People Who Should Know Better Talking Pish.
Now Playing: The Desperate Kingdom of Love-PJ Harvey
Topic: The Idiots.
I am outraged, angry and upset. I have been grossly offended by an article in The Big Issue. Grrrrr.
The article in question regards the scheme by The Maryhill Citizens Advice Bureau which allows refugees and asylum seekers to work with them on a voluntary basis. Throughout all this I want you to keep the word voluntary at the forefront of your minds.
The above scheme which has had a great deal of success in encouraging refugee integration and in challenging the idea that people seek asylum in Britain as a means of scamming benefits, has been branded 'slave labour' by Robina Qureshi of Positive Action in Housing.
The fact that the director of a supposedly anti-racist organisation sees nothing wrong in drawing parallels between the brutality of slavery and a few hours work undertaken on a voluntary basis in a Citizens Advice Bureau beggars belief. Her statement is a gross and insensitive insult to all victims of enforced labour. There is nothing voluntary about becoming a slave.Frankly her remarks shows about as much taste, sensitivity and sense of perspective as Ken Livingstone's comparison of a journalist to a Nazi concentration camp guard.
She then goes on to state that 'these kinds of practices will drive asylum seekers into an underground invisible underclass'. What by giving people the opportunity to improve their English, learn new skills, gain an understanding of the UK legal and welfare system and integrate into the community, as opposed to sitting in a crummy hard to let flat on a crummy hard as nails scheme doing nothing?
Behind all this is of course that classic liberal blunder of managing to insult the intelligence of the people they claim to be defending. Is she seriously asserting that these mainly well educated people are too stupid to see that they are being exploited? Or does she believe that 'Johnny Foreigner' is too naive and trusting to withstand the wicked machinations of the wily Scots? Underlying racism? Oh the irony!
I am of the opinion and always have been that asylum seekers should be allowed to undertake paid employment whilst waiting for their case to be decided. The reality is that they are not, which is outrageous and must be challenged. However is it not better that people are given the option of undertaking some beneficial work whilst waiting to be granted refugee status? We have to deal with reality. Politicians are falling over themselves to be seen as tough on asylum seekers and sadly the majority of the public seem to support this. High profile voluntary schemes such as the Maryhill CAB's challenge the perception that asylum seekers are here to laze about, living off benefits and in the long term are more likely to galvanize popular support for fair treatment of asylum seekers, than Ms Qureshi's ill-informed ranting.
It was a spot of voluntary work on my C.V that liberated me from call centre hell and almost doubled my salary. Does she think similar opportunities should be denied to asylum seekers? Of course she does. Like all liberal educated idiots she likes her victims, so that she and she alone can witness their suffering and offer the hand of help, naturally never enough help to bring the victim up to level of equal.
Perhaps Ms Qureshi would be better concerning herself with the good work her organization is supposed to undertake rather than using it to launch her career as an ill-informed media foghorn and laughable,wooden actress.
Oh yes and the best bit. Not one asylum seeker is quoted anywhere in the article. It's almost as if they're just slaves to serve a political agenda, not real people like what we are.
See told you I was angry.
Posted by Clairwil
at 10:29 PM BST
Updated: 08/04/05 10:49 PM BST