“Tough and Thoughtful”

This is the soundbite used by the Tories about their recently declared immigration proposals. 

It’s taken a long time for the Tories to show their faces on the issue of immigration following Michael Howard’s pre-election hard-line stance of last year whereby he grossly exploited the media-induced (but totally gratuitous) hysteria about immigration and asylum.  Backfired on him big-style too. 

But last week they braved it and revealed their latest ideas.  [Read it here].  In keeping with the usual furry-friend image of Cameron and in contrast to the Tory’s previous approach, they’ve tried to compassionatise themselves towards the immigration issue.  And their tone does seem softer.  But it’s not.  Of course, it’s not as tough as those further to the right would like it to be, but tough it is.    

They do say they will separate the asylum debate from that of economic migrancy and that their proposals for asylum seekers will be issued at a later date.  Of course, those seeking asylum should not fall under the same category as economic immigrants but it remains to be seen as to just how “compassionate” the Tories can be about asylum seekers.  Economics and the labour market should not affect the desperate needs of genuine people looking for refuge.  I’ve always believed this so I hope any government in power can show sincere compassion about this. 

Anyway, the Tories have a two-stage plan and the first stage is to maximise any economic benefits that immigration can have on our economy and so eligibility for entry will be limited to migrants who can fit this criteria.  I think this could be interpreted as them saying they’ll cut immigration by only allowing the elite, the highly educated, the high income earners into the country, not much unlike what Michael Howard suggested a couple of years ago. 

The second stage says they will manage migration by considering the potential pressure that it may place on public services, jobs, housing, the NHS  etc..  Personally, I can’t see how this could be workable.  The labour market changes all the time as does the flow of migrancy.  It would take psychic abilities to be able to correctly predict and then manage migrancy based on our needs.  I do feel a need to take the environmental impact into consideration but other than this, we are one of the richest countries in the world and people migrate in and out of this country by the day so I refuse to believe there is a great social impact.

I wouldn’t be so blatant as to say the Tories are racist but they will find it hard to shake off the totally racist immigration policy legacy left by Michael Howard.  And err…they do have a more recent history of embarassing moments such as “The Illegal Immigrants Poem” sent from a Tory councillor’s email address and the remark made by a Tory activist at their Spring conference this year when she told Channel 4 that selecting an ethnic minority councillor to her constituency would be a mistake.

Yes, their reluctance to talk about immigration was quite understandable. 


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by misslionheart on November 14, 2006 at 12:15 am

    Hey, Earthie…
    Stop the political rants! Methinks you are stressed-out here!


  2. Do I sound stressed out? I wasn’t when I wrote this. Just ever-cynical about the *compassionate-but-tough liberal* image that the Tories are trying to portray.

    I said right from the start of Cameron’s emergence into the political spotlight, that he was a phoney, not to be trusted and that underneath that warm image lurks the real Tory with real core Tory values.


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