Time

So here's a tricky paradigm: 
There ain't such a thing as continuous time.
No common clock, or steady flow.
It's relative, granular, stoccato.

Time has no time for common sense,
and with motion, or mass, will stretch, or condense.
We don't even share the present moment,
which for some is to come, for others - long spent.

Time flows faster for mountaineers, 
and our feet are younger than our ears.
It slows for the hare and speeds for the tortoise
... or so the physicists have taught us.

 

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Windrush is just the tip of the iceburg

We should be heartened by the resignation of Amber Rudd over the windrush debacle. Perhaps too, effective pressure may be brought to bear for Theresa May to resign. But however welcome individual resignations may be let us not be fooled into thinking that this will resolve the problem. It isn’t so much individuals that need to change but the whole system.

The windrush generation is just the tip of the iceberg. There are countless other examples of cruelties perpetrated by a Home Office that is rotten to the core and and the only thing that will really change things would be its root and branch reformation.

Here are just a few examples of its cruelty:

  • Routinely returning people to their home countries when there is clear evidence to suggest that they will be tortured, raped or killed if they are returned (and later documentary evidence that this actually happened).
  • People dying as a direct result of brutality during the process of their deportation.
  • Imprisoning people who have committed no criminal offence, including (still) children, indefinitely and without charge. Britain is the only European country to do this and has one of the largest ‘detention estates’.
  • Gross miscarriages of justice and a culture of disbelief and hostility.
  • Unaccompanied children who have fled to this country and been looked after by us, sometimes for many years,  having their ‘status’ removed when they reach 18.
  • Kafkaesque bureaucracy and inefficiency.
  • Uncounted numbers of people who are left stateless, often for many years, without rights to benefits, healthcare, legal aid, or permission to work.

For more detail and evidence on all this (and what I think should be done) see my paper: An Analysis UK Cruelty Towards Asylum Seekers and what should be done about it.

This is a rare opportunity to begin the much needed process of reforming the whole system and Sajid Javid has a huge task on his hands. But we must keep up the pressure on him and successive governments to ensure that any changes that follow his appointment are deep rooted rather than cosmetic.