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Round and round and round it goes April 27, 2006

Posted by lifejacket in Political cock-ups.

Somehow I missed this one from the Indy in December.

Search for Kurdish refugee deported to Iraq by mistake

"A Kurd who was unlawfully deported to Iraq in the middle of the night is being sought by the Home Office so he can be brought back to Britain.

The 29-year-old man was among 15 failed asylum-seekers expelled last month in the first forcible removals to Iraq. He was flown out of Britain in a midnight flight under the controversial policy, which has been strongly criticised by human rights and refugee groups.

In the High Court yesterday, counsel for Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, admitted a 'regrettable mistake' had been made in forcing Mr A on to the plane to Erbil in northern Iraq."

So let's get this straight. There are at least a thousand cons on the loose in the UK who in the main should have been deported but can't be, because the Home Office doesn't know where they are.

Meanwhile a Kurdish asylum seeker whom the Home Office clearly did have whereabouts for, was deported incorrectly, and now he's back in Iraq and can't be brought back here because the Home Office doesn't know where he is.

Is it just me, or is there a king-sized thread of continuity running through all this?

The key words and phrases being "Charles Clarke", "Home Office", and "regrettable mistake". I would add a fourth and fifth, "unforgiveable incompetence", and "thumbs up their arses", and possibly a sixth, seventh, eighth … but it would take all day.

At the time of this "regrettable mistake", the word from Clive Lewis (speaking for the Home Office) was,

"The Secretary of State has decided that, since we did not follow the policy set out – albeit for the best of motives – we shall use our best endeavours to find him. The Secretary of State has done the decent, honourable thing."

Deja Vu : cue Mr Clarke the day before yesterday, when asked by the BBC to explain why he shouldn't resign:

"I certainly don't think I have a duty to the public to go – I have a duty to sort this out."

FFS. Speaking as someone living in the country where nearly 1,000 dangerous criminals are now loose and unaccounted for (and as a mere pleb, not having recourse to the security measures against violent attack granted to Ivory Tower residents such as the Home Secretary), frankly I don't give a rancid shit how honourable, dutiful, or decent this man and his lackeys believe him to be.

  • Fact: The Home Office is doing a crap job.
  • Fact: Charles Clarke is in charge of the Home Office.
  • Fact: Being in charge means taking responsibility (you can look up that word and its implications at dictionary.com, Mr Clarke). The post of Home Secretary is not (theoretically) a sinecure.
  • Fact: For all their own media spinning, there are Premiership football managers who have a better understanding of the terms "responsibility" and "honour" than the present Home Secretary, and who are prepared to resign for much more trivial matters, and over a bloody game.
  • Fact: The running of the Home Office and the security of our country is not a bloody game.

What in God's name does it take for a member of this government to get a grip on reality, understand that as highly-paid public servants they are responsible to us, and that when they or the people they command have put us in danger then they have utterly failed us and there is no alternative but that they resign?

We're not talking about a couple of trivial errors of judgement. We're talking about highly dangerous and unstable people for whom the Government took responsibility on our behalf, being sent back into our communities to re-offend, because the Government – and particularly the man appointed by the Government to oversee such things – was asleep on watch.

And we're also talking about at least one poor sod with an apparently genuine claim to asylum here, who was incorrectly deported courtesy of Mr Clarke's office, and sent back to the hell that is now Iraq. I'm sure that, if found and questioned, he'd be rather less inclined to accept the Government's blithe dismissal of the incident as a "regrettable mistake".



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