Category Archives: Windrush

Did ‘activist lawyers’ tell Home Office its Windrush compensation scheme was a disaster, too?

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

How unfortunate for the Home Office that it should fall foul of the lawyers twice in one day.

Or is it perhaps a sign of the Johnson government’s disregard for the law?

The Tory government’s much-maligned Windrush Compensation Scheme has been trashed by – one would expect – activist lawyers from no fewer than nine separate firms.

They say it is failing to provide access to justice – a claim that can only have gained validity after it was revealed that the HO tried to rush-deport 23 people illegally, because it had not allowed them their right to appeal.

The – activist – lawyers also said that while the Windrush scandal traumatised its victims, the compensation scheme is only worsening the trauma.

The HO has already confirmed that at least five people who applied for compensation died before receiving it.

Lawyers say they have experienced significant delays and difficulties filing claims for clients who were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants and lost their jobs, housing or pensions as a result.

The letter says many applications appear to be “appear to be lost in a kind of bureaucratic limbo”, with some people forced to wait more than a year for decisions.

Look at this:

The decision to put the Home Office in charge of processing of claims was particularly problematic, they write, given the criticisms of the department made in Wendy Williams’ official inquiry into the scandal. Williams’ report identified a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” within the Home Office and “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”.

And now let’s all remember that the Home Office is carrying out its own inquiry into the death of refugee Mercy Baguma. What chance does justice have in a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” with “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”?

Coincidentally (or is it?) yesterday HO permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft announced:

Perhaps inevitably, this was one of the responses:

Source: Windrush payout scheme not fit for purpose, say lawyers | Windrush scandal | The Guardian

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EU citizen registration scheme isn’t risking another Windrush scandal – the first one isn’t over!

Bumi Thomas: this jazz musician’s citizenship of the UK is in the balance and the government has already tried to deport her.

EU citizens living in the UK may find themselves the focus of another Windrush-style scandal if they fail to apply for “settled status” – but it seems the first Windrush scandal isn’t over and people are still being deported.

According to The Independent:

EU nationals are in danger of slipping through the cracks of the government’s Brexit registration scheme and turning into another Windrush-style scandal, citizens’ groups have warned.

MPs on the EU future relationship committee were told by community groups that there was simply no way to tell whether how many people had been left out of the scheme because there were no accurate figures for how many were eligible.

EU nationals in the UK have been expected to sign up for “settled status” because of Brexit bringing an end to free movement, but campaigners have complained that the scheme is poorly designed and will leave some people behind.

There are concerns that some EU nationals – particularly vulnerable people – may not realise they need to register, and may find themselves being removed from the UK without understanding why.

This raises uncomfortable parallels with the Windrush scandal, in which documents showing that people had emigrated to the UK and had every right to be here were destroyed by the Conservative government.

The Tories then contacted these people, demanding proof of a right to live in the UK. When they could not produce it, they were deported.

And they still are.

Yes, government representatives have apologised; yes, they said it would not happen again. Either those Tories were mistaken or they were lying.

So we see twin brothers Darren and Darrell Roberts being threatened with deportation to two different countries after completing prison sentences because – despite having been born in the UK – the Tories say they have no legal status here.

Darren, 24, is being sent to Grenada because that’s where his mother was born; brother Darrell will go to the Dominican Republic in one of the errors for which the Home Office under the Tories is justly infamous – he has no family there because his father was born in Dominica, which is a completely different nation.

All children born in the UK are eligible for citizenship but there is an application process with attached costs, which have risen enormously in recent years. Some might argue that this has happened alongside the rise of overt racism in the UK’s government.

The correspondence received by Darrell is certainly racist; it offers him a financial incentive to “return home” – implying that his home must be a foreign country because he is black. This is a young man who was born in London and has lived in the UK for his entire life, remember.

Legally, the government will undoubtedly say it is well within its rights as neither brother has citizenship. But they were still minors when they were imprisoned and their childhood has been described as “traumatic”, so it may be unsurprising that no citizenship applications were completed for them.

Windrush was about sending black people “home” because they couldn’t prove they belonged in the UK. This is no different.

And what about jazz musician Bumi Thomas, who was born in 1983, after the Tory government of Margaret Thatcher passed their British Nationality Act that stripped automatic citizenship from children born to parents from UK colonies?

Despite having been born in Glasgow in 1983 and living in the UK solidly since 2000, she found herself fighting a -crowdfunded – legal battle to remain in the country of her birth.

An immigration tribunal judge has ruled in favour of withdrawing the threat of deportation, but she must wait two years before she can apply for British citizenship. Her status is still at the mercy of a divisive immigration policy – meaning her application may be turned down and she might have to go through this process all over again.

So it seems to This Writer that we should not be discussing the EU nationals’ registration scheme as “another Windrush”. The Windrush scandal is still going on.

EU nationals are merely in danger of joining the Windrush generations as victims of a racist UK government.

Source: Brexit: EU citizen registration scheme risks another Windrush scandal, MPs warned | The Independent

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Windrush scandal victims deliver petition to Downing Street – for all the good it will do

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

If ever you needed proof that your government tells you what to do, and not the other way around, it’s this.

The Windrush Scandal – and the “hostile environment” that spawned it – was created from a desire to rid the UK of huge numbers of citizens who came to the UK from Commonwealth nations, notably in the Caribbean, to help rebuild the nation after World War II.

Their job was done, you see, so racist politicians decided to destroy any information offering them a right to UK citizenship and then deport them on the grounds that they could not show a good reason to stay.

Of course, they were caught in the act. And in fairness, the Conservative Government apologised.

Only words.

When it came to actually providing compensation to the people they attacked – make no mistake, this was a deliberate attempt by a UK government to harm its citizens – our Tory administration has spent two years dragging its heels.

Yes – a recent docu-drama on the BBC has reminded us all of the extent of the crime here.

But I see no willingness to make recompense to people who, being poor, cannot exert any influence over the politicians who had all power over them.

Watch what happens and see if I’m right.

Survivors of the Windrush scandal have delivered a petition to Downing Street signed by 130,000 people calling on the government to speed up compensation payments and implement all the recommendations in the Windrush Lessons Learned review.

Paulette Wilson and Anthony Bryan – who were wrongly held in immigration detention centres and threatened with deportation to Jamaica, a country they both left as children in the 1960s and had not visited in more than 50 years – handed the petition to police officers at the gates of Downing Street on Friday.

They both expressed their anger that so few people affected had received compensation in the two years since the government first apologised for wrongly classifying thousands of legal residents as being in the country illegally.

They were joined by Michael Braithwaite, a special needs teaching assistant, who was sacked from the primary school he had worked at for 15 years; Glenda Caesar, who was sacked from her job as a GP administrator after more than 20 years working for the NHS; and Elwaldo Romeo, who was told by the Home Office he was facing detention and should return to Antigua, a country he left 59 years earlier as a four-year-old boy.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The home secretary has been clear that the mistreatment of the Windrush generation by successive governments was completely unacceptable and she will right those wrongs.” However, they added, Williams had recommended that the Home Office consider the review carefully before responding, “and we are committed to honouring that request”. Patel had said she would update parliament before the summer recess.

Officials in charge of organising the compensation scheme stressed that claimants should not feel discouraged by the difficulties experienced by others and should persist with making claims. A spokesperson said assistance in completing the claim form was available via the free Windrush helpline on 0800 678 1925.

Source: Windrush scandal survivors deliver petition to No 10 | UK news | The Guardian

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Tell your friends to watch Windrush drama Sitting in Limbo – it’s more than the BBC will do!

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

Did you know the BBC is screening a drama based on the “Windrush generation” racism scandal?

It’s on this evening (Monday, June 8, 2020), starting at 8.30pm and the BBC appears to have done its best not to promote it in any way.

Make up your own mind on what that says about the BBC’s relationship with the Conservative government, whose racism is likely to be a major story element.

And make up your own mind on whether the Corporation’s reticence has anything to do with the death of George Floyd in the United States, and protests in support of people of colour that have taken place in the UK since it happened, culminating in the removal and sinking of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol yesterday (June 7).

Fortunately, Radio Times at least mentions the play. It says:

Sitting in Limbo could hardly be more timely. Arriving at an extraordinary moment in history as the Black Lives Matter movement grows and as protests take place around the world, this feature-length BBC One drama shines the spotlight on the painful, raw and recent Windrush scandal.

Starring Patrick Robinson and written by Stephen S. Thompson,  the factual drama is based on the real-life experiences of a Jamaican-born British man whose life was upended when the Home Office decided that he was actually here illegally.

Anthony has lived in the UK since he was eight years old, but when he decided to obtain a passport and visit his elderly mother in Jamaica, he learnt that there was no record of him as a British citizen. The onus was now on him to prove his citizenship to the Home Office.

Unable to claim his benefits and forced to leave his job, Anthony was left in limbo. He was later forcibly removed from his home and detained as an illegal immigrant, placing his story at the heart of the Windrush immigration scandal, which saw a government crackdown on the children of the “Windrush generation,” who unlike their parents often travelled without their own documents.

Thompson said: “Like everyone caught up in the Windrush scandal, Anthony has been severely traumatised by the experience. It has badly affected his confidence and left him questioning his very identity. As his brother, I saw what he went through first-hand. I couldn’t bear the idea that he had suffered in vain and it made me determined to tell his story. For me, this is personal.”

Source: Sitting in Limbo – BBC One Windrush scandal drama | cast, air date, what it’s about – Radio Times

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Bad Times-ing: new radio channel announces Windrush Home Secretary will host show – in the middle of George Floyd racism riots

Amber Rudd: what a symbol of white privilege.

How tactless. How Murdoch.

Times Radio is a Rupert Murdoch venture – it’s run by his firm News UK – and will start broadcasting on June 29. So the organisation put out a press release today (June 2) announcing its initial line-up.

Fair enough? Not really.

You see, among the presenters is Amber Rudd, the former Tory Home Secretary who had to quit her job over her appallingly bad handling of the racist Windrush scandal.

She was the one who misled Parliament over a memo showing that the Home Office had a target number of people to deport from the UK, if you remember.

Now, after a week of violence in the United States over the killing by police of unarmed George Floyd, on the same day the Conservative governent here in the UK refused to release a report on the way black and minority ethnic people have been disproportionately harmed in the Covid-19 crisis… Times Radio announces this danger to black people will be hosting a happy-go-lucky radio talk show.

The message is clear: This privileged white woman persecuted vulnerable black people so we’re rewarding her.

The channel’s press release refers to “former Conservative Home Secretary Amber Rudd with her journalist daughter Flora Gill, talking about their different takes on the world, picking up on their popular social media interactions”.

And it quotes Rudd as saying: “It will be a great platform for me to put Flora in her place.” Will she be deporting her daughter, then?

If this Murdoch channel wanted to throw away listeners, it could not have done a better job than by starting with this. The reaction on social media has been poisonous:

https://twitter.com/JosieLong/status/1267774510339629058

Source: News UK announces Times Radio launch date: new national DAB station begins broadcasting on Monday 29th June | News UK

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Jamaica deportation: 25 saved from flight – but 17 are aboard, despite court ruling

Boris Johnson: He’s a foreign-born UK resident who plotted a crime in the UK – why hasn’t he been deported?

This is a win – if only a partial one.

A ruling by the Court of Appeal that people who have not had access to legal advice should not be on the Home Office’s deportation plane to Jamaica has led to a reprieve for 25 of them.

But they do not know what the Conservatives will do to them next, and 17 people were forced to take the plane.

Campaigners have said that the decision to deport people who have been in the UK since they were as young as two years old, meaning they are being removed from their families and the country they consider their home, is racist.

The Tories are saying that it is right to deport people who were born in foreign countries and committed crimes in the UK.

So far they have refused to address the fault in their argument – that their own prime minister, Boris Johnson, plotted an assault and battery offence against a UK journalist.

Why is he not on a plane to the United States, which is where he was born, with no hope of return?

Source: Jamaica deportation: Home Office flight leaves UK despite court ruling – BBC News

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Jamaica deportation: will the Tories go ahead after appeal court decision?

Doing a runner: Priti Patel leaving the Commons to avoid a question about the Windrush-style deportation of people to Jamaica (not really, but she did run like a coward when David Lammy asked her about it).

The Court of Appeal has advised the Tory government not to deport 50 people to Jamaica until it has confirmed they have all had access to advice from lawyers.

But will Boris Johnson and his bandits accept that advice?

Consider the way Priti Patel swanned out of the Commons chamber, while David Lammy was asking her an urgent question on the subject.

Former Labour leadership candidate Clive Lewis also demanded that the flight should be stopped.

It is racism, if their convictions are suspect and they haven’t had access to a lawyer. And if the Home Secretary can’t answer a simple question about it.

But as I write this, it seems unlikely the Tories will stop the flight. They think they can do whatever they like, to anyone they feel like. Are they right?

Source: Jamaica deportation: Appeal court issues order over phone access – BBC News

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Johnson insists on deportation of Caribbean nationals despite claims they’re NOT ‘serious criminals’

Nazi overtones: Hitler deported Jews from Germany, before deciding to murder them instead; now it seems Boris Johnson is picking on people of Caribbean descent. What next?

Exactly why is the Tory government insisting on deporting people of Caribbean origin who have been UK residents for many years?

He says they’re “serious criminals”. But are they? Let’s remember, the Tories have been wrong about their deportations before, but still insisted on causing misery to thousands of innocent people.

(And the UK electorate then insisted on returning them to office. I suppose it’s true that some people only care when they’re the ones being persecuted.)

All 50 of those being deported are said to be convicted criminals, but here’s the catch: they have all served UK prison terms for those crimes.

They have already paid the required price for their crimes and it would be perverse to punish them again. Isn’t this simply more Tory racism?

The Home Office says the flight is “specifically for removing foreign criminals” and includes “people convicted of manslaughter, rape, violent crime and dealing Class A drugs”. Number 10 has said all the people on the flight have sentences of 12 months or more.

But a law firm representing some of the people on the flight has put forward a different view – that they are “potential victims of trafficking, groomed as children by drugs gangs running county lines networks and later pursued in the criminal justice system as serious offenders”.

And why is this flight scheduled to happen before the ‘Lessons Learned’ review of the Windrush Scandal is published? That event showed that the Tories had wrongly detained and deported thousands of people, forcing then-prime minister Theresa May to apologise for the suffering she had caused as the Home Secretary who approved it.

But at least one person on tomorrow’s (February 11) flight has been found to have been convicted falsely under an unlawful interpretation of the ‘joint enterprise’ rule. He served only two months in prison and has a heart condition which means he may not survive the stress that Mr Johnson is forcing him to undergo.

This would tally with the legal challenge against the deportations.

More than 170 MPs have signed a letter organised by Labour MP Nadia Whittome, demanding that the flight be cancelled, or at least delayed until after publication of the ‘Lessons Learned’ report:

A draft of the report in June 2019 said: “Government should review its policy and approach to FNOs [foreign national offenders], if necessary through primary legislation. It should consider ending all deportation of FNOs where they arrived in the UK as children (say, before age of 13).

“Alternatively, deportation should only be considered in the most severe cases.”

Source: Boris Johnson insists first deportation of Caribbean nationals since Windrush scandal must go ahead | The Independent

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Two years on, why is the Windrush scandal still claiming victims?

Paul Nichols: His records were destroyed when the racist Tory government was trying to deport members of the so-called Windrush generation.

Didn’t Sajid Javid promise to “do right by the Windrush generation”, on his first day as Home Secretary? (Yes, he did.) What happened?

Yet now we see 75 Paul Nichols, who served in the British Army for nine years but has been denied a student loan at the end of 2017 – because the government has no record of him.

Why not? Because it was ditched with those of all the other Windrush people?

He can’t even get legal support with a claim for compensation because the Tories have not put enough state money into its scheme, it seems.

Campaigners say this means some people have submitted low-quality claims that may be rejected even though they are eligible, and others are not applying because the process is too complex to do without legal support.

An immigration lawyer quoted in the source article (see below) has said there is a huge difference between the resources put into the scheme to provide settled status for EU citizens and those put into helping victims of the Windrush scandal.

She said it amounted to racism by the Conservative government.

But that’s okay – right?

Because, thanks to the Tories’ relentless promotion of division between sections of our society, since they first came back into office in 2010, we’re all racists now.

Source: Windrush man who served in British army for nine years told there is no record of him | The Independent

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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This election, for all those who no longer have the chance to vote, please make yours count

Those are strong words from the Wear Red – Stand Up and Be Counted Facebook page (above).

For those who can’t read image files, it says:

“Up to 130,000 people have died because of austerity who aren’t able to vote on December 12.

“Hundreds of homeless people have died on the streets who aren’t able to vote either.

“Those from the Windrush generation who were unjustly deported aren’t able to vote.

“The sick people who died in hospital corridors waiting for medical treatment aren’t able to vote.

“The victims of unsolved knife crime because of 20,000 less police aren’t able to vote.

“The families burned to death in Grenfell Towers aren’t able to vote.

“They don’t have a voice any more, so on December 12, use your voice to speak for them and vote the Tories out.”

The text accompanying the image states [boldings mine]:

“This post is in memory of all those who can no longer vote because in some way their lives were irrevocably changed or lost forever because of how the Conservative government has treated them.

Remember them, because they could just as easily be you or someone that you love.

“We all fall on hard times at one point or another.

“That’s the whole point of society, is that we help each other in times of need, we do it without asking for anything in return because we actually care about each other.

“We don’t seek to sub-contract that care out to the lowest bidder and watch them make profit from your hardship.

“The Tories are ruining our society, they are selling it off in chunks to super rich private entities and leasing it back to you at twice the cost.

The by-product of this austerity is not only massive transfer of wealth into the hands of the few, but also thousands of people dying prematurely or being deported from their homes, widespread misery and stress for all low earners, sick, vulnerable and severely disabled people.

“We cannot emphasise enough how much good you will be doing by voting Labour in this election.

“Whether you care a little or a lot for politics, this election is a turning point for all of us.

“Protect your NHS, keep Trump’s hands off our health care, and most of all speak up for the countless victims of this warped ideology that would knowingly persecute sick people right up until the point where they died while being desperately in need of help.

“To think of this happening to one person is heartbreaking, but to 130,000 it’s almost unimaginable.

“Get out there on Dec 12, imbued with the spirit of these fallen souls, and send a clear message to Westminster that you’re not putting up with this way of doing things for one day longer.”

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

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Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.


The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook