “political discussion Mr Steel-Maitland has in mind but mine would actively include all of the above. Each of them could be a point of action against intolerance and cruelty,

Thank you for your article on how the unspeakable can slip so easily into “academic respectability”.

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