IMMIGRATION is a thorny issue in Britain. Anyone who has the temerity to say that immigration is out of control is running the risk of being called racist.
So let me start by saying this: People who come to Britain, get a job, pay tax, embrace British laws and speak English are part of what has made this country the great, strong and diverse place it is.
PA:Press Association People who move to Britain and pay tax are not the problem
Those who have done this have contributed massively to the success of this country and should be welcomed with open arms.
But those who come here and do none of the above are bleeding this country dry — while we pander to their needs.
Even though new official figures show that net migration is down, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that immigration is still out of control.
We see it in our cities, which are overpopulated and overcrowded, in our hospitals and in our housing crisis.
Getty Images – Getty The people who bleed our country dry without doing anything for society are the problem
This week Lucy Moreton, of the Border Force workers’ trade union, the ISU, admitted the reality of the situation.
It is impossible to track down the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants working on the black market in the UK, thanks to swingeing cuts to the immigration enforcement workforce.
Moreton told this paper: “If you are here illegally you can survive very well, you access medical services, your child can go to school. The chances of us catching you are very, very slim.
“If you don’t break the law we are not going to get you, as we don’t have the resources. We can’t catch you.”
Paulette Wilson Instead of targeting people like Paulette we need a system to target people who are not working and not contributing
Meanwhile, our NHS, our schools, our housing, are all buckling under the pressure that is partly being created by people who take out of the system and don’t put anything back.
But it is not fair, and it’s just not right, that an elderly grandmother who has paid into the NHS all her life via National Insurance should have her treatment held up because there are people in front of her in the queue who have contributed little or nothing.
It’s utterly ridiculous that last year we were cutting back on border controls and now we have to throw millions at it to sort it out. In fact, it is nothing short of political stupidity.
Immigration was at the heart of many people’s decision to leave the EU. Lots of people voted Leave because they thought it would transport us back to a 1950s Britain, with milk floats roaming the streets and dispensing Good Old-fashioned Values.
Getty Images – Getty It is ridiculous that we cut back on border control and now we need to spend millions to sort it out
Unfortunately, that is not the case. And simply leaving the EU is not going to sort out the issue of immigration.
Sorting it out will take strategy and organisation. It’s going to take someone with real grit and determination, who is willing and able to make some difficult decisions.
Who is going to do that? Honestly, no politician I have ever met.
I think that’s partly because people know what an incendiary issue this is — and they are scared to be called racist.
Alamy We have to do something because sitting back and doing nothing is not an option
But this is not about the colour of people’s skin, or their religion. It is about whether or not they are contributing to society.
It is a practical issue. We need much better border control. And there needs to be a more efficient way of identifying illegal immigrants — and making them leave.
In the meantime, though, it seems we are cracking down in all the wrong places. We’re hunting down people like Paulette Wilson, who has lived in Britain for 50 years, paying tax and National Insurance for 34 years.
She recently received a letter telling her she was an illegal immigrant and was going to be sent back to Jamaica, the country she left when she was ten and has never visited since.
Lucy Moreton admitted that we wouldn’t be able to track down all of the illegal immigrants
Instead of focusing on people like Paulette, there needs to be an operation to identify and target illegal immigrants who are working without contributing, and to put a proper strategy in place to deal with it.
There should be huge penalties for employers who knowingly employ illegal immigrants. Landlords who allow illegal immigrants to live in their properties should also be massively penalised, and there should not be school places for the children of illegal immigrants.
The fact is that the system cannot cope. We’ve got to open our eyes to the problem and face it head on.
We have to do something. Doing nothing is not an option.
It turns out that, when it comes to immigration, Brexit was a red herring and not the magic bullet some people hoped it was.
Getty Images – Getty I think we should make everyone carry identity cards
But there is a very simple solution to all of this and that is an identity card. Every British citizen should have to carry one and, without one, there should be no access to the NHS, benefits, housing, school places or other state help.
I think that would immediately start to resolve the problem.
Danielle is in a state of undress
Splash News Danielle Sellers didn’t leave anything to the imagination with the black dress that she wore
GOSH, could Love Island’s Danielle Sellers have left any less to the imagination with the dress she wore to the Inspire Beauty Awards?
I guess she’s trying to put herself on the map but someone needs to tell her that there are other ways to be memorable.
Wearing this, she might just take the whole dress off and be done with it.
New Love Island star and topless model Danielle Sellers shakes boobs in Instagram video
Mental health awareness
ONE in ten girls were referred to mental health services last year, which sounds shockingly like an epidemic to me.
I can’t remember any of my friends needing mental health services 30 years ago.
I guess that is either because it was not the done thing to complain, or because we didn’t have social media.
Harry has passed Diaz challenge
I DON’T know about you but I’ve been totally swept away by the romance of Harry and Meghan.
You don’t need a body language expert to tell you that these two young people are really in love.
Rex Features Cameron Diaz said she wouldn’t settle down until she met the right person
Harry’s choice reminds me of Cameron Diaz who said she didn’t want to settle – so she waited until she met the right person.
There was no shortage of women dying to marry Harry.
But he turned away from the countless girls who have been bred to marry a prince and picked Meghan – who says everything that she knows about Harry, she has learned from him telling her.
This is the real deal – and they deserve all the happiness life can offer.
Let’s raise glass to sobriety
I HATE to be a party pooper. But a study’s prediction that liver disease will overtake heart disease as the biggest cause of early death by 2020 is . . . sobering.
Don’t get me wrong. I like a glass of fizz as much as the next person.
Getty – Contributor Liver disease will over take heart disease by 2020 as the biggest cause of early death
But too much alcohol is at the root of so much that is wrong with our society.
Too much booze brings out the dark side in people. And it’s also an absolute killer.
When I was growing up there really wasn’t such a thing as drinking at home, and alcohol used to be a Saturday thing.
But drinking at home and during the week has become normal, I guess because alcohol has become cheaper and more accessible.
Getty – Contributor My piece of advice is to have dry January
But too much alcohol really is not good for you. Take it to excess and you get ill.
So although I hope you all enjoy yourselves this festive season, try to be mindful of what you are drinking.
Alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks. And don’t tell yourself, “It’s just one glass” when that glass is the size of a goldfish bowl.
Hilarious pet memes reveal what your animals are REALLY thinking this Christmas
IT’S less than a week to Christmas but that has not stopped the internet giving out some hilarious early gifts. The stockings are hung by the fire with care, and the cat’s sat in the co…
IT’S less than a week to Christmas but that has not stopped the internet giving out some hilarious early gifts.
The stockings are hung by the fire with care, and the cat’s sat in the corner, choking on her hair.
It’s hard to communicate with our pets at the best of times.
But with a house full of people, presents and party food, it’s easy to forget that our animals are caught up in the excitement, too.
These memes perhaps give us the best idea of just what our pets are thinking this Christmas.
It turns out that maybe we aren’t that different from our animals, after all…
There’s still time to fetch those last prezzies
Splitpics.uk There is more to this pup than meets the eye
This Kitty was just born for the part
Splitpics.uk Ears what you call a cat with a hat
You spend all year waiting for December 1, and then…
Splitpics.uk It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Rudolph the Red Nose rein-cat… didn’t have a shiny nose
Splitpics.uk This festive feline has dressed for the occasion
The sleigh might be a little slow getting off the ground this year
Splitpics.uk This reindeer needs another year of training before he can head up with the Big Man
Sometimes it’s hard to muster the festive spirit
Splitpics.uk This mutt seems to be NOT feeling the Chrimbo vibe
Santa Claws gets stuck in with decorating the tree
Splitpics.uk We need a hand hanging this year’s tree paw-naments
The Elves did it…
Splitpics.uk Sometimes the Christmas fridge is just too hard to resist
Dear Santa, I’ve been a very good boy this year…
Splitpics.uk There’s always that one present that ends up at the charity shop before New Year…
When Grandma says that she will definitely still be awake for the Queen’s speech…
Splitpics.uk It’s a long way to 3 o’clock
The North Pole have been caught out trying to save on Elf wages this year…
Splitpics.uk Times are tight, and Santa needs to recruit some new helpers
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Amtrak train derailment in Washington State leaves at least three dead after high-speed plunge off bridge onto packed motorway during rush hour
AT LEAST three people have died after an Amtrak train derailed on a bridge about 40 miles south of the US city of Seattle, spilling carriages onto a busy road and causing mass injuries and casualti…
AT LEAST three people have died after an Amtrak train derailed on a bridge about 40 miles south of the US city of Seattle, spilling carriages onto a busy road and causing mass injuries and casualties.
The accident happened over a highway in Pierce County, Washington state, on Monday prompting a major emergency response from local authorities, NBC News reported, citing the state transport agency and local media.
Twitter @wspd1pio One of the carriages hangs over the road, which had rush hour traffic at the time Twitter @PierceSheriff At least three people have died in the horror crash AP:Associated Press The derailed train plunged onto a packed motorway
Local cops confirmed the three dead and said multiple drivers were injured on the roadway, but no motorist fatalities have been reported.
A spokesman for Amtrak said: “Initial reports are that some injuries are reported to passengers and crew, and taken to local medical facilities for treatment.
“Amtrak regrets any inconvenience.”
Passenger Chris Karnes told CBS at least seven cars derailed from the tracks and the service was supposed to travel at a maximum speed of 79 mph at that section of track.
CNBC The horrific accident took place 40 miles south of Seattle twitter @TacomaTransit The train was believed to be carrying 78 people Twitter @PierceSheriff The train derailed and fell off a bridge over Interstate 5 near Mounts Road between Lakewood and Olympia Rex Features Amtrak train 501 which derailed onto Interstate 5 near Olympia EPA The Pierce County Sheriffs Department said three people have been killed
The train was believed to be carrying 78 passengers and five crew members.
He said: “We had just passed the city of DuPont and it seemed like we were going around a curve.”
“All of a sudden, we felt this rocking and creaking noise, and it felt like we were heading down a hill.
“The next thing we know, we’re being slammed into the front of our seats, windows are breaking, we stop, and there’s water gushing out of the train. People were screaming.”
He added that at least seven cars derailed from the tracks.
Sky News A local mayor reportedly said it was ‘only a matter of time’ before someone was killed Sky News There are already three confirmed dead in the ‘mass casualty incident’ Twitter @wspd1pio Emergency services are responding to a “mass casualty incident” Twitter WSDOT Tacoma traffic The high-speed train was on a new route Twitter @thenewstribune Emergency services scrambled to reports of a ‘mass casualty incident’
MAYOR PREDICTED ACCIDENT WEEKS AGO
A local mayor of Lakewood said it was just a matter of time before these high speed trains kill someone in a meeting on December 5.
Mayor Don Anderson said grade separations – such as overpasses – should be included in the new route plans to keep trains away from cars and pedestrians.
He asked Deprtment of Transport officials to “do better”, reports Komo News.
He added: “Come back when there is that accident, and try to justify not putting in those safety enhancements, or you can go back now and advocate for the money to do it, because this project was never needed and endangers our citizens.”
Photos from scene of amtrak passenger train derailment pic.twitter.com/gd09MzLCC6
— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) December 18, 2017
UPDATE: Pierce Sheriff department confirms there are fatalities. No reports yet of numbers of injured or killed yet.
Pictures from the scene show the devastating impact of the derailment from a bridge onto the highway. pic.twitter.com/Sa8NBaUXHG
— News_Executive (@News_Executive) December 18, 2017 Twitter @AlexRozierK5 The train pictured before the terrifying derailment
Reporter Zachery Lashway tweeted: “First responders are said to be treating this incident as a mass casualty event.”
KING5 Seattle reporter got off the train just minutes before it derailed.
He tweeted a video and wrote: “This is hard for me to watch. This was right before we got off the train. “Had we stayed on that train who knows what would have happened. It derailed minutes later.
“Thoughts and prayers are with the people injured or worse.”
US media has reported the Amtrak train 501 was on a new route from Taloma to Portland when disaster struck.
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Where is RAF Mildenhall, why was the Suffolk site on lockdown and what is the US air base used for?
A US airbase in Suffolk was put on lockdown after a car rammed into its gates. But what is RAF Mildenhall normally used for, and what was the security incident? Where is RAF Mildenhall? Royal Air F…
A US airbase in Suffolk was put on lockdown after a car rammed into its gates.
But what is RAF Mildenhall normally used for, and what was the security incident?
Alamy Police have put US airbase RAF Mildenhall on lockdown
Where is RAF Mildenhall?
Royal Air Force Mildenhall is a RAF station located near Mildenhall in Suffolk.
What is the air base used for?
Despite its status as a Royal Air Force station, it primarily supports United States Air Force (USAF) operations, and is currently the home of the 100th Air Refueling Wing (100 ARW).
On 8 January 2015, the United States Department of Defense announced that operations at RAF Mildenhall would end (along with those at RAF Molesworth and RAF Alconbury), and be relocated to Germany (Spangdahlem Air Base) and also elsewhere within the UK.
On 18 January 2016, the British Ministry of Defence announced that the site would be sold.
Reuters A US Hurricane transport plane takes off from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, England, September 15, 2001
What’s its background?
RAF Mildenhall has the largest US Air Force (USAF) presence in the UK, along with RAF Lakenheath.
The site was first built for the Royal Air Force in 1933 and taken over by the US military in 1950.
The decision followed the 1950 invasion of South Korea by Communist forces, when it was decided to re-establish a strong American force in Europe.
Following the announcement that the site will be sold, it has been reported that the USAF will stay at the site until 2024.
The air base has had a few high-profile visitors too. King George V reviewed 350 aircraft there in 1935 on the occasion of his Silver Jubilee.
And five years ago RAF Mildenhall welcomed the then US First Lady Michelle Obama who met American military families based there.
Has Mildenhall been targeted before?
Both Mildenhall and Lakenheath have been targeted by protesters in the past.
About peace campaigners from the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament demanded the removal of around 100 nuclear bombs at Lakenheath in 2006.
In the same year, activists camped outside Mildenhall in protest at US flights refuelling there on the way to Isreal, reported the BBC.
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