For the last seven weeks the exiled Chagos islanders have been waiting to see if the Government would appeal against May’s High Court ruling, which overturned the orders that banned them from their islands.
The Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett had a chance to finally right a forty year old wrong – to show that this government puts its responsibility to its own people before its odious agreements with the US.
Instead the government has once again chosen to perpetuate an injustice which began in the sixties with the secret eviction.
The courts ruled it all to have been illegal in 2000, so the Blair government resorted to secret royal orders to overrule the judges and reinstate the eviction. That too was deemed not only ‘null and void’ but ‘repugnant’ by the High Court in May this year.
And yet the government continues to fight, throwing thousands of pounds of taxpayers money into trampling on the Chagos islanders, most of whom still live in poverty in the slums of Mauritius, where they were dumped all those years ago.
At every stage of their long struggle, the islanders have thought British governments could surely stoop no lower just to please the US. They have been repeatedly proven wrong, and until that changes they will go on fighting.