Nutty Newspaper Nonsense

This is article is taken from and has given me permission to share.

I reached the ultimate in surprise this week when I was asked if I knew that black people are able to receive a free oyster card (bus and tube pass) if they live in London.  Come on all my black friends if you did not know this – get one – problem is I do not know where from?

The young lady who was telling me this story went on to tell me that the person who had told her this great piece of news, when told, “No, that is not true”, looked at her with that knowing look that says “Oh, that’s what you think”.

It really is nutty nonsense from people who read certain types of newspapers that come out with this stuff and then when you tell them no it’s not true, prefer to believe their fairy tale rubbish rather than any real facts.

Some of the other apocryphal stories I have been told are as follows:-

  • Did you know that they now give foreigner’s free cars?
  • It’s terrible that you can only get a house on the council if you are not English.
  • Did you know that immigrants get £120.00 per week unemployment allowances?

I have heard lots more and must admit that I had not heard the one about black people getting free travel until this weekend.  Nutty stuff or what?

Here are some of the real facts:-
  • A single adult asylum seeker receives £36.62 a week (that’s just £5.23 per day)
  • A single unemployed UK citizen of the same age would receive £67.50 (plus other benefits they may be able to receive)
  • Asylum seekers cannot claim mainstream benefits.
  • Asylum seekers do not qualify for council housing tenancy or housing benefit.

When questioned about what percentage of immigrants that go to make up the UK; people had wildly wrong numbers. In fact out of the 15.4 million refugees in the world (2012) the UK only had 193,510 of these people in the countries that go to make up the union and that represents just 0.33% of our population, did you know that?

In 2011 UK did not feature in even the top ten of receiving countries for refugees, in fact the country that had the most in 2011 was surprisingly Pakistan . Jordan with its own population of around 6 million hosted something like 550,000. How does that compare with UK population of 70 million or thereabouts and the figure above?

Now my big problem concerning these nutty things, wrong as they, are is not so much the people who put them into my face as the truth (which is bad enough). My big problem is that people think these things are true and fail to check it out (the newspaper headlines love no research).  I guess it’s worse that papers produce stories with very little fact around them, that beguiles such gullible people, and stirs them up. The most frustrating thing of all is when government responses to this nonsense popularise it all by trying to pass legislation that says such things as:-

  • we won’t allow asylum seekers or refugees to get driving licences in this country
  • we won’t allow them to get any health care for free
  • we won’t allow them to work. They already cannot.

So then we put in that law of unforeseen consequences, what are desperate people to do who have run away from danger in their own countries and have tried to feed their family’s or themselves.  What should they now do, steal or become criminals?  Come on let us be reasonable and look again at those facts and figures.

Don’t forget that these people are people!!!


*Most up to date good facts and figures can be obtained from:

Adrian Hawkes