Windrush, coming so conveniently for Labour before the recent council elections, (as I suspect today’s adverse publicity about Trump’s decision to close the Mexico US border to illegal migrants) was a huge lie. None of the six Windrush cases the left initially made such a fuss about were deported, nobody was refused urgent or necessary health care (it cannot be refused under Department of Heath Directives – one man had his radiotherapy delayed, but his treatment was quickly restored) and it is doubtful that anybody here legally lost their job or home. It is true that a small number of elderly Windrush veterans with no papers were questioned about their right to be here.
The facts: since 2003, out of some 8000 Windrush files examined, 63 individuals (0.78 per cent) aged over 45 may have been sent home for not been able to prove their right to be here, or for committing crimes in the UK. Only may have been. The state has a right to ask for papers (if it lost them it should compensate) but the vast majority of West Indians have them. I live and work in an area where there are many West Indians and I have yet to meet one who had any difficulties in travelling abroad. Despite this, exaggerated stories became common talk. In my part of South London, suddenly everybody knew of somebody who knew somebody who had been dragged handcuffed from his bed at three in the morning to Yarlswood detention centre, and then put on a plane to Jamaica. Windrush became a folk myth, like the parting of the Red Sea. The entire black population of London now believes the story (or ‘narrative’) of brave immigrants who came to rebuild Britain being thrown out of the country by wicked Tories.
It is a lie. The English are a famously welcoming and tolerant race, qualities derived in part from an arrogant belief that they are indestructible, but also from a genuine kindness, who foolishly kept quiet when Tony Blair threw Britain’s borders open under New Labour.
Far too late, in response to increasing public alarm at the numbers of illegal migrants in the country (said to be 1.2 million), the then Home Secretary, Mrs May, imposed the same rules that apply in all other EU countries – namely, migrants must show proof of their immigration status if they take a job, rent a house, open a bank account or apply for state benefits. Yet, even then, a tolerant Britain has been more generous in their application than the Europeans. Try getting medical care in Europe without papers.
It took the image of a battered freighter, its decks crowded with black passengers dressed in their Sunday best, to set the racial cat among Tory Central Office pigeons. Suddenly, all talk of the 1.2 million illegal immigrants ceased. Britain’s immigration policy was compared to events such as the Wannsee Conference of 1942 at which Heydrich, Himmler and Eichmann arranged targets for the mass deportation and extinction of the Jews. The new rules ‘as almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany’. The totally blameless Home Secretary Amber Rudd was forced to resign for using the Wannsee word ‘target’. Her target? To deport 11,000 a year out of an estimated 1,200,000 illegals; not even enough to make up for a natural increase by births.
A powerful myth was born. Following it Diane Abbott promised to shut two of our main immigration removal centres, limit the stay in them to 28 days and use the money to help victims of domestic abuse, slavery and trafficking. Totally open immigration, the Labour lie goes, is a natural phenomenon and, like the weather, universally beneficial – which is why very few new arrivals need investigating. By contrast, the monstrous injustices of the past demand a complete rewriting of our history. Black and Asian people are the real founders of modern Britain, working as their ancestors did under appalling conditions in the colonies to make Britain the wealthy country it is today. This makes them the rightful inheritors of these islands. London, regarded as the Britain of the future, with its choked transport, hospitals that can never keep up, rising crime, desperate lack of housing and now warnings of a shortage of water, has all the marks of a future third world city. Soon all that will be left of us will be wistful English faces in the vast crowds.
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