NETS and islands and rigs, oh my. The grotesqueness of it is like some traditional fairy tale land, a proper Grimm's story. A troll under a bridge or a wolf lurking in the forest.

There was some suggestion that the recent leaked story about Priti Patel considering sending asylum seekers to Ascension island was black propaganda.

The home secretary, apparently, had enquired in a meeting as to what other countries do with the pesky problem of unwanted foreigners arriving unannounced on their shores.

Australia, where refugees and asylum seekers are held off shore for processing, was presented as one such example.

This, we're told, somehow lead to a discussion about parcelling asylum seekers off to the South Atlantic Ocean. There followed briefings about the possibility of corralling people on a Scottish island, on decommissioned ferries or even on oil rigs.

The Home Office refused to give any specifics about the plans, or to fully confirm or deny them, but did prattle on vaguely about deterring people smugglers, which is a linked but separate issue used repeatedly to avoid proper discussion of the treatment of asylum seekers in the UK.

If it was black propaganda, rather than anything seriously considered by the government, then the main takeaway for the smearer and the smearee is that the story caused disgust but absolutely no surprise.

It's no shock that the UK government would consider off shore detention in dealing with the issue of asylum.

This is a government increasingly unfazed about showing its inherent racism.

The Home Office social media feed has become a jaw-dropping stream of misleading clickbait. Take this recent tweet: "Yesterday we returned 14 dangerous Foreign National Offenders, who broke our rules & abused our values, to Lithuania.

"Our efforts to return those who arrived via illegally-facilitated routes were frustrated by legal claims. Our asylum system is broken but we're making it fairer."

Who is the government aiming this at? And aren't we at least a little offended at the apparent assumption no one will understand the dog whistle being sounded here? This is a string of non sequiturs: expulsion of criminals is unconnected to the asylum process, unless the Home Office means to link the two together in people's minds.

Lithuania is an EU country so where do illegally-facilitated routes come into play? And then, at the end, the blame placed on lawyers, the bizarre new target of anti-immigration ire.

Our asylum system is broken, but we're yet to hear how exactly it's being made fairer.

Earlier this week the issue again received the jaw-drop headline treatment - this time island aspirations were replaced with nets. In an interview, the Home Office’s clandestine channel threat commander, Dan O’Mahoney, said the plan to tackle undocumented migration was four fold: reduce the number of asylum seekers heading from Africa and the Middle East to the UK; physically prevent their entry (nets); and reform the asylum system.

The fourth was to use social media to attempt to stop the flow of migrants. Are these gruesome tweets aimed at people smugglers? Is the thinking that those illegally facilitating routes to the UK might see the Home Office spouting off on Twitter about the abuse of British values and think again?

If so, it's an own goal because the backlash against such propaganda is swift and resounding. The idea of shipping asylum seekers away 4000 miles to Ascension island is an arresting one, it grabs the attention.

It's very easy to comment on as it's very easy online to mock and meme. Hundreds of retweets of suggestions of where Priti Patel might like to send herself. Smug approval of the First Minister condemning the notion a Scottish island might be used as a holding pen.

So much attention and so much outrage.

Yet asylum seekers here in Scotland are already being held in conditions akin to being corralled on an island - housed together in hotels where, we are told, the food is poor, the conditions are grim, people are isolated, afraid and vulnerable to the virus.

It hardly matters whether the detention is in the middle of Glasgow city centre or the middle of a British overseas territory when you are already thousands of miles from the place you call home anyway.

In a similar vein, the city's homeless population are contained in hotels. A surface glance would suggest that a hotel room is a sight better than rough sleeping yet four men and four women have died in the Alexander Thomson hotel since March.

At the outset of the crisis it was a case of moving as swiftly as possible to make people as safe as possible. Mental health took a backseat to physical health.

There were no additional supports in place - for addiction, for mental health, for easing the transition from one circumstance into another. A roof over a head is not a catch all fix.

For the homeless community and the asylum community being contained in hotels has caused deep trauma.

There is, though, very little outrage about this. Not at nearly the same level as when the big headlines hit about floating or island detention. Obviously ludicrous solutions generate easy outrage. The quiet injustice on our doorstep is harder to process and protest.

And no wonder, with the relentless othering of refugees and asylum seekers, and the relentless, racist takes on migration from our government that turn people into inhuman caricatures.

The Home Office plans to resume "negative cessations" - those without official leave to remain will lose their beds and face destitution, despite the public health crisis and without giving local authorities additional funds to rehouse them.

This is a real problem, right now, right here - not a nonsense tale spun to distract us. The lack of outrage allows injustice to continue as we huff and puff at houses of straw and bricks.

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