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Dan Hannan says all this is posturing:

"We are again cruelly reminded that Britain is run by a standing apparat of quangoes, Whitehall functionaries, human rights judges and Eurocrats. They, not the elected politicians, decree immigration policy. Successive Home Secretaries can and do announce crackdowns on an almost weekly basis. But they are tugging at levers that have worked loose, jabbing at buttons long since disconnected. Until Parliament is put in charge, nothing will change. Nothing can change."

A lot of work was done within the Conservative Party back in 2001 (I think?) when the Kirkhope Commission published its report. Have any of the recommendations made then been taken into these latest proposals?

"Until Parliament is put in charge, nothing will change"

On this and many other issues.

It is overall recovery of parliamentary authority (on internal as well as external matters) that would cause a major shift of scene.

I am culpably ignorant of the work and purpose of 'migration watch' but I assume that any bias which may be presumed to exist in contributors to this organ has been factored out?

Daniel Hannan is right.As long as we remain in the EU (soon to be enlarged I believe)we can have no control whatsoever over immigration.

Anyone disagree?

I still believe the best way of putting immigration centre stage is to raise the issue is via population sustainability. By doing it this way it shifts the line of attack, gets around the charge of dog whistle politics, and more importantly it wrong foots pro mass immigration organisations like the BBC who will be left trying to support un-sustainable population/immigration policies, which goes counter to their professed concern about the environment.

And anyway we need a policy on population, for the short term CBI demands for cheap labour is screwing up our country big time, especially for our children and grand children.

Re immigration policy notes- It is high time we made our policy intentions quite clear

We have to put a stop to more and more people coming into our country. I keep hearing that we need them to do the jobs that our people wont do, what nonsense if the people here are fit they should be working and if they wont then after say six months stop giving them any money, there is no excuse for people who are fit not to be working.

This proposal looks almost identical to the UKIP policy on immigration except that the UKIP policy would not, of course, give an automatic right to EU nationals to live and work here.

So Frank Field's policy is inherently flawed for the reasons given by the Dan Hannan. I suspect Frank Field, who is a prominent supporter of the “I Want a Referendum Campaign” knows this in his heart.

Frank Field is one of the very few honest decent politicians we have today and would make an excellent PM.. Come on Frank, raise the flag of revolt, not only against the Labour Party leadership but against the entire complacent sleazy ruling policy class!

Current Government policy on immigration is shameful, and I believe the single greatest threat to this country's future. How will 85 million people live comfortably in this tiny island? Are Labour actively trying to destroy the quality of life here, or simply trying to dilute the number Conservative voters?

I don't think we can wait till 2010 for a new immigration policy. Something has to give before then. How does one bring a government down?

"How does one bring a government down?"

What would by the point in New Labour were to be replced with Blue Labour?

The Cameroon's policy on immigration, in so far as they have one, is identical to that of the present government.

nothing in this country works anymore.secret data lost on a regular basis.public transport a mess, the N.H.S is a mess, the roads are a mess our power supplies are a mess, all these things are due to a very overcrowded Island. Most Immigration should be stopped, to give Briton a chance to recharge all its services.Them a rethink on immigration might be possible.

This particular issue is going to increase in importance with the general electorate as every month passes in this economic 'downturn'. Its importance will outstrip 'green' issues and lower taxes, with the general public.

The BBC and some other people always seem to concentrate on the Polish when talking about immigration and how the pressures are mounting on public services such as education and health. This is grossly unfair, since wherever this group have settled - such as Southampton, they have demonstrated that they work hard, pay their taxes, open their own shops, and run their own newspaper, but also mix with English people (if local people show any interest!)

The immigrants that the BBC SHOULD be referring to, but don't probably because they fear being accused of the 'R' word, are the much larger groups that come from countries outside the EU, and often speak no English and/or have no qualifications - so they are immediately dependent on some sort of social services.

This government has 'thrown in the towel' regarding the control of immigration, but it was their Prime Minister - Mr. Blair, who for some reason best known to himself, decided that the UK should be one of only two countries in the EU, who agreed to open their frontiers with no restrictions when the two countries - Bulgaria and Romania achieved European membership. Since then our problems have multiplied!

Until you have paid UK taxes of £10,000, you should not qualify for any welfare state benefits. No free education, free healthcare, no Housing Benefit, no pensions, nothing.

If you want those things on arrival, then pay £10,000 in bond and we'll release it when you have paid that much in tax.

I understand Austria applies this even to EU citizens. Why can't we?

Jim Holder @ 9.35

What kind of 'bias' would it be that you have in mind??

What is 'biased' about there being an optimum level of people per hectare of space for living, and that probably does NOT take account of the need for retaining agricultural land to actually provide some food, if not ALL the food for the growing population. And that does not include HOUSING space.

THIS IS A SMALL ISLAND, LOOK ON THE MAP!, AND THEN LOOK AT THE SIZE OF FRANCE, or indeed even Australia and the look at THEIR immigration policies!!!

Yes Dan is spot on. So is Migration Watch.

And we have all noted - ConHome has regularly reported - the rise of the BNP.

The words blue touch paper come to mind.

Field and Soames were very good this morning. Can I suggest that we sign a treaty with our European partners and have ONE policy covering the whole of Europe? Those of you who want to see less immigration may be pleasantly surprised...

Because Justin I guarantee we would not get what we want but what suits the German bloc.


We already have many aspects of a common policy on migration within the EU. One of the consequences is that we cannot deport most convicted criminals who are EU nationals.

Please just keep the European argument out of this. It is irrelevant. If the Danes and the Austrians can have strict immigration policies, there is nothing to stop the UK having one. ONE OUT, ONE IN. No more than that.

My guess is that the Blair cabinet deliberated and concluded that lax controls over immigation would be to New Labour's electoral advantage.

Broadly speaking, the EU does not determine immigration policy in respect of non-EU nationals. Parliament is, in that respect, still sovereign.

Although the flows of people from EU member states are large, they tend to be offset by flows of people from this country to other EU member states. And most nationals from EU states are easily assimiliable. Large scale *net* permanment immigration into this country is principally from third world countries.

However, by signing the ECHR, and passing the Human Rights Act, we make it a good deal harder to control non-EU immigration into the UK.

All this argy bargy about who is or is not responsible for immigration policy is all very well, but I say that if we were not in the EU we and only we would make the decisions.

Perhaps I`m just a lone voice, crying out in the wilderness.

All this proves to me is that we do not live in a democratic country. Britain is no longer ours and it is probably too late to do anything about it.

So long Blighty.

Labour do like high immigration. It has always been an electoral gain for them to bring in large numbers of economically disadvantaged people, who in due course will vote Labout out of gratitude. But it subverts society and gives rise to long-term social conflict. 'Like the Roman, I seem to see . . . . . . .' This has all been known for 40 years, but swept under the carpet.

Readers may be interested to know of this assessment of the potential economic consequences of continuing large-scale immigration by Professor Robert Rowthorn, professor of economics at Cambridge:

"The injection of large numbers of unskilled workers into the economy does not benefit the bulk of the population to any great extent. It benefits the nanny-and housecleaner-using classes; it benefits employers who want to pay low wages; but it does not benefit indigenous, unskilled Britons, who have to compete with immigrants willing to work hard for very low wages in unpleasant working conditions."

A longer study of the subject is at:

Professor Rowthorn is author of several books, including: Capitalism, Conflict and Inflation (Lawrence Wishart, 1980). He is not widely regarded as being "right-wing", rather the opposite, in fact.

"Labour do like high immigration."

Yes, very true but why do the Tories like it too? (late 1950s & early 1960s, late 1990s, probably 2010 and on)

Cui bono?

I put it to you that it suits certain types of businesses (those which rely on cheap labour and/or an expanding mass customer base) and that these businesses tend to contribute to all three main parties.

PS: No-one in their right mind is against ALL immigration. Of course we should attempt to attract talented people to the UK and there will always be some people who we should admit for compassionate and family reasons. The question is why MASS immigration and the answer is that it suites the political objective of some and is to commercial benefit of others.

So what is the price of our democracy?

No matter how loud the shouting of the electorate, the ears of the political class are averted, and the subject of immigration, the E.U., devolution for England, the dreadful Gramscian education system, and a scabrous legal system are all ignored by the political class, the elected wretches infesting the H o Commons with their armies of fellow travellers. The truth of course is that they long since gave all power to Brussels and are themselves impotent except for control of their own priveleges which they cling to. But , happily, the relentless advance of the BNP is begining to be noticed and thus the stirring of a pseudo response from the parliamentarians. We may expect no more than "Sound and fury, signifying nothing".

"Perhaps I`m just a lone voice, crying out in the wilderness"

Posted by: Edward Huxley | September 08, 2008 at 12:39

Siuation normal then

justin @1604 - really don't be cheap. Mr Huxley is far from alone. Indeed most Conservatives agree (see all the polls) and more and more are fed up to the gills with Cameron's continual evasion of the subject altogether.
Jay @ 1127 "ONE OUT, ONE IN. No more than that."

Much tougher than that please. But Jay you can't keep the European argument out of it. The EU is like sand - it's everywhere in the works. We can no more set our own immigration policy [which depends on a repatriation policy btw] than anything else. We are bound hand and foot by EU regulations about which the Tory refuses to state a policy. Cameron gave a "cast iron" "guarantee" of a referendum - no ifs - not buts and The Daily Telegraph is today hosting a conference in association with the think tank Global Vision, sketching out how Britain might relate to the rest of the EU as an associate member, within the single market but outside other political structures.

THIS is what the Party should be doing , then we could control immigration properly.

Problem with 'balanced immigration' (one in, one out) is that the 'one out' is a British national with an affinity to this country (probably leaving because they cannot stand the way it is going) while the 'one in' is unlikely to have or even want the same affinity. On top of which very different birth rates are also making a long term difference to the make-up of this country. Add major cultural differences and allegiences, and it is obvious that only substantial reductions (to near zero) in anything other than temporary none EU immigration will do, bearing in mind the difficulties we are already having assimmilating those already here. In addition, with 5m of working age currently receiving benefits how can any body claim we have a shortage of labour? The other claim that 'migrants have contributed £6bn to the UK economy', while correct continues to overlook (deliberately) the fact that they have also added to the population so that AVERAGE GDP (the only measure that matters) is largely unchanged.

Quote from one of the above entries - "if the people here are fit they should be working and if they wont then after say six months stop giving them any money, there is no excuse for people who are fit not to be working."
I could not agree more.
Why is it that people on benefits treat it as a way of life and even seem to be able to spend every lunchtime in the pub ??
Why do people insist on not travelling to find employment ??
It is high time that unemployment benefits for able bodied people had a time limit on them. If the available work does not pay as much as benefits then there is working tax credits and a host of other things that can be utilised to increase the take home pay.
At least they would be contributing to the economy instead of draining it

"Why is it that people on benefits treat it as a way of life "

Perhaps because salary levels at the bottom are miserably low and needing state subsidies like tax credits to make them a living wage.

Sally Roberts wrote "A lot of work was done within the Conservative Party back in 2001 (I think?) when the Kirkhope Commission published its report. Have any of the recommendations made then been taken into these latest proposals?"

Err no. Mr Kirkhope did not promote the implementation of his proposals when leader of the Tory MEPs. He actively supported the transfer of more powers on immigration to Brussels. Check the voting records in the EP.

As a libertarian, I oppose immigration controls and welfare benefits for immigrants. If immigrants can demonstrate that they can support themselves and their families without state support, let them in!

On purely environmental grounds Britain should be aiming for zero population growth at the very least and ideally for a smaller population.

Mass immigration nd cultural genicode are the weapons China is using in Tibet and all our bleeding heart liberals are up in arms. Here the same thing is called multiculturalism and cultural enrichment and they all love it - it's old world isn't it?

Libetine - great theory but really rather silly idea in practice which is why must sensible countries controll thier immigration.

The Conservative Party should not commit to any policy on migration just yet. In 18 months time, we could be looking at a rather different problem from immigration – one of net emigration! Patsy at 10:35 highlights the Polish community in Southampton. Poles now comprise one in ten of the Southampton population. They will go where the opportunities are. By the time of the next general election, we could well be in the trough of a recession and the migrant workers will have migrated again, either back home or to other EU countries which are not suffering difficult economic times. For a city the size of Southampton to lose a significant number of workers in a short space of time would have serious repercussions on the local economy. That is not to say that the Party should not be considering the options.

Let’s just be careful what we wish for.

"If immigrants can demonstrate that they can support themselves and their families without state support, let them in!"

So that'll be a green light for the international Mafia then!

"Poles now comprise one in ten of the Southampton population."

According to this report on BBC2 Newsnight, 40% of London residents were born abroad:

Some of the London boroughs are among the poorest districts in Britain but overall, inner London is the most affluent sub-region in Europe by a margin.

"45 per cent of the entire minority ethnic population lives in London. The area of the country with the second largest proportion of the minority ethnic population is the West Midlands (with 13 per cent). This is followed by the South East (8 per cent), the North West (8 per cent), and Yorkshire and the Humber (7 per cent)."

Uncontrolled immigration has started to put a very heavy burden on the Maternity services. The country needs at least another 5,000 fully qualified midwives, just to keep up with the present caseload. The reality is that one midwife may well be looking after 4 or 5 women in often advanced labour, to say nothing of keeping a watch on all the monitors. This way lies an incipient disaster waiting to happen
Who will the MEDIA blame then???

Uncontrolled immigration leads to desperate measures.

Increasingly I get the feeling that on ConservativeHome the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

This, as always, is a biasesd poll. Instead of asking the question, they stick a statement of fact in front of it:

"The latest migration figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 600,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year leading up to June 2007, whereas 400,000 people emigrated from (i.e. left) the UK, leaving a net inflow of 200,000 people."

They could have started with:

"The Office for National Statistics shows
that new immigrants benefited the UK economy by £6bn in 2006. Polish immigrants started over 40,000 new businesses. It has been proposed that immigration be controlled by a points-based system which depends on available vacancies."

Perhaps you'd get different answers.

An arbitrary quota which depends on the number of people leaving the country would be worthy of a Stalinist state. Where are the liberal conservatives now?

It reminds me a certain slogan "It's not racist..."

The answer to the question do our politicians have the stomach to alter the entire basis of Britain's relationship with the EU is a resounding NO. We the indigenous people of Britain forebodingly see ourselves becoming the most overcrowded country in Europe and, the words of Enoch Powell, in which he predicted social breakdown as a result of immigration along with the fact that our homogenous Anglo-Saxon society has been seriously undermined by massive immigration and so his wise words no longer fall on deaf ears.

Over the past decade, 2.5million migrants have entered the UK and almost 750,000 British people have emigrated likely because immigration change the character of Britain and they could see no future for themselves or their children on a small island already struggling with schools, hospitals and housing placed under enormous pressure.

The truth is our cities and neighbourhoods are being transformed into their cities and neighbourhoods and in the doing of it I think of the warning given by Enoch Powell: Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organize to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided.

In truth our chosen politicians don’t have the bottle to deal with the problem they are all EU puppets and drastic situations often require drastic solutions, so perhaps for a short while, we should allow the BNP to deal with the escalating problem of immigration being the one and only political party ready and willing to do so.

If immigration continues unabated with greater burden upon schools, hospitals, jobs and housing the day will come when many will repeat those wise visionary words of professor Powell: As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see the River Tiber foaming with much blood.

Let us do all in our power to stem immigration and thereby keep the peace.

We the indigenous people of Britain forebodingly see ourselves becoming the most overcrowded country in Europe and, the words of Enoch Powell, in which he predicted social breakdown as a result of immigration along with the fact that our homogenous Anglo-Saxon society has been seriously undermined by massive immigration and so his wise words no longer fall on deaf ears.

You mean white people, don't you? If you aren't a BNP member you are certainly doing their work here. You've just implied that the large number of non-whites, non-immigrants, let alone legal immigrants and refugees don't belong here.

Let the BNP sort it out indeed - and how would they do that? You should be ashamed of yourself. It's people such as you that the Anti-Nazi League was formed to fight, that the East Enders faced down before the war, and that our grandparents worked against.

Your views are not what Britain represents.

Frankly, I'm surprised the editor allow such racist filth to pollute the boards.

I agree with all those commentators who counsel moderation in the way this issue is presented. Cameron - for whom, despite my rage over the issue of grammar schools, I have an increasing respect - has been clever. He knows that oppositions win by helping governments lose and that mass immigration will always be unpopular sooner or later. He has wisely, therefore, waited on public opinion and now that it has pronounced its anathema he is in a position to suggest policy prescriptions. For John Holmes, as for passing leftie, the issue is the deep, contentious one of race and nation. Whilst it is frightfully exciting to discuss immigration in the somewhat lurid light of such concerns, the fact remains that there is also a purely practical side to the issue: where are they going to live? What are they going to do? How will their children be schooled? Passing leftie might well be enraged that Mr Holmes' vision of England takes a tactical comfort from these pragmatic considerations, but only a moralising fanatic would therefore dismiss them.

Cameron does not have the guts to take a strong stand on anything.
Recall his weaseling over the EPP, his current cowardice on the Lisbon referendum issue, and going way back, his downright deceit during the Witney constituency campaign, when he spoke up against Lib/Lab preoccupation with perv privilege, only to equate decent couples with cohabiting queers when he got into the leadership?

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