UPDATE: I’ve calmed down slightly — although I’m still fuming — and amended the original of this post. I’d recommend this article as a more reasoned response than mine. If you do read it, an escutcheon is a sort of shield or protective plate, apparently. And another very good and reasoned response here, from Caroline Slocock, the Chief Executive of the Refugee Legal Centre and former head of the now defunct Equal Opportunities Commission.
This made my blood boil. The man really has no idea. I’ve worked for a couple of charities in this field as well as in independent practice at the Bar and my colleagues were committed, passionate, had massive integrity and worked sometimes for free and always for comparatively little money compared to other areas of law. I would contrast all that with the ill-informed Alf Garnett style prejudice I’ve seen from this publicity-hungry hack.
If he is so worried about costs why doesn’t he do something about Home Office poor quality decision making, abuse of the appeal system, failure to comply with directions and failure to make decisions in good time?
The potentially very serious problem here is that public hostility to asylum seekers seems to have turned a corner (albeit at the cost of redirected but overall reduced hostility towards Eastern European immigrants) and there are many positive stories that now make their way into the local and national press. Comments like this are bound to create negative headlines and generate anger. Woolas is fueling the problem he disingenuously (or plain ignorantly) claims to be trying to solve.