Failings over race earn Theresa May a figurative rap on the knuckles – twice!

Mike here reports the very mild criticism of Theresa May and the vans encouraging illegal immigrant to ‘go home’ by the Advertising Standards Commission. The Commission concluded that the vans’ message was similar to that of racist abuse directed at immigrants, and did have racist baggage. They were also instructed not to use the vans again. However, despite the fact that the vans were sent into areas of believed to contain non-White illegal immigrants – but not areas occupied by foreign Caucasian nationalies, like Australians, the Commission did not consider that the vans were attempting to stir up racial tension. Mike’s view is that the vans were an attempt by the Coalition to appeal to the extreme Right-wing anti-non-white immigrant sentiments of groups like Daily Mail readers. He also shows that despite government propaganda, Britain actually has the lowest number of immigrants of any developed nation. I am not surprised that the vans were explicitly aimed at non-White immigrants. I can remember a Daily Mail opinion piece from the 1990s complaining about the racial equality legislation that meant that the government had to put the same restrictions on immigration to White migrants ‘of our own flesh and blood’ from majority Caucasian nations like Canada. Despite Cameron’s attempts to distance the Tory party from the racial nationalist Right, May’s vans show that the racists are still active within his party. As for the victims of this policy, Mike notes the humiliation felt by British-born Black and Asian people, who were stopped under suspicion of being illegal immigrants under May’s campaign. He also notes that Parliament’s own website noted that on the same day Chris Grayling was being questioned by two committees in the House of Lords over the government’s policy of opting out of EU police and criminal justice procedures. Parliament’s own website noted that there was concern that the government’s attitude in this area indicated to the EU that it did not take these issues seriously.

Mike Sivier's blog

Anyone with an ounce of brain in their head knew the Home Office was going to be banned from using its advertising vans again – the ones telling illegal immigrants to “go home”, in the language of “knuckle-dragging racists”, as Owen Jones so memorably phrased it.

That is, anyone except everyone working at the Home Office, including the Secretary of State – Theresa May.

The Advertising Standards Authority ordered the Home Secretary not to put the vans on the streets again, saying the phrase “go home” was indeed a reminder of a racist slogan and “clearly carries baggage”.

The authority also said the posters on the vans referred to inaccurate arrest statistics, claiming there had been 106 arrests in the area in the past week. The ASA said this was misleading as it did not relate to accurate arrest statistics for the specific areas where people would have seen the…

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