The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Kelly-Marie Blundell Headshot

The Home Office: Right as Rain?

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

The Home Office in the last two years has been run chiefly by the Conservative dogma of repeating things until they become true.

As one of the most important offices, the Home Office manages security, order and immigration, fundamental parts of a civil society. These are also highly contentious issues between a left/right coalition, as we currently have in the UK, so any issues which arise are likely to spark a large amount of media interest.

In the last week, as chaos develops at British airports, The Home Office has sought to dictate the reason for such problems is rain. That's right; quintessentially British rain is the fundamental problem resulting in not enough staff, excessive elaborate and futile security checks and lengthy delays at international airports.

This is the most recent in a long line of errors in the Home Office that seemingly being excused with spurious comments. Failure to extradite Abu Qatada must also be down to the rain. Issues with deporting dangerous terrorists from London during the Olympics? Well if it wasn't for the rain, The Home Office would be able to.

Perhaps rain is also the reason for Theresa May's inability to fact check her own speeches.

The problem is that this host of contrived excuses are a mask for what appears to be a slowly unravelling senior government department. The reality of so many errors, each on it's own seemingly innocuous, have severe implications about the safety and security of the UK.

Infringement of civil liberties was a practice many demonstrated again and again throughout the Labour administration, from their fixation with introducing identity cards through to their insistence on using terrorism as a stick with which to beat campaigners and protestors. In alliance with the George Bush's government in America, Blair's insistence that iris scanning would reduce the risk of another 9/11 has lent plausibility to such excuses by governments in order to appropriate data.

Repeated rhetoric from the Home Secretary that black is white has made it credible to insist on placing missiles on peoples' roofs for the olympics. Frighteningly, the introduction of stop and search powers deemed illegal by the European Court of Human Rights alongside apparent fraying edges of The Home Office with the Border Agency now going on strike, a significant lack of staff and the readiness to extradite anyone anywhere on less than culpable offences there is a significant lack of protection for the individual citizen.

All of a sudden, the man walking on the street may be searched without due cause, extradited to the US or detained without charge. As with all civil liberty issues, the issue is often not the justification for introduction, rather, the people that are handling it. And if the people that are handling it are blaming their own mistakes on rain, there are some serious problems.