I have to say, I find it extraordinary that a body found so grossly negligent be permitted to self-govern and disseminate compensation, when they are the ones found so egregiously wanting in the first place.
To destroy the very evidence that proved people were here legally- had in fact been actively courted to come over and rescue the NHS and Transport industries, as British Citizens of the Commonwealth, to then have the rug pulled out from under them and in so many ways, blows the mind. You couldn’t write it.
How ungrateful could a country possibly be? To ask people who have spent their lives here, sacrificing so much, paying their taxes, putting up with the day-to-day racism, with hardship, but building their lives, away from their own families, putting their faith and energies into the future of Britain, only to finally be comprehensively betrayed, is grim beyond comprehension.
It’s of course some relief that this fiendish, calculated and racist plot was exposed. Good also that the Home Office be brought to book. But to then fall at the final hurdle and allow the HO to be their own overseers has already been proved to be a huge misstep, one which was only ever going to lead to further compounded calamity and repeat offending against those most vulnerable.
How did the destruction of Landing Cards by the HO impact those now monikered the ‘Windrush Generation’? Well, in myriad ways: Many who left Britain, be it for holidays, family visits, funerals, weddings, whatever, found themselves barred at the UK border upon their return.
Many were refused the right to work in the UK, despite having worked here for decades in service to the building of the UK, paying taxes, mortgages, bringing up families. Others were refused any Benefits and also (so ironically-) refused NHS services. Others were actively deported. All of them were asked to prove they had a right to remain in the UK, but if they hadn’t already applied for a UK Passport and received it, the proof they were desperately scrabbling around for had already been destroyed by the very entity that was so innocently asking for it. Unforgiveable.
So many lives the HO crushed, all the while knowing the sordid truth: That they were responsible, that they were asking the impossible, in the belief that they were untouchable, above Justice not caring how many lives they destroyed. Not only those directly Windrush, but their family members, descendants and partners.
Jobs lost, marriages smashed, parents sick with worry, children losing parents, unpayable debts racked up, savings spent, pensions destroyed, due to loss of earnings. The knock-on toll to health… the stress, the mental health, illnesses like cancer left untreated, due to the barring of NHS care. The list is incalculable both in scope and in the deliberateness of the cruelty.
And here we are, two and a half years since the scheme was implemented and just a tiny fraction of those affected paid. Not only that, but initially, the paperwork was so complex, the amount of ‘proofs’ requested almost impossible to fulfil, and then we find that claimants who have been through extraordinary duress and hardship then being offered insulting sums, enough to traumatise all over again.
250 quid for being locked out of your country. Even more recently; imagine losing 11 year’s earnings and being offered 7K as compensation. How can that ever be regarded as compensation? How is it nothing more than salt in a wound?
On top of this, what the HO are doing now is yet more spin, singing its own praises far and wide about how well it’s doing, how much it has learned. But that hasn’t helped me or those like me who were the guinea-pigs at the front. The article I link at the bottom talks of claimants waiting over 300 days for their claims not to be paid. I’ve now waited over 880 and I’m by no means alone.
If I didn’t know better, I’d believe the HO were bent on a cost-saving exercise, making it as difficult as possible for claimants to fill the form in in the first place, then taking forever to make an offer (such that some claimants die beforehand). To then offering a piffling amount, in the hope that by then, you’ve given up the will to fight and will take it just to have the whole sorry affair over with. I’m not sure that was what was in mind when the judges decreed the HO in flagrant contravention of the law.
It’s so brilliant to see the fight back. To see people stick to their guns and hold the HO to account. It should of course have been an independent body overseeing the compensation and one in proper conversation with those affected, thereby creating a process fit for purpose, rather than this sorry, racist, pathetic charade.
They did it to themselves. I mean how ungrateful can you possibly get? The war was won with the help, with volunteers (not conscripts) from India, Africa, the Caribbean.. the Allies would have lost without these people. The NHS would not have survived without the same.. And this is how they are repaid?
But if the education system in schools insists on keeping the general populace ignorant of these facts, is it any wonder that Caucasian Brits continue to believe the lies?