Tag Archives: citizen

POLL: is the Supreme Court right to refuse Shamima Begum’s bid to return to the UK for trial?

Shamima Begum: she won’t be allowed to return to the UK and fight for her citizenship.

The Supreme Court has ruled that Shamima Begum should not be allowed to return to the UK to fight for her citizenship to be restored.

Its members unanimously overruled a decision by the Court of Appeal that said she would not be able to make an effective appeal from the camp in northern Syria where she is currently living.

The Home Office had appealed against the decision on the grounds that allowing her to return would create “significant national security risks”.

The Supreme Court agreed:

Lord Reed said: “The Supreme Court unanimously allows all of the home secretary’s appeals and dismisses Ms Begum’s cross-appeal.”

He said the Court of Appeal’s judgment “did not give the home secretary’s assessment the respect which it should have received” given the role’s “responsibility for making such assessments” and accountability to parliament.

Lord Reed added the Court of Appeal had “mistakenly believed that, when an individual’s right to have a fair hearing… came into conflict with the requirements of national security, her right to a fair hearing must prevail.”

He said the right to a fair hearing did “not trump all other considerations, such as the safety of the public”.

Ms Begum has proved extremely divisive among some members of the UK community.

She was enticed abroad to join Islamic State, aged just 15, and married a Dutch IS fighter – with whom she had three children. They have all died.

After IS largely collapsed, she found herself in a refugee camp and appealed for the UK’s government to return her to this country, so she could rely on the National Health Service to care for her and her last child, before that child died.

But then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid instead stripped her of her UK citizenship, citing the by-then-20-year-old’s still-apparent enthusiasm for the bloodthirsty regime she fled the country to join.

Some said she had been groomed and did not know what she was doing; some said she knew exactly what she was about.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), a semi-secret court that hears national security cases, ruled that Mr Javid was right and Ms Begum could appeal for citizenship to Bangladesh, to which she may have a claim to nationality through her mother.

The Court of Appeal overruled that judgement and now the Supreme Court has reversed that decision.

Some are now saying that Ms Begum is now in legal limbo. She isn’t – she can still make her appeal from Syria, using lawyers in the UK.

But is that a reasonable course of action? Let’s have a poll:

Source: Shamima Begum cannot return to UK, Supreme Court rules – BBC News

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Is this yet another example of Tory racism?

The Tories said that EU nationals would be encouraged to apply for “settled status” rather than being forced to leave the UK after Brexit.

That’s what they said.

But they have put obstacle after obstacle in the way – barriers to application and delays in Home Office decision-making being significant factors in pushing vulnerable EU citizens out.

And from January 1, EU citizens were quietly added to the Tory government’s voluntary returns scheme, offering them paid flights and £2,000 resettlement money to get them to leave of their own accord.

It seems clear that Tory policy hasn’t moved an inch since Theresa May was attacked so bitterly for sending advertising vans around London telling people from foreign countries to “go home”.

Worst of all, this is cutting our collective nose off to spite our face.

The UK relies on EU migrants to do a lot of important work. Without them – especially in the Covid crisis – we’ll struggle.

Either the Tories haven’t thought about that or – more likely, considering the Covid death toll – they simply don’t care.

Source: EU citizens offered financial incentives to leave UK | Brexit | The Guardian

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Torygraph politics: paper praises Tories for saving money because senior citizens have died of Covid-19

Some institutions have twisted priorities:

That’s the Daily Telegraph for you.

But doesn’t it make you question whether the Tory intention really was for Covid-19 to kill as many pensioners as possible, in order to cut the National Insurance bill?

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Jacob Rees-Mogg thinks UK citizens are subjects of the Tory government. Not since 1948, baby!

Rees-Mogg: this cartoon makes him look like a fictional character. If he was, he still wouldn’t be acceptable.

The Leader of the House of Commons – Jacob Rees-Mogg – thinks that the rest of the UK’s population are his subjects.

The revelation in a tweet today (November 28), says much about this Tory’s twisted ideology.

And people are right to be angry about it:

The difference is very important because a subject is a person who is under the power of another; Rees-Mogg thinks you are under his power.

A citizen – which is what you actually are – is a member of a mass of free people who, collectively, possess sovereignty. We choose who represents us in Parliament, therefore we are the masters.

Many people believe that UK citizens are subjects – that we must all look up to a master – because it has been said that we are subjects of our monarchy. But this was changed by the 1948 British Nationality Act, which altered our status from “British Subjects” to “Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies”. The definition was further changed in 1981.

Perhaps Rees-Mogg thinks he is above us because we pay tax and he doesn’t – or at least, he hasn’t so far – on the profits of his firm.

His 15 per cent holding of Somerset Capital Management – an investment firm that is working on profiteering on the Covid crisis by buying devalued shares in firms that have struggled as a result of the pandemic but are expected to recover – may have earned him £15 million over the last five years.

But This Writer is told it doesn’t pay Corporation Tax because it is a partnership, meaning the partners (including Rees-Mogg) directly benefit from the profits, and bear the losses. The firm is based in the tax haven of Singapore, however, meaning it has not been required to provide information on its profits to HM Revenue and Customs in the past.

That has changed recently; changes in EU tax law that have been adopted into UK law mean Singapore is now providing that information to HMRC, which will have to decide whether to demand tax from those firms in the future.

But for the time being, Rees-Mogg has been making a killing.

Most of us are not in a position to hold shares in a partnership based in a tax haven, so it seems reasonable to suggest that this is where Rees-Mogg vests his belief in his own superiority.

There, and in his own boneheaded ignorance.

Are you sure you want somebody as vile as this to have any say in your life?

*For clarity, I should make it clear that I know UK citizens have never been subjects of their government. The 1948 Act seemed a handy hook on which to hang Rees-Mogg’s mistake.

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Continuation of Tory business by other means: disabled people make up six in 10 Covid-19 deaths

Targeted: more elderly and disabled people have died of Covid-19 than anybody else. Doesn’t that suit the Tories’ purposes perfectly?

It’s a sickening thought but it just might be possible that Boris Johnson and his Tories have been allowing Covid-19 to go unchecked – in certain places – because it is fulfilling their goals.

We all know that the Conservatives hate – I mean they absolutely hate – people with disabilities, for no reason other than that they have disabilities. It’s a classic prejudice that, if it were drawn along racial line, would demand prosecutions.

That’s why Tory policy since 2010 has been so brutal towards people with disabilities and has caused so many deaths. Just read back through This Site’s posts over the last nine years and you’ll see what I mean.

Covid-19 seems to have given them an excuse. It’s not just their policies causing the deaths any more – it’s the virus.

What a great way to excuse themselves!

I fear that is exactly how people like Therese Coffey and Iain Duncan Smith, not to mention Johnson himself, think.

Here’s Metro:

More than half of people who died of coronavirus in England and Wales had a disability, new figures revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics, 59% of all deaths involving Covid-19 from March 2 to July 14 were of disabled people.

But only 16% of the population have disabilities, according to 2011 Census data, meaning they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Targeted is the word I would use.

After adjusting for region, population density, socio-demographic and household characteristics, the coronavirus mortality rates between disabled and non-disabled people was 2.4 times higher for females and 2.0 times higher for males.

And the benefit to the Tories was even greater among pensioners, who the Tories consider a huge burden on the Treasury:

For women over 65 with a severe disability, the mortality rate was 589.63 compared with 187.95 for non-disabled women.

Out of the 19,405 deaths of females aged 65 and older from March 2 to July 14, the proportion of disabled people was the largest, accounting for 67.2% (13,048).

In contrast, among the 2,766 deaths of males aged 9 to 64, the share made up by disabled people was the smallest at 38.5% (1,066).

I know: it’s a disease and it most strongly affects those who have the least resistance to it.

That’s exactly what they want you to think.

Source: Coronavirus UK: Disabled people make up six in ten Covid-19 deaths | Metro News

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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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War on the vulnerable: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit

Hostile environment: Nigel Farage had a poster created, stirring up hatred against immigrants. He was only tapping into government policy since 2010, when the current ‘hostile environment’ policy was launched by the Conservatives.

Did you know that 16 million apples have rotted away this year because the migrant workers from the EU who used to come and pick them haven’t bothered to turn up?

The reason? Well, it might be Brexit – but it’s more likely to be because they can’t get Universal Credit because of the Tories’ “hostile environment” policy.

The issue was raised in Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 23) by Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds. He said: “The National Farmers Union reported this week that 16 million apples have rotted away, because the immigrant workers that normally pick them for the country have chosen not to come.

“Immigration was clearly a big part of the EU referendum, and the Prime Minister has promised a points-based system, but that is not going to allow for people coming here to pick fruit. What does he intend to do to stop the scandal of British food rotting away in the fields?”

BoJob blathered some nonsense about there being “more EU nationals living and working in this country than ever before”.

Oh, really?

What about this, then? Read:

EU citizens are being made homeless and destitute after being turned down for universal credit despite having the legal right to reside in the UK, in what critics are calling the benefit system’s very own “hostile environment”.

Ministers are being urged to review “unfair practices” after law centres and welfare advisers reported a surge in cases in which EU nationals without UK citizenship have ended up in debt or sleeping rough because of incorrect decisions to refuse their application for universal credit that cut off their benefits overnight.

Claimants who challenge the decision typically have to wait up to 40 weeks for an appeal hearing. Welfare advisers say they win their the appeal in almost all cases, resulting in back payments of thousands of pounds.

I should remind readers that, by agreement, EU migrants who claim benefits in the UK have them paid by their own government; the UK government charges their country for the cost.

So there is no reason for the UK to deny benefits to these people, if their earnings are so low (Tory policy is to depress wages for the lowest-paid, remember) that they cannot afford to live.

Still, this is the situation: EU migrant workers are being forced into destitution because of Tory government policy not to pay their benefits – on the grounds that they are not habitually resident in the UK.

Is it any wonder they can’t be bothered to pick our rotten apples?

Source: Surge in EU citizens unfairly refused access to universal credit | Society | The Guardian

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Outcry against ‘settled status’ registration scheme for EU citizens is rising

Dr J Gorski-Mescir tweeted that this was “the last time my family qualified for registration and ‘settled status'”. I hope the reference is not lost on you.

The image above is a mild response to the Conservative government’s racist demand that foreign nationals from EU countries submit to a registration scheme in which their details may be passed on to third parties for reasons unknown, and pay to become a persecuted minority.

I have already referred to the work of Professor Tanja Bueltmann in revealing what this scheme actually means for people who have enjoyed the right to live and work in this country for many decades – many since before the UK joined the EU in the first place. Here’s another video clip, with further information:

The following thread by James Chapman raises extremely important questions about whether the new scheme even abides by current UK law:

He also asks: “10. (one more, a bit leftfield, that just occurred to me) Has Govt taken advice on whether UK citizens who actively want to apply for EU settled status would have any sort of legal claim that refusing them would be discriminatory?”

Mr Chapman’s remark about the lack of media interest (barring a few honourable exceptions) produces one very interesting such exception: The Sun. That’s right – even the most rabid of the right-wing rags has attacked the “settled status” scheme as “sinister”, saying “there is a difference between ensuring control of our borders and straightforward hostility” and warning about the tone struck by “the silent threat of imminent deportation”.

https://twitter.com/jamesrbuk/status/1078956903735148544

Of course, some have tried to defend the scheme – such as Conservative MP Chris Philp. His argument turned out to be child’s play to refute:

Meanwhile, the following two tweets demonstrate the reality for people who, until Brexit, had every right to believe they would be allowed to go on living in the country of their choice, unmolested, until the end of their natural lives:

And some have resorted to satire. Here’s TV comic Jon Richardson:

Going back to Professor Bueltmann’s video clip, it stated that the “settled status” scheme shows ‘Leave’ campaigners were lying when they promised that EU citizens in the UK would be allowed to carry on living in the UK, unmolested.

It’s just one of many broken promises. In the clip below, former EU commissioner Viviane Reding lists just some of the main points:

https://twitter.com/BrexitRaab/status/1078948973749116928

Somehow, though, I doubt that the fact we’re all being shafted, not just those of us having to apply for “settled status”, will be any comfort at all.

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What’s the REAL motive behind the Tories’ racist ‘EU Settlement Scheme’?

Oh yes you are: The Conservative government could have granted EU citizens in the UK a continuation of all the rights they enjoy now but it didn’t. Now they face a future of persecution by the most overtly racist administration the UK has had in decades.

The UK’s Conservative government is creating a central register for one minority in the UK – EU citizens – holding data it can share freely and in secret with undisclosed private and public organisation in the UK and across the world. Why?

Bear in mind that the current Tory administration is well-known as a persecutor of minorities. Consider its treatment of the Windrush generation, of people with disabilities, and of those with long-term illnesses.

I’ve already explored the basics of this horrible idea.

Here’s the3million Twitter account – the largest grassroots organisation of EU27 citizens in the UK, campaigning to protect citizens’ rights – to explain the rest:

The thread concludes: “In summary, the UK Govt is creating a central register just for one minority in the UK, EU citizens, holding data it can share freely & in secret with undisclosed private & public organisation in the UK & across the world. This is truly shocking. /end https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/settled_status_app_data_privacy#outgoing-838331 

Professor Tanja Bueltmann has made a video clip explaining the implications:

In response to the latest revelations, she has added: “This is a *much bigger* scandal than the Home Office clip about settled status. Make sure you read this. Herein also lies to answer to a question many have asked me about what you can do to help: support @The3Million! One direct route to do so is here.

The link encourages you to become an “EU Citizens Champion”, donating funds to support the campaign for a legal immigration status that will protect all EU citizens and their families after Brexit and for the rest of their lives.

And if you need another incentive to visit the page and donate, consider this:

Will you really stand aside and let the Tories launch another Windrush scandal? Are you really the kind of person who’ll let a criminal government persecute anyone else, until there’s nobody left to help when they come for you?

I don’t think so.

Please prove me right.

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Tories have not backtracked on Bedroom Tax for pensioners – they’re just prolonging the agony

Labour MP Frank Field called on the government to 'ditch the proposal altogether' [Image: PA].

Labour MP Frank Field called on the government to ‘ditch the proposal altogether’ [Image: PA].


The Independent is reporting the announcement that the Tory Government has shelved its “pensioners’ Bedroom Tax” plan for a year as a “climbdown”, saying ministers have “backtracked”. This is not true.

Senior citizens are being forced to live under the threat of the plan to charge them for living in “under-occupied” homes for a year.

Perhaps some of them will be able to save up a little, to stave off the inevitable consequence of this extra burden for a little while – but that just means they will have to do without some essentials this year.

What will go? Heat? Food?

Life?

It might come to that, as they try to find an extra £1,700 a year, in some cases.

It always comes down to this, in the end. Tory plans threaten people’s lives.

And of course, in this instance the Conservative Government lied to pensioners about their plan, saying they would protect the elderly from the Bedroom Tax.

That was probably a lie, made in order to cajole pensioners into voting for the Nasty Party as it prepared to do the dirty on them.

And the alternative to paying up is moving away from family and friends, most likely to flats that are unsuitable for older people.

That in itself could be a death sentence.

But then, Tories don’t care.

They’ve had the pensioner vote, but the pensioners themselves are surplus to requirements now. They don’t work, so they don’t make money for the Tories and their friends.

They are expendable.

This delay is simply an opportunity to torture them – for Tory entertainment, most likely.

Source: Government backtracks on a new ‘bedroom tax’ set to hit thousands of poorer pensioners | The Independent

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