Hey oh, who has been reminiscing what 2013 had brought for them at a time whether it has been fortunate, miraculous, or unfortunate. I hope all had a reasonable Christmas and enjoyable New Years. Now that the new beginning has begun to take place as many will know that we all will have an uphill battle to contend with like the European and Local elections in 2014 then we have another set of elections in 2015 for local and general elections which of cause I will be wishing our Labour candidates all the success with the trimming that follows with it. Now that I have got the formalities out-of-the-way I recently took a step back from the Christmas and New year periods to reflect on a book that I read some time ago about the raise of the far right which of course is nothing new to the Black and Ethnic Minority communities if I’m honest enough to say that we have seen it and worn the tee-shirt as migrant came to this country by the invitation of your government.
Granted some could argue that their forefathers fought against the fascists and fought for this country in two world wars. The question is has it really changed anything which has left a positive Impression for our younger generation to take up the challenge for the future. Then there is the other side of the coin that most European countries failed to address the slave trade which they failed to give a formal apology for the injustices that Black people had suffered and the list goes on.
Let’s take a serious look what has been said about the Far-right movement add the article below:
The past decade saw the rise of the British National Party, the country’s most successful ever far-right political movement, and the emergence of the anti-Islamic English Defence League. Taking aim at asylum seekers, Muslims, “enforced multiculturalism” and benefit “scroungers”, these groups have been working overtime to shift the blame for the nation’s ills onto the shoulders of the vulnerable. What does this extremist resurgence say about the state of modern Britain?
Mainstream politicians have consistently underestimated the far right in Britain while pursuing policies that give it the space to grow. Bloody Nasty People calls time on this complacency in an account that provides us with fresh insights into the dynamics of political extremism.
So it is not surprising that three main political parties are panicking over the issue of EU migration which many Black and Ethnic Minority communities have foreseen happening. Some may argue that I’m harping on about sour grapes but I can assure you I’m not but highlighting a burning issue which is very much alive today which has a knock on effect or we can stop bickering amongst ourselves and start to address the issues together as it is not a clear-cut as it may seem. We all need to look at the wider picture.
Love or loathe Nigel Farage his party UKIP is wholeheartedly supporting the Daily Express petition calling for the Prime Minister to defy the EU and keep border controls in place for migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. Restrictions are set to be lifted from 1st January 2014.
UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said: “It’s imperative we start holding our Government to account and stop them using the excuse that there is nothing they can do about opening our borders to Bulgaria and Romania.
“I would like to see David Cameron pluck up the courage to confront the EU. We have rising youth unemployment, overcrowding in schools and hospitals. We simply cannot afford to have thousands more people coming to live in the UK in January while we are still trying to patch up our fragile economy.
Now we all noticed a reverse from UKIP by urging for the coalition to support Syrian refugees yet this political party has the very cheek to say:
Western countries should agree to take an allocation, but he did not specify numbers.
Mr Farage, who has led opposition to allowing open immigration from Romania and Bulgaria in the New Year, said refugees were “a very different thing”.
The UK government is refusing to accept Syrian refugees, saying it is better to offer financial help.
Mr Farage said: “I think refugees are a very different thing to economic migration and I think this country should honour the 1951 declaration on refugee status that was agreed.
“It was agreed with the UN and even through the European Court, which sadly has changed its role.
“But the original ideas of defining what a refugee is were good ones and I think, actually, there is a responsibility on all of us in the free West to try to help some of those people fleeing Syria, literally in fear of their lives.”
He said it was time for “a proper debate” about “the difference between a refugee – who fears for his or her life – or somebody moving simply for economic benefit”.
While Mr Farage did not put a figure on the estimated nine million Syrians displaced by war who should be allowed into the UK, Labour wants to accept 400 to 500.
On Saturday 28 December 2013, the leaders of Britain’s three main political parties issued a joint statement backing a UN appeal to raise £4bn to help Syrian refugees.
David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg said the fate of a Syrian generation “hangs in the balance” with four million children caught up in the civil conflict.
The leaders said the UK would add to the £523m it had already committed and urged other nations to do the same.
The UK says its aid is providing support including food, medical care and relief items for people in Syria and to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.
In a report released earlier this month, Amnesty International accused European Union leaders of “miserably failing” to provide a safe haven to Syrians.
Only 10 member states had offered to take in refugees and even then only 12,000, it complained.
Italy – like the UK – had offered no places at all, the organisation said.
More than 100,000 people are estimated to have been killed since the unrest began in Syria more than two years ago.
Nigel Farage will vow to put the expected influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants to Britain from January at the heart of the UK Independence Party’s campaign in next year’s European elections.
The Ukip leader, speaking at his party’s conference in London, will claim the capital is already suffering a “Romanian crime wave” and accuse the Coalition of preparing to welcome “foreign criminal gangs” from new EU member states.
Mr Farage’s return to strident anti-immigration rhetoric comes after he had attempted to soften his party’s tone in recent months, criticising the Home Office’s “Go Home” vans as nasty and unpleasant.
Ukip, which is riding high in the opinion polls and far exceeded predictions by winning more than 220 council seats in this year’s town hall elections, is widely expected to top the popular vote in the European elections in May.
Mr Farage will tell the conference: “My ambition, my conviction is that we can come first and cause an earthquake.” He will accuse the political establishment of closing down the immigration debate for two decades, but insist Ukip will refuse to be brow-beaten by political correctness and address the subject “honestly, directly”.
Mr Farage will claim that unprecedented immigration levels are putting a strain on schools, hospitals, housing and wage levels – and add that the problems will increase massively on 1 January when Romanians and Bulgarians gain the right to live, work and claim benefits in Britain.
“There is an even darker side to the opening of the door in January. London is already experiencing a Romanian crime wave. There have been an astounding 27,500 arrests in the Metropolitan Police area in the last five years.
“Ninety-two per cent of ATM crime is committed by Romanians. This gets to the heart of the immigration policy that Ukip wants: we should not welcome foreign criminal gangs and we must deport those who have committed offences.”
Mr Farage will forecast: “The campaign will be dominated by open door immigration to Eastern Europe. If the Coalition wants to save their electoral skins they must, before 1 January , tell Brussels that we will not unconditionally open our door to Bulgaria and Romania.” He will tell activists, who are celebrating Ukip’s 20th anniversary, that it is now the party of British politics and predict its membership will exceed the Liberal Democrats in less than two years.
Maybe both the coalition and UKIP learn a strong lesson from UNHCR
The UN refugee agency has condemned David Cameron‘s proposed immigration laws over fears they could stigmatise foreigners, deny housing to people in need and create a “climate of ethnic profiling”.
In a highly critical document, the office of the United Nations high commissioner forrefugees, António Guterres, raised concerns that the immigration bill will damage communities and lead to the marginalisation of refugees and asylum-seekers.
It comes after Tories reacted angrily to the UN’s special investigator on housing, Raquel Rolnik, who warned earlier this year that the bedroom tax was causing “shocking” hardship in parts of the UK.
Cameron has proposed the immigration bill in order to crack down on illegal immigrants, restricting access to bank accounts and private housing, as well as forcing temporary migrants to pay for public services such as the NHS.
However, the commissioner is worried that legal refugees and asylum-seekers will be caught up in the new restrictions, as landlords, GPs and banks will find it difficult to interpret their immigration status. The commissioner said these protected groups would suffer discrimination if the legislation went ahead.
“The provisions of the bill appear likely to result in asylum-seekers, refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection being stigmatised in the public mind and in their being denied access to housing or bank accounts,” the UNHCR said in a briefing note to MPs.
“The UN high commissioner for refugees is concerned that if introduced, such measures could contribute towards a climate of misunderstanding and ethnic profiling that could undermine the longer-term prospects for integration of such persons and prove detrimental to social cohesion.
“Additionally, the UN high commissioner for refugees is concerned that the types of documentation carried by asylum-seekers, refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless people can be varied and complex, and landlords and other service providers are likely to misinterpret the legality of their status.
“It will also impose an additional administrative burden on them. These challenges may have unintended consequences such as the denial of housing and other services to asylum-seekers, refugees, beneficiaries of subsidiary protection that result in their marginalisation and inhibit their integration in the United Kingdom.”
The UNHCR, which is currently working with 10 million refugees in disaster zones such as Syria, also raised concerns about changes to the UK legal system after Theresa May, the home secretary, said she wanted to make it easier for illegal immigrants to be deported before they have the chance to appeal.
The Home Office declined to comment specifically on the UNHCR’s concerns.
However, a spokesman pointed to a statement from October by Mark Harper, the immigration minister, saying: “The immigration bill will stop migrants abusing public services to which they are not entitled, reduce the pull factors which draw illegal immigrants to the UK and make it easier to remove people who should not be here.”
Labour has said it backs some principles of the immigration bill but will try to amend some of the details. During scrutiny of the legislation, Helen Jones, a shadow Home Office minister, said she was concerned that British citizens from black or ethnic minority communities would be targeted for checks by banks and GPs “even though they may well have been born here”.
“The worry I have is that if someone comes in from a black or ethnic minority background, the bank will not know whether they have leave to remain in the UK. The suspicion is that the bank will say ‘produce a document’ – a passport or whatever. “What will happen if that person does not have a passport?” she said. In response to the UNHCR, David Hanson, shadow immigration minister, said it was “disappointing that the government has voted against Labour’s proposal to pilot this scheme and will instead plough on regardless”.
“We’ve said repeatedly that whilst it’s important that people who are here illegally are found and removed from this country, there are concerns over the workability and efficacy of these proposals.”
The Home Office has been forced to defend the immigration bill against accusations it will turn GPs, banks and landlords into the equivalent of border guards by forcing them to carry out immigration status checks.
Earlier this month, the home affairs committee warned that millions of landlords may be unwilling to rent properties to immigrants if coalition proposals requiring them to carry out immigration checks were put into practice.
The cross-party group said the measures were designed to create a hostile environment for illegal migrants and could discriminate against all immigrants, regardless of their status.
They also said it would be “wholly wrong” to introduce health charges to access the NHS for those who are in Britain through no choice of their own, such as refugees and the victims of trafficking.
Well folks not for the first time have all witnessed turmoil from the rank and file of the coalition from George Osborne’s response to the news that the UK could be Europe’s largest economy by 2030 is as expected.
The Treasury has rolled out its mantra – the “hard work is paying off”.
Plan A – deficit reduction – is working, but there will be no complacency until the job is done.
Yet if you read the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) report you will see no mention of the words “cuts” or “austerity”.
If the researchers think that is what will boost the British economy, they certainly do not spell it out.
Instead they focus on three main factors.
That, married with a high tax regime is bad news for the French economy, they conclude, warning the country will plummet down the world rankings from 5th to 13th.
Germany would fare better if it weren’t for its ongoing commitment to the euro and possibility of future bailouts of ailing countries, the researchers add.
That Britain has benefited by being insulated from that single currency threat will be jumped upon by Westminster Eurosceptics – many of whom reside in the Conservative Party.
They might also enjoy the suggestion that a low-tax regime relative to Europe has helped the UK economy.
But the third factor highlighted by the CEBR may be a little more difficult to digest for a party that is instinctively cautious of an open borders agenda.
The report suggests that “positive demographics with continuing immigration” is a key factor in boosting the economy.
David Cameron has promised to limit the numbers coming to the UK, a crackdown on benefits for those who do, and a veto from Britain on countries joining the EU without strict new rules on the movement of labour.
The Lib Dems are twitchy, with their Business Secretary Vince Cable warning that the rhetoric has echoes of Enoch Powell – who was sacked from the Conservative shadow cabinet in 1968 following his infamous “Rivers of Blood” speech.
A battle is also ensuing behind the scenes. A Home Office study into the pros and cons of EU membership in terms of immigration has yet to be published.
Whitehall sources tell me the first draft by civil servants found a positive impact from people coming to Britain from Eastern Europe. They allege those findings are now being redrafted.
Instead of being released, a different document was leaked from the Home Office, suggesting tough plans to cap EU immigration to 75,000 are being considered.
Perhaps now they will point to this CEBR report to back up their belief.
It certainly does provide some food for thought for policymakers – raising the question of whether a government can have economic growth as its top priority while being so focused on ways to prevent immigration.
Conservatives might argue that a points system for migrant workers is designed to do just that – pick out those who will most benefit the economy and welcome them through a swinging door.
And even if immigration is positive for the economy, they would say that social tensions caused by mass movements of labour must be avoided.
The party is, of course, reacting to the electorate.
Even after Mr Powell’s inflammatory speech of the late 1960s, the Conservatives had a tough line on immigration in their manifesto.
Some credit the party’s surprise win in the 1970 general election to taking that position.
Now we all have come across another best from the coalition wants to introduce Migrants and overseas visitors are to face new charges for some NHS services in England, ministers say.
They include extended prescription fees, the introduction of charges for some emergency care and higher rates for optical and dental services.
However, GP and nurse consultations will remain free, and nobody will be turned away in an emergency.
Ministers say they are keen to clamp down on any abuse of the system, but doctors’ leaders have voiced concerns.
The government had considered charging for GP consultations, but decided that easy initial access was important to prevent risks to public health such as HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections.
Other types of primary care services that are being considered for charging include minor surgery that is carried out by a GP and physiotherapy that has been referred through a GP.
There are also plans to introduce a new system for identifying and recording patients who should be charged for NHS services.
The government said the changes would allow the NHS to recoup money, and encourage only those who need urgent and emergency care to attend.
Health Minister Lord Howe said: “Having a universal health service free at the point of use rightly makes us the envy of the world, but we must make sure the system is fair to the hardworking British taxpayers who fund it.
“We know that we need to make changes across the NHS to better identify and charge visitors and migrants. Introducing charging at primary care is the first step to achieving this.
“We are already looking at taking action and next year we will set out our detailed plans to clamp down on the abuse of our NHS.”
The British Medical Association said it was concerned the proposals would require doctors and GPs to spend more time on paperwork and that it could cost more in administration charges than what it would recuperate.
Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA Council, said: “The government’s current proposals could create unintended drawbacks for the NHS and patients.
“They are likely to create a complex patchwork of charging and access entitlements where some services remain free, such as GP appointments, while others will be chargeable, including A&E visits and other services provided via many GP practices, such as physiotherapy.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, who leads the BMA’s GP committee, added: “We cannot have a situation where any patient with a serious health need is deterred from visiting a GP, especially if their condition raises a potential public health risk.”
Labour shadow health minister Lord Hunt accused ministers of “putting spin before substance”.
“Labour is in favour of improving the recovery of costs from people with no entitlement to NHS treatment,” he said.
“Rather than more grand-standing, the government needs to deliver practical, thought-through changes to make that happen.
“Instead this out-of-touch government is left asking doctors and nurses to act as surrogate immigration officials.”
The announcement follows a Department of Health study which estimated that up to £500m could be recovered from overseas visitors’ and migrants’ use of the NHS every year through better charging.
However, academics have argued that the extent of deliberate health tourism – where people travel to the UK specifically to use the NHS – has been hugely overstated and is responsible for only a small part of NHS expenditure.
Many changes will start to be introduced over the coming year.
The government has already announced a £200-a-year levy on migrants from outside the European Economic Area staying for between six months and five years.
A cost-recovery unit will help hospitals claw back money they are owed by other governments for treating foreign nationals visiting the UK.
Sadly no matter what the so called Ninety senior Conservative activists have joined calls for the Prime Minister to extend controls on Bulgarians and Romanians entering the UK this will not stop the follow of EU or outside EU migration no matter what they do to prevent it happening.
As far as I’m concern it does not make any difference if those ninety so called tory activists do an open letter, Conservative Grassroots, a network of party members, wants David Cameron to a use clause in EU law because of “exceptional economic circumstances” as it won’t make a difference other than letting go underground, the simple solution to this is to adopt the Austrian model by introducing the points system which Labour Party did not fully implement when they had the opportunity to do so.
They are the latest to call for prolonging the restrictions rather than scrapping them as planned on New Year’s Day.
The letter argues that full access to the UK labour market would prompt a “wave of mass immigration” and called for an “emergency” recall of Parliament.
James Joshua, director of Conservative Grassroots, said: “In just a couple of days Britain faces a wave of mass immigration from Bulgaria and Romania at the end of the seven-year moratorium put in place by the last Labour government.
“Some estimates have suggested that more than 300,000 Romanians and Bulgarians will travel to the UK.
“This will put huge pressure on public services at a time when the country is struggling under a mountain of debt with on-going acute challenges within the economy.”
The UK, like every other EU country, imposed the seven-year restrictions on Romania and Bulgaria after they joined in 2007 – only allowing citizens a visa if they were self-employed, had a job offer, or were given a specialist role.
The Prime Minister has said, in the past, that he is unable to act to extend the transitional controls.
Mr Cameron has been under substantial pressure in recent months to be tough on immigration ahead of European elections next year.
Backbench Tory MP Nigel Mills’ amendment to the Immigration Bill would extend transitional arrangements on the two countries joining the European Union’s freedom of movement rules by a further four years to 2018.
Conservative support behind the amendment has been building and now stands at more than 50 MPs.
The Government has said it will be “business as usual” on January 1 at the UK border and it remains unclear if additional staff or measures are being put in place at airports and ferry ports in the event significant numbers arrive.
Somehow both Conservatives and UKIP really needs to understand that the so called mass immigration they speak of is ‘unlikely’ as millions of Romanians and Bulgarians find work elsewhere.
Its been alleged that more than three million Bulgarians and Romanians have already left their homelands for parts of Europe where there are better job prospects – but they have not come to the UK.
That revelation today by the EU commissioner in charge of labour law was timed to calm fears that hundreds of thousands of eastern Europeans will enter the UK this year.
The quarantine period that has kept Bulgarians and Romanians out of the jobs market in the UK and eight other EU states ended at midnight last night, seven years after the two countries achieved full EU membership.
But their citizens have long since enjoyed unrestricted access to 19 EU states, allowing millions of Bulgarians and Romanians to find work abroad – making it unlikely that the UK will face the kind of mass immigration that followed Poland’s EU entry in 2004,
Laszlo Ander, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, claimed in a statement issued today: “It is unlikely that there will be any major increase following the ending of the final restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian workers,” he said.
He added that there are two million unfilled job vacancies in the EU, reinforcing the case for allowing EU citizens to move across borders to search for work.
“The free movement of people has been one of the cornerstones of EU integration,” he claimed. “This right is one of the most cherished by Europeans, with over 14 million of them studying, working or retiring in another EU state.”
His forecast was born out by early indications from flight operators. Despite a claim in yesterday’s Daily Mail that “almost all” flights from Romania are full, a spokeswoman for the Romanian airline, Blue Air, said: “We have loads of seats for the next days of January.”
The Romanian government dismissed fears of a sudden influx. “The UK for now is not even the preferred destination for Romanians,” Brandusa Predescu, a spokeswoman for the Bucharest government said.
The Daily Mail also claimed a similar rush to fill flights from Bulgaria. But Professor John Salt of the migration research unit at University College London, told the BBC that the number of advance bookings for flights from Bulgaria in the first quarter of 2014 is fewer than the same period of 2013.
Philippa Roe, Conservative leader of Westminster City Council, said that the London boroughs have no idea how many arrivals to expect. She told the press: “The fear that everybody faces is those that come to Britain and either fail to find jobs and therefore fall back on our welfare system, or those who deliberately come here to pickpocket and aggressively beg.”
Like many of us we say to your face Mr Farage and David Cameron you can’t have your cake and eat it. It’s either your party wants out of EU, or see an increase of refugees stop scaremongering by using more spin.