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Boston mum has no regrets over speaking out about immigration on BBC1's Question Time

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

Rachel Bull

Impassioned: Rachel Bull spoke out over problems relating to immigration in Boston

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A despairing mum who some have labelled a spokesman for Britain's "ordinary people" says she is glad to have spoken out about immigration live on prime time TV.

Rachel Bull's spontaneous outburst on BBC1's Question Time sparked rapturous applause from the show's audience at Lincoln's Drill Hall.

After hearing Cambridge University professor Mary Beard dismiss claims that migrant workers were overwhelming the market town of Boston, office manager Mrs Bull stood up from her seat and caught the attention of presenter David Dimbleby.

Once she had the spotlight, Mrs Bull, who is half-Polish, said: "Boston is at breaking point. All the locals can't cope any more.

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"You go down to Boston High Street and it's just like you're in a foreign country. It's got to stop. The services are at breaking point."

When she finally finished speaking, there was a moment's silence and then applause.

After the show had finished, some audience members were still praising Mrs Bull.

Since then, Mrs Bull, who was born and brought up in Lincolnshire and lives with her marine engineer husband Steven and their ten-year-old son Luke, has had time to reflect on her impromptu television appearance.

While she is rather overwhelmed by the attention her impassioned outpouring has attracted, she has no regrets about speaking "from the heart".

"It was an opportunity I couldn't let pass," says Mrs Bull, who left school at 16 and trained as a secretary.

"I couldn't just sit there and say nothing while Mary Beard said that she couldn't see there were any problems in Boston.

"I may not be as clever as her or have been to university, but this is my family's home town and I wanted to say how it really is for the real people that live here.

"I don't blame the migrants. It's not their fault. They are only doing what the law allows them to do, which is come over here and work. I blame the Government for not realising the impact it's having on ordinary people – or managing it."

Mrs Bull's speech comes three months after the Borough Council published a report called "Social Impact Of Population Change On Boston".

The report, which followed a four-month inquiry, acknowledged the pressure placed on Boston's education and health services and looked into concerns such as street drinking as well as unemployment among local people.

A month later, hundreds of Bostonians took to the street to protest about the effects of mass immigration.

"No one can blame them for wanting to come here for a better life," says Mrs Bull.

"Many of them come to England thinking it's a land of opportunity but they find the reality is very different.

"Some of them have nowhere to live and understandably, they find anywhere they can to sleep.

"But you can't blame the locals who are seeing their town at breaking point. The politicians in London and the academics are living in another world.

"What I want is for the policymakers to come to Boston and speak to us. Come and see Boston for yourselves."

Boston Borough Councillor Paul Kenny, chairman of the task and finish group which produced the population change report, watched the programme.

He said: "There are no quick fixes in this, but we do need to tackle issues such as drinking on our streets, licensing of HMOs, employment protection issues, zero hour contracts, and a review of our licensing regulations."

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12 comments

  • leswilson5236  |  June 20 2013, 12:34PM

    im sorry but finding it hard to find work here in lincolnshire if a job was advertised in boston you wont be surprized that out of 1:1million people who apply for that particler job you wont get it. im finding forigen people dont obay or rules. they use or streets as a toilet for them instead of using the toilets near the park. the central park has become a meeting place for them to drink and become drunk or even intoxicated. the streets of boston are not safe anymore due to violet muggings and robbery, shops can cope with the mass shoplifting in the town from migrants and english people who cant afford there shoping anymore. the benefits system is a total farse now with migrnts claiming or benefits and the housing in boston is now struggling with single people losing out smaller accomadation from themshelves. we haft to pay council tax for a house and flats, rooms in boston but im sorry to say migrants fail to do that and they leave it to the last minute without paying council tax. we are struggling to get jobs here in boston for english people who are fighting for jobs and homes for the future. we need a better visa system put into place to get migrants to leave this country upgrade the visas to like holiday visa to 2 weeks from 6 weeks, and 1 week to 1 month for working visas from 6 months. us english need proirity first before anybody else.

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  • mags1862  |  March 30 2013, 10:08AM

    The political class would rather not talk about immigrants, they feel it is impolite to acknowledge the tens of thousands of slavs that have turned up on the doorstep waving the EU flag. 99% of immigrants end up in working class areas. The political class does not live around migrants, they do not compete for low paid jobs and housing with migrants, they do not wait in bus shelters or queue in Aldi with immigrants. They and immigrants are like ships passing in the night. They are out of touch. They do not represent working class Bostonians, and they never will, so don't be disappointed when they don't.

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  • Roadscource  |  January 25 2013, 4:42PM

    "I'll think you will find that her Polish grandfather fought for the Britsh in WW2" I think youll find that Poland was fighting for itself not the British, the clues in the WW bit as it stands for "World War".

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  • theoutworker  |  January 25 2013, 9:23AM

    I think a lot of people are missing the main point. What is happening is "Ethnic Cleansing by Mass Immigration." It has been going on since the 1950s. I have no problems with immigrants coming here to work but there has to be some control has to how many should come. We should take a leaf out of the Australian policy on immigration and restrict the influx.

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  • Bolshie  |  January 24 2013, 8:20PM

    I share Mrs Bull's view in that it's got to stop - migration within the EU statute is, I believe, detrimental to the country in the volume of it we currently have. I for one would vote for whichever party stands up before the next election and promises to pull us out of the European Union Social Chapter to close the door to more migrants, and set about reducing the current population to manageable levels as soon as possible. I hear all the comments about the Poles fought for us in the war etc - they didn't they left their own country for a place of safety and fought with us to free their own, there is a difference. Johnsnapo - labelling all that speak out about too many foreigners in the country as rascist is really quite pathetic. Rascism is something quite different - this is an issue of volume not Nationality, Creed, Sexuality or any other distinction that falls under the anti-discrimination statutes.

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  • InsideStory  |  January 24 2013, 7:00PM

    I have no problem with the Polish workers they are damn fine people and i work with a few but what angers me most is the employers of this country are exploiting the workers and ignoring the employment laws of our country.Many work damn hard and earn very little money due to most employers paying them the bare minimum hourly rate plus treating them different to british workers by that i mean giving them later hours and making them work over christmas and new year when some of the british workers dont have to.

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  • eatmygoal  |  January 24 2013, 6:41PM

    I thought she was quarter Polish as her Grandad came over although perhaps I misheard that. I echo most of what SED1234 said, but I don't think she was being xenophobic. I do think she based a generalisation on the land issues though, but good on her for standing up for what she believes in. More people should on both sides. With regards to services at breaking point, it seems to be that an immigrant who pays in money to keep the NHS going through NI contributions is less entitled to use the services than those who make no contribution but have the blind luck of being born here. I am not saying that anyone should be denied services, but if they pay in and there is a shortfall then perhaps more needs to be paid in. I am wary on the NHS argument because although immigrants have caused a rise in the need for maternity services which Mrs Bull highlighted with reference to a midwife she knows, there is a baby boom within the 20s - 40s across the board. In terms of other care foreign nationals tend not to access it as much because they tend to be younger. The increasing pressure on the NHS is from people living longer and with more serious illnesses. That is fine and they need treating and with respect, but it puts a strain on services far more than immigration puts on the NHS.

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  • hewgoss  |  January 24 2013, 6:16PM

    We should remember what the Poles did for GB in the war they almost won the Battle of Britain, when Polish fighter pilots shot down 3 aircraft for every one shot down by British pilots. read your history! The lady said Boston is changing I think she is right , I was down in the summer it almost had a continental feel with smartly dressed Eastern Europeans enjoying the sunshine yes Boston is changing and its about time!... Sto lat !

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  • BTFC10  |  January 24 2013, 3:09PM

    @ SED1234 Idiot! At no point has this lady said that immigrants are on benefits. She pointed out problems that she has seen in her local area. Even Boston Borough Council and Grant Shapps have said there are serious issues in Boston. I think you will find that she has based her argument on personal experience which most people do. I am pretty sure if you woke up tomorrow with campers on you garden you would not be to chuffed either. The police will not get involved as it would be a civil matter. The fact that she is half Polish does not give her a right to an opinion does it? In fact by admitting that she has Polish relatives shows more guts, because it opens herself up to criticism from people like you. If you did any research I'll think you will find that her Polish grandfather fought for the Britsh in WW2 and thanks to people like him, you can sit and type rubbish at your keyboard. I was also in the QT audience, and am pleased that you were unable to make your comment, because people like you make me feel embarassed to be from Lincoln!

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  • johnsnapo  |  January 24 2013, 2:54PM

    Here in Lincoln we have a long history with Polish immigration and i'm very pleased about that.The 1st ones came over to fly the Spitfires and did a very good job to say the least and I remember the Polish club on Lindum Hill where I used ti go and have a few beers with the old school Polish (great guys).Thank you for helping us and thank you to many other immigrants for making this country great.Long live immigration and the racist people can F**** off !

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