Following Amber Rudd’s resignation on 29 April, Theresa May has appointed Sajid Javid as the new home secretary. Rudd “repeatedly” struggled to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants. But despite defence of Javid as “the first BAME politician to hold the role”, his track record is far from encouraging.
On 29 March, pro-Corbyn grassroots group Momentum called for an apology and threatened Javid with legal action after he called it “neo-fascist”. But because he made the remark in the House of Commons chamber, he was protected against a lawsuit by parliamentary privilege. He said:
Just yesterday, there were reports of a meeting of the hard left neo-fascist Momentum group, which was trying to remove Wandsworth councillors.
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And since Javid’s appointment, many have taken to Twitter to point out his failure to apologise:
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This man is our new Home Secretary. Disgraceful. https://t.co/N7ykR6vv5n
— Momentum (@PeoplesMomentum) April 30, 2018
Sajid Javid, a man who called a democratic grassroots movement "neo-fascist", takes over a Home Office which has made black Britons homeless, stripped them of their healthcare, and deported them from their own country.
— Owen Jones🌹 (@OwenJones84) April 30, 2018
His appointment is worrying many. Not least, because Javid will now be responsible for “banning neo-fascist groups under the Terrorism Act 2000”:
But concerns about Javid don’t stop here.
Israel and Yemen
Javid’s appointment is, perhaps, meant to calm the waters of a troubled Conservative Party. But many are concerned about his overtly pro-Israel position. This is problematic (to say the least) given the ongoing violence towards Palestinians. In 2017, there were calls to issue an apology for the Balfour Declaration, issued by Britain’s foreign secretary in 1917. One leading Pro-Palestine group stated that this:
resulted in the mass displacement of the Palestinian people and a century of suffering.
But Javid stated his position on this issue clearly:
Someone said we should apologise for the Declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen…
As long as I’m in government, as long as I’m in politics, I will do everything in my power to fight back against those who seek to undermine Israel.
And Javid’s support for Israel goes further:
At a 2012 Conservative Friends of Israel lunch, The Jewish Chronicle reported Javid as stating "if he had to leave Britain to live in the Middle East, then he would choose Israel as home. Only there, he said, would his children feel the 'warm embrace of freedom and liberty'" https://t.co/NJXsoPWoXB
— Shailja Patel (@shailjapatel) April 30, 2018
There are also concerns about Javid’s role in other areas of Middle Eastern politics. The Guardian reported that, during a judicial review into UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Javid was criticised for his refusal to:
halt weapons exports to Saudi Arabia last year despite being warned by a senior civil servant that the sales should be suspended over human rights concerns.
There is growing evidence that UK weapons have killed civilians in Yemen.
Sajid Javid is a disgrace. Yemeni Civillians are being killed by British weapons but he won't suspend arms sales.https://t.co/HfwDIzx2sv
— Jim Carrey's Beard (@whatiscentrism) February 7, 2017
More “Thatcherite than Margaret Thatcher”
Tim Montgomerie, the former editor of ConservativeHome, studied at Exeter University with Javid in the 1980s. He said:
He was more Thatcherite than Margaret Thatcher and the Black Wednesday experience vindicated his judgment.
Javid was also a former banker for Deutsche Bank, where he allegedly earned over £3m a year. And there is speculation over his potential involvement in the 2008 financial crisis:
Newly appointed home secretary, Sajid Javid, was one of the investment bank CDO salesmen whose activities fuelled the global financial crisis https://t.co/CqR1O2Xyha
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) April 30, 2018
Newly-appointed Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, was one of the investment bank CDO salesmen whose activities fuelled the global financial crisis in 2008
— Socialist Voice #GTTO (@SocialistVoice) April 30, 2018
Then there are his alleged links with Trump donors:
Tory ministers Michael Gove and Sajid Javid attended secretive neo-con conference on luxury private island, where Trump officials, billionaire donors, Dick Cheney mixed with arms firms to discuss war with Russia, Iran and China. via @SolHughesWriter https://t.co/02izlNxXq4
— Ian Fraser (@Ian_Fraser) April 30, 2018
So, the appointment of a new home secretary poses a new set of concerns:
Sajid Javid in brief.
Previously a banker paid £3m/y.
Described as a "true Thatcherite".
Ignored advice of senior civil servant in order to keep exporting weapons to Saudi Arabi, despite allegations of Saudi war crimes in Yemen.
Praised Israel for its "freedom and liberty".
— Looking Cat (@lookingcat) April 30, 2018
Rudd may be gone, but Javid’s appointment doesn’t look good. Ultimately, Theresa May is the architect of the UK’s “hostile environment”. That policy and May show no sign of going. And given his track record, the appointment of Javid offers little reassurance about the prospects for fair Home Office policy. In fact, things look set to go from bad to worse.
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