SO Priti Nasty Patel is thinking about using a Scottish island as a “holding pen” for asylum seekers coming to the UK?
The Jouker got to thinking what island she could have in mind, and since we have 900-plus islands off our shores and plenty more in our lochs, Priti Nasty has got a lot to choose from.
Purely as a service to the Queen of the Hostile Environment, here’s a few islands we think she should visit before making her decision, if only to rule them out.
Let’s start with the furthest out, namely Rockall. Wee problem here is the Republic of Ireland also claims this uninhabited and uninhabitable islet just 100ft (30m) wide and 70ft ( 21m) high. Probably not worth starting a fight with Dublin, so we can leave that off the list.
St Kilda was inhabited for centuries until its few remaining residents famously left en masse in 1930. At least there’s a military presence already there and we all know how much this Tory Government loves threatening to get the army involved in things.
Main trouble is that St Kilda is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and its former President Neil Oliver isn’t around to fix it for his Unionist pals. Oh, and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and we don’t think the United Nations would be too happy to have the archipelago used to house asylum seekers.
If she’s checking on the Outer Hebrides, Priti Nasty should be aware that certain localities are very hot on doing nothing but pray on a Sunday, so they couldn’t provide the 24-7 service she is looking for.
Shetland has to be ruled out because if you believe the Unionist press, the islands want independence from Scotland never mind the UK, and at 6.5 miles across the Pentland Firth at its narrowest, Orkney is probably a bit too close to the mainland for the kind of people who have trekked thousands of miles and dinghied their way 20-odd miles across the English Channel.
Mull, Arran and Bute are full of the friendliest people imaginable and would be great hosts for asylum seekers, but those islanders are also just not prepared to be pushed around, so possibly best not to go there, Ms Patel.
The Bass Rock was often used as a prison over the centuries, and Hamish MacPherson will soon be telling its extraordinary story, and in any case, there’s about 150,000 gannets on the island and they would love to dump a ton of guano on any Minister spoiling their peace.
So the message to Priti Nasty is this – keep your ‘holding pen’ well away from Scotland. In fact, there’s a perfectly good ‘isle’ not far from Westminster that would surely satisfy – the Isle of Dogs. All those Tory bankers and meejah types on Canary Wharf will surely back the Home Secretary should she choose their backyard, wouldn’t they?