What next for the Afro Caribbean community in the UK following the latest set of deportations? But here are some takeaways from the ongoing Windrush scandal.
- The Conservative Party is definitely back as the nasty party. The current Conservative government’s nastiness and bigotry has surpassed even the era of former leader and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of the 1980s. This time the hostile environment image will be with them for some time long after Theresa May leaves office. Will those former Tory MPs who left the party this week speak out for the victims? As one them (Anna Soubry) said of Theresa May this week…
- “I think whats really worried me about Theresa, and she has history in the Home Office that supports this, because I’m an old barrister I look at the evidence, and I think she has got a problem with immigration. I really honestly do.”
- Jamaican High Commissioner Seth George Ramocan is speaking out “If these are people who have lived here since they were children, they have no connection, no relatives, no one to take care of them in Jamaica, then this for me is a human rights matter,…It is not just the people who are being deported, it is their children, it is their families. Are we acting intelligently, are we creating another set of problems when we do that?” 21 February 2019
- Shaun Bailey – London mayoral Conservative candidate for London – has tried to pin the blame of the latest Windrush deportations squarely on Home Office civil servants and has not criticised the government ministers more forcefully. Bailey – dubbed by the Tory media as the Windrush Generation candidate – has blown any chance of getting a sizable portion of the black vote in next year’s mayoral race, despite the failings of current mayor Sadiq Khan. As Londoners prefer their mayor to have an independent streak and not toe any political party line. Has Bailey discussed the Windrush crisis with the victims, their families or the Home Secretary?
- The Government is dragging their heels in compensating the victims.
- The fight for reparations by Caribbean nations over slavery and pre-independence abuses by previous British governments has to stay on the table.
- The Afro Caribbean community across the UK has to come together to form a more effective and cohesive lobby within the corridors of Whitehall. If we do not the same crap will just continue.
- Diane Abbott – Shadow Home Secretary – has been eclipse by back benchers such as David Lammy and Yvette Cooper in holding the government to account. Does make you question her suitability to be the next Home Secretary should Labour come to power. I have always said that the late Robin Cook was the benchmark in how an opposition minister should perform their portfolio effectively. Few in the current Labour shadow cabinet have matched Cook’s attention to detail, delivery and impact at the dispatch box and on the streets.
- Sara Burke, a London teacher and granddaughter of Windrush immigrants has become a new and welcome public voice in the Afro Caribbean community in the fight for justice. I hope she continues to be a beacon where too too many -including high profile Jamaican-Brits – have stayed silent at a time when their voices should have been some of the the loudest. Special mention to Zita Holbourne for her activist work during this period too.