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Monday, 25 March 2013

Distraction Politics

There's something quite familiar about our government's recent "hate crime". The target is immigrants Apparently, "Immigrant families will be kept off council house waiting lists in England for at least two years, under plans set to be announced by the prime minister"

It's only a couple of weeks since the last "pop" at immigrants - the target then being "benefit tourism". And benefit recipients in general are another target - it's especially common for the more extreme cases to be singled out for press attention. EG: the recent case housing of  the mother of eleven children

So, are these issues real "problems"? For a start, not all of the 11 children are dependents. I dug up some statistics on large families and found some here (see Table 1) and if you look at dependent children, there are no 9-children families and only 0.05% of Children live in 8-children homes. That's just over 5000 children which means there are under a thousand such families in the UK.

The real reason for drawing attention to these stories is political - it stirs up hatred against these handy scapegoats so that politicians can crack down on them and look good. It's not new - and neither was the persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany.

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