SUELLA Braverman is not a serious politician. We can all agree on that, can’t we?

Her statement on the Illegal Migration Bill in the Commons on Tuesday was pure pantomime. An act of headline-chasing rather than policy promotion.

“Mr Speaker,” she told the Commons, “I won’t address the bill’s full legal complexities today. Some of the nation’s finest legal minds have been – and continue to be – involved in its development.”

Which kind of suggests it’s not ready, no? Meanwhile, in a letter to Conservatives, the Home Secretary admitted that there is more than a 50 per cent chance her new plan to stop small boats will be incompatible with the Human Rights Act, which suggests in turn that there is a more than 50% chance it will be bogged down in legal challenges.

But Braverman won’t let the unworkability of her scheme get in the way of making a noise. She’s very good at that. In the Daily Mail she argued that billions of illegal immigrants could soon be clambering on to small boats to come to the UK, which is, let’s face it, pure nonsense. Dog meet whistle.

It’s not hard to cynically suggest that this is not about sorting out the immigration issue, but a chance to talk tough on a contentious topic and perhaps divert attention from the Government’s record on the economy and on the health service in England (NB, Boris Johnson promised to build 40 new hospitals by 2023. So far the Government has managed to get as far as planning permission for 10).

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Oh, and then there’s Brexit. Wasn’t it meant to be done by now? We’re currently waiting for the response of the ERG and the DUP on Rishi Sunak’s latest attempt.

In the circumstances you can see why the Government is going so hard on immigration. Because it allows it to talk tough and blame lefty lawyers.

And it works. The fall-out from Braverman’s statement yesterday seemed to be as much about Gary Lineker’s horrified response than the adequacy – or lack of it – of the Government’s policy.

Setting aside the ethics of migration policy for a moment, when it comes down to it where is the evidence that the Government can even deliver on its promises? Between January 2021 and June 2022 it managed to return 21 asylum seekers to “safe third countries”. That’s 21. Not 2,100 or 21,000. No, 21. Out of 18,000.

In the year to December 2022 the asylum backlog rose to a record 160,919. And remember 200 children seeking asylum who were put in hotels by the Home Office have gone missing since 2021.

The simple fact is that this is a Government that hasn’t set up the required return agreements with other countries to make its plans work. There is Rwanda, of course, but that is currently still going through the courts and last year the Rwandan government said it could only take 200 migrants anyway.

None of which is to say that there isn’t an issue needing addressed. Migrants are coming here risking their lives, corralled by criminal gangs. There is a cost to all this, in lives and to the British taxpayer (£120 million for the Rwanda scheme for a start).

But this is a Government that would rather blame others than actually address what is happening. And when it passed a similar Act last year it just made things worse.

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So, you have to conclude this is another example of shouty rather than serious politics. We shouldn’t be surprised. In the past four years the Tory Government has lurched from Johnson’s lies to Liz Truss’s economy-wrecking ineptitude. The jury is still out on whether Rishi Sunak can steady the ship.

What his Cabinet is good at so far, though, is generating headlines. Braverman and deputy chairman Lee Anderson can both be relied on for that.

But headlines are easy. Government is harder. It requires intelligence, imagination and an ability to react changing circumstances. There are no signs that those in Westminster can do any of these.

In short, this is not a serious Government. That is the terrible reality. And we are probably stuck with it for another year at least.