The more I read about the way the Government and Home Office are handling the ‘Windrush scandal’ surrounding the children of Commonwealth citizens that came to Britain In the 1960s, the more I despair of this country’s reputation. Channel 4 news have been highlighting the problem since January. This report is (quite frankly) disgusting.
People who’ve lived here for decades and thought they had the absolute right to do so are being treated appallingly. Some may even have been deported illegally, the Home Office doesn’t know and can’t be bothered to find out as it would cost too much money!
This is only part of the problem. The other part is the plight of the EU citizens caught in limbo following the Brexit referendum. There’s about 3.5 million of them. They’ve no idea what the future holds for them as no-one has a clue what the outcome of negotiations will be. Many are already leaving due to the uncertainty and the increasing hostility towards them, not just from ordinary people but authorities like the Home Office, which by any reasonable take seems at best incompetent and at worst, to be pursuing a deliberate policy of intimidation.
We shouldn’t be surprised really, who was the Home Secretary at the time policy was changed and the poisonous atmosphere towards people from other shores began to manifest itself? Step forward our current Prime Minister, Teresa May. Her culpability is explained in this very good comment piece in the London Evening Standard, where former Chancellor George Osborne is enjoying the opportunity to settle a few old scores!
Of course, all of these problems aren’t just reported in the UK media, they’re reported around the world. Teresa May’s stupid refusal to meet Caribbean heads of state to discuss the matter has been reported too – as was her climb down and apology. But it’s too late, the damage to the UK’s reputation’s been done. It’s not just the media that’s spreading the word either. Every person who’s returned to their country of origin after suffering bigotry and hostility will be telling people too. Our reputation as a decent, tolerant, welcoming country is being trashed. What was our national broadcasters response to all this? On Saturday it broadcast (in full, for the first time) Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of blood’ speech (despite widespread criticism) making matters worse, not better. Bigotry and intolerance is fashionable again.
It makes me so, so angry.
The situation’s not going to get any better. The bigots are in charge now, both on the streets and in Government. Brexit will continue to make things worse as the shambles will continue – with the added attraction of the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, UKIP and the Leave campaign ‘buying’ the referendum result.
Later, after writing this, came the latest revelation. That the Home Office (under Teresa May) destroyed the landing cards of 1000s of Windrush arrivals that had been kept safe for decades. Then, when people enquired, told them that no official records of their arrival existed! No, they wouldn’t – you went and bloody destroyed them!
I fear for the future of my country. What on earth have we become?