‘Go Home’ vans to go home

Liberal Democrats have expressed delight at the news that the notorious ‘Go Home’ vans are to be withdrawn. Home Secretary Theresa May admitted that they “not been a good idea” and were a “blunt instrument”.

Go Home Poster VanOne appalling aspect of this shameful episode is the claim by the Conservatives that they are halting the project simply because the vans were ineffective in persuading illegal immigrants to leave the country.

They still do not admit the offence that was caused to people who were legitimately in the UK; they do not recognise the implicit racism of the message; they do not understand the damage they were causing to community relations. No, they are withdrawing the vans because they did not ‘work’.

We had already learnt that the savings involved in just a handful of returnees, compared with the cost of expelling them, would have justified their existence.    The implication is that the Conservatives would have rolled out the project nationwide if just a few people had volunteered for repatriation (instead of just one), irrespective of their impact on individuals and whole communities.


* Mary Reid is the Monday Editor on Lib Dem Voice.

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  • Great. Now for the Immigration Bill. I do hope this headlining grabbing dismissal of a head line grabbing stunt isn’t a distraction.

  • Hooray! let’s not forget that the Advertising Standards Agency found them to be factually misleading as well, in addition to the catalogue of issues you’ve mentioned.

  • Eddie Sammon 22nd Oct '13 - 6:16pm

    I am glad that these vans are going, but I stand by my original opinion that the party overreacted to them, especially compared with our reaction to other issues.

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