Tag Archives: Windrush

The Tory government is deliberately obstructing compensation for Windrush scandal – and other – victims

This ship has sailed: it seems that hopes of the Windrush generation to be compensated for being victimised by the Home Office are disappearing over the horizon, like the ship that brought them here so many decades ago.

Here’s what’s going on:

This Writer understands that the government stole – that’s right, call it what it is:  stole – £4 billion from WASPI women who died before they could be compensated for the harm done to them by raising the state pension age.

That’s enough to plug the gap in local council funding, but – how strange! – the money isn’t going there either!

Are you angry yet? If so, you’re not nearly angry enough.

Buy Cruel Britannia in print here. Buy the Cruel Britannia ebook here. Or just click on the image!

Now, Age UK is reporting that the Windrush generation is being failed by the Home Office yet again, with 87 per cent of people who deserve compensation still waiting for it.

Still not angry?

When will you want action about this? When the government harms you instead? 


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Deporting people from foreign countries is not new – but it shows we are regressing

The Empire Windrush: the people brought to the UK on this ship in 1948, the Chinese deported back to that country two years before, and Afghan asylum-seekers who face death trying to cross the English Channel are all victims of the same primitive racism.

It’s always sad to see proof that a country is evolving backwards – especially when that country is your own.

That’s exactly what This Writer saw, watching an old BBC documentary series called Mixed Britannia.

It showed me that the current fervour for shipping people of foreign extraction who have been re-defined (take careful note of that: re-defined) as “undesirables” out of the UK (destination: anywhere) is a regression to the attitudes of more primitive times.

In the series, the late George Alagiah relates what he describes as the “shameful” episode in which people who were originally from China but had settled in Liverpool, some having married local women, were separated from their families in a night-time raid, thrown onto a ship and sent directly back to their country of origin.

Their labour had previously been welcomed but then it was considered no longer to be needed and racist law-makers dispensed with their services, with extreme prejudice.

Their wives and children were not told the truth about what had happened; they were left to believe they had been deserted by their husbands.

This happened under the otherwise-progressive Labour government of Clement Attlee; it should perhaps serve as a warning to us all that we should be careful not to view history through rose-tinted glasses, or any other distorting prism.

Mr Alagiah went on to show how attitudes had improved over the decades leading to 2011, when Mixed Britannia was made.

Hindsight renders it ironic that he referred to the arrival of the Empire Windrush, packed with passengers from the West Indies who had been promised UK citizenship in return for their help in rebuilding our then-war-torn nation, as a great step forward that happened only a few years later.

Today, the Windrush Scandal is one of the deepest scars on the face of the Conservative administration of 2010 onwards; documentation proving the right of the Windrush generation to live in the UK was deliberately destroyed and people who’d had every right to believe they were UK citizens were forced through a deportation process that was entirely unwarranted, unfair, and illegal. The Tories have yet to make full restitution to those they wronged.

Today we live overlooking the river of blood (to adopt a phrase) that used to be the English Channel – where refugees and asylum-seekers place their lives in the hands of criminal gangs because they have no safe, legal route to claim asylum in the UK; the Tories have closed them all off and say anybody trying to make the crossing is coming here illegally.

Does that include people from Afghanistan who worked as employees of the UK government and its forces there for 20 years after the post- 911 invasion, as implied by this social media post about the people who died or were rescued in the tragedy that happened on August 12:

“Their labour had previously been welcomed but then it was considered no longer to be needed and racist law-makers dispensed with their services, with extreme prejudice.”

It fits, doesn’t it?

Remember: The current Conservative government has deliberately dismantled the UK’s immigration and asylum system in order to make it impossible to properly process people coming to these shores to claim asylum.

They have done this in order to fool you into thinking that our borders are being overrun by foreigners who have no reason to come here.

They believe they need to put a fake enemy in front of you because otherwise you will realise that the only real enemy you have is the current Conservative government.

At the time of writing, Mixed Britannia may be viewed via the BBC iPlayer here.


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Why are the Windrush generation STILL waiting for compensation?

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 in 2017, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

It’s 75 years since the Empire Windrush docked in the UK with cabins full of what political correctness tells us were Afro-Caribbean people who had volunteered to help rebuild the UK after World War II.

In 2017 we discovered that thousands of these people were in danger of being deported by a racist Home Office under the leadership of Theresa “Go Home” May, because they didn’t have paperwork showing that they had a right to stay in the UK indefinitely.

And what was the reason they didn’t have that paperwork? Nobody in the government had bothered to give it to them and Home Office staff had deliberately destroyed their own copies.

These government choices led to detentions and wrongful deportations that would have made any fascist regime proud – until this disgraceful persecution of innocents was exposed and public outrage put an end to it.

The government of the day promised compensation to all those who had been wronged.

That was in 2017. Many of those affected by the Windrush Scandal are still waiting.

And in the meantime, let’s remember, the Tory government merrily pumped £800 billion into the hands of its rich mates and donors, in return for nothing at all worth mentioning.

The matter was supposed to get an airing on the BBC’s Politics Live today (Thursday, June 22, 2023) but the discussion very quickly deviated onto the much less fraught subject of opportunities for people from ethnic minorities in the UK today.

So here’s Jeremy Corbyn:

You’re welcome, Jeremy. As someone who highlighted the Windrush Scandal at the time, I find the praise of the UK’s leading anti-racist MP extremely pleasant.

The issue of reparation for colonial crimes is complicated and may take a long time to untangle.

But Windrush is straightforward. The only reason compensation has been delayed is that the government are racists who don’t like paying money to black people. Or so it seems to me.


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Windrush: Government sued over recommendation rejections | The Canary

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 few years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

The Tory government simply won’t do right by the victims of the Windrush scandal:

On 6 April, Britain’s government faced legal action by campaigners over its refusal to accept key recommendations made by an inquiry into the Windrush scandal, which affected thousands of Black post-war immigrants.

Suella Braverman in January refused to accept three of the changes previously promised by the Conservative government.

The … independent inquiry issued 30 recommendations, which Braverman’s predecessor agreed to adopt in full.

However, Braverman rejected more powers for Britain’s independent chief inspector of borders. She also refused a commissioner to safeguard migrants’ interests, and the holding of reconciliation events.

The group Black Equity Organisation, created last year to campaign for the civil rights of Black Britons, said it was seeking a judicial review of the home secretary’s decision.

There was no immediate comment from [the Home Office] as to the legal action.

Read the full story: Windrush: Government sued over recommendation rejections


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Racist Patel strikes again: Jamaicans are being targeted for deportation by Home Office

Patel: see the posters behind her? The only UK aid she likes is helping foreigners off British soil. Odd, considering she is herself the daughter of immigrants.

Priti Patel’s Home Office has been disproportionately targeting Jamaicans for deportation.

And it seems clear officials know their actions are racist. Otherwise why would they have spent a year trying to withhold the information after The Guardian made a simple Freedom of Information request?

Jamaicans are 10 per cent more likely to be deported than people from other countries, even though the same rule applies to all of them:

Under the UK Borders Act 2007, foreign nationals who are jailed for a single offence for at least 12 months will normally be considered for deportation on their release, with exceptions under human rights rules – for example, having children in the UK, and for people who have been trafficked.

A comparison of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Home Office data between 2015 and 2020 showed that once people from European Economic Area countries were excluded, as they are not covered by the act, an average of 65% of overseas nationals jailed for at least 12 months were deported.

For Jamaican nationals, this proportion rose to 75%, however, despite the much greater likelihood of their having significant ties to the UK. For other former British colonies in the Caribbean, such as Trinidad and Tobago, and St Lucia, the rates were higher still.

The statistics also showed that 90% of Nigerian nationals were deported, and 76% of those from Ghana. For Albanians, the rate was 90%, and for Vietnamese nationals 84%.

Concern has also been registered about deportations to Albania and Vietnam, which have known issues with human trafficking connected to organised crime.

The Guardian reported that it had only been able to publish its findings after “a year-long freedom of information battle”:

While the MoJ supplied the information within weeks, the Home Office refused, saying that to do so would be “likely to prejudice diplomatic relations between the UK and a foreign government”, and could hamper the operation of immigration controls.

The Guardian appealed to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which ruled against the Home Office, calling the department’s arguments “vague” and “generic”, and noting that no attempt had been made to substantiate them. “The commissioner will not accept at face value assertions made by a public authority that, in her view, require a proper and fuller explanation,” the ruling stated.

Even now, the Home Office has tried to justify its disproportionate targeting of people from Jamaica: “We do not target specific countries.”

The record states otherwise – because the Windrush scandal showed how the Home Office deliberately destroyed records proving that people of Jamaican origin had the right to remain in the UK, and then pursued an aggressive policy of deportation against them.

It seems Priti Patel has kept up the deportations, despite protestations of fairness.

Source: Disproportionate targeting of Jamaicans for deportation from UK, data suggests | Immigration and asylum | The Guardian

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Hancock pledges payouts over infected blood scandal – like those the Windrush victims are still awaiting?

Matt Hancock: would you believe a promise by this man?

Matt Hancock has promised that the government will pay compensation to people infected by contaminated blood products – and their families – if a public inquiry into the scandal demands it.

What a pretty promise!

Here it is:

The health secretary told the inquiry: “I respect the process of the inquiry and I will respect its recommendations, and should the inquiry’s recommendations point to compensation, then of course we will pay compensation.”

This Site has reported on the infected blood scandal before, and the Guardian‘s account of it is as good as any:

As many as 30,000 people became severely ill after being given factor VIII blood products contaminated with HIV and hepatitis C imported from the US in the 1970s and 80s. Others were exposed to tainted blood through transfusions or after childbirth. On average one person is dying every four days, with approximately 3,000 haemophiliacs having died to date.

The question is: why should we believe Hancock?

His record hardly speaks for his honesty.

And as for his government’s record on payouts… here’s the National Audit Office, discussing another recent scandal:

If the death rate really is as reported, then considering the government’s tardiness in stumping up compensation cash…

I wonder if any of the victims will see a single brass farthing before they die.

Source: Infected blood scandal: Hancock pledges payouts if advised by inquiry | Contaminated blood scandal | The Guardian

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The vast majority of Windrush Scandal victims have yet to be compensated by a government that doesn’t care

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.

This is scathing – and it comes from the National Audit Office, no less:

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Windrush campaigners are right. Tories can’t recognise their own racism; their report is meaningless

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.

This Writer was hoping people affected by the Windrush scandal would have something to say about the government’s attempt to whitewash institutional racism in the UK.

And they do.

The Windrush scandal happened because a Conservative Home Secretary deliberately destroyed documents that proved people who immigrated into the UK to help rebuild after World War Two – and their descendants – had a right to remain here.

Years later, after allowing time for those affected to forget that there was likely to be any problem, the Tory government started contacting members of the so-called “Windrush generation” and their descendants, declaring that there was no record of their UK citizenship, stripping them of their rights and deporting many of them.

It was, by definition, a racist scandal, instigated by the nation’s most fundamental institution – its government. And now a government run by the same party is trying to claim that the UK does not have a problem with institutional racism.

The report by the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities mentions Windrush in its foreword, as an instance “where ethnic minority communities have rightly felt let down”, but continues: “Outcomes such as these do not come about by design, and are certainly not deliberately targeted.”

The second, and only other, reference to the scandal comes in the conclusion, when it is mentioned in passing as an exceptional example of things going wrong.

This is clearly inaccurate. The Lessons Learned review, an independent investigation into the causes of the Windrush scandal, found that the Home Office had displayed “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness” on race issues, “consistent with some elements of the definition of institutional racism”.

Let’s see what some of the Windrush generation have to say about it:

Patrick Vernon, whose campaigning helped force the government to take action on Windrush, said: “I can see why they haven’t included it. If they had focused on the scandal they would have had to admit that there was a systematic, structural failure in how the Home Office targeted the Windrush generation.”

Anthony Brown, who runs the Windrush Defenders Legal group in Manchester, and who was himself affected by Windrush problems, said he was frustrated by the suggestion that the scandal had been dealt with and it was time to move on. “I don’t feel that the government has fundamentally taken on board what the Windrush scandal means. A whole cohort of people were marginalised.

“The narrative of the report is that it is up to the individual to succeed: if you work hard, keep your head down, you will achieve and be successful in Britain, and if you don’t then, that’s your fault. The policies of the hostile environment took away people’s rights, but the report tries to say: actually you have all the rights you need.”

Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said it was remarkable that Windrush attracted barely a passing mention in the report. “To suggest that these are solved problems that do not need addressing is to gaslight millions of people who know the difference between their own lived experiences and the fictions the government would prefer us all to believe,” he said.

Community activist Desmond Jaddoo, who helps run the Windrush National Organisation to secure justice for thousands of people who were wrongly classified as immigration offenders by the Home Office, was disappointed by the report. “There was a culture of not believing members of the Windrush generation, who had to jump through hoops to prove that they were telling the truth.”

Elwaldo Romeo, who was told he was in the UK illegally and faced detention after 59 years in the country, said he was disappointed by what he had heard of the report. “There’s no compassion and no understanding of what we have gone through,” he said. “Of course they want to sweep it under the carpet. Is there racism within the governmentint and the Home Office? Yes.”

Yes there is. Think of the obstacles Priti Patel put in the way of people trying to get the compensation they deserved after being targeted for discrimination.

Even after being told they were wrong, Tory ministers tried to pretend they didn’t owe restitution to the people they had wronged for the injustice they had wrought.

The only question now is how long we have to wait until Boris Johnson retracts the report and apologises for releasing such an arrogant screed of gaslighting propaganda.

Source: Windrush campaigners alarmed by omissions of No 10 race report | Race | The Guardian

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Home Office ignored warnings to prevent Windrush suffering. Why isn’t this a scandal?

The Empire Windrush: if the people who arrived on it to help the UK rebuild after World War Two had known how they and their descendants would be treated after 2010, would they have bothered?

If at first you don’t succeed (in persecuting and killing people), try, try and try again seems to be the Conservative motto.

The Windrush scandal was a national outrage. Now we learn that the Home Office could have avoided harming people – but deliberately chose not to.

Where is the fury over this?

the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration (ICIBI) said the department had failed to implement a series of recommendations he has made since 2016 calling for better monitoring of the impact of the hostile environment.

“Had they been, some of the harms suffered by the Windrush generation and others may have been avoided,” said the chief inspector, David Bolt.

The Windrush Lessons Learned review, published in March last year, demanded a “full review and evaluation” of the hostile environment policy devised while Theresa May was Home Secretary – and current incumbent Priti Patel accepted the recommendation in July.

But Mr Bolt said ministers had done little to evaluate the measures, both in terms of the efficiency of the processes underpinning them, including the costs to third parties carrying them out, and their effectiveness in delivering the hoped-for outcomes.

Chai Patel, legal policy director at the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said the hostile environment must be scrapped before “more lives are lost or destroyed”.

“Even the government’s own immigration inspectorate no longer has any faith that Ms Patel’s Home Office intends to fix the mess it has made of the immigration system,” he said.

Does anyone?

But this story seems to have been buried.

Do thousands more people have to be harmed, deliberately, by Priti Patel before we all wake up again, or are we going to let her get away with it next time?

Source: Home Office ignored warnings that could have prevented Windrush suffering, finds watchdog | The Independent

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All Windrush victims to get at least £10,000 – including those who’ve died or been wrongly deported?

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. As I never tire of pointing out, 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.

People are reacting to this announcement with scepticism – and who can blame them?

Here’s what the government has said:

The government is to give more money to victims of the Windrush scandal, which saw hundreds of people wrongly threatened with deportation.

Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the minimum payment will rise from £250 to £10,000, and the maximum from £10,000 to £100,000.

The figure will be higher still in “exceptional” circumstances, with money coming through quicker than before.

In the analysis inset by Westminster Hour‘s Jack Fenwick, though, he said

One person [told] me they won’t believe it until a cheque is in the post.

Who can blame them?

The big scandal of the Windrush compensation scheme so far is that people have died before receiving compensation. Did their descendants get the cash? That would have been reasonable, in the circumstances. Taking it back would not.

And what about people who were wrongly deported. Has the Home Office made any effort to contact them, apologise, and ask them to come back? Many of Priti Patel’s deportation victims have suffered terrible ill-treatment since deportation, so that is a can of worms that needs to be opened.

So it’s a nice announcement. But we need to action, not just pretty words.

Source: All Windrush victims to get at least £10,000 – BBC News