Castle Pillock Despairs Of A Lot Of Things, And Especially Theresa May

I’ve been watching a TV programme with David Attenborough and the Queen talking about trees, because I would watch David Attenborough talking about toilet cleaners or earwax, given the chance.  The Queen, meh. I’m not a monarchist and I don’t go for the Nation’s Granny nonsense, but it’s nothing personal.  It’s good that she’s interested in preserving trees throughout the Commonwealth and wants to see a ‘Queen’s Canopy’ of forests, second only to the Amazonian rain forest in size.  Perhaps she could have a word with her cruel, cold, bigoted and despicable Prime Minister and Home Secretary about preserving the people of the Commonwealth as well as the trees.

The brutal treatment of the Windrush generation has been rumbling on for years.  Now it’s exploded and May and Rudd are going ‘What?  Really?’  Yes, really.  In 2014 May, as Home Secretary, oversaw the quiet, one might almost say surreptitious, removal of a bit of legislation which protected the Windrush generation from deportation.  I don’t buy into the whole panic about sinister Artificial Intelligence destroying the human race, but then May, with her mechanical voice and her cold, dead stare, intones that a cancer patient should be denied NHS treatment unless he can produce his papers, and I start to shiver.

I was born in the Crown Colony of Hong Kong.  My dad continued to work in various places abroad and I got my own passport when I was seven.  It ran out when I was seventeen and I applied for a new one.  I was told that I needed to produce more documentation so my application could be ‘assessed’, and they asked for a copy of my birth certificate, for copies of my parents’ birth certificates and marriage certificate, and for dates and places of birth of my father’s parents and grandparents.  It scared the shit out of me.  I was living in the UK but my parents were still abroad and not readily contactable.  I had no idea how to get any of that information, but luckily my dad’s brother had some of it, and was prepared to come with me to Somerset House to get the rest – and to pay for the copies.  I got the passport, eventually, but for a few weeks I genuinely thought I might not be who I’d always thought I was.  Looking back, it was a daft fear; I was white and middle class, both my parents and their parents and their parents and probably their parents were born in London, and we were in Hong Kong because my dad worked for the bloody Admiralty.  So nothing whatsoever like the horrors faced by the Windrush generation.  But I’ve never forgotten that moment of panic, and my Mum and Dad went berserk when they heard.  I think Dad wrote to the Home Office to protest, but I can’t remember if he ever got a reply.  

A few weeks before my Mum died we went to our local hospital for her to have a scan – it would be the one that confirmed she had advanced lung cancer.  As we waited, an embarrassed nurse came over to check that my Mum was a British citizen and had lived in the country for a certain length of time.  I can’t remember exactly how long the qualifying period was.  It got blotted out by my Mum demanding of the poor nurse if we now lived in a Nazi state and would she be asked to produce her ‘papers’, and was this what she’d gone through the Blitz for.  The nurse said it was to ensure that people were entitled to treatment.  ‘They’re sick,’ said Mum, in the cut glass Received Pronunciation she’d learned, in 1950s Hong Kong, in order to hide her native cockney.  ‘What other entitlement is there?’

Presumably, if she’d been Albert Thompson, the black man who has cancer, is originally from the Caribbean and has probably lived in this country for more years than my mother did, she’d never even have got the scan unless she paid for it upfront.

Amber Rudd seems to think that saying sorry and whiffling on about some people receiving ‘appalling’ treatment clears the decks, and we can all start again.  This is shit.  This is truly, unequivocally, irredeemably shit.  Because minions in the Home Office don’t send out letters because it’s a quiet day in the office and they’re bored of looking at internet cats.  Police don’t fetch up on someone’s doorstep to drag them off to a detention centre because they fancy giving the van a run out somewhere a bit more rural.  They do it because they’re told to do it.  They’re told to do it by their superiors.  Who are told to do it by their superiors.  Who are told to do it by the Home Secretary.  Who is told to do it by the Prime Minister.   Who is a wretched, craven, Trump-arse licking piss-poor excuse for a human being.

In the meantime, let’s all go mad because Corbyn’s spending Passover with the wrong kind of Jew.  Although I’m a Corbyn supporter, I do think he’s handled the anti-Semitism in the Labour party badly, but for the love of any God you like, he’s not deporting innocent people back to places they haven’t seen since they were in nappies. 

Something snapped in Castle Pillock today.  It was the sight of May trying to pretend that well signalled, carefully targeted (ie nothing that will upset the Russians too much) air strikes in Syria constitute a moral stand against chemical weapons, when Assad has used chemical weapons many times before to the sound of deafening silence.  It’s the refusal to face the unpleasant truth:  Are we going to go up against the Russians and Iran and the rest militarily, really go up against them, and risk the dangerous consequences of escalation?  No, we’re not.  Whether we should or we shouldn’t, we won’t.  We know it, they know it, so stop pissing around shedding crocodile tears for Syrian children (when Trump would build a wall against them if he knew where Syria was, and May wouldn’t let those poor suffering Syrian children into the UK under the Dubs amendment), give Trump a couple of Barbie dolls to play with - he’ll think they’re real women so it’ll keep him occupied for a couple of days - and seriously start all the manoeuvring and scheming and planning and compromising that will stop the shooting.  The chance to off Assad was missed years ago – not at the last Parliamentary vote on air strikes, but years and years before, when the West was busy adding petrol to loads of Middle Eastern fires which have now blown up in its face. 

Stop doing terrible, terrible things, like deporting people from their own country, and think it can all be made better by saying, ‘Oops, sorry’. You can do anything now, and just say ‘sorry’ afterwards, and it will go away.  Having ripped us out of the EU in order to give power back to Parliament, our British Parliament, our local Parliament for local people, let the bloody thing vote on something now and again. If the rulers treat Parliament and the law and the people with contempt, so will the people themselves.  As somebody somewhere said, totalitarianism doesn’t come about because everybody believes in the same thing.  It comes about because everybody believes in nothing at all, and nature abhors a vacuum. 

I appreciate you wanting to plant more trees for future generations, Ma’am.  They will be useful for hiding in, when Your Majesty’s Government comes banging on our doors. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

ah - ignore my email, I see you have had similar problems. At my local hospital, when you check in for your appointment, you have to tick a box which asks about your citizenship. It's chilling. I hope they are forced to compensate the poor people who have been treated so shoddily. David Lamy is right - it's a national shame.

 

I hardly dare call mine a problem although, as I say, I've never forgotten it.   Channel 4 News interviewed a Home Office minister whose name escapes me now, and the interviewer had to more or less physically extract a cold and obviously insincere 'apology' from her.  If they could have got away with it, they would have done.  

I go to the dentist. The first thing they ask is about moeny. I go to the hospital they don't ask about money, not directly, but where you come from. We're lookig for scapegoats and the same faces have been in the frame for years. As Noam Chomsky says, the standard technique of privatison is based on an old routine of underfunding, make sure things don't work, people get angry. You hand it over to private capital. Look at the case where 50 000 have signed up for a 'new' scheme to pay for a GP, either online or at a designated place. Scam. Scam. Scam.  We all know a  bit about cherry picking. Great post from Castle Pillock and I'm all for you being the next queen.