Tag Archives: immigrant

Lower than sewage: liar Johnson is still making poorest NHS workers pay ‘immigrant surcharge’

Cleaning up: people who can least afford it are being charged for NHS treatment, despite being the ones who keep hospital beds clean and equipment available.

Could there be a better demonstration of what a detestable liar Boris Johnson is?

He said his government would end a £624 “surcharge” it demanded from immigrant NHS workers for their own healthcare treatment. He lied.

In fact, the charge has continued to be applied – to the poorest workers; those least able to afford it.

The fee is still levied on staff who take a different job within six months – lower-paid cleaners, porters and carers, especially those on the zero-hours contracts the Tories have been keen to force into the workplace.

Perhaps most damning of all is the fact that ministers have had to cheek to suggest that these staff – who are on the lowest pay possible – need an “incentive” to continue working.

Typical Tory thinking – Johnson reckons everybody is as lazy as he is!

In fact, people on low incomes – especially those on zero-hours contracts – already have an incentive to work. It’s called “survival”.

Apart from a tiny minority for whom a zero-hours contract works because it fits into their own lifestyle – people who already have enough money to live on – nobody would take up such a job if it wasn’t the best they could get.

Zero-hours jobs offer no sick pay or holiday pay; and the wages are the lowest employers can get away with offering.

And, of course, they are designed to facilitate termination on short notice.

So we see a situation in which Boris Johnson claimed he was ending an unfair charge on people who have worked tirelessly to save us all from Covid-19…

… when instead he was continuing to inflict it on the people who most deserved to have it lifted.

Remember when Nye Bevan said Tories were lower than vermin?

If he were around today, no doubt he would admit that he overpraised them.

I feel sure he would agree with me that Johnson is lower than sewage.

Source: Boris Johnson accused of ‘cynical broken promise’ as some foreign NHS and care staff still pay surcharge | The Independent

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The Tories crippled their own border controls. Don’t let them use their own stupidity to boost racism

Tories like scapegoating immigrants – and have been doing it for decades: the current fad is for claiming illegal immigration feeds modern slavery, but the underlying threat has always been that Johnny Foreigner is taking your job. It’s an old con.

This Tory hypocrisy is a little too rich for our taste.

Boris Johnson’s government is whipping up jingoism against refugees secretly crossing the Channel to get into the UK:

It seems ministers have conveniently forgotten that successive Tory governments were responsible for stripping the country of its ability to catch the people-smugglers.

Former prime minister Theresa May, during her term as Home Secretary, spent years cutting Border Force, the organisation that – we’re told – protects our borders.

I published this story in 2014 and matters have only become worse.

If it can’t manage now – and the Tories have had to appeal to the Navy for help – that’s their fault and they should own up to it.

Instead, they’re trying to turn their latest fiasco into a crusade against Johnny Foreigner sneaking onto our shores and boosting modern slavery.

How utterly vile.

I accept that it is perfectly understandable to want to keep unmonitored people out of the UK during a time of international contagion.

However:

The issue is why these people want to come to the UK at all. If we really wanted to stop them, we need to help end their reasons for leaving their own homelands.

(Obviously, making the UK an unattractive destination has failed as a strategy.)

My guess is, these people are running away from wars, and the fallout from wars, that the UK helped start under recent Tory governments.

So whichever way you turn, the finger of blame points at the Conservatives.

It leads me to ask whether this is an attempt at distraction – and if so, I’m wondering what’s so bad that the Tories are happy to expose themselves to ridicule, simply to divert attention away from it.

Source: Home Office seeks military help over migrant crossings – BBC News

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Patel’s policies would deport her own mother. Why believe her when she says Johnson isn’t racist?

Priti Patel: there will be no aid in the UK for people of colour while she is Home Secretary, it seems – unless they’re rich.

Is Priti Patel a person of colour who hates her own race?

The evidence seems to indicate this.

Consider the reaction to rapper Dave’s decision to change the lyrics to his song Black at the Brit Awards. He sang – well, hear for yourself what he sang:

Some commentators – like those at Spiked – criticised the performance, but were shot down by others. Look at this from Twitter:

And some, like LBC’s James O’Brien, considered it to be a diversion from the debate about Dave’s subject matter – racism in the Tory government – because it gave people an opportunity to talk about Dave instead:

Fortunately Ms Patel was on hand to drag the discuss right back to the fact that her government – and indeed her own actions – are as racist as the prime minister himself.

The Home Secretary, who recently tried to deport 50 people (and succeeded in removing 17) based on spurious claims that they were criminals (all had already paid their debt to society; their only crime, it seemed, was that they are not white), defended Mr Johnson:

“I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it’s the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister.”

But Ms Patel went on to unveil another racist policy on the same day.

The plan is to refuse entry to the UK for any EU immigrants who aren’t coming to a job that pays at least £25,600. This means so-called “low-skilled” people will no longer be allowed into the country.

Critics have already attacked that equation of low pay with low skill – and This Writer can certainly support them in that. I never had a job that paid £25,600 in all the time I was employed by various newspaper firms and I’m sure most reporters still don’t receive that much.

Worse still, for Ms Patel, is the fact that – under these proposals – her own parents would have been refused access to the UK and she would never have been able to join the Conservatives to become the Home Secretary proposing them.

She had to concede the point in an interview with LBC’s Nick Ferrari. As it happens, I have also been interviewed by Ferrari. He was attacking me over lies that had been printed about me, so I was able to point out that the claims were false.

Ms Patel was not in the same position and had to admit that he was right. And look how she justified it:

“The policies are changing. This is the point. We are changing our immigration policy to one that’s fit for purpose for our economy, based on skills.”

But she isn’t.

As already stated, there are plenty of high-skilled people on low wages. There also happen to be plenty of complete numbskulls on astronomically high pay – racist Ms Patel and her racist prime minister are two of them.

She tried to point out that her parents came to the UK because they were fleeing Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of Ugandan Asians in 1972, and said they would have been allowed entry as refugees.

But it seems she was lying: it seems her parents arrived in the UK in the 1960s. She herself was born in London in 1972, which suggests that her parents’ immigration into the UK was nothing to do with Amin’s persecution.

Also:

The UK’s current Tory government has also sent refugees back to their countries of origin, where some have faced persecution and even death.

So the evidence seems clear.

Who, then, will believe a word when a racist defends a racist?

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Tory treatment of migrant families exposes the racism they are trying to hide

A mother and son from El Salvador reunited after being held separately in the US.

The Tories are exposed yet again – this time over their continuing ‘hostile environment’ to immigrants policy.

It links several threads of racism in the Conservative Party: Not only does it show that the legacy of the Windrush Scandal is no change in policy – exactly as This Site stated immediately after the scandal broke – but it reminds us that racism is institutionalised among the Tories, as we see with Boris Johnson’s recent comments about burqa-wearing Muslim women.

We are left with information that should be devastating to Conservative Party support – that they are still deporting people; that they are hushing up unlawful detention cases with the kind of ‘gagging’ orders that Sajid Javid denies using on Windrush-related compensation issues; and that they are hiding the facts about the number of times they have separated children from their parents.

Oh, and Theresa May is a hypocrite for criticising Donald Trump’s “separation” policy. But we’ve seen her hypocrisy so many times before, it is hardly worth noticing here.

The worst aspect of this is that the Tories are likely to gain support because of this. They have used their puppets in the press to whip up racism among the general public, as can be seen by the reaction to Mr Johnson’s recent comments.

When Kisi Assan dropped off her two-year-old daughter at nursery, it was the first time they had been separated since the child’s birth. Following a summons from the Home Office, she then set off to attend a meeting at a nearby immigration reporting Assan [not her real name] had no idea that it was part of a plan to deport her at short notice to west Africa. Shortly after arriving at the centre, the 28-year-old was restrained by eight security officials, and transferred to a detention facility – without her child.

This practice is one of the toxic yet least-publicised elements of Theresa May’s “hostile environment”, introduced when she was home secretary. While Donald Trump’s policy of separating immigrant families has drawn international opprobrium, the practice continues largely unchallenged in the UK. Some say that when the prime minister recently described Trump’s scheme as “deeply disturbing” and “wrong”, she must have hoped her own approach would be overlooked.

Lawyers point out that UK unlawful detention cases are often settled out of court and silenced by confidentiality clauses. Inspired by the universal condemnation of Trump’s separation policy, parents with ongoing cases against the Home Office have spoken out about a system that, lawyers claim, fails to take a child’s welfare into account. “It is cruel and completely unnecessary,” said Janet Farrell of solicitors Bhatt Murphy.

Every year, hundreds of children are separated from a parent who is detained in a UK immigration centre – and numbers continue to rise. According to the charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (Bid), 322 children were separated from 167 parents in the 12 months to the end of July, an increase of 16% on the previous year. A proportion of the children involved will be in the sole care of the detained parent, and have to enter the care system. The Home Office does not keep records of the number of times it separates a child from a parent, a power it wields without apparent oversight.

Source: ‘I didn’t see my daughter for a month’: how UK splits migrant families | UK news | The Guardian

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Toxic Theresa May’s “hostile environment” is the worst scandal of recent years. She must resign or be removed

[Image: Pride’s Purge.]

As long as Theresa May remains in the government, the wrong that has been done to the Windrush Generation is not going to be corrected.

Theresa May must go. She can resign, or she can be forced out – I don’t mind which – but she cannot be allowed to stay.

The appointment of Sajid Javid – a BAME minister who Mrs May doesn’t like, let’s not forget (she demoted him when she became PM) – seems to be a token gesture: “Let’s put a second-generation migrant, son-of-a-Pakistani-bus-driver in as Home Secretary and everybody will think we’ve changed – so we won’t have to.”

And – bearing in mind it’s more than a week since the Windrush scandal broke – nothing has changed so far. Let’s consider what that means, with a summary of Mrs May’s attacks on immigrants – both legal and otherwise – courtesy of Dylan Strain on Twitter:

Not only did Mrs May allow this “abomination” to grow to such proportions that it is now a “stain on our national character” – she rewarded those who were responsible for it:

When Mrs May became unelected prime minister (remember: she became Conservative leader because her opponent stood down, and at last year’s general election she lost her party’s Parliamentary majority), she appointed Amber Rudd as Home Secretary. At the 2016 Tory conference Ms Rudd gave an address that led to her being reported to the police on a charge of making racist hate speech.

Ms Rudd wrote a letter to Mrs May in January 2017, promising to increase deportations of people the Conservative government has decided should no longer be allowed to live in the UK by 10 per cent. I cannot, in good conscience, say that this policy was directed at illegal immigrants – as the Conservatives are rather desperately trying to assert – because it has become clear that people with every right to remain in this country were targeted from the moment Mrs May became Home Secretary, never mind Ms Rudd.

(I’m not sure Natalie Rowe’s suggestion is accurate; we don’t know that this was the intention. But it is certainly what happened, and we may deduce that legal residents were targeted in order to meet the increased targets being demanded by Ms Rudd and Mrs May.)

Last week, Ms Rudd lied to a Parliamentary committee, claiming that there were no deportation targets. Then she lied to the Commons themselves, saying she had not known the targets existed – despite having set them in January last year. When her letter discussing these targets with Mrs May became public, she had no choice other than to resign.

Instead of going, Mrs May is trying to draw a line under the matter. But the fact exists that she did receive a letter from Amber Rudd discussing deportation targets.

James O’Brien discussed the implications on his LBC show:

So – as Rachael Maskell argued in Parliament, it seems Amber Rudd was the scapegoat – just one more of Mrs May’s subordinates who was sacked for carrying out her policies:

Mrs May herself has confirmed that she knew the Home Office had targets for the removal of illegal immigrants. Note the word “illegal”. She said: “When I was home secretary, yes, there were targets in terms of removing people from the country, who were here illegally.”

But she didn’t lift a finger when it became clear that people with every right to be in the UK were also being deported – and, as Dylan Strain has pointed out in his Twitter thread (above), she has known for years.

So the argument that Mrs May is in the clear because she may not have heard Amber Rudd misleading a committee, or may not have bothered about it because Ms Rudd corrected what she said the following morning, simply doesn’t add up. Ms Rudd’s correction was also a lie and Mrs May knew it, because she knew all about the targets. But she still allowed her MPs to make public displays of support for Ms Rudd, despite knowing that they were based on false information.

It implies an intention to mislead the public, from which Mrs May cannot slither away.

We should tackle the use of “illegal immigration” by Conservative MPs.

It is, indeed, a disgrace. The prime minister of the UK has known for years that legal citizens of the UK were being targeted by her “hostile environment” policy, that she and her party are still claiming was aimed at “illegal immigration”. If she had done anything at all to stop legal citizens being targeted, then they might be justified in using this excuse. She did not, so they are not.

Now we have a new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid – just another human shield for Mrs May, as Owen Jones explains:

And the “hostile environment” policy goes on – renamed the “compliant environment” by Mr Javid. Those two words mask a multitude of sinister – no, call them what they are: downright evil – meanings, as David Lammy explained:

These crimes against UK citizens are still happening, with the blessing of Theresa May’s government – and will continue happening as long as she is prime minister.

Mrs May has inflicted the policy on the country and has lied repeatedly and bare-facedly in order to keep it going. It is intolerable. She must not be allowed to get away with it. We must demand her resignation – or removal.


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The road to genocide starts with divisive words – the kind that are all around us today

I’m drawing attention to the article quoted below because it’s the right time.

The controversy over Jeremy Corbyn’s words to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day shows that evil-minded people will use lies and propaganda to twist the minds of others.

And consider attitudes to the long-term sick and disabled. How often have we heard the lie that they are parasites who could work for a living but prefer to leech money from the rest of us? It’s a lie, of course.

But ordinary people have been encouraged to scapegoat the sick and disabled, along with immigrants (whether from the EU or beyond), because it is easy.

And the reasons for the UK’s economic doldrums are complicated – although if you start with the word “Tories”, you’re well on the way to wisdom.

That brings us back to Mr Corbyn and the fact that, while he did mention Jews in his Holocaust Memorial Day words, Theresa May did not.

He was pilloried by certain organisations and individuals that pretend to stand up for Jewish people; she was not.

It’s because those people aren’t really standing up for Jewish people; they’re standing against the Labour Party under Mr Corbyn – for political reasons of their own.

Complicated political reasons.*

So they won’t want you to bother thinking about those reasons. Better to just accept the nonsense line that it’s all the fault of the sick, the disabled, or immigrants, or Jeremy Corbyn.

Right?

Or is it time we all started thinking for ourselves?

With concentration camps in mind, we assume that most forms of Nazi persecution must have involved overt physical violence and arrests. But a lot of it related to aspects of everyday life.

For example, they spread a “stab in the back” myth that Germany had lost World War I because of internal traitors, such as Jews and Communists, working for foreign interests. These myths about the Jews were widely believed, partly because they subtly played on existing prejudices, including fear of foreigners.

Nazi propaganda also tried to dehumanise the Jews. It compared Jewish people to rats, cockroaches and lice. This fed Nazi lies that Jews were, like parasites, extorting money from ordinary Germans and that Jewish financiers had taken advantage of Germany during the war for their own interests.

The complicity of ordinary people doing ‘everyday’ things was crucial for the success of Nazi measures. Ordinary people helped to channel Nazi hatred – both out of fear and, in some cases, greed and indifference, with thousands of ordinary people benefiting from the measures.

Similarly, one of the reasons anti-Semitic Nazi ideas were so effective was because they provided people with scapegoats for big issues that had caused them serious economic hardship… This made the lies more believable to ordinary people, who wanted easy answers to complex questions.

We may think this doesn’t affect us in the west in the 21st century. But replace the word ‘Jew’ with ‘migrant’ or ‘Muslim’ and it might give pause for thought.

Source: Why the Holocaust Shows We Need to Fight Hate Today with Human Rights – RightsInfo

*And no – I haven’t just fallen into the trap of using the “International Jewish Conspiracy” trope. The conspiracy theory relies on the perpetrators being part of a pan-Jewish, co-ordinated campaign – not a small number of malicious keyboard warriors with a grudge against left-wing Labour. We don’t even know if all those attacking Jeremy Corbyn or other alleged anti-Semites in the Labour Party are even of Jewish religion or ethnicity.


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NHS-hater Paul Nuttall elected to lead UKIP. How long will this one last?

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

The only piece of information you really need about Paul Nuttall is that he wants to privatise the NHS completely.

He published this information on his website a few years ago, then took it down when he realised it was unpopular with the general public.

Fortunately, some of us made screen grabs so it could be kept for posterity.

161128-paul-nuttall-ukip-nhs

The campaigning group HOPE Not Hate has published 10 reasons to oppose Mr Nuttall. His opposition to the NHS comes in at number five, and here are the others:

1. Has strongly supported Farage’s “Breaking Point” billboard [which showed a snaking line of – allegedly – immigrants on their way into the UK].
2. He believes there is a secret coordinated Muslim plot to become a majority in Europe.
3. In a speech in the European Parliament Nuttall labelled the response of the EU to the refugee crisis as “freedom of movement of Jihad”.
4. He wants to ban the burqa [an act that would prohibit people from coming to the UK on religious grounds].
6. He wants a 31% flat rate of tax, meaning the rich pay far less.
7. He wants prison conditions to be made deliberately worse and the 1967 Criminal Justice Act to be abolished.
8. Nuttall believes climate change is a “hair-brained theory”.
9. Was one of only 14 MEPs to vote against a crackdown on the illegal ivory trade.
10. Opposes same-sex marriages.

The Guardian‘s claim (below) that Mr Nuttall’s election marks the end of UKIP’s troubles seems premature.

The previous leader, Diane James, lasted just 18 days in the job before leaving due to a lack of support.

Mr Nuttall seems to be trying to prevent a repetition of this kind of PR disaster by creating one that is unique to himself: He told members that, if they did not support him, they would be booted out of the party.

What a charming man.

Paul Nuttall has been elected by Ukip members to replace Nigel Farage as leader, ending a turbulent period for the party after the referendum to leave the European Union.

Nuttall, the former deputy leader, was elected with 62.6% of the 15,405 votes cast. His presumed nearest challenger, Suzanne Evans, won just 19.3% of the votes, only 200 more than the rank outsider, John Rees-Evans, who won 18.1%.

The MEP for north-west England takes over from Farage, who had returned briefly as interim leader in October when his chosen replacement, Diane James, stepped down after just 18 days in the job, citing a lack of internal party support.

Speaking at a party event in London after being announced as leader, Nuttall called for unity following tumultuous months for the party. He told members that if they did not wish to unite “your time in Ukip is coming to an end”.

Source: Paul Nuttall elected as Ukip leader | Politics | The Guardian

Postscript: I understand the BBC broadcast live coverage of the election result. Some commentators have questioned this but I think it was the right decision. UKIP may have only one MP, but it had 12.7 per cent of the vote in the 2015 general election – more than one-third as many as the Conservatives, who won. That is a significant amount and should be respected.

Besides, if we show people what UKIP really is, they might stop voting for this far-right pressure group.

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Censoring Marine Le Pen would be hypocritical when the BBC doesn’t gag UKIP or the Tories

Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Outrage: Anger erupted at the decision to air an interview with National Front leader Marine Le Pen on the Andrew Marr Show on Remembrance Sunday [Image: Reuters/Charles Platiau].

Courting controversy shouldn’t be taboo – although I think the Marr Show producers really should have thought twice about having an interview with a fascist on Remembrance Sunday.

Oh, does Marine Le Pen not call herself that? This Writer calls ’em as I see ’em.

I wasn’t taking detailed notes but what I got from the interview was that she doesn’t like the European Union, does like Russia, and both hates and likes Muslims, depending on whether they’re immigrants or not. I think she may have been economical with the truth about the Muslims somehow…

It was worthwhile to hear all this because, you see, it reflects in an interesting way on our own politics.

Nigel Farage and UKIP, along with many members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, don’t like the European Union and are delighted that the UK is coming out of it, no matter what economic damage we do to the country along the way.

The same people don’t like immigrants – or at least, they have been stirring up anti-immigrant sentiment even though they are blaming these people for problems that have been made by a Conservative government that has brought back rationing under a different name (“austerity”).

She has an “us against them” attitude which is no different from the “divide and rule” mentality of the Conservative Government, here in the UK – a government that has pointed the finger at the sick and disabled, at the unemployed, and at the afore-mentioned immigrants as scapegoats for their own political choices.

So I think Mr Burley’s comment – that the possibility of a win for the French National Front means the BBC must either treat her seriously or is censoring her – is more valid than even he might think.

We didn’t censor Nigel Farage and UKIP.

We don’t censor the Conservatives.

Their policies aren’t significantly different from those of Marine Le Pen.

But we say her attitudes and those of her party are beyond the pale.

That is hypocritical.

And the BBC can’t claim any holier-than-thou rights either – it might not censor Ms Le Pen but it has certainly marginalised the United Nations report showing that the Conservative Government has committed grave and systematic violations of the human rights of UK citizens. Why has that not been a major headline?

That is hypocritical too.

Obviously This Blog does not and cannot support the policies of Ms Le Pen and her fascists.

But if we want to show the world that they are unacceptable, we need to concede that the behaviour of our own government and the state broadcaster is unacceptable too.

What’s the Biblical line?

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye’, when all the time there is that plank in your own?”

BBC executives have defended the decision to air an interview with French far-right leader Marine Le Pen on Remembrance Sunday following an angry backlash on social media.

The BBC has dismissed the outrage, claiming the controversial politician is a “serious contender” for the French presidency.

Among the reasons [Andrew Marr Show editor Rob Burley] stated was Donald Trump’s shock election win which he said made victory for Ms Le Pen a “possibility”.

He wrote: “Marine Le Pen is a controversial booking. But she is a serious contender for the French Presidency whatever you think of her views. . .

“Her party’s support – 6m in 2015 elections, 6m in the last Presidential Election and her ratings ahead of 2017 election significant. .

“In French politics she is “normalised” by public support. We either treat her seriously or censor her.

“The shocks to conventional wisdom of the Referendum result & Donald Trump’s election make her victory a possibility if it wasn’t already.”

Source: BBC editor defends decision to air interview with Marine Le Pen on Andrew Marr Show amid furious row | London Evening Standard

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Migrant in-work benefit ban is about cutting your money – didn’t you know?

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A would-be migrant waits in Calais for the opportunity to cross into the UK. Would that person really want to come here, in the knowledge that claims about the wealth of the UK economy, along with propaganda about the generosity of our benefit system, are nothing more than myths?

David Cameron has found another excuse to cut benefits for the poorest in the UK.

Apparently, a manifesto promise to reduce the number of immigrants coming to the UK by ensuring they could not claim tax credits or child benefit for four years is illegal under EU law – unless he inflicts the same cut on UK citizens aged 18-22.

Cameron and his ministers must have known about the EU restrictions before including the promise in the Conservative manifesto. The alternative is that he and his government are incompetent, and they’re not about to admit that, are they?

Instead of scrapping the plan, it seems he has instructed ministers to consider how to implement a cut that will force poverty on people who are just starting out in life and need as much help as they can.

The only conclusion is that this is what the Conservative Party wanted all along.

In a document leaked to the BBC, government lawyers have stated: “Imposing additional requirements on EU workers that do not apply to a member state’s own workers constitutes direct discrimination which is prohibited under current EU law.”

It seems that, rather than stop discrimination against one group, Cameron’s preference is to impose it on as many people as possible.

After all, they’re only poor people and he is only a bigot.

You have to laugh at the response of the government’s spokesperson, as quoted in The Guardian: “We’ve already taken action to protect the benefits system and ensure that EU migrants come to this country for the right reasons and to contribute to the economy.

“Now we’re focused on renegotiating our relationship with Europe and getting a better deal for Britons, and we won’t speculate on other options.”

So, what about all those migrants sitting in Calais while they await the chance to slip into the UK unnoticed? Are they coming for the right reasons?

Of course not.

They’re coming because they have believed Conservative rhetoric about the UK economy being the powerhouse of the West (even though it isn’t), along with all the Tory-sponsored media nonsense about the benefit system being over-generous (even though it isn’t).

The migrant situation is a crisis of the Tories’ own making and they are using it to hammer their own fellow citizens. What are you going to do about it?