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So it’s wrong for Australia to send a British killer to UK, but OK for Britain to dump ISIS bride on Bangladesh?

Guy Birchall
Guy Birchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

Guy Birchall, British journalist covering current affairs, politics and free speech issues. Recently published in The Sun and Spiked Online. Follow him on Twitter @guybirchall

So it’s wrong for Australia to send a British killer to UK, but OK for Britain to dump ISIS bride on Bangladesh?
Hypocrisy alert! The UK mainstream media are unhappy Oz is sending a British-born murderer back home. How can they square this with backing for plan to impose Shamima Begum on Bangladesh, despite her never having been there?

It’s an unfortunate fact that living in a civilised country means that rights have to be extended to citizens, even if they are unpleasant.

This is why we in Britain now have the misfortune of having to put up with Christopher Clark Jones on our shores. Way back in 2005, Jones decapitated homeless 17-year-old Morgan Jay Shepherd near Brisbane, Australia and used his head “like a bowling ball”.

The barbarous thug was found, arrested, charged, convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment down under. Having served 15 years of that tariff, he has now been released and put on a plane back to Britain, where he was born. The judge revoked his visa on “character grounds”, which seems reasonable enough; a propensity for beheading homeless people does strike me as something of a character flaw.

Jones never took Australian citizenship; he moved there as a child, but has always been a UK citizen, so Australia is well within its rights to get shot of the murderer and send him back to us. He has not been “Dumped on Britain” as the Daily Mail has claimed. He is British, so if the Aussies have decided they don’t want to keep him, then unfortunately we have to have him. 

Double standards 

What the Mail appears to have forgotten is that it is entirely in favour of Britain dumping UK-born ISIS bride Shamima Begum on Bangladesh. This is a ludicrous double standard.

The cases are obviously different; Jones is a straightforward murderer whereas Begum is a terrorist and a traitor. However, isn’t it bafflingly inconsistent to object to Australia sending a British criminal back to the UK, but be in favour of palming Begum off on Bangladesh? 

Begum was born in London and as far as anyone is aware, has never been to Bangladesh. She does have a claim of citizenship in the country through her mother, but one can hardly blame the government in Dhaka for refusing to take her.

And yes, you could argue that Jones never took Australian citizenship or renounced his UK citizenship, whereas Begum did effectively renounce her British citizenship by pledging her allegiance to an organisation committed to establishing a global caliphate.

She is clearly being opportunistic in suddenly deciding she rather likes Britain after all, now that her Middle Eastern holiday has turned sour. So I do acknowledge that there is a strong feeling of “You’ve made your bed, now lie in it”. But even if this is the line of thought – and it is one I am very sympathetic to – it is wrong to expect Bangladesh to take her in.

Stripped of citizenship

British tabloids kicking off about Jones being sent back here “despite not living here since he was a child” don’t have a leg to stand on if they backed former Home Secretary Sajid Javid’sdecision to strip Begum of her UK citizenship and make her Bangladesh’s problem.

While I, and I’m sure most people, won’t be losing much sleep over the plight of a woman who committed herself to a medieval death cult, surely any objective person would have to conclude that the British government’s decision is little more than an attempt to dodge the real issue?

While you may agree that the British government was right to strip Begum of her citizenship, doing so on the basis that she is actually Bangladesh’s problem is a nonsense argument. She’s not Bangladeshi, and international law bans countries from rendering people “stateless”. You can regard this law as wrong, but that is not the UK’s position. So what this really amounts to is an attempt by the government to look like it is being tough on terrorists by outsourcing the problem. 

Begum should be charged with treason and, if convicted, jailed for life in Britain, and if the Conservative government actually wants to be tough on crime, that life sentence should mean more than 12 years before getting out on good behaviour. 

In other words, it should do its own dirty work and the media should stop running cover for this duplicitous move of claiming she is Bangladeshi.

Are Begum and Jones both despicable human beings? Yes, but they are Britain’s despicable human beings and the MSM has to accept that, or campaign to change international law. Any other position is at best intellectually dishonest and at worst nakedly craven.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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