Tag Archives: shaw review

Do you know your other half’s National Insurance Number?

I am a bit of a swot, but I do actually know my husband’s NiNo, but that’s because, for many years, the form-filling in our house has been my job, not least because his writing would make most doctors look like great calligraphers. Similarly, I am fairly well acquainted with his clothing and its size because I do most of the washing.

Why, I can hear you asking, is this even relevant? Well, the Daily Mirror covered Alistair Carmichael’s reaction to a particular paragraph in Stephen Shaw’s review into the treatment of vulnerable people in immigration detention.

Shaw visited Dungavel House, in Scotland, where he was told by detainees of some of the ridiculous questions they were asked (page 52, paragraph 3.71) in order to prove that their marriages were genuine:

The questions they said they had been asked by caseworkers to ascertain whether their marriage was a sham included their knowledge of their wife’s National Insurance number, the colour of her underwear, and her bra size. If this was indeed the case, it is questionable whether such questions were either appropriate or useful.

Of course, the Mirror used this as an excuse to print a photo of women in underwear. That’s so 20th century.

Our Home Affairs spokesperson’s response was vintage Alistair:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Carmichael calls for time limit on immigration detention

The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto last year called for an end to indefinite detention for immigration purposes, building on the end to child detention that Nick Clegg insisted upon as part of the coalition agreement. Today, a review of welfare in detention of vulnerable people conducted for the Home Office by Stephen Shaw has been published. In it he makes 64 recommendations, including that alternatives to detention be sought. Some of the changes he wants to see are so basic that you are shocked that they are not done already – the provision of even basic mental health treatment, for a start.

This one is quite chilling:

Recommendation 33: I recommend that the Home Office review detainees’ access to natural light and to the open air, and invite contractors to bring forward proposals to increase the time that detainees can spend outside.

And as for this one, you mean we don’t already?

Recommendation 35: I recommend that the service provider at Yarl’s Wood should only conduct searches of women and of women’s rooms in the presence of men in the most extreme and pressing circumstances, and that there should be monitoring and reporting of these cases.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments
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