When Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, announced the Government had abandoned plans to provide refuge for thousands of children, I was going to point to this as an example of the more stridently racist brand of politics now gushing from the Government (and a fair chunk of “the opposition”) since the Brexit vote. But I’d forgotten something: when defending the announcement that companies may be forced to publish lists of foreign workers, presumably so we could all be not-racist to them, Amber Rudd bagsied “don’t call me a racist” – something not-racists definitely have to do. The speech was recorded as a hate incident by West Midlands Police.
Prior to Rudd being Home Secretary, Parliament voted to allow safe passage for unaccompanied child migrants already in camps in Europe. Just over 200 children have been accepted under the scheme, there are 30,000 unaccompanied children in Europe. Yet this week, the Home Secretary announced the scheme was to be scrapped, meaning a legislative commitment to protect the most vulnerable children in Europe will now just being ignored. There are no words for what a cruel, callous and shameful act this is. But there need to be plenty of words about how it is we got here.
As is (sometimes) customary with a Weekly Wanker, I think we need to go back, back in time – and back to basics – to understand what’s going on. It takes a particular class of person to so cruelly betray a commitment to support those in need at a time of a historic crisis – and wouldn’t you know? Amber Rudd is of exactly that class.
humble stock a stockbroker and a magistrate in 1963, I can only surmise Rudd developed empathy for the plight of the marginalised at either their Kensington townhouse or their Wiltshire Manor – or perhaps it was at elite private schools like Cheltenham Ladies’ College (current cost: £34000 a year) and Queens College London. It was round about the time she left school that father Tony rounded up one of his firms. A later report by the Department for Trade And Industry concluded he was “either unaware of or chose to ignore” the duties of a Director and was therefore unfit to direct “any public companies whether public or private.” Tony Rudd has since been involved in the family investment vehicle, a company known as Lawnstone. Amber Rudd has been a shareholder in Lawnstone since 1988 and has restructured the group. The Rudds declined to comment on the suggestion that Tony Rudd is still involved, with a Tory spokesperson saying, “It is a matter of public record that Amber Rudd had a career in business before working in politics.” Except it wasn’t really…
We knew about some stuff but most of it‘s been teased out in the press – a job at JP Morgan, one company bought by Lawnstone went bust when Rudd was a director in 1991, she was also the founding director of Zinc Metallurgic Products plc., which raised over a million pounds, lost more than a million and was eventually closed, owing large sums to the taxman. The company was bought by Monticello plc. in 2000, before the High Court moved in 2 years later. Monticello plc. in 2000 was run by a man called Mark O’Hanlon who gave a misleading interview which caused their share price to skyrocket and eventually be delisted. Amber Rudd was a director of Monticello at the time, responsible for…investor relations. Rudd left months later, O’Hanlon was jailed and the company eventually went bust, owing another large sum to the taxman.
Far away from the prying eyes of the taxman, Rudd had already set up at least one firm in the Bahamas, with another being set up at some point in 2000, something which became a “matter of public record” when details of the goings on in the notorious tax haven were leaked to a German paper. When David Cameron was in the spotlight due to his family’s links to tax havens in Panama, Rudd was on the frontline defending the PM without mentioning her own dealings on a nearby island.
No synopsis of Rudd’s pre-political career would be complete without mentioning that she was brought in to supply posh people for the set of Four Weddings and A Funeral as an “aristocracy co-ordinator.” So…aye, this is who you go to when the aristocrats provided by Hugh Grant just aren’t posh enough.
With her A-List status and almost definitely proven business acumen or something, Rudd made David Cameron’s “A-List” of priority candidates drawn up in 2005, alongside other wonders including Zac Goldsmith and Adam Rickitt. While Nick from Corrie was unable to translate his place on the list into political power, Rudd was selected to fight the 2010 General Election in the Hastings and Rye constituency, winning back the seat for the Tories.
What followed was a pretty rapid ascent up the political ladder: appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to George Osborne in 2012, a Government whip in 2013, a Minster in 2014 and by 2015 appointed to the Privy Council which advises the Queen (presumably on where to find posh people to stand around at her parties).
Since her appointment as Home Secretary in Theresa May’s Government, Rudd’s colluded in covering up the events at Orgreave by refusing to establish an enquiry without even bothering to look at the police files, reneged on a promise made by Vote Leave (remember them?) that immigration policy would be devolved to Scotland after Brexit and of course, threatened to name and shame people for employing foreign workers.
The Home Office continues to oversee an asylum system which is a stain on our society. A damning report into the state of Home Office accommodation for those seeking asylum found the system was underfunded to breaking point: substandard housing damaging the health of children, vermin, constant moves with little or no notice, filthy carpets, women who have been trafficked or are victims of violence placed in mixed accommodation known to their traffickers, lack of support for pregnant women and recent mothers, lack of clarity over responsibility for health and social care etc. etc. The current compliance regime was dubbed “unfit for purpose” and it was noted that “Home Office inspections are infrequent and the low number of penalties appear at odds with the persistent criticisms of the standard of asylum accommodation.” One cited reason for the lack of decent housing was that “around 30% of decisions to refuse asylum are overturned in the courts, and this figure is much higher for certain nationalities such as Eritreans and Iranians. This is an unacceptable rate of error on the part of the Home Office.” Those 30% of people, who should have simply been granted a right to live and work here, are instead housed in unfit temporary accomodation while their appeals are heard.
Seemingly weekly stories of detentions and deportations, such as the cases of Robert Makutsa and Irene Clennel, underline the inhumanity of a system which terrorises members of our communities. At a time when there’s so much focus on what the baddies in America are up to, it’s important never to look away from the constant racist acts of violence conducted in our name by the Home Office. There’s no sign this will change under Amber Rudd, who’ll be busy prepping the hard-right, hardline immigration policies of post-Brexit Britain.
People always say “judge a society on how it treats the vulnerable” (in the case of British society, that means we’re fucked) but I feel duty bound to also judge this society for continuing to empower an elite class of rulers – those are 2 sides of the same coin. Amber Rudd, like so many of the political class, was born to rule, so it is any surprise someone with this power shows no empathy towards children who’re powerless?
So long as we continue to allow people nicknamed “Silver Spoon” to assume the “great offices of state”, we condemn those most in need by default. Amber Rudd may not want to be called a racist for betraying children to make her look more…racist…but I don’t really care. And now, there’s another title to be bestowed, an honour even more dubious than a seat on the Privy Council: not just a racist, a Weekly Wanker.
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