10 Jul 2010

Gordon Brown to be deported to Scotland

A friend showed me a copy of the spoof Metro - tens of thousands of copies of the spoof Metro newspaper with the headline 'Gordon Brown to be deported to Scotland' were distributed a week or so ago as part of 'two days of action against racist press'.

Commuters were treated to a mix of immigration myth busting, exposure of the racism of our press and some great subverts as well as the news that the Brown's recent misery has been compounded by arrest and imminent deportation to his 'home country'!!

Apparently a High Court injunction was quickly gained by the real Metro against 'all persons responsible for the publication and/or distribution' of the paper - but I understand it was written and distributed anonymously. Action was then attempted against a website with the details - but the site responded by claiming they had nothing to do with the production and distribution and had only posted it on their blog after receiving an electronic copy. While the Press Action blog has since been taken down, a spoof website remains live and the paper can still be seen here.

I've copied their myth busting below in case the website gets taken down.

Myth-busting the media

Why are so many lies being told by politicians and corporate media about asylum seekers? Who benefits from the myths that have been repeated so often that they have almost become a reality?

Myth: Britain gets more asylum seekers than any other country.

Per head of population, Britain actually has fewer asylum seekers than 12 other industrialised countries. Globally poor countries in the south take the most refugees. Four-fifths of the world's refugee population live in developing countries.

Myth: British people don't have any responsibility for refugees.

The two largest groups of refugees in the world are from Iraq and Afghanistan. Both these countries suffer problems that stem from the wars being waged there that Britain has direct responsibility for.

Myth: Asylum seekers get more money than pensioners.

Most adult asylum seekers receive only £5 a day to live on. This is only 70 per cent of what an adult UK job seeker can receive and much less than average state pensions. In addition, asylum seekers are currently not legally allowed to work to support themselves. A joint study by Oxfam and the Refugee Council in 2002 revealed that 85% of asylum seekers experience hunger, 95% cannot afford to buy clothes or shoes and 80% are unable to maintain good health.

Myth: Asylum seekers take jobs British workers could be doing.

Asylum seekers have been banned from working and paying taxes since 2001. As a result, they cannot work and pay taxes to support themselves while they are in the UK. They can go to jail if they are caught working. Myth: Asylum seekers get housing before local people. Asylum seekers are not put on housing waiting lists but get housed, often in very bad conditions, under a separate system called the National Asylum Support Service run by the Home Office. No money from Council Tax is spent on housing asylum seekers.

Myth: Asylum seekers get healthcare before local people.

Asylum seekers do not receive any priority in receiving medical care from the NHS. The vast majority of asylum seekers who have their claims refused by the courts must pay for hospital treatment and must rely on the discretion of their GPs as to whether they receive primary care at all. The NHS relies heav- ily on foreign labour, including that of refugees and migrants.

Myth: Asylum seekers bring more crime to our streets.

There is no evidence of increased crime rates due to the presence of asylum seekers or migrants. In fact, refugees and migrants are more likely to be vic- tims of crime, particularly racially-motivated hate crimes, than commit them.

But why are these myths being told?

The people that benefit from the anti-refugee and anti-migrant cam- paigns are the bosses, the millionaires, the financiers and industrialists, who want to pay less income tax and less corporation tax. Bad housing, long hospital waiting lists and under-resourced schools are problems, but instead of funding our public services properly, the Lib-Con government, and New Labour before that, would prefer to blame asylum seekers.

Most of us are getting fed up with being told that there aren't enough decent jobs, houses, doctors and school places to 'go round'. We're sick of being told that basic things we need to live ­ healthcare, education, a roof over our heads ­ have to be cut because of a 'cri- sis' of someone else's making. And it's hard to believe that 'we're all in it together' when the people running the country continue to possess extraordinary wealth. Telling lies about asylum seekers and migrants is a convenient way for million- aires like David Cameron and George Osborne to deflect attention away from themselves when people start asking why they are not hav- ing to tighten their belts along with the rest of us.

People in power have long blamed migrants during times of social unrest in the 1900s they blamed the Chinese, in the twenties and thirties they blamed the Jews, in the 1970s they blamed Black and Asian people, and today they blame Arabs, Muslims, Eastern Europeans etc. These myths are mainly spread by the media. And who owns the media? The same billionaires and financiers that want to pay less taxes and cut more services. Don't believe everything you hear, especially when it's politicians and corporate media who say it!

See more at: www.metr0.co.uk

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