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The Civil Fleet Podcast

Nov 14, 2022

IN THIS episode we speak with Bethany Rielly, the home affairs reporter at the Morning Star newspaper, about the scandal surrounding the Manston migrant centre in Britain. 

Manston is a former military base in Kent, which opened as a processing centre earlier this year for those who arrived into the country by crossing the Channel. 

Bethany tells us how people are being detained in awful conditions at the overcrowded camp for weeks, when they are only supposed to be held there for 24 hours, and about the outbreak of Victorian-era diseases inside there. 

We discuss how the recent far-right terrorist attack on a migrant processing centre in Dover made things worse for those detained at Manston, and how the British Home Secretary reacted to it with far-right rhetoric and conspiracy theories. 

She also tells us about the protests against the conditions inside Manston and why the union that represents border guards is joining legal action against the government over it. 

---Get in touch---


---Show Notes---

You can follow Bethany Rielly on Twiiter via @bethrielly

And you can find all of her stories for the Morning Star newspaper here:

You can find the Morning Star's website here:

Or follow it on Twitter here:

For anyone not familiar with British Politics, "the Tories" is the nickname of the ruling Conservative Party. 

The UK Home Office is similar to the Department of Homeland Security in the US or the Ministry of the Interior and for Community in Germany. 

The Home Secretary is currently Suella Braverman. Before her, it was Priti Patel. Both have been controversial figures and frequently demonised people seeking asylum in Britain.

Here are some links to stories about Braverman's controversies: 

• A general overview of her career in politics:

• A look at five controversial statements she has made:

• And the time she made reference to "cultural Marxism," an antisemitic, Nazi-conspiracy theory:

Confused by, or never heard about, cultural Marxism? Check this video out about it:

Near the beginning of the episode, Bethany mentions the death of Alan Kurdi. He was a two-year-old Syrian-Kurdish boy who died in a shipwreck off the coast of Turkey. Photographs of his body lying face down on a beach were shown across the world. You can read more about him, here:

Stand Up to Racism, which Bethany mentions in the podcast, is an anti-fascist organisation. You can find more about them here:

Want to know more about Lesbos? Then check out episode 28 with Alice and Hamid from Borderline Lesvos about their work on the island running a welcome centre for registered refugees

For more on what was happening in Italy as this episode was being recorded, see the stories linked here: 

For more on the British government's Nationality and Borders Bill, and the Rwanda deportation scheme, check out episode 21 with Doctor's Without Borders (MSF) UK advocacy officer Sophie McCann

Read my exclusive story on the rising numbers of deaths at Home Office asylum-seeker accommodations here:

Here's some links to Bethany's stories mentioned in this episode:

• Refugee families detained in tents for weeks at ‘wretched’ holding centre in Kent:

• Migrant centre in Kent ‘catastrophically overcrowded’, ministers warned:

• Protests break out inside ‘catastrophically overcrowded’ asylum processing centre:

• Children cry for help while trapped ‘like animals in a cage’ in overcrowded asylum centre:

• Harrowing conditions at Manston made me suicidal, former resident tells Morning Star:

• Hundreds demand end to ‘illegal and inhumane’ Manston detention centre:

•  Dover petrol bomb attack on migrant centre not treated as terror incident until two days after:

The RAF stands for The Royal Air Force

Ben compares the Mantson Camp to Moria, which was an overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. You can read more about that here:

Here's a link to Diane Taylor's story in the Guardian newspaper about the outbreak of MRSA at Manston:

Here's the clip of BBC journalist talking about the UK 'defending itself on the frontline against migrants' that Ben mentions: 

For more on The Channel, see here:

Check out Hope Not Hate here:

For more on Action Against Detention and Deportations (AADD), see here: