For a moment I felt sorry for Amber Rudd as she laboured away at the Despatch Box to clear up the wreckage to the lives of the Windrush Generation caused by Mrs.May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy as the evidence of the damage it had done was brought to the to the surface by MP after MP in the Commons today.
After all the chaos was not of Ms Rudd’s making . This mess had been created by Mrs. May’s policy .
It was classic ‘Catch 23’ in action . Mrs May’s ‘Hostile Environment’ policy allowed you as a member of the Windrush Generation ‘to continue to remain’ in the UK as long as you could produce to the Home Office documentary proof which it had never issued to you .
The burden is entirely placed on your shoulders as someone who came , perhaps as a child , and who has worked and contributed to the UK all your life to prove your right ‘to remain’ .
Amber Rudd was appalled . It was wrong . OK so far . Then the moment when my sympathy evaporated ;
She was increasingly concerned that some in the Home Office (the department which she leads ) had become too concerned about strategy and policy and – too little about individuals .
Interesting that the Secretary of State in one swift buck passing movement implies she is not too concerned about strategy and policy .
Perhaps it is a honest admission and one that could also be applied to Mrs May.
But Government Ministers should not be allowed to hide behind ‘paperwork’ and ‘ bureaucracy’ – the cock up alibi .
The wreckage being inflicted upon lives is the entirely foreseeable consequences of the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy . If it was not foreseen that is because the fixation on the ‘less than 100,000’ target has discouraged the presentation and consideration of inconvenient facts – after all the inconvenience has been experienced by the Windrush Generation not the Government .
Significantly today’s debate was proof of the axiom that a successful policy has many parents while an unsuccessful one is an orphan .
There was a tidal wave of contributions proclaiming the valued and positive contribution made by the Windrush Generation and indeed immigrants in general . It is a little tragic that it takes a policy catastrophe to bring about a positive debate about immigration .
I hope today serves to inspire a reappraisal of the whole ‘Hostile Environment ‘policy . We really must not let Ministers shelter behind the cock up alibi .