Dead Men Left

Sunday, February 06, 2005


You wonder, sometimes, at precisely what point New Labour will stop getting any worse. There is the alarming thought that they never will:

Immigrants' rights to settle permanently in Britain will be drastically curbed as the government admits for the first time that the nation's 'hospitality' has been tested by abuses of the immigration and asylum system...

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, will announce tomorrow that in future only 'desirable' employees, such as doctors and teachers, would be granted the right to settle permanently - and even then only if they passed English tests - while others would be forced to leave when their work permits expired.

Home Office sources said abuses of the system had led to a feeling that 'the fairness and hospitality of the British people has been tested', adding: 'There is a recognition that there is some kind of breakdown of confidence among the public.' Hewitt said there were 'real concerns' about abuses of the asylum and immigration system.

What irritates most about this is the pandering to the Kilroy-Silk worldview: we're just too nice to these damn ungrateful foreigners. They don't deserve us.

It would be possible to rant on and on and on about how wrong, how foolish and stupid and inhumane all this is: to produce statistics showing the horrendous conditions recent migrants work in, illustrations of the degrading treatment the immigration system subjects people to, examples of the racist abuse migrants suffer - abuse now actively encouraged by a so-called Labour government; easy, too, to produce a lengthy post on the sheer economic irrationality of attempting to deter migrant labour.

But for now I won't do either. Instead, read this story about how "desirable" migrants are treated in Britain. And then we'll see about "hospitality".