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Saturday, January 29, 2005

I was going to post some of my own thoughts on immigration, but already Martin Kettle made most important points in Tuesday’s Guardian. I don’t entirely concur with it but close enough to save the time of writing something myself. The Tories should take some inspiration from the piece.
On the other hand I didn’t find Michael Howard’s written defence much of an improvement. He is basically right about everything he writes to be clear about that from the outset. However he neatly skirts completely around the issue of asylum. The main criticism here has been that a quota will stop the genuinely persecuted from receiving a safe haven because the quote is full. Howard doesn’t address that concern. And of course he doesn’t address my objections. (Why should he? Or does he read this site? And who are you anyway? –ed.) Anyways . . .
First of all Conservative immigration policy needs to find the positive language to firmly tie immigration into the national narrative. The goal should be to make everyone feel that Britishness is enhanced and not diminished by immigration and diversity. That way the fears about “swamping” and the destruction of British culture by immigrants can at least be laid to rest. This strengthening and invigoration of Britishness is a prime mission for conservatives. If the Tories can’t do this now, they simply should have avoided the issue altogether.

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