Jolly bed sheow ...
And to prove that this maxim extends to the Government elected 50 years after that film’s release, not only is the Greensill scandal causing ripples of good old-fashioned Tory sleaze™ to dampen the reputations of a lot of Civil Servants and Government advisors, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his worryingly shallow talent pool of variously inept ministers are full participants in the unedifying spectacle.
Not least Priti Patel, inexplicably elevated to the post of Home Secretary, who has ventured beyond mere ineptitude, and has been caught breaking the law, rather than just breaching someone’s human rights. Her latest not at all accidental mis-step concerns a death in custody, and a potential witness being deported. On her orders.
As the Guardian has reported, “A landmark court ruling has held the home secretary, Priti Patel, accountable for failures in ensuring that deaths in immigration detention centres are properly investigated. Two judges in the immigration court ruled on Wednesday that three of the home secretary’s detention policies breached human rights rules and that she could not frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths”. Undermine? Do go on.
“The ruling relates to two friends, Ahmed Lawal and Oscar Lucky Okwurime, both from Nigeria, who were in Harmondsworth immigration removal centre when Okwurime was found dead in his cell there on 12 September 2019. Lawal proved to be a key witness, but the Home Office tried to deport him five days after the death before he could provide any evidence. He took the case to the high court and a judge halted his removal”.
... maybe even worse show
Worse, “The judges found that the home secretary’s decision to remove Lawal to Nigeria was unlawful as she had failed to take reasonable steps to secure his evidence … before starting removal proceedings”. Worse still, “A replacement policy in August 2020 was also found to be unlawful as it failed to identify and take steps to secure the evidence of those who may have relevant information about a death in detention”. The conclusion?
Even the Mail has had to admit “two judges ruled that the Home Secretary's attempt to deport Ahmed Lawal, 34, before he could give evidence at an inquest was unlawful”. Priti Patel broke the law. She is supposed to be the Home Secretary. Her duties include “Law enforcement in England and Wales”. Which appears not to always include her.
The Mail emphasised the lawbreaking undertaken: “she did not have the legal authority to frustrate or undermine inquiries into these deaths”. How the Coroner is expected to investigate deaths when witnesses are summarily deported is an interesting one. A Home Secretary who wants to see justice done, providing it doesn’t stop her doing a few illegal deportations and so playing to the gallery of reactionary intolerance.
The Home Office, to no surprise at all, is not appealing against the judgment. That’s because they, and their boss, know they are guilty as hell. Having bent coppers is one thing; having a bent Home Secretary is worse. Worse still, she’ll get away with it.
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