First there was Napoleon, and then the troublesome Zulu chief, Dinizulu. It was stretching a point when 5,000 Boer War prisoners were transported to St Helena.
And by the time three unwanted Bahraini agitators turned up in the Seventies, the island’s reputation as a dumping ground for international problem people was no longer even slightly funny.
But every time a country has to deal with someone awkward, it’s not long before it’s suggested they’re carted off to the South Atlantic.
The latest is Abu Qatada, who’s blocked his own deportation to Jordan for trial as a terrorist by lodging a last-minute appeal. It’s a bit of a foul-up by the UK government.
And here we go again: a witty suggestion in The Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts column:
Regarding Abu Qatada, Dorset reader J.S. Perry writes: ‘We had a similar position with Napoleon. He was despatched to St Helena, which is still a British Overseas Territory. I suggest we repeat history and send Abu Qatada and his family there. Some form of compensation to the islanders should cover any inconvenience.’
Perhaps someone could draw up a list of all the public nuisances who’ve been nominated for relocation to the South Atlantic. It would be a long one.
Memo to UK government: if you must book Abu Qatada on a cruise to St Helena, the MV Arcadia comes highly recommended…
Not so long ago St Helena, and in particular Blue Hill, was being proposed by an American government official as a home for Colonel Gaddafi. I was amazed – not at the idea, but that an American government official had heard of Blue Hill!
John Turner, St Helena
Random Thoughts From Offshore (blog)
To J S Perry: how about relocating him to Dorset – how would you like that!!!!!!!!!