Author: Marina Hyde
Lose one form, and you lose cancer treatment and your liberty – lose a generation’s forms, and you’re the effing PM
If I were editing a tabloid newspaper this week – and I’m always open to guest stints – I would have had advertising vans out since Monday. They would have been crawling v-e-r-y slowly back and forth past the houses of Theresa May, Amber Rudd, Nick Timothy and David Cameron – and those just for starters. Instead of the repulsive GO HOME message that adorned the infamous vans May’s Home Office sent out, which resulted in the eventual deportation of precisely 11 migrants, I would have something along the lines of STAY HOME. Stay home, permanently.
Whether they would get the message is uncertain. Collectively, Britain did its very best to provide a hostile environment for May with the election result. The message was very clear: take a hike. Not a hiking holiday, but the full hike.
Yet the import does not seem to have got through to the prime minister, or the various arse-coverers around her. It’s fair to say we are dealing with a very specific class of unworthy here. There are few groups who take less responsibility for their actions, as this week in the Windrush scandal has laid starkly bare. Some of the most senior political figures in the land are – in the purest sense of one of their favourite terms – shirkers. They are feckless. They act like these things are happening to them, as opposed to because of them. Given the judgments they like to visit on the weaker members of society for comparatively minuscule transgressions, this makes them the most raging hypocrites too.
In the Home Office, Amber Rudd can’t even commit to a personal pronoun. “I am concerned that the Home Office has become too concerned with policy and strategy, and sometimes loses sight of the individual,” was the verdict of the specific individual who is the actual home secretary, and who was clearly very much wishing people would lose sight of her. Complete tools always blame their workmen, and the civil servants union chief has now come out to imply this of Rudd.
In No 10 Rudd’s Home Office predecessor still, bogglingly, resists any personal blame. In one of his newspaper columns, May’s former chief of staff, Nick Timothy, claims – wrongly – that May was against the vans and was on holiday or something, while referring to the “so-called hostile environment policy” when it was literally called so by him and his boss. Meanwhile David Cameron – in pursuit of whose ludicrous back-of-a-napkin immigration targets all this was done – disembarked from the gravy train momentarily this week to ignore the subject entirely in a CNN interview.