04 October 2011

Home Secretary has a Cat-astrophic day

During the twenty five years of my life I wasted treading water as a Home Office emplyee I saw a fair few political masters come and go. Quite a few of them, both Labour and Tory, would have had to up their games massively to have been thought incompetent but none of them ever blamed a cat for halting a deportation process!

Today, a spokeswoman for the Judicial Office reissued the statement which it first released two years ago, denying the cat's role in the decision.
Speaking at the Tory Party Confernce the current Home Secretary Theresa May cited the case of an illegal immigrant she claimed could not be deported because of a pet cat. The case was used as an example of the problems caused by "misinterpretation" of provisions in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to a family life. She even stated that the cat's name was Maya.

But her claims were refuted by a spokeswoman for the Judicial Office, which represents senior judges, who said the ruling in the case had nothing to do with the cat.

The case at the centre of the row involved an immigrant facing deportation from Britain who cited ownership of a pet cat with his girlfriend as part of his legal battle to stay in the country three years ago.  The man, a Bolivian who came to the UK as a student, gave cat ownership as one of "many details" to prove the long-term nature of his relationship, his solicitor Barry O'Leary said when the case first came to light in October 2009.

But the solicitor insisted that his client had "never" argued that he should be allowed to stay on the grounds of the cat. Nor had he been allowed to stay because of this, he said.

"This was a case in which the Home Office conceded that they had mistakenly failed to apply their own policy - applying at that time to that appellant - for dealing with unmarried partners of people settled in the UK," she said. That was the basis for the decision to uphold the original tribunal decision - the cat had nothing to do with the decision."

Well May may have been talking utter bollocks at the Party conference but I daresay she thought that lie about a cat obstructing a deportation would make better copy than the truth!

The only flaw in this line of argument is the inevitable spate of deaths among Daily Mail readers who would inevitably be driven to apoplexy by such a tale!


susan said...

So this was a British cat? I wonder what they'd have done had the cat been Siamese.

jams o donnell said...

My God there would have been hell to pay if the cat had been foreign too!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Whatever, it makes for beautiful headlines. Was the cat of Persian extraction, accidentally?

jams o donnell said...

I have no idea. but next I bet she will round on the PM for having a foreign secretary!

Andrew said...

Well all least it means you are surely safe from all government interference Jams, as they'd never dare mess with the "owner" of Ted! (I mean, of course, the man owned by Ted, but have used the deluded official status). I reckon you can stop paying your taxes and park wherever you like from now on.

jams o donnell said...

Now that is an excellent idea. I think Ted may like the taste of Taxman