Home Office and Data Sharing – hit and miss, but mostly miss

The new report by the Chief Inspector found here highlights, among many well-publicized failings of the hostile environments, some things I had no idea about that left me in complete shock (such as project BORTZ – government looking for illegal immigrants on little children’s school rolls and apparently using Social Services referrals under “safeguarding” guise as enforcement method – read on! pages 37-38 etc ). The new “migrant status database” that is supposed to replace the previously failed hostile environments methods that were based on the MRP (“refusal pool”, which had erroneously listed everyone with a refusal, without regard to refusals … Continue reading →

Test-driving the new gadgets: (1) EU Settlement scheme and ID CHECK App, (2) “New service” for FLR application submissions by Sopra Steria, (3) Overseas visa online document upload courtesy Teleperformance

I remember being amused once, years ago, at a Marxism festival in London, where an influential “champagne socialism” ideologue Alex Callinicos, a middle-aged professor, proclaimed in a dismissive, matter- of-fact lackluster way – “We hate the Tories – hate, hate, hate”, moving on mid-sentence. It didn’t seem like a sort of thing you would say matter-of-factly, without a pause for a chant. Yet, I nowadays say just in this same manner, that I hate all private contractors that  the government hires to do its work, instead of hiring and training unionized civil servants. Sopra Steria, Capita, ATOS,  G4S, Serco – hate, … Continue reading →

It’s not just “simplifying” the Immigration Rules. The principles of how government interacts with users of the immigration system are changing.

The Law commission started a public consultation on now the immigration rules are to be rewritten. They call it, unambiguously, a consultation on “Simplifying immigration rules”.  Reminds me of a character played by Ralph Fiennes in some movie, who is trying to get a young actor to say “Oh, but if it were so simple”, but the latter only manages to say  “It’s complicated”.  This is different from  a question on what sort of rules do we need in a first place (eg, who is allowed to come here and on what conditions). This is about who, how, where and … Continue reading →


It was Christmas Eve yesterday, and the “PM Exceptions” team, which used to employ humans but clearly no longer does, had dampened it considerably by dumping a pile of dung on my doorstep. A pile I would have to somehow explain this Christmas to yet one more scared, abused, cornered Ukrainian woman, a single mother of two children, both British citizens, terrorised by a Lithuanian man who fathered one of them and to whom she is still married. I promised her that I will help her. But UKVI has now taken to piling on and perpetuating spousal abuse. IT MUST … Continue reading →