Thursday, 26 April 2018

Friday, 20 April 2018

The Windrush Generation: Black. British. Betrayed.

Windrush victims. Courtesy of the Guardian Newspaper. 

Disclaimer; I apologise in advance, dear reader to subjecting you to such a long article, on such a beautiful summer’s day.  Trust me I would not even consider, doing so unless the issue, was of such national importance, such profundity, that no other approach, no simplistic sound bite summary, could convey the sheer anger and volatility of Black British communities right now.

Profanity warning; There is strong language used in this article.  Readers discretion is advised. For those who wish to skip the article, there is a political and policy charter at the end  of the article.   

Having made my apologies dear reader, grab a cup of something nice, sit down and take time to read. It’s a rare pleasure in a 140-character universe.

Windrush; The British Government is engaged in targeting, arresting, impoverishing, and then illegally deporting, British Black people.

Let that sink in.

We deserve better than this and so does the country. 2018 sees the Windrush 70yr anniversary, a time that was supposed to be an occasion of reflection and celebration, recognising the monumental contributions and achievements of the West Indian community to British society.

All now is marred, as the gut wrenching ugly face of institutional racism in British immigration policy and the brutal treatment of our Windrush generation, is laid bare.

It’s a year, when my community, increasingly traumatised by rising incidents of racism,  poverty and rates of serious violence, is also remembering, the victims of the Grenfell fire, the 25th anniversary of the brutal murder of Stephen Lawrence, and reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the death of the world’s greatest civil rights icon, Dr Martin Luther King, and a year where we are also celebrating the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela. 

Black people have always believed, British political and media, debates on immigration, have always provided a convenient smokescreen, allowing politicians to use the issue of immigration, to promote racism without reverting to overt racist language,

The immigration debate, allows for a seemingly abstract debate, that provides for comfortable and plausible denial against any charges of racism. All in the name of a supposed and mythical, multi cultural, progressive nationalism as promoted from everyone, from Tony Blair to Tommy Robinson.

Immigration policy is, much like any other policy. On paper it can be entirely race neutral, much like the debates that preceded it, however, just like the use and abuse of stop and search powers by the police, whilst on paper, the policy looks fine and has no obvious racist connotations, in implementation, the power has become an oppressive tool of police oppression.

That's the quintessential nature of institutionalised racism in Britain.

To be confronted then, in this special year, with such devastating evidence of, and I use this term advisedly, state sponsored racism, terrifyingly codified into law, by the introduction of successive Immigration Act’s from 2012 – 2016 will be a revelation to many, who genuinely, believed that Britain had become a post-racist society.

These Immigration Acts were co-signed and promoted by British Prime Ministers, David Cameron and  May, in response to the ever rising fortunes of Nigel Farage and UKIP promotion of a xenophobic

An English nationalism, that claims to be race neutral. A debate that cuts to the very heart of the our place in British society. The Windrush scandal, reaffirms our deep psychological insecurity, as Black Britons, an insecurity driven by the awful reality of our most tenuous and conditional, British citizenship.

We know, we can go any time, however long we've lived here, whatever our circumstances, we can be snatched off the streets, bundled into that van, dragged kicking and screaming onto a chartered plane on some godforsaken runway, in the dead of night.

 Those who resist, can be manacled bound and gagged, and restrained with such a violent force they die as a result. The cases of  Joy Gardner in 1993 to Jimmy Mubenga 2014 and Carrington Spence in 2017 provides the evidence of the nightmare that could await any of us.

As Dr Paul Gilroy wrote in his famous book published in 1987 “There Ain’t No Black In That Union Jack”  Our lived black reality is, that despite our supposed legal status as British citizens, we understand, our continued residence in the UK is not guaranteed, whatever the law. says

In many ways, our presence in this country, is tolerated, and our citizenship is considered a gift, purely conditional and subject to constant challenge. 

Let me set it out plain, from a personal perspective, there are seven generations of my family,
including my great-grandchildren,  all are Black British entitled to fundamental rights and freedoms, and excuse me, but I don't want them be tolerated in my own fucking country. 

The very use of the word should be an anathema to all right thinking people. You tolerate an invading virus, something bad, something unpleasant or annoying, certainly don't tolerate a fellow citizen,  because they are black.

Let's remind ourselves that it was the Caribbean, African, Indian and other Commonwealth countries that built this country from the ground up, through their forced contributions of their labour and the wanton theft of their resources, throughout the historical periods of slavery and colonialism, and more latterly through the monumental contributions of the Windrush generations.

If I hear the phrase "Britain is a  the most tolerant country in the world" one more time I will throw up.

No one has the right to qualify our hard won, citizenship of this country. Our right to be here, has  been bought and paid for, several times over, with the blood, pain and sacrifice of generations of our ancestors.

This fundamental right, to unqualified British citizenship, is cemented in the blood price we paid to secure our freedoms, and we walk this earth today, as free born, sentient human beings as a result. A people who should enjoy the inalienable rights, comparable to every other British citizen, regardless of the ethnicity or faith.

No-one, not even the Queen herself, has the right to deny, this most precious gift, made at enormous sacrifice, by our parents and our ancestors. And for what is worth, its my opinion that she should apologise to us and the nation for this disgusting state of affairs. After all, have you noticed no white Commonwealth citizens seem to have been affected ? No white Australians, South Africans or New Zealanders. This indicates the speciality of this racist deportation campaign, it specifically targeted at us, and only us.

Whilst we acknowledge and celebrate our historic contribution to this country, contemporary institutionalised racism continues to fundamentally undermine, the very fabric of multicultural Britain's, bold and disingenuous claim, to be a genuine meritocracy and one of the most equal, tolerant and law abiding nations in the world.

That inglorious claim has. now been revealed as a most blatant and damnable lie. 

British Black people, regardless of their circumstances, have seen the universal social contract between the British state and black British citizens, as not worth the toilet paper, it’s not written on.

This Government is treating us worse than animals. No that’s not entirely correct,  let me rewind that. British people would die for their animals, and a mangy dog, will have more rights to legal protection against harm, than black people in Britain currently enjoy today.

Watching the pains and suffering of our people, as we all have, over the last couple of days, grown black men and women openly weeping, as they recount the full horror of their experience, takes Britain to a place, it really doesn’t want to be.

Elderly women, ripped form their grandchildren's arms, black men unable to attend his mothers funeral, another man Dexter Bristol committed suicide Imagine for a moment, the real reality. The T

Tory's are prepared to see black people die to achieve their headlines in the Daily Fail and placate Farage. That's the sheer hell that this PM directed toward our community. 

The consequences of such profound invasion of our fundamental rights, is an entire black community, that is now enraged and way past boiling point. I give you fair warning to all, there should be no complacency, do not under estimate of that anger, that now exists.

Unable to claim welfare benefit, unable to access the National Health Service, sacked if they’re in work, losing driving licenses, their homes and their entire lives,  all sacrificed on the sacred altar of the Prime Minister’s toxic ambition to reduce illegal immigration. It's dreadful and terrible.

The Prime Minister's praetorian guard in this endeavour, her frontline troops, the all-powerful UK Border Force, were deployed in the battle to make Britain a “hostile environment” for “illegal immigrants”.  In a racist country such as Britain, all black people, are assumed to be potential illegal immigrants. As Sivanadan once said, "we wear our passports on our faces", as far as immigration and police officers are concerned.

The Prime Minister, gave the Force the green light, to do whatever it takes. They are the primary driving force that led to our current predicament. Immigration officers, now have untrammelled power's that far exceed anything police officers currently enjoy.

For years organisations have campaigned and consistently pointed out, the disproportionate targeting of black and brown people's by immigration officials, operating with absolute impunity and no accountability, and usually aided and facilitated by local police services.

All paid for by the very taxes we pay. We’re paying for our own deportation. We’re paying them to harass the shit out of our community. We’re paying them to deport our parents.

What this shows us, regardless of the claims of some politicians and their obsequious supporters, that we are nothing more than third class citizens living in a so-called "first-class democracy" and our lived reality tells us, that access to justice is determined by race.

Despite Britain's long claimed, history of "championing human" rights around the world, we as a community, have always understood, that the world famous laws and principles of the Magna Carta do not routinely apply to black people in Britain.

The British court of justice is permanently closed to black skinned Britons.


When my father arrived on a ship from Jamaica in 1955, he recalls looking at the shoreline, as they approached the English coast and wondering what was the smoke coming out the top of these little boxes, dotted along the shoreline.

He assumed they were furnaces or factories and was totally shocked when he landed, and found that these were actually people's homes.

My Dad, like many others of his time, worked hard, opened shop and later in 1975 became the first black man to own a licensed, late night, club venue in the Cheetham Hill Manchester.

Rebuilding Britain after the war. 
 He paid his taxes as did all hard-working Caribbean migrants, he paid his National Insurance  stamps, for 60 long years in this country.

He told me how he was forced, when he opened his club in the early 70s, to pay bribes to local council officials and police officers. He did whatever was asked of him, such was his determination to overcome his circumstances of relative poverty of his home in St Catherine, Jamaica.

Now, living back in Jamaica,  he speaks of the pride he had in building up his businesses and becoming a respectable member of the community and how the bribes became so extortionate, as his club became ever more popular, that in the end he decided he couldn’t take it any more, closed his club and opened a modest little off-licence.

My family today, extends to seven generations of Black British citizens, How long will it be, before we are routinely accepted as equal to all other ethnic groups in this nation? A hundred years ? 200 perhaps. How long, is the perennial question of the black peoples throughout history, how fucking long does it take for black people to become the equal counterparts of their white neighbours?

It's certainly the case today, that racism continues to infect public policy, at the point of implementation, On the face of it, all government policy is objectively race neutral, however the strong, social culture of British racism consumes public policy at the point of implementation.

Cultural racism is the most powerfully destructive, social force in modern Britain today. White cultural working practices eat law, policy, and politics for breakfast, in complete disregard for the law of the land. The Police are a perfect example. Working culture can determine and dictate the reality of and quality, of the social, economic and legal environment for black people in Britain, whatever law, policy and politics has to say.

In Britain today, citizenship is colour coded, and your assumed race, is entirely relevant to whether you’re likely to be believed, should you be challenged by immigration officials, the police or indeed anyone else. 

This will strike a chord with many, when I say, as black people we are almost always assumed to be lying.

The culture of racism is so powerful, it’s literally Britain's permanent, cultural default setting and one of it's most insidious and psychologically damaging implications is that Black and minority peoples are rarely believed. We are always suspected, always disbelieved. Living our lives in this dysfunctional state can take a hell of a toll on a persons mental health and well being.  Racism make us sick to our stomachs.

This is how racisms daily micro aggressions, infringements and assaults stresses us, drives us into mental ill health, and sometimes into our early graves. Our lives are dictated by our daily calculations designed to take account of your racist bullshit racism. When we go shopping, go out for a night, when we choose a school for children, when we called police for assistance, and when we stand in front of the judge

Such is the vicious and hostile climate created by this and successive Government, all of whom have ramped up draconian immigration legislation, year on year. The effects of been devastating, for all people of colour, but in particular Blacks and Muslim British citizens.

And the facts are clear and indisputable.

The Windrush scandal confirms, our long held belief of British black communities and elsewhere, that British immigration political and public debate, is almost always cypher for race. It’s the home of dog whistle politics, a political strategy created by the Tory party political strategist, Lynton Crosby. It’s the pork barrel politics of Donald Trump,  that sinks to the lowest level of intelligence in the room.

And it's understandable too. The British public, for at least the last 50 years, have been subjected to the most sustained, relentless, racist, propaganda campaign on this issue, led by unethical politicians from all parties, and aided by a viciously right wing xenophobic media. It totally explains how we arrived at Brexit and where we are today.

Racism, the unacknowledged and unresolved legacy of empire, lurks deep in the cultural fabric of the nation, and is ruthlessly exploited, for short-term political gains, at the expense of black British citizens and a range of other religious and ethnic minorities. Its cutthroat politics at its worst.

When it comes to introducing new immigration policies,  Britain is one of the most rapacious nations in the world. Any cursory analysis over the post-war Parliamentary record will demonstrate beyond doub,t that this issue is intimately tied to the issues and ideas of race, equality and citizenship.

We enact more immigration legislation than any country in the Western hemisphere, usually at least two and sometimes as many as four  immigration acts per government. Our appetite for ever more tighter immigration laws is insatiable. And in a society that has failed to properly acknowledge and atone for its own racism, such extreme immigration polices, are sure-fire vote winners. In British political discourse, immigration is the political equivalent of crack cocaine.

The media, political commentators, the man and woman on the Clapham omnibus, Uncle Tom Cobbly an all, everyone has an opinion on this issue, and no wonder, after all, lets be real, it's almost, all we've ever talked about for the last 30 years.

As co-chair of Black Activist’s Against The Cuts we campaigned, with others, ,in an attempt to stop all of the 2012 to 2016 Immigration Acts in Parliament. With my co Chair, Zita Holbourne, and  Collette William's (BARAC Manchester Chair) we all worked hard to raise awareness of the dreadful impact such legislation would have on black and ethnic minority communities.

We came together, in partnership with many other grassroots immigration campaigns and we were joined in partnership by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants(JCWI) We held parliamentary briefings, we sought to mobilise the trade union movement to support our efforts, we organised protests outside the Home Office.

We initiated and helped create an overall umbrella campaigning organisation at the time, called, Movement Against Xenophobia to help tackle, all forms of immigration discrimination. We approached the trade union movement to fund an on-going campaign, and despite some negotiations succeeding for a brilliant poster campaign, no long-term funding was the forthcoming.

The Labour Party, under Ed Milliband’s leadership, wasn’t interested in supporting our efforts either. No one, including the Tory party can say that they were not warned, briefed, lobbied, by a broad range of groups, raising concerns about the potential for outright discrimination of these immigration legislations. It has been a matter of public record, and indeed most recently, we have learned that the Home Office produced at least two Minsterial briefings, outlining their fears about the potential discrimination of the Prime Minister’s policy.

Remarkably, when it came to the parliamentary vote on the dreaded 2014 Act itself, only 18 MP's   voted against the Torys.

Labour: Diane Abbott, Jeremy Corbyn (Teller), Kelvin Hopkins, David Lammy, Fiona MacTaggart, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner.
Lib Dems: John Leech, Sarah Teather, David Ward.
Greens: Caroline Lucas.
Plaid Cymru: Elfyn Lloyd, Hywel Williams, Jonathan Edwards (Teller).
Respect: George Galloway
SDLP: Mark Durkan, Margaret Ritchie.
SNP: Stewart Hosie, Angus MacNeil, Pete Wishart.
Not a single Labour MP who complains about ant semitism today, voted against the legislation.
I would be remiss not to pay tribute to Tottenham MP David Lammy, who in channelling the spirit of the late great MP Bernie Grant delivered a speech that shook Parliament and the country at large, to its very foundations.
                                                           Remember this ?

So it's interesting, to see Labour MPs of late, clearly anguished and in suffering, about the undoubted existence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, who nevertheless in 2014, couldn’t be arsed to turn up and vote against the most pernicious, racist piece of immigration legislation this country has ever seen.

Whilst I fully accept there is far too much anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, I do believe, in all honesty, that some of those who are now purporting, to be committed anti-racists, are nothing of the sort. Their failure to be truly antiracist and committed to fighting all forms of racism, including the wholesale anti-black racism in immigration legislation,  faced by our community, represents monumental and sheer hypocrisy on their part. This looks to me like conceding to racism.

                          While other Labour MP's bailed out -  Jeremy stood firm.
                                    Here he is at our MAX demo in 2014.

What this failure to challenge Tory immigration policy does, is expose their selective commitment to the cause of equality. Such anti racism is purely cosmetic. They pick and choose their causes calculating which cause is best to be used as  battering ram against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Its pick and mix anti racism of the most cynical kind. What makes this even more galling is, unlike them, Jeremy Corbyn has consistently voted against Tory racist immigration policies throughout the entirety of his political career.

Within the current Labour Party then, Anti-Semitic racism is treated as a much more serious political priority within the labour movement, than ant black racism. There is no more important racism, than that affects white people.

This selective application of antiracist concern, by some of the Labour MPs, to me constitutes an outrage, and a prostitution of the fundamental principles of equality and justice, neatly bastardised for the political convenience of vacuous politicians, obsessed with their own parliamentary careers.

I issue this simple challenge, to those who expressed such anger about anti-Semitism, we hear you; now tell us how did you voted on these Tory immigration acts? I know where Jeremy was, standing right beside us. Question is, where were you ?

Ed Millband’s Labour, at that time, for reasons I've explained above, did not want to be seen to be opposing Tory draconian immigration legislation and therefore decided not to oppose the 2014 Immigration Act. The Labour Party abstained on the most vicious piece of racist legislation we've ever seen in this country and it is considered completely unremarkable that they did so.

The bitter uncomfortable truth, is that in the pernicious atmosphere of the pre Brexit referendum, and the febrile politics that pervades to this day, all who raised these issues, were all largely dismissed or ignored. Everybody knew what was going on in terms of black deportations, and yet everybody, including some on the left,  were prepared to largely ignore the facts, and indulge in a quiet conspiracy of white privilege, in the hope of harvesting a racist electoral dividend.

In 2014. the majority of Labour MP's, in their quest for power, threw British black people underneath the bus, collateral damage in their battle for power. 

Whilst we all expect that from politicians and the media, it is also true, that our own communities also ignored us. They were of course, spectacularly uninformed communities. But let's be straight up and down about it, some of our communities supported UKIP  and have come to support tough immigration legislation, and in doing so, drew up the ladder to a pathway out of poverty, lowered to them by their parents. A  ladder that was extended to them, by previous generations, who had sacrificed and fought for justice and progress.

Racism is so powerful, that it even infects and effects its primary victims, infected like zombies, they begin to mouth the words of racists, as they imbibe the constant atmosphere of xenophobic hatred. Such is the power of racism that eventually even its victims become tainted with its poison, and its perpetrators become moral reprobates.

Political resistance.

British Black voluntary sector organisations have been decimated through savage austerity cuts, reducing the capacity of poor deprived communities to organise and mobilise their voices Many black organisations and charities have long accommodated themselves to the deep political marginalisation of the struggle for equality.  Many peddled the falsehood, that they can grow crops without rain.

They maintain that race equality could be delivered as an "apolitical" project, capable of being addressed through a simple business management philosophy of diversity strategies, training and multicultural policies. 

Equality is the most political project in town. It's a dogfight, a contact sport and it requires blood on the carpet, the relinquishing of power, authority and resouces by white people and it's re-distribution to marginalised groups. Because people with power don't give it up easy. This weak kneed political accommodation, by many black organisations, has resulted in a deep reluctance to mass mobilise black communities politically and in my view constitutes a huge and unnecessary capitulation.

Many of these organisations, are happy to occupy themselves by conducting endless research, training, and consultaions, that largely tells us, what we know already; that we suffer from profound discrimination. Unlike the Southern Law Poverty Centre in the United States, or the NAACP, our organisations, have become incredibly British in choosing how they confront racism, and as such have become largely politically castrated, as a result. When the man hands you a grant check, he also handed them their balls on a plate.

Mainstream immigration organisations, which are also charities, like JCWI withdrew their support from the fledgling Movement Against Xenophobia, because they feared our demand for radical action opposing the 2014 immigration act. We proposed occupying the Home Office and invading the offices of the charter airline companies, who were complicit in forcibly shipping our people out the country.

They declined for fear of falling foul of the charities commission, after this government tightened up the rules about political campaigning by charities. Had they maintained their nerve, I believe we would have had enjoyed much greater success in politically exposing the terrible scandal we are now witnessing. All I will say, and I love JCWI, having worked with them for many years, but all the quiet politicking and back door diplomacy, did not save the Windrush generations. A couple of high profile people going to jail may have.

MAX  also sought support from the trade union movement; we needed funding to drive this campaign on the ground.  Unfortunately, despite all of the political motions condemning Tory immigration policy, our plea for revenue support was refused.

This meant,  that in the face of the massed ranks of the right-wing media, pumping out daily propaganda and lies, about immigration, without serious independent political funding, mass political mobilisation, on the issue of immigration was impossible. We were successful in developing a poster campaign which the trade union movement was happy to fund. However what we needed, was not just a one-off publicity shot, but a fully sustained war of attrition against the massed ranks of a right-wing press.

As a result, of Labours collapse, indifference from Black communities and the collapse of MAX the government has felt totally, emboldened and relaxed in driving a coach and horses accepted principles of human rights, fairness and justice.

My message to the black community, I can only remind you of the words of our most famous Jamaican national hero, Mr Marcus Garvey, who commentating on the reluctance and the difficulty of organising black in the early part of the 20th century, stated "black people will never know themselves, until their back is against the wall."

Well today, I can confirm sadly, that many of us will have detected, tiny fragments of cement in our spinal fluid. Best you get that checked out.

As a people, we must wake up to the real and present political dangers and potential threats we face. We must recognise that when we all appear impotent to those who would wish to do us harm, we become incredibly vulnerable to this type of profound racism.

Furthermore, we must learn to listen and have faith in a leadership that has proven time and time again to have the necessary experience, to be able to forewarn, forearm and help protect the community from the predations of politics and racism.

To do that, we must be ready to engage, to allow leadership to lead. to empower and educate, and in doing so, become more effectively politically mobilised and ready to act, an important message long championed by Operation Black Vote.

In addition we need to fund our own politics so that we are able to mount campaigns totally independent of the political patronage of any other funding agency. Blaksox has such a political/economic philosophy. Metaphorically, we must stop being happy for the crumbs from the master's table.

Plausible deniability.

Moving on, I  think I know the real reason why the government is insisting they do not know the figures relating to how many people have been illegally deported. I suspect the figures may be so  high, to release them now, would cause a major civil disturbance. I think the security services and Police assessments of the community impact of this debacle, would have advised them as much.

As for the government's position that they were unaware that this policy had this "unintended” and "unforeseen" consequences, there is no way, on God's green earth, this government does not know the precise number of people wrongly deported. No way.

It’s absolutely inconceivable, for a nation that invented forensic administration and to this day has meticulous records of centuries-old compensation claims, paid to slave owners after the abolition of transatlantic slavery, and for which former enslaved Africans were paid nothing, and all dating from 1833 to 2016.

They appear almost, dare I say Putin like, in their attempt to deny these figures exist. You can’t publicly produce yearly immigration monitoring figures, every day on the front page of the Daily Fail, without having these figures to hand.

Sir Bob Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, spoke on the BBC Newsnight program about this issue. He stated it is highly unlikely that the landing records would have been destroyed as claimed by the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd.

Sir Bob also went on to comment on the nature of the "hostile climate" approach demanded by Prime Minister Theresa May, the then Home Secretary. He said "There were some who saw it, I shan't name them, as almost reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the way it's working.” Damn ! the mans not holding back. Whoever said that, knew exactly what they were talking about. I believe there are potentially, thousands of British people of African, Caribbean and Asian descent, who have since 2010,  may have faced the full horror of that late-night knock on the door, to be confronted by police and immigration officers.

That's why the government is incredulously claiming not to have these figures. I believe they are reluctant to publish them now, in the run-up to local elections, as they rightly believe it would invite the most massive reaction from wider civil society and British black communities.

UK Border Force.

I was both shocked and surprised to hear, David Wood former, Deputy Chief Executive UK Border Agency (2012), and Deputy General of the Immigration Enforcement Department the Home Office (2013 to 2015) who claimed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme broadcast on Friday 20thApril 2018, sating he didn’t believe that any Commonwealth citizens had been inappropriately or illegally deported.

To hear such arrant nonsense, from someone who was primarily responsible for this area of policy is absolutely mind blowing. Reminded me of the senior Met police detective, with 30 years experience, who when giving evidence to the Stephen Lawrence Macpherson Inquiry, claimed he did not know the basic arrest and investigation protocols relating to a murder investigations.

What all this points to is the incredible incompetence and mendacity of the supposedly senior civil servants, who happy to collude with racist practices demanded by Ministers. Of course he knew the policy was targeting black people.

Shop owners have been raided, Caribbean, Chinese and Asian restaurants and food shops, all have felt the oppressive heat of a nation that seems determined to reduce its non white populations, to the lowest level possible.  In 2013 I stood with Chinese restaurant owners in Chinatown complaining about the extent to which they were being subjected to targeted raids by the UK Border Force.

I suggest that the PM in response to this crisis, immediately suspends all UK Border Force deportation. I believe that all Mayors and Police Crime Commissioners should instruct their respective police chiefs not to provide police officer assistance to Border Force deportations. Any deportation of black people is now likely to be resisted as the integrity off the system is shot to pieces. 

I have personally witnessed these raids, many illegal, and observing immigration and police officers do their work, many have concluded, that it’s almost as though some are taking a perverse pleasure, in closing down black and ethnic minority businesses, such is the ruthlessness in which these raids are carried out. Others have frivolously, speculated that such obvious glee could be related to the fact, that some may be covert members or supporters of UKIP.

Landlords have also taken the opportunity to increase rents to black and ethnic minority tenants who are unable to produce the necessary papers proving citizenship. For a little extra cash, some landlords are prepared to ignore the Home Office and the law, that demands that they refuse to rent to the people without papers. Instead some landlords have cashed in.

The stories of those individuals, that have decided to speak out of the last few weeks, have eloquently spoken to the profound crisis and reality of systemic racism, citizenship and ethnicity. I want to pay tribute to them and their families, it's not only the government that should be apologising, so should the community itself, however if people simply wait to become victims of the system, before choosing to support black leadership/organisations, in resisting antiracist legislation, then we only have ourselves to blame, when we find the man unexpectedly knocking at our door, and there's nobody there to help.

One of the fundamental questions, that this issue raises is, can you ever really be black and British ? I fear the answer today is no, and furthermore immigration policy is at the root of this failure. The consequences of that statement of both shocking and profound.

And lets be absolutely clear, about what happened this week. Teresa May was forced to apologise by dint of widespread public outrage, she did not do so willingly.  Whilst the Prime Minister can apologise all she likes to Commonwealth Caribbean leaders, the stark fact remains that both she and her government, crushed and dismissed every form of professional and political human rights accountability of UK Border Force staff, in a determined effort to allow them to do exactly what they did.

Such is the poison of racism, turned into a debased political currency, that it's insidious influence has bastardised notions of inclusive democracy. This was the subterranean, depths of the Prime Minister’s malevolent and feverish desire, to reach her self-imposed, impossible to reach, racist immigration targets; she suffered no barrier to her profound and distorted political ambition.

Notwithstanding the quaint, Commonwealth diplomacy that required Commonwealth leaders to accept the plaintiff apology of a mortally wounded and deeply damaged Prime Minister, I and many others, do not believe that the Prime Minister will deliver on her very public promise, to ensure that everything is done to address this situation.

Let's not forget promises made in the terrible aftermath of the Grenfell Tower hellfire have still yet to be delivered. The child sex abuse scandals, the early Hillsborough inquiries, the Spy Cops inquiry,   al public inquries announced by Government, in blaze of publicly  to quell public discontent.

All these victims, were let down by this Government, who using public inquiries a s means of burying an issue and quietening the victims, who then suffer the realisation they've been sucked into   a slow administrative death that simply prolongs their injustice. Why should we be any different ?

My advice is simple. I like to use the ABC principle when dealing with Government. 

Assume nothing. 
Believe nothing. 
Check everything. 

Our  foot has to be kept firmly on the throat of politicians until the cheques our signed, and the passports delivered.

I expect to be let down, and we should work on that basis until proven wrong. So we cant accept their rancid apology and empty promises of justice. Whilst I'm pessimistic about Governement righting this almighty worong. What I do expect is some kind of damage limitation, media management of this issue from the Prime Minister,. This will no doubt include, smiling black people being invited to number 10 Downing Street, to take part in some tokenistic initiative, of one sort or another.

Let me make this clear, those that attend such functions, and claim to speak on behalf of the community, have rarely undertaken any consultation, nor do they have a mandate to offer solutions to government, on the behalf of national African and Caribbean communities.

Any solutions they offer, are entirely the product of their own preferences, until we select and elect them, they are neither representative, nor empowered to offer solutions or policies responses, on our behalf.  We all remember former Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2007, falsely alleging that he’d been personally told, by a black pastor, at one such “consultation” meetingaddressing the issue of gun crime,..

When are we going to start saying this is a problem amongst a section of the black community and not, for reasons of political correctness, pretend that this is nothing to do with it ?"

That was vigorously denied by the Pastor concerned, but demonstrates that dangers of being sucked into cosy relationships with No 10 for these whose agenda is simply to be seen at number 10.

Neither can the Prime Minister, lay this Windrush scandal, at the door of the Home Office, as it she, as Home Secretary and then as Prime Minister, who authorised the deportations, she personally oversaw them, she demanded better progress on deportations from civil servants and UK Border Force staff, she became fixated and obsessed with achieving her goals of reducing the number of illegal immigrants by any means necessary. We have all paid a heavy price, and will continue to pay, as a consequence.

Who you kidding Kwasi ?
And to claim, as Black Tory MP Kwasi Kwartang has, that this whole thing, has nothing to do with institutionalised racism, and is simply some unintended consequence of an immigration policy gone wrong, is frankly to insult people’s intelligence. We’ve all known, and certainly the black members of the Tory party, have been made consistently aware, of the profound injustices that our community was facing, as a direct consequence of their immigration policies.

As for the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, she needs to resign immediately or get sacked. Her position is utterly in untenable. Nobody in government can claim that they were unaware that black British citizens, fully entitled to be in this country, were being targeted and deported by border agency immigration officials.

Black communities are angry and somebody will have to be held responsible or all hell will break loose.

What should be done now? A Windrush Agenda For Change.

A National Black Summit must be called to co-ordiante the battle to secure justice for the Windrush victims, including a broad range off UK African Caribbean organisations and support groups. 


Firstly, I'm not interested in any amnesty, no crime has been committed. Our parents didn't sneak into the country at the dead of night. They were not part of some sham marriage, neither were they in possession of false documentation. Cut them open and there are stamped Made in Britain to their very core.

Secondly, all those affected should be given fresh British passports and full citizenship with immediate effect.

Thirdly, the criterion for proving residency in the United Kingdom needs to be lowered, to a reasonable and pragmatic level. Too many of us, when asked to prove we have been resident in Britain for every year for the last 50 years, feel like the guy in the insurance advert, where asked if his front door lock, conforms to British Safety Standards 21468. Like him, we’re not sure, we don't know, in fact, nobody knows.

Fourthly, there should be full financial compensation for all those affected including, any financial loss suffered by their families, and full financial restoration of any loss all welfare benefits, and the full repayment of any costs incurred as a consequence of being illegally targeted on the basis of the colour of their skin. Should be awarded initial compensation to allow them to afford a thorough and professional calculation of their losses, in addition to an interim payment whilst that takes place.

Fifth point, all those who have been legally deported, must be returned to the United Kingdom immediately, and where appropriate must be provided with like for like, housing, and be provided with a comprehensive financial resettlement/compensation package.

Six, and this is important, the Prime Minister must include wider issues in relation to responding to anger and outrage that this apartheid inspired legislation has induced. For example, all police assisted immigration deportations must be suspended immediately, whilst we await new policies which guarantee fairness and justice.

The Mayor of London and Mayors of other major cities, along with Metropolitan Police Crime Commissioners, should immediately instruct their local police force, that no officers should be allocated to assist with immigration deportations, with immediate effect.

In addition the Home Secretary must suspend all deportations, until we can be sure about the integrity of the system. If the Border Force appears on street of areas leak Brixton, Moss Side, St Pauls, seeking to deport black people, I for one would do all in my power to intervene. I think others, are likely to take that very same position.

Such is our outrage and anger, to  continue to allow deportations to take place, in the present context, would be to invite potential civil disorder on a massive scale.

Finally, new immigration and legal aid legislation must be urgently introduced that ensures that this cannot happen again. The legislation needs to be clear, transparent, and easily understood. We must restore legal aid to those who experience the injustice of the British immigration system. We must restore in country appeals, for those suspected of being Illegal immigrants.

In conclusion, we must, as a nation, rehabilitate ourselves from the powerful social virus of racism, which gives rise to the toxic policy of state sanctioned racism that has lead to the illegal deportation of black British citizens. I still can't believe Im typing these words.

Whatever happens now, the time has come for this country to face the toxic consequences of its political addiction to the issues of race and immigration. Not to do so, in a growing multicultural democracy like Britain, will invite the bitterest harvest of profound, discontent and disregard for the rule of law.

The stark warning I give to government and the British authorities, is a simple one; British black citizen will be treated equally, or in the end everybody will feel the lash of injustice.

Lee Jasper.

Twitter: @LeeJasper