The number of refugee children held in detention centres has doubled according to Home Office figures despite Nick Clegg’s pledge to end the practice he once called “state sponsored cruelty”.
60 children entered detention in the second quarter of 2012, a rise from 26 during the same period a year earlier. Whilst children are no longer officially held at the notorious Yarl’s Wood centre – though the Refugee Council have warned many children are wrongly classified as adults – children are now being held in slightly better conditions in smaller family detention centres. All Clegg has achieved in two years of government is slightly nicer prisons for even more children who have committed no crime.
Last year Nick Clegg said:
“This coalition government will once again restore a sense of decency and liberty to the way in which we conduct ourselves. That is why I can confirm that the government will make an announcement shortly about how we will deliver on our pledge to end child detention and to close the Yarl’s Wood detention centre for good.”
Yarl’s Wood hasn’t closed and child detention has doubled since he made that statement.
And yet still Clegg expects us to believe him on welfare cuts. Despite him saying he would block a further £10 billion cut from the welfare budget, then conceding he would only agree should their be a ‘mansion tax’, he has now rolled over once again. The cuts are going ahead and no new tax aimed at the rich is on the horizon.
Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith is launching digital identity cards by the back door as part of Universal Credit. The new benefit regime depends on a database which dwarfs the National Identity Register that Blair wished to introduce and the Lib Dems pretended to fight so hard against.
The Liberal Democrats in government have been neither liberal nor democratic, yet still the yellow slime in the party’s rank and file stay silent. Suicides, jailed children, raised tuition fees, unpaid labour, homelessness and disabled people forced into ever increasing poverty and isolation – these will be seen as the only legacies of the Lib Dems contribution to this filthy coalition.