This is from quite some time ago but it’s worth a read (though its implication that public opinion is negative but acceptable if we just forget about it is unnerving)
In his new party political broadcast (PPB) on immigration, Ed Miliband says: “Millions of people in this country are concerned about immigration. And if people are concerned about it, then the Labour Party I lead is going to be talking about it… It’s not prejudice when people worry about immigration, it’s understandable. And we were wrong in the past when we dismised people’s concerns.”
People’s “concerns”. That’s what seems to drive the immigration debate (or what passes for a debate) in this country. Concerns.
Remember David Cameron’s speech on the subject in April 2011? “This time last year, we said we would listen to people’s concerns and get immigration under control. Today I can confidently say that we are getting there.”
Or Tony Blair’s speech on immigration in 2004? “There are real concerns; they are not figments of racist imagination; and they have to be tackled precisely in order to sustain a balanced and sensible argument about migration.”
Well I’m sorry to have to say this but I for one am fed up about people’s “concerns” on this particular political issue. Our elected politicians won’t, or perhaps can’t, say this but the fact is that the great British public doesn’t have a clue about immigration. Why then should we base our immigration policies on public opinion, and people’s “concerns”, when those very same people are so woefully uninformed and ignorant about the true levels of immigration into the UK? The levels of benefits that migrants – especially asylum-seekers – receive? Their proficiency with the English language?