Monday, July 29, 2013

Downing Street: 'Go Home' signs working - and we don't have any 'figures' to confirm this

The British Government has spent just under £10,000 on a pilot project to remove illegal immigrants from the UK. It consists of leaflets and a van with a sign stating "In the UK Illegally? Text HOME to 78070". The Government has been heavily criticised for this pilot - even by coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats. One reason is this has been seen as unduly divisive with a potential to contribute to a breakdown in community trust and cohesion. A second reason is the pilot was unlikely to be very successful: what illegal immigrant would text the government so he or she could be removed from the country?

The Government - or at least the Tory leadership in the Government - has hit back claiming the signs were "working". However, it was admitted by the Home Office to the BBC that, in fact, they were not sure "what figures have been collated at this point" and no official results confirming success or failure have been released.

In other words, most have criticised these signs as divisive and/or unlikely to work and the Government says they have worked because, well, they said so without any firm evidence of support. We can only hope the Government gives greater consideration to evidence-based policy-making in future.

Wishful thinking is not a sign of anything "working" in the real world.

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