I am no conspiracy theorist, but you could be forgiven for thinking that Windrush was a scandal waiting to happen which Sir Humphrey was fully aware of and needed – to embarrass and shame his Minister and the PM into giving up any notion of immigration control.
If you were thinking that, Amber Rudd’s vow to change the culture of the Home Office, which made the Times splash yesterday, would prove your point.
Duly and publicly shamed Ms Rudd has been. The treatment of immigration cases needs to change, she’s admitted, and the controversy shows ‘we need to give a human face to how we work and exercise greater discretion when it is justified’. No doubt.
But then comes the context. Her comments, the Times reported, ‘were seen as critical of the Home Office becoming too focused on strategy and policy under Theresa May as it tried to tackle illegal immigration and cut net migration to under 100,000’. Ah yes. We can’t have an immigration policy that does what the majority of people who wanted Brexit voted for, can we?
The swamp wins again. So we are to have no say on the total immigration policy that Mr Blair introduced and that all his successors have at best lazily accepted as inevitable or at worst something that suits the establishment classes’ convenience.
‘I am not blaming anyone,’ Ms Rudd has stressed. ‘I want to make sure there is time, more focus, more resources, so there can be more engagement with individuals rather than just numbers.’ How about blaming her government, and previous administrations, for allowing an annual gross immigration figure of half a million a year? Now that would be a start.
I am not sure what resources she thinks it will take to treat ‘as individuals, not numbers’ the million-plus illegals estimated to be living here, and being augmented at a rate of up to 80,000 a year on top of the 500,000 legal immigrants.
This is the uphill battle facing the combined forces of the Home Office, the UK Border Agency, outsourcing companies and the police. This is what our already overstretched society and overcrowded country is dealing with – or rather, in the case of policing, not dealing with. This is why, in London, in the last quarter of last year, house prices in the capital reached 14.5 times the average earnings. Planning consent is only half of it. If the population is growing at this rate you are going to have a housing shortage and you won’t have affordable housing. Its basic economics. Thomas Sowell knows.
Unfortunately it seems too much for either Ms Rudd or the PM to understand.