Vince Cable: Immigration Crackdown And #RacistVan Is ‘Stupid And Offensive’
Lib Dems had not been consulted, the Business Secretary said, adding that Immigration Minister Mark Harper’s decision to send vans bearing the message “go home, or you’ll be picked up and deported” round London was designed to create fear among the public.
He rubbished “misleading” targets to reduce net migration and insisted Britain did not have a vast problem with illegal immigrants.
Cable told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show the Liberal Democrats had not been consulted about the van campaign.
“It was stupid and offensive. I think it is very unlikely it will continue.”
He questioned whether illegal immigrants would have enough of a “sophisticated grasp of English” to be able to read the posters on the vans at a distance.
“I think it is offensive. It is designed, apparently, to sort of create a sense of fear (in the) British population that we have a vast problem with illegal immigration.
“We have a problem but it’s not a vast one. It’s got to be dealt with in a measured way dealing with the underlying causes.”
Twitter campaigners have been urging followers to deluge the text and phone number printed on the van with calls, asking for lifts “home”, using the hashtag #RacistVan.
Asked about the damning criticism about the accuracy of migration figures by the Public Administration Select Committee today, Cable said: “We are not a totalitarian state. We don’t count every single person but actually it’s quite difficult being an illegal immigrant in Britain.
“You can’t work, certainly legally, you can’t have access to benefits. So, the idea that there’s some vast, hidden army of people, is almost certainly completely wrong.
“The argument about those numbers, which was raised this morning by a select committee, it only really matters if you are pursuing some target. There’s this sort of net immigration figure, which the Conservatives are very preoccupied by.
“It’s not a government objective, make it absolutely clear.
“This idea that you are pursuing a net immigration figure is very misleading because, amongst other things, the largest number of people counted as immigrants are overseas students, who are not immigrants, they are visitors but under the United Nations classification they are regarded as immigrants, but they are good for the country.
“So obsessing about this net immigration number is not helpful.”
From The Huffington Post. 28.07.13. A day that will live in infamy.
Editorial. It’s not often that we at Liverpool Anti-fascsists agree with Vince Cable but this is just about the sickest piece of tory propaganda any of us has come across. As Cable points out the problem of “illegal immigration”, if problem it could be called, has been blown up out of all proportion. The reality is that those people who come here illegally – and yes folks, their presence is deemed to be illegal via the same law making process which is currently being used to evict people for non-payment of the bedroom tax, plus all the other evils which this goddamned government has foisted on us – often face enormous privations just getting here. Then they are just as often forced to live in overcrowded squalid conditions while they do jobs which most of us wouldn’t touch with a bargepole – even if the going rates for those jobs managed to match the statutory legal minimum wage. And just remember how much the tories kicked up when the minimum wage was introduced.
The irony of this of course is that it hasn’t been cooked up by the usual collection of far right nutters and nazis which Liveraf is used to dealing with, but by a fat cat tory politician with a comfortable office in Westminster and an annual salary which would keep a considerable numer of “illegal immigrants” going for many years to come.
Of course those of us who actively oppose fascism will have seen something very similar in the BNP’s Truth Truck, or Lie Lorry as I prefer to call it. Yes, we can see the next move. The BNP will accuse the tories of stealing the idea from them. Who knows for once they could be right.
We don’t know how long it will be before someone higher up in the government than Mark Harper realises just what a cretinous mistake this idiot has made and the whole fleet of “nazi propaganda” vans is hauled off the roads. In all probability they will be gone by tomorrow morning. But if anyone happens to see Mark Harper, do please leave him in no doubt that Third Reich smear tactics have no place in modern day society.