AS I mentioned on GB News recently (see the full interview from 28 minutes, 41 seconds in), Migration Watch UK has launched a petition calling on the government not to cover up the daily totals of people arriving in the UK via the English Channel in small boats.
Do please sign and share it widely.
The petition follows the startling news (for example here, in the Daily Telegraph) that the Home Office is preparing to ditch the publication of daily figures of illegal Channel crossings. We were taken aback by such a brazen attempt to bury bad news and gloss over government failure.
I have written a lot about this problem since it got going in earnest in autumn 2018. We went from 299 arrivals in 2018 to 28,401 in 2021, an astonishing 95-fold increase. Throughout this time, the government has released daily figures on how many people were detected arriving or who were picked up by the Border Force, as well as the RNLI and others, and brought ashore (hence the taxi service label).
Over that time, we have been holding the government to account by tracking the numbers on our unique and hugely popular Channel Tracking Station where you can go to any particular date over nearly two years and see what was happening. Perhaps the government doesn’t like being scrutinised in this way and would have us believe it is in control when, manifestly, it is not.
The figures for 2022 so far are six times the total that arrived in the first month of 2021. If crossings were to continue at this rate, by year’s end, of course many more would arrive than the 65,000 that the government is allegedly expecting. If the government has its way and figures are published quarterly, we wouldn’t know what is going on until April.
Unsurprisingly, 74 per cent of the public say the government is handling immigration badly, including nearly three-quarters of the government’s own voters (YouGov tracker result, January 24, 2022).
Salience has also gone up, especially among Conservative voters, who have recently placed immigration as one of their top issues of concern. Is this this why the government is desperate to hide the figures by issuing them every three months, no doubt hidden among lots of other statistics?
What is remarkable is that the politicians and senior civil servants think they can get away with such manipulation and obfuscation.
As far as we are concerned, without transparency, there is no democracy.
Please sign the petition. It really is important that the government does not get away with this ruse.