January 21, 2020

"In an abandoned two-storey house surrounded by woodland, he was locked-up and told to look after the plants that grew on every available surface."

"It was a mundane vigil of switching lights on and off over the plants at set times and watering them every few hours. But it was also punctuated by violence. When a plant failed, Ba was starved and kicked by a Chinese boss.... Ba never received any payment for his work, and wasn't told he was earning to pay off his fare to the UK. He was a slave.... He finally escaped by smashing an upstairs window, and jumping to the ground.... 'I didn't even know I was in England.' The train line, predictably, led him to a train station - and to what was for him a very happy meeting with British Transport Police. 'It had been a long time since anyone had been nice to me,' he says. Ba has now settled into British life. He recently won a prize at college for his grades, and celebrated his first Christmas. He'd never unwrapped a present before. The translator who met Ba when he was taken into police custody says the transformation is remarkable.... Ba doesn't know whether he'll be allowed to stay in the UK. His last meeting at the Home Office to discuss his application for asylum didn't go well. The official tried to persuade him that if he returned to Vietnam he'd be helped by the authorities, which Ba finds impossible to believe. He is sure that if he is sent back, he will be trafficked again...."

From "How a boy from Vietnam became a slave on a UK cannabis farm" (BBC).

43 comments:

Mr Wibble said...

Diversity is our strength.

Ralph L said...

This is what happens to bad horticulturalists! Meade, up your game.

Lincolntf said...

I recently bought something that had to be shipped from Mauritania. Knowing next to nothing about the country, I looked it up. Apparently, slavery is de facto legal today, despite a few pieces of recent legislation outlawing the practice. Why don't the Greta Thunberg's of the world start railing against Slavery rather than plastic straws, make some sort of real contribution to humanity?

Mr Wibble said...

Why don't the Greta Thunberg's of the world start railing against Slavery rather than plastic straws, make some sort of real contribution to humanity?

Because they despise humanity. The Greta's of the world (or her parents, to be precise) will openly talk about the need for population control, especially once they've had a glass or two of organic, fair-trade wine. They still believe the Population Bomb crap from the 70s.

Sydney said...

But don’t you dare ask questions about people bringing kids without parents across our borders. Bigots.

Jamie said...

People like Ba are certainly among those for whom the legal concept of asylum exists. (I know human trafficking isn't exactly the situation for which it was put in place, but surely he's under active threat from elements in his homeland.) He isn't fleeing a bad economy or high crime rates - he was *trafficked.* It will be a terrible shame if the present strains of nativism that (correctly, in my opinion) try to limit the use of asylum as a means to enter a country do away with it altogether as a protection for the actively endangered.

Lance said...


Mr. Wibble's comment is interesting where he brings up the population bomb crap from the 70s. That type of logic is what a lot of Trump supporter's use to justify ending immigration. "We don't have room."

It's interesting to me that anti-abortion zealots are often also anti-asylum, anti-refugee, and anti-immigration. Why are unborn foreign babies more important than the living foreigners that have been trafficked like Ba?

My favorite organic wine is Michel-Schlumberger.

Paco Wové said...

"the present strains of nativism that ... try to limit the use of asylum... do away with it altogether"

I wouldn't worry too much about something that isn't happening (and has zero chance of happening).

Kevin said...

Blame Cannabis.

rehajm said...

That type of logic is what a lot of Trump supporter's use to justify ending immigration. "We don't have room."

Trump supporters want to end immigration? That's news to me. There's strong interest amongst Trump supporters in having a border between the United States and Mexico so we can keep track of who's coming in and preventing bad actors. Early in his administration Trump offered to sit down with Democrats and develop a rational immigration policy, including some form of amnesty for current illegals. Everything was on the table. I didn't hear much criticism from his supporters except from some workers who feel their jobs and incomes are threatened by immigration but that's an Obama economy attitude. A strong economy mitigates that problem...

Greg Hlatky said...

He couldn't have been a slave. Only the United States has ever had slavery. That's what we're taught by our betters.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

To human rulers slavery , like Marxism, is a wonderful social system that has just never been done right. But the ease with which rulers ( a/k/a those who have the guns) enslave people for the good of the slaves who were not killed ( a/k/a those whose guns were confiscated) never ceases. Ask the few survivors of 80,000 British soldiers whose guns were confiscated by the Japanese Army at the surrender of Singapore. Their story can be seen in the Oscar winning movie The Bridge Over the River Kwai

Fernandistein said...

The Chinese have been big in unauthorized pot farms in Colorado for years, on the Western Slope and in Denver, where they'd rent houses, pirate the electricity and hire innocent looking Chinese women to live in the house.

cacimbo said...

When I was in Phuket, Thailand last year I met lots of super woke leftists from the UK, Australia, Sweden and Ireland. They all felt the need to share how much they despised Trump with me. Touring Vietnam was on the travel schedule for many. Never heard any of them speak about how the Malaysian immigrant hotel staff were treated. They began work at 6am and would not finish up till 9-10pm, six days a week. I didn't see much tipping going on either. They were all very concerned that the USA take in anyone showing up at our borders, exploiting those who can't make it to the USA so they can travel on the cheap - no problem.

stlcdr said...

Blogger rehajm said...
[Blogger Lance N. wrote...]That type of logic is what a lot of Trump supporter's use to justify ending immigration. "We don't have room."

Trump supporters want to end immigration? That's news to me. There's strong interest amongst Trump supporters in having a border between the United States and Mexico so we can keep track of who's coming in and preventing bad actors. Early in his administration Trump offered to sit down with Democrats and develop a rational immigration policy, including some form of amnesty for current illegals. Everything was on the table. I didn't hear much criticism from his supporters except from some workers who feel their jobs and incomes are threatened by immigration but that's an Obama economy attitude. A strong economy mitigates that problem...

1/21/20, 7:39 AM


This is what the leftists [LanceN quote] would call 'truthiness': or, in the real world, a lie. This is what we are up against: liars - politicians, media, and these hypocritical leftists - portraying people who just want to be left alone, as nazi facists.

To Reiterate, there are no people on the right who want to end immigration - the leftists twisting words, by treating the phrase 'illegal immigrants' as racist is part of their nasty bag of lies. They really are nasty people as evidenced by people like Chuck and Inga in this blog commentary.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

These fears are grounded in bitter experience. The 17-year-old was forced to leave Vietnam early in 2019 to escape a 10-year prison sentence for distributing anti-government literature door-to-door. "I didn't think I would come out alive," he says.

There are harsh punishments for people who criticize Vietnam's Communist government. In a report last week, Human Rights Watch said that at least 30 activists and dissidents were sentenced to prison in 2019 "simply for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and religion". That even includes writing something deemed anti-government on Facebook; Amnesty International says at least 16 people were arrested, detained or convicted in 2019 for this offense.


What the modern democratic socialist gay mafia radical left Antifa commie-Bernie-D Party would like to have happen here.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

In the US, if you dare criticize the corrupt Biden-Clinton-Brennan deep state, the corrupt powers the be will Impeach you.

Nichevo said...

Jamie said...
People like Ba are certainly among those for whom the legal concept of asylum exists. (I know human trafficking isn't exactly the situation for which it was put in place, but surely he's under active threat from elements in his homeland.)


But in this case Justice would seem to require his return to his homeland. I mean, isn't the offense against him that he was removed forcibly from his homeland? Why should this be allowed to stand, from his point of view? Perhaps those threatening elements should be, you know, arrested or something?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

"Chinh's arrest was due to his family's membership of Vietnam's Hoa Hao Buddhist community. The religion is recognised by the government but there are many groups that don't follow the state-sanctioned branch, and these are monitored and forcefully suppressed by the authorities. It's the same for other unapproved religious groups. Human Rights Watch says followers are detained, interrogated, tortured, forced to renounce their faith and imprisoned "in the national interest"."

The commie governmetn sounds just like the Southern Poverty Law Center(D). I suppose the Buddhists are also evil white supremacists.

This is the tactic of the universal left. Vilify and marginalize... make criminal the "other"

rcocean said...

That's why we need open borders. Cheap labor that will grow weed and make $$$ for rich people.

At least that's what liberals say.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

If you remember the UK rape scandal where "Asian" gangs were grooming and raping girls, the rapists all got a pass because the local Labour government thought it was A-OK. After all, they were immigrants and the sons of immigrants. The Greatest people ever.

tim maguire said...

Nichevo said...But in this case Justice would seem to require his return to his homeland. I mean, isn't the offense against him that he was removed forcibly from his homeland?

Valid question. If he was trafficked against his will, shouldn't he want to go home? Or did he pay a wolf to smuggle him in and then the deal changed to his detriment when he arrived? Either way, absent more information, returning him to Vietnam is the correct outcome.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"The Chinese have been big in unauthorized pot farms in Colorado for years, on the Western Slope and in Denver, where they'd rent houses, pirate the electricity and hire innocent looking Chinese women to live in the house."

Also big in my part of the Northwest. Hmmm, why are twelve Chinese people living in a big dilapidated house miles from the freeway or any population center? It's a mystery.

Beaneater said...

Off topic, but in keeping with Althouse's interest in linguistic minutia:

I seem to be seeing more and more unnecessary hyphens, like the one in the header sentence of this post:

"In an abandoned two-storey house surrounded by woodland, he was locked-up and told to look after the plants that grew on every available surface."

Why locked-up instead of just locked up? The guy wasn't locked-up, he was just locked up. (The hyphen in two-storey is fine, as it creates what is functionally a single adjective out of two words.)

And I'm seeing things like "Jim is 42-years-old" more and more often. Gah!

gongtao said...

I went and read the BBC article, and it really doesn't make sense to me. You kidnap someone in Vietnam, keep him captive for months, pour boiling water on him (running a very high risk of injuring him badly enough to require hospitalization, or killing him), give him totally gratuitous beatings, devote resources to guarding him so he doesn't escape, then ferry him overland (!) from Vietnam to England, and put him in a house in the middle of nowhere, once again devoting resources to guarding and beating him, but of course since he is alone much of the time he soon escapes.
How is this a logical way to get somebody to water your pot plants? The resources spent on all the kidnapping, guarding, beating locking up, and driving 10,000 miles would be far more than you got from a few months of unpaid labor from a half-starved, unmotivated homeless teenager. I can easily believe people are evil enough to do that, but I don't see how it would be to their benefit. It seems more likely that he was an active participant in his illegal immgration, then greatly embellished his story to get asylum.

Ice Nine said...

>>"He finally escaped by smashing an upstairs window"<<

Smashing a window? "Finally"?

Somewhere, Andy Dufresne is shaking his head...

J. Farmer said...

Good that the boy was delivered from such a situation, but it would also be nice if the British police could offer the same kindness to the throngs of British girls who are being passed around by Pakistani pimps while British police look the other way, lest they be accused of "racism" for "targeting" the Pakistani community.

rehajm said...

The resources spent on all the kidnapping, guarding, beating locking up, and driving 10,000 miles would be far more than you got from a few months of unpaid labor from a half-starved, unmotivated homeless teenager.

Weed clouds your judgement...

J. Farmer said...

@cacimbo:

They were all very concerned that the USA take in anyone showing up at our borders, exploiting those who can't make it to the USA so they can travel on the cheap - no problem.

And how much of the Hollywood woke set has been to or owns property in Dubai? Never mind that the city was pretty much built by exploited slave labor.

J. Farmer said...

@rehajm:

Trump supporters want to end immigration? That's news to me.

Well, as a Trump supporter who would like to end immigration, I guess I should speak up. By "end immigration," though, I mean strictly reduce it for a period of time (say, 10 years). But nobody I know who agrees with me as ever advanced an opinion as silly as, "we're fool." It's more like we have finite resources, large flows of laborers keep wages down, impacts on the schools and community, the demographic and cultural changes, etc.

Even if you completely stopped illegal immigration, current rates of legal immigration are on course to irrevocably change the demographics of the country. And Trump's calls for increased immigration are insane and have nothing to do with putting "America First."

Ann Althouse said...

@ Beaneater

You’re right about the hyphens.

Seeing Red said...

They’ll turn us all into beggars...

EW SOCIALIST “IT GIRL” CONTINUES TO PAY DIVIDENDS: AOC Demonizes Business Owners: They’re Lazy Slave Owners, Employees ‘Literally Dying.’ Complete with an Obama-esque “you didn’t build that” moment:

Ocasio-Cortez made the extreme remarks when she was asked why successful business owners were “the enemy of health care.”

“Well, you didn’t make those widgets, did you?” Ocasio-Cortez began. “Because you employed thousands of people and paid them less than a living wage to make those widgets for you. You didn’t make those widgets.”

“You sat on a couch while thousands of people were paid modern day slave wages, and in some cases real slave, real modern-day slavery, uh, depending on where you are in terms of food production,” Ocasio-Cortez claimed.

Seeing Red said...

Cos I don’t have 66 Plans to choose from you Moron.

Seeing Red said...

The Hollywood woke set wants their cheap labor.

wildswan said...

"The resources spent on all the kidnapping, guarding, beating locking up, and driving 10,000 miles would be far more than you got from a few months of unpaid labor from a half-starved, unmotivated homeless teenager. I can easily believe people are evil enough to do that, but I don't see how it would be to their benefit."


If the route is set up and the slave traders are passing people down it every day then you get economies of scale so it could be cost effective. The slave-holders didn't expect this boy to escape, so they expected years of labor to pay back the purchase price. The motivation was beatings. And the distances are comparable to the trans-Africa slave trade or the distances in the slave trade run by some Hispanics against the Indians. Apparently, taking people a long distance from home helps prevent runaways and its a common feature of the slave trade. It could have happened. (see The Other Slave Trade a description of the similar way in which AOC's Cuban Hispanic ancestors treated the Indians.)

ken in tx said...

Mauritania has outlawed slavery several times in the last 50 years. It just does not take. They have successfully outlawed buying and selling them. However, it continues to exist, in part, because the slaves refuse to leave their masters. They have nowhere to go and cannot imagine living on their own. BTW, slavery is racial there. The masters are Arabs. The slaves are Black.

glacial erratic said...

Well, I'm a Trump supporter and I would like to see immigration - legal and illegal - ended. The illegal side just seems like a no-brainer. What part of "illegal" don't you understand? And the consequences are corrosive. Politicians promoting selective enforcement of laws - sanctuary cities and the like -is one of the many things wrong with our society today.
As for the legal side, this is not the 19th century. America does not have a labor shortage. What it does have is a native population under threat of demographic collapse and cultural extinction. The Left would love to see both happen. Immigration helps them. It does not help us.

glacial erratic said...

The BBC doesn't do headlines as well as the as the American media. If this was a US story, MSNBC would have reported it as "Slavery Resurfaces Under Trump". Then you'd have to read to paragraph 29 to find out it was a foreigner, illegally bringing in another foreigner as a slave, to work in a criminal enterprise.

Lance said...

stlcdr said...
This is what the leftists [LanceN quote] would call 'truthiness': or, in the real world, a lie. This is what we are up against: liars - politicians, media, and these hypocritical leftists - portraying people who just want to be left alone, as nazi facists.

To Reiterate, there are no people on the right who want to end immigration - the leftists twisting words, by treating the phrase 'illegal immigrants' as racist is part of their nasty bag of lies. They really are nasty people as evidenced by people like Chuck and Inga in this blog commentary.

1/21/20, 8:15 AM


Sorry, "ending" was obviously not the right word. Severely limit would be more apt and I think judging by the actions Trump has taken true, e.g. lowering to 0 the number of refugees allowed to apply for asylum from overseas, making it harder for immigrants to be granted asylum in the United States, doing away with the diversity lottery, seeking to end chain migration, limiting the number of H1B visas, ending DACA. That covers about all of the avenues of legal immigration.

Furthermore, why is everyone so defensive? This is a perfectly justifiable position that is not wildly out of the mainstream and I wouldn't characterize any of these actions as racist. Ending immigration or limiting it is not a policy position that I meant to be interpreted as racist.

My point was how Mr. Wibble's (love the name) statement on the population bomb was ironic when looking at how Trump's justification against more immigration was very similar to the population bomb theory "Our country is full" or "there isn't any more room here."

Anyway, I thought that was ironic that the same justifications used to prevent immigration also have been used by despicable people to justify abortion.

Lance said...

glacial erratic said...
Well, I'm a Trump supporter and I would like to see immigration - legal and illegal - ended. The illegal side just seems like a no-brainer. What part of "illegal" don't you understand? And the consequences are corrosive. Politicians promoting selective enforcement of laws - sanctuary cities and the like -is one of the many things wrong with our society today.
As for the legal side, this is not the 19th century. America does not have a labor shortage. What it does have is a native population under threat of demographic collapse and cultural extinction. The Left would love to see both happen. Immigration helps them. It does not help us.

1/22/20, 12:00 AM


Thank you. That is a perfectly reasonable position to take. I don't agree with you on everything, but this sounds reasonable. The selective enforcement really bothers me too, we should have 0 illegal immigration.

Also on your last point, immigration doesn't help the working class, but boy does it help the wealthy, corporate farmers, meat packing plant operators, restaurants, tech companies, etc...

Saint Croix said...

It's interesting to me that anti-abortion zealots are often also anti-asylum, anti-refugee, and anti-immigration. Why are unborn foreign babies more important than the living foreigners that have been trafficked like Ba?

If you knew anything about pro-lifers, you would know that in our fight, analogies to slavery are common. Slavery defined a class of people as non-persons, as outside the law. Likewise, Roe v. Wade defined a class of people as non-persons, as outside the law. Harry Blackmun was such a dummy he referenced slave law in his opinion to justify his defining an unborn child as a non-person.

And his reasoning in footnote 53! "We are not aware that in the taking of any census under this clause, a fetus has ever been counted."

Pro-lifers believe in human rights, given to us by God. Yes, we think it's an abomination for human authorities to define human beings as "non-persons" and commit horrific atrocities upon them. I'm sure it was some abolitionist zealot who convinced one of your nitwit ancestors that slavery was awful. It can be hard trying to get people to wake up and see the truth that is hidden from them.

When's the last time you saw an aborted baby on the evening news? Ever wonder why it's hidden from you?