migrant community groups
The report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) in mid-August which found evidence of 'entrenched' race inequality in many areas, including education and health has provided the basis for the government’s latest, and to some a rather surprising initiative.
There has been much speculation over the cause of this spike in hate crime and hate speech. Was it closet racists who thought the referendum result legitimised their views and made it acceptable to tell those they considered ‘foreign’ to ‘go home’? Was it the result of the political campaigning around the referendum and the anti-migrant/anti-free movement of labour stance taken by the campaigning groups? Was it pent up frustration from years of austerity measures that erupted into some people blaming anyone who appeared to come from another country, a distinction based on skin colour, looks or language spoken? Probably a mixture of all these and more causes.
The first anniversary of the death of the three year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, Aylan Kurdi, is coming up fast. Even people who were shocked by the appalling image of the Turkish police officer cradling the drowned infant might be forgiven for thinking that things have got better for the refugees who were fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North African region. The news reports describing the hundreds of boats arriving on the Greek islands during that period and the images of thousands of despite people queuing at the European borders which had been so hastily thrown up to bar their admittance are no longer making the headlines.
If a week is a long time in politics then the six-and-a-bit weeks since the vote for Brexit on 23 June are beginning to feel like an eternity. The whole country is waiting to see even a sketchy outline of what the government feels can be done to deliver on the issue that seems to have persuaded most people that a punt on the ‘Leave’ option was worth taking. That something is of course immigration.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of a journalist and his smart use of the Freedom of Information Act, we now know that there were almost 11 immigration raids a day in London between 2010 and 2015. We also know that areas with sizeable migrant populations in east and south east London were the chief targets for these raids.