Braverman Loses the Dressing Room 79

The only thing more remarkable than the number of classified documents the Home Secretary leaks to her mentors, is the number of civil servants leaking to the newspapers about Braverman leaking the documents.

In her brief period(s) as Home Secretary, civil servants have separately leaked to the papers:
the fact of her emailing classified documents to backbench Tory MPs and others;
that Cabinet Secretary Simon Case was furious at her reappointment;
that civil servants were disquieted by her briefings of backbencher John Hayes inside the Home Office;
that Braverman ignored legal advice over responsibilities at the Manston detention centre;
that Braverman vetoed planned hotel bookings for Manston detainees because the hotels were in Tory areas.

Those are just the stories I happen to have picked up. I have never seen anything approaching this volume of civil service leaks against a minister. Clearly Braverman has completely lost the Home Office dressing room.

For decades, the position of Home Secretary has been used by both Labour and Conservative parties simply as a platform for winning votes through right wing populism. The last reforming Home Secretary in the UK was Roy Jenkins in 1976. Since then the only liberal tenure was the brief one of Kenneth Clarke. The rest have been a nightmare of slogans on fighting drugs, terror, crime and immigration.

The massive social disaster of the counter-productive “war on drugs” is but the most glaring example of the practical result of a fifty year Home Office policy of aggressive stupidity when faced with any problem.

Given the consistent anti-liberal bias of the Home Office, it naturally attracts civil servants to work there who tend to side with the Department’s underlying stances. You do not get what Braverman herself calls “the Guardian reading, tofu eating wokerati” at the Home Office. You get a lot of people who think like Theresa May and rather enjoy creating hostile environments for people – yet that is the kind of audience Braverman has managed to alienate.

By all accounts Braverman has done it largely by what she would call iconoclasm and I would call being unnecessarily rude to staff members who ask you to consider why, from their experience, there is another way of doing something worth considering. Braverman is substantially hated by her senior staff.

I do not know how the civil servants are coping. When Braverman talks in parliament about an “Invasion” of immigrants just after one of the terrorist followers of her philosophy attempted to kill specifically children of migrants with petrol bombs at a reception centre, it creates a dilemma for the civil service – practical as well as ethical.

Speeches for ministers – and carefully crafted compendia of replies to possible questions that may arise – are written by civil servants. They are not drafted by the Institute of Economic Affairs or by the Centre for Policy Studies. They are written by civil servants.

I did this job for years. You inherit many pages of past speeches and prepared answers, encapsulating the agreed official wording on the subjects you cover. You amend the wording only where a minister signs off new wording in response to a written submission (that may entail copying in other government departments affected, who have also to agree any new wording), or where a minister themselves institutes new wording in amending a draft letter or utterance you have prepared for them.

Minor alterations of phrase with no difference in meaning or practical effect can just get added in without fuss.

The minister’s job is to stick to the agreed wording they have been given as the official government line, cleared within Whitehall and in line with policy agreed in writing. 99.9% of the time ministers do this, bar the odd retort or witticism which they understand, if on subject, has to stick within the official lines. Even Boris Johnson, who would generally reply to questions or interventions by an attack on another subject entirely, would normally stick to official government lines when discussing the matter in hand.

Braverman however careers dangerously off piste at will. Referring to migrants as an “invasion” is inflammatory and liable to incite violence against them.

There had been no government agreement to characterise migrants in this way, her own media department did not know it was coming and were not ready for the backlash. Her casual characterisation of Albanians per se as criminals had not been cleared – as it should have been – with the FCO. She is the loosest of loose cannons.

In the normal course of events, civil servants preparing Braverman’s speeches and briefings would now have to incorporate the new lines on migrant invasion and Albanian criminals into the material. Personally I never had to try retrospectively to clear with other government departments very stupid language my minister had used. At a minimum the foreign office,the ministry for local government and the cabinet office should have been consulted in advance on what Braverman said. They were not.

Where civil servants cannot agree language between departments, the matter is referred up to their ministers. Where they cannot agree, it is sent to the Cabinet Office where, in cases of real dispute, a committee will meet and prepare a report, and ultimately the Prime Minister will decide. I have been through all these processes personally.

I suspect Braverman has by now been less formally told to tone it down. But stirring up racial hatred is the right wing Tories’ basic weapon. I fear more will follow very quickly.


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79 thoughts on “Braverman Loses the Dressing Room

  • Republicofscotland

    Sounds to me like Braverman is openly saying what is the doctrine of the Home Office, and they don’t like her for saying it.

      • Republicofscotland

        I’d say first and foremost the politicians, though I certainly don’t trust the Civil Service, of which post the 2014 indyref it’s head Sir Nicholas MacPherson openly admitted that the Civil Service was bias and acted against Scottish independence.

        Incidentally MacPherson now works for Sturgeon.

      • Jimmeh

        As far as I’m aware, Home Office civil servants are supposed to maintain some sort of continuity between Home Secretaries. The incoming minister gets a blood-curdling briefing from a succession of soldiers, spooks and civil servants, about how armageddon is just minutes away.

        I suspect the Home Office civil servants have fully integrated the xenophobic, punitive postures of Home Secretaries going back to the early seventies. They will work to ensure no Home Secretary can get away with anything less than a hardline stance, whether on immigration, crime, policing. Any reasonable Home Secretary is therefore bound to fail hard, and therefore PMs only appoint hardliners.

  • fonso

    The inflammatory rhetoric about people crossing the Channel is just a deflection from the fact the Tories have been admitting record numbers of legal migrants for over a decade now. The Home Office bureaucrats surely know Braverman is simply posturing in order to to deceive and appease the mob, precisely what Sunak appointed her to do?

    • Squeeth

      @ Mr Lee, drugs are legal, the prohibition is merely a way to keep the profits outside the public regulation and taxation. Nice little earner.

  • Mr Lee

    “rather enjoy creating hostile environments for people” seems harsh and doesn’t match the Home Office people I worked with.

  • Jimmeh

    I believe Braverman was re-hired to placate the ERG. I supposed that Sunak must have given her a sharp lecture: “If you don’t behave yourself, you’ll end up being fired from the Home Office twice in six months”.

    Thing is, if Sunak did hire her to placate the ERG, then he can’t easily fire her.

    I think he misjudged it badly; there must have been some other way he could placate his far-right, other than re-hiring a dim populist ranter. Perhaps she’s meant as his lightning-rod: he can’t be that awful, if he’s not as awful as the Home Secretary. Like the original “scapegoat”, perhaps she’s there to bear the Tories’ guilt. If that’s true, her destiny is to be a burnt offering.

  • Carl

    The joke is the past few years have shown us that “the Guardian reading, tofu eating wokerati” are just as right wing as Tories in all the essentials, epitomised by their heroes Starmer, Reeves and the Parliamentary Labour Party.

    • Jimmeh

      I suspect you may have underestimated just how extreme the Tories are just now. Truss wasn’t kicked out because she was too extreme; she was dumped because her ill-judged haste resulted in an embarrassing cock-up. I despise Starmer; I assume he’s been nobbled by MI5; but he’s got a long way to go before he looks like a modern right-wing Tory.

      • Carl

        A long way to go? He supports both their main shibboleths – hard Brexit and the Rwanda deportation scheme. He probably even outdoes them when it comes to apartheid Israel and Nato fundamentalism. Time to start believing he is what he keeps showing you he is, Jimmeh. Same with his supporters and apologists.

        • Jimmeh

          > and the Rwanda deportation scheme.

          I missed that one!

          His racist zionism is a signature policy, and that’s the policy I find most distasteful.

          He’s going to win the next General Election by a landslide; I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            According to the punters on Betfair, as of 7pm today, there’s only a 41% chance that Labour will get an overall majority at the next election, Jimmeh – a 42% chance that there’ll be a hung parliament, and even a 17% chance that the Tories will get a majority. The overrounds are pretty tight, so the market is unlikely to be mispriced.


          • Nigel Stapley

            “> and the Rwanda deportation scheme.
            I missed that one! ”

            It is indicative of the bus-ticket thin-ness of the difference between New Starmer and the Tories that the sole Labour front-bench response to Patel’s policy announcement wasn’t that it was outrageously inhumane and unworthy of civilised human values, but that it was “too expensive”. And in the last few days, we’ve seen Sheer Stumer trying to outflank the Tories on immigration – from the right.

            I fear as much for the future from a Starmerite majority in 2024 as I do the Overt Wing of the neoliberal Neuordnung.

        • Jimmeh

          > He supports both their main shibboleths – hard Brexit

          He didn’t support Leave, until Leave won, and Brexit was certain. So his posture now is something like “Make Brexit work”. I think that’s pragmatic; there’s no point in campaigning to rejoin. That would just be another ten years of chaos. And it would lead to a “NO” from the EU, because the UK doesn’t seem able to elicit a stable, clear consensus in favour of membership; we’ve caused them nothing but trouble since we joined.

          • Lapsed Agnostic

            When he was shadow Brexit secretary, Jimmeh, Starmzy was pro-Remain (almost certainly to undermine Corbyn) and according to Lord (Gavin) Barwell of Croydon, was prepared to indulge in fairly underhand tactics to sabotage Theresa May’s relatively soft Brexit deal – as amusingly detailed by his biographer, Oliver Eagleton, in conversation with Aaron Bastani.


            The relevant bit starts at 58:00 if you’re short on time – but the rest of it is well worth a listen, imho.

            (Hat-tip to ‘David’ on a previous comments thread for the link)

      • Blissex

        «Truss wasn’t kicked out because she was too extreme; she was dumped because her ill-judged haste resulted in an embarrassing cock-up.»

        Maybe in little part, but the main story seems to me that the globalist “whig” thatcherites are trying hard to take back the Conservative party temporarily taken over by kipper “tory” thatcherites, and have managed to get the press on their side (e.g. the replacement of Dacre as editor of the “Daily Mail” by a declared “Remainer”).

        The conservative media working for the “whig” faction then amplify whichever issues (beers at “work meetings”, expensive wallpapers) their “tory” targets have, instead of as usual minimizing or ignoring any issues created by Conservative ministers.

    • Roger

      I’m not sure that “the Guardian reading” segment are just as right wing as Tories; what has changed since Rusbridger left is that the paper itself has become little more than a mouthpiece for the “official” view.
      For example their support for Assange has been muted.
      Some say they were running low on funding, and got backdoor help from government propaganda sources in exchange for compliance. I have no idea whether or not that’s true, but the G is certainly more of an Establishment mouthpiece now than the critical journalism it used to be.

      • glenn_nl

        According to the Eye, The Guardian has over a £Billion in cash sitting around, and gets a lot of money from the Yanks, and that’s the market it’s most anxious to please these days.

        • Roger

          “over a £Billion in cash sitting around”
          It has an endowment which provides it with income. That’s not money it can spend, if it wants to survive long-term.
          A billion pounds sounds a lot but if you look at the risk-free income it can generate, after putting some of that income back into the endowment to maintain the real value of the capital, it isn’t enough to run a newspaper that pays investigative journalists.

      • Carl

        I think in late 2022 anyone still defining themselves as a Guardian reader is most likely a solid supporter of Starmer and Reeves.
        That is, Tory in all but name.

  • nevermind

    To pick two bus loads of refugees from a holding camp, with the right wing media egging her on to do something on immigration, and then dump them at Victoria station, when they were told to expect to stay in a hotel, is abhorrent, dishonest and primitive. These people need compassion, work, language training, food and shelter, not the spasm’s of some empire runnaway African Desi.

    Migration is not a crime and we would do better in denying arms to those who want to, or dont care much when creating more imperical flagration, sowing more reason for distrust and hardship for refugees that are traumatised already.
    Thanks for taking a humanitarian stance Craig, I hope that Cruella B. , not yet listed as the worst Home secretary, will not be tickled pink for the publicity you provided for her.

    • Roger

      Migration is not a crime

      Yes it is, unless permitted by the laws of the destination country or motivated by a genuine need to seek political asylum.

      When you go to another country you show your passport to an official at the border, who examines it and decides whether or not to let you in, based on that country’s law. If you seek political asylum, there are treaties specifying requirements. That’s the law. Violating it is a crime. We should be clear about this.

  • Nigel Stapley

    There’s a story about departmental civil servants having their revenge on a deeply unpopular minister. He was given a speech to deliver on economic policy and – without reading it through beforehand – embarked upon it before a public audience. Part of it went something like this:

    “Now, our opponents jeer at us and ask how we can possibly bring about major economic growth whilst keeping inflation down and not causing a run on the Pound. I’ll tell you, very simply…”

    At which point he turned the page to be confronted by a blank sheet of paper. Blank, that is, save for one line of text. It read:

    “You silly old fool, you’re on your own now.”

  • Blissex

    «I have never seen anything approaching this volume of civil service leaks against a minister. […] She is the loosest of loose cannons.»

    It may be that the senior civil servants are exasperated with her (I can only imagine what those at the FCO thought of Johnson), but I suspect that there is more to that: there has been a major faction war by the globalist thatcherite factions against the kipper thatcherite faction, and Braverman is the token kipper in globalist Sunak’s cabinet, a bit like social-democratic Rayner in globalist Starmer’s cabinet, and while the conservative press etc. have largely muted their attacks now that the cabinet is made largely of globalist thatcherites, they are still having a day against Braverman. It is not just that she is a loose cannon: if she were in the right faction leaks etc. would be handled sensitively.

    «For decades, the position of Home Secretary has been used by both Labour»

    Classic quote about this:
    “After the election, David Blunkett was promoted to the Home Office. He promised Blair he would ‘make Jack Straw look like a liberal’. He was bragging, there’s not a politician in Britain who can do that. But again it tells you something about the PM that Blunkett was obliged to make it.”

    «and Conservative parties simply as a platform for winning votes through right wing populism.»

    The big electoral changes in recent decades have been:

    * A much larger percentage of the population is older.
    * Many if not most older people own and profit from property and have final salary pensions.
    * Older people with booming property and good final salary pensions got theirs and also see the world as containing more threats than opportunities.
    * Many younger working residents are immigrants and don’t even have the right to vote, so rentier oldies have an ever greater influence on voting, beyond being much more likely to vote than younger working citizens who have also the right to vote.

    This has created a much higher level of electoral demand for authoritarianism, for “absolute safety at any cost to someone else” policies, for pandering cynically to that large constituency of affluent yet scared older rentiers.

    • Squeeth

      @ Blissex Rayner?!? She’s a racist anti-working class epitome of the aphorism that the only socialism in the Liarbour Partei is of the national kind.

  • mark cutts

    Cruella Braverman is a creature of the Faragists and their representatives on Earth – the ERG group – and obviously will take on the characteristics of that creed.

    Sunak’s pact with the Devil will cost him in the future.

    The BoE has raised spirits insofar that we only have to suffer a couple of years of horror and then all will be well.

    Interest rates are inflationary in and of itself.

    So raising the rates is are not going to help.

    There is a depression in the UK in the offing.

    I will remind liberal or left liberal readers that President Roosevelt taxed non-invested (as in invested in the real economy) at 98% on the dollar.

    Extreme Keynsianism?

    No – because there is the material productive economy and the unreal economy of post-low-interest rate borrowing at 1/2 a percent and swindling each other to make 1% on the deals.

    Those days have ended.

    We need to enhance people’s needs.

    I think that now is the time for a Minimum Income.

    Sadly, the so called Opposition are not ging to insist on that – instead they will say that the nation cannot afford that.

    That genuinely is my cynical view.

  • Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett


    ” I suspect Braverman has by now been less formally told to tone it down. But stirring up racial hatred is the right wing Tories’ basic weapon. I fear more will follow very quickly.”

    Ironic isn’t it that a non-White Braverman and non-White Sunak are stirring up racial hatred.

    • Bayard

      Ironic, not really, there is always a strong temptation to pull up the ladder behind you. It’s generally those in the new houses in the village who are against any further development.

    • SameGreatApe

      Looks like Braverman, Sunak and Patel all have ancestry from India via Africa to Britain, is there any particular reason for that route?

      I see Braverman say she’s proud to be born in the heart of the Asian community…in Wembley. Doesn’t sound like the integration she preaches. And she says her problem is with low-skilled immigrants but I can’t see what skills her mother had before migrating to Scotland to be trained as a nurse, though I see when the mother became a Tory councillor in London she said she’s a “natural-born conservative” wtf does that mean.

      On the way noticed Sunak’s brother is a psychologist, private specialism listed as EMDR therapy. Which I haven’t done a deep dive on despite being stuck on a research paper on a crappy trial of it, seems like a technified Emperor’s new clothes placebo, over-trained for profit. Even though Prince Harry found it useful in order to talk over his shock bereavement etc.

  • SleepingDog

    Where would the British Empire be without invasions? Even it called them things like ‘punitive expeditions’ (dreadful habit of British historians artfully misnaming its wars). Do actual British invasions feature more these days in non-British cultural products (like movies, I’ve watched a couple like this recently from China and India) as the prime villain in colonial/independence struggles, the equivalent of Nazis here? Is there a sense that the British are becoming more isolated from what world history exists today? After all, its not like the habit has been given up.

    Interestingly, reading Elizabeth Kolsky’s Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law, British administrators were apparently worried about an invasion of British settlers. p38:

    From 1764 to 1813, there was steady opposition in London and Calcutta to the open colonization of Indian land by European settlers… The opinion shared by administrators in England and India was that non-officials would oppress the natives, offend their religious sensibilities, degrade the imperial image by their drunkenness and misconduct, and weaken local confidence in the benefits of British governance.

    The author acknowledges that there were class biases at work, although the evidence presented suggests these fears about bad behaviour were correct (board-commissioned European Misconduct in India 1766 to 1824, Bengal edition, apparently ran to 25 volumes), though a mass influx did not materialize. I doubt entrants to the UK are in the position to oppress anybody, unless they are very rich and/or friends with the ruling Conservatives or Royal Family.

  • SA

    Isn’t this the prevailing trend aimed at consolidating political power over the civil service? This is now merely a more extreme form of what was the hallmark of the Johnson administration mainly ignoring and sidelining the civil service. I think this is all due to the ‘landslide’ that the Tories achieved and which meant less accountability of politicians to the public. We now officially have a junta running the regime in this banana kingdom.

    • Roger

      political power over the civil service?

      Elected politicians are supposed to have power over the civil service. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. Politicians pass the laws, which include statutory powers for some ministers, and civil servants are supposed to obey them.

      When civil servants don’t like the politicians, they leak to the press. But we should be clear that however much we dislike the current politicians, the proper functioning of a democracy depends on the civil service doing what it’s supposed to do – not trying to thwart the politicians by tendentious leaks.

      On the whole, I’m sympathetic towards leakers, because I think “we the people” should be better informed about what the government is really doing. But I don’t have much sympathy for civil servants who mainly aren’t leaking to inform us, they’re leaking selectively to arouse opposition to specific policies or decisions they don’t like.
      Reminds me of Sir Humphrey Appleby and the hospital with no patients.

      • SA

        We are here talking about the law and a lawless government elected through a flawed system where 30% of the vote gives you a landslide. Hence the people are not represented by this government.
        Moreover the civil service is continuity and some moderation against the excesses of an extreme policies. When the civil service is bullied and sidelined there is a slide to totalitarianism.

    • SleepingDog

      @SA, as I understood it, the people who choose civil servants are themselves selected by the Crown, that is, the head of the winning organized crime family in historical British mafia wars for state capture, aka the Royals. So great are the Royal Prerogative powers under the British Imperial quasi-Constitution.

  • Robert Dyson

    Dostoevsky’s story of a woman who was to be saved by an onion comes to mind. That this woman, whose parents were immigrants, should demonize would be immigrants should put her in hell.

    • Ebenezer Scroggie

      There is an immense difference between legal immigration and the criminal invaders who come here illegally.

      Wee Nippy actually welcomes the criminal variety. I guess she wants their votes.

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        The main difference between legal immigrants and ‘the criminal invaders who come here illegally’, Ebenezer, is that the latter won’t be competing for people’s jobs and driving down wages – unless those jobs involve things like chopping up vegetables for 12 hours a day in some back-street King’s Cross curry house for a sub-minimum wage pittance, or delivering light & dark all over sink estates at all hours (with all its attendant risks) for not much more. The ‘we’re-being-invaded-by-illegals’ line is chaff, which depressingly most people on the left and right seem to fall for (see Fonso’s & Blissex’s astute comments above).

        I doubt whether Sturgeon welcomes illegal immigrants north of the border – from what I can gather, the only criminality she tolerates is within her own party (allegedly).

  • Crispa

    Albania is one of the former communist countries that was subjected to intense neo liberal conversion therapy by this country amongst others. From the numbers of Albanians trying to get into UK it is evident that a) the economic treatment has failed disastrously (as one could expect) and b) UK is sowing what it has reaped as it is with the people coming from Iraq, Afghanistan etc.

  • Peter

    Braverman, even worse than (not so) Priti Patel – who’d have thought?

    On a side issue the BBC appears, on first impressions, to be taking against Sunak ???

    Preparing the way for Starmer ???

    Don’t be fooled by Starmer’s ‘make Brexit work’ rhetoric. He’s an Establishment man and just as soon as he makes top job he’ll be preparing the ground for a return to the EU.

    The very same EU that is currently dissolving in real time before our very eyes under the weight of its own spinelessness, corruption and downright crass stupidity – although there are signs that it (Germany, at least) may be undergoing some kind of psychological adjustment/rehabilitation and entering into discussions with Turkey to seek an end to the current monstrous conflict.

  • DunGroanin

    She knows the rules. She wouldn’t have got anywhere near if she didn’t, would she?

    This has all the appearance of a red rag to attract attention away from someone or something else that is threatened by the raging bulls. Sunak is already in trouble with the nasty party’s red necks.

    She is being a human shield and is happy to play the part knowing her rewards are guaranteed like everyone who has passed through Whitehall, through its revolving golden gates – for sure they will never be arrested, tried and prisoned, in the cell next to Julian, who she would have immediately released had she been anything other than yet another meat puppet.

    Nor will any of the other traitors to the Peoples who sit in the ministries now beholden to their foreign masters, whose current Voice, Blinken, says ‘jump’ and they all ask ‘how high?’

    There is an unprecedented US flotilla on the way, that will park up outside Portsmouth, as I understand – why? What Task Force is it planning to gather? To where?

    What chatter emanates from OUR civil servants about that? That is what I would like to know.

  • Brian c

    “I do not know how the civil servants are coping. When Braverman talks in parliament about an ‘Invasion’ of immigrants….”

    ….she was channelling I?EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who two weeks ago said this:

    “Europe is a garden. Most of the rest of the world is a jungle, and the jungle could invade the garden.”

    Brussels is way out in the lead when it comes to this stuff. Will the liberals acknowledge that? Haha, you know the answer, everyone does.

  • yesindyref2

    Interesting article on the inner workings of the civil service, about which in general I have no opinion which makes it “open reading” for a change.

    As for Braverman, apart from the supposed sop to the right wing, I still wonder if she was appointed by Sunak as a distraction while he found his feet. For instance the climate summit, and then his U-turn. Braverman being a distraction he could then end when ready just by sacking her, a move which would probably add generally to his personal popularity rating and even that of the Tories in the polls. Kind of a stalking horse I guess.

    • Roger

      The (original) BBC series “Yes Minister” was said by those in the know to give an accurate impression.
      Of course, it reflects the situation at the time it was made (1980s); things have surely changed. A bit.

      • yesindyref2

        Yes, I watched “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister”. They were very good, and it did make you wonder how much they reflected reality.

        In theory I guess, one of the jobs is to provide continuity between governments, and in itself that would need “political” decisions at times. It’s a question of balance, and I don’t think the recent Governments have got it right at all, in fact it seems they don’t even realise there’s a need for it to exist.

  • Ebenezer Scroggie

    Is it the job of a government minister to implement policy set by civil servants?

    Or is it the job of civil servants to implement policy set by government ministers?

  • Taxiarch

    David Green’s constitutional blog (2nd November 2022) suggests the issue with Braverman is “…it seems that the home secretary was advised to comply with the law and she has chosen not to do so…”

    If you want to understand why Home Office Civil Servants are aggressively leaking against her – and there is no doubt someone is – probably don’t need to look a great deal further. Civil Servants don’t want to be tracked breaking the law. Neither would I.

    The normal bonds of loyalty have also been severely frayed by Braverman’s faction constantly briefing themselves against “the blob”, and mischaracterising the swathes of middle and senior ranking CS as self-serving, corrupt, other-worldly ‘metropolitan liberal elites’. Thus the MailOnline’s ‘man of the people’ Dan Wooton (late of Guido’s nest) can write “the civil service …. have long given up on the difficult fight required to protect our borders”.

    So, who’s to blame for the mess? The minister, the government? No, its the Civil Service, who don’t do ‘difficult’.

    Underlying problem with the British government really. No one is loyal to it. Anywhere.

  • no-one important

    Quite what the Home Office machinations are all about I neither know nor care, but one very simple fact is ignored by all and sundry: the current organisation of support to cope with the influx of many additional people simply isn’t in place. It is already nigh impossible to see a GP these days as they hide behind the sofa and collect their six-figure salaries; schools in parts of the country are already at their limits for new inclusions – not the children’s fault of course; and the demand on the public purse is ever upward.

    One cannot decry the efforts of people in poorer countries to better themselves by moving to apparently wealthier ones, but when the government of the recipient country has done nothing to prepare for the increased numbers, it is not to be wondered when the existing population rises up and says something along the lines of, “I say you fellows, isn’t that a bit thick?”

    But then I am admittedly an ancient curmudgeon of little brain, and I readily agree that my opinion is worth little these days.

    • Bayard

      Of course it’s not the government’s fault that public housing, education and health have been badly funded for decades. No, it must be all those pesky immigrants.

      • Stevie Boy

        It’s never the government’s fault and we, the people, must pay to fix the problems that they didn’t cause.
        That’s western democracy for you, taking responsibility for other people’s f*ck ups.

  • Wally Jumblatt

    Since the Home Office Civil Servants are so clearly in complete command of their brief, for decades I suppose, it would be worthwhile knowing what triumphant successes they can point to and we can salute them.
    – anything positive in the past 40 years would do.

  • Roger

    civil servants were disquieted by her briefings of backbencher John Hayes

    I don’t understand this. Surely a minister is entitled to talk to backbenchers? It seems to me important that they should. It’s not practical to suggest that a civil servant should be present at every such conversation – don’t ministers use the Commons tea room? Aren’t they supposed to talk to people there?

  • Bob Smith

    Craig, since your civil service career ended, and you know this, the number of civil servants writing speeches has significantly decreased, the job being handed to outsiders. The problem with that approach is that the collected knowledge and experience of the civil service has been lost. Policy initiatives that didn’t work first time around are resurrected with no-one to tell ministers that such approaches failed in the past. The influence of senior civil servants has been lost and many of the new SCS are even more sycophantic than in the past and simply not able or experienced enough to persuade ministers of their folly. You need look no further than Stephen Case who has been promoted far beyond his level of competence.

  • Dom

    It’s not just Braverman and Farage anymore. The BBC is also enthusiastically promoting this inflammatory “invasion of Albanian criminals” story and there has been no push back against it from “respectable” new New Labour. At the same time the EU is fearmongering about being invaded by a 3rd world “jungle” while 52 countries at the UN (mostly European) have voted against combatting Nazism, compared to just two last year. Dark times indeed.

    • Stevie Boy

      Ignoring all the Tory BS, my question is:
      “Why are young men leaving Albania and, presumably, paying people smugglers large amounts of money to come to the UK ?”
      IMO there are a lot of questions around the why, where and how issues that are not clear. Is there something else going on ?

      • Lapsed Agnostic

        I’d imagine that the answer to your question, Stevie, is that even working for sub-minimum wage in the UK, they can still make a lot more money than they can in Albania. The question I was wondering about is: why don’t they just apply for UK tourist visas, which like most illegals they can overstay as no one will be checking, and then get a flight from Paris to London, which must be much cheaper, smoother and safer than coming across in a dinghy? I guess the reason they don’t is either because they don’t have the necessary documents to get a visa, or that they need the smuggling gangs to give them the Albanian work contacts when they get to the UK.

    • Ian Smith

      How can you push back against it without claiming that young fit aAlbanian men are genuinely oppressed and vulnerable and unable to tolerate the conditions found in any of the the EU countries they passed through on the way here? Which everyone knows is patently untrue.

      • Dom

        Do you know the historic repercussions of smearing an entire nationality as a criminal race? If you are a political party or news organisation that constantly harps on the dangers of antisemitism you surely do.