This is the slogan used by the Home Office in a number of London Boroughs as the first stage in a national campaign on immigration. A warning to those who have come to the UK and now reside here illegally coupled with an offer of help to those who choose to leave voluntarily. Despite only being seen in a small part of the capital, the campaign has quickly attracted national attention following a number of complaints about the use of the phrase ‘Go Home’ and its perceived links to slogans used by racist groups.
Racism exists – I am not going to deny that for a second. It is a real and often devastating evil which is all too common in our society – it should not be tolerated in any form.
It can also not be denied is that we as a nation have, in some instances, become enormously over sensitive to matters of political correctness. We now exist in a world where common phraseology is challenged because of its potential for mis-interpretation rather than any actual intended malice.
I received an interesting response to a tweet published earlier today in preparation for this post – The comment was that if you apply the same sentiment to a similar message such as ‘Burglars – Stay at Home or Face Arrest’ it would probably not even cause an eyebrow to be raised. There certainly wouldn’t be such widespread media attention.
I have stood toe to toe in the High Street with groups of many backgrounds. I have told them all in the same way to ‘Stop fighting each other and go home’ – they too have been threatened with arrest if they persist in their illegal activities.
On at least one occasion I have been accused of being racist by one member of such a group who was of mixed race and picked up on those two words – ‘Go Home’. He immediately attached a racial significance to them and reacted against me on that basis. His defence to the assault of racial provocation was completely destroyed the footage of me using the same phrase to at least four other groups, consisting entirely of people of a white ethnic background, in the 45 minutes prior to his arrest.
I honestly believe that many of us in the UK are so caught up in what might or might not be potentially interpreted as racist, sexist, or any of the other ‘ists that we have lost the ability to see a simple message for what it is. I believe that on some level, the Advertising Standards Agency is, by its very actions here, re-enforcing this Ultra-PC attitude rather than investigating a truly offensive message, designed to incite or promote a racist ideology.
I may get shot down for saying this but I honestly believe that there was no issue with the message on those billboards. If an extremist or racist chooses to take the intended message and twist it to fit their own aims, then the issue lies with them and it is them that should be investigated. If I come across an illegal overstayer I will detain them and seek to have action taken against them just as I would arrest and seek action in respect of one of the rapists and murderers that so many believe I should be out catching.
What I will say to finish however – because I can’t quite bring myself to write an entirely pro-government post – is that perhaps those in power wouldn’t have to expose themselves to such criticism if our borders weren’t quite so soft.
In other news published today it was revealed that only a small proportion of those found entering the country illegally from Europe had their fingerprints taken by UKBA officials yet 100% of legitimate passengers through the same ports had some form of biometrics collected. With such gaping holes in our border controls, is it any wonder that we have such issues with illegal occupancy and that our population has been swelled by 420,000 in just the last year including a staggering 165,000 more people immigrating to the UK than emigrating from it!