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Sunday, June 3, 2018

Hostile environment: The dark side of nudge theory

Nick Barrett
politics.co.uk
Originally posted May 1, 2018

Here is an excerpt:

Just as a website can use a big yellow button to make buying a book or signing up to a newsletter inviting, governments can use nudge theory to make saving money for your pension easy and user-friendly. But it can also establish its own dark patterns too and the biggest government dark pattern of all is the hostile environment policy established in 2012 to encourage migrants to leave the country.

The policy meant that without the right paperwork, people were deprived of health services, employment rights and access to housing and effectively excluded from mainstream society. They were not barred. The circumstances were simply created to nudge them into leaving the country.

For six years the hostile environment persecuted the least visible among us. It was only when its effects on the Windrush generation were revealed that the policy’s inherent prejudice became clear to all. What could once be seen as firm but fair suddenly looked cruel and unusual. These measures might have been defensible if the legal migration process hadn’t been turned into a painfully punitive process for anybody arriving from outside of the EU.

The information is here.
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