Rod Liddle Rod Liddle

Bordering on insanity

We can’t get rid of jihadis, sex gang ringleaders and drug lords – so we try to deport old ladies like Myrtle Cothill

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”The Spectator Podcast: the deportation game”]


[/audioplayer]For once it seemed that we were getting tough. Our patience had apparently snapped. We had been worn down by the constant news stories about foreigners whom the UK government was unable to deport — the child rapists, the fraudsters, the thieves, the gangsters, the jihadis who want us all dead, and just your plain old common-or-garden illegal residents. It always seemed that the more vile and murderous the individual and the more misery he or she intended to wreak upon the rest of us, the more likely they were to be given leave to stay here by some idiotic judge. But Myrtle Cothill was a bridge too far. When the Home Office read the case of Cothill they knew something had to be done, sharpish. So for once they acted with ruthless rapidity and decisiveness: Cothill was told, in no uncertain terms, that she must get on a plane within four days — the Home Office stipulated a Tuesday morning — and return from whence she came. Get out and stay out.

Myrtle is a white South African widow aged 92 who wished to see out her final days with her daughter in the UK. Ha — tough luck, Myrtle, pull the other one, you devious cow. We know your kind. The Home Office even prepared to send an official along to Heathrow with Cothill — presumably in case she turned nasty or tried to do a runner.

She had committed no crime other than to overstay the period stipulated on her visa — and in doing that, she performed for us a considerable service, which we will come to.

Myrtle has now been told (a little grudgingly) by the Home Office that she can die here if that’s what she really wants.

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