Home UK Immigration Tory ministers milking the system are the real shirkers

Tory ministers milking the system are the real shirkers

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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.

And on they all go. If the government is in any doubt as to why so many millions think it’s one rule for them and another for the little people, then this week couldn’t be a better primer. You lose one form and you lose your job, your cancer treatment, your benefits, your liberty; you lose a generation’s forms and you’re the effing prime minister. Those condemned to battle the systems that ministers design know what happens if they make tiny errors. Furthermore, they know that if they messed up a tenth as badly in their jobs, they’d be sacked. But in the arse-over-tit world of government, you’re safe because your sacking would make the big boss – May – look weak. Just like your HR department, right? Except on crystal meth.

I don’t want to fall back on a series of politicians’ best-loved cliches, but this level of irresponsibility is just scrounging with a red box. They play for high stakes – but never their own. It’s the sort of system-milking demonised in a benefits office in Grimsby but regarded as career progression in Westminster. It makes it appear there’s no glass ceiling in modern political life, just a reinforced lead floor. Once you’re in, you basically have to die to stop earning rewards. Take Timothy, who we can’t describe as back on his bullshit, because he’s never been off it. I’ve had yoghurts in my fridge longer than he was in the political wilderness. Or Cameron, whose CNN interview saw him still regurgitating his catchphrase “it was the right thing to do”. I do hope his forthcoming book embraces the absurdity, and is called All the Right Things to Do that I Did.

Perhaps the most staggering part – for those of us not being imprisoned or barred from our mother’s funerals, I should stress – is how little self-awareness our leaders have about their failures and their own part in them. May still reckons the worst thing she ever did was run through a wheat field.

In his 1997 Edinburgh show, the brilliant and subversive comedian Simon Munnery had this thing called the Self-Knowledge Impregnator. If an audience member transgressed by heckling, the imperious Nietzschean character he was playing would shout: “Activate the Self-Knowledge Impregnator!” Six people would then wheel an 8ft black box on stage, which contained a very powerful flash behind a piece of wood with a single word cut out of it. The lights would go out. And then … well, over to Simon. The box “would be placed directly in front of the heckler. And I would go: ‘Are you aware of what you are?’ And they’d go, ‘No’. And then we’d go [FLASH!] and it would burn the word ‘cunt’ on to their retina.”

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/20/ministers-scroungers-lose-forms-pm-windrush

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