Home Office ‘socialism’ triggered Windrush scandal – Jacob Rees-Mogg
The Old Etonian weighed in on the heated debate this month as he said “socialism” – or prioritizing “the collective” over the individual – is what brought the loss of rights for Commonwealth citizens.
Arguing that giving up on Britain’s fishing rights for a better final Brexit deal would be “socialist,” Rees-Mogg said the Windrush community had been hit by the same sort of principle.
“I do not believe that the interests of the collective allow you to crush individuals who may get in your way. I believe that we are a nation built on the individual, so that the rights of each individual are a valuable and important thing, to be protected by the government.
“I will draw a parallel with the Windrush issue. The Windrush issue came about because the state put the interests of the collective ahead of those individuals who had come here perfectly legally prior to 1973, and that it was more convenient for the Home Office to make them prove who they were and show their papers. This is socialism,” he said.
The mistreatment of the Windrush community included individuals being threatened with deportation, denied access to healthcare, and having their driving licenses revoked.
On one occasion, a man described how he was forced to miss his mother’s funeral because he was he was denied entry back into the UK – despite him claiming he has lived in the UK for 60 years.
He had flown to Jamaica to see his dying mother, before trying to fly back to Britain, but was barred from boarding the flight as his visa was not recognized. Stranded in Jamaica, he missed his mother’s funeral as her body was repatriated to the UK.
Rees-Mogg’s assessment comes a day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd – who was forced to apologize over her own department’s mishaps – said she wanted for the Windrush community to be allowed to “acquire the statuses they deserve – British citizenship – quickly, at no cost and with proactive assistance through the process.”
But Labour MP David Lammy, who has been championing the issue in parliament and on Twitter, hit out at her statement that the “burden of proof” had been too much on the individual and that the Home Office would now work in a much more “proactive and personable way.”
I am disgusted and appalled by the case I have just received. My constituent arrived from Jamaica in 1964 aged 6. He has shown me his letter from the Home Office telling him that he will be deported despite having a National Insurance card from 1974 & NHS documentation from 1964. pic.twitter.com/ZnivtkhXwp— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 24, 2018
I have heard from 6 constituents already this morning with Windrush cases and it is not even lunchtime. Each individual case is a shocking indictment of this government and heartbreakingly sad. The scale of this crisis is unfathomable.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) April 24, 2018
“Given the scale of this crisis and the shocking way in which so many innocent people have been treated, the Home Office should surely be placing the burden of proof on its own shoulders to prove that somebody is here unlawfully, rather than the other way round.
“The home secretary should immediately guarantee the status of every individual who has evidence to prove their arrival within the timeframe the home secretary set out.”
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