Windrush Scandal

Why are the RAF there, recruiting party?

Windrush was a troopship (Ex German we kept her as a "prize of war") she was returning from Austrailia with servicemen when she called into Jamaica.
A notice was put in a local newspaper offering a cheap trip to the UK
Presumably the RAF Movements officer was there initially to meet the returning servicemen and was greeted by a number of Jamaican ex-servicemen wanting to re-enlist.
Reading about the first lot to arrive it wasn't as organised as I certainty thought it was originally.
I was led to believe they came at the invite of the British Government but reports has the Government having debates as to whether they could land when they arrived
They had no where to put them and many were billited in old air raid shelters.
 
None of my assorted Commonwealth relatives or their families came to the UK by plane. You came on a subsidised ticket by boat. Air travel was blisteringly expensive in the 50’s/60’s.
Anyone coming by plane later would have been the better off, the ones that by and large didn’t fall through the cracks.

FWIW, there are no air travel records either after 1960 either, they were not retained records.

Cost on the Windrush in 1948 was £28.
Presumably this was subsidised as one stow away who was found was charged £46.
I would suggest that even this was "blisteringly expensive" since the average UK wage in 1948 was £3 per week.
 
Really, yes.

'Hundreds'? As against the many tens of thousands that came by boat at £30 a pop.
Remind me how much a BOAC flight cost in 1962?*
Something tells me those 'hundreds' weren't renting £5 a month slums when they arrived.

*Top Tip: It was blisteringly expensive and wasn't for the common herd.
You appear to be allowing your imagination to get in the way of the facts.

The 'hundreds' refer to a last minute rush in the last few days before the immigration act went into effect.

By 1960, the number of migrants from the West Indies arriving by air had out-stripped the numbers arriving by sea by a large margin.

The following is an excerpt from a book about Britain's maritime history which reflects the official figures;

Britain and the Sea: Since 1600
by Dr Glen OHara
Quote:
Even poorer migrants from less economically developed countries could now afford to fly to Britain. In 1960, 22,000 West Indians had taken a ship to Britain, whereas 29,000 had flown; by the mid-1970s, only about a thousand came by ship, but 130,000 people came by air. Not all of these people were migrants, of course, especially as the holiday trade to the Caribbean took off in the 1970s; but the tiny number of people coming by ship at all shows that almost nobody now undertook the long and arduous journey by sea...... ........Charter flights from the West Indies were common by the early 1960s.
Unquote

You're welcome to have the last word - I don't need to.
 
Cost on the Windrush in 1948 was £28.
Presumably this was subsidised as one stow away who was found was charged £46.
I would suggest that even this was "blisteringly expensive" since the average UK wage in 1948 was £3 per week.

Your ticket was often paid for by a recruiting agent

My wife’s ticket was bought for her by the recruiting agent, (you signed a contract specifying such), and she had to repay it out of her wages each week. it was the cheapest ticket and a shared multi berth cabin.
 
You appear to be allowing your imagination to get in the way of the facts.

The 'hundreds' refer to a last minute rush in the last few days before the immigration act went into effect.

By 1960, the number of migrants from the West Indies arriving by air had out-stripped the numbers arriving by sea by a large margin.

The following is an excerpt from a book about Britain's maritime history which reflects the official figures;

Britain and the Sea: Since 1600
by Dr Glen OHara
Quote:
Even poorer migrants from less economically developed countries could now afford to fly to Britain. In 1960, 22,000 West Indians had taken a ship to Britain, whereas 29,000 had flown; by the mid-1970s, only about a thousand came by ship, but 130,000 people came by air. Not all of these people were migrants, of course, especially as the holiday trade to the Caribbean took off in the 1970s; but the tiny number of people coming by ship at all shows that almost nobody now undertook the long and arduous journey by sea...... ........Charter flights from the West Indies were common by the early 1960s.
Unquote

You're welcome to have the last word - I don't need to.

google away, the Windrush generation we’re talking about didn’t fly drive to the UK, they came on boats, like my wife and her brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, but what do I know.

Perhaps the ones from 1948-1961 should have bought tickets to a time machine and waited for the introduction of affordable chartered flights in the 60’s and 70’s?
 
google away, the Windrush generation we’re talking about didn’t fly drive to the UK, they came on boats, like my wife and her brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, but what do I know.

Perhaps the ones from 1948-1961 should have bought tickets to a time machine and waited for the introduction of affordable chartered flights in the 60’s and 70’s?
As I said, I won't respond to your last points , I'll simply leave to others to judge how far and how fast you have back-peddled on your earlier statements.
 
Interestingly just heard a Conservative MP say that PMTM can’t be racist because she clamped down on Stop and Search and the negative effects that had on BME communities.

That policy was more of a way to have a go at the police to be honest.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
The game changer was the Boeing 707 whose first passenger flight took place in late 1958. It would have been ca.1960 that it became available for flights to UK from the Caribbean? The Windrush trip took place on the early 1950s (she sank 1954).

NB we were still sea trooping in 1957. Air trooping to Singapore took 4 days at ca. 30+ passengers only per Hermes, the horrible Halifax/Hastings variant used by the charter firms. We had tried using Yorks but after one crashed at Stansted and others elsewhere they were a bit out of favour.
 
Your ticket was often paid for by a recruiting agent

My wife’s ticket was bought for her by the recruiting agent, (you signed a contract specifying such), and she had to repay it out of her wages each week. it was the cheapest ticket and a shared multi berth cabin.
The £28 I quoted who came from one of the returning RAF lads his family raised it between them
One of the stow aways was charged £46 after being found on board they had a whip round and raised £50 = £46 paid for the trip and she got £4 for herself.

Agents may have paid later but the original Windrush sailing wasn't planned and the Government was actually looking to send them back.
The ship was a half empty troopship and they were allowed on cheaply simply to fill it.

It's a kind of ironic that they actually took advantage of the fact that when they passed the British Nationally act in 1948 it allowed them British Citizenship and they managed to take advantage of it.
They hadn't been invited as many seem to think infact they had no where to go and ended up in air raid shelters.
One Government minister arguing to allow them to dock stated they won't last teh winter anyway.

The first people to clamp down on it and change the law where the Labour Party in 1968.
 
Scandal my arrse, it's nothing more than a political f*ck up which should be easy enough to rectify. The worst thing about it, apart from everyone banging on about it that is, are the politicians who created the problem itself and those that buried their heads in the sand now attempting to gain political capital out of it.
 
... and now they won't even have to pay application fee for naturalisation.
but hey, let come here, don't bother sorting out your status, than cry laudly and you won't even have to pay a penny.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
... and now they won't even have to pay application fee for naturalisation.
but hey, let come here, don't bother sorting out your status, than cry laudly and you won't even have to pay a penny.
Why should they pay for the government screwing them over?

Your complete ignorance of the reasons behind this scandal show you up as petty minded.
 
Why should they pay for the government screwing them over?

Your complete ignorance of the reasons behind this scandal show you up as petty minded.

He has a point.

There is no automatic naturalisation process for anyone not born a UK citizen, and there never has been. If there had been no clusterfnuck over Windrush or not even a word spoken about it, all of those people would still be technically non-British.

Anyone who wishes to become British has to apply for naturalisation, no matter how long they have lived in the country legally or illegally. This application takes time, effort and money.*

The Windrush group just happen to be a single batch of people who came here in an unregulated immigration process in the 1940-70s. The current "scandal" does not just apply to them - over the years you will have seen regular tales in the media about Mr or Mrs X who faces deportation despite having lived in UK for decades.

The Windrush scandal may well prove to have been a deliberate political torpedo fired at the Tories, but the reality is that it is simply a symptom of the truly shambolic and politically distorted immigration regime that has existed in UK since the initial 1971 Act. Currently there are probably millions residing in UK with no legally determined nationality status.



*If the government is going to start handing out free entry and compo to people who havent bothered to legally naturalise, then I'd quite like a refund of the £thousands in direct and indirect costs it took me to have my own wife naturalised!
 
They had no where to put them and many were billited in old air raid shelters.
Ironically, the same type of shelter that housed the London Transit Centre for military personnel in sea-trooping times (up to the early sixties)
The Army's one was at Goodge Street and the Windrush pax at Clapham.
A bit before my time but it wasn't well spoken of.

A further irony for those arriving by sea was that the shelter was divided into nautical divisions.


Coincidentally , I've just been reading a book on the history of immigration* and it mentions that Windrush called in at Jamaica in order to pick up Jamaican RAF men who had been on home leave but even more intriguing was the passage;:
Sixty Polish women who had staggered from Siberia, through India, Australia, New Zealand to Mexico were already on board, they were heading for England.
Now, an account of their flight from Siberia would surely make a fascinating read.
This is what wiki has to say;
Following the Soviet invasion of Poland at the onset of World War II in accordance with the Nazi-Soviet Pact against Poland, the Soviet Union acquired over half of the territory of the Second Polish Republic or about 201,000 square kilometres (78,000 sq mi) inhabited by over 13,200,000 people. Within months, in order to de-Polonize annexed lands, the Soviet NKVD rounded up and deported between 320,000 and 1 million Polish nationals to the eastern parts of the USSR, the Urals, and Siberia. There were four waves of deportations of entire families with children, women and elderly aboard freight trains from 1940 until 1941. The second wave of deportations by the Soviet occupational forces across the Kresy macroregion affected 300,000 to 330,000 Poles, sent primarily to Kazakhstan. Thanks to a remarkable reversal of fortune well over 110,000 Poles including 36,000 women and children managed to leave the Soviet Union with the Anders' Army. They ended up in Iran, India, Palestine, New Zealand, British Africa, as well as in Mexico. Among those who remained in the Soviet Union about 150,000 Poles perished before the end of the war.

* 'Bloody Foreigners' - author Robert Winder
 
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Anyone who wishes to become British has to apply for naturalisation, no matter how long they have lived in the country legally or illegally. This application takes time, effort and money.*
And, as I'm sure you are aware, but many Britons aren't, that thousands, if not millions, of folk allowed to stay in UK don't feel the need to become British citizens, for various reasons- among the preferring to retain their own nationality when they are not allowed dual-citizenship.
They enjoy almost all the rights of a British citizen with few exceptions - for example, while an American, say, settled in UK, will not be able to vote in UK elections, they may qualify for NHS treatment, state pension. (why not, they pay into the system). Providing they keep their nose clean and don't settle elsewhere for more than two years, their status will not change
 
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He got a good line out of it though in fairness....

"I never see myself as Irish, but I am. My father and mother were both Irish and had Irish passports. I had a British passport, but when I went to get it renewed, and said my father was born in Ireland before 1900, they said I couldn't have a British passport - some bloody law.
So I said, **** you. I went to the Irish Embassy and I said: "My name's Spike Milligan, can I have a passport?" And they said, "Oh yes! We're short of people."
I wonder if 954025 Gnr Milligan's feet would have touched the ground if he'd declared in 1940 that he was not a British citizen, but that of a neutral country, and could he please be excused WW2?

The Home Office: Treating people like shit since 1782
 
Not really; BA (and HAL) have been pushing for the abolition of landing cards for years because of their perceived impact on queue times. They almost got their way last year too.
They will get their way eventually. They always do.
 
It did when the records were being destroyed in 2010, what with it not being replaced by UK Visas and Immigration, UK Border Force and Immigration Enforcement until 2013.

Why is how long you have to queue up to enter a country after leaving the aircraft of BA or any other airline of concern to the airline? Once I walk off the 'plane into the concourse I have sod all to do with the airline again until it's time to go home, unless my luggage doesn't appear on the carousel.

I'spose there's a case if you have to pass through immigration even if you're connecting to a flight going on to a third country, like you do in the US, but then the onus is on the passenger to book flights with a sufficient lay-over to jump through the hoops. Anecdotally, I've seen people collar a staff member, animatedly show their boarding pass/e-ticket and get escorted to the front of the queue, presumably because they've shown they need to get through to their next flight with some urgency - even in this country where the customer service ethic seems to be one of grumpy dourness, disnterest and jobsworthery. In Schiphol where you go through from Schengen to non-Schengen zones and vice versa there's an express window/terminal with a staffer on the gate who checks you really are in a hurry before letting you into that queuing zone (because there's always some arrogant cocks who try it on). Most airports have some mechanism in place to get you through ahead of everyone else if you've a short connection time.

But I'm still struggling to see why how long you have to queue up to be stamped into the country is really any concern of the airlines in broad terms.
The airline doesn't much care, unless they are the majority user of the airport or terminal. It's the airport operator who wants shorter and shorter queue times until there are no queues at all, something which should be an impossibility, but could become a reality due to corporate influence on government and border security policy.

Shorter queue times reduce operating costs for the airport. It also makes one airport more attractive than others, and attracts airlines whose passengers don't want to queue much if at all. The HO has cottoned on to this by creating premium, fast track and great club members to jump queues and made a revenue stream out of it. Nice for those that can afford it, but it takes away an officer or two from the queue for the plebs. Remember that when you queue for 90 minutes to get back into your own country.

Isn't capitalism marvellous?:rolleyes:
 
So as best I can work out

Windrush Migrants get lucky with reduced fares on troopship to fill ship up and arrive in Britain.

Labour Government don't know what to do so let them in deciding they won't last past winter and want to go home.
Conservative Government change law in 1962 to make it harder to come in
Labour Government change immigration act again in 1968 to reduce Commonwealth citizens rights even more, Conservative Government change law in 1971 again to prepare for entering Common Market in order to allow Europeans more access to UK.
Labour Minister Alan Johnson uses phrase hostile environment for illegal immigrants
Conservative and Liberal Governments carry on with policy

It's all Theresa May's fault the heartless old witch, Labour had nothing to do with it
 

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