The double-speak of the Prime Minister and her Cabinet

It is a common dictum that politicians should be judged by their actions not by their words. Well it would appear that on many fronts the government could be rightly accused of double-speak after this week’s Conservative Party Conference.

Theresa May was Home Secretary for six years.  During that time she deported almost 50,000 students with dubious legality and yet still failed to meet her own unrealistic targets. She also oversaw a big reduction in the number of immigration officers at ports and airports. However rather than accepting targets will never be met and giving the Home Office the staff they need, it has now become the job of head teachers and property owners to control immigration. If you cannot do it yourself outsource to someone who can is the leitmotif of the May government.

Landlords now face the risk of prosecution if they fail to check the right of their tenants to live in the U.K. Yet when a Tory Minister for immigration in the last government failed to check the papers of his cleaner he simply went to the back benches only to be reappointed to a Ministerial job. The “A country which works for everyone” slogan needs more small print than the average insurance policy.

Secondly the PM likes to pick out and demonise groups of people no matter what good they do. She took a cheap shot at Human Rights lawyers this week. But she conveniently ignored the fact that were it not for their work the 96 families of the Hillsborough victims would never have seen the verdict of unlawful killing they had waited 27 years for. Ironically this was a cause she herself had supported.

Liam Fox launched an attack on foreigners who come to Britain and consume our wealth. How about the British born Health Secretary who took Mandarin lessons on the state which enabled him to converse with the in-laws, a skill which has no relevance to his day job? Is he not paid enough to avoid burdening the taxpayer?Finally it was a collection of blame thy neighbour speeches. Rather than celebrate the diversity of our workforce, Theresa May chose to allow the Home Secretary to attack Companies who employ foreign workers instead of British ones.  Meanwhile David Davis has very recently worked as a paid advocate for German companies.

The government needs to put its own house in order if it is to have any shred of credibility left.

* Chris Key is dad of two girls, multilingual and internationalist. He is a Lib Dem member in Twickenham who likes holding the local council and MPs to account.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Your comment on the role of human rights lawyers regarding Hillsborough is very sound. Without human rights lawyers the Birmingham 6 would still be in jail and countless other injustices would not have been righted.

    The Conservative assault on human rights needs to be taken on and need not be unpopular if cases such as these are cited.

  • Plan to force firms to reveal foreign staff numbers abandoned….Well, that policy didn’t last long..

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