The Coalition of Expensive Chaos

Fompous Part

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No, there's no excusing it. From what I've read, there aren't many people (if any) trying. A rare instance of there being a bipartisan consensus on immigration policy. When was the last time that happened? When Jo Lumley was protesting on behalf of the Gurkhahs, maybe?
 
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Bipartisan consensus, yes. But also rank hypocrisy. Many of the press barons and politicians now decrying what's happened helped foster the "hostile environment" that these cases are an inevitable result of. The treatment meted out to these people seems to me to be an example of the system functioning almost too well. So well that it ensnared those that even most xenophobes would be happy to file into their neat little "good immigrant" box. The whole thing is gross.
 
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If anyone's wondering why I'm posting under this username it's coz the Fuhrer/Propaganda Minister Windrushed me once again in a petulant fit of pique.
 

Fompous Part

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In the context of this debate, the idea of a ‘good’ immigrant doesn’t involve any qualitative judgement about the individual; it involves little more than understanding whether the person is here legally or not.

The “hostile environment” reforms (esp. those linked to the immigration acts of 2014 and 2016) were made to tackle illegal immigration and various corollary problems – e.g. illegal working, health tourism, etc. – that do exist and that any sensible government would try to deter. The reforms were not designed to make life hell for pensioners who legally emigrated here from the Caribbean 60 years ago.

Nevertheless, in politics consequences matter more than intentions. And the regrettable fact here is that some fairly-sensible-on-paper reforms, designed to tackle a real contemporary problem, have had hugely negative unintended consequences for people who came here legally decades ago and who were never the intended target. That's not the system working "too well". On the contrary, it's the system falling at the first hurdle, since it manifestly fails to apply the most rudimentary category distinction (legal or illegal) that most people want the immigration system to make.

In truth, all significant policy reform has unintended consequences; all that really varies is how foreseeable the problems were. IMO this is where the government is on really shaky ground, because I find it hard to believe there wasn’t some forewarning of the main problem here (i.e. how bad recent reforms are for the Windrush migrants given their historical circumstances), either by people scrutinising the legislation in parliament or by people tasked with producing some kind of impact assessment for the government. If the potential problem was flagged up and the Home Office ignored the warning, we’re dealing with the worst sort of incompetence here.
 

silkyman

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Oh, and it’s also nice to know that the person who can decide on military action without any Parliamentary scrutiny is married to someone who financially benefits from air strikes and arms sales... That’s probably fine, isn’t it?
 
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In the context of this debate, the idea of a ‘good’ immigrant doesn’t involve any qualitative judgement about the individual; it involves little more than understanding whether the person is here legally or not.

The “hostile environment” reforms (esp. those linked to the immigration acts of 2014 and 2016) were made to tackle illegal immigration and various corollary problems – e.g. illegal working, health tourism, etc. – that do exist and that any sensible government would try to deter. The reforms were not designed to make life hell for pensioners who legally emigrated here from the Caribbean 60 years ago.

Nevertheless, in politics consequences matter more than intentions. And the regrettable fact here is that some fairly-sensible-on-paper reforms, designed to tackle a real contemporary problem, have had hugely negative unintended consequences for people who came here legally decades ago and who were never the intended target. That's not the system working "too well". On the contrary, it's the system falling at the first hurdle, since it manifestly fails to apply the most rudimentary category distinction (legal or illegal) that most people want the immigration system to make.

In truth, all significant policy reform has unintended consequences; all that really varies is how foreseeable the problems were. IMO this is where the government is on really shaky ground, because I find it hard to believe there wasn’t some forewarning of the main problem here (i.e. how bad recent reforms are for the Windrush migrants given their historical circumstances), either by people scrutinising the legislation in parliament or by people tasked with producing some kind of impact assessment for the government. If the potential problem was flagged up and the Home Office ignored the warning, we’re dealing with the worst sort of incompetence here.
The reforms may have ostensibly been about tackling illegal immigration but I'd argue they've created an unpleasant climate for all immigrants as, whether you're living here legally or not, there seems to be a heavy presumption of guilt on the part of the Home Office. I do think some of the onus ought to be on them to establish that people aren't here legally, rather than making people jump through complex bureaucratic hoops. And if you devise a system in which people face deportation and can be deprived of their jobs, healthcare, benefits, housing etc, should they fail to provide four pieces of documentary evidence for every year they've been living here (which might span a period of 50 years), then I do think that you rather forfeit the right to bemoan unintended consequences. What we've seen with these cases is not a few administrative errors, but a poorly functioning system which is a direct result of a "hostile environment" and "deport first, appeal later" ethos that May established when she was Home Sec, one which appears to have been designed to turn doctors, landlords, and teachers, among others, into state snoops.

The consequences were entirely foreseeable - Diane Abbott was asking these sort of questions in the Commons back in 2014 - but I'm not truly sure how unintended they are given the government response to the revelations seems to have been largely one of indifference (it's an issue they're only now beginning to address despite Amelia Gentleman running stories in the Guardian for months). May herself has actually appeared consistently callous, refusing to intervene in the Albert Thompson case when Jeremy Corbyn wrote to her about it last month, and rebuffing an invitation to meet with Caribbean heads of state to discuss the issue. The government, and particularly May and Rudd, seem largely unconcerned about the human cost, and have sought to blame the Home Office, for implementing what was, and remains, bad policy. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they viewed these people as completely expendable; just some numbers that would look good when the immigration figures are next published.
 
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Ebeneezer Goode

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They probably want to establish themselves as a party hostile to mass immigration and undercut UKIP even though in broad strokes they're about as open to it as Labour are.
 

Red

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Opposing the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre!!!!
I don't really see why they'd need to undercut UKIP who are pretty much a spent force now
 

AFCB_Mark

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Laura Kuenssberg suggesting there are now enough Tory MPs prepared to force a vote of no confidence in May.

I can hardly bear saying it, but if that happens then we'll have another General Election within a year.
 

Abertawe

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Laura Kuenssberg suggesting there are now enough Tory MPs prepared to force a vote of no confidence in May.

I can hardly bear saying it, but if that happens then we'll have another General Election within a year.
I'm worried they aren't obliged and it would be dumb for whoever to call one too. I think we'd need a riot to stop boris, DD & Mogg taking us to the abyss.

Potentially grim times. I just hope all these liberal remain types aren't as shithouse as I think they are, we need their numbers on the street.
 

Red

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Opposing the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre!!!!
The fat blonde scarecrow is causing more problems for the Maybot. Bank robbers and letterboxes.
 

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