In her address to a recent gathering of Commonwealth leaders in London, Queen Elizabeth as titular head of the 53-nation organisations had a noble wish.
It’s that by sticking together, the Commonwealth “will secure…a world where (its) generosity and spirit can bring…gentle touch of healing and hope to all.”
A week ago, a promising politician, Ms Amber Rudd, resigned as Home Secretary (Cabinet) because Her Majesty’s noble wish was under assault in her backyard.
The Windrush Generation scandal raged. The architect is Rudd’s predecessor, Theresa May, now prime minister. She could only say she was “genuinely sorry.”
The “generation” comprises of persons and descendants of such who, by invitation, moved to Britain from parts of the empire to fill in the labour pool depleted by Britain’s World War II losses.
When a British troop carrier, Empire Windrush, docked in Kingston, Jamaica, 492 descendants of African slaves hopped on board, arriving in the UK on June 22, 1948. The wave of Commonwealth immigrants had begun.
So, the Windrush Generation to those persons and descendants of such between 1948 and 1971 when entry got tight and those already in were granted UK citizenship. By historical coincidence, majority of immigrants from the Caribbean were black.
Some of the immigrants were entered in parents’ passports or documents identifying them as UK “protected persons.” Once grown and had children, Heck! They all considered themselves British.
Additionally, galore bureaucratic bungling existed. For example, Commonwealth immigrants weren’t provided with documents saying they had been granted citizenship. Efforts to ensure they knew of paper work they needed weren’t made. Worse, as late as 2010 landing slips were being destroyed.
Enter Ms May’s six-year tenure as home secretary. A large section of White Britain loathed a surge of immigrants. The Commonwealth, let alone the Caribbean, had nothing to do with it. The European Union had.
In 2013, Ms May decided to create a “hostile atmosphere” for illegal immigrants by requiring proof of citizenship to access jobs, driving licences, state benefits, health care, accommodation, ad infinatum.
Too much attention has been paid to people who originated from the Caribbean. However, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) says similar cases of Australian, Canadian, South African, Indian and Pakistan-born immigrants exist.
But as Satbir Singh, JCWI chief executive told the BBC, it’s “not likely you will be asked to demonstrate your immigration status” if you were “white and of European origin.”
Because of the media uproar beginning in November and dismay by representatives of Commonwealth Caribbean nations where some long-term residents of Britain—tax payers, ad infinitum—have even been deported to, Her Majesty’s government is playing “penance.”
Before packing up, Ms Rudd pledged remedies. However, there yet a word on fixing what the real issue is: phoney British multi-racialism.