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The fundamental thing about human rights is that it is right they apply to all humans equally.

The clue is in the name: the right to life, the right to live free of slavery, the right to protection of the law. And, regardless of where we’re born, they apply to all of us.

It is by definition wrong to apply those rights unequally, or to say that you can have them only if a politician of some sort finds it convenient.

People find it surprisingly easy to forget that it is inhuman to treat humans like their rights are wrong.

“Well, some humans are less human than others” ( PA)

Last year, 28,431 people crossed the English Channel in dangerous, unseaworthy boats. Who they were, and how valid their claims for asylum may be, has yet to be released.

But we do know that the year before, 8,500 people arrived in the same fashion. Of these, about three quarters were young men, as the trope goes “of fighting age”. They were predominantly Afghans and Syrians, and therefore running away from being forced into fighting for the Taliban, or conscripted into the armed forces of Bashar al-Assad.

If you believe they should ‘stay in their own country and fight’, you might want to consider the fact that male life expectancy in both those places is dropping like a stone, regardless of which side they become military slaves for. That may be why walking thousands of miles, getting in a leaky boat when you can’t swim, and dealing with Priti Patel, all seems like an absolute joy by comparison.

We also know that the latest analysis shows 77% of them were likely to be genuine asylum seekers. I say ‘likely’ because it takes up to 3 years to have an asylum case resolved, so because the Home Office is in such a mess we’re not going to know the truth about the people who crossed today until 2025.

The Home Office: so many things to fix, so she breaks something else instead ( REUTERS)

Today, charities – not Lefty lawyers, not activists, actual charities – are going to court arguing it is illegal to send the first 31 of these people to Rwanda to have their asylum claims processed.

If, as seems probable, 77% of them are later judged to be genuine asylum seekers with a solid claim for coming to live in the UK, they will only be allowed to live in Rwanda.

The charities are arguing this is the illegal bit, along with breaking dozens of international treaties, conventions, and declarations Britain has ratified and signed up to since 1947 when it had a hand in writing the UN Declaration on Human Rights, which is the basis for all of them. We later codified them into our own law, called the Human Rights Act.

And as the head of our government said this morning: “It is the job of government to stop people breaking the law.”

The trouble is, that head of government is Boris Johnson, who’s just been fined by the police for breaking the law, and been found by his own civil servant to have presided over a culture of law-breaking, and who appears to have slightly more human rights and brass neck than most of us. Now his MPs are calling for all the human rights and anti-slavery laws to be changed for everyone else, so no-one can say it’s illegal to do previously-illegal things to illegal immigrants.

Illegality seems to matter more when it’s not the Prime Minister doing it ( James Veysey/REX/Shutterstock)

The only problem with that, is those people in small boats weren’t illegal until April 22 this year, when the Nationality and Borders Bill received Royal Assent, making it a criminal offence to enter the country without approval. Those being sent abroad for being illegal probably came months or years before it was a crime.

The word ‘illegal’ only came into use because there were ‘legal routes’ that weren’t taken, such as visas, and applications filed abroad. As proven by the Afghan evacuation, and the Ukrainian scheme, the ‘legal routes’ are a disgusting spaghetti of inhumanity and incompetence. You might as well ask the cat to let you in, and a cynic might suggest that 12 years of Tory government made it that difficult for a reason.

The problem today’s government would have in repealing even a tiny clause in the Human Rights Act or anti-slavery laws would be that it does not have control of 41% of its MPs, or Theresa May who got some of this legislation passed in the first place. Throw in the House of Lords and a former barrister specialising in human rights leading the Opposition, and processing asylum claims in Rwanda is as likely to happen as the sun rising in the west.

But this is being done precisely because it won’t happen. And the more it doesn’t happen, the happier the Tories will be.

Fleet Street Fox

So far, Priti Patel has handed the Rwandan government £120m. That is just the first instalment, and to it must be added the costs she always knew would be attached, for government lawyers and High Court judges to spend weeks if not years arguing with lawyers funded by Legal Aid, because the people whose lives are at stake are the poorest, most traumatised, and mistreated in the entire country.

It’s worth pointing out, some of those taking legal action against the government include the PCS union representing border force staff, who aren’t renowned for being liberal wets. And as part of this deal, we agreed to take a proportion of vulnerable refugees from Rwanda – all funded by the taxpayer.

Your money is not being spent on a policy, because it will never be enacted. It is not being spent on breaking the people traffickers’ business model, because the slave traders will get double bubble for ferrying them back again. Even the racists will end up disappointed, because the price of exporting brown-skinned people is importing more of them.

Instead the government is spending the price of a new hospital on making you have an argument with your neighbour, because that’s how it got elected last time and it sees no reason not to do it again.

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We remove human rights from people who do bad things. We lock them up, we seize their passports, we even subject them to watching ex-Home Secretaries galumph about on Strictly Come Dancing and pretending they’re lovely people on the inside.

But even high security prisoners are allowed to work and earn cash. Child murderers are granted the human right of seeing whatever loved ones are left to them. Drug dealers manage to run their entire network from one cell phone hidden in the bogs on ‘C’ wing. In this country, it is only asylum seekers banned, by order of the government, from earning or paying tax, or from being able to continue their family relationships and businesses.

The migrants who ARE illegal are the ones who overstay their visas, and there’s 10 times as many of them as there are people on boats in the Channel. But we don’t argue about, or even notice, those, so Priti sees no point in spending £120m on fixing it. She’s spending cash not on making things better, but on making angry headlines.

Your government wants to make it easier for people to become slaves, because it thinks you’d vote for that. While you argue about that, Afghan interpreters who risked their lives for British soldiers and have been abandoned by our government will drown in the Channel, because they still had enough faith in us to ask for our help.

Whatever your politics, the only thing to call that is a human wrong. It’s on the voter to fix it.