BOT minister marks new Windrush Day

| 22/06/2018 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

West Indian immigrants travel to the UK aboard the Empire Windrush

(CNS): The UK government has officially sanctioned 22 June as Windrush Day and has set aside a £0.5 million annual grant to fund anniversary celebrations this year and in future. In a statement about the 70-year anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, which triggered the wave of immigration from this region to help the post-war rebuilding efforts, the current overseas territories minister, Lord Ahmad, who also has responsibility for the Caribbean, has spoken about the “invaluable contribution the Windrush generation has made to British society ever since”.

Despite continued criticisms about the Home Office’s treatment of thousands of Caribbean-born long-term UK residents who have been labelled as illegal immigrants, the British government is hoping the troubles will not overshadow the anniversary celebrations.

“The Caribbean diaspora in the UK symbolises the indelible bonds between our two sets of islands,” Lord Ahmad said, as he pointed to the importance of the Windrush Generation, who worked in Britain’s essential industries, including public transport, the post office, construction and the armed forces, and how central they were to the National Health Service and now many are leaders in the community.

“Today their children are civil servants, healthcare workers, business owners, professionals, and leading lights in music, sport and film. They are key to Britain’s success,” the Conservative minister said. “I doubt that there is a corner of Britain that has not been inspired and enriched by the Windrush Generation and their descendants.”

Lord Ahmad, who is the child of Pakistani immigrants, spoke of Britain’s first black MPs entering Parliament and campaigning for all Britons to have an equal stake in society.

“The pioneering Caribbean racial and social justice campaigners who pushed for legislative and social change calling for a fairer Britain. And let’s not forget the power of our sporting and cultural heroes, who through their skill, talent and discipline used their gifts to make an indelible mark to help create a proud, united and multicultural Britain,” he said, adding that Britain’s contemporary diversity began with the men, women and children who made the one-month journey from the Caribbean.

“The fortitude shown as they overcame daunting challenges and built successful lives and businesses for themselves and their families has come to represent a strength in spirit that we continue to see today,” he added. “We all know that the Windrush generation have faced further challenges, with questions raised over their immigration status. The government have taken focused action to assist anyone who may be affected to put right this wrong,” Lord Ahmad said, as he acknowledged the continuing concerns about this issue.

The shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott, has called on the Conservative government to reveal the full extent of the crisis and to provide swift responses to a series of key questions that remain unanswered.

“Warm words about commemorating the Windrush generation are not enough,” she wrote in a letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid. “Whilst the government celebrates the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants, we still do not know how many of our fellow citizens have been hounded out of their country, detained in immigration detention centres and left jobless and destitute.”

Tags: ,

Category: Caribbean, UK, World News

Comments (31)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Minor observation here but the photo caption is “West Indian immigrants travel to the UK aboard the Empire Windrush”, yet a close examination of the photo reveals that most of the people in the photo are Caucasian, in my opinion. A bit misleading.

    T.

    1
    1
    • Anonymous says:

      The “West Indies” were / are full of native Caucasian people.

      Yet again, the ignorance of the makeup of the British caliphate prevails.

      – Who

      1
      2
      • Anonymous says:

        I, the original poster, as a white Jamaican, am more than aware of the multi-racial make up of the populations of the various islands. I simply wanted to expose that the “posterchild” picture of the Windrush is possibly not of one of her Caribbean journeys.The ship had a long career. I could be wrong, but I wanted to draw attention to a possible misrepresentation.

        I leave it to other readers to draw their own conclusions about that, and Who’s mindset.I would hate to think that Whodatis was guilty of pre-judgment (predjudice)!

        Truth

        • Anonymous says:

          (Sigh)

          The photo is what it is and the caption stands.

          Along came an ignoramus to confidently cast doubt thereon 60 years later; “…a close examination of the photo reveals that most of the people in the photo are Caucasian, in my opinion. A bit misleading. ” – and said ignoramus expects others to join in their ignorance.

          No can do, my friend – but you enjoy your journey.

          – Who

          *You should have quietly taken that “L” and kept it moving buddy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More money wasted on pathetic political correctness in the UK. What about an official day to remember those who came from Rhodesia/Zimbabwe after being persecuted by Mugabe. Or the Irish nurses that were the back bone of the NHS for decades, the Ugandan Asians who fled Idi Amin or the millions of Eastern Europeans that have come to the UK since 2000?
    Seems to me a few thousand Afro-Caribbeans who couldn’t be bothered to fill out their paperwork are apparently more important that the millions who followed and quietly got on with being British without constantly whining.

    11
    10
    • Anonymous says:

      Wouldn’t it be easier to just speak your truth; “I hate Black people.”?

      6
      5
      • Anonymous says:

        Because that would not be the truth. This silliness has all been caused by attempts by the media hysteria at a sensible immigration policy that affected all races having an effect on a tiny number of West Indian immigrants who lived in the UK for many many decades and loved the UK so much as to never bother applying for citizenship and the fear of the UK government that this would make them look bad in terms of the suburban black community (a key swing seatdemographic) at time when the Labour party was falling apart handling silly allegations of anti-semitism.

        2
        2
      • Anonymous says:

        I think what the poster is trying to say is that for the most part everyone has been discriminated against. Some a lot worse than others. Obviously, the slave trade was a terrible thing and still should be recognised because while most races left on their own “accord” the African race was forcibly taken.

  3. Anonymous says:

    do we get another public holiday?

    10
    3
  4. Anonymous says:

    A pathetic idea by the British government. Why are they getting so worked up over a handful of people so connected to Britain they lived their for 40+ years but never applied to become a citizen?

    17
    9
  5. UK GUY says:

    Africans has surpased the caribbean diaspora population for a few years now..

  6. Anonymous says:

    Difference is, here in Cayman, when it comes to our immigrants aka expats we don’t; gang-attack, chase, beat, protest against, police brutality, ridicule, ostracize, refuse housing, subject to inhumane wintry living conditions, condemn our women for socialising therewith (God forbid a breeding – that is automatic termination if not too late – put up for adoption as last and mandatory option).

    Nor have we seen CIG-sanctioned health advisory pamphlets warning our Caymanian women from having sex with our fair-skinned fellows for fear of a subsequently contracted vaginal passage as their penises are so small in comparison to Black / Caribbean men…etc

    Yeah, sounds crazy doesn’t it?
    It’s not though, it is simply British history and the original hardships endured by the Windrush Generation.

    Learn it.

    “Don’t know yu past ya wont know yu future.”
    – Ziggy

    – Whodatis

    * It would be remiss of me to not take this opportunity to acknowledge and praise the many, many strong and powerful British women that surrounded and fashioned themselves into human walls of protection for my Caribbean ancestors (sorry, I cannot in good conscience use the term West Indian) from physical harm and death at the hands of British men at the time.

    ** Personally, not a fan of feigned celebrations, however, a broader context and understanding of British history is badly needed on the mainland and throughout the “Common”wealth.

    16
    24
    • Anonymous says:

      Full of nonsensical, pseudo-intellectual, mischievous clap-trap as usual.
      Carry on.

      25
      10
    • Cess Pita says:

      10.01am When it comes to blatant racism, you must be the top of the list. Are you not aware of the inhumane conditions many of our poorest foreign workers have been forced to endure at the hands of their Caymanian employers, under the threat of being kicked off the island. This has been going on for decades.
      The vast majority of Windrush immigrants obtained good jobs, subsidised council housing, and enjoyed all the social benefits (free medical care, unemployment benefit etc) that locals received.
      As for the “inhumane wintry conditions”, only God could have changed that, certainly not the British Goverment.

      18
      7
      • Anonymous says:

        I see you’re another one of those CNS folks that short-circuits when confronted with references to actual and undeniable racism – to the extent that you regard the referencer as “racist”.

        Re: “As for the “inhumane wintry conditions”, only God could have changed that, certainly not the British Goverment.”

        Umm, no – not when the Black / Brown immigrant showed up to view the advertised room after their White friend called ahead to confirm availability only to be informed it is in fact no longer available … time and time again.
        Brits could have changed that – there was no need for divine intervention.

        Many Windrush expats (yeah, sounds weird doesn’t it?) were forced to accept housing in sheds and stables as landlords REFUSED to rent to them…the same people that came to care for their demented grandmothers and help rebuild their infrastructure after WWII.

        Nevertheless, never mind – Whodatis is the racist…according to you.

        – Who

        4
        8
        • Cess Pita says:

          5.46 pm Well you are at the top of the ignorance list. Legal immigrants were then, and still are, given priority in council housing, even over British residents who have been on the council waiting lists for years. As for sheds, not stables you racemonger, they are rented out now, by immigrants who do it illegally and never report the income, sheds they have constructed in the back yards of the council homes they were given.
          Go have a look at some of the sheds right here in Cayman that poor expatriates have to live in at exhorbitant rents charged by their Caymanian landlords.

          6
          2
      • Anonymous says:

        Big difference between the two situations.

        1. There was no War and you applied to come.

        2. You knew the terms of engagement.
        You had no real ties as Cayman is not
        your mother country. You should not
        therefore expect to stay.

        3. You brought your negative experience
        with your homeland and expect to
        transplant your values here.

        Plenty flights daily going from here to multiple destinations. It doesn’t take a month any longer to go home.

        5
        6
    • P&L says:

      Lots of truth in this statement even if folks don’t like it… it is part of history you cannot change… the U.K. government invited those in the Windrush generation to come and help rebuild and become part of their society but seems like lots of folks back then didn’t get the memo and were intact horribly racist and discriminatory. Do your own research if you don’t believe it. They had warning commercials and other outrageous bigotry nonsense.

      One can only hope that the legal aid budget for those fighting wrongful deportations will be at least as much of the fund for the celebrations!

      14
      3
    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t feed the troll.

      3
      1
      • Anonymous says:

        Depends on what’s in the feed though – for this “troll” gobbles up truth like nobody’s business.

        – Who

        4
        3
  7. Say it like it is says:

    Mr Ahmed should have admitted there were only 63 documented cases, a large number of which had criminal convictions. However there do seem to have been some illegal deportations which never should have happened.Unlike the some of the current immigrants, the Windrush generation were all valuable contributors to British Society and Windrush Day rightfully recognises their contribution.
    Maybe we could have an Expatriate Day here on the same theme?.

    15
    6
    • Anonymous says:

      “..there were only 63 documented cases..”

      It is amazing, well not really, how you fail to see the irony in your opening remark as you address an undeniable culture of discrimination as it concerns British government policy.

      Don’t worry, you’ll get it soon…

      – Whodatis

      8
      20
      • zut alors says:

        10.05 am So you believe we should stop deporting convicted criminals?.

        13
        1
      • Anonymous says:

        63/500,000 get a grip you pompous nitwit.

        6
        3
        • Anonymous says:

          “Documented” … get a clue, you ignorant dickwad.

          – Who

          3
          6
        • Anonymous says:

          Ok twat take it easy. Bad actions are bad actions doesnt matter ifbit was 63 to 1 or 63 to 1 mill.

          • Anonymous says:

            Spot on 6:49.

            However, it does matter (less) to the poster when it affects the type of people he / she (and his national colleagues) doesn’t care about.

            There is a word to describe people like him / her – and this is a classic example.

            – Who

Please include your email address in the form below if you are using your real name. You can use a pseudonym, with or without leaving an email address, or just leave the form blank to be "Anonymous". All comments will be moderated before they are published. Please read the CNS Comment Policy at the top of this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SIGN UP FOR THE CNS NEWS LETTER, SENT EVERY WEEKDAY STRAIGHT TO  YOUR INBOX