Wednesday, March 07, 2007

John Reid Tells Immigrants to 'Text Off'

When we were doing the newspaper review last night on 18DS I saw a headline in The Sun which said John Reid would now clamp down on illegal immigrants by texting them and asking them to leave the country. A thought stuck me. If the immigrants are illegal, how is it that the government doesn't know where they are but has their mobile phone numbers? Bryan Appleyard is also slightly nonplussed...
John Reid today managed to lead the BBC news with a scheme to text foreigner visitors telling them when their visa is about to expire. In what kind of depraved civic realm does such footling nonsense come to be regarded by our 'flagship'
broadcaster as worthy of any attention at all?

Ah, so that explains it. Reid is aiming this at Visa 'overstayers'. Quite why he thinks a text message will have any effect isn't immediately obvious.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reminds of the advert with 'Vic Reeves' where he gives people a 'warning' before banging them on the head with a saucepan.

Following up on 18DS last night - maybe we should just remove ALL UK road signs - it would save money and confuse the foreigners ! Well, it was done during the war, although luckily we didn't have to try it out in anger...

Anonymous said...

Iain

Please dont give this idiotic spin any more airtime, those fukin duplicitous morons at the BBC have done enough propaganda work today.

They, maybe more than those instigating this deception, should be ashamed of themselves. They broadcast mindless rubbish like "Commonwealth soldiers form Union to combat racism" knowing its result.

Anyone with the faintest idea about the military would see it for the misleading lie it is.

Good work BBC, top stuff.

Anonymous said...

"ur vza hs xpird"

It's government by gimmickry, a hallmark of New Labour.

The soon Labour get an SMS saying "CON gain" the better!

Anonymous said...

If they are texting the registered workers that their visa is up why are they aactually APPROVING 85% of all extension requests from economic migrants.

In the olden days people who lied to parliament , the press and the public were forced to resign.

Today we put them in charge of national security.

F*kin crooks all of them

Anonymous said...

If they are texting the registered workers that their visa is up why are they aactually APPROVING 85% of all extension requests from economic migrants.

In the olden days people who lied to parliament , the press and the public were forced to resign.

Today we put them in charge of national security.

F*kin crooks all of them

Chris Paul said...

Iain: Naive twaddle. We have had a legal immigrant - a young Kenyan runner - staying with us and have had for almost 11 months. He is out of time but still legal for the moment as he has an appeal going on.

He applied for an extension of his visa at the end of January when his old one - which carried free working rights - was soon coming to an end.

He was refused (and very quickly as it goes, this part of IND has become efficient) because, although we didn't know it he should have applied for (and paid £150+ for) a work permit after six months - even though he is not in fact working for anyone.

Just training and racing and assisting GB runners' preparations and their racing to boot. He appealled and his hearing was also efficiently arranged and is on Friday 30 March. Though it is in Stoke which is a pain.

John Reid's people have had a landline 'phone and a mobile contact for him throughout. A timely reminder to get a work permit (or swap categories as he was never actually working) would have been very welcome indeed.

For the record our man paid about £100 for his out of country application, about £350 for an extension, and would have to pay £150 for a work permit application. In every case non-refundable.

He gets no benefits, is not working, is not burden on the state, has no asylum claim, is here to develop his running and share his knowledge.

It's a racket. But texting people notice of deadlines would be a very good thing indeed. In fact he got no information he needed the document and when his refusal to extension came he got no appeal form or rubric, though the deadline is tight at 10 working days for appeal.

The Immigration Advisory Service were pants in this case though they had very shiny offices, no queues and lots of unpressured staff. Quite a contrast with the CAB etc round the corner.

simon said...

I love Labour! Just when you think that they have all looney-tooned out- along comes something else! What's this text going to say:- 'Get out now' , or this being from John Reid 'F' off tha noo before the polis catch oop with ye ya ken'. The mind boggles. Just a thought...have warner Bros donated money to Labour?!

tory boys never grow up said...

This is just you and some in the media trying to make a cheap politcal shot - the point about texting merited only a single sentence in a 36 page policy document and was referred as example of an innovative measure in one of 8 bullet points summarising the proposals in the covering press release. The proposal is only being piloted anyway if anyone bothered to read the document.

Perhaps the next time you criticise the Government for "spin" you ought to examine your own actions first!

Anonymous said...

Thats the problem, people who are welcome get caught in the b***ox of red tape and the 1,000's of undesirables, illegal migrants and criminals do as they please!

How many phone numbers do they have??

Anonymous said...

if you are studying detail, whats your view on the accomodation tax scam that allows landlords to fleece the treasury, pay migrants less and further depress wages?

Every migrant means a UK citizen out of work or dragged into income support.

Nice of Brown to announce on sunday he will cut single mothers benefits if they dont get a job!!

Wot A CNUT

Anonymous said...

http://preview.tinyurl.com/2dhruv

For someone who has over-stayed their welcome, this is Theo Spark's idea for a useful text message...

steve said...

30 page report - one mention of text message reminders. BBC picked up on this and ran with it. Reid was clearly embarrassed by their focus on this when he hoped to lead on ID cards for all foreign visitors. There may be more to it than the text message proposal. Iain, up your game son. Almost tabloid level of laziness.

Anonymous said...

What about sending text messages to escaped prisoners asking them to report to the nearest police station

Geoff said...

If it helps, the Polish for "Your Visa has expired, please leave my country" is "odpieprzyć się"

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

Why are the BBc not embargoed from broadcasting utter B*****S designed to raise tension?????

Anonymous said...

Text : Your Visa has expired please leave the country.......unless

If however you think road pricing or European Integration is a good idea please ask a policeman for the application form in your language: NO. 1933 "take the piss out of a minimum wage and strong sterling" Integration Directive.

This will allow you to work for less than a british worker, pay no tax, get medical treatment, drive down wages forcing more british workers into the income support welfare trap, upset locals and have a fawning bleeding heart white pseudo communist fuckwit ask questions in parliament about slaves (from slav, the original eastern european slaves) or prescott or something on your behalf.

BJ said...

Has it ever, ever occurred to any of you wingnuts that the BBC sometimes covers stories because lots of people might have an opinion on them -- no matter what that opinion is?

For fuck's sake, would you rather the BBC didn't hold any of the government's slightly more loony "eye catching policy initiatives" to a bit of account?

Sky are also covering the story about John Reid.

And why, exactly, is it "mindless" to broadcast soldiers fighting for Britain who say they've been on the receiving end of racist abuse from their colleagues and superiors? Did you think it was "mindless" that the BBC covered the poor state of housing provided to service personnel a few months back, "knowing the effect it would have", whatever that means?

Sheesh.

bt said...

anon 1:28

If you think it's bad, just imagine what it would be like if the web hadn't taken off in the past few years - wall-to-wall NuLab bullshit would be all we'd get to hear.

There'd be a new off-the-cuff 'initiative' every week, all patently riduculous and each destined to go tits-up in very short order... wait a minute... that seems a familiar scenario...

Hmm. Only one thing for it - flood the blogs with astro-turfers praising the wisdom and insight of our beloved leaders, causing the doubters and nay-sayers to retreat in confusion and thus the policy gems would shine forth pure and unsullied by those nasty, cynical bloggers. Still wouldn't work, but that can be fixed with a bit more unconsidered legislation... erm... that seems familiar, too.

Do you think someone should have a quiet word with them? "Psst! The emperor has no clothes!"

Anonymous said...

Is this typical Tory 'let's give the immigrants a good kicking' policy ?

You guys need to grow up - people leave this country, people come to this country - get over it.

The Tories are so hung-up with the white, middle-class, middle-age English people in the South-East.

It is a shame that they are too thick to see beyond that to the diversity of humankind that lives across these shores. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives will NEVER lose their well-deserved reputation as the NASTY party while it continues to condone racism and xenophobia with trite 'Daily Hate Mail' journalism like this. We are ALL British here, now get used to it.

AnyoneButBlair said...

Another ludicrous, unimplementable, trivial and ill-thought-through eye-catching initiative publicised by NuLabs placemen at the Beeb. One of Gould's focus groups must have raised illegal immigration earlier this week....

A thought for a new book though....Like the Little Red Book of NuLab Sleaze, how about The Little Red Book of NuLab eye-catching initiatives
...describing what they are, why it's ridculous, how much money was wasted looking into it and on a consultants report and what the end result was i.e. nothing...see Matthew Parris's comments about Brown's midnight football on Timesonline. Can I have a cut?

Daily Referendum said...

Here's the Text reply:

Mr Rd u r a wnkr

Andrew Ian said...

Another way the government is going to stuff better off immigrants/foreign employees. Those who are really economic migrants who don't want to leave just won't have mobiles.

This is the equivalent of Davey's hug a hoodie daftness.

no longer anonymous said...

Haha, as if Reid really wants to get rid of a bunch of guaranteed Labour voters.

Anonymous said...

Its all about as daft as Camerons policy on Europe.

How many British Prime Ministers have tried to reform the EU from within and won.

The answers none and nor will Cameron should enough bluelabour supporters vote for him.

No mention of his speach in your blog Iain. Is comment on Europe against the party line?

no longer anonymous said...

"The Tories are so hung-up with the white, middle-class, middle-age English people in the South-East."

I think you'll find most polls show around 70-80% of the population favour much tougher immigration controls. In fact I suspect anti-immigration feeling is stronger up north. I suspect you think most people are against being tough on criminals as well.

no longer anonymous said...

"Conservatives will NEVER lose their well-deserved reputation as the NASTY party while it continues to condone racism and xenophobia with trite 'Daily Hate Mail' journalism like this. We are ALL British here, now get used to it."

HAHAHAHA. Judging by their poll position they have lost that reputation. And even when they were the NASTY PARTY their immigration policy was more popular than Labour's.

The Remittance Man said...

This is just the same as Tony's idea to have coppers marching yobs to cashpoints so they could withdraw the money to pay illegal, on-the-spot fines.

The fact that it is patently stupid, impractical or downright misleading (I won't use the term "fibbing" out of a sense of decorum) is immaterial to these morons. The idea is to get something into the news just to make it look like they are doing something.

Well people do realise they are doing something. Sadly for the government that something is making themselves look stupid, uncoordinated and downright incompetent.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 2.01pm and 2.03pm - you're so dull...you must be New Labour stooges

Immigration to the people of England is a quality of life issue not a racist issue - since New Labour came into power and opened the floodgates to a net inflow of 5 million immigrants in 10 years, England has become more congested in every aspect of life.

Congested streets (hence road pricing), congested schools (class sizes too large), congested hospitals (waiting lists too long), congested welfare state, congested housing supply, congested tax burden, etc

The quality of life for the indigenous population should be an over riding factor - not the feelings of hand wringing lefties like you.

If New Labour had it's way "the skys the limit" would be its policy on immigration - 50 million - 100 million, whats the difference - a Hong Kong version of England might appeal to some but it doesn't to most.


And PS. None of the aforementioned 'congestion' affects Scotland which probably explains why the Raj never saw mass immigration as a problem and never did anything about it, and still isn't going to do anything about it with 'text messages'

Slim Jim said...

Anon 2:01pm - What a sad, naive view you have of immigration-related matters. It is perfectly clear that this government has absolutely no intelligent and coherent policy to deal with the very large rise in immigration in recent years. More importantly, it is the effect on society, services and infrastructure that is having the most negative effect. I'm sure that many readers of this blog have no problem with people coming to this country to work, but it's fuckwits like you that put political ideology before their country's interests that piss people off. Why do you think that there has been a lot of back-pedalling by the ruling junta on this issue? Maybe due to the number of votes they have lost/will lose because they have allowed things to spiral out of control? Is it because they keep telling us what mortal danger we are in from terrorists (but we'll have open borders though)?

Finally, we also saw the importance put into 'diversity' last week, when public sector jobs are going to be moved from Corby to Leicester because targets couldn't be met. Yet another example of an ideological victory over common sense. Yet more votes lost. Keep your finger in the dyke, schlub.

Anonymous said...

radio 5 10 mins ago - some senior bird from the home office engaged in a marathon NuLab speke nonsense fest......has just been ironed out by a passport control worker at heathrow who phoned in to call her a liar! " but thats what not happening luv, the only ones we catch are a few waifs and strays and anyone unlucky enough to arrive between 8.30 and 5pm"....... another NuLb fest of bliarspin...... nailed

Text your local unwanted, illegal citizen with the message;
"fcuk off you lying MP scum, leave our country to decent people"

Steven_L said...

'In fact I suspect anti-immigration feeling is stronger up north' (no longer anonymous)

Oh big time, I'm in Northumberland, the last thing anyone wants here are a load of immigrants clogging up all the social housing, taking all the bar jobs and laying bricks for minimum wage.

You guys down there keep celebrating your diversity, we'll keep using foul racist language, guess who gets the immigrants?

johnny miller said...

Do the 31% of the electorate who vote for the Labour Party actually appreciate being treated like this, day in day out? As though you were a mentally retarded child of 9 who had never set foot out of the lunatic asylum. Who is he talking to? If one were to walk down the aisle of the 21:35 train from Leeds to London and say to people - hey. this is my solution to illegal immigration, what do you reckon? How many people would just look at you as though YOU were a retarded 9 year old who had never left the asylum?

Roger Thornhill said...

31% of the electorate voted Labour.

25% of the electorate are economically inactive.

6% must be Socialist, Academia or part of Gordon's "salaried unemployed".

John Reid said...

Iain Dale:

You can tell that David Davis that I am not amused at the leaking of the document which claims that texting immigrants was going to form part of Tory policy.

If you are going to make a fool of me in future, can we agree to an appointment on the 1st of April before 12 noon?

Ralph said...

'Do the 31% of the electorate who vote for the Labour Party actually appreciate being treated like this, day in day out? '

Yes, because they still vote Labour.

Madasafish said...

Glad to see reasoned debate exists on this subject..

"Please dont give this idiotic spin any more airtime, those fukin duplicitous morons "
"and have a fawning bleeding heart white pseudo communist fuckwit ask questions in parliament about slaves "

""fcuk off you lying MP scum, leave our country to decent people"


The natives are so well educated.. NOT.

Three text messages sent... :-)))

Madasafish said...

Glad to see reasoned debate exists on this subject..

"Please dont give this idiotic spin any more airtime, those fukin duplicitous morons "
"and have a fawning bleeding heart white pseudo communist fuckwit ask questions in parliament about slaves "

""fcuk off you lying MP scum, leave our country to decent people"


The natives are so well educated.. NOT.

Three text messages sent... :-)))

Marquee Mark said...

"The Tories are so hung-up with the white, middle-class, middle-age English people in the South-East."

Nowhere near as hung-up as white, working class English people of all ages and regions - who are now leaving Labour to vote for the BNP. It feels abondoned and beseiged; and angry because it feels trapped. Large numbers of the white middle-class (tax-paying) natural Tory constituency, on the other hand, has fucked off to Spain and France and Florida in frustration at the piss-poor quality of life. All part of their great Socialist Ten Year Plan to provide eternal Socialist victories, I'm sure.

However, in the process Labour has managed to reinvigorate fascism to a point not seen - well, since the days of the National Front in the seventies - when Labour was last in power.

Never a socialist ! said...

Marquee Mark has the point. Reid is worried about his own job and those of his fellow Labour hangers on in May. Hence trying to sound hard to avoid too much haemorrhaging to the BNP. Tory votes, having a higher average IQ, will have seen through all this and are smart enough to know it won't work.

Its the Labour voters this is aimed at - who given they have voted in the past for this bunch of losers and incompetents - are less smart, so need the John Reid dog whistle to keep them in line.

fairdealphil said...

Thought it was time for a genuine comment from a real person, rather than another anon tosser...

Iain: sorry to see you swallowing hook line and sinker the total bollox promoted by today's Tory briefing claiming that the Government intends texting illegal immigrants to remind them to leave.

Good headline, as usual not supported by the facts:

The truth, if anyone is interested is that the text messaging is not about tackling illegal immigration at all, but a small pilot scheme aimed at reminding managed and legal migrants to renew their visas.

But whose interested in the facts....?

Sadly, it appears, not Iain.

Keep sucking up: you're bound to be rewarded with a 'safe' Tory seat soon.

The Remittance Man said...

Phil,

It is quite possible that the way you describe this is indeed the real intention. Probable even.

But let's say the original press release (which I admit I haven't read) went something like this:

"In order to deal with the large number of people living in the UK in contravention of the Visa and residence regulations the Home Office is proposing....."

That could be read to mean those legally here but who need to renew their papers. But it could also be understood to mean all illegal residents.

If this is the case either the press release was badly worded - some press officer is not doing his job properly and should be spanked.

Or it could have been written in a deliberately vague manner (spun) to create a "tough on illegals" soundbite for a HomeSec in need of one. Something for which this government has previous.

Either way it hardly makes Riedie look good.

Anonymous said...

I have no issue with migration as I am one myself.So lets put that to bed

The accusations of nasty racist tory is mindless, but proves my point perfectly. I am a racist and nasty because I dont think its right that a single mother has to be forced into low paid job after her benefit is cut in order to lower the welfare budget. So that nasty is it?

When the woman who runs the immigration services refused to answer a question on air about the actual numbers involved, something is wrong. The answer is she doesnt know, but wont say it 'because the public dont like it' and we must keep it from them. What is nastier than that.

If you cannot see the correlation then I cannot help you. If you believe in the minimum wage and reducing poverty why would you have a policy that drags people into the welfare network because all the jobs at or above the min wage level are taken by others??? it means the honest working mum cannot see her wages rise because of the unrestricted supply of labour.

Lets choose another topic, road pricing, why does the OECD talk about the challenges of raisng revenue and cutting spending including the introduction of road pricing? In a document from 2006? Because they are going to introduce it anyway because the government finances are in a parlous state. The public know the economy is not healthy, personal insolvency is rising, credit card defaults are rising, mortgage defaults are rising, borrowing is out of control,

We do not know the real story because the government try and hide it from us. What is nastier than making people think everything is OK and then after theyve bought that house, car etc they find themselves out of work, reduced wages etc

The fact that debate is stifled by this government is the real tragedy.

Anonymous said...

These stupid pronouncements deliberately raise tension, that we all feel guilty about racism evewhere the tension is socio-economic not race inspired.

Why would anyone have a racial issue with polish plumbers> didnt we got to war over poland???

think chaps think

Roger Thornhill said...

Anon 10:20 - has it occured to you and your ilk that the issue is that many "single mums" continue to have children without the personal means to support them. Some have never worked yet have 2, 3 4 kids. So why did No2 and No3 arrive? Where are the fathers? Why should she care if The State dishes out more and more moeny and provides larger and larger accommodation?

To me the answer is both to steadily lower age limits and also to NOT increase welfare to people who are already dependent on the state if they choose to enlarge their family (that includes from 0 to 1 kid). Unless you do this, the "safety net" is actually a hammock. A net implies a means to catch someone falling, not a place to lie indefinitely popping out sprogs.

To use your words: If you cannot see the correlation then I cannot help you.