UKC

/ Sorry from the UK

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krikoman - on 10 May 2018

Finally we say sorry to Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Boudchar.

A disgraceful indictment of our government's involvement in torture.

I heard Jack Straw on the radio, basically saying "thanks for dropping the case, but it was nothing to do with me anyway."

I heard the Abdel, speak and was amazed by his forgiveness and lack of retribution, I don't think I could have been so charitable or as beneficent, after what we put them through.

The kidnapping and delivery to Libya was bad enough, the years of torture, then the fight for an apology. There are some good people on this earth.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-uk-apologizes-libyan-kidnapping-20180510-story.html

nastyned - on 10 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

The bit that got me was the "the British government accepts that you are telling the truth". Well they should f*cking well know seeing as they arranged it all!

gethin_allen on 10 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Who'd have thought that handing someone over to a crazy dictator like Gaddafi could result in them getting seriously mistreated? 

aln - on 11 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Is it OK just to say sorry? Our government admitting to kidnapping and torture isn't that illegal? 

RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

As usual they say "oops, sorry" for completely ruining people's lives, but make no changes, learn no lessons, and take no responsibility.

Classic.

krikoman - on 11 May 2018
In reply to gethin_allen:

> Who'd have thought that handing someone over to a crazy dictator like Gaddafi could result in them getting seriously mistreated? 


If for nothing else, this is the reason why Blair should trundle off into the distance and keep his gob shut.

krikoman - on 11 May 2018
In reply to aln:

> Is it OK just to say sorry? Our government admitting to kidnapping and torture isn't that illegal? 


Well, yes, but apparently no one knows who is responsible so there's no one to charge. You can believe that if you like, but it's a case of people in power getting away with breaking the , and there doesn't seem to be much of an appetite to find out who was responsible.

krikoman - on 11 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, told MPs that media reports about the abuses were “conspiracy theories”, and that “there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition”.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/10/libyan-rendition-how-uks-role-in-kidnap-of-two-families-unravelled

Robert Durran - on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As usual they say "oops, sorry" for completely ruining people's lives, but make no changes, learn no lessons, and take no responsibility.

What makes you think no lessons have been learnt? I strongly suspect they have been and changes made.

Stichtplate on 11 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

While they might not have been alone among Western politicians falling over themselves to fawn over Gaddafi during his brief period of rehabilitation, Blair and Straw certainly made for a remarkable double act as far as lies and dissembling on the world stage goes. In the process, they managed to do massive harm to Labour's image at home and Britain's image internationally.

So, when's the court case?

Stichtplate on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As usual they say "oops, sorry" for completely ruining people's lives, but make no changes, learn no lessons, and take no responsibility.

> Classic.

Have you bothered following the Windrush scandal and the changes now being implemented re. the 'hostile environment' policy?

jkarran - on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As usual they say "oops, sorry" for completely ruining people's lives, but make no changes, learn no lessons, and take no responsibility.

I'm sure lessons have been learned. I doubt anyone will be allowed to disappear for amateur dentistry with British connivance now until cast iron guarantees are provided that they and their paper trail will properly disappear.

jk

krikoman - on 11 May 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> So, when's the court case?

Sadly I don't think there will be one Belhaj's lawyers dropped the criminal case when they got their apology.

Blair's turned his interrogation over to God, now he's found Catholicism, while Starw's simply in denial I think.

 

RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Have you bothered following the Windrush scandal and the changes now being implemented re. the 'hostile environment' policy?

Yes, and they have made no changes to address the issue, on the contrary, they push through the immigration exemption in the data  protection bill...  

An incredibly wide unnecessary exemption that will exempt the home office from giving applicants the right to get errors  in the data they use to make immigration decision corrected.

As usual, they are more concerned with frustrating judicial redress for wrong decisions, and hiding mistakes, than fixing the policy.

With the upcoming registration of millions of EU citizens using data from various gov agencies, which will be incorrect in many cases, this promises to be a car crash. They know it and that is exactly why they are preparing the ground by making sure they are not held accountable for  making automated decisions based on shitty data.

More info here : https://www.openrightsgroup.org/press/releases/2018/rights-groups-to-take-government-to-court-over-shocking-immigration-exemption

Post edited at 12:41
Stichtplate on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Yeah we know Rom, Britain is the most pernicious, perfidious, wrong headed and right wing country in the whole, entire world. Blah, blah, blah.

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RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to Stichtplate:

> Yeah we know Rom, Britain is the most pernicious, perfidious, wrong headed and right wing country in the whole, entire world. Blah, blah, blah.

No, it isn't.

You are just making things up, and in the process, entirely ignored the important point I have made regarding the immigration exemption.

But I am not surprised. 

Post edited at 13:26
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summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> With the upcoming registration of millions of EU citizens using data from various gov agencies, which will be incorrect in many cases, this promises to be a car crash. 

If an eu migrant arrived and started working, wouldn't they have an NI number and a tax trail, with records being kept for at least 7 years? The same for paying things like council tax. 

1
MG - on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> If an eu migrant arrived and started working, wouldn't they have an NI number and a tax trail, with records being kept for at least 7 years? The same for paying things like council tax. 

That didn't seem to help Windrush people. 

1
RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> If an eu migrant arrived and started working, wouldn't they have an NI number and a tax trail, with records being kept for at least 7 years? The same for paying things like council tax. 

In most cases yes, although  many EU nationals may be not be working, for example if they are stay at home mum/dad, carers. They may not have any tax records at all.

But the problem is that these tax records are full of errors and blanks.

My partner, for example, had several years missing because of one of previous employer mistyped her NI number in their system.

She was denied permanent residence as a result. Despite showing the home office all the evidence that she was working, getting her employer to write a letter explaining what happened, and getting HMRC to correct her records, she was accused of "fraud" and they would not hear anything.

 

 

Post edited at 13:52
1
summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> In most cases yes, although  many EU nationals may be not be working, for example if they are stay at home mum/dad, carers. They may not have any tax records at all.

Isn't the eu scheme migration for employment as it currently exists? If you want to live as a stay at home something in sweden you would have to prove to the tax authorities that you either have sufficient savings or your partners earns enough to support both of you. Also aren't you supposed to register within that country you move to within 90 days of arrival, to differentiate yourself as a resident not a tourist passing through. Obviously not every country administers the travel for 'employment' rules in quite such a strict format. 

Edit. Did you appeal your case?

Post edited at 14:32
2
summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to MG:

> That didn't seem to help Windrush people. 

Yes. They were shat on. But they also did not arrive from the eu in the modern era where it is easy save a paper or electronic trail yourself for future use should it be needed. 

1
d_b on 11 May 2018
In reply to Robert Durran:

> What makes you think no lessons have been learnt? I strongly suspect they have been and changes made.


I agree.  They are probably much more careful about shredding the evidence now.

RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> Yes. They were shat on. But they also did not arrive from the eu in the modern era where it is easy save a paper or electronic trail yourself for future use should it be needed. 

As I pointed out many people won't have an electronic trail, and even in the cases they do, there is no guarantee that the data is accurate and complete.

What the immigration exemption does, is that in cases there is an error in the data the home office has on you, and you are rejected because of it, you won't even have the right to see that data to check for errors, or get it corrected. In fact the home office won't even have to process your data lawfully.

After the windrush scandal you would have expected the governement to take action and stop this kind of nazis policies, but they chose to go in the opposite direction.

But as usual, I suspect most people won't give a single damn when tens of thousands of people get wrongly caught in the authoritarian home office machine (until the daily mail sets its sight on a minister)

Post edited at 16:57
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RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> Isn't the eu scheme migration for employment as it currently exists?

It's not a scheme for migration. It's a free movement arrangement.

No, it's not only for employement, you can exercise you right to free movement on the basis of the right to family life, ie, joining a partner, or sufficient means, or studying etc etc.

> If you want to live as a stay at home something in sweden you would have to prove to the tax authorities that you either have sufficient savings or your partners earns enough to support both of you. Also aren't you supposed to register within that country you move to within 90 days of arrival, to differentiate yourself as a resident not a tourist passing through. Obviously not every country administers the travel for 'employment' rules in quite such a strict format. 

There is no income requirement for EU spouses. In any case, the U.K. does not register anybody like Sweden does.

summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> As I pointed out many people won't have an electronic trail, and even in the cases they do, there is no guarantee that the data is accurate and complete.

Why not? You keep p60s, you print out tax returns and save that ridiculously big number, you save all letters with relevant agencies, you ask for confirmation by email then print and or save. I trust no one, or agency and make sure I've covered my a$$. 

> After the windrush scandal you would have expected the governement to take action and stop this kind of nazis policies, but they chose to go in the opposite direction.

Exactly what Nazi policy? 

How do you know the system isn't changing as we speak, do you work there?

 

Post edited at 17:16
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RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> Why not? You keep p60s, you print out tax returns and save that ridiculously big number, you save all letters with relevant agencies, you ask for confirmation by email then print and or save. I trust no one, or agency and make sure I've covered my a$$. 

Which we did, we had all the relevant paperwork, more paper  evidence you can imagine (the documents we sent in weighed in at 5 kg) but home office said it didn't match their data, therefore they must be fakes, we are fraudsters and we should f*ck off.

> How do you know the system isn't changing as we speak, do you work there?

No, I just follow the legislative agenda. Part of the problem is that because the hole office is more and more unaccountable, with less and less checks and balances, it doesn't actually matter what the laws are, they can do whatever they want.

That is not an acceptable thing in a democracy, with supposedly, the rule of law,  I'm not sure why you want to keep defending the indefensible.

Post edited at 17:56
1
summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Which we did, we had all the relevant paperwork, more paper  evidence you can imagine (the documents we sent un weighed in at 5 kg) but home office said it didn't match their data, therefore rhey must be fakes, we are fraudsters and we should f*ck off.

Sounds bad. But as eu workers you could never be asked to leave anyway? What about appeal? Legal advice... 

 

 

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RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> Sounds bad. But as eu workers you could never be asked to leave anyway? What about appeal? Legal advice... 

You can always appeal if you think spending 1000 of pounds on immigration lawyers - which you won't be able to pay because the home office can put you on their blacklist and they freeze your bank accounts - whilst no being able to work, or travel, for months if not years, just to be able to stay in a country that apparently doesn't want you or your taxes, is a sensible thing to do.

What you don't seem to understand is that judicial redress is made so difficult that it is better for individuals to leave than getting justice. That is the problem with the hostile environment.

And what we had was only the very mild end of it, many non-EU don't even have a right of appeal, at all.

 

Post edited at 17:55
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summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Presuming you are from the eu, you don't think you jumped the gun and perhaps should have stayed & appealed... how many eu migrant workers have had their assets frozen? 

2
RomTheBear on 11 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> Presuming you are from the eu, you don't think you jumped the gun and perhaps should have stayed & appealed... how many eu migrant workers have had their assets frozen? 

Frankly, I find your attitude of always blaming the victim just offensive.

You are completely detached from the reality if you think that spending 1000 of pounds to go in a long and stressful legal battle, and forgoing job and carreer for months if not years, is even a realistic or sensible option for most people.

You have absolutely no clue of the devastating psychological impact of being told in no uncertain terms you are not welcome in a country where you spent most of your adult life and consider your home. 

The irony is that if she had not applied to get permanent residence to get citizenship, we would have been fine. It seems that the best way to avoid problems with the home office is to just stay under the radar. The illegals probably have an easier time.

Post edited at 19:26
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summo on 11 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:.

> You are completely detached from the reality if you think that spending 1000 of pounds to go in a long and stressful legal battle, and forgoing job and carreer for months if not years, is even a realistic or sensible option for most people.

Teddies back in your cot. It was a genuine question, as someone who has also moved country I know it won't have been free, but you decided to go with cost and stress of leaving, rather than cost and stress of staying. I was only asking. 

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RomTheBear on 12 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> .

> Teddies back in your cot. It was a genuine question, as someone who has also moved country I know it won't have been free, but you decided to go with cost and stress of leaving, rather than cost and stress of staying. I was only asking. 

Yes, whatabouteries to distract/drown the point I have made regarding the increasingly authoritarian tools the home office are being given.   

I stress that the situation we faced is mild compared to what others experienced with the home office. I am not sure why it's so hard to admit there is a problem, which is only going to get bigger when they start to register 3m+ eu citizens using automated systems that are using inaccurate and incomplete datasets you won't be able to see or get corrected. 

All the legal experts on immigration are saying this is only going to make things worse, you can keep ignoring the problem, but it won't go away.

Post edited at 09:39
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summo on 12 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Yes, whatabouteries to distract/drown the point I have made regarding the increasingly authoritarian tools the home office are being given.   

No. I was asking a question. 

 

 

1
Offwidth - on 12 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Well I for one am ashamed  the way the  UK treated you, the Windrush victims and goodness knows how many tens of thousands of others. We should be setting an example of truth and justice, not an example of how to use every devious and dishonest trick in the book to meet immigration targets. I have no objection to the home office working hard to remove illegal immigrants but this harrassment of legal citizens and residents with little redress in data errors, proper rights of appeal or affordable legal challenge, disgusts me.

Post edited at 11:02
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summo on 12 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

I think part of the problem is the general unwillingness to have a formal ID system in the UK. It's stuck in the dark ages with places still wanting pieces of paper with an address on.. driving licences with separate codes and/or a print out.. and a multitude of different state agencies that have no joined up systems. But most people don't realise how bad it is until they go to another country.

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RomTheBear on 12 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> I think part of the problem is the general unwillingness to have a formal ID system in the UK. It's stuck in the dark ages with places still wanting pieces of paper with an address on.. driving licences with separate codes and/or a print out.. and a multitude of different state agencies that have no joined up systems. But most people don't realise how bad it is until they go to another country.

I completely agree.

 

Offwidth - on 12 May 2018
In reply to summo:

Maybe, but now isn't a great time to instigate a highly costly and controversial system that many Brits will find highly intrusive and many will intrinsically oppose. The immigration targets are just massively stupid. Most idiotically they include students, not far behind they ignore the reality of skill gaps in the UK that we need to fill to keep the country running, next we cut back on systems, due to austerity, that if we invested more would at least enable us to at least know better what is going on. All these people unnecessarily in court and detention centres, and not allowed paid work but on benefits while on visa parole costs the UK a fortune. A post came up recently in an Engineering department at my place that had ~100 applicants and only 1 UK resident (who wasn't qualified and couldn't be short listed). At the other end of the scale we have care homes in the SE and fruit farms and minimum wage warehouse work that we can't just stop. Its about time we started looking realistically at these needs, planned transitions  and yet we do the opposite play ostrich and treat honest people like dirt. The May way is not our british way.

Post edited at 12:51
deepsoup - on 12 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

I can't see the relevance of an ID card or whatever.  The 'Windrush generation' weren't being asked to provide a bit of evidence, the odd document or two, maybe a few family photos.  They were being asked for copious amounts of documentation, with a narrow definition of what was acceptable and rules rigidly enforced whether they made sense or not.  It appears plenty of the same is still going on as the 'hostile environment' rolls along.

Did you keep your P45 from that summer job in 1983?  Can you prove where you were living and what you were doing in 1988?  Provide documentary evidence that you paid national insurance in 1992 (even after you contact HMRC for help and get a blank "we have no record of you for that period" in reply)? 

I know I couldn't.

Post edited at 13:01
Offwidth - on 12 May 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

I'm just worried that too much focus on Windrush will distract from the much bigger problems across a wide range of different areas with unfair requirements in much more recent evidence. That Windrush is usually even more nasty than these cases is beside the point. If we had an ID card system they would be holding back issuing one for  these people for the same reasons. You shouldnt blame individuals for the failure of state records but we seem to be using it as a key lever to be seen to be doing something about immigration (hostile environment etc), with everything tracing back to our PM.

Post edited at 13:48
RomTheBear on 12 May 2018
In reply to deepsoup:

> I can't see the relevance of an ID card or whatever.  The 'Windrush generation' weren't being asked to provide a bit of evidence, the odd document or two, maybe a few family photos.  They were being asked for copious amounts of documentation, with a narrow definition of what was acceptable and rules rigidly enforced whether they made sense or not.  It appears plenty of the same is still going on as the 'hostile environment' rolls along.

> Did you keep your P45 from that summer job in 1983?  Can you prove where you were living and what you were doing in 1988?  Provide documentary evidence that you paid national insurance in 1992 (even after you contact HMRC for help and get a blank "we have no record of you for that period" in reply)? 

> I know I couldn't.

It is true, but he has a point about IDs. Because there is no central identity management system, you can live in the country for years, completely lawfully, without any record, or the state knowing who you are.

Combined with the hostile environment, you've got a recipe for disaster.

RomTheBear on 12 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'm just worried that too much focus on Windrush will distract from the much bigger problems across a wide range of different areas with unfair requirements in much more recent evidence.

Absolutely, and the data protection immigration exemption is going to make things much much worse.

Instead of fixing the system, they just make it even harder for people to get judicial redress or even show that a wrongdoing has happened, basically it's going in the exact opposite direction...

 

 

 

 

Post edited at 13:53
krikoman - on 12 May 2018
In reply to summo:

> I think part of the problem is the general unwillingness to have a formal ID system in the UK. It's stuck in the dark ages with places still wanting pieces of paper with an address on.. driving licences with separate codes and/or a print out.. and a multitude of different state agencies that have no joined up systems. But most people don't realise how bad it is until they go to another country.


The other part of the problem is the cost, it's something like £7.5K over seven years, you have to keep registering your intention to become a citizen and each time they charge you.

RomTheBear on 12 May 2018
In reply to krikoman:

> The other part of the problem is the cost, it's something like £7.5K over seven years, you have to keep registering your intention to become a citizen and each time they charge you.

Yep, and the charges keep doubling. The home office makes massive profits from these. The intention is clearly to deter people as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

Post edited at 13:57
summo on 12 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

An ID system need not be cost prohibitive. The UK already has NI numbers, a large proportion also a driving licence. Combine the two?

Also there will be savings in reducing fraud etc..Of course an ID that means a perceived loss of freedom. 

In the UK every bank, finance company, public service..  runs its own identity system, far cheaper to pool resources and have one very secure system that works with all agencies, public and private. 

 

Offwidth - on 12 May 2018
In reply to summo:

Sure it could be cheaper but thats not viable in the UK. Here were some of the last-time estimates with fun comments from a certain D D : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6033687.stm. In a system of hostile environments and adding inflation how much more again will it cost to register all those with no absolute unchallengable evidence to remain. The only cheap way is pretty much a complete amnesty on those who almost certainly had a legal right to be here. May certainly won't be leading such an idea.

Post edited at 14:18
summo on 12 May 2018
In reply to Offwidth:

Of course. People in the main will reject what they don't understand or have no experience of.

I have two Ids, a credit card sized physical one that you produce for a whole range of things, from hiring, use of healthcare, shopping.... and an electronic version 'bankID'... It is same log in system for all financial services, public or private, tax office... everything.. It works on all pads, computers or mobiles. And that's it, one 6 digit number... so folk don't have umpteen passwords, card readers, first pets, favourite places etc.. 

Post edited at 14:27
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Offwidth - on 17 May 2018
Dauphin on 17 May 2018
In reply to RomTheBear:

Light touch British state refuses to have the functions of a state.

Responsible functional home office would of tracked windrush people down and offered them a passport. Or at least had a public information campaign to encourage them to apply. Instead we have this. I don't know why people believe our foreign policy is any less opaque or corrupted. 

F*ck em.

 

D


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