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You're hard.

Sajid Javid, Sajid Javid, you're hard, you're hard, Theresa May, Theresa May, you're hard as well.

Yes, belatedly, here's the Coastalblog take on the Shamima Begum farrago, not so much a hot take as a lukewarm one, I grant you, but what the hell. Now, I hate to be so predictably on-brand about this, but, as I'm sure you've already guessed, I tend towards the view that the whole thing's a misconceived pile of easily-avoided fuck-up with a nice cool glass of racism on the side.

It was when I noticed normally sane people starting to share Katie Hopkins videos that I realised that there was a disturbance in the force. Friends who I know to be mild-mannered and reasonable were quietly muttering about how she shouldn't be allowed back. What on Earth was going on? The facts of the case seemed pretty straightforward: idiot goes and joins ISIS, has a traumatic time of it, loses two children, figures baby number three will have a better shot back in the UK and says she wants to come back. Well, fair enough, she's a UK citizen after all. One who has, granted, associated willingly with terrorists capable of the most appalling acts of horror, but, as UK citizen, subject to UK law. So, let her come back and submit to said process. The point being that as a functioning Western Democracy that purports to hold the rule of law paramount, you have to be seen to be doing that.

Then everyone lost their shit and The Saj revoked her citizenship (even though he, um, can't, actually), a decision which probably has a bit more to do with Sajid Javid's chances of being Prime Minister than they do about due process of law. Now, I understand that we're not big on ISIS, I'm not really a fan myself. I equally understand that Begum has made a calculated decision and displays a startling lack of contrition, all this is irrelevant, if you start playing silly buggers with the actual law in order to score political points it's the start of an exceedingly slippery slope.

Because that's all that lies behind this catastrophic bit of grandstanding from Javid, the archetypal kid who hid behind the big kids at school. Stripping the rights from a bereaved rape-victim, you're nails, lad, hard as fuck. You simultaneously worry the shit out of a huge amount of your fellow countrymen who wonder what you might do to them, hand a propaganda coup to your enemies, show the world that you, personally, are afraid of a young woman and basically send out the message that the British system is unable to cope with the repatriation of one single non-combatant. To bring her back would have said, we are strong, we can cope, our way of life is the right one. But no, The Saj chose to do the sort of thing that gets you a moment's approval from the Mail, bolsters fear and stokes division. It was a craven, politically illiterate act. A posturing attempt to show strength which, I'm afraid, reveals only weakness.


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