» Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Steve Moxon

Asked if the Prime Minister had been made aware that Steve Moxon had written two ‘strongly worded e-mails of an anti-Muslim nature’ to the BBC prior to saying in the Commons today that he had no intention of meeting him, the PMOS said that he did not intend to comment on the reported e-mails. If Mr Moxon’s employer was handling the issue, it was not unreasonable for the Prime Minister or Ministers to say that due process should be allowed to take its course. Asked if the Prime Minister had received a request from Mr Moxon to meet him, the PMOS said not as far as he was aware, other than the invitation extended to him at PMQs today. Asked if there were any circumstances in which he would meet him, the PMOS said that it was important to be clear what this issue was about. Some concerns had been raised by Mr Moxon and they had been taken seriously by the Government. Beverley Hughes had made a Statement to Parliament on Monday saying that there would be an investigation into the procedures used at Sheffield. That was ongoing. In those circumstances, it was appropriate for due process to continue both in terms of that investigation and the handling of any personnel issues. On the former, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) should be allowed to carry out its work. On the latter, most people would agree that it was right for personnel issues to be handled by the employers and not by Ministers.

Briefing took place at 15:45 | Search for related news


  1. The emails are discussed in this article in the Mirror:
    <a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/printable_version.cfm?method=printable_version_mirror&objectid=14038078&siteid=50143">http://www.mirror.co.uk/printable_version.cfm?method=printable_version_mirror&objectid=14038078&siteid=50143</a&gt;

    Two quotes from the emails:

    "Islam is inextricably tied up with the main thrust of global terrorism through the Wahhabi sect. Fundamentalist Muslims of this sect are in Britain and we don’t know how many of the 1-2million illegal immigrants are also of this ‘faith’."


    "An international alliance of Islamic Year Zeros feverishly exporting death to ‘infidel’ and non-fundamentalist Muslim alike, by Kamikazes literally in their millions, eventually will have to be silenced by nuclear weapons."

    Comment by Chris Lightfoot — 11 Mar 2004 on 10:46 am | Link
  2. While it now appears that Steve Moxon may have had a political motive for &#8216;whistleblowing&#8217;, I think that this is just a diversion from the main point i.e. public servants feel so under pressure to meet targets that they have to cut corners. This pressure comes from two possible sources, or a combination of the two.

    It could be the case that politicians are setting stiffer targets to make it look like they are taking action in the knowledge that, even though they are unrealistic, they can just blame &#8216;bureaucratic civil servants&#8217; when they are not met. In the case of the political hot potato, immigration, this is a strong possibility.

    A second source of this pressure is that the public sector now seems to be judged by how efficient it is rather than how effective. There seems to be more arguments about how to make the public sector cost less than there are about how to deliver the services effectively. The Gershon and Lyons reports are prime examples of trying to cut cost rather than trying to improve delivery. As a result it may be that immigration staff numbers have been cut so much that managers are forced into cutting corners to get the job done.

    Either way this case looks as though its being set up for another sacrifice to take the blame, the immigration service&#8217;s David Kelly, so that politicians do not have to answer for the problems they are creating. It is also clear that the finger has to be pointed at politicians, rather than any party or individual, because all three main parties seem to be vying with each other to see who can destroy public services the quickest.

    Comment by Uncarved Block — 11 Mar 2004 on 12:19 pm | Link
  3. There is no longer a doctrine of ministerial responsibility. The politics textbooks need rewritten.

    Comment by niall — 11 Mar 2004 on 2:51 pm | Link
  4. Try reading the quotes above with George Bush’s voice in your mind: same rhetoric: bit suprised that the word ‘insurgent’ wasn’t in there though!

    Comment by Max Richards — 11 Mar 2004 on 5:07 pm | Link
  5. Moxon stinks but, like it or not, this government has let us all down. In 1997 they were brave young men now they have degenerated and nobody can believe anything they say. There is NO ministerial responsibility and we are contually being fed lies from thos in authority. Nobody ever makes mistakes and nobdoy ever gets fired. The rules are changed by Blair, who did some great stuff early in 97, at HIS will – and this cannot be right for the country.

    Comment by Hipster — 12 Mar 2004 on 9:21 am | Link
  6. Yup; although it’s getting away from the point a bit it seems this government has effectively rewritten the rulebook on ministerial conduct – although like the Hutton Report it hasn’t actually been "rewritten", they’re just interpreting it differently… But it’s true; no-one has EVER done anything wrong. In Tony Blairs eyes, he has NEVER yet made a wrong decision; oh he’ll readily acknowledge that he’s had to make plenty of TOUGH decisions, but never yet once that I recall has he, in hindsight, admitted he could have done something differently when it comes to a major issue; he will never concede that he COULD be wrong. He says he will always LISTEN to a contrary viewpoint, but God forbid that he should ever stop to consider that that contrary viewpoint could be right and his own could be wrong. Even when it has seemed obvious that a compromise would benefit all parties including the government in PR terms, they arrogantly and uncompromisingly stick to their guns to the detriment of all. Tuition fees & GM crops spring to mind here. Although many of us have a less than flattering opinion of the House of Lords most of the time, it seems that lately they have been a small voice of reason on a number of issues lately; yet another reason why I can’t understand Tony’s prevarication in pushing ahead with reforms.

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 12 Mar 2004 on 9:48 am | Link
  7. No, it’s me, Dave.

    Comment by PapaLazzzaru — 12 Mar 2004 on 4:27 pm | Link

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