Episode #16: Windrush, Citizenship, Empire and Migration
Charlotte and Emma discuss national identity, belonging and how the inhumane ‘hostile environment’ created by the British Home Office over the past decade fits into a much longer history of British immigration policy. Plus: British aspirations versus historical realities, and how to lose people on purpose.
- Landlords are legally obliged to check that people living in their properties have the right to be in the UK; it formed part of the Immigration Act of 2015 and only applies to England at the moment;
- Here’s the British Nationality Act of 1948, which states: “Every person who under this Act is a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies or who under any enactment for the time being in force in any country mentioned in subsection (3) of this section is a citizen of that country shall by virtue of that citizenship have the status of a British subject.”
- The National Archives has a handy guide to the Commonwealth Immigration Acts of 1962 and 1968, and the Immigration Act of 1971;
- “When Albert Thompson went for his first radiotherapy session for prostate cancer in November he says he was surprised to be taken aside by a hospital administrator and told that unless he could produce a British passport he would be charged £54,000 for the treatment.” Amelia Gentleman, ‘Londoner denied NHS cancer care: 'It's like I'm being left to die' The Guardian, 10 March 2018;
- Here’s the Coming Home to Jamaica booklet, issued to those about to be deported by the British Home Office. It contains advice like: “If you don’t have friends or family in Jamaica, there are a number of independent registered charities and non-government organizations that can help you find a place to stay. (…) Try to be ‘Jamaican’ –use local accents and dialect (overseas accents can attract unwanted attention).”
- According to UNHCR, about 10 million people around the world are stateless: “The international legal definition of a stateless person is 'a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law'. In simple terms, this means that a stateless person does not have a nationality of any country. Some people are born stateless, but others become stateless.”
- Here’s the story about David Lammy’s constituent who was arrested when he went to pick up his biometric card at the Home Office’s Lunar House.
- “We women here in Yarl's Wood did not anticipate our freedom would be taken from us or the impact it would have. We are on a hunger strike because we are suffering unfair imprisonment and racist abuse in this archaic institution in Britain. This is a desperate measure due to desperate circumstances. We feel voiceless, forgotten and ignored. We needed a voice and more importantly we needed someone to listen. We needed to be reminded that we are human beings because trust us when we say most of us are so dehumanised by this process of detention and the way we are treated in detention that you start to forget.” From ‘A message from the women of Yarl’s Wood on International Women’s Day', New Statesman, 8 March 2018;
- Women For Refugee Women’s report We Are Still Here: The Continued Detention of Women Seeking Asylum in Yarl’s Wood is available here. Learn more about WFRW at www.refugeewomen.co.uk and follow the organisation on Twitter @4refugeewomen;
- Here’s Jimmy Thoronka's story. The Sierra Leonean sprinter stayed in Britain after the 2014 Commonwealth Games in an attempt to avoid the Ebola outbreak that killed his family;
- In 1787, British abolitionists and philanthropists established a settlement in Freetown for repatriated and rescued slaves. Sierra Leone became an independent country in 1961;
- Here’s the BBC History article on the Empire Windrush, which arrived in Tilbury on 22 June 1948;
- We talked about imperial nostalgia in TNK009 – listen to the episode here;
- Fancy your chances on the Life in the UK test? Here are some practice questions…
- …And here are the current fees for a citizenship application;
- Who got the right to vote when? Find out in TNK010 - our episode on women and the vote;
- Outlander, the outlandish time-travelling historical drama set in Scotland around the time of the Battle of Culloden, is on Amazon Prime in the UK;
- Federica Cocco’s article – ‘Lies, damned lies and citizenship tests: The UK exam questions may be whimsical, but they are riddled with statistical errors’ – was published by the Financial Times on 23 November 2017. Follow Federica on Twitter @federicacocco;
- Fact check: The first Indian restaurant in the UK – Hindoostane Coffee House – was opened by Sake Dean Mahomet in George Street in central London in 1810;
- In 2015, Tom Heyden wrote about the 10 greatest controversies of Winston Churchill's career for the BBC News Magazine – read all about it here;
- Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (1983) has its own Wikipedia page, though you should really read the book itself;
- The Life in the UK test was introduced for naturalisation in 2005 and settlement in 2007 – so by Tony Blair’s Labour government;
- Here’s Gordon’s Brown speech on British values, given in September 2007 – and here is a key section (10 points awarded to those of you who can point out what is specifically British about these values) :
“I stand for a Britain where everyone should rise as far as their talents can take them and then the talents of each of us should contribute to the well being of all.
I stand for a Britain where all families who work hard can build a better life for themselves and their children.
I stand for a Britain where every young person who has it in them to study at college or university should not be prevented by money from doing so.
I stand for a Britain where public services exist for the patient, the pupil, the people who are to be served.
I stand for a Britain where it is a mark of citizenship that you should learn our language and traditions.
I stand for a Britain where we expect responsibility at every level of society.
I stand for a Britain that defends its citizens and both punishes crime and prevents it by dealing with the root causes.
I stand for a Britain where because this earth is on loan to us from future generations, we must all be stewards of the environment.
So I stand for a Britain where we all have obligations to each other and by fulfilling them, everyone has the chance to make the most of themselves.”
- People who have lived in Sweden for five years can apply for citizenship; if you’re a refugee or stateless, you can apply after four; if you’re married to a Swedish citizen, you can apply after three. The fee is 1,500 SEK, or £130. Citizens of other Nordic nations can register as Swedish citizens (i.e. without applying) after five years or apply for citizenship after two years. Here’s all the info from the Swedish Migration Agency;
- Charlotte is reading lines from Imtiaz Dharker’s ‘Minority’ from 1997:
- Charlotte recommends Slow Burn, a Slate podcast about Watergate. Listen to that here;
- Emma recommends Creating Your Own Path, in which Jennifer E. Newman interviews artists, designers and other creators about the work. There are three episodes with Anne Ditmeyer – you'll find the first one here.
THE NEXT EPISODES
- TNK017 is our Men's World Cup special - Charlotte will make use of her German heritage to gloat about the 2014 tournament; Emma will reveal what it was really like to go to school with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and why the summer of 1994 can never be bettered. Plus: we set our sights on the 2019 Women's World Cup.
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