Wednesday, August 13, 2008

No Foreigners.

Disturbing to read this morning that a landlord felt it necessary and perfectly A-Okay to put a 'no foreigners' sign up on a house he was attempting to rent in Belfast. His home has been damaged after some bright brave souls had driven his previous tenant- a Romanian- out. So in his wisdom he decided to add to the racist mess by discriminating against foreigner workers.
Observe from the Indo today.

"Chinese-born Anna Lo, South Belfast Alliance Party Assembly member, was outraged.

Ms Lo said: "This is sickening. To treat other human beings like that is simply appalling. I hope action is taken to remove this sign immediately - we must never see anything like this again."

The Donegall Road area is home to a substantial number of people from Asian communities and other migrant workers.

There have been a number of attacks on homes occupied by foreign nationals and the landlord behind the sign said a Romanian tenant fled last week after the windows were smashed and the bin set on fire outside the front door.

Ms Lo said he was still breaking the law as spelt out under the Race Relations Act.

"Landlords should play a positive role in helping migrants feel welcome in the area instead of playing into the hands of racists," she said.

"This despicable matter is unrepresentative of a community which is making significant progress. Migrants play a massively positive role in our community. They bring cultural diversity to Northern Ireland and they contribute greatly to our economy."

Bob Collins, chief commissioner at the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, was equally insistent that the sign was illegal - and said the commission has assisted those discriminated against to take legal action.

When the storm broke around him the landlord who had identified himself on the "To let" sign as Craig quickly changed it."

Poor, very poor. Of course it is up to the individual to decide who they rent their property to, but to be so blatantly discriminatory like that is only adding fuel to the fire of racist and shameful behaviour. It wasn't that long ago that 'No dog No Irish' hung on many a public door, pity some people don't know where to draw the line.

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28 Comments:

Blogger Valehru said...

Pity how times have changed eh?

10:33 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Just don't understand how 'foreigners' is the catchall cover for all things bad. Even yesterday on the radio some gobshite from Drogheda was blaming all the 'foreigners' for the death rates in he county, reasoning that 'you wouldn't know what they'd be carrying.' Unbelievable.

10:39 a.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

Aren't we all foreigners??

10:50 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That would be my thinking on it, Cate.

I'm trying to imagine how I would have felt when I lived in Spain if I had been flat out told I couldn't rent an apartment because I was Irish. I believe I'd be more that just a touch furious.

10:55 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

God bless our wee country eh?
It's strange that this made the news down south - as I mentioned on a previous post and to quote tom jones, it's not unusual.

11:02 a.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

Hey FMC, got the point. What do you think he should have done to protect his property? We know what he did wrong, so what should he do instead?

11:02 a.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

The landlord was simply protecting this property - he knew he would have to pick up the bills for the neighbors throwing stones at whatever foreigners would move in. In many ways it is not his fault - he is not causing the racism (he may be adding to it) and indeed, he is a victim of it in an inadvertent way. Not saying it is right. However, most landlords will simply do it in a quieter way and just allow the prospective tenents to look around and then phone them later to say it has already been rented to another couple.

11:04 a.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

The BBC picked up the story yesterday of the English builder that was awarded 20,000 for being racially discriminated against on a building site (lads singing rebel songs at him, etc.). God, but we're a great nation, all the same.

11:05 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well, that's sort of what I said, he's within his rights to rent to who he wishes, but not to advertise the fact that people will be turned away on the basis of being foreign.
I can't imagine being in his situation actually.

11:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is really terrible. I think the government facilitated this racial backlash, my good pal is black. Her dad is black born and reared in Ireland his parents emigrated here. Anyway by my reckoning my pal is as Irish as I am. She herself will tell you that she has only experienced racism in the last 8 or so years and the sole reason for this was the government took on a “refugee campaign” whereby any person could come here, claim benefits and ultimately take advantage of our countries generosity/stupidity. This I believe is the sole reason for the level of racism today. Because people have witnessed so many foreigner people take advantage of the state they simple tar anyone who looks or sounds different with one brush. That is off course wrong but I understand how it got like that.


Also as a landlord myself out of 5 tenants I had two were foreigner and it was an absolute nightmare, the second lot put every window in the house through. I know it may have just been bad luck but I have to admit I am damn weary now.


Nonny

11:26 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

There's always going to be teething problems after an influx of different nationalities to what was once a very insular island, but refusing people a home on the sole grounds that they are foreign is terrible.
I feel for the Landlord in this case, he's being protective of his property. But publicly siding with the wankers who drove his tenant out is not the way to go about it.

11:38 a.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

oh the fucking irony........scottish settlers and what have you.....

12:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Sniffle&Cry said...

I think he was a utter wanker to write such a notice. Reminded of an advert in a German provincial newspaper, not that long ago, for the rental of outhouses suitable for accommodation of “domestic animals and Gastarbeiter”.

1:30 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

the government took on a “refugee campaign” whereby any person could come here, claim benefits and ultimately take advantage of our countries generosity/stupidity. This I believe is the sole reason for the level of racism today.

That's a bit overboard there Nonny.
I'm sure some of people took advantage being able to apply for refuge but I don't think anyone could do it.
I don't believe it's the real cause of racism in Ireland anyway.

PS : sorry for being pedantic, but it's wary not weary.

1:39 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was not what I meant and I am sure you know that. Thank you for the spelling correction. Is that all the dig's for today? In future could you just e-mail all your smart comments to me and I will read them at a later date.

Thank you

Nonny

1:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Cate said...

Hmmmmmm

2:14 p.m.  
Anonymous 341vff said...

nonny your fat like your mouth you fatso

2:17 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

"In future could you just e-mail all your smart comments to me and I will read them at a later date"
Whats your address - ive got a load of them stored up.

2:20 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I see it is ok for people to be smart pricks to me but not ok for me to answer them back.

Nonny

2:27 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

I'm just wondering if that landlord had any emigrant relatives. Maybe they went to America, not all that long ago, and had to read apartment rental signs, common in those days, saying "No blacks, no dogs, no Irish."

4:14 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

And I've just realized you already made that point in the post, fmc!

Je suis une doofus.

4:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's all right Darling, you're probably hungry and wineless. I know I am.

4:39 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I'd tax all foreigners living abroad.

5:26 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Why?

5:42 p.m.  
Blogger Twenty Major said...

Think of the income. Even .0001% income tax on all them and we'd be richer than the Saudis.

Then we'd have some fun.

7:30 p.m.  
Blogger Quickroute said...

the sad part is he probably didn't see anything wrong it until challenged. ASBO him I say!

9:37 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I doubt ASBOing him would make the slightest bit of difference. What they really need to do is catch and punish the bastards that terrified his last tenant into leaving.

11:01 a.m.  
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