Carmichael blasts ‘disgraceful’ actions of firm which painted asylum seekers’ doors

Private security firm G4S have been accused of behaving in a “disgraceful” manner by Northern Isles MP Alistair Carmichael after the firm painted the doors of asylum seekers houses red.

Mr Carmichael’s attack on G4S came after national newspaper reports suggested that the company had painted the doors of houses in Middlesbrough to identify where asylum seekers were living.

Some commentators dubbed the move 21st-century apartheid and compared it to the use of yellow stars to identify Jews in Nazi Germany.

Liberal Democrat councillors in Middlesbrough had previously raised the issue as far back as 2012, and were told by G4S that no complaints had been received.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Carmichael urged the government to take immediate action to rectify the situation.

He said: “It is my understanding that concerns about this practice of painting doors red were first raised in 2012 by my Liberal Democrat colleague and then Middlesbrough councillor, Suzanne Fletcher.

“She was told by G4S that it had received no complaints, so there was no need to take any action. That could manifestly not be the case, and does it not raise in the minister’s mind at least a suspicion that an audit is somewhat less than what is required?

“Yet again G4S has come to public attention for all the wrong reasons, and yet again it has been found wanting.”

Immigration minister, and Tory MP for the London constituency of Old Bexley and Sidcup, James Brokenshire said: “I discussed with the chief executive this morning the issue of complaints and when the matter was first made known to G4S.

“It is a matter that he has committed to examine further to get to the bottom of how G4S handled the issue.”

Commenting after the discussion in the House of Commons Mr Carmichael said: “I would not have been the only person to be deeply concerned by the actions of G4S in Middlesbrough as reported in The Times newspaper.

“It is utterly unacceptable for asylum seekers to be treated in this way.

“Painting the doors of those who are seeking asylum in order to ‘mark’ them when they have come to this country to seek peace and sanctuary is completely disgraceful.

“Such actions expose them to threats and violence, and, according to local MPs speaking in Parliament, this has been occurring.

“Questions must be asked about why they [G4S] are contracted out for such sensitive public sensitive.”
He added: “The debate about asylum seekers in this country is getting more and more poisonous and divisive.

“Actions like this by G4S help to create that attitude of suspicion towards those seeking legitimate sanctuary.”

Following the publication of the story on Wednesday G4S has insisted there was no deliberate policy to make asylum seekers live in homes with red doors.


Add Your Comment
  • Robin Stevenson

    • January 22nd, 2016 17:17

    “Private security firm G4S have been accused of behaving in a “disgraceful” manner, by Ali Carmichael

    If anyone should know the meaning of “disgraceful manner”, it’s Oor Ali…Rich!….absolutely rich. =^_^=

  • David Spence

    • January 22nd, 2016 19:40

    It seems rather obvious that G4S, are looking for more clients to house in so-called secure premises via Her Majesty’s Pleasure by deliberately provoking xenophobia, racial tension and other related crimes in order that their business partner in crime, allegedly the Conservative Party, can forward in their direction more business via the Tax Payer to pay to G4S ridiculous fee’s for very poor services.

    I suspect, since they seem to get everywhere, Serco will probably be wanting a piece of this pie via similar methods, lets say.

    I am curious to know if G4S will be charged with inciting hatred or racial tensions as a consequence of the actions they have carried out……….or will the buck be passed to somebody else within Westminster?

  • Brian Smith

    • January 23rd, 2016 9:29

    Anyone who wants to see how racialism has become central and acceptable in British society should consult the comments sent into the Dail Mail online edition each day. When the Mail published this story, the commentators weighed in with hundreds of remarks about how ‘they’ should go home, how ‘they’ were sapping the foundation of ‘our’ Britain, etc.
    When the Mail publishes a story like this they ‘moderate’ the comments. One might assume that that means the moderators weed out the racist comments, but no: they weed out anything remotely liberal.
    Is there a case for prosecuting this paper for incitement to racial hatred, for publishing this disgusting material?

  • Gordon Harmer

    • January 24th, 2016 16:46

    In the words of Mark Fuhrman, I don’t think many people understand what racism is. The intellectuals use it like toilet paper; it’s something they can use. It’s not something they live.

    • Brian Smith

      • January 24th, 2016 18:42

      Query: does Wir Shetland ‘live toilet paper’?

    • Robert Sim

      • January 25th, 2016 13:43

      Interesting that you are quoting Mark Fuhrman, an acknowledged (i.e. found guilty of lying about his racist comments in the US courts) racist. Here’s a link to an article about anti-racist approaches to education in the US just to balance out your comment. It’s by a US educationalist who presumably actually knows what she’s talking about when it comes to the USA:

      I didn’t have to google very far to find that article. Nor did I have to do much searching to establish the facts about Mark Fuhrman.

      • Gordon Harmer

        • January 25th, 2016 18:30

        His quote is shown to be true by some of the comments on here Robert including yours. I am well aware of Mark Fuhrman and what he is accused of. The thing about racism and racist comments is that where ever the PC brigade draw the line it will not alter how individuals think. Making racism different things to different people. Then there are those who climb on a band wagon using racism as an excuse to have a go at someone. Until you have experienced racism in its rawest form you have no right to force what you believe onto others. I have experienced racism in its rawest form, once as a victim and once as a witness and I still think the PC brigade have got it so wrong and to be honest it makes my blood boil to have sanctimonious self righteous people telling me how I should conduct myself regarding racist comments.

      • Robert Sim

        • January 26th, 2016 6:16

        Gordon, I am not telling you “how to conduct yourself regarding racist comments”. Where did I do that? You post your opinions on here all you like – it’s a free country. I just wanted eveyone to be clear that you were quoting someone who is part of a very big and real problem in the USA rather than part of the solution. I can’t comment on your individual experience as you don’t share it but we can see the American issue on the news all the time.

    • Ray Purchase

      • January 25th, 2016 22:34

      Gordon Harmer, Mark Fuhrman has not simply been ‘accused’ he was convicted of perjury for lying about his racist behaviour during 10 years with the LAPD. This included boasting of beating young black men in alleyways; although he did not call them young black men. Instead of trying to justify your use of the quote maybe you could just admit you made a mistake when pulling it from the internet. In conceding this you could have used the quote “Anyone can deal with victory, only the mighty can bear defeat.” Although when you looked it up you’d have found it was said by Adolph Hitler so it’s not appropriate to use ever.

  • John Tulloch

    • January 24th, 2016 22:59

    @Brian Smith:

    Query: What has this story got to do with Wir Shetland?

    For the record, I very much doubt whether you find this door-painting episode one iota more objectionable than I do – and BTW you’re trying to paint Wir Shetland’s door black for YOUR own political interests and I’ll thank you not to.

  • Kathy Greaves

    • January 24th, 2016 23:13

    If Brian Smith is trying to be offensive to hundreds of Shetlanders who, like myself, are members of Wir Shetland, he may have accomplished that – if I had any idea what he was talking about! Are we supposed to be racist? Better take some water with it Brian.

  • Gordon Harmer

    • January 25th, 2016 6:48

    That Brian, would need to be addressed to Wir Shetland not me. Having said that, someone would need to, so they could clean up what you post on here.

    • Brian Smith

      • January 25th, 2016 9:42

      Gordon, I promise never to mention toilet paper here again unless you bring it up in the first place …

  • iantinkler

    • January 25th, 2016 9:10

    Such an intelligent comment from Brian Smith!, “Wir Shetland” and all it has accomplished in such a short time must really be bugging him. Lets face it, that means a lot in itself, when the intelligent voice of the “Union Man” is reduced to facile and crude insults. It speaks volumes about Brian and his arguments when an educated man is reduced to puerile lavatorial comments. Unison Membership on Shetland must be so proud.

  • David Spence

    • January 25th, 2016 9:11

    It is funny (NOT) that ever since the Cold War finished, a certain country has been looking out to fight another whole group of people……………….even more so with the events of 9/11 (red flag operation) and what happened thereafter (illegally invading 2 countries, illegally causing a war with over 1,00,000 people that have been killed) and it just so happens to be a group of people who just so happen to be rich in natural resources of oil, gas and minerals.

    It seems very, very obvious this countries agenda is to create and cause division between 2 religions, and for this country to, in affect, create another war related to crusading as what happened 1,100 years ago.

    However, the principles of this new crusade are not based on religion, as such, more to do with economics and this countries selfish agenda to prosper at the cost of thousands of lives.

    It is also rather disturbing that ever since this started (after 9/11) a certain religion is now the ‘ new enemy ‘ of this country, and subsequently terrorism has been highlighted to the extent where even in our society, cracks are appearing towards hatred, racism, xenophobia and segregation.

    • iantinkler

      • January 25th, 2016 12:13

      David Spence, just try and get a bit of history right. Just a few islamic attacks that pre date 9/11. These are the ones aimed at the US, there are plenty more aimed at most countries, with little or no logic, just hatred being the motive. Even your pals in the USSR got their share of civilians butchered..

      Bombing of US Marine barracks, Beirut, Lebanon. (Oct 23, 1983)
      Bombing of US Embassy, Kuwait. (Dec 12, 1983)
      Kidnapping,torture, and murder of Political Officer/CIA Station Chief William F. Buckley, Beirut, Lebanon. Buckley died after 15 months of being tortured by the Islamic militants. (Mar 16, 1984 to Jun 3, 1985)
      Bombing of restaurant near US Air Force base in Torrejon, Spain. (Apr 12, 1984)
      Bombing of US Embassy annex, Beirut. (Sept 20, 1984)
      Hijacking of Kuwait Airlines Flight 221, diverted to Tehran: Two American passengers were murdered. (Dec 3, 1984)
      Hijacking of TWA Flight 847, diverted to Beirut. An American hostage was killed and dumped on the airport tarmac. (June 14, 1985)
      Hijacking of cruise ship Achille Lauro. A wheelchair-bound American is thrown overboard & killed. More than 700 people were taken hostage. (Oct 7, 1985)
      Bombing of Vienna and Rome airports. Five Americans were among the dead.(Dec 27, 1985)
      Bombing of La Belle disco, Berlin frequented by US servicemen. (April 5, 1986)
      Kidnapping, torture, and murder of US Marine Corps Lt Col William Higgins who was serving with the UN peacekeeping team in Lebanon. (Feb 17, 1988)
      Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Hundreds were murdered. (Dec 21, 1988)
      Bombing of hotel in Aden, Yemen. Their target: U.S. Marines. (Dec 29, 1992)
      First bombing World Trade Center, New York City. 7 killed and 1,042 wounded. (Feb 26, 1993)
      Foiled NY Landmarks plot by Omar Abdel Rahman to blow up the Holland and Lincoln tunnels and other New York City landmarks.
      Attempted Assassination of President Bush Sr. during visit to Kuwait (April 14, 1993)
      Black Hawk Down: US helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu, Somalia, during Operation Restore Hope. (Oct 3-4, 1993)
      Plot to assassinate President Clinton during visit to the Philippines.
      Failed Project Bojinka by Ramzi Yousef to blow up a dozen US airliners over the Pacific. (end in Jan 1995)
      Bombing US military headquarters, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Nov 13, 1995
      Bombing Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia, housing U.S. military personnel. (Jun 25, 1996)
      Bombing U.S. Nairobi Embassy, Kenya, Africa. (Aug 7, 1998
      Bombing U.S. Dar es Salaam Embassy, Tanzania, Africa. (Aug 7, 1998)
      Foiled LAX Millennium plot by Ahmed Ressam to bomb Los Angeles International Airport. Ressam was arrested at US Canadian border.
      Failed USS The Sullivans bombing that was refueling in the port of Aden, Yemen. (Jan 3, 2000)
      Bombing USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, 17 U.S. Navy sailors murdered. The USS Cole was not engaged in any combat during this period. (Oct 12, 2000)
      Bombing plaza Ferguson across the US Embassy, Manila, Philippines. Four other locations were bombed in Manila that day. (Dec 30, 2000)
      9/11 attacks: World Trade Center, Flight 93, Pentagon, almost 3,000 people were murdered. (Sept 11, 2001)

      • Ray Purchase

        • January 25th, 2016 22:41

        I fail to see your point here Ian Tinkler or what it has to do with Alistair Carmichael’s admirable statement. The atrocities carried out by a very small group of people who have a totally perverse interpretation of Islam should not influence us when helping those who flee them.

      • Ray Purchase

        • January 25th, 2016 22:44

        And furthermore, it in no way excuses the actions of Britain and America in the Middle East and Afghanistan over the last 15 years.

  • iantinkler

    • January 26th, 2016 10:37

    Sorry you fail to see the point Ray, somehow I am not surprised, that seems a habit with you.! I was actually answering and contradicting David’s comment (ever since this started (after 9/11). It started somewhat earlier.. Not making excuses for anything or anyone. I thought that should be pretty obvious to anyone who actually read and understood what I wrote !! all a bit deep for you?

    • Ray Purchase

      • January 26th, 2016 19:25

      I understood your comment perfectly fine thanks Ian Tinkler – it was as deep as a budgie bath. It was pointless in that it had no point and no relevance to the article and very little relevance to the comment you were replying to. Points for not mentioning the SNP though – I didn’t expect that. Points lost for using a full stop and an exclamation mark to end a sentence though – such a hideous faux pas.

  • David Spence

    • January 26th, 2016 18:33

    Ian, I think Ray is trying to point out, the number of american’s killed by terrorist’s compared to the number of people killed by the USA backing a dictator or other terrorist groups (dumbed ‘ freedom fighters ‘ including allowing the financial help in the USA to help the IRA ) pales into insignificance.

    When it comes to economics, wealth and selfishness, the USA cares not as to how many people die, as long as it is not their own citizens. People from other countries which are killed, maimed are just classified as ‘ casualties of war ‘ in US eyes.

  • Haydn Gear

    • January 26th, 2016 21:05

    On numerous occasions I have had differences of opinion with Ian Tinkler but this time I think he has made a fair point with a wealth of supporting evidence with or without the dubious activities of Carmichael. In the grand scheme of things, though reprehensible, they are small tatties when considered in the light of the comprehensive list of activities as shown by I.T.

    • Ray Purchase

      • January 28th, 2016 18:32

      Hello Haydn. I have to respectfully disagree with you there. Mr Tinkler makes the point that there was no logic behind the list of horrible, tragic list of attacks he references and that ‘just hatred’ was the motive but this is not the case. The perpetrators no doubt did hate the victims, or at least their nationalities, but this hatred was not created in a vacuum. Many books have been written and films made analysing what has gotten the world into this mess. I’d recommend watching Adam Curtis’s documentary Bitter Lake if you want to learn more – it’s not for the faint hearted though! It also explains why the ‘goodies vs baddies’ idea of this situation is so wrong and has actually cost many lives, including those of many British servicemen. As for the list of attacks, someone who believes themselves on the other side could just as easily list attacks carried out by the West on Islamic countries and claim that these were carried out simply because of hatred and they’d be just as wrong as Mr Tinkler was in his post.

  • iantinkler

    • January 29th, 2016 13:24

    Sadly, the real killing here are Sunni on Shia and vice versa, literally millions dead. Only a total fool, like Salmond and his more moronic followers condemns the overthrow of a butcher like Saddam Hussein. He massacred his own with gas and condemned millions of Iranians to death in his imperial wars… Then he invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia. His other throw, messy as the results are, prevented the emergence of a malevolence equal or worse than of that of Hitler. Now as for the Taliban, if left alone by now Pakistan may well be in their absolute power, including the arsenal of atomic weapons. Sure, we have a mess in the Middle East, but it could be far, far worse. To see the true horror of Taliban philosophy look to Malala Yousafzai. Only bleeding heart idiots and blinkered fools condemn the West without looking at the alternatives. No need to name anyone here, those idiots are self-evident, sadly one is writing here.

  • iantinkler

    • January 29th, 2016 16:31

    With regard to Red doors, many were that colour before anyone moved in. For example my house in Walsall!!! The company concerned stated the colour had nothing to do with asylum seekers, some red door houses, housed housed Brits. Now is it not strange that if people believed a Red Door somehow singled them out as refugees, no one went to a shop and bought some paint and repainted their door themselves a different colour? Talk about a load of idiots we have in government and the media! Now just what is wrong with people repainting their own front doors? Is it not PC to tell them to do that if they want a new colour?


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