Friday, 25 August 2017
An administration unfit for purpose.
No, not the US, but here, the UK.
All these illustrations are taken from reports in yesterday's papers.
Since the phrase "unfit for purpose" first came to our attention in relation to the Home Office, we'll start with them.
1. Amber Rudd, our Home Secretary, failed to comply with an order of the High Court that a detainee be released on the 11th August. The victim is an asylum seeker, originally from Chad, who was initially ordered to be released on the 26th July. When the authorities failed to comply the case went to the High Court and the 11th August date was given. The Home Office applied for two extension to the order, for the 18th and 25th August. When the case again came to court M/s Rudd failed to send a barrister to present the Home Office case.
Readers of the previous post will know that the rule of law is an essential element of a democracy, and that the government of a democracy is subject to the law as much as anyone else. Our government seems to be prepared to ignore the law, I hope not with impunity. But if the victim receives the damages he clearly deserves, the money won't come out of M/s Rudd;'s pocket, but ours.
2. Still with the Home Office, they have apparently sent letters to 100 EU nationals telling them to leave the country within a month or risk deportation. Now this is recognised as an "unfortunate error." The error came to light when one of the recipients of the letter, a Finnish academic who has lived here with her British husband for 10 years, challenged the letter in court. She is to be compensated for her costs of
£3 800, again out of our pockets, not M/s Rudd's. There can be no compensation for the distress caused to her or the other 99 letter recipients, or the spin-off of uncertainty felt by other non-British EU citizens living here.
3. The people at Manchester Airport who search us for penknives, nail-files and other potentially dangerous "weapons" before we can get on an aircraft (are they public employees or have they been outsourced to the private sector?) failed to notice that the Heath-Robinson triggering device in the zip lining of a man's suitcase actually contained explosives, so they let him continue his journey, though they kept the device. Later they realised it contained nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose, so they arrested the man on his return, but admit that they really should have arrested him in the first place.
4. The examination Boards have published the GCSE results for this years 16-year-olds. On government instructions they have "improved" the grading system by replacing the old alphabetical A to G nomenclature with a numerical 9 to 1, with 9 at the top and 1 at the bottom. For much of much teaching career the grading was numerical, but 1 was at the top and 9 (if it went that low, I can't rememberer) at the bottom. By comparison, changing the deckchairs on the Titanic may not have helped, but it didn't add to the confusion.
While these and similar idiocies continue (while MPs are on holiday so less likely to notice the government continues to issue Brexit papers assuming we can still have our cake and eat it) prominent politicians occupy themselves by claiming that the world as we know it has come to an end because Big Ben will be silenced for four years in order to protect the hearing of workers repairing its tower.
Banana Republics seem sophisticated by comparison.