Immigration van adverts 'not racist'
by Will Dahlgreen in Editor's picks, Front Page and Politics
Tue July 30, 2013 3:05 p.m. BST
61% of the public do not think that “Go home, or face arrest” adverts directed at illegal immigrants are racist – but the public are split on whether they support the scheme
A coalition row over vans advertising the slogan “In the UK illegally? Go home, or face arrest” has emerged in the last few days, with Vince Cable arguing that they are “stupid and offensive.” Critics say the ‘go home’ message is similar to racist graffiti in the 1970s, however new research by YouGov finds that the majority of the public disagree.
61% of British adults disagree that the advertising is racist, while 31% agree and 8% don’t know.
Half (50%) of the public disagree that the scheme is “stupid and offensive,” however 42% also agree - so there is no overriding decision.
The public are also undecided on whether they support the scheme: while 47% are in approval, 41% are in disapproval.
The vans, which are no longer in operation, targeted several London boroughs where UKIP have done well, prompting leader Nigel Farage to accuse the Conservatives of using the scheme to revive support in the areas. There is some confusion over whether the scheme was actually government policy, as Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne is rumoured not to have signed off the plans.