FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The UK’s Windrush Immigrant Scandal

Photo by EU2017EE Estonian Presidency | CC BY 2.0

The late Syed Hussein Alatas (1928-2007), a multi-faceted social theorist and Malaysia’s most distinguished intellectual, coined the Malay neologism “jadong” to describe a certain type of politician.

“Jadong” is a concatenation of the parts of three words– “jahat” (wicked or evil) + bodoh (stupid) + sombong (arrogant).  The English equivalent of “jadong” would be “evistuarr”, that is, evil + stupid + arrogant.

“Evistuarr” perfectly describes the UK prime minister Theresa May.

May’s most recently disclosed piece of skullduggery was her policy while Home Secretary (i.e. interior minister) in 2014 of creating a “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, while at the same time introducing targets for reducing immigration.

Ensnared in this heartless policy is the so-called “Windrush generation”.    The steamer Windrush arrived in London in 1948, bringing several hundred workers and their families from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to the UK’s post-war labour shortages.

Coming from British colonies that had not achieved independence, many of the Windrush generation believed they were British citizens by right.

In 2010, landing cards belonging to Windrush migrants were destroyed by the Home Office, so they now had no official proof of their legal arrival in London. Those Windrush migrants visiting the Home Office to clarify their status were carted off summarily to detention centres as part of the Tory “hostile environment” policy.

In a well-publicized recent case, the son of a Windrush migrant was presented with a bill of GBP 54,000 ($74,000) for his cancer treatment because he could not prove to his London hospital that he was a UK citizen.

There was public outrage at these disclosures, and the Tory government was soon on the back foot with the typical prevarication and bluster it resorts to on such occasions.

The home secretary at the time of these disclosures, Amber Rudd– better known in social media as Amber Rudd(erless)—denied she had prior knowledge of the targets that were part of the “hostile environment” policy.  A leaked memo from her department showed that this was simply not true, and it was clear that Rudd(erless) had misled parliament in issuing this denial.

Another person who was bound to have knowledge of all the above was of course Theresa May.  She had after all been the architect of the “hostile environment” policy!

Rudder(less) resigned her ministerial position, primarily to shield her evistuarr boss.

The Tories tried to staunch the bleeding ensuing from the Windrush scandal by saying the “hostile environment” policy would be discarded straightaway, that the Windrush migrants and their children  would be granted immediate citizenship, and that they would be compensated for any hardship they had incurred.

The Tories are however not to be trusted on any aspect of immigration.

This was made clear by events after the resignation of Rudd(erless).

The Labour opposition just tabled a parliamentary motion to make available to the public official documents relating to the Windrush scandal when evistuarr May was home secretary.  In the vote on this motion the Tories enforced a party-line vote on their MPs and were able to defeat Labour’s motion with their parliamentary majority.

So, the Windrush cover-up will continue.

Replacing the maladroit Rudd(erless) is Sajid Javid, an ex-banker and fan of Ayn Rand who calls himself a “second-generation immigrant”.

Someone needs to send Javid a dictionary that, hopefully, will inform him that an immigrant can by definition only be “first generation” — someone born in the UK, like Javid, is not an immigrant of any kind, whether it be of a second or a hundredth generation.

Javid is descended from an immigrant, like I happen to be from people who arrived in the British Isles in the late 1600s, but alas for Javid no one is ever a “second generation immigrant”.

Javid’s claim to be an “immigrant” of whatever generation is merely symbolic in its likely outcomes, since guess what?  He voted for the “hostile environment” policy in 2014!  His parliamentary voting records also reveals the following:

Voting against banning detention for pregnant immigrants as well as the extension of deportation powers.

Voting to make it an offence to rent to those without a right to rent and for migrant status checks when opening a bank account.

Voting to restrict legal support for failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants.

Voting to establish criminal offences for renting a property, driving, and working, while disqualified from doing so due to immigration status.

Voting to repeal the Human Rights Act.

Javid’s father came to England from Pakistan with hardly any money and became a bus driver.  Under Tory immigration policy he would never have been let in, though his upwardly mobile son is not fazed by this–  the son is on record as saying that immigration should be based on the migrant’s skills.

Javid, of whom I’ve written before in CounterPunch, is a shady character who was managing director of Deutsche Bank before he entered politics.

Deutsche Bank’s corporate rap sheetwhile he was involved with DB is pages long.  A wheeze Javid got up to in DB was to devise an offshore tax avoidance scheme where he could channel his ample bonuses.

When asked by journalists about this, Javid hastens away with an alacrity that would do Usain Bolt proud in an Olympic race.  He’s of course denied culpability for all DB malfeasance when he was on its board of directors.

Javid has also voted 16 times in parliament against a tax on bankers’ bonuses, which, as expected, are out of all proportion to what is earned by ordinary Brits.

Javid is a landlord, and has voted against proposed legislation making it illegal for landlords to rent property that is unfit for human habitation.  He also voted to reduce the disability benefit.

When appointed to take over from Rudd(erless), Javid said the hugely discredited policy of a “hostile environment” (remember, he voted for it) for immigrants would be replaced immediately by a “compliant environment”.

Umm. “Compliant environment” happens to be code that every UK right-winger understands when it comes to restricting immigration and making things hard for legal immigrants.

Further evidence of where Javid actually stands on the Windrush scandal came early—he voted for the cover-up of Home Office documents on the Windrush generation during evistuarr May’s time as Home Secretary.

I don’t know whether Javid is a fan of The Who, but if he is, he’d be familiar with this lyric from one of their famous songs: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”.

Given this “second-generation” immigrant’s viperish parliamentary voting record, the old racist evistuarr Tory boss is always going to run the show when it comes to immigration.

More articles by:

Kenneth Surin teaches at Duke University, North Carolina.  He lives in Blacksburg, Virginia.

November 20, 2018
John Davis
Geographies of Violence in Southern California
Anthony Pahnke
Abolishing ICE Means Defunding it
Maximilian Werner
Why (Mostly) Men Trophy Hunt: a Biocultural Explanation
Masturah Alatas
Undercutting Female Circumcision
Jack Rasmus
Global Oil Price Deflation 2018 and Beyond
Geoff Dutton
Why High Technology’s Double-Edged Sword is So Hard to Swallow
Binoy Kampmark
Charges Under Seal: US Prosecutors Get Busy With Julian Assange
Rev. William Alberts
America Fiddles While California Burns
Forrest Hylton, Aaron Tauss and Juan Felipe Duque Agudelo
Remaking the Common Good: the Crisis of Public Higher Education in Colombia
Patrick Cockburn
What Can We Learn From a Headmaster Who Refused to Allow His Students to Celebrate Armistice Day?
Clark T. Scott
Our Most Stalwart Company
Tom H. Hastings
Look to the Right for Corruption
Edward Hunt
With Nearly 400,000 Dead in South Sudan, Will the US Finally Change Its Policy?
Thomas Knapp
Hypocrisy Alert: Republicans Agreed with Ocasio-Cortez Until About One Minute Ago
November 19, 2018
David Rosen
Amazon Deal: New York Taxpayers Fund World Biggest Sex-Toy Retailer
Sheldon Richman
Art of the Smear: the Israel Lobby Busted
Chad Hanson
Why Trump is Wrong About the California Wildfires
Dean Baker
Will Progressives Ever Think About How We Structure Markets, Instead of Accepting them as Given?
Robert Fisk
We Remember the Great War, While Palestinians Live It
Dave Lindorff
Pelosi’s Deceptive Plan: Blocking any Tax Rise Could Rule Out Medicare-for-All and Bolstering Social Security
Rick Baum
What Can We Expect From the Democrat “Alternative” Given Their Record in California?
Thomas Scott Tucker
Trump, World War I and the Lessons of Poetry
John W. Whitehead
Red Flag Gun Laws
Newton Finn
On Earth, as in Heaven: the Utopianism of Edward Bellamy
Robert Fantina
Shithole Countries: Made in the USA
René Voss
Have Your Say about Ranching in Our Point Reyes National Seashore
Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail