New Home Secretary Sajid Javid wanted the House of Commons to know that he would leave no stone unturned in his attempts to sort out the mess that had been bequeathed him by his predecessor Amber Rudd - and, whisper it quietly, her predecessor, who happens to be the Prime Minister - over the Windrush Generation.
“I myself am a second generation migrant. Like the Caribbean Windrush generation, my parents came to this country from the Commonwealth in the 1960s. They too came to help rebuild this country. So when I heard that people who are outstanding pillars of their community were being impacted simply for not having the right documents to prove their legal status in the UK, I thought it could be my mum, my brother, my uncle - even me”.
There was more. “That’s why I am so personally committed and invested to resolving the difficulties faced by the people of the Windrush generation, who have built their lives here and contributed so much” He even managed a swipe at Diane Abbott.
“I am angry too and I have shared with her just a moment ago, remarks at the start just how angry I am and for the reasons I was angry. Like her, I am also a second generation migrant and I know she shares that anger and she should respect that other people do, she doesn’t have a monopoly on that”. How empty that seems right now.
Why should that be? Ah well. After Ms Abbott had told Javid “He will be judged not on the statements he makes this afternoon, but by what he does to make the situation right and get justice for them” came the fall, where we saw that his words were empty rhetoric.
As the Guardian has reported, but all too few others are telling readers, “Labour had put down the same type of ‘humble address’ procedure it used last year to force ministers to hand over their Brexit impact assessments, to seek documents and memos connected to the [Windrush] affair from 2010 to now”. And the Tories’ response?
The Blue Team imposed a three-line whip on their command to oppose the Labour motion, and with many opposition MPs already committed to campaigning in their constituencies ahead of today’s local elections, won the vote by 316 to just 221.
And after Javid had “called the Labour request for the Windrush information, to be passed to the Commons home affairs committee, ‘some massive, open-ended fishing expedition’ that would require 100 officials to fulfil” (those numbers are always very round ones, aren’t they?), the impression of insincerity, and indeed cover-up, was unmistakeable.
Small wonder that Ms Abbott called the Tories’ tactics “a betrayal of the Windrush generation”. But all may not be lost: after all, those Brexit impact assessments did eventually see the light of day, to the derision of many commentators.
And previous Tory attempts to keep the lid on the Windrush scandal have not survived the ability of some in the Civil Service to leak, and the Guardian to pick up on it.
But good to know just how sincere our new Home Secretary really is - not at all.