I have taken a few days, before I wrote this weeks blog, and I hoped that i would have time to gather the fact, and in that time, I further hoped that I would calm down… Not much chance for the latter I afraid, So this blog may not be for the faint of heart!
Never has there been a more controversial Home Secretary, than Theresa May. Some will remember ‘Short, Sharp, Shock’ Willie Whitelaw. However Mrs May took the crown, on all fronts. A post that she held for many years, and through many a controversy. As head of the prisons, and immigration, as well as the police, she managed to be hated by them all! the lady was not for turning, and was pleased each reshuffle when she found herself keeping the post.
Any politician with half a brain, would have worked out that she was not keeping her job, it was just that no one wanted the job, after she had made a hash of the whole department. In the end they broke up the department, so that it was palatable, to a potential successor! That never really happen, as she volunteered for another job, which no one at the time wanted, within her party.. Prime Minister!
So let’s get to it… Most leaders, are in a position, to blame others for what happened in the past, Trump blames Obama, Cameron blamed Blair, the list goes on.. Always someone else, but not in this case. Theresa May, was Home Secretary, and she created the bills concerned, the fact that she is now Prime Minister, she has to face this issue head on.. Yes I am talking ‘Windrush’ and the fallout.
For those of you who do not know, I will give a little background. After the second world war, Britain faced a shortage of labour, as the country was in need of rebuilding after the blitz, and sort help from its commonwealth counterparts. Namely the West Indies, and offered Caribbean members the opportunity to come to Britain for work, and a new life, in the land of their queen. Promises were made, the key one being, not just commonwealth citizenship, but British Citizenship, for them and their families.
Although, thousands of miles away from any warfare, apart from recruits being sort from these same Caribbean islands, for the British services. Britain had very little use for these islands in the Caribbean, apart from a holiday destination for the wealthy.
Poverty therefore on these islands were high, and the chance to earn, and live elsewhere, on streets, paved of gold, was an opportunity, many could not refuse. Further, their citizenship being ratified by the Queen, was far too much an offer to turn down. Although the Empire Windrush, was not the only ship bringing West Indians to the UK, right up to the early 1960’s, the so-called ‘Windrush Generation‘ continued to arrive in the UK, Same promises, and the demand for workers just as high.
Many will know that children under a certain age, were able to travel on a Parents Passport? I myself never had a passport until I was in my teens, and that was only because I was no longer on my Mothers passport, but I remember the hoops I had to jump through to get it, as I didn’t in theory exist? I will get back to that! So many arrived here, from the Caribbean as children, without any documentation. Anything from the West Indies, became useless on arrival in the UK, and it would take years to build a history in a new land.
A Passport is not only a form of ID, the wording inside (I see you reaching for yours). Is a declaration backed by the sovereign (Government), that the person bearing this document is not only the true person, and has been verified as such, and should be given freedom of passage as a sovereign citizen. In lay-mans terms ‘I’m British and should be treated as a British and if anyone has a problem with that… Ask the queen, she will vouch for me!! no other document does that.. No, not your birth certificate!
In the early 70’s Britain, stated that those who had arrived from Commonwealth Countries would be given the right to citizenship, and those would be afforded the rights as anyone Britain, and with that came ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in the UK. Naively some of these people from the Caribbean, did not realise that this meant you had to affirm that right! HOW? The easiest way? Apply for a British passport! Why? The checks made to apply for a British passport, someone to confirm that they know you, and that the photo you are using is a true likeness, that person must have known you for a number of years, you need a birth certificate, NHS number, etc! Years of background information which they kind of have anyway, and its all cross checked! then if you are who you say you are, Bingo! British passport official British citizen!
What if you came here, in the 50’s, worked (as little proof was needed to get a job), worked for 30 years, never took a holiday? Paid taxes, National insurance, bought a home! Retired, and thought I will treat myself to a holiday of a lifetime, and return to the Caribbean, and visit what is left of my family. You have no birth certificate! As your mother has long passed! So has the hospital you were born in! (hurricane in 1980). But you’ve paid tax, NI, have your marriage certificate from Hackney Town Hall. So you gather what papers you have, go into a travel agents, book your flights, and head off to London to apply for your passport. You have filled out the form as best you can, and produce what you have as documentation! your told to return the next day, as it will take time to process, in excitement you arrive at the passport office bright and early, and await for your name to be called.
‘Mr Johnson’ that’s me.. Come with us, Mr Johnson never saw his home in Tottenham again. Those two gentlemen at the passport office took him into a back room, where he was informed that, he was illegally in the UK, and was to be taken into detention, and possibly deported, to Jamaica. Fact or Fiction?
In 2009, So Mrs May has tried to slip out of this one… It was not on my watch! Well sorry love, laws don’t come in over night? you may of left office, but it was your brainchild! The Brexit debate had brought immigration to the forefront, and in an attempt to stop Europeans from coming to the UK, to burden our NHS, and our Benefits, our Theresa panicked and came up with a law, with the effects of we are now debating. Now let’s be very clear! There was more to this law! It was also a way of quickly deporting anyone Britain felt unsuitable. The law is long-winded, and basically states, that unless you can produce 4 bits of ID, you’re not eligible, for Work, Benefits, NHS, and will be subject to deportation.
Now I was Born in Ilford, Essex. in 1966. I do not have 4 bits of official ID? I do however have a passport? Which I mentioned earlier? I was previously on my Mothers passport, have travelled back to the Caribbean in the 70’s. At which time my mother applied for her first British passport (yep, my mum’s safe…). When I went to apply for my first passport, I took Birth Certificate, photo, NHS card, etc. Now we know that one of the questions is? Have you had a passport before? Yes I had technically, as I had travelled, But it wasn’t in my name? how do you put that down on a form? Long story short, I had to go to court, and get a signed affidavit signed by a judge, to confirm who I am? I shit you not!
Now how many of you, have 4 bits of ID? If you don’t have a passport which, I may add is the only document excepted a proof of who you are in the UK? Because you will need those documents to get a passport! But don’t got with just 3 bits to the passport office, as you may find yourself on a plane!
As I write, there have been apology’s, and yet we have no idea of the numbers who have fallen foul of Ms May’s Dickensian law, How many have been returned to a country, that they know in name only! How many have been sacked, and become unemployable! How many have been denied NHS treatment? How many have died due to the stress of such a situation? Theresa May, you can shove your apology up that well-heeled arse of yours! As I for one am not listening. And as I don’t think the police, will be beating on my door over this comment, as they know what your really all about.
Ms May, I implore you to not waste time apologising, as without the about figures, you apology is merely lip service, at which I know you are proficient. You need to stand up in parliament, and say, everyone involved will be compensated, those deported? returned, and those who have been denied treatment, given access immediately. with access to all services…. Today!!
Failure to do so will lead to not only more people falling foul of this stupid law, which was put in place to reduce the number of Polish entering the UK? Who I don’t see being asked for 4 bits of ID? And are not in detention centres, having been a law-abiding, Tax paying, national insurance contributing, British Citizens, for all of their Lives.
They have done their bit for this country, Now Theresa, do what you paid to do.. and put it right… NOW!
HOLLA AT ME! (You too Theresa)