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Wednesday 18 April 2018

Theresa May Must Go

[Update at end of post]

As her pals in the press exhort their readers to look anywhere except where the evidence is inexorably piling up, Theresa May is pretending to say sorry for the shameful desertion of duty by the department that she led for so long, while no-one, least of all her, carries the can for the débâcle. The children of the so-called Windrush Generation have lost jobs, been denied NHS care, and rounded up as if they were illegal immigrants. Yet there have been no resignations, only more spin and deflection.
(c) Steve Bell 2018

Ms May hosted a meeting of Caribbean leaders at 10 Downing Street yesterday, where, as the BBC has reported, “She said she was ‘genuinely sorry’ about the anxiety caused by the Home Office threatening the children of Commonwealth citizens with deportation. The UK government ‘valued’ the contribution they had made, she said, and they had a right to stay in the UK”. But then came the news that undermined her yet further.

Amelia Gentleman at the Guardian was once again on the case: “The Home Office destroyed thousands of landing card slips recording Windrush immigrants’ arrival dates in the UK, despite staff warnings that the move would make it harder to check the records of older Caribbean-born residents experiencing residency difficulties”.
There was more. “The former employee (who has asked for his name not to be printed) said it was decided in 2010 to destroy the disembarkation cards, which dated back to the 1950s and 60s … The files were destroyed in October that year, when Theresa May was home secretary”. Theresa May again. It keeps coming up Theresa May.

Also coming up are the excuses, mainly that it was all about data protection law. This is, let us not drive this one around the houses for too long, bullshit. These were paper records, and as historian Bendor Grosvenor has told (see his thread on the issue HERE), “1st, the Data Protection Act relates primarily to records created post 2000. 2nd, the records were still being used, and of value to the people whose information they contained. 3rd, there is a clear exemption in the Act for material of historical value”.
The Government response has once again been to spin and deflect: the records, they claimed, were not reliable. But they had already claimed that it was a DPA problem. Meanwhile, as Ms Gentleman tells, “Many Windrush-generation individuals who have had difficulties providing evidence of their status have told the Guardian how they were repeatedly told their names were ‘not in the system’”.

They were faced with having to pay out in legal fees to progress their cases, but did not have the money to do so. And although MPs such as David Lammy have correctly called for Home Secretary Amber Rudd to resign, as the mess has been uncovered on her watch, it keeps coming back to the architect of the problem, and that is Theresa May.
That is why papers like the Mail, still stoking the faux outrage this morning with its headline “WINDRUSH: THE NEW BETRAYAL”, is skating on very thin ice. They have decided Ms Rudd must go, but are seemingly oblivious to the clear corollary - that Ms May must follow her. The Mail won’t go there, as they back the PM, but the scandal just might.

Theresa May is an uncaring hypocrite. And she has yet to do the decent thing.

[UPDATE 1335 hours: Theresa May used today's PMQs to try and blame Labour for what has happened. As the BBC has told, "Theresa May has said the decision to destroy landing cards of Windrush migrants was taken under Labour ... The Prime Minister told MPs she was not Home Secretary when the move was approved, saying it happened in 2009".

Thus she scored the necessary point. But then came the reverse ferret, as Paul Waugh observed: "Imp clarification after #PMQs from No10: destruction of landing cards was an 'operational decision' by the UK Border Agency. Ie Not a decision by a Labour Home Secretary or minister".
So Theresa May had misled the House. And it got worse: as James O'Brien deduced, "I'm open to correction/clarification too but surely the landing cards only became relevant after the removal of this clause from the 2014 Immigration Act. And there's no doubt about who was in the driving seat for that decision". So back to Theresa May once more.
And thus the problem: no matter how hard she tries, it keeps coming back to her. Only this time she has misled the House, which turns the possibility of it being a resigning matter into a racing certainty]


RodJ said...

In May's case, one is tempted to feel that the decent thing would be seppuku.

Sam Best said...

I feel some major law suits on behalf of the Windrush folk will be forthcoming. Quite right too.

Ted Bangor said...

You can tell the Maybot is in trouble as the papers are going after..... Corbyn (Torygraph / Times) someone from the telly, or any other random crap they can think off (Sun).
Even the mirror doesn't have Maybot on the front cover just the drunk celeb, and someone being forced out of their house due to tabloids camping outside their house.

NB: The Express is back on random "isn't Brexit is brilliant" but then that's hardly a newspaper so doesn't count.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, like Trump, Farage/UKIP etc Al, May isn't going anywhere, that would require common decency, which has unfortunately packed its bags and left the building.

Anonymous said...

She won't go of course. Parliament is too cosy a far right club to do the honourable thing. Honour long ago fled the disgusting, crumbling edifice of corruption.

Anyone doubting this need only view a rerun of the bombing "debate". In which Bomber Benn "gently reminded" - his words - the mouth breathing Maybot that though he voted in favour of bombing murders last time, THIS time he was against it. Naturally, what he didn't say was that he was trying to claw back "credibility" as a human being. But that's impossible for someone, like Umunna and Mann, who has treachery written all over his Quisling face. His "gentleness" didn't extend to innocent Syrians when it was most needed in the first vote, but did to the Maybot. The whole scene was as disgustingly hypocritical as it was New Labour predictable.

The Maybot won't have the guts or honesty to resign. Instead, she'll tilt her head on one side to show "sincerity", dangle her bling jewelry, and mouth Daily Heil type platitudes. The woman is a through and through shouty cowardly fraud, always has been, and always will be. Like Thatcher, she has tears for her own adversity, but none for the victims she attacked in the first place. In short, a perfect representative of the socioeconomic system she fronts for.

So no, she won't go. But Rudd might. There must always be a patsy.

D Abbott said...

In case any of you get any silly ideas.

I will be going nowhere.

rob said...

Andrea Leadsom made a point during the last Tories leadership election campaign that May wouldn't have the same empathy that mother with a family would have. It was seen as a crass remark at the time but it does seem to have a resonance now given May's performance at the bunker aka The Home Office and now as a pretty feeble PM. The Tory far right mantra of knowing the cost of everything but the value of nothing seems to fit the wife of an investment banker down to a tee.

Gonzoland said...

"So, Prime Minister, approving a change of premises by Labour means that Labour is to blame for anything destroyed in later years?"
You won't get a single removal business in Britain that'll be prepared to take a contract like that.

A Kelly said...

So one minute it Theresa's May's fault as she was home secretary when the cards were destroyed; then when it transpires the order to destroy them was signed off under Labour, it was nothing to do with the government.

Make your mind up.

Arnold said...

I'm struggling to see how today's PMQ was a May victory. Yesterday, the Home Office said the landing cards were destroyed in 2010. Today May said 2009. That points either to more Government/Home Office incompetence or a deliberate deceit.
With or without the landing cards, Labour wouldn't have treated the Windrush immigrants with such cruel contempt.

Anonymous said...

So who in the Border Agency suggested destruction of the landing cards and who signed off on it? And if the Home Secretary wasn't informed, why not?

Jonathan said...

It wasn't the destruction of the disembarkation cards that has led to this scandal.
But the quiet repeal of a protection in the Immigration Act in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, Ms Kelly, you jumped in with both feet, just like the trolls that infect Cif these days, and took Tweeza's word for it. And then it transpired that she had lied, again. A decision to start looking for a new home is not quite the same as destroying the contents. In any case, the documents were of no importance before the blatantly racist decision to deport the people they referred to.

Anonymous said...

@ Ann Kelly.

It was Rudd who claimed it was unnamed "officials" who destroyed the landing cards, not Labour. Or Tim for that matter.

Facts, who needs 'em eh?

Anonymous said...

The problem is that even if there was a credible replacement for May, nobody in their right mind would want to run this clusterfuck of a country at the moment. The opposition isn't much better either.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 22:52.

On the contrary, I think you'd find plenty of willing spivs and barrow boys ready to run a country once described as a right wing authoritarian litter-strewn grafitti-covered rat hole.

Bozo the clown for instance. Or McVey the hysteric. Or Gove the back stabber. Or Hunt the obvious. Or Mann the thug. Or Benn the weasel. Or Umunna the creep. Most of all, Hancock the rat eyed. Parliament's full of that sort of tenth rater just relishing the prospect of ripping off what's left of national assets, particularly the NHS. All of them will be backed - odd faction fight apart - by their bought-and paid-for-media.

Which is why Corbyn and McDonnel have a long uphill struggle ahead of them.