"Oh, ah, yes, Tessa Jowell. Groan. I want to be interested, but it’s an effort. I find these scandals very hard going and think they are a substitute for proper politics. The government should fall because it steals so much of our money and spends it so badly; because it is selling our national independence; because it is a grotesque threat to our liberties and our constitution; because it is destroying what is left of our education system; because it is dismantling our armed forces. Removing the occasional minister does little good. In fact it may even be a safety valve for public wrath."
I thought of Peter’s words when I woke up to this morning’s news reports about the fact that there is a backlog of up to 283,500 failed asylum seekers waiting to be ‘removed’ from Britain. At the current rate of removals it could take up to eighteen years for the backlog to be processed – even if no more asylum seekers had their claims turned down. In a classic proof that this Labour’s government’s bureaucracy is bloated and out-of-control, it has been revealed that the responsible Immigration and Nationality Directorate employ almost as many people administering the Directorate (as personnel, finance and pensions etc functionaries) as it employs dealing with frontline asylum seekers.
Damian Green, Tory immigration spokesman, called the report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee a "shocking indictment" of Britain’s asylum system. Edward Leigh MP, PAC chairman, warned that "the integrity of the UK’s asylum application process is at stake."
Home Office minister Tom McNulty offered some weasel words to BBC Online:
"Returning failed asylum seekers is a difficult and complex task. But we have taken some very important steps forward in recent weeks, by significantly increasing the number of removals, and now believe we have reached the point where they are exceeding the number of unfounded applications."
This level of inefficiency – with all of its implications for the tax burden and homeland security – is the very sort of issue that government ministers should resign for. It is also the sort of issue that David Cameron should raise at PMQs tomorrow. It is 100% right that David Cameron quizzes the Prime Minister about climate change and global poverty over the despatch box but he must also voice popular concerns about these ‘core‘ issues.