What happened today? Was a body discovered, was an actor released from jail, did terror porn aid the announcement of anti-terror measures only necessary because of the war crimes we commit?
But hidden, scheduled so as to be overrun by the big terror announcements, ironically in testimony to our determination to deny the humanity of people in our own country, news of their abuse was ignored. Both the government and the media shared the spade work of putting this story into a shallow grave in the dead of night. The Border and Immigration Agency’s Complaints Audit Committee report seemed to turn up at 11pm on the BBC website, at that time the headline was “Fury over treatment of migrants” (you cannot hide from Google cache- the irony) now the opening has been rewritten emphasising how the system will be changed (and removing some witness quotes of the brutality) and the headline is “Migrant complaint policy shake-up“. It made it into some newspapers but being released late at night so it would quickly be overtaken and obscured by the terror porn is not a coincidence. So why should you pay attention to this report? Because this is not a record of failures it is the exposure of a system publicly claimed to do one thing but is in fact about brutalising people that no one cares about, it is about the migrant gulag-
Because only 8% of complainants were interviewed 89% of investigations were “neither balanced nor thorough”. Consequently 83% of replies were “indefensible”.
Over 20% of paperwork was simply disappeared, hello Mr. Shredder, it’s called destroying evidence.
95% of cases were investigated by the same companies that the complaints were against.
This is no failure, this is no breakdown, this is a system being exposed for doing what it really does while government and private corporations claim mistakes, maybe even bad apples, maybe incompetence. NO. This is a criminal system (7 privately run ‘detention’ centres holding 1,878 people) being brought into the light, it is doing what it is meant to do, all the excuses are made because what it is doing is wrong, criminal and inhumane. No, not ‘glaring errors’ this is intentional, malice aforethought. What this shows is the government’s real instructions to the contractors were this- get rid of these people, keep it cheap, do not get us or yourselves in trouble, get the job done, keep it quiet. The contractors created a system where no person could ever get fair or even reasonable treatment from it, this was Kafka, Orwell. A closed system of incarceration and forced repatriation insulated from British law by walls, barbed wire and internal complaints procedures designed to destroy complaints. What might the nature of these crimes be-
…bundled onto a plane at Heathrow and refused permission to see his lawyer, with the security guards knowing he already had permission to stay in the UK. He struggled and was beaten up in the back of a van… “I was crying, shouting, crying, shouting, then one of his colleagues was very, very aggressive to me… Told me that these black monkeys don’t want to go back to their country.”
serious assaults in privately run immigration centres are not being passed to police because firms believe they will lose lucrative government contracts. “All in all, the immigration service managers have failed in almost every aspect of the laid-down complaints investigation procedures and in some respects, have deliberately ignored these requirements.”
“In the past year, only 29% of cases alleging misconduct by named officials and contract staff were handled in time.”
The report also revealed that of the number of arrest team cases in the past year, none was handled on time, with 89% taking more than the eight-week target and one taking a year.
All the press on immigrants and the government has been in the context of attacks on government handling with the implicit assumptions ‘illegal’ immigrant are bad. This report of the scandalous gulag would be a useful stick to beat the government, but it does damage the ethos of privatisation so not a big favourite subject of corporate media. But the real reason it has been buried alive, it screams out how we do not care about these people, it reveals the nasty hidden cruelty of our dog eat dog culture, it doesn’t just attack the establishment it tells a truth about us- fuck ’em let them be assaulted and treated as subhuman, life’s damn hard as it is, can’t we just buy shiny crap, watch X-idol factor brother jungle (some nice sadism in those, yes we like that). Don’t make us face ourselves, don’t make us wake up.-
So no big mainstream media fuss about this. No arrests, no trials, no corporate manslaughter (perchance), I don’t even think a single one of the contracts have been canceled (after all violent fascist bigots need jobs too…). No better to channel our sentiment (what little is left of our atrophied empathy) into matters we can’t effect, tragedies of the small and personally identifiable. But nothing that might provoke questions of structure, culture, economics, realpolitik, class, race. How we are set up to fight each other lest we recognise the real enemy in the room, that cruelty that hides behind many masks but its end result is always the same, broken, raped and dead bodies.
Not that we would know, in this case the complaints procedure makes sure of that and the report being ignored makes sure we don’t have to worry about it either. No better we cower in fear from the Terrorists!!!!! And support everything we are told to support to make us ‘safe’. While of course the things that would actually make us safe but would inconvenience the established elites must remain forever taboo. Things like respect, compassion, equality and inalienable rights, y’know those silly little things.