Why is the media tail wagging the government dog over refugee accommodation?

It’s not just a barge, it’s a cash cow: the Bibby Stockholm was slammed by Labour as being more expensive than normal asylum accommodation, when the Tory government first hired it for an enormous amount of money. But Labour will continue to use it, if it wins a general election, despite the inexcusable public cost.

Housing asylum-seekers and other refugees on the Bibby Stockholm and RAF bases will cost £46 million more than using hotels, according to the National Audit Office.

This is one of the Tory government’s flagship policies, launched in response to a media-led campaign against housing people from foreign countries in hotels on the basis that local people were being kept out of their… well… local.

Does that complaint justify spending huge amounts of public money unnecessarily, though – at a time when we’re being told there isn’t enough money to keep the UK’s own citizens healthy or even housed?

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Over-spending on accommodation for asylum-seekers was another media football, I seem to recall…

It simply isn’t good enough.

This Site has only just published another article showing that the UK’s right-wing mass media are too influential on both government and opposition policy because they put forward false opinions that mislead the public.

If you think a £46 million overspend is disastrous, what do you make of the billions wasted on Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes because the media told us all that government borrowing would cost too much?

(For the record, public borrowing is always the cheapest option, for the reasons described in that other Vox Political article.)

It strikes This Writer as hugely contradictory – indeed, hypocritical – that right-wingers in the media, who commonly complain that the state is too big, public spending too high, are costing the country billions of pounds every year with their nonsensical bleatings.

Governments of all colours need to switch off the TV and radio, leave the newspapers on the racks, and listen to the advice of their own experts – preferably in the impartial civil service.

That way, they might make some rational decisions and the UK might start to come back to something approaching reason.

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  1. El Dee March 20, 2024 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    Again the government chooses the most expensive way to house people in order to stir up the racists and give them the edge in the GE.

    I’m not sure if anyone remembers the time when refugees were housed, en masse, in Glasgow. The Pinkston high flats were slated for demolition and were nearly empty. The Home Office paid for refugees (yes, refugees NOT ‘asylum seekers’ – a word used to dehumanise) to be housed there and also in other similar flats in Glasgow. The refugees themselves were unwilling as they’d been led to believe that Glasgow was violent and racist. In the end they didn’t want to move on from Pinkston but had to when it was demolished. Well Scotland’s government has ASKED for more refugees and migrants (and been refused by this government) At the moment North Lanarkshire Council is demolishing hundreds of council properties (again high flats) Not all have been emptied and even the empty ones are mostly not stripped out yet. This overcapacity could easily be used and has been offered to and refused by this government. They actively WANT to CREATE a problem..

  2. juliahiggi March 23, 2024 at 10:19 am - Reply

    Aside from the financial aspect, that photograph really captures the cruelty of the ‘government’ also. It is highly possible that some of the unfortunate occupants have had terrible ordeals in reaching the UK – across the Mediterranean and Channel – and where do the ‘government’ decide is suitable accommodation? On the bloody water. Bevan was quite right. The Tories are vermin. Some this ‘government’ make look like caring people, but always were, and always will be.

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