Bring Back The Vucajs
Last night I attended a public meeting organised by campaigners calling for the return of the Vucaj family to Glasgow. The Vucaj family have been living in Glasgow for the last five years waiting for the incompetent and inefficient Home Office to make a decision on their asylum claim. Unfortunately their claim was unsuccessful and the family were deported. The central argument of the campaign is that the family should be allowed to return to Glasgow on humanitarian and compassionate grounds because the children, particularly the youngest daughter have become more or less Scottish during their time time here.
I cannot see any good reason for the family not to be returned. The population of Glasgow declined from 629,220 to 586,710 during the 90's, so contrary to tabloid hysteria we're not exactly experiencing overcrowding. The children all seem very ambitious and willing to work hard and contribute to the city which, given the poverty and associated social problems prevalent in Glasgow, seems like an offer we'd be very foolish to refuse. On a purely selfish note I'd like as many young people to be out working hard, paying national insurance as possible when the time comes for me to claim my pension.
As I mentioned earlier the family have lived in Glasgow for the last five years and by all accounts had integrated with the native community, sending the children back to a highly dangerous and totally alien environment is an act of unspeakable cruelty. Of course the argument against returning them to Glasgow because of the length of time they have been here, will be that asylum seekers will deliberately prolong their case in order to be allowed to stay on the grounds that they have integrated. However it might focus a few minds in the Home Office if there was a time limit in which asylum cases were to be decided.
The meeting was attended by politicians of various parties with the notable exception of Labour, who are very good at parading about on television being 'tough' on everyone from asylum seekers and benefit claimants to whoever the tabloids have declared a social menace this week, yet strangely cowardly about facing the electorate and justifying their deplorable actions. Of course the entirely useless ruling Labour administration in the Scottish Parliament have made vaguely sympathetic noises and continued to hide behind the fact that immigration is a devolved matter. I couldn't care less who lives in England, it is none of my business and I suspect few English people lie awake at night fretting about who lives in Glasgow. So I am unclear as to why the Scottish Executive are not pressing for more say on who lives in Scotland. More immigrants alone won't solve the problem of Scotland's ageing and declining population but they would help. I'm sure it is not beyond the governments capabilities to draft legislation that would prevent people getting into Scotland as a means of sneaking in to England. I concede that such legislation would be tricky to draft and subsequently enforce. However at present many English local authorities refuse to house refugees who were dispersed to Glasgow and this has greatly reduced the number of refugees heading south upon receipt of a successful decision.
I left last nights meeting feeling furious at the behaviour of our loathsome government and also concerned about the effect this situation will have on the schoolfriends of the Vucaj children who have campaigned against this deportation and like everyone else who speaks out against the government in Britain been totally ignored. The government can hardly express dismay at the apathy of the electorate when they treat them with such contempt. Returning the Vucaj family would show these children that politics can improve the lives of ordinary people and ensure that, this group of children at least, engage with politics in their adult lives. Below are listed some contact details for various government ministers etc, please contact them and ask them to do what they can to return the Vucaj family to Glasgow. If your feeling lazy just e-mail them this post using the button at the end of the post.
John Robertson (Vucaj's Local MP)
Minister For Immigration
50 Queen Annes Gate
For further information contact Positive Action In Housing