Racists, go home

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Racists, go home

chris-coltrane.jpg

If you live in Britain, you know about the Racist Van with the writing on: ‘In the UK illegally? Go home or face arrest. Text HOME to 78070 for free advice.’

This is, of course, a very good idea. Because if you lived in a country which tortures and kills people for their beliefs, and if you fought very hard to get into a country where you believe you will be safe, you’d definitely see an advert on a van and think to yourself, ‘It’s illegal for me to be here? Oh dear, I didn’t know! So I will now text the government, on that phone that I don’t have, and give myself to them. And I could be arrested! I’m lucky I saw the van!’

‘Go home!’ It’s the language of rightwing extremists, and the government knows it. The vans are not for ‘illegal’ immigrants – they’re for the Conservative voters who are thinking of voting for the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

But I started thinking – how do I know that I am here legally? I had to check. I support my country. So I texted them.

Early the next day, I got a voicemail from the Home Office: ‘If you are seriously interested in a voluntary departure, please call us.’ They said the word seriously, like a response to an online dating advert: ‘Serious people only, no jokers, must have GSOH (good sense of humour), especially about our stupid anti-immigration policies.’

But I was still thinking - how can I be sure that I am in Britain legally?

Later that day I spoke to a very serious lady and I explained to her, in my best BBC English accent, that I'm not sure if I am here legally. “Oh dear”, she said, and sounded tired. Maybe I was not the first person to have this idea. “Tell me about it then”. What a shame if hundreds of other people are wasting the time of the Home Office by calling in, in protest at their racist propaganda!

I told her that I was born in this country, and my parents were too. And their parents were too, and their parents, and their parents, and their parents. But, and this is important – I have no idea about THEIR parents! Where did they come from? Maybe they came in illegally centuries ago from ‘Bongo Bongo Land’? (I can’t find this country on a map, but I’m sure it exists, because UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom says it’s where $1.5 billion of our foreign aid goes?)

The Home Office lady told me that I shouldn’t worry. ‘But how can you be sure?’ I asked. Unfortunately, I never found out – because she ended the phone call.

Maybe you, readers, can find out. How many generations do you know about? Probably, if you look at the previous generations, you’ll find that your family is Dutch, Roman or French. So you’re almost certainly here because of an illegal invasion. I ask ALL of you in Britain: text HOME to 78070. Do it now. And keep the Home Office talking on the phone for as long as possible. Not to waste their time; but to make sure that they know everything before they decide if you can stay. They might not say thank you, but the Home Office will definitely be grateful.

Chris Coltrane is a comedian and anti-austerity activist. Follow him on Twitter: chris_coltrane. His show ‘Activism Is Fun’ is a free download at http://2013.chriscoltrane.com

As this article has been simplified, the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed. For the original, please see: http://newint.org/columns/2013/10/01/racists-go-home/