Start of the anti-immigrant drive: Tories plan to send orphans to Kabul.
The Government's decision to fast-track the deportation of child and adolescent Afghans from Britain to Afghanistan is an outrage against public decency and elementary human rights.
If the people of Britain have not been numbed and brainwashed by the torrents of scapegoat denunciations of immigrants in the press and by politicians (including the New Labour government), then this decision will be met by the fierce outcry it merits.
These are children and adolescents who sought refuge in Britain as "unaccompanied asylum seekers". They have no parents, or are separated from their parents. Living in this country, they have become accustomed to British conditions.
Now the government plans to expel them forcibly into a war-torn and war-wrecked country in which large numbers of children manage to stay alive only as scavengers on rubbish dumps.
A society that treats young, and therefore especially vulnerable, human beings, because of their origin and ancestry, as something to be disposed of like toxic waste, is a sick and deeply corrupt society. It is a society in which self-proclaimedly enlightened politicians - Lib Dem as well as Tory - bow to the ignorant and irresponsible press, and to demagogic racist fringe politicians.
The Tories and the Lib Dems continue, in essentials, the policies and the demagogy of the previous New Labour government. The decision to fast-track deportations indicates a new energy and urgency which the coalition government is bringing to the issue.
Reportedly, the Government is telling the judges not to grant delays which allow legal appeals against the deportation orders. The judges should not listen to them.
The contingent of children now earmarked for quick expulsion will be the harbinger of many more, adult and child, deportations.
The labour movement should take the lead in protesting against these deportations - and as loudly as possible. Trade union branches and local Labour Parties should pass resolutions demanding that Labour MPs protest in Parliament.