The debacle at the Home Office goes from bad to worse.
In 2002 Amnesty International revealed that Home Office asylum decisions were routinely based on "inaccurate and out-of-date information about countries, unreasoned decisions about people's credibility and a failure to properly consider complex torture cases", and claimed that Government figures showed the Home Office got the initial decision wrong in nearly 14,000 asylum cases, meaning around 1 in 5 cases were overturned after costly appeals.
Last April the Home Office admitted that 900 foreign criminals had "gone missing".
Meanwhile, asylum-seekers who have escaped from torture and slaughter in their own countries comply with every request made of them by officialdom and then find that they are shipped home again, their own compliance making them sitting ducks for an immigration service embroiled in a numbers game.
More than 27,000 paper files containing details of crimes committed by UK citizens abroad were not been entered on the police national computer, in a backlog built up over the past five years because of a row between the police and civil servants about who should deal with them. As an example, one of these criminals, Dale Miller, was jailed for a series of armed robberies in Switzerland and Germany, only to return to the UK shortly before 2000. He immediately carried out a gangland execution of one Freddie Knights - but his name was only placed on the police national database when he was arrested a year later.
Of 540 criminals included in the backlog, it is estimated by the probation officers' union that up to 120 have reoffended after returning to Britain.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke resigned over 1,023 prisoners who should have been deported but were instead released into the community where most sunk without trace. He was replaced by John Reid who pledged himself to work "f*ck*ng-well 18 hours a day" to sort out the mess. He won a fair bit of credibility when he announced that the department was "not fit for purpose", though the statement has come back to haunt him as a series of scandals have hit the Home Office, the most recent of which was the revelation that the number of absconders from Britain's prisons is unknown.
When the Home Office completely lost control of Britain's borders the government attempted to make a virtue out of almost untrammelled immigration, a policy (if that is the correct word for it) that has brought us a divided society in which ethnic groups are at each other's throats, Islamic radicals are able to come and go at will to preach hatred and murder, lunatic multiculturism has ensured that immigrants have not and probably will never integrate into British society in any meaningful way, and screaming political correctness - not to say political cowardice - is turning the indigenous white majority into a disadvantaged underclass while ethnic minorities are able to ride rough-shod over a thousand years of social tradition and wisdom. If it seems a little over the top to lay all this at the door of the Home Office, just remember that things might have turned out very differently if the government had been able to rely on an executive that was able to do what it said on the tin.
All this is pretty much common knowledge by now. We all know the Home Office is crap.
We live in a "blame" culture these days. We oughtn't, but we do.
Whenever something goes wrong, there's a feeding frenzy of blame. Old age pensioner trips and falls on pavement? It must be the council's fault, so sue. Drunken shopper slips in Asda and fractures nose on a frozen joint of lamb? It's the supermarket's fault - they should have foreseen the possibility. Disobedient schoolboy ventures where he's been told not to venture and ends up disabled or dead? It's the school's fault - just telling him wasn't enough, the teachers should apparently have interposed their own bodies to keep him safe. Politicians, local authorities, health and safety organisations and all the other nasty little jobsworths who make a living out of telling the rest of us how to live our lives are all active in the blame-game, but the worst of all are the media. A reporter's first question whenever news breaks is "who's to blame for this?"
The GOS used to be a teacher, and one of his pupils' favourite sayings was "sh*t happens". Too true. Sh*t does happen. It happens all the time. It happens to all of us at some time or other. Why can't we just accept it?
But no. Following the sterling example set by our media, ordinary people are more and more eager to embark on the hunt for someone to blame. No-one can ever accept that something has just gone wrong, there's been an accident, a machine has broken down, the weather has caught us on the hop, someone just made a mistake. If they can't find someone to blame, they fall back on that hackneyed old makeshift: "There we were, waiting at the airport/bus station/railway station for three hours, and no-one told us anything".
Why do they assume that being told anything would make the situation any better? Why do they think that in most cases there's anything meaningful to say? What good would it do, for God's sake, for someone to come on the tannoy and tell them "The train's engine just stopped because there's something wrong with it but until the engineer gets here we won't know what, because I'm just the f*cking ticket collector and I don't know sh*t about common-rail industrial strength diesel engines"?
No good at all, that's the answer. And it wouldn't shut the soft saps up either - they'd still complain that no-one had told them anything, because when someone does take the trouble to give them some information their tiny commuter-model minds can't understand it. What do they want to be told, exactly? "The train's broken down, and Noddy and Big Ears are coming to fix it"? Would that make them feel better?
Probably the clearest example was in the London tube bombings. There was a lot of comment from members of the public about the fact that information was hard to come by in the wake of the disaster. They knew who was to blame - we all knew that the evil, selfish little lame-brain bombers had decided that blowing themselves and dozens of innocent bystanders up was going to make their lives a whole lot better - but they needed someone to blame, someone to complain about, so as usual they fell back on the good old standby "Nobody told us anything".
But this is a digression. Our point is that the blame society, as represented by its avenging angels the media, doesn't actually do a very good job.
At present they're all howling after John Reid because he hasn't yet sorted the Home Office out. Now, we've not much time for the man - he's just another Scottish know-all who should go back and govern his own country, frankly - but does anyone seriously expect one man to process 27,500 criminal records, find 1,023 missing deportees and halt illegal immigration single-handed? Of course they don't.
It should not, then, be too big a leap for mankind to work out that the Home Office must contain, and must have contained for a number of years past, quite a few civil servants who didn't do the job they were paid for. You know, it said in their job description "keep tabs on criminals", but they thought this meant "go and have a cup of tea in the office down the hall". They had a meeting which deputed one or two of them to find out just what conditions were like in Somalia so they could make some reasoned decisions about what to do with people who wanted to leave Somalia in case they were tortured, but they went and played cricket instead. I expect there was a whole department which was supposed to enter criminals' details in a computer, but they were too busy doing macramé and touching each others' bottoms.
And I expect there were senior civil servants whose job it was to make sure that their underlings were in fact fulfilling all these useful functions. You know, walk down the corridor, poke your head round an office door, and say "Oh, Buffykins, are those criminal records up to date, at all? Because you can't go home until they are. No, stop snivelling. It didn't work when you were my fag at boarding school and it isn't going to work now. I've still got a cane behind my door, and your bottom's got a bit bigger over the years so it's even easier to hit. Now then, just get on with the job - pull your finger out. And don't forget to wipe it."
So why, exactly, have our indefatigable media hounds not sleuthed out these people? Why are they wasting their time on John Reid? There are people in the civil service who have enormous pensions and aren't doing their jobs properly. We want to know who they are. We want their names. We want them pilloried in the Daily Mail. We want them linked in sex-romp scandal with Jade Goody. We want them out on their arses, we want their bloody pensions sequestered, we want them living rough on the street, we want them b*ggered by large Turkish gentlemen - because it's THEIR FAULT and THEY ARE TO BLAME.
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