I’ll not support the RNLI until they stop playing a key role in helping what the government says is illegal activity.

From: Wayne Andrews, Chitcombe Road, Broad Oak

Friday, 17th September 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:49 am
Hastings RNLI. Photo by Sid Saunders. SUS-210914-094751001

In your report ‘Migrants land on the beach’, you mention the involvement of RNLI lifeboats in helping to bring a “group of people ashore at Hastings”. The lifeboats reportedly helped the farcically-named UK Border Force in this incident.

The Government’s own website states that “Border Force is a law enforcement command within the Home Office. We secure the UK border by carrying out immigration and customs controls for people and goods entering the UK.” Nobody can seriously claim that “helping” to bring cross-Channel migrants ashore has anything to do with enforcing, securing or controlling the UK’s borders.

It does not matter whether you are “for” or “against” migrants coming across the Channel - it is simply not the job of UK Border Force to “help” this activity. They exist to protect our borders, not to roll out a welcome mat. Official government policy is to prevent the crossings, something they have dismally failed to achieve.

Yet it is the role of the RNLI lifeboats that is the most disturbing. The organisation was founded during the reign of Queen Victoria, and still operates under the Royal Charter which was bestowed on it by her. Since then, it has been granted charitable status which enables it, among other things, to claim tax relief and exemptions on its received donations and other revenue.

The RNLI has tweeted that it makes “no apology” for helping to bring cross-Channel migrants ashore. So, here we have an organisation which is openly helping to facilitate an activity which its own government is trying to stop, and which is able to boost its revenue by claiming tax relief from that same government. This represents a huge political decision by the RNLI, one which directly conflicts with the policy of its own government, and one which should bring into question their right to claim ‘charitable’ status.

I and every member of my family have donated to the RNLI over a number of years. We won’t be doing so again until they stop playing a key supporting role in helping what the government says is illegal activity.

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