HERE is an unapologetic apology to Theresa May.
Yesterday’s Man On Ledge suggested in passing, and possibly strongly, that Theresa May as home secretary bore some personal responsible for destroying landing card slips from the Windrush generation immigrants in 2010. These documents dated to the 1950s and 1960s and their destruction removed the last remaining proof of when a person arrived in Britain.
This information about the 2010 date of the documents being destroyed came from an unreliable source, as reported widely; that unreliable source was the government, which said those were the dates.
Yesterday in PMQs, Mrs Maybe sprung a fast one on Jeremy Corbyn, by claiming that the decision to destroy the documents took place in 2009 under a Labour government. This was news to the Labour leader – and immigration ministers in power at the time.
When asked about the confusion, Mrs Maybe said the 2010 date had been based on the available information at the time, or something. Well, dip me in the cynicism vat, but how’s this for a theory? Could the government spin merchants have known about the two dates all along, and given out the ‘wrong’ date on purpose, so that Corbyn arrived at PMQs armed with a duff deck of cards?
Whatever the case, and whether the decision was indeed taken by Mrs Maybe while she was home secretary or not, as some still maintain, this was a cheap shot when set against the matter being discussed. That British citizens from the Windrush generation who have lived here for 50 years should fear they are about to be deported thanks to heartless immigration bureaucracy is not a matter for political stunts of the you-said-he-said variety. When a prime minister of whatever party stoops to such yah-boo-suckery, politics just looks shabby.
It’s no good making a robotic apology one moment and then using the misery of the mistreated citizens you have just apologised to as a political football in a Westminster playground kick-around.
Anyway, the hostile stance towards immigration has been and remains a hallmark of Theresa May’s since 2010. And the Windrush scandal shows where such heartless intransigence can lead.
As for PMQs, from the snatches seen online and on TV, Theresa May just about pulled victory from the chomping jaws of defeat. That such a hopeless political performer can still derail Jeremy Corbyn, who’s meant to be good at this stuff, is surely a worry for Labour. And Corbyn did make a classic mistake: he asked a firm question (about that 2010 date) to which he did not know the answer.
Schoolboy error, as they say.