Widespread condemnation of advertising campaign
"It reminds them of the things they used to see on walls in the 70s such as 'Paki go home'. The tone of the words on this van is similar to those signs in guesthouses that once told potential tenants: 'no Irish, no blacks, no dogs',"
Sarah Teather MP, Liberal Democrats
There is growing condemnation of a Home Office campaign, which has seen a billboard carrying van driven around areas with high levels of diversity in the population, with a message for illegal immigrants which says “Go home or face arrest”.
The government are believed to have spent £10,000 on the advertising campaign so far. However, coalition partners from the Liberal Democrats and even UKIP members have criticised the campaign. Their leader Nigel Farage said the billboards were “nasty”.
Rajeev Syal, reporting on the issue in The Guardian, includes a number of quotes from politicians.
The Lib Dem party president, Tim Farron, said the campaign represented "the politics of division" and called for the billboards to be "shredded".
Sarah Teather, the former Lib Dem minister and MP for Brent Central, said constituents told her the billboards were reminiscent of some of the most offensive graffiti and signs seen at the height of anti-immigrant racism in the 70s.
"It reminds them of the things they used to see on walls in the 70s such as 'Paki go home'. The tone of the words on this van is similar to those signs in guesthouses that once told potential tenants: 'no Irish, no blacks, no dogs'," she said.
Teather said one of the vans drove past her office and had caused offence to those who saw it. "It is very difficult to tell whether this is deliberately insensitive or incompetently insensitive. I don't see anyone other than the home secretary and the immigration minister who wish to be associated with it," she said.
SRtRC agrees that this advertising campaign is ill-conceived and is concerned on the effect it will have on communities and how people perceive immigration in the effected areas and nationally. More needs to be done to disseminate accurate information about immigration and the contribution migrants make to UK society by politicians.