Thursday, 15 November 2012

It is  eighteen months since plans to stage a protest march in Boston over the impact of high levels of immigration on the town were first voiced  – and barring any last-minute changes of plan, Sunday will see a watered downstatic” protest involving around 100 people.
It barely seems worthwhile.
The original march was planned for November last year, but postponed because of fears of counter demonstrations – and because of a promise by Boston Borough Council thoroughly to investigate the issues and marecommend how they might be addressed.
That investigation took the form of a Task and Finish Group, which held eight “evidence” gathering sessions from the likes of employers, educationalists and the police.
This led to a final report containing 28 recommendations  many of which are unlikely ever to happen.
A few are national, and many of the local ones involve tinkering, rather than change.
When the report was published, reaction from the protesters was one of disappointment – from which emerged this Sunday’s “static” protest.
A closing debate took place on BBC TV’s Look North earlier in the week, when protest organiser Dean Everitt complained that services were overloaded and that the recent task and finish study didn’t go far enough.
Councillor Paul Kenny – the Labour group leader who chaired the sessions – said that whilst the council could get involved in local issues it couldn’t change national policy on issues such as immigration.
Organisers say they are hoping to send a clear message to both local and national politicians – and that the demonstration may be one of many to take place – including the possibility of one in London.
Frankly, we’d advise against this.
A hundred or so people standing still in the capital tends to be regarded as a bus queue – and as such unlikely to make much impression.
Whilst it may not have been the main aim, the council working party that took months to meet and report, was a form of attrition – and  a year on, only a handful of the 2,354 members of the protest group will be attending on Sunday.
Whatever may be achieved will merely be some sort of catch-up exercise – as one significant line from the council report tells us: “What is clear is that the recent changes are set to continue.”
Over time, vigorous voices have become muted mutterings - and if nothing else, the report has made it clear that little can be done.
Ironically given concerns over education an advertisement for a Boston primary school in this week’s local newspapers appears in English, Polish, Latvian and Portuguese.
Four languages in a school that has just 217 pupils.
Sadly, the powers that be seem to think that the answer lies in the soil, and that indigenous Bostonians must return to caulie cutting which will  then encourage migrant workers to move on.
To this end, one of their main recommendations is to form closer ties between agriculture and education so that schools can pave the way to the packhouse – which is a shameful dismissal of the next generation of Bostonians that will doom them to a lifetime of low pay, and thankless work.
It seems to us that the best thing now that everyone has had their say is that after this one and hopefully final protest that the town should strive to make the best of the situation.

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  1. You seem to forget that many local people who did this back breaking work and that in the factories where 'got rid of' and replaced by cheaper migrant labour. It is the employers that need a kick up the ass not the majority of the people.

  2. Anonymous is absolutely right, a great many full time local employees, many of them being in the industry from leaving school, were over a short period of time the victims of a large scale cull throughout this area, as it was much cheaper to use the as and when required disposable agency slave labour in their place. I can see that this new brainwave now being floated, of packhouse training for our youngsters in the area in fact turning into some sort of free labour scam.

    I quite understand the reasons for the static demo still taking place, as of course the whole point of the task and finish group was to keep them quiet and then kick the whole subject into the long grass,thereby returning to the fantasy world of politicaly correctness our superiors inhabit.

    I just wonder what is going to happen in our full to bursting point little town next year, which is when the fleets of coaches and countless more people start arriving from Rumania and Bulgaria, I take it that the plans are all in place to accomodate them all?

  3. You're right in saying that the council can't directly change national immigration policy but what they COULD do is be more proactive, open and honest about reporting the issues. This clearly hasn't happened.

    The 28 recommendations I agree are unlikely to ever happen, but this is a reflection of the council rather than the organizers of the protest.

    And who is to say it will just be a bus queue outside Westminster? There were 3 times the amount at the protest on Sunday than you predicted and there is always the possibility that this could snowball, groups form in other areas and enough people protest in London to cause significant impact. Particularly as the two main parties realize they are losing votes to UKIP and the Lib Dems are soon to be relegated back to a comedy act.

    To outsiders it does appear that the Protest Group has lost support whilst the task and finish meetings were taking place. But immigration is still the hot issue on everybody's lips.

    Quite surprising that an "alternative" news site thinks the issue of immigration should be buried and forgotten about. As Ethelbert points out though, if something doesn't change we will soon have masses of new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria, perhaps them you will have migrants protesting against won't that be a interesting situation?