Coffee House

The Home Office immigration vans – successful and popular with the nation?

13 August 2013

3:46 PM

13 August 2013

3:46 PM

Are those Home Office vans targeting illegal immigrants universally disliked? The outcry from when the vans first took to the streets — notably #racistvan on Twitter — would suggest so but new polling from YouGov shows a disconnect between what those in politics and media think and the rest of the country. Over half of those polled this week support the vans, up eight points when last questioned in July:

Two thirds also stated they disagreed that the vans were racist, up five points since the last batch of polling, while only 34 per cent thought they were offensive and stupid. The campaign group Liberty were certainly offended; they were disgruntled enough to commission their own van. Liberty’s van drove around the Home Office building on Marsham Street last week, with a speaker blaring out their concerns:


David outlined some of the reasons why those in and outside of Westminster were averse to the vans and the logic behind them. Whatever the Home Office’s original purpose was, the vans may have simply preached to the choir on both sides. Those who take a tough view on illegal immigration — of which the polling suggests there are quite a few — will approve and those who think the Tories are evil will have that view reinforced. Danny Kruger, David Cameron’s former speechwriter, has bemoaned the loss of the Prime Minister’s compassionate conservatism, in exchange for this sort of headline grabbing:

‘What was wrong with the vans was that they were not aimed at the people they claimed to be aimed at, but they were plainly aimed at voters. That was objectionable. They have settled for mere headlines: tough on crime, tough on immigrants, cutting taxes.’

With the news that the government will ‘consult with local communities before embarking on such campaigns again’, it appears the naysayers have won, since the Home Office vans won’t be running any more. But this level of support for the vans suggests they were not entirely pointless. Voters now think the government is doing something about illegal immigration, regardless of whether the vans have actually encouraged anyone to ‘go home’. So if voters were the intended audience, then the vans have had their desired effect.

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Show comments
  • Gar5_1

    Asian countries for Asians.

    Black countries for Blacks.

    but White countries for everybody?

    That’s GENOCIDE! White genocide.

    Anti-racist is a codeword for Anti-White


    They only have to consult with local communities, the communities do not have a veto! The Home Office may say we are going to run the vans again as they worked, but we can change the wording and make them more informational, get input from locals, make them less threatening etc.

    • Karla’s Man

      No, they don’t even have to do that! Mad, that vans belonging to or engaged by Her Majesty’s Government are not allowed to use the Queen’s Own Roads!

      Immigrant groups and ethnic minorities stick to “their own kind” and close ranks! Fact. What is there to listen, since they would never give up “their own”? Just send in the Army, like they do in Egypt!

  • Karla’s Man

    If only illegal immigration were a capital crime, and punishable by hanging! “Go home or face the noose/gibbet” sounds much better.

    • Drakken

      Those days are coming, and when he do the illegals will be fleeing Britain in droves just to escape with their lives.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Why have you airbrushed the claims made by Downing Street, no less, not once but twice at least, that the vans were actually working and cost effective? I guess that doesn’t fit the agenda, but I’m sure that that news influenced voter opinion in favour of the vans.

    • Karla’s Man

      Because it really doesn’t. The vans were primarily there to wind up the Lefties in general as well as the Guardian, the Indy and their respective readers in particular, and in turn discrediting them by letting them making a fool of themselves by their own silly, unpopular, increasingly unjustifiable and often self-serving (many are themselves 2nd.- and 3rd.-generation immigrants) reactions, and it worked.

      • itdoesntaddup

        If it were true that the vans were not working and cost effective I doubt Downing St would have risked attaching their name to a claim that would inevitably unravel with very damaging consequences. At most they would have suggested a back bench MP risk his reputation instead.

        Why didn’t they do it in Urdu? Because it would immediately fall foul of a charge of racism – and you know that.

        • Karla’s Man

          As far as I know, “racism” itself is not a crime, and neither is “racial discrimination”, which is only “ultra vires”. “Racing profiling” is actually neither legal nor illegal. Trevor Philips et Cie claim that racial profiling is illegal—it isn’t. He simply made it up, hoping that he would get away with it. This is American legal concept based upon a “novel and peculiar” reading and interpretation of the 13th. Amendment, and is yet recognised in the British legal system.

          • itdoesntaddup
            • Karla’s Man

              Chapter and verse, please. (You can’t, because you are really just making it up, like the rest of your other Lefties.) “Racial profiling” is no different from selective prosecutions. Over in the United States, this would be called “prosecutorial misconduct”. No such concept exists in England.

              • itdoesntaddup

                Of course I know the difference between ultra vires and a criminal or civil offence. I assume you are not trying to suggest that the Home Office lacked the powers necessary to order the vans to tour.

                However, you are taking the notion of “charge” in a purely legal context, which is far from its only use. I suggest that journalists and politicians make charges – i.e. claims – not just police.

          • Dekpat

            No wonder you continue to revel in your animalistic tendencies!

  • FrankS

    “So if voters were the intended audience, then the vans have had their desired effect.”
    You almost get the point – voters with any intelligence know they’re the target audience and are not impressed.

  • GrahamLB

    Perhaps there should be a new slogan on the vans. “if you know an illegal immigrant you should shop him or her. If illegal immigrants attend your church, mosque, temple or drop in centre you should report them”

  • David Lindsay

    The Racist Van is touring areas with large South Asian populations while offering translation facilities in South Asian languages only. Yet the biggest overstayers are Australians, New Zealanders, and white South Africans.

    Immigration by those last, Afrikaners as well as English-speakers, is a huge unreported story, not necessarily as a bad thing, but simply as a fact; London even has a congregation of the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk, which seceded from the Dutch Reformed Church due to “compromise” over theological support for apartheid, and having that congregation in London is a very bad thing indeed.

    “Reverse colonisation” by the likes of Mark Carney, Lynton Crosby and the largely South African England cricket team is supposed to be mildly amusing, and more than mildly reassuring.

    But the methods of Crosby, in particular, are confronting us with the stark reality that each of the members of the old “white Commonwealth” is a very different country from Britain, and has been for an immensely long time, certainly since well before the War.

    Canada, Australia and New Zealand each retains the monarchy for the same reason that each of several West Indian and Pacific Island nations does so: because it suits her, not because it suits Britain. How does it affect Britain? It does not.

    Independent countries with the Union Flag on their own retain it for their own reasons, not for ours, since we have none for their doing so; after all, even the Boers’ revenge republic managed that, although the purported reconstitution of Rhodesia as a republic did not.

    Although there was never free trade even within the British Empire or Commonwealth, it is true that Australia (which has a long and living tradition of protectionism) did experience certain hardships after Britain acceded to the European Communities, as did New Zealand.

    But that was in the faraway 1970s, and it is fanciful to suppose, as some people do, that they have been waiting for us ever since, like old maids still waiting for their sweethearts to come home from the First World War. Australia, like Canada, is in the G20, and Canada is in the G8. They stopped needing us a long, long time ago.

    The Crosby-isation of the Conservative Party manifests just how foreign each of the Old Dominions is. If you do not believe me, then look at that van. Rightly denounced as un-British by UKIP, it is wholly in keeping with what has always been the political culture of Australia, all the way back to the Colonial period, which no one now alive can remember.

    “Reverse colonisation” – economic, social, cultural, political, or in any of those cases demographic – is no more to be welcomed than any other surrender of national and parliamentary sovereignty, whether to the Executive or to the Judiciary, to the European Union or to the United States, to Israel or to the Gulf monarchs, to China or to the Russian oligarchs, to the money markets or to the media moguls, to separatists or to communalists.

    • Colonel Mustard

      “the largely South African England cricket team”

      More hyperbole. Of the 13 currently listed players in the team 10 (77%) were born in English counties. “Largely South African”? I think not.

      The rest of your post shows a stark ignorance about the mechanics of Empire. I’d stick to what you know best – Geordie tribal Labour political nostalgia.

  • Charles

    Are those Home Office vans targeting illegal immigrants universally disliked? The outcry from when the vans first took to the streets — notably #racistvan on Twitter — would suggest so

    Why on earth would you think that twitter is representative of anything?

    Twitter comprises what used to be called ‘the chatteratti’ – media and politics. It has nothing to do with the vast majority of the population

  • London Calling

    As for the van being popular with the Nation. Its obvious that any action to remove illegal immigrants is welcomed…..The question is, was the message harsh and threatening, which in my view it was, especially the threat of arrest and handcuffs within the image on display…..However the message board on a van is welcomed for those if the image and wording appeared more helpful and less threatening ………….

  • dalai guevara

    you are a bunch of fucking wankers, aren’t you deleting my top rated comment you just like that you feeble-minded sissy boys go wank off in the girl toilet you sick fucks!

    • the viceroy’s gin

      Oh, no need for you to comment specifically on how offensiveness works. Your general comments are sufficient to that task.

    • Austin Barry

      Ah, the spirit of Oscar Wilde lives: magical epigrammatic gems to hold us spellbound.

  • London Calling

    Stuck in Britain and want to go home? I’m sure plenty would, especially those sleeping in garden sheds and the streets with no passport to return home, those who were promised a better life in Britain…..

  • TonyB58

    The problem with these vans is that they are ultimately pointless, unless your an illegal immigrant looking for a tax-payer funded trip home to visit the family. Like other UKBA, or whatever they call themselves now, “initiatives” it is merely a publicity stunt to keep us “little people” quiet. Typical of our useless and spineless “elite”!

  • Gaverne

    It may be a gimmick/stunt/stupid idea-but-it is another effective method of breaking down the taboo around the subject of immigration and allowing the public to express deep concerns. Don’t ever forget-not so long ago the left (and most shamefully the BBC) had completely silenced anyone who dared to raise concerns, branding them racist, fascists, bigots etc.

    • HookesLaw

      If ‘Liberty’ are running a van in competition then it must have been a good idea.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        A good idea but alas a very small one.

    • Dekpat

      Right wingers are clearly known for their reactionary attitude. If your attitudes are not ‘racist, fascists, bigots etc.’ what else do you want to term them? May be you can tell us of any other people or politicians in the world that are as morbid as the present lot here when it comes to question of immigrants and immigration.

  • Patricia

    “Voters now think the government is doing something about illegal immigration, regardless of whether the vans have actually encouraged anyone to ‘go home’. So if voters were the intended audience, then the vans have had their desired effect.”

    A few naysayers said “Boo” and the vans are no longer in use. Illegal immigrants still go about their non-business. These vans were just a crawling sop to worried voters concerned that the government is doing nothing to stop the floods of illegals. Nothing has changed for the better.

    ” …the government will ‘consult with local communities before embarking on such campaigns again.”
    And who will those “communities” be made up from ?

    I’ll be interested to see if this comment stays.

  • blindsticks

    Two thirds also stated they disagreed that the vans were racist, up five points since the last batch of polling, while only 34 per cent thought they were offensive and stupid.

    Stupid idea, definitely. Cheap stunt that proved largely useless, other than to show a ‘new tough line’ was being taken.

    Offensive – who cares?

    As for the ‘34%’ – I wonder how many asked were white, working class, John and Joan Smiths.

    • HookesLaw

      The problem with illegal immigrants is people overstaying visas. Is this a problem of ‘colour’?

      Anyway going back to Labour then, a few years ago we had John Reid launched a clampdown has been launched targeting “foreigners
      who come to this country illegitimately and steal our benefits”,

      So this attack could hardly be called racist by them.

    • John Lea

      “Offensive – who cares?”

      er, this neutered government for one. With the exception of Gove and Iain Duncan Smith, I don’t see any difference between this lot and the previous New Labour regime: both are absolutely terrified of upsetting the media-savvy Guardian-reading ‘intelligensia’ in this country – those who are happy to denounce anything they disagree with as ‘racist’ or ‘homophobic’ etc. The fact that the majority of people support the use of such vans – and applaud tougher measures in dealing with illegal immigrants more generally – makes no difference.

  • Austin Barry

    Let’s see: 13 comments indicated, but only five appearing. Censorship or is the Border Agency in charge of the counting?

    • dalai guevara

      half the comments now appear to have disappeared. These chaps are going to run out of funding by xmas if they continue like this…

  • Dogsnob

    “…new polling from YouGov shows a disconnect between what those in politics and media think and the rest of the country.”

    Only those in politics and media would need a poll to establish this. Are you lot ever going to wake up?

    • blindsticks

      Only those in politics and media would need a poll to establish this. Are you lot ever going to wake up?

      God help these fools when the real wake up call comes a knocking.

    • Makroon

      But they still haven’t realised that the message was directed at the general population, to persuade them that the government was taking a hard-line, and had nothing at all to do with threatening the odd English-speaking “illegal”.

      • Dogsnob

        Not sure quite who you mean by ‘they’, but it would take a real numpty to believe that this government or anyone in our dullard-staffed administrative power structure has the slightest intention of doing anything to alter the present course on immigration. They have a common purpose.

        By now we are well aware of the difference between Westminster saying and doing, but I take your general point and I suppose it hinges on how many numpties our similarly infested education system has managed to provide

        • Makroon

          “They” refers to your “those in politics and the media”, have you forgotten your first post already ?

          • Dogsnob

            But we know that those in the political and media bubble fully realise the aim of the trailer ad’s.
            The main issue arising from the ensuing discussion is, as has been noted above, the massive disconnect between a hermetically sealed political class in collusion with their media disseminators; and the general public: ‘the cattle’ as we are described by more than one of their members.

  • zanzamander

    This Home Office campaign is, at best, political chicanery and at worst, a sad indictment on an abject failure of our border control agencies.

    Britain is an island, nobody should be able to get in or out without the will our government, everything else is just piffle.

    The fact of the matter is that there is a tussle in our law enforcement agencies for resources and pay which has led them to let through hundreds of thousands of illegals just to prove that they are over-worked and underpaid.

    On top of this, our politicians have no inclination to curb migration in the belief that this will drive down wages.

    In short, we are stuffed.

    • UndergroundGoddamnMonsters

      Oh for goodness sake, we are not stuffed! I work with refugees – many of whom have survived extreme torture – and they face daily squalor, injustice, poverty and discrimination due to the govt’s need to satisfy the Daily Mail wolves. Labelling people ‘illegals’ denies their humanity and makes it easier for us to forget and even hate them. Believe me, there is nothing the Borders Agency do that is not driven by the need to be seen as ‘in control’ of immigration. The awful truth is that there is no ‘cunning plan’ for the HO re immigration, it’s just an ungodly mess of unfathomable proportions.

      Do me a favour: Have some sympathy for migrants AND ask the govt to run an efficient, just system. Surely we can agree on that?

      • Karla’s Man

        Most refugees these days are Mohammedans or “Muslims”. Fact. Do we want our Country to have a Mohammedan majority? If not, then you know what has to be done. They MUST be refused asylum. LGBTs from Iran, Afghan interpreters, the lot.

        Have some sympathy for the children of Oxford and Rochdale, why don’t you? What kind of a twisted person would love foreigners and care for their welfare more than his own compatriot Countrymen?

        • Dekpat

          Your warped sense of priorities should have informed you that after you destroyed and displaced people in places like ‘ Iran, Afghan interpreters, the lot’ you should be prepared to face the consequencies.

  • Fergus Pickering

    They were not adverse, you ignorant fellow. They were averse.

    • Sebastian Payne

      Apologies – a slip of the keyboard. Fixed

      • John Jefferson Burns

        I have always felt that 3 apologies are necessary for such crimes.
        I see you removed the second.

      • Fergus Pickering

        I take it back. You are not ignorant.Is that picture you or your grandson?

        • HookesLaw

          More to the point there should be no surprise at people agreeing that urging people who are here illegally should give themselves up is a good idea.
          Sadly we have no option but to work hard

          a – to remove illegals
          b – impress upon people thinking of overstaying their visa that it is not a good idea.

  • dalai guevara

    Whether or not something is deemed offensive does not depend on what the majority feels, it is solely dependent on what the minority feels. A one third opposition is a shockingly large number.

    • MirthaTidville

      Right, so the majority are not allowed a say then, unless of course they agree with you liberal types…complete la la land…The majority around the country think they are a damn good idea and finally someone might be taking their genuine concerns seriously and about time too..If they are here illegally then they need to be found and expelled…as straight forward as that..

      • Bert

        Which is why the BBC have gone quiet on this.

    • Austin Barry

      Unhappily, the disapproving one-third probably houses much of our ruling elite: complacent, attenuated, limp-wristed, progressive and liberal – and wholly disconnected from how most of the electorate feel about unending mass immigration, particularly culturally unsympathetic immigration.

      It’s difficult to feel optimistic about the future: Northern Ireland tribalism may provide some template, but I suspect Egypt or Syria may be more realistic.

    • Tony_E

      The question should be ‘Why do a third of people find it offensive’?

      It certainly isn’t aimed at a third of the population, we have a lot of illegals but not that many! So what about it is so offensive?

      What does it say that is somehow abhorrant to all those who live here legally? Why should it be divisive (as it has been said) inside particular communities who abide here legally? Is upholding the law somehow the right thing to do, but declaring it publicly somehow distasteful, or maybe just not very British? Do a third of people polled believe that we should leave the borders open and allow anyone to come in so long as they pose no immediate security risk?

      • Fergus Pickering

        Some of that third actually think they are a good idea but don’t dare to say so, even anonymously.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      On a given day, you can find 1/3 who feel Liz Claiborne is the antichrist. Nobody should care about how you and they “feel”, laddie. They should care only about the law.