By the term ‘developers’ it is meant Hostile Environment implementation strategic and operational level implementation leads (the de-facto ‘architects’ of the Hostile Environment): all of whom are executive-level guarantors and protectors of the Hostile Environment as a continuing policy and entity. These are the very senior public servants who had the power through the remote, complex, ‘Byzantine’ Whitehall, Civil Service structure, to take the words and declaration of the former Prime Minister and Home Secretary, Theresa May, on enabling a ‘hostile environment’ against illegal immigration, and turn those words in to operational level reality.
To use an English history political, parallel, of King John and St Thomas a Beckett – King John was Theresa May, and the henchmen that murdered St Thomas a Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral, are mirrored by equally unscrupulous Whitehall figures.
The former turned King John’s infamous call for action ‘who will rid me of this turbulent priest’ into the reality of the murder of the then Archbishop of Canterbury.
The latter into the equally callous, but on an industrial scale, parallel of implementing the ‘hostile environment’ that has cost hundreds of lives, without doubt as revelation after revelation of miscarriages of justice have evidenced, and caused unbelievable levels of misery and distress to thousands to tens of thousands of its victims. While at the same time poisoning race relations, harming Britain’s name internationally, including on LGBT human rights.
One of the greatest skills (some may rightly describe not as ‘skills’ but more appropriately political context ‘Black Arts’) the strategic level designers and implementers of the Hostile Environment have, readily seen in the .gov.uk and all information literature through which the Hostile Environment is detailed (but never of course called such: again an evidence of this skill), is the skill of ensuring non-transparency on who holds key decision-making powers, the scale and particulars of those powers, and how they interconnect with other executive to operational level implementers of the Hostile Environment.
Amber Rudd’s statement (cited at the head of the introduction section) below sets the context regarding the Developers of the Hostile Environment and how they implement & protect the latter:
‘ .. She wished she had looked into immigration enforcement “much earlier” but had been misled by some civil servants, she told the BBC. “Unfortunately I was told certain things that turned out not to be true.” … “I would like to get immigration enforcement right. I think that there is a problem there and it needs some really careful analysis and a brutal look at who’s doing what and who’s got what powers where.”
Although the .gov.uk website and the Home Office and other, supportive level departments (Ministry of Justice [MoJ] and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office [FCO], and of course HMCTS Immigration Tribunal in particular, nowhere refer to the term ‘Hostile Environment,’ and most of all transparency on who its developers have been (also its protectors, and overseers), it is an inescapable conclusion that they are:
At primary level:
- Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet
- Permanent Secretary of the Home Office
- Chief Operating Officer of the UKVI
- Director General of the UKVI
- Senior Director of the Home Office Immigration Enforcement section
- Director General of Home Office Immigration Enforcement
- President of HMCTS Immigration Tribunal
At secondary level:
A: The permanent secretaries of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (overseas visa applications), and of the Ministry of Justice (relating to the core Hostile Environment delivery entity, HMCTS Immigration Tribunal)
B: Hostile environment delivery associate departments and entities:
Police constabularies chief constables and those officer leads tasked with working at detailed operational level with UK Immigration Compliance Enforcement [‘ICE’] teams (currently there are 19 of these nationally according to data released) in the given constabulary’s area
HM Revenue & Customs: Director General and operational lead, and given HMRC geographical location teams officers charged with liaison with UK Immigration Compliance Enforcement [‘ICE’] teams and the immigration relevant sections of the Home Office
- Local authority leads and relevant sections officers/civil servants with operational level relations with UK Immigration Compliance Enforcement [‘ICE’] teams
In point of law (which is why decisions on applications, for example, are always signed off directly on behalf of the Secretary of State, or given minister) Whitehall, UK Government departments such as the Home Office are directly accountable to elected politicians — those who hold ministerial posts.
In practice, however (as the statement by the former Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, makes clear) ultimate power does Not lay with the given Secretary of State or Minister.
The latter are denied that power in practice by the twin evils of de-facto withholding of the relevant knowledge [that in practice gives power], and the culture of non-transparency pervading the Hostile Environment, meaning that government ministers no longer have the power – derived from the principles of parliamentary democracy and the UK’s unwritten constitution – they used to enjoy on behalf of parliament and the voter/citizen.
They retain, as government ministers and elected politicians, sole direct accountability to the voter, and to genuine [NOT illegal/fraudulent] applicants, service users of UK immigration services. Those who actually retain and wield power in directing and implementing from Whitehall, the Hostile environment, are not subject to the same accountability and political scrutiny that government ministers are.
This power stays, it is very clear from examples that reveal it, such as the Amber Rudd experience, with the top echelons of the civil service (cabinet and permanent secretaries of the UK Government Departments) and under them the strategic implementation and operational level implementation leads in the multiple government agencies of the Home Office, but also with the President of the Immigration Tribunal and his immediate subordinates.
Below is an example of superficial, semblance only, information to give the impression of compliance with the concept of accountability, whilst in fact disabling and corrupting the latter – NO information is provided on the key need to know matter of the powers of each of these ranks, nor about command structure intercommunications mechanisms:
The rank structure adopted within Home Office Immigration Enforcement is as follows:
- Administrative Assistant (unwarranted)
- Assistant Immigration Officer
- Immigration Officer
- Chief Immigration Officer
- Her Majesty’s Inspector
- Assistant Director
- Deputy Director
- Senior Director*
- Director General
There are equivalent grades which mirror the rest of the Civil Service.
*NOTE: The Senior Director will, it can reasonably be assumed, be the de-facto operational IE Hostile Environment strategic implementation lead, comparable to the Chief Operations Officer of the UKVI