Thursday, March 29, 2007


The Home Office is multliply split already

The Home Office will never be successfully reformed (not in the quite long-term foreseeable future), and splitting in the way proposed will make non-communication between the different sub-departments even worse than it is already.

The core problems at the Home Office are a combination of profound lack of confidence (in anything but 'watch your back') and will -- other than to perpetrate political correctness fascism -- that is both 'institutional' and the product of the collective mindsets of the employees; together with a range of deeply engrained major management and culture failings; all exacerbated by government target setting and interference.

Most obviously, everything concerning immigration does not work, and it is necessary that the parts of the Home Office and the DWP (the near non-existent checking re NINO and benefit applications) that currently don't work and don't talk to each other, are forced together. A new department, ideally; with a database of full immigration histories of all applications for government services at its core (we are going to have the ID card database whether we like it or not, plus biometric passports). This would be an 'internal gateway' system to make up for the complete failure of external borders for which there is no fix in sight. in this way, the millions of those here illegally now, and -- even more so -- the many more millions who will otherwise come to Britain (because of the multiple unique pull factors that the UK has compared to other developed countries) will not easily be able to make a life for themselves and can therefore be dissuaded from staying/coming. The huge social and economic costs of failing to do this are incalculable.

This is a relevant extract from the new edition of my book, The Great Immigration Scandal:

Understanding the origin of the astonishing attitude of the political classes is a key to understanding what has gone wrong with the IND and with the Home Office as a whole, and why it is that John Reid can openly slap down his own department as 'dysfunctional' and 'not fit for purpose' and be largely correct. It is increasingly recognised that the origins of the Home Office's woes go far back, albeit appallingly exacerbated by New Labour's cavalier attitude to immigration levels, and its news management 'target culture' hold over the civil service. The question of the cause of the great immigration scandal is sometimes posed as a choice between:

(a) The deliberate (but carefully concealed) policy of ex-socialist internationalists to undermine traditional English culture and nationhood (hence the enthusiasm for the EU).
(b) The control of inflation by importing cheap labour, thereby overcoming Labour's historic record of economic incompetence.
(c) The incapacity of Whitehall to deliver on policy issues (or to organise a proverbial p***-** in a brewery).

Well it's a bit of each and it's also more complicated than that, not least in that all three are linked. Recent years have witnessed the appointment in high places of those whose politics accords with our Left-orientated political masters; who might be considered good at radical thinking but are useless at radical action: certainly not the sort of drastic remedies required for the practical running of a large organisation that is drifting toward the rocks.* Compounding this is the creaking old style of public administration, overwhelmed by the demands of the modern world - hardly unforeseeable when you consider how senior civil servants are selected and rewarded. How does Oxbridge brilliance in the classics provide a remotely adequate test of the managerial skills needed for policy delivery? Many Sir Humphreys have no practical experience at all, having been fast-tracked straight from the elite universities. It is well-known in the senior civil service that the management skills needed to deliver services at the coal-face don't tend to be rewarded, just as academics are not valued for their teaching ability. An internal civil service staff survey found that in the Home Office just six percent of staff thought that poor performance was dealt with effectively. A major IPPR (Institute of Public Policy Research) report in August 2006 found a dire problem across the civil service in the absence of external public accountability and effective performance management.

There are also major problems endemic in civil service (and particularly in Home Office) culture that are the same as those that bedevil individuals within the political classes generally - and I don't mean merely the prioritizing of presentation over content. There is a chasm between themselves and ordinary people; a complete failure to understand how ordinary people live their lives. Specifically there is the leftist do-gooder's inability to grasp the central concept of 'the tragedy of the commons'. There is also a much more serious chasm in the stance of 'political correctness fascism': the great backlash against ordinary people by the political Left that leads to absurdities such as the assumption of the inalienable entitlement of overseas nationals to settle here taking precedence over the rights and interests of British citizens. It is convenient to mask utter failure with the great imperative of the day - 'equal opportunities and diversity' (EO&D). The Home Office, being the lead department in government in this regard, has disappeared down a blind alley, treating EO&D as an end in itself and a raison d'etre for its existence. The joke recently circulating is that the whole department is being run and staffed as if full of 1970s sociology graduates. It is in a very real sense a retreat from not just commercial reality but from all reality.

Friday, March 09, 2007


The sacked Tory and the punched woman: anti-racism hysteria IS racism

The sacked Tory front-bencher, Mercer, of course had not said anything that was, or even could be conceived to be, racist. The Tory high command in sacking him disingenuously got round that Mercer had done nothing inherently wrong by claiming that he had "given the impression that racism was acceptable". But not only had Mercer not done that either, he had correctly pointed out that team building involves mutual 'wind up', and taunts of all kinds; and that what may seem to be racism was in fact no such thing. He very clearly spelt it out with his direct comparison of 'fat bastard', 'ginger bastard' and black bastard'.
Now, with this, the whole argument inverts: by viewing a taunt of 'black bastard' as somehow special, then because all taunting and 'wind up' is now viewed as bullying and prejudice, then necessarily the taunts to do with fatness, gingerness, or, indeed, whiteness: all these are thereby diminished in seriousness. Inevitably, either the rendering special of taunts re blackness, and/or conversly the rendering trivial of taunts re anything but blackness, is itself racist: to non-blacks -- that is, to other ethnic minorities not classed specifically as black, as well as to whites.
The logic collapses because of a failure to understand human social psychology of in-group/out-group, whereby any distinguishing feature can and will be used as the basis of conflict, either constructive or destructive. There is nothing 'special' about what may be construed as racism -- and this goes irrespective of whether such an epithet is appropriate or misconstrued.
This is what I was writing about in The Great Immigration Scandal, in the chapter on anti-racism hysteria.
The real irony is that most media commentators and the Tory party are the racists here.
This is exactly parallelled by the current story about the black woman punched by a policeman. Here the media are being racist (and sexist) by singling out a black woman as so deserving of special treatment that the story is given main headline status.
The most interesting aspect of that story is .....
would it have been a top news story if the victim had been:
(a) male?
(b) not of an ethnic minority (crudely: not white)?
(c) both male and 'white'?
Obviously not, or there would be countless instances regularly in news bulletins, such is the pervasiveness of CCTV in city centres and outside nightclubs; and necessarily regular use of force by police officers to subdue violent drunks -- and likely more than there used to be, given the 'risk averse' virus that the police have caught along with the other authorities.
The media would appear to be guilty of either sexism or racism; or, more probably, both.
The media really can't hide behind 'news values' -- what appeals to people as 'news': they are here going well out of their way to go beyond reflecting popular concern to actively promote the notion that we should have concern for female and/or ethnic minority victims in contrast to what we should feel for male and/or non-ethnic minority victims.
This is a beautiful illustration of what social science research shows: that violence against men is in many situations not seen as a crime (by anyone: men or women, witnesses and -- often -- the victims themselves), whereas violence towards women is always seen as a crime -- by anyone and everyone.
This is a generic problem with media output, (as campaigners have more specifically and repeatedly highlighted re domestic violence). This instance shows that this kind of prejudice and discrimination against men and non-ethnic minorities (crudely: whites) is a very wide and deeply entrenched phenomenon.
To understand what's going on taking in the dimension of race as well as sex, you have to look at political correctness fascism. This is the appalling state into which the political Left (which is now the position of all of the establishment) has descended of contempt for ordinary people as a predictable if bizarre backlash against their own failure. This explains the elevation of anyone who belongs to a minority sub-group to be considered more worthy than the people who previously had been championed: 'the workers'. But that's another big debate, and one I've touched on before.

Thursday, March 08, 2007


Not 'Enforcing the Rules', just 'enabling compliance'

We are well used to the Kafkaesque titling of Home Office reports so that they are the obverse of what they contain, so we should all savour the major set of immigration proposals out this week, Enforcing the Rules.
The proclamation that "we will ensure that the right systems and controls are in placeĀ” is not accompanied by even an outline of any system to achieve the main object: of preventing those not entitled to government services from accessing them. A trumpeted supposed tightening up of giving out National Insurance numbers by the DWP apparently is merely ad hoc spotting of a few suspicious applications by some DWP staff who might then refer to the IND. This 'reform' led to less than 400 instances of the denial of NI cards last year, instead of the many thousands any proper procedure would be expected to uncover. It is no system at all.
John Reid's unfit-for-purpose Department has so little idea of what to do that "best approaches to harm reduction", as they refer to their initiatives, require three pilot schemes in local areas, and other pilot schemes regarding how to combat abuse of NHS services. Even the rules of NHS access are under review and not set to report back until October.
A major part of this half-baked plan is to use NHS staff, banks and employers, etc, as "partners" of the new Border and Immigration Agency: gate-keepers, in other words, to do the Home Office's job for them. Or, rather, to carry the can for the Home Office's failure in and refusal to carry out its function.
The name of the game -- in opposition to Reid's introduction where he frankly talks about the adverse impact on indigenous workers -- is to avoid in any way blaming the illegal economic migrant and to focus on the "harm" caused by others; notably employers. A "one-stop identity checking service for employers" looks like actually inadequate advice re spotting forgery -- for which the Home Office fails to train its own staff -- with any checking of specific individuals not routine.
Dripping with extreme complacency about overstayers, clandestine entry, NHS abuse, sham marriages and bogus students (now officially a third of applications); the main thrust of Enforcing the Rules is to "enable compliance". If only all migrants could be helped not to break the rules then all would be well! They are all victims, you understand. Mr Reid states bizarrely that three-quarters of illegal migrants are 'trafficked'. On what evidence? Clearly, most come here of their own accord -- not least the prostitutes; like the all but five actually 'trafficked' women found despite all the fuss over the World Cup in Germany. Reid also claims that most migrants are here legally, yet the Government has not the vaguest clue how many illegals are resident, and whether or not they outnumber legal entrants.
This is, as we expect, all so much Home Office "information management", with the usual chimera of a 'points system', which is merely repackaging of what we already have; and completely false promises about removal/deportation, with here disturbingly an intimation that only those that cause the most "harm" are to be so dealt with.
Enforcing the Rules is much more like paying lip service to them. John Reid would do well to read what his staff have produced and then go back to them to ask why it does not reflect what he aired in the piece he wrote to front it.

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