Of course, you all know the story.
As I understand it, after World War II, a bit before my time, Britain was short of manpower, and it had a big rebuilding job to do. So it invited people from its Empire (particularly the Caribbean) to come and work in the UK, mainly England, where the bulk of the rebuilding had to be done.
Of course, these people sometimes had young kids who, not unreasonably, came with them.
And these kids grew up in the UK while their parents, often really badly treated by natives because of their colour, helped to put the country back on its feet. They went to school, and then on to work, college or university. Many of them have lived all their lives in Britain. Some of them have never been back to the Caribbean, even for visits. They know no one there. They paid taxes in the UK all their lives. They think of it as home.
Now they are being given the full “British Values” treatment by Westminster. They have no paperwork to prove they are British or that they have a right to be in Britain. (It probably didn’t occur to them, y’know, before they’d reached their tenth birthday, that one day they would require paperwork.)
Now many have been sacked by employers because it’s illegal to employ them. They can’t claim benefits and they are being deported.
Amber Rudd, who it seems to me couldn’t find her backside with two hands and the aid of a guide dog or six, says she doesn’t know how many of them have been deported wrongly, presumably because the Home Office just deports people and then shreds all the paperwork. The Home Office shredders are, after all, notorious for their vociferous appetite for anything that looks a tad dodgy.
The Home Secretary criticised the application of the crackdown – introduced by Theresa May, her predecessor in the job – telling MPs: “I am very concerned about the way in which the Windrush generation have (sic) been treated.”
But, asked if there had been wrongful deportations, she said she would have to meet Caribbean High Commissioners urgently to “find out if there are any such people who have been removed”. [BBC]
The Caribbean nations asked for a meeting with Theresa May, which initially, almost unbelievably, she declined. When you are pinning your post-Brexit hopes on the Commonwealth in just a year’s time, it takes a strong and stable, not to say brave leader to snub a fair few of their members today. However, they must have found someone in Downing Street with just a modicum of sense, and it seems that she will now see them.
Whether, of course, they will derive anything useful from her stuttering and stumbling through a pre-written statement, is debatable.
It is, though, interesting that, given the administrative mess it made over Windrush, the UK is promising to make provision for registering the 2.5+ million or so EU citizens who currently reside in the UK (and without whom we would be hard-pressed to continue functioning) so that they can remain here after next March, now 11 months away.
What chance is there that the Home Office is going to manage this responsibly? What is the likelihood that they or their children, in years to come will find themselves unceremoniously deported to Bratislava or Berlin, Paris or Prague?
My advice to EU citizens would be NOT to trust them an inch. They are a bunch of duplicitous, inefficient and heartless bastards… and that’s letting them off lightly. Check, double check and then check again, and even if you are satisfied, never ever underestimate how inefficient and /or perfidious this lot can be.
Have a backup plan.
And they say that Scotland wouldn’t be able to manage without them… Jeeeeez.