Gordon Brown has belatedly grasped the nettle and entered directly into the immigration debate. This follows closely on the heels of Alan Johnson admitting that Labour’s failings to address immigration issues had helped the BNP. The Prime Minister has said that he will not allow the population of this country to exceed 70 million. A level that some experts say will be reached within 20 years.
He is expected to announce new limits on immigration in a speech today. This will include adjusting the points system. Although acknowledging the contribution that immigrants have made in an interview with the Daily Mail, he also said that it had placed strains on local services. Opponents will use this as an admission that Labour had got it all wrong on immigration and so had boosted marginal parties like the BNP.
This new policy can only apply to immigrants from outside the EU though. Movement within the EU is not allowed under current European legislation. So it may not have the impact that some think it will. In the past this type of policy has been labelled racist because by its very nature it predominantly affects those from non-white ethnic backgrounds.
A former speechwriter to Tony Blair, Andrew Neath, has poured petrol on this fire by claiming that Labour failed to act on immigration knowing that large numbers would come in. This would in their eyes make Britain ‘truly multicultural’ and also ‘rub the Right’s noses in diversity’.
The debate on immigration is just beginning to open up, which is to be welcomed. What we do not want now is for the PC brigade to jump up and down shouting racism.
It should also be remembered that vast numbers of UK nationals leave the country every year to make a better life for themselves elsewhere in the world. There are little parts of the globe that are almost Britain abroad. The difference generally seems to be that those that want to make money come to us, those that have made it take their money abroad.