RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Priti Patel's plan to tackle migrants

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Hi-de-Hi, Hi-de-Ho, it’s back to France we go! Priti Patel’s plan to tackle migrants crossing the Channel illegally is long overdue… I also fear it is doomed to failure

Priti Flamingo’s radical plan to disperse to a third country thousands of migrants crossing the Channel illegally has already started to unravel.

The Home Secretary wants the claims of asylum seekers arriving here by dinghy or in the back of a lorry to be processed outside mainland Britain.

Yesterday, however, she suffered a setback when Gibraltar and the Isle of Man rejected out of hand suggestions that they could host temporary detention centres.

Remote British dependencies such as St Helena and the Ascension Islands in the South Atlantic have already been ruled out as impracticable.

That leaves the Government searching for alternative locations. Turkey has been mooted as one country which could agree to receive asylum seekers from Britain.

Britain’s Secretary of State for the Home Department Priti Patel speaks during a parliament session at the House of Commons in London, Britain March 15, 2021

Even if a multi-million-pound deal can be struck with somewhere like Turkey, the plan still faces potentially insurmountable obstacles.

Priti is to be congratulated for coming up with an imaginative solution to the migrant crisis. For far too long, Britain has been seen around the world as a soft touch.

The claims of many of those arriving here are without any merit whatsoever. Yet attempts to deport them to ‘safe’ countries they have travelled through before reaching our shores are thwarted by the courts time and again.

Once they set foot on British soil, they’re not only here for good, they enjoy access to a panoply of taxpayer-funded benefits, from free accommodation to legal aid. Why wouldn’t they chance it?

Even if countries such as France and Italy agreed to take them back — which they won’t, especially in the EU’s current post-Brexit spirit of vindictiveness against Britain — the Government would still face the wrath of our own burgeoning yuman rites industry, the BBC, the Labour Party and the usual rent-a-gob Guardianistas, who think we owe the world a living.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers following a small boat incident in the Channel, March 8

A man is brought in to Dover, Kent, by Border Force officers following a small boat incident in the Channel. March 8

Priti’s plan to restrict vexatious last-minute judicial reviews and impose exemplary sentences on people-smugglers is welcome, as well as long overdue. I also fear it is doomed to failure.

Nice try, but nothing will change until the Government pulls us out of the pernicious European Convention on Human Rights.


Meanwhile, if her commendable campaign to discourage groundless asylum applicants from coming here in the first place is to succeed, she will have to find somewhere else to process those who make it across the Channel.

Ideally, somewhere which will deter them from settling in Britain permanently.

By George, I think I’ve got it. One of the worst holidays I ever had was at Center Parcs. It made five years in Colditz feel like a fortnight on Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island.

With the imminent introduction of Vaccine Passports, there’s going to be a mad dash for foreign holidays very soon. Last year’s Summer of Staycations will be but a distant memory. That spells bad news for our homegrown seaside resorts, which had been among the few beneficiaries of the ban on overseas travel.

Why waste millions sending migrants abroad when Priti could house them at British holiday camps? If that doesn’t put them off, nothing will. She could start with Maplins, at Crimpton-on-Sea, Essex . . .

Good morning, inmates. Sorry, I mean campers. Hi-de-Hi!


Oh, dear. When I go ‘Hi-de-hi!’, you have to go ‘Hi-de-Ho!’. Let’s try again.



That’s better. Hang on, I’ve forgotten my signature tune.

Bong, bing, bong!

Migrants wait to disembark a Border Force vessels at Dover Port in Dover, Britain, 13 August 2020

Lovely, tidy, smashing. This is your Chief Yellowcoat Gladys Pugh welcoming you to Maplins Asylum Processing Centre. Maplins is an equal opportunities detention facility and we especially welcome economic migrants pretending to be fleeing persecution and war zones.



Time to rise and shine. It’s 4am and all campers are required to assemble in the children’s soft play area for intimate cavity searches conducted by our Chalet Maid Peggy Ollerenshaw.

Peggy will also be assisting our Ballroom Dancing Instructor Barry in checking temperatures and administering mandatory Covid-19 tests, because his wife Yvonne is having another one of her headaches. Today, we shall be using rectal thermometers. Please assume the position when instructed.

More from Richard Littlejohn for the Daily Mail…



After testing, all campers must report to Nurse Sylvia at the First Aid Clinic for vaccination. She’s not really a nurse, but never misses an opportunity to put on the uniform, the hussy.

Unfortunately, inoculations are only available on a first-come-first-served basis and we regret we are unable to offer a choice of vaccines, as supplies of both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs have been held up on the Continent.

After vaccination, campers will be issued with one-size-fits-all orange jump suits, which must be worn at all times.

Once these formalities have been completed, culturally appropriate breakfasts will be served in the Egyptian Restaurant.

The Full English is off the menu, but there will be a selection of congealed fried eggs and baked beans — including cold, lukewarm and burn-the-roof-of-your-mouth-off.



Breakfast will be followed by P.E. and a ten-mile cross-country run, which should be a piece of pickle for those of you who have trekked here on foot across mountains and deserts.

Before we commence our programme of entertainment, I have a few very important announcements. You will find a full list of rules pinned to the noticeboard in the Moroccan Lounge. If you don’t speak English, tough. Translations are not available.

Smoking is not permitted anywhere on this camp, and that includes hookah pipes.

Mobile telephones will be confiscated and anyone wanting to phone home or call their lawyer can do so from the payphone next to the Hawaiian Pavilion, at a cost of £5 per minute.

Unfortunately, there will be no Glamorous Granny Contest today, on account of the fact that there aren’t any grannies staying at Maplins this week.

Actually, there aren’t any women at all, so the Bathing Beauty Contest is a non-starter, too.



The Bouncy Castle and the Children’s Adventure Playground are also off-limits while investigations are carried out into the ages of campers claiming to be unaccompanied minors. Some of you look at least 30, and several have beards.

We regret that this evening’s Comedy Extravaganza has been cancelled, as has our Camp Host and compere, Ted Bovis, following a Twitter storm.

His material has been condemned as sexist, homophobic, colonialist and racist, especially his remarks about Meghan Markle, and he is currently helping police with their inquiries.

Our resident comic Spike Dixon’s famous Shirley Bassey impersonation has also been ruled racist and transphobic.

I should point out, too, that Maplins operates a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. So if Peggy turns up in your cell — sorry, chalet — at three o’clock in the morning, please don’t hesitate to press the panic button at the side of your bed.

Tomorrow, our Entertainment Manager, Professor Jeffrey Fairbrother, will begin processing your asylum applications. Anyone attempting to escape will be shot.

We sincerely hope you won’t enjoy your stay at Maplins. Those inmates who wish to check out early are free to do so. Lorries are standing by at the main gate to transfer you to Dover, where you can board the first dinghy to Sangatte. Missing you already…


Hi-de-Hi, Hi-de-Ho, it’s back to France we go!

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