Friday, 16 September 2011

Baroness Flather: Polygamy, welfare benefits and an insidious silence

Many years ago, working for the Central Office of Information, a dependency of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, I presented a television programme about Baroness Shreela Flather, today’s Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, that incidentally was the first Asian woman member of the House of Lords.

Today, I read an article written by Shreela Flather in which she denounces abuses committed by some migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh that have transformed what she described as modern welfare state with noble ideals into a lucrative racket for claimants who lack any sense of social responsibility.

Baroness Flather adds that the subject has been avoided as a taboo subject for far too long because of sensitivities about the issue of race. As I said in Parliament, writes Baroness Flather, “there is growing wealth of evidence that the generosity of the welfare state encourages some Muslims from these two regions (Pakistan and Bangladesh) – along with plenty of white families – to produce ever larger families in order to claim extra payments and publicly-subsidized housing.”

Thanks to polygamy, indicates Baroness Flather, many women are being brought to Britain from the said countries and used to procreate children with the sole purpose of exploiting the welfare system that considers them as ‘single mothers’ because polygamy is not legally recognized in Britain.

She explains that one man can have several women with children, all claiming welfare benefits. What is more, Baroness Shreela Flather says that some time ago she discovered that in one street of a town in Yorkshire all residents are Pakistani women with children and there are no men living in the street.

Baroness Shreela Flather, first Asian female Member of the House of Lords, says ‘We cannot continue like this. The misuse of welfare among some Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and others has to be challenged, for the practice seriously undermines the social contract upon which the British welfare system is based.”

Carlos Cortiglia

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