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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tories on immigration

And once again, the Tories start courting the BNP, with Michael Howard this week unveiling the Tories plans on immigration (BBC article here). It was crypto-racist policies not unlike these that caused me not to vote Tory in 2001.

I am basically someone who believes that immigration is basically a good thing. I also happen to believe it to be something of a necessity - the ageing population and all that. I find it strange, to say the least, that Michael Howard is trying to deny the opportunity of migration that he and his family benefited from fleeing the Nazis to people who were fleeing the Taliban or similar.

Asylum Seekers - the big bugbear of this debate. No matter that there numbers are decreasing, and have been decreasing for some time (no surprise when you consider things like the removal from power of the Taliban), the Tories are still trumpeting this.

Heavens, even Tanuton needs immigration to fill some pretty vital public jobs like bus-driving. I kid you not. There was a massive shortage of bus-drivers here, now somewhat relieved thanks to a small influx of Poles. I think the company waited until after Poland entered the EU officially just to avoid the red-tape. Now the buses actually manage to run on time a good deal more often than they used to.

Oh, people say, we need to address this issue to limit the effects of the BNP. Sure, the issue needs to be addressed, but not how the BNP are addressing it!!!! That is what the Tories are doing, and perhaps a few consciences are squeaking with their glib lies, pandering to prejudice and the BNP. How about a really radical proposal, one that directly tackles the BNP, and fight for immigration.

Now, when you get down to details I am not particularly opposed to some sort of quota system for actual immigrants (though I am opposed to one for refugees/asylum seekers). What I am opposed to is the attitude of the Tory platform. And yes, I do think unfortunately there are Conservatives out there who are racist, knowingly so, and are pleased as punch at these proposals.

One very very serious mark against the Tories.

PS - I'm underwhelmed by Labour and the LibDems on this issue as well, so it becomes a 'negative' issue for me in that I am defining myself against a party position rather than for one.

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