I wrote to you recently about the “go home” immigrant poster campaign which has been piloted in London boroughs. To date you have not given me the courtesy of a reply.
In my letter I asked you not to bring this xenophobic campaign to Scotland. I asked this because of the impact that this might have on our excellent community relations and the anxiety it may cause to some of our minority communities.
Unfortunately, it now looks like that you have chosen to ignore this request and instead decided to bring this inflammatory and insensitive campaign to Scotland. The UKBA office in Glasgow now displays posters and materials asking its clients to seek help “to go home” and offering to buy tickets to take these illegal immigrants home. Clients in this office have found these materials offensive and agencies and local politicians have raised their concerns about the appropriateness of this unsettling ‘go home’ message.
These posters, of course, have very little to do with the UK’s appalling record of dealing with illegal immigration, but everything to do with the rise of UKIP in the polls in England. The appalling race to the bottom with UKIP on immigration rhetoric is now being played out in the offices of the UKBA, and in front of the members of the public seeking help and informed advice.
Can you please reconsider siting these posters in Scotland? Our sense of community values feels violated by these crude and useless materials. The general view that is that they just do not fit here and we do not want them.
I hope you properly consider this and can assure me that all these materials will be removed.
Yours as always.
Pete Wishart MP