I talk about immigration much of the time. I’ve just heard a Labour PPC on the news stating the key reason Labour lost the General election in 2010 was as a result of perceptions about immigration policy.
Labour lost that election because over a long period of time they had made a number of wrong judgement calls, had leaders that saw themselves above the jurisdiction of international law and had back bencher's and cabinet members who’s egos just couldn’t help themselves from sticking the boot in at totally inopportune moments such as the day before an election.
It’s inconceivable that a political grouping can be in power for three terms and not make mistakes but quite frankly these aren’t the apologies that Labour needs to be making.
People in this country are more concerned about whether they have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month than anything else. They are concerns about pay, concerned about job security, concerned about youth unemployment way above their concern about immigration. It’s only those on the level of Anders Brevik who still believe that immigration is the reason for the economic crisis and recession that we find ourselves in. The arguments people actually want to hear are the arguments which lead to solutions to economic stability. Further tinkering with immigration simply will not deliver this. In a month that saw immigration advice providers deluged by concerned clients desperately trying to get their settlement visa applications in before a July deadline when income thresholds to bring in spouses rocket from £5,000 to £27,500. This puts the right to family life for people who choose to marry non-EU migrants well out of the reach of those on average salaries. The Con-Dem immigration zealousness has already damaged the stability of British Universities with the restriction of foreign students, is Labour seriously wanting to head in this direction.
Have discussion about immigration but look at the human stories of the impact decision have on peoples ability to enjoy basic human rights. Look at the impact on economic recovery and check out that a policy isn’t being implemented that will further damage a shaky, fragile economy to pander to people who just don’t like a lot of “them” here. Look at more fundamental solutions to problems. If school leavers cannot access employment, what is being done to make them more able and more skilled? Was axing Education Maintenance Allowance and increasing University fees really that bright an idea?