John Lines is a prominent member of Birmingham City Council, in fact he is Cabinet Member for Housing currently. Today’s “Iron Angle” in the Birmingham Post (21/6/2008) illustrates why he shouldn’t continue to be a cabinet member, or to hold public office at all. The following is a report from Defence Management which reports Line’s vile message:
From: DefenceManagement.com 23rd January 2008
Birmingham Tory slams asylum seekers
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
“While British soldiers and Gurkhas may struggle for support from a government that overlooks the significance of their contribution, many immigrants who sneak into the UK get preferential treatment, according to Conservative Birmingham City councillor John Lines.
Talking to defencemanagement.com about housing services for former members of the armed forces, the cabinet member for housing was highly critical of the government’s treatment of veterans and ex-Gurkhas in particular and suggested asylum seekers got a much better deal.
Lines said: “We do not afford them [Gurkhas] citizenship. We pay them a pension to go back to Nepal. Yet some scallywag, some scumbag can jump on the back of a lorry, come over under the tunnel and never expect to work a day in his [expletive] life. And if he’s been here for a time waiting for a decision, we give him automatic British citizenship. The world’s gone [expletive] mad.”
Lines’ comments come at a time when Tory party leader David Cameron is looking to stamp down on outspoken remarks and give the party a softer image on immigration and asylum seekers.
But this is not the first time Lines has expressed such views. In May 2006 he ordered the removal of TVs from council houses allocated specifically to asylum seekers. He said that taxpayers’ money should not pay for a luxury many people cannot afford.
And in June 2005, Lines wanted to stop a grant to Birmingham’s Asylum Support and Immigration Resource Team (ASIRT) which provides legal assistance and other services for asylum seekers.
• Gurkhas who have left the British Army after 1 July 1997 are eligible for indefinite leave to remain, which allows them to stay in the UK forever. Most refugees discovered at the border are held in detention facilities while they await a hearing. If they are granted asylum, refugees are usually granted further or indefinite leave to remain. After a few years they are allowed to apply for citizenship.”
Has anyone complained. Well, yes. A letter was written by former Cllr Dennis Minnis to the National Standards Board concerned with standards in public office. “He’s just exercising his right to free speech” was their view. The Iron angle article points out that the MP Alan Cairns lost his position as a shadow education minister, and his place on the Welsh Assembly, after he referred to Italians as “greasy wops”.
We don’t tolerate the BNP propagating its views inciting racism and racial violence, we should even less so from the major political parties. There is absolutely no excuse for such conduct, and if Lines doesn’t pack his bags and go, Mike Whitby, the Tories and their Lib-Dem mates should make (expletive) sure that he does.