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Camden New Journal - COMMENT
Published: 7 February 2008
Zarine’s deportation case just isn’t fashionable

SHE is not an important public figure.
If she is deported, who will make waves about her?
The fact is Zarine Rentia is 15, and in the eyes of the box-tickers who inhabit the world of civil servants, perhaps these thoughts went through their minds when a decision had to be made about whether she should be thrown out of this country.
Civil servants aren’t simply heartless automatons.
They are trained to go by the book. Laws and rules govern their lives.
In today’s climate where immigration is high up on the agenda of politicians, put there largely by the shrieking headlines of the tabloids and the 60-second TV news slots, every case involving an appeal against deportation faces a mountainous climb.
The case of the African Watford Football Club player, Al Bangura, who faced deportation must have been a bit ticklish for our mandarins because it was attracting support from thousands of Watford fans as well as the sports pages of the tabloids, and perhaps inevitably he was given a reprieve.
But young Zarine, by comparison, must have been considered a nobody – and who cares about nobodies?
Any sensible person would accept that borders have to be controlled. But immigration should be controlled sensibly.
Britain has a rich history of absorbing people seeking asylum. And remember waves of immigrants in the past have enriched both our economy, our culture as well as the mores of our society.
But the fact is that Britain, as a member of the EU, has lost real control over its borders.
Driven by neo-liberal policies, and the need, therefore, to keep wages down, the EU’s policies, in effect, have unlocked the borders of its member states.
In the past two years, the EU’s diktat, in effect, has held sway over our politicians and therefore our sovereignty.
That means there’s an open-door policy for EU members. And a closed one for, in the main, members of the Commonwealth.
The fact that tens of thousands of Commonwealth men perished in the Second World War fighting alongside our armed forces for a common cause, means nothing today for politicians who have no sense of history and no wish to take decisions that threaten their careers.
Some may have thought that because of Zarine’s serious medical condition a stay of execution would be made.
But at times the eyes of politicians are blind and their ears are stopped up.
And this is one of them.

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.

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