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Go Home Illegal Immigrants

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 Billy the fish 22 Jul 2013
"Large billboards carrying the warning “Go home or face arrest” will be driven round London on the back on advertising vans this week in a new Home Office bid to reduce illegal immigration."

A poster on the side of a van; that’ll show ‘em who’s boss. The EDL will be queuing up to drive the vans.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/go-home-or-face-arrest-billboard-crackdown-on-illegal-immigrat...
 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

I don't think it's a bad idea. There are nowhere near sufficient resources to do the enforcement action, which is a massive hassle, so alternatives must be found. This one strikes me as quite pragmatic, especially the part about buying the plane tickets home for'em.

The bit that won't get mentioned is that worst culprits for overstaying their visas are the ozzies on working holiday visas. But we're not bothered about them because they go home after a bit anyway. The guys that the govt are attempting to harass out of the country are those from the Indian subcontinent and West Africa who won't go home without a fair bit of a push (this plan won't be push enough for many, but it will for a few, I suspect).
 cuppatea 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

Will they be using artics so they can display their rant in 98 different languages?
 thin bob 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
Some people 'end up' illegal, rather than coming here illegally, because of personal problems, trafficked, losing tickets etc. Better they go home - with dignity - rather than get exploited & dragged into further illegality.
 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to thin bob:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
> Some people 'end up' illegal, rather than coming here illegally, because of personal problems, trafficked, losing tickets etc. Better they go home - with dignity - rather than get exploited & dragged into further illegality.

A lot of people are also conned into coming over here by people who make money out of getting them through the system. They think life is going to be amazing over here, but when you've got no skills and lots of forged documents in your name it isn't, it's crap.
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> Will they be using artics so they can display their rant in 98 different languages?

I did wonder about the percentage of their target audience who could actually understand the adverts.
In reply to Jon Stewart: I find it a bit sinister/concerning. I think racists and people who are default anti immigration (without thinking what they think through) could become more emboldened. It could give intolerance a shot in the arm.
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) I find it a bit sinister/concerning. I think racists and people who are default anti immigration (without thinking what they think through) could become more emboldened. It could give intolerance a shot in the arm.

Perhaps only in a small way, but if you add enough small ways together you can change how a society is, I think, at least for a while.
 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) I find it a bit sinister/concerning. I think racists and people who are default anti immigration (without thinking what they think through) could become more emboldened. It could give intolerance a shot in the arm.

Perhaps, but alternatives need to be considered and for each, the pros have to weighed against the cons.

The reality of the situation is that we have loads of people here who aren't meant to be (loads of those people lied to get entry too). Do we just do nothing, and perpetuate the perception that once you're in the UK you can just survive below the radar? Or spend a ridiculous amount on enforcement (but do it quietly so as not to raise a cheer from racists - unlikely, given the politics)?

In immigration, none of the options are every particularly attractive, nor indeed effective. The least worst option has to be followed.
 The Lemming 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

Not long ago if somebody went round with a sign saying 'go home' on a van then they would have been called a racist, and probably get a conviction for their trouble.

Then we have a few elections where small parties like the BNP and UKIP get quite a lot of votes. Now it seems telling Jonny Foreigner to 'go home' is no longer racist.
 Co1in H 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: You will find that this will be the first phase of a larger plan which will probably involve information from various sources and will step up to"traditional" styles of enforcement with certain known areas for the employment and harbouring of illegals being targeted.
This "government" needs to get a grip of these issues and they certainly should deport those who commit a crime here before they are locked up.
 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to The Lemming:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)

> Then we have a few elections where small parties like the BNP and UKIP get quite a lot of votes. Now it seems telling Jonny Foreigner to 'go home' is no longer racist.

There is big difference between telling Mr J Foreigner, who has every right to stay here for the rest of his life - or was even born here - to 'go home' and telling Mr I Immigrant whose visa expired years ago to get on a plane in order to avoid being banged up.
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to The Lemming)
> [...]
>
> [...]
>
> There is big difference between...

Exactly.
 cuppatea 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
> (In reply to cuppatea)
> [...]
>
> I did wonder about the percentage of their target audience who could actually understand the adverts.

I'm a fellow cynic. I wonder if this advert malarkey is about votes?
llechwedd 22 Jul 2013
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
> [...]
>
> I'm a fellow cynic. I wonder if this advert malarkey is about votes?
They were going to have a plain board but then a lobbyist came along..

In reply to cuppatea: Us agreeing might not make it more likely to be true, but I thought it seemed like a useless and daft idea, thought up to appeal to voters.


 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
> [...]
>
> I'm a fellow cynic. I wonder if this advert malarkey is about votes?

Oh aye. If it didn't fit with the political agenda, it would not be happening. The art of policy is to tick more than one box at once - usually the Tories just go for the political goal and screw the rest. This one I would say is 90% politics and 10% trying to achieve something useful. I doubt it will have much effect but it'll probably have as much as the pitiful amount of enforcement at a tiny fraction of the cost.
 cuppatea 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:


Perhaps a way for the Tories to woo a few of the voters who were thinking of voting UKIP..

Last time it was the yellow team that split the blue vote. Cameron has learnt from that episode.
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) I find it a bit sinister/concerning.

We shouldn't display any warnings about breaking the law? That is "sinister"? Wow!

In reply to Billy the fish:

Although it is difficult to know how many people reside in the UK without authorisation, a Home Office study based on Census 2001 data released in March 2005 estimated a population of between 310,000 and 570,000

Or somewhere near the population of, say, Cardiff...
KevinD 22 Jul 2013
In reply to stroppygob:

> Or somewhere near the population of, say, Cardiff...

excellent its by the sea so thats easier, so to balance it out we just need to send the royal engineers in to separate cardiff from the rest of the island and give it a shove towards Ireland.
 Cuthbert 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

It's becoming quite a nasty place the UK.
 Jon Stewart 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Saor Alba:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> It's becoming quite a nasty place the UK.

To be fair, people who are here illegally have never been particularly welcome. When asylum applications were really high back in the early 2000s, a similar trick was tried putting up big signs in ports about how we didn't want you [the assylum seeker] here very much.

The problem is different now (we used to not give a toss about "illegals" because they were economically beneficial, we do after all, all enjoy a kebab in the early hours) but the technique is old hat.
 Jim Fraser 22 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

More expensive Tory authoritarian worthless stupidity.
 Oceanrower 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> More expensive Tory authoritarian worthless stupidity.

Agree totally. How dare those damn Tories insist that people obey the law and not live and work here illegally!
In reply to Oceanrower: There are more and less harmonious ways of doing and saying things.
In reply to Saor Alba: "It's becoming quite a nasty place the UK"

Do you think that's because of the illegal immigrants? or the desire to ask them to go home and come back using the proper channels?
 pebbles 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: wonder how much public money that piece of gratuitous nastiness is going to waste?
 Bob Hughes 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: A while back Spain ran a similar, but much "friendlier", campaign. There were billboards on the underground saying the government would offer help to immigrants who wanted to go home. I think they were offering to pay the flight home and bung them some cash while they're at it.

I don't know the results of the campaign but it strikes me that the message "Go home or face arrest" isn't going to encourage many illegal immigrants to come forward and accept the UK governments offer of help to relocate. In fact, if I was an illegal immigrant it would make me even more afraid of exiting the country than I was previously. The last thing I'd want to do is risk facing a customs official - even if I was on the way out. I'd be looking to get fake papers if I saw that advert.

I would have thought that a more effective campaign might run along the lines of: "If you living in the UK without the correct papers, call this number for assistance to get back to your home country."

 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to pebbles:
> (In reply to Billy the fish) wonder how much public money that piece of gratuitous nastiness is going to waste?

Much less than the amount that would have to be spent on enforcement to achieve the same effect (a handful of people returning home). I don't think cost is a valid criticism of the policy, as it's very clearly a way to spend less on enforcement.

Are those who don't like this (admittedly politically motivated) policy against:

- the tone? Would the posters be OK if they said 'please'?
- the very idea of trying to get rid of people who are breaking the law by being here, i.e. should we scrap the whole visa system and say "entry gives you indefinite leave to remain in the UK"? The consequences of that are not economically viable of course.
- the whole existence of immigration policy - everyone should come and go as they please (I think there is an argument for this globally but it's an unwise move to make unilaterally to say the least)

People on the left and right seem to have very polarised ideas about who illegal immigrants are. Obviously they're a diverse bunch, but many are people who lied to enter the UK and are doing low-skilled work in businesses that do not play by the rules. It's fine to allow illegal work if you just want your toilets cleaned and your kebabs made at the lowest possible cost, but that's pretty much where the advantages end.
 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Bob Hughes:

> I would have thought that a more effective campaign might run along the lines of: "If you living in the UK without the correct papers, call this number for assistance to get back to your home country."

Yes, certainly a fair point. But it doesn't tick the political box quite as well as the "piss off" posters!
In reply to Jon Stewart: I totally agree. This country would be in far better shape if it wasn't for the smelly foreigners, the dole cheats and the EC. Let the fantasy roll on.
 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to John Postlethwaite:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart) I totally agree. This country would be in far better shape if it wasn't for the smelly foreigners, the dole cheats and the EC. Let the fantasy roll on.

I'm not certain what you think my views are.

My views on immigration in general are that it's a function of economics: when times are good, the economy demands labour (skilled and less so) and we open the doors. When times are bad, we (try to) close the doors and everyone moans about all the people we let in when times were good. The idea that you can actually turn immigration on and off like a tap is the fantasy.

My views on illegal workers are that they're damaging to the economy and are exploited. It would be better all round if they weren't here.

I worked in immigration for 8 years or so, and without wanting to be a right patronising arsehole, I do understand a bit about the difference between "economic migration" "illegal immigration" "illegal working" "overstaying" "asylum" and how these things interact.
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to pebbles)
> [...]
>
> Obviously they're a diverse bunch, but many are people who lied to enter the UK and are doing low-skilled work in businesses that do not play by the rules. It's fine to allow illegal work if you just want your toilets cleaned and your kebabs made at the lowest possible cost, but that's pretty much where the advantages end.

I'd disagree with illegal work being 'fine'. It's fine if you want to drive down wages and safety standards, but not for much else.
 John_Hat 23 Jul 2013
In reply to stroppygob:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> Although it is difficult to know how many people reside in the UK without authorisation, a Home Office study based on Census 2001 data released in March 2005 estimated a population of between 310,000 and 570,000
>
> Or somewhere near the population of, say, Cardiff...

or roughly between 0.5% and 0.75% of the population.

I can think of bigger problems the world is facing. This f*cking government being one.
 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]
>
> I'd disagree with illegal work being 'fine'. It's fine if you want to drive down wages and safety standards, but not for much else.

Exactly, 'fine' if all you care about is having your toilets cleaned and kebabs made at the lowest possible cost.
 GrahamD 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

What a bloody stupid waste of money. Why not put " muggers and rapists, please desist" there as well for all the good it will do.

Someone who has just spent everything they own on a one way ticket to here can't simply "go home" even if they realised their mistake as soon as they got here.
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> Someone who has just spent everything they own on a one way ticket to here can't simply "go home" even if they realised their mistake as soon as they got here.


Might discourage those who are thinking of coming though if they hear from their mates they're getting hassle.

Compared to the legal costs of a single deportation I suspect it's not wasting very much money either. I don't really see the problem.

jcm

 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> What a bloody stupid waste of money. Why not put " muggers and rapists, please desist" there as well for all the good it will do.
>
> Someone who has just spent everything they own on a one way ticket to here can't simply "go home" even if they realised their mistake as soon as they got here.

It's not really aimed at people who've just spent all that money, it's aimed at people who've overstayed a visa (that was probably gained by submitting false docs) and who are living a precarious, miserable existence in the black economy. It's the offer of help to get home that is the important part of the policy, the "piss off" message is for the benefit of voters.
 Owen W-G 23 Jul 2013
I suspect the free flights offer will be taken up en masse by those immigrants who wanted to go home anyway and couldn't afford it.

Don't know if it is related but I saw loads of border agency chaps in uniform at Hammersmith this morning doing stop checks on foreign looking folk.
 Jim Fraser 23 Jul 2013
In reply to GrahamD:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> What a bloody stupid waste of money. Why not put " muggers and rapists, please desist" there as well for all the good it will do.

Excellent!
 Jim Fraser 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Owen W-G:
>
> ... checks on foreign looking folk.

That will go down well.

One has to consider what is reasonable and legal. I once observed a sitting of a Lord President's court at the Court of Session that involved a Home Office immigration case. It ended up with the Lord President sending a quite stern message to the Home Secretary through the attending legal team. It was impressive to see that our courts were there to curb political excess and administrative imcompetence.

It is unreasonable and illegal for people to come from other countries and remain in the UK without proper leave and taking improper advantage of the generally welcoming approach of the British people. It is also unreasonable for governments to talk-the-talk about immigration in an authoritarian manner when often the problem either does not exist or there is nothing they can legally do about it. Government also talks big about immigration while paying peanuts, understaffing and expecting miracles.

Who is worse? Illegal immigrants or successive British governments?

Can't decide? OK. Decide this one. Which one can you do something about?




Be careful who you vote for.
 The Lemming 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:

> Be careful who you vote for.

And there we have the problem, very few people vote.

Apathy has got us where we are today when it comes to people voting.

 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> (In reply to Owen W-G)
> It ended up with the Lord President sending a quite stern message to the Home Secretary through the attending legal team. It was impressive to see that our courts were there to curb political excess and administrative imcompetence.

It's also unbelievably frustrating when the courts do everything they can to unravel the work of people who are genuinely attempting to do the right thing in public service. The relationship between the judiciary and government in immigration is completely insane - they work against each other rather than for the public. I don't know how the policy got into this horrific mess, but people wanting to come to the UK can provide whatever false evidence they like, and the burden of proof falls on the UKBA to show that the documents are false (rather difficult when the applicant's solicitor has bribed the bank/university/employer to provide false corroboration). Thus, decision after decision made by the UKBA to refuse applications for further leave to remain in the UK are overturned by the courts, wasting huge sums of public money and supplying unskilled labour to the black/grey economy. It's a f^cking joke, it is not "impressive" at all in my experience.


> It is unreasonable and illegal for people to come from other countries and remain in the UK without proper leave and taking improper advantage of the generally welcoming approach of the British people. It is also unreasonable for governments to talk-the-talk about immigration in an authoritarian manner when often the problem either does not exist or there is nothing they can legally do about it. Government also talks big about immigration while paying peanuts, understaffing and expecting miracles.
>
> Who is worse? Illegal immigrants or successive British governments?

I don't see the relevance of the question. It's not about who's "worse", whatever that means, it's about finding policies to address the problem that we have thousands upon thousands of unskilled illegal workers in the country who not (no longer?) helpful to our economy.
>
> Be careful who you vote for.

Not sure who you'd endorse? Immigration is an unwinnable issue IMO.

Wiley Coyote2 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> (In reply to Owen W-G)
> [...]
>
>
>
> Who is worse? Illegal immigrants or successive British governments?
>
> Illegal immigrants

Next!
 Ramblin dave 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jim Fraser:
> (In reply to Owen W-G)
> [...]

> It is unreasonable and illegal for people to come from other countries and remain in the UK without proper leave and taking improper advantage of the generally welcoming approach of the British people. It is also unreasonable for governments to talk-the-talk about immigration in an authoritarian manner when often the problem either does not exist or there is nothing they can legally do about it.

Part of the problem - not just in this case - is that if the electorate come knocking on the door saying "we're afraid of nine-eyed monsters under the bed", most politicians lack the courage and strength of conviction to tell them that they're wrong and there are no nine-eyed monsters under the bed so instead they have to go through the sham of spraying the bedroom with nine-eyed monster spray every night to get rid of the monsters and keep the voters happy.
 Jim Fraser 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to Jim Fraser)
> [...]
>
>
> ... Immigration is an unwinnable issue IMO.

Perhaps the Tories really do not want elected again.

 MaranaF 23 Jul 2013
In reply to The Lemming: Nobody is telling Jonny Foreigner to 'go home' unless Jonny Foreigner is in the country illegally
 seankenny 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Owen W-G:

> Don't know if it is related but I saw loads of border agency chaps in uniform at Hammersmith this morning doing stop checks on foreign looking folk.

And I'm guessing that most of the enthusiasts for this policy are non-foreign looking and therefore unlikely to get any hassle.

Altho I'm fairly sure most illegals try to avoid any contact with the authorities, this sort of approach makes them even less likely to ever want to deal with the police or any other arms of the state. Which must be great if you're a gangmaster, a dodgy employer, a pimp or an abusive husband.
Robin76 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: I find it deeply unsettling. It's the kind of rabblerousing you might expect from the third reich, not the UK in 2013.
 off-duty 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Robin76:
> (In reply to Billy the fish) I find it deeply unsettling. It's the kind of rabblerousing you might expect from the third reich, not the UK in 2013.

Absolutely. Because the Nazi's just rounded them up and put them on trains too.

Or something.
 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Owen W-G)
>
> [...]
>
> And I'm guessing that most of the enthusiasts for this policy are non-foreign looking and therefore unlikely to get any hassle.

The policy is not about giving people who look foreign hassle, it's about trying to encourage voluntary return by towing round some slightly threatening posters, backed up with a much less harsh reality of not detaining people and paying for their flight home.

> Altho I'm fairly sure most illegals try to avoid any contact with the authorities, this sort of approach makes them even less likely to ever want to deal with the police or any other arms of the state. Which must be great if you're a gangmaster, a dodgy employer, a pimp or an abusive husband.

That's a good point. I think the message about getting help to return needs to be put across too (but of course, if you're the government, you've got to somehow do that with looking soft in front of voters).
 seankenny 23 Jul 2013
In reply to Jon Stewart:
> (In reply to seankenny)
> [...]
>
> The policy is not about giving people who look foreign hassle,

Well let's just see how this one plays out... I appreciate you are right on paper, but create a certain atmosphere in the country and you never know what will happen.


> That's a good point. I think the message about getting help to return needs to be put across too (but of course, if you're the government, you've got to somehow do that with looking soft in front of voters).

You could do that by visiting places suspected of employing illegals and just giving them a leaflet in Urdu or Somali or Spanish. That would be nice and low key, the sort of thing that might prove effective in dealing with a relatively small problem.

But it wouldn't be giving the right sort of message to the huge numbers of voters who are feeling poor and insecure and want an out group to blame it all on.
 Jon Stewart 23 Jul 2013
In reply to seankenny:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
> [...]

> You could do that by visiting places suspected of employing illegals and just giving them a leaflet in Urdu or Somali or Spanish. That would be nice and low key, the sort of thing that might prove effective in dealing with a relatively small problem.

What makes you say it's a relatively small problem? I'd say that some sectors of the economy are run on illegal foreign labour.

The message has to be: working here illegally is risky for you, getting home is the best option, the alternative is getting caught. Here's how to leave, now.

Perhaps a leaflet in the appropriate language would be more effective, but the message has to be fairly stark.

> But it wouldn't be giving the right sort of message to the huge numbers of voters who are feeling poor and insecure and want an out group to blame it all on.

Yes I agree about the political motivations.
In reply to seankenny:

> But it wouldn't be giving the right sort of message to the huge numbers of voters who are feeling poor and insecure and want an out group to blame it all on.

That to me is what the whole exercise is about. Nothing to do with persuading immigrants but all about appeasing voters.
In reply to Billy the fish:

It's a muddled initiative which piggybacks a latent, middle-England xenophobia and gives it some kind of credibilty; so now, those hidden thoughts that people had about the bl**dy immigrants, that they were too unsure about to introduce into polite society, they're now socially acceptable. The actions of a nation don't turn on a few idiots like the BNP or EDL, they turn on the tacit acceptance of the unthinking masses. If you want a really, really good example, look at Germany in the 20s/30s.

But more practically than that, say 'we' get rid of all the illegal immigrants. What do we achieve? Obviously, we've now saved 90% of the NHS budget. And there are now 3 6-bedroom council houses free and available for every British citizen. But apart from that, ask yourself where these people worked; what they did in society that was important. Mainly low-end jobs, the kind of things that Brits didn't and wouldn't do in the first place. For sub-minimum wage remuneration. This meant that entire industries of service providers could cut costs and give you a more affordable service. What now? Are you willing to pay more? Will you clean toilets / work in sweat-shop factories / serve burgers in all-night fast food outlets? The simple fact is that, being illegal immigrants, these people cost very little to you, the tax payer, in real terms - and deliver more back into the economy than they take out. What their overseers take and give is another matter entirely - but they're more likely to be close to seats of power than you or I. As Pratchett would have it, living in a slum pretty much defines you as an outcast of society; owning the freehold on the slum makes you a Pillar of the Community.

To make it even plainer: illegal immigrants know that they're here illegally (and some laws are made to be broken); driving round billboards asking them to go home won't do a thing on this score. But what it will do is to make closet racists view non-caucasian members of the community with suspicion. And that's a not-so-thin end of the wedge.
In reply to maisie:

And a joke, which I've always loved and which comes back to me pretty much every time the government opens its mouth. It was doing the rounds when the government were stirring up anti-teacher sentiments, simply because they'd tried to defend their pensions against the greed of the bankers (guess who won that one):

A banker, a politician, a teacher and a factory worker are all sitting round a table. The tea lady comes in, and plonks down a plate of twelve biscuits.

Without a moment's hesitation, the banker takes six biscuits, stuffs them in his pocket and f*cks off out the door.

The politician looks a bit anxious for about three seconds, and then grabs five of the biscuits before heading off after the banker, shouting, "Sir! Sir! You've forgotten some of your biscuits!" And then suddenly, a twang of conscience seems to overcome him, as he re-enters the room. He walks over to the factory worker, leans down and whispers in his ear, "You want to watch that thieving teacher, mate - he's after your biscuit for his pension pot".

Thank you, I'll be here all week......
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: FFS this is pretty simple. Will illegal immigrants who weren't going to leave Britain now leave Britain coz of these notices? No they won't.
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: Oh there's a billboard I see on the way to my illegal job, I realise my mistake now, I better turn round and go home.
In reply to maisie:

In answer to your question, yes, I'd quite like to live in a society where employers paid the mimimum wage, legitimate businesses weren't put out of business by ones that operate illegally, and the economy wasn't reliant on human trafficking. Wouldn't you?
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to maisie)
>
> In answer to your question, yes, I'd quite like to live in a society where employers paid the mimimum wage, legitimate businesses weren't put out of business by ones that operate illegally, and the economy wasn't reliant on human trafficking. Wouldn't you?

No, i'd like to live in one where employers paid a living wage, not the minimum they can get away with paying. The whole Tory and IDS mantra of people on benefits shouldn't be earning as much or more than people who work is fine. However, the solution is not to take the benefits away from those who need them, it is to make sure people working actually get paid a decent wage. IMO this would be a big part of the solution to getting people off of benefits and working.

If the Govt were serious about illegals working in the UK they would be going after the businesses that employ them... but we cant go after the profit now can we. The crime should be to employ an illegal worker not to be an illegal worker.

 Enty 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Professor Bunsen:
> (In reply to Ridge)
> [...]
>
> No, i'd like to live in one where employers paid a living wage, not the minimum they can get away with paying. The whole Tory and IDS mantra of people on benefits shouldn't be earning as much or more than people who work is fine. However, the solution is not to take the benefits away from those who need them, it is to make sure people working actually get paid a decent wage. IMO this would be a big part of the solution to getting people off of benefits and working.
>
>

That's the secret. My in laws moved to Adelaide 2 years ago - he's a joiner, she's a florist. They have a 5 bed villa, pool and a fishing boat.
A country where graft pays.

E
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to maisie)
>
> In answer to your question, yes, I'd quite like to live in a society where employers paid the mimimum wage, legitimate businesses weren't put out of business by ones that operate illegally, and the economy wasn't reliant on human trafficking. Wouldn't you?

Ridge, with respect that's a bit of a straw man argument. You seem to be implying that I don't want those things; why on earth wouldn't I? And where have I implied that I would like people to be out out of work?

My points are these:

A large proportion of our economy already relies on illegal labour, and almost all of that proportion occupies the bottom of the 'free' market. The government know about and accept this - it keeps things like the NHS going when PFIs are introduced, and as the government can hardly disavow its own policies (or could it?) then it seems to think it better to rely on this kind of hypocricy to keep a number of leaky vessels afloat.

Whilst human trafficking does occur and must be repugnant to anybody with a couple of brain cells to rub together, the vast majority of illegal immigrants in the UK came here under their own steam and of their own volition. The debt burdens that they have created in order to do so are usually restrictive and disproportional, but unless such immigration is against the will of the individual, it's not human trafficking. That's a whole other debate.

We label these people as 'illegals', based on their abilities to clear some fairly arbitrary legal hurdles. However, their very real and valid contributions to our society are largely glossed over during political attacks and we prefer instead to concentrated on the emotive and negative language of xenophobia. The government no longer feels able to recognise the usefulness of a sub-population of useful contributors, because previous amnesties have been met with derision and voter antipathy.

I'm happy to enter a debate here, Ridge; but that debate shouldn't revolve around non sequiturs which imply I believe something which I clearly don't. That's just pointless and reductive.
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Enty:
> (In reply to Professor Bunsen)
> [...]
>

> A country where graft pays.
>
Unlike this one where I've been working 60+ hour weeks in my new job just to stay afloat. Losing family time and forget about climbing.
> E

 Rob Exile Ward 24 Jul 2013
In reply to off-duty: No, but they started by identifying and demonising a subset of the population, which may have had the effect of de-sensitising people to what was to come when their actions became more extreme.
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to maisie: An intelligent and thought out reply.
In reply to maisie: You laboured that joke a little

a banker, a daily mail reader and a person on the dole are sitting having coffee and biscuits. The banker opens the packet and takes 11 of the biscuits, leaving just one. The dole claimant takes the other. The banker turns to the daily mail reader and says "that benefit claimant just took your biscuit"

ON the point of cheap labour in the shadow economy that you allude is a benfit to us all. If these "illegal immigrants" are using the NHS for free and paying vitually fck all tax but washing my car and cleaning my toilet for peanuts then I would rather pay more for my services, so that higher wages can be paid to legal immigrants, more tax collected and presumably less stress on public services.

 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to maisie) You laboured that joke a little
>
> washing my car and cleaning my toilet for peanuts

I clean my own toilet but once a week I pay a couple of local guys to wash my car. They seem to do oK. They're out raving on Saturday night
In reply to aln: Well, if you can afford to go out raving on a sat night you're clearly doing well!
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
>
> ON the point of cheap labour in the shadow economy that you allude is a benfit to us all. If these "illegal immigrants" are using the NHS for free and paying vitually fck all tax but washing my car and cleaning my toilet for peanuts then I would rather pay more for my services, so that higher wages can be paid to legal immigrants, more tax collected and presumably less stress on public services.
>
>

Good for you. But again, don't confuse my acknowledgement of the situation for support for the illegal economy.

Logically, if you're willing to pay more for your services, then you still want those services to exist. Who's going to do the labour for those services? Do we have enough people in the country to fill all of the positions currently occupied by illegal immigrants? Will Brits actually be willing to take the work on? I have no answers to these questions - the only way to find out would be to try, although this would mean taking a firmer stance on where public money actually goes - so don't expect the government to rush into it, as it would mean cutting out PFIs and the like when administering public services. And these are what grease the wheels of power.

And as somebody telling the biscuit/banker joke, you ought to be sufficiently on guard to fallacious arguments to see that the whole spin on illegal immigrants ruining the NHS is a non-starter: far more money is wasted by incompetence, greed, extremely dodgy buying practices and farming out to private contractors than is spent on treating illegal immigrants. It's just another diversionary scare tactic.

We have this view that additions to our population are inherently parasitic. Why is this?
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to aln) Well, if you can afford to go out raving on a sat night you're clearly doing well!

No they aren't. Living for the weekend is fun when you're young but it doesn't provide for a future. They're good guys, young friendly and hard working. I worry unnecessarily for there future.
 Jimbo W 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

This has to be a joke, and if not, its horribly cynical, divisive and has undoubted undercurrents of political vested interests.
In reply to maisie: Agree that the NHS behemoth vs illegal immigrants cost is probably a drop in the ocean. But if you are Joe Public sat at an NHS walk in surgery at North Mid hospital and you have to wait 4 hrs to be seen and you see members of families translating for others with the nursing staff and signs on the wall in multiple arabic languages, then that's what clouds your opinion, not the tendering process for xray equipment from Smiths or GE medical. This is the problem and that's not a "tactic". It's just how it is in a lot of places/

And on the point of cheap services and ALNs car washers. I get my car washed by 5 turkish lads who buz round my car like Tazmanian devils for 5 mins leaving it spotless and as good as new...for a fiver! I have no idea if they are illegal immigrants or not. They seem very nice and work very hard. But if they were to disappear (if they were illegal)...I would go back to washing my own car <perish the thought>


So the point of potentially losing a lot of cheap services is not necessarily as bad as it sounds if it means we end up doing more stuff for ourselves? (thats a question not a statement of fact)
 Ramblin dave 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to maisie) Agree that the NHS behemoth vs illegal immigrants cost is probably a drop in the ocean. But if you are Joe Public sat at an NHS walk in surgery at North Mid hospital and you have to wait 4 hrs to be seen and you see members of families translating for others with the nursing staff and signs on the wall in multiple arabic languages, then that's what clouds your opinion, not the tendering process for xray equipment from Smiths or GE medical. This is the problem and that's not a "tactic". It's just how it is in a lot of places/

The "tactic" is that rather than try to do the Right Thing and educate people, if necessary, on why it's the Right Thing and that illegal immigrants, legal economic migrants (who IIRC currently put more into the public purse tax than they take out in services), genuine asylum seekers, bogus asylum seekers, British born people of overseas origin, people who speak Arabic as a first language etc aren't all the same thing, you just do the Wrong Thing because it appeals to their general fear that all these bloody foreigners are the reason the country's going to the dogs and hence wins votes easily.
 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> (In reply to maisie)
>
> And on the point of cheap services and ALNs car washers. I get my car washed by 5 turkish lads

Can I assume you mean me? I'm lower case, I'm not "ALN", I'm aln. Sorry for being pedantic but there's a reason.

 aln 24 Jul 2013
In reply to aln: And I' m fairly sure the car washers are from Falkirk if that matters. And recently with the hot weather, there tops off, soapy and wet, the missus seens to want to go regularly. Dunno why.
In reply to Ramblin dave: I agree education is key. But sometimes it will only get you so far. Take the parasite thread elsewhere on this site. Good luck educating the republicans (or the monarchists) that they are wrong in their beliefs. Just as the guy in the waiting room takes his empirical evidence home with him, people are entrenched in their views....and as you say, votes are key.

In reply to Bjartur í Sumarhús:
> But if you are Joe Public sat at an NHS walk in surgery at North Mid hospital and you have to wait 4 hrs to be seen and you see members of families translating for others with the nursing staff and signs on the wall in multiple arabic languages, then that's what clouds your opinion...... This is the problem and that's not a "tactic". It's just how it is in a lot of places/
>

And any proof that those people are there illegally, or without rights to services? If your justification for railing against misuse of the NHS is centred on ethnicity, then that's a losing argument right there.

And it's absolutely a diversionary tactic: what should make you angry is the four-hour wait, not who else is in the queue; you're led to believe that illegal immigrants are causing you to wait longer, when actually it's chronic underfunding of the NHS at the point of service. It's not as though it's still a surprise to be waiting four hours, is it? It's been going on long enough now that instead of fixing the problem, successive governments have sought to shift blame onto easy targets. And it's clearly working on some people, isn't it?
In reply to maisie: " what should make you angry is the four-hour wait, not who else is in the queue "

Absolutely, but judging by the rise in popularity of UKIP, a lot of people don't think like this.
 Lukeva 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: Seems desperate. Why not drive a van with Stop Murder pasted to its flank
Wiley Coyote2 24 Jul 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

I really can't see what the problem is here. According to the piece I read (probably Beeb website but can't remember) the cost of the scheme is equivalent to two thirds of the cost of a single forced repratriation, ergo if one single illegal comes forward and takes the assisted ticket it has paid for itself. It won't work on hardcore people who want to stay but it may work on someone who has realised the streets are not paved with gold and just wants out.
Seems to me that a lot of people are seeing the word 'immigrant' and ignoring the word 'illegal'. Regardless of one's views on immigration, unless you advocate a completely open door policy I can't see how anyone can object to illegals being shown the door. And the offer of a ticket home seems about the most humanitarian way you could do that.
In reply to Jon Stewart: The fundamental problem is a lack of informed and balanced debate based on real evidence.
 Jon Stewart 24 Jul 2013
In reply to maisie:
> (In reply to Ridge)
> [...]

> My points are these:
>
> A large proportion of our economy already relies on illegal labour, and almost all of that proportion occupies the bottom of the 'free' market. The government know about and accept this

Not quite. The Labour govt knew about it and accepted it because of the state of the economy. At the time, we wanted brits trained up to do high skilled work, and we didn't mind the costs of filling the low-skilled gaps with illegal workers (just like we didn't mind the cost of the benefits trap). When the ecomomy went tits up, that cost of illegal working became important: now we want low skilled jobs paid at minimum wage, and we want the tax associated with them. The grey market economy is no longer a "shhh. don't mention that" issue, it's one that now matters.

> Whilst human trafficking does occur and must be repugnant to anybody with a couple of brain cells to rub together, the vast majority of illegal immigrants in the UK came here under their own steam and of their own volition.

Things are not that black and white I'm afraid. A lot of people who came in on dubious visas (students, work permits etc) were basically conned into coming over here by people back home who make a tidy living out of 'helping' them get here. In places like Pakistan and Nigeria, a perception is created that coming to the UK is the answer to you and your family's problems, but that's rarely how it turns out. If you're working for rock bottom illegal wages, how much money do you think you have left over to send home?

> The debt burdens that they have created in order to do so are usually restrictive and disproportional, but unless such immigration is against the will of the individual, it's not human trafficking. That's a whole other debate.

I agree it's not human trafficking, but I don't accept that it's a straightforward free choice. It's about greed, exploitation and dishonesty so while not as harsh as human trafficking, assisting illegal entry to the UK is not just giving someone a hand.

> We label these people as 'illegals', based on their abilities to clear some fairly arbitrary legal hurdles. However, their very real and valid contributions to our society are largely glossed over during political attacks and we prefer instead to concentrated on the emotive and negative language of xenophobia. The government no longer feels able to recognise the usefulness of a sub-population of useful contributors, because previous amnesties have been met with derision and voter antipathy.

Well sorry, but I don't see their contribution in such a positive light. I see them basically as victims in a dishonest business that undermines the way we run our economy. In the boom times, the government was sloppy about this issue, and one can see why. The best solution is to try to get these people to leave of their own accord where possible and to remove a load more subject to human rights considerations and quite possibly the contribution the individual has made (flipping burgers all night for £2 an hour wouldn't meet criteria though).

I do not think the best solution is to say, 'hey, you made it here, you're being exploited, you've got no skills, you're contributing to activity that's undermining our economy but look, that's fine, we don't want to do anything nasty like pay for your plane ticket home, else we'll get accused of being xenophobic".

Wiley Coyote2 24 Jul 2013
In reply to maisie:
> (In reply to Ridge)
> [...]

>
> We label these people as 'illegals', based on their abilities to clear some fairly arbitrary legal hurdles.

That's a very fair definition of 'illegal'. There's little point in having immigration, or indeed any other, laws, no matter how arbitrary you feel they are, if they are not enforced. Whether you like it or not an illegal immigrant is by definition illegal.
In reply to Jon Stewart:

>
> Not quite. The Labour govt knew about it and accepted it because of the state of the economy. At the time, we wanted brits trained up to do high skilled work, and we didn't mind the costs of filling the low-skilled gaps with illegal workers (just like we didn't mind the cost of the benefits trap). When the ecomomy went tits up, that cost of illegal working became important: now we want low skilled jobs paid at minimum wage, and we want the tax associated with them. The grey market economy is no longer a "shhh. don't mention that" issue, it's one that now matters.
>

Another diversionary tactic: focussing on 'lost tax' from the minimum wage economy. It's a tiny amount, relatively speaking: somebody on minimum wage has a fairly low direct tax burden, and much of the reversion of wealth back to the state comes in indirect taxes for services, goods etc - which would be clawed back from illegal immigrants anyway. But in obsessing on this score, we can deflect attention away from the astonishing amounts of money that are withheld in tax avoidance schemes. We have an obsession in making the poorest pay their 'fair' share, as though the economy would even notice, but turning a blind eye to massive profiteering. The money that these large multinationals save on tax doesn't go back into the company as jobs for workers, you know - it lines a few pockets. There are hundreds of billions in this alone - ironically enough to be able to make a robust and preventitive stand against illegal immigration.

And in a struggling economy, the government aren't too worried about low-end jobs for the Brits: what they want is continuation of service, and an ability to provide the bread and circuses which the masses want. The first relies on low-wage operatives (the lower the better) and the second on, err, low-wage operatives.

Don't confuse my statements with support for illegal immigration: it's based entirely on the abuse of power and greed, and those at the heart of it are the ones who suffer the most. But we're being sold an absolute pup here, being led by the nose into accepting a version of events which is at best simplistic and at worst a construct designed to stop us from looking at where the money is actually going. Do you think that any of the cabinet are going to need jobs when their time is up? Why not?

Putting signs on lorries is just pandering to xenophobia. Helping people to go home sounds like a laudable aim, but what happens when they get there? So why would they voluntarily go? Wouldn't it be more useful if the government took a more conversational, quiet approach with the grass roots organisations serving the ethnicities that they feel are at the centre of the issue? Or reducing the incentives to come over by clobbering those at the top of the chains? Painting up some signs for public display won't make people go home; but it will help to make acceptable some pretty nasty opinions - and save us the bother of thinking things through for ourselves.

I'm not against your opinions - if I disagree with painting signs on lorries, it doesn't mean I'm pro- illegal immigration; if I think that much of the low end economy depends on illegal workers, it doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with it. But I feel we miss the point, pretty much all the time.
 Jon Stewart 25 Jul 2013
In reply to maisie:
> (In reply to Jon Stewart)
>
> [...]
>
> Another diversionary tactic: focussing on 'lost tax' from the minimum wage economy. It's a tiny amount, relatively speaking: somebody on minimum wage has a fairly low direct tax burden, and much of the reversion of wealth back to the state comes in indirect taxes for services, goods etc - which would be clawed back from illegal immigrants anyway.

Not a diversionary tactic, it was a mention in passing of another piece of the jigsaw. The important point is that service industries staffed by illegal labour are now a wildly inappropriate feature of our economy, and that policies should be in place to address this. What we want is businesses operating within the law, providing jobs, making a contribution. Illegal employment undermines every element of this.

> But in obsessing on this score, we can deflect attention away from the astonishing amounts of money that are withheld in tax avoidance schemes.

No one is obsessing about the tax implications, the tax avoidance point is irrelevant (diversionary even?).

> And in a struggling economy, the government aren't too worried about low-end jobs for the Brits: what they want is continuation of service, and an ability to provide the bread and circuses which the masses want. The first relies on low-wage operatives (the lower the better) and the second on, err, low-wage operatives.

I'm not sure I agree. In terms of GDP, you're absolutely right, but there's more to a recession than that. In the parlance of our times, we need jobs for dolescum in order to get the feckless and lazy back into work and to reduce the welfare bill. Illegal employment militates against this.

> Don't confuse my statements with support for illegal immigration: it's based entirely on the abuse of power and greed, and those at the heart of it are the ones who suffer the most.

We agree on that.
>
> Putting signs on lorries is just pandering to xenophobia. Helping people to go home sounds like a laudable aim, but what happens when they get there? So why would they voluntarily go?

I'm not so sure about the effectiveness issue, although I very much doubt that mildly threatening billboards being towed around is the best way. Back in the 2000s, the govt did manage to reduce asylum applications by changing perceptions through exactly this type of policy. And here we're not talking about asylum, we have no reason to believe that back home people are anything other than poor, which they are here.

> Wouldn't it be more useful if the government took a more conversational, quiet approach with the grass roots organisations serving the ethnicities that they feel are at the centre of the issue? Or reducing the incentives to come over by clobbering those at the top of the chains?

Yes it would. But having worked in government for 10 years this kind of idealism was long since beaten out of me. Back in the real world, civil servants and ministers have to come up with policies that achieve a number of aims at the same time. And this is the Tories we're talking about: having a little bit of useful substance behind the pathetic, shallow political grandstanding for the thickie-masses (I'm referring to the assisted return element of the policy) is quite refreshing. Uplifting, almost.

> Painting up some signs for public display won't make people go home; but it will help to make acceptable some pretty nasty opinions - and save us the bother of thinking things through for ourselves.

It might make some people go home, and I agree the tone is politically motivated and slightly depressing. But I do think it's a legitimate message: do not work here illegally, we will chuck you out (if we can, really we'd rather you just left because that's much cheaper).

> I'm not against your opinions - if I disagree with painting signs on lorries, it doesn't mean I'm pro- illegal immigration; if I think that much of the low end economy depends on illegal workers, it doesn't mean that I'm comfortable with it. But I feel we miss the point, pretty much all the time.

And I'm not against yours. Usually when anyone who makes sensible, informed, well-argued points, I'll agree in principle but might take a slightly different slant.
In reply to Jon Stewart:

So we're essentially sharing the same argument, and all the Snu readers have gone away. Time of thread death 9.47 am. I'm calling it.

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