Goodbye Racist Van? Home Office Pilot Scheme Ends In London After One Week
Councillors representing the multi-ethnic London boroughs it was driven through also expressed alarm at the heavy-handed approach.
A Home Office spokesman confirmed the week-long pilot scheme ended on Sunday, and said no timescale had been set for it to be evaluated.
The controversial vans have left the streetsThe message on the vans reads:
In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. Text HOME to 78070 for free advice, and help with travel documents. We can help you return home voluntarily without fear of arrest or detention.
Jan Brulc, of the Migrants’ Rights Network, said the van had been more of a “pre-election message to voters” than a genuine attempt to help migrants.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if this was quietly swept under the carpet,” he told HuffPost UK.
“I can hardly imagine a more counter-productive campaign”.
Asked whether he thought we had seen the last of the ‘racist van’, he added: “Yes. And good riddance.”
A Home Office spokesman said no decision had been taken about whether the tactic would be rolled out to other areas.
But the chances look remote after Business Secretary Vince Cable said it was “stupid and offensive“.
Despite Downing Street claims the van is “already working,” no figures are yet available, the Home Office said.
“In due course, we will make a decision,” the spokesman added.
Sarah Teather, Lib Dem MP for Brent Central in London, said: “I am extremely sceptical that these adverts are having any effect other than to annoy and upset local residents.
“The reaction over the last week would certainly suggest that Conservative Ministers are among a very small minority who think the vans are a good idea.
“I await the detailed statistics and analysis of the trials which backs up No 10’s claim with bated breath. But I dare say that this is a desperate attempt to try and save face in the face of overwhelming public hostility.”
Editorial. If the tories have been genuinely shamed into withdrawing this stupid scheme, then we at Liveraf can only exult. However, before we start counting our eggs, let’s remember that this was only ever a pilot scheme, and there still exists the possibility that it will be rolled out in other areas. If that happens though, anti-fascists and people of good conscience everywhere will see to it that these damned things are driven off the streets, along with the goverment which thought them up. Watch this space for further developments – if there are any.
Also, let no-one be fooled by claims that the tories have resorted to this because they are running scared of ukip. Ukip is a flash in the pan and Cameron & co know it. They will never be a force to be reckoned with electorally. The real architect of this crazy tactic is Lynton Crosby and the real target is the Labour party and the next general election. That’s because the tories know that a hard line on immigration will always play well with certain sections of the electorate, and they are prepared to say and do anything to make sure they win.
Even so, round one to us we think. But if this is anything to go by, expect the next eighteen months to turn , into the dirtiest election campaign in history; with the weak and the vulnerable and the marginalised being ambushed as fodder for the tory propaganda machine.