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The Home Secretary made her notorious speech in Manchester just a few minutes from my constituency. Had she come down the road, she would have seen tens of thousands of people who came under the contemptuous label she uttered this afternoon: “these people”. “These people”, of whom there are tens of thousands in my constituency, originate from south Asia, east and west Africa, the Caribbean and elsewhere. We are a city of diversity and integration, and the two go together.
Mr Jackson referred to Romanians. Recently in my constituency, an organisation has been set up by people of Romanian origin to integrate further into this country. Next Saturday in my constituency, we will be celebrating Nigerian independence day. This is a country of diversity that ever since the Romans has had people of overseas origin becoming part of its functioning. The Bill attacks them. It is an attack on anybody who is not what might be referred to as a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant.
I got a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs about a constituent who had been asked to clarify his Christian name. To anyone of any intelligence, the man was a Muslim. That kind of approach happens under this Government: it has never happened before, even under previous Conservative Governments. The Bill creates a new subterranean, pseudo police force to carry out Government policy without being members of the Government’s staff.
Landlords have been recruited, whether they want to be or not—the National Landlords Association has issued a document expressing considerable resentment—to impose a law that they had no say in creating. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees says that landlords are less likely to rent to those with foreign accents or names, or those who do not possess a British passport. That is my parents. They never learned to speak English fluently; they never got British passports —yet they were part of this country and part of a community. Landlords and bank staff are being turned into Government agents. Under this Bill, we have a new bail system that has nothing to do judges or magistrates and nothing to do with the law—except the law created by this Government.
The national health service wants to bring people from India to be nurses in Manchester, but they cannot get the certificates because the process is so opaque. People coming here as refugees are scared stiff for their lives—something that, thank God, we in this country are not—and are subjected to all kinds of interrogation.