Tag Archives: Home Office

Home Office chartered a plane to deport EU citizens during lockdown WITH NO SOCIAL DISTANCING

The Home Office: only a fool would believe its publicity material.

So much for the lockdown. So much for social distancing. So much for any suggestion that the UK’s Tory government is interested in fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

And so much for the lie that the “hostile environment” policy has ended.

The Home Office chartered a private plane to deport dozens of EU nationals during lockdown, despite government stay-at-home instructions stating that people should not fly unless it was essential.

The private jet, understood to be from Titan Airways, took off from Stansted last Thursday, 30 April. The flight to Poland was chartered at a time when air travel had fallen by 95%.

A woman on the flight said there were about 35 passengers, accompanied by around 40 to 50 Home Office escorts and plane crew.

The woman, who was placed into quarantine on her arrival in Poland, questioned whether it could be defined as “essential travel” and said it was impossible to adhere to physical distancing rules during the flight.

Source: Home Office chartered plane to deport EU citizens during lockdown | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: have the Tories told a big lie? Do they expect HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of DEATHS?

Did I make that headline big enough for you?

According to Byline Times, the people there have gained access to a Home Office conference call that shows the facts about Tory government policy on the coronavirus: heartless and two-faced.

It seems the government does not expect a vaccine to appear before most of the population has caught the virus – and expects around 264,000 of us to die in the long term.

This is the scientific advice behind the government’s policy on coronavirus; remember that when Dominic Raab or Boris Johnson come out to a press conference and say they’re “following scientific advice”.

So it seems the Tories want to downplay the dangers of going to work. As we’re all going to catch Covid-19 anyway, they want us to get back to servicing their economy.

We already know that Tory policy is to “flatten the curve” of coronavirus infections – ensure that the rate of infection slows to one that the NHS can manage, after years in which that party, in government, has starved it of investment in favour of giving money to profit-making firms.

But it turns out that a more accurate description is that Tory policy is simply to slow down “the rate at which we get this virus [which] has direct impact on the NHS”.

So sending us home might have more to do with preventing the NHS from having to deal with it – even if it means people die in their homes (or care homes); and it explains why vulnerable people received letters saying they would be denied treatment if they caught the disease.

The whole strategy suggests that the Tories have never shifted from the “herd immunity” nonsense spouted by Boris Johnson in early March; they want us to “take it on the chin” and if we die in a quiet corner as a result, that’s just too bad.

And it seems that, while we wait for a vaccine that may be a long time coming, we will experience several peaks in infections, each increasing the aggregate number of deaths.

These assumptions are supported by a lot of bad science.

First, it was claimed that the coronavirus cannot survive more than 48 hours on hard surfaces and clothing; in fact survive on hard, shiny surfaces like plastic and steel for up to 72 hours, up to four days on glass and paper money, and as much as seven days on the outside of a surgical mask. Suggestions of a shorter lifespan are begging for people to be infected.

It was also suggested that the coronavirus is uniformly spread across the country, and that this is the reason it is not possible to stop it spreading – but without mass community testing it is impossible to make that claim.

Statements in support of people going to work are contradictory in the extreme.

People who go to work while a vulnerable person is at home are said to be protecting that person because they don’t have to leave the house – but then if the worker catches Covid-19 their housemate is likely to die of it.

So a person going out to work must put a vulnerable person in their household at higher risk!

Going to work is justified because it would keep the economy moving – and said to be equivalent in risk to staying at home or shopping, again on the grounds that we are all doomed to get the virus.

“It’s perfectly okay to carry on in your business” is the claim – made only, it seems, to support the economy rather than to support workers’ safety.

In other words, it seems to be Tory policy for people to put themselves at risk of contracting Covid-19, in order to keep money flowing into the hands of the already-rich. If true: despicable.

Source: COVID-19 SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Leaked Home Office Call Reveals Government wants Economy to ‘Continue Running’ as ‘We Will All Get’ COVID-19 Anyway – Byline Times

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Survey shows there IS a culture of bullying in Priti Patel’s Home Office

The bully: and it seems Priti Patel is presiding over a culture of bullying in the Home Office.

It’s official, then: Priti Patel presides over a culture of bullying and intimidation at the Home Office.

The issue came to public attention when Sir Philip Rutnam resigned as Permanent Secretary for the HO, saying he would be taking Ms Patel to court for constructive dismissal.

He said there had been a “vicious and orchestrated” plot against him, and that he was offered a bribe to stop him from launching court action, in what we must conclude was an attempt to keep it from becoming a matter of public knowledge.

Now we find that the former Permanent Secretary’s situation was not a unique, solitary aberration; a survey of Home Office employees shows that thousands of them have suffered similarly:

The Home Office people survey… results show 16% of respondents claimed they had been discriminated against at work in the past 12 months, roughly equating to 3,375 individuals.

And 14% said they had been bullied or harassed at work in the same period, roughly equal to 2,950 employees.

Of those who claimed they had been bullied, 1,444 said the nature of bullying was “negative micromanagement eg excessive control; made to feel incompetent”, while 1,242 respondents said they had been “humiliated in front of team or others”.

This is the accusation that was levelled against Ms Patel, of course.

The rot comes from the top; Ms Patel presides over a culture of intimidation – and in the meantime she has been falsely assuming credit for measures to restrict the spread of coronavirus.

She has to go.

Source: Survey of thousands of Home Office staff revives bullying row | Home Office | The Guardian

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Home Office boss’s resignation shows Tory government LIED about split with Patel

Sir Philip Rutnam.

The top civil servant in the Home Office has resigned, claiming that their has been a “vicious and orchestrated” plot against him, apparently originating with Home Secretary Priti Patel.

Sir Philip Rutnam’s announcement that he is launching a court action for constructive dismissal means we can conclude that protestations by government spokespeople that there was no problem in the Home Office were lies.

Indeed, Sir Philip’s statement that he had attempted a reconciliation with Ms Patel, on the urging of Boris Johnson and the Cabinet Secretary, suggests that those at the top of government knew all about it.

It seems clear that Sir Philip was pressurised to keep his mouth shut – issuing a joint statement with Ms Patel that was clearly an attempt to hush up what was going on.

And he said he was offered a bribe to stop him from launching court action – a financial settlement “that would have avoided this outcome” – which we must again conclude was an attempt to hide the facts from the public.

Labour’s Jon Trickett seems to have got the right message – that Boris Johnson’s government is woefully incompetent, but cannot abide anybody saying as much.

He said: “They will not tolerate dissent, yet can’t cope with flooding or a possible pandemic.”

It’s another sign that we have a prime minister who thinks he can do what he wants, rather than what the country needs.

Let us hope the forthcoming court case comes as a hard slapdown.

Source: Home Office boss quits over ‘campaign against him’ – BBC News

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You can believe the Jamaica deportations are questionable after this Home Office boob

Computer says no: the Home Offices systems can’t be trusted – but the Tories happily uses them to deport people.

How can we accept the justice in Home Office deportation decision when civil servants asked a 101-year-old man to get his parents to confirm his identity?

People like Boris Johnson claim the information used by the Home Office to deport 17 people to Jamaica was accurate, but consider this:

Giovanni Palmieri is 101 years old, and Italian. He has lived in the UK since 1966 and applied for settled status in advance of the UK’s departure from the European Union.

But in a classic Little Britain-esque ‘Computer says no’ moment, the Home Office app into which he scanned his passport in order to send his biometric data to the Home Office misunderstood his date of birth.

It interpreted it as being 2019, rather than 1919 – and demanded that his parents must confirm his identity. That would have been a bit tricky!

The Home Office has claimed that other people aged over 100 have successfully used the app – but doesn’t that indicate that other Home Office decisions are also ripe to be queried?

This brings us back to the Jamaica deportation.

How can we be sure of the Home Office’s justification for the removal of those individuals, if its systems cannot even tell that a man is 101, not one?

I am reminded of a time a few years ago when people going through checks on their suitability to work with children, or in security, or other restricted-eligibility jobs were refused because the government’s system showed them as guilty of crimes.

This came as a jarring shock to them – as far as they knew, their records were spotless.

Of course it was another glitch in the system.

But Tories like Boris Johnson are happy to quote such information in order to support the removal of foreign-born people from the UK.

What does it prove? That these individuals had committed crimes? Or that the Tories are racists?

Source: Home Office asks 101-year-old Italian man to get his parents to confirm his identity – Mirror Online

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Is Vox Political on this Home Office list of left-wing ‘extremism’?

Take a look at this:

The Home Office has lumped together left-wing groups and green campaigners with neo-nazis and white supremacists in literature and posters supposedly designed to educate officers about extremism.

The Counter Terrorism Policing (CTP) document has categories including white supremacist and nationalist groups, left-wing and “associated single issue groups,” animal rights groups, and environmental campaigns.

The left-wing and environmental groups listed include the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), Stop the War, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Greenpeace.

Let’s have a poll:

Source: Left wing? You may be on police extremism list | Morning Star

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Latest phase of Tory ‘hostile environment’ would force charities to help deport people sleeping rough

The Conservative government has been caught trying to persecute foreigners and some of the UK’s most vulnerable people – yet again.

The scandal centres once again on the Home Office, which has been trying to pressgang homelessness charities into becoming border guards.

The plan – euphemistically titled the Rough Sleeper Support Service (RSSS) – is to get charity outreach workers to pass on the personal details of homeless people to the Home Office where, if they were found to be from foreign countries, enforcement officers would deport them.

The scheme deliberately ignores data protection and privacy laws by demanding that personal information be passed to the Home Office regardless of whether the subject gives their consent.

This breach of national and international law was imposed to make it easier to deport people. A Home Office email stated that this would be harder if individuals were allowed to withdraw consent for their information to be used in this way, as would be permitted legally.

There has been pushback from charities who have refused to agree a data-sharing deal – that breaks the law – with the Home Office and local authorities.

This Writer wonders whether charities were also being gagged with non-disclosure agreements foisted on them by the Home Office – a Conservative government trick we have encountered before.

It seems odd that the first time this atrocity came to public attention was after the human rights charity Liberty received answers to a Freedom of Information request.

And Liberty was not pleased. According to the charity’s Gracie Bradley:

“It’s disgraceful that the Home Office, local authorities, and charities are attempting to turn trusted homelessness outreach workers into border guards. Homelessness charities must refuse complicity in the hostile environment.

Bradley said referrals will likely result in immigration enforcement action.

She said ministers should be concentrating on combating the root causes of homelessness rather than targeting rough sleepers. “Consent and data protection should also be at the heart of our interactions with public institutions,” she added.

[A] Public Interest Law Centre spokesman added: “Despite its name, the new RSSS offers no ‘support’ to homeless migrants living in the UK. It is a ‘hostile environment’ measure in all but name.”

Shockingly, the Tories have been unrepentant, now that their plan has been revealed.

A Home Office spokesman actually told the Guardian: “This enables individuals to access support or assists them in leaving the UK where appropriate.”

Assists them? They can only be assisted to leave the UK if they have been asked whether they want to – and it seems perfectly clear that the Home Office does not intend to seek any such permissions.

This is yet another atrocity from the home of the “hostile environment” and Home Secretary Sajid Javid should be hauled before Parliament to explain his department’s flagrant abuse of the law.

If he fails to account for his department’s actions, then we will have yet more proof of the Conservative Party’s prejudice against anybody who isn’t rich and privileged.

Source: Secret plan to use charities to help deport rough sleepers | Politics | The Guardian

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Tory post-Brexit residence scheme for EU citizens shows they’ve learned NOTHING from Windrush

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it was still in service, the Tories would be trying to use it to deport EU citizens.

Those racists in the Conservative government think we all have really short memories, don’t they?

Their colleagues and cronies at the Home Office have unveiled a new “EU Settlement Scheme” for citizens of the European Union who want to continue living and/or working in the UK after Brexit – and it looks startlingly – shockingly – Windrushy. I hope you understand what I mean by that.

Applicants under the scheme will have to provide proof of their own identity, proof that they live in the UK, and proof that they do not have a criminal record.

And it will cost them up to £65 to provide this information to a government that should have it all already.

Perhaps the Home Office destroyed it, along with the documents that would have saved thousands of the Windrush generation from deportation.

Here’s the Home Office’s tweet on the subject:

It seems clear these Tory racists have learned nothing from the Windrush scandal.

They see Brexit as an opportunity to humiliate Johnny (and Jane) Foreigner – make them leap through hoops for the dubious benefit of staying in a country that is about to fall off an economic cliff, thanks to the result of a referendum designed to end discord in their own bigoted, minority-interest party and their own ineptitude at any kind of negotiations (including Theresa May’s failure to negotiate her way out of a car door at one point) thereafter.

And they see it as an opportunity to deport anybody who fails to provide this information and/or cough up the cash.

Charming.

The social media have reacted appropriately. Here‘s Liisa Smith: “How disgraceful. I’ve been living here for nearly 18 years as a tax-paying resident and this is how the UK government treats people. It makes me sick.”

John Clarke tweeted for many when he wrote: “The Tories shame us all.”

As Rachael Swindon elaborated, the scheme is “horrific, cynical, threatening and unnecessary. They promised to learn the lessons of the hostile environment policy, and lied once again.”

Labour MP David Lammy added: “Shame. What a way to treat our neighbours, friends, family and partners from Europe. King Herod would be proud Theresa May. Screw this shit.” Strong words for an MP, but appropriate, perhaps.

But what do EU-born residents make of it all? The answer is: Not a lot.

Peter Stefanovic stated: “As the son of an immigrant and part of a European family I can honestly say this breaks my heart.”

And Stewart Wood told us: “Just told my 83-year old German mum, who has lived here since 1964, that she’ll have to go through (& pay for) this process – to prove to the Home Office who she is, & that she’s not a criminal. I tried hard, but couldn’t really explain why. It’s an awful stain on our country.”

That it is – by which I mean, obviously, the Conservative government is an awful stain on our country.

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Theresa may be deceiving us about Brexit – by covering up the facts about Arron Banks and Leave.EU

You can’t trust Theresa May: Whether she tells us anything or not, it seems she is always trying to deceive.

The Tories are tying themselves in knots over Brexit.

Theresa May is currently set to return to the EU over the weekend in a desperate bid to save a withdrawal agreement that stands in tatters after the DUP savaged its plan for the Northern Ireland border and Spain attacked it over Gibraltar. MPs queued up to voice their opposition to it during a Parliamentary debate demonstrating that the government cannot get the amount of support it needs.

And now it seems Mrs May blocked an investigation into electoral crimes by Leave.EU, one of the main campaign organisations that persuaded the public to support Brexit – and is covering up the reasons for it.

Investigative website openDemocracy submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Home Office, seeking clarification on reports that Mrs May blocked an investigation into Brexit bankroller Arron Banks in the run-up to the 2016 referendum after the Home Office refused to reveal information about the controversial Leave.EU and UKIP donor.

Mr Banks donated £8.4 million to Leave campaigns – the single biggest donation in British political history. But he is facing a criminal investigation over concerns that he was not the “true source” of the money. Questions have also been raised about his links to Russia but he denies any wrongdoing. The National Crime Agency is said to be investigating.

But the Home Office refused to either confirm or deny whether it holds any material from 2016 about Leave.EU and Banks. The department said that doing so “would impede the future formulation of government policy”.

openDemocracy‘s article suggests that the Home Office’s response is an attempt to hide behind the form of language usually used to avoid commenting on intelligence matters – which is inappropriate in this instance.

The suggestion is that the government is trying to protect Mrs May by hiding whatever she did, back in 2016. But by saying it “would impede the future formulation of government policy”, officials have only drawn attention to a matter that has nothing to do with that subject.

The longer Mrs May and her cronies try to hide her involvement in this scandal, the worse it will be for her.

Meanwhile, the official pro-Brexit campaign group, Vote Leave, has lost a judicial review aimed at trying to get an Electoral Commission ruling that it breached spending limits thrown out.

The organisation had tried to challenge a ruling that it had exceeded the £7 million limit by channelling funds through another campaign group BeLeave. But the High Court has thrown out its case.

So not only is Mrs May accused of blocking an investigation into one of the major players in the Brexit vote; but she is also desperately defending the result of that vote, even though it may be illegitimate.

And in any case, it seems her plan for Brexit is ruined.

Why is she persisting with this charade? Are worse revelations yet to be revealed?

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