YP Letters: Windrush must have left a paper trail

An archive photo of the Windruish ship that brought migrants from the Caribbean to Britain.
An archive photo of the Windruish ship that brought migrants from the Caribbean to Britain.
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From: Mike Smith, Birkby, Huddersfield.

IT seems unreasonable that our present Government is catching all the blame for the Windrush affair when surely any blame for that rests with different governments and immigration authorities going back to 1948.

Except for the distress caused to the original immigrants involved, which needs sorting immediately, it must puzzle many why establishing their legitimate citizenship should ever have been a problem.

When the Windrush left the Caribbean, it would have a full passenger list, as required in maritime law for the obvious purpose of accounting for all passengers in the event of a disaster. Those records are definitely still available.

When they disembarked with their landing cards, which we must assume were collected at the port, they were surely issued with some form of citizenship identity, either passports or other documents. If not, why not? If any such documents were issued but later expired or became lost over time, it is hard to believe there were no records to facilitate their renewal.

If the landing cards were the only permanent records available, then whoever authorised their destruction without first checking the implications was guilty of gross incompetence.

There should be no shortage of records for Windrush immigrants to establish their legitimate citizenship. It is nevertheless easy to imagine an individual needing access to that information would not get much help from the sort of tick-box officialdom we often encounter these days.

On a final point for those interested, the Empire Windrush, to give her her full name, later sank in the Mediterranean in 1954 following a fire while serving as a troopship.

Jargon can’t hide failure

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

SOME weeks back, Tom Richmond referred to the “impenetrable language” of 
suits etc.

Leeds City Council has announced that it has “opened the tendering process for a contract to deliver its transport masterplan by 2021” (The Yorkshire Post, April 20). Does this mean wheels and infrastructure by 2021 or, again simply something to be chewed, spat out, revised and revisited?

To recap: it took the council 30 years to acknowledge that their grandads had made a mess of things with their cheapjack, “all bus” masterplan. They submitted plans for tram reintroduction to Tory and Labour governments.

Both denied funding on a questionable “value for money” basis. The council crumbled, threw away £70m and – of far greater value – 10 years wasted on their abortive trolleybus fiasco.

We are now asked to accept the LCC ‘light bulb’ moment: basically, subject to better seats and wi-fi, grandad was right all along. Why have those silly people in mainland Europe and elsewhere in the UK been wasting money on tube and tram investment when the obvious answer was under their noses?

Closer to the voters

From: Howard Scaife, Ilkley.

THE MP for Keighley & Ilkley, John Grogan, has been speaking at Westminster in favour of devolution to Yorkshire and the regions, stating that the Government should be closer to the people.

However, when Shipley MP Philip Davies said the Shipley and Keighley constituencies should form a new council so that the people would have more say about how money was raised and spent, Mr Grogan said he was totally against this proposal.

The proposed new council would be the same size as Calderdale Council. Would an incoming Labour government dissolve Calderdale as being uneconomic and hand it over to Bradford? Or does this rule only apply to his own constituency?

Setting pace for posturing

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

JUST so Stephen Hill (The Yorkshire Post, April 21)) doesn’t see himself as too much of a lone voice, crying in the wilderness, may I say that I am in total agreement with his rejection of the absurd “Tour de Yorkshire”.

Along with terms like “peloton” instead of “leading group”, it is simply an example of the sort of posturing pretentiousness which does the sport of cycling, and much more importantly, the reputation of Yorkshire, no good at all.

Disunited kingdom?

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill.

UNTIL we receive details of our final deal to leave the EU, there is no point in making plans for our future outside. Scotland has stated that a bad deal would not be acceptable to Scots who voted decisively to remain.

A fast-tracking deal for Scotland to remain or rejoin the EU is a distinct possibility, and this would create a lot of problems for the UK. The UK Government appear to think they can talk their way out of the hard border with Ireland and many of the other problems.

We have now accepted that the UK will definitely leave the EU, but what is becoming uncertain is if Scotland and Northern Ireland will be happy to join us.

Taking stock over shares

From: Arthur Quarmby, Mill Moor Road, Meltham.

I INHERITED quite a substantial quantity of bank shares (Barclays, Lloyds) from my father some 35 years ago, and over the past decade they have done nowt and produced nowt.

Is there any hope of ever seeing a recovery?