Friday 24 April 2009

Voluntary Repatriation, Bernie Grant and Polish deportations

Here is an article from the great black hero of the left Bernie Grant on voluntary repatriation.

Note that the BBC and the left did not call Bernie Grant a racist for his suggestion for financing repatriation. Nor were the tories called racists for their voluntary repatriation grants and nor are the Labour Party called racists for their present repatriation grants.

Over on Lancaster Unity some idiot called Tony Sharp has posted an article calling the BNP 'racists' for supporting a funded voluntary repatriation programme.

It appears that like all lefty idiots Tony Sharp has been on another planet for decades.

At the moment the labour government has a programme of voluntary repatriation grants and is actively deporting Eastern Europeans back home by paying for their travel costs.

It appears that either the left / liberals are either total idiots or total hypocrites on the issue, as their black hero Bernie Grant supported voluntary assisted repatriation, the Tories had a policy of voluntary assisted repatriation and the Labour government still runs a policy of assisted voluntary repatriation.

Grant isolated over repatriation: Parties distance themselves from black MP's comments. Will Bennett and Colin Brown report


Thursday, 7 October 1993

THE Government and the Opposition distanced themselves yesterday from the suggestion by Bernie Grant, the black Labour MP, that ethnic minorities should be helped financially to return to their country of origin.

The Conservatives were anxious to avoid risking allegations of prejudice which they faced in the early 1980s when repatriation was proposed by right-wing groups. Labour said that Mr Grant spoke only for himself.

Most black organisations are strongly opposed to Mr Grant's plan for the 'conditional return' of people fed up with racism. Under his proposal their move would be helped by government money. But one sympathetic voice was that of Linda Bellos, a black activist. In a letter to the Independent today, she writes: 'After a lifetime of work and of contribution to British society, many black people are sick to death of being treated as second-class citizens.'

Support for Mr Grant, a left-winger, also came from Winston Churchill, the right-wing Tory MP, who said: 'I think it is only reasonable and right that those who find themselves trapped in this country against their wishes, unable to return to their homeland because of financial factors, should be able to do so. I emphasise that what we are talking about, and what Mr Grant is talking about, is voluntary not compulsory repatriation.'

But at Blackpool, ministers said a voluntary scheme was already in operation. The limited scheme is for non-British citizens who want to be repatriated for humanitarian reasons.

Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, condemned racial attacks in his speech to the party conference on law and order. There were no calls for repatriation in the debate, although some resolutions called for an end to immigration, blaming racial tensions on the growth in the ethnic minority population. A source close to Mr Howard said: 'The conference was very strong indeed in its condemnation of racial attacks. There is a scheme in existence which has been there for over 20 years which does allow some people to be repatriated to the countries from which they have come . . .but very few people take advantage of it.'

A statement from the Labour Party said: 'His comments in no way reflect Labour Party policy. However, at a time of heightened concern about racist attacks and racial intolerance the fear must be that remarks about repatriation will damage the united determination to fight racism wherever it appears.'

Taxpayers are funding the repatriation of hundreds of homeless Eastern European immigrants who have been living on the streets.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds is being spent annually on travel costs for the immigrants, mainly Polish, who have been unable to find work in Britain and have no access to benefits.

Local authorities and charities are using government grants to fund one-way bus and air tickets, with one London council spending £100,000 on the scheme in the past year alone.

The strategy is to be widened this week in response to the recession, which has left increasing numbers in need of help.

Of the 3,000 people estimated to sleep on the streets of London each year, up to 20 per cent are from Eastern and Central Europe. They are the desperate failures of the mass migration into Britain that followed the entry of Eastern bloc countries into the EU in 2004 and 2007.

In the first city-wide scheme of its kind, a charity has been given funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government to seek out immigrants living on the street and encourage them to go home. Many will be given food and clothing, and accompanied by outreach workers.

Under the strategy, to begin this week, Thames Reach will initially receive £60,000. The charity also plans to fly in Polish outreach workers to meet its homeless clients and ensure that they have access to welfare services when they return home.

Jeremy Swain, chief executive, said that the immigrants could not get into temporary accommodation as they were not entitled to benefits until they had worked full time in the UK for one year. “They are often better off back home,” he said. “We will encourage that and help them to reconnect.”

If it is successful, the strategy is likely to be introduced in other areas with many Eastern European immigrants. Numerous outreach services and local authorities have been given significant funding, The Times has learnt.

Westminster Council, in Central London, received £100,000 last year from the communities department to run its scheme. Since 2005 the council has received grants to help about 600 people to return home to Eastern bloc countries. Hammersmith and Fulham Council, in West London, has been allocated £50,000 in the 2008-09 financial year and the same in 2009-10.

In September last year, more than 480,000 Eastern European citizens were registered as working in Britain, with almost two thirds of them from Poland. However, the Polish embassy estimates there may be as many as 600,000 of its citizens here.

The Government would not provide figures for the number of immigrants whose trips home have been funded by the taxpayer. However, it is understood that up to 500 people could be sent home each year under its various schemes. There is capacity to send home more than 200 people under the Thames Reach scheme alone.

Sending someone home can cost as little as a £50 coach trip. The new scheme, however, proposes bringing people from Poland to facilitate the move, and others to accompany those who are returning home. When flights, accommodation and food are included, each could cost in excess of £1,000.

Charities said that large numbers of Eastern Europeans had become homeless because of language difficulties, a lack of benefits and limited assistance from their embassies and consulates.

Jenny Edwards, chief executive of Homelessness Link, said: “If people are unlucky, or some are duped, or they become ill, they can end up with nothing and there’s very little out there that will help them. We end up with people with no food or shelter and nowhere to go.”

Petra Salva, the outreach services manager at Thames Reach, said that most of the immigrants had trades but were unable to obtain work in Britain. “They arrive and the language has got in the way and they don’t understand the system,” she said. “Often alcohol gets in the way or they have other support needs that preclude them getting work.

“We are making connections in Poland with support services that can help them with alcohol issues, employment and training, to give them a good start.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Communities and Local Government did not answer questions about funding amounts. She said that the Government needed to do more to achieve its ambition of ending rough sleeping by 2012. The vast majority of people from Eastern Europe had found work, but some had not been as fortunate, she said.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, expressed concern that taxpayers were funding the scheme. He said: “In the interests of British [people] and the wellbeing of migrants themselves, the Government should look at requiring proof that people are able to support themselves if they are coming here without a job offer.”

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