21 Apr 2011

Immigrant Persecution by Press and Government

If one believed the right wing black top tabloids, our country is over run with immigrants, assylum seekers and other aberritions.

The truth is very different. But the representation in the press is extremely misleading.

Take today's eye catching headline in The Evening Standard:

£1,500 a week to house immigrant family of 12

The family, 'at a cost to the taxpayer' are housed in Tower Hamlets. Heaven forbid they should be given housing in a notoriously rough area of London, populated with mainly Council houses (sarcasm).

The focus is on the annual cost, but while £76,000 is a lot of money, when you take into account rent (circa £900 for a three bed flat) the family of 12, with growing children, have barely £400 to live on. This amount will cover bills as well as food and clothes. For 12.

The article goes on to draw attention to these people 'escaping the benefit cap' on April 1st, as if their need for housing was a nefarious plan to defraud the country.

Craig Woodhouse then mentions the family are 'believed to be assylum seekers'.

This would have a significant impact on their benefit income, as they would only be entitled to 70% of income support, because apparently the cost of living doesn't apply if you are traumatised and forced to flee your country under fear of death.

Those in the family old enough to work would be denied that right, forced to eek out an existance on their benefits.

If they are lucky, they will have avoided a detention centre where they would have been separated by gender and grilled over their intentions in Britain. However, they will certainly have been electronically tagged to ensure the authorities can keep an eye on them, afterall, we do not allow people human rights in Britain unless they are British (sarcasm).

Therefore, far from the popular connotation of thieving lay-abouts, we have a persecuted family with little to live on, denied even the courtesy of earning their own wage by the government.

But the supposition of the article panders to popular misconceptions to get more attention, failing to address the true failings of the government in addressing assylum issues and breaches of human rights.

Soapbox over.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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