Reply on Immigration

I recently posted the government statement of what they are doing about immigration because I know how important this issue is to many who read this site. Some of you were grateful and surprised by how much action the government is taking. Others cynically complained that it was all words, pointing out that over the last year there has still been a high level of entry.

I have listened carefully to Ministers and talked regularly to them about what they are doing. I am quite sure they wish to control numbers, and are taking actions which they believe will do that in a fair and sensible way. They are well aware that so far the numbers have not reduced, but point out that it takes time to get each of these measures into effect and to ensure they are working well at each entry point into the country. They accept that the proof of their measures comes over the next year, when they expect to see results. They are of course ready and willing to examine other ways to achieve what they wish to achieve, especially if the numbers do not decline  as they expect.

The Coalition has never said it intends to change the arrangements for EU migrants. It so happens this is not the bulk of recent inward migration. The Conservative side of the Coalition always negotiated opt outs for the UK from the common borders when in government, as we regarded it as very important to keep control of our own borders policy. The last Labour government changed that, and put the UK under more of the EU measures in this area. Conservatives campaigned in 2005 and 2010 to get powers back from the EU. The last election manifesto did not specify all the  areas which would figure in a renegotiation , but many Conservatives would wish to include borders in such a process. Most of these moves were prevented by the Coalition Agreement, and cannot be pursued without a Commons majority for them.


  1. Sue
    April 21, 2012

    “Conservatives campaigned in 2005 and 2010 to get powers back from the EU”.

    Name one. Doesn’t have to be immigration…. just name one power the coalition has got back!

    Since the coalition has been in power, you’ve handed over more competencies and lost every single argument with the EU.


    1. APL
      April 21, 2012

      Sue: “you’ve handed over more competencies and lost every single argument with the EU.”

      Not true Sue, they didn’t even argue the point.

    2. Nick
      April 21, 2012


      It’s all talk and no trousers

    3. peejay
      April 22, 2012

      If the government was serious about cutting immigration, a sensible first step would be proper border controls. The UKBA fiasco has continued for years. Has anyone any idea how many illegals just walk into our country? It’s obscene that a modern government cannot control its borders – unless it really does not care.

      The government constantly uses the phrase ”reducing net immigration to tens of thousands”. So 99 000 would mean success would it? I don’t think so!
      And if 400 000 foreign nationals come here, and 310 000 British leave will that be regarded as ‘success’ too?

      Have you no interest in our disappearing countryside? There is more to governing a country than whether immigrants ”enrich” us or contribute to the economy.
      We will need to shoe-horn a town the size of London into England – how will that contribute to our environment and ”carbon footprint”?

  2. Sue
    April 21, 2012

    “MIGRANTS are grabbing jobs in the UK as fast as British workers are being thrown out of work, shock figures showed yesterday.

    The number of foreigners in work in Britain rose by 166,000 last year while – bizarrely – the number of British-born workers in jobs fell by exactly 166,000.

    The statistic was being seen last night as the starkest illustration yet of the direct link between record mass immigration and the number of British workers ending up on the dole”

    These are EU citizens from the rest of Europe. The stupidity and continued incompetence on immigration and almost maniacal adherence to the EU of this government never ceases to amaze me.

    At the same time that you are giving away our jobs to foreigners, Britons are queuing at food banks (one is opening every four days in the UK)…. and you are supposed to “Work for Us?”

    Truth is, you work for you and this political system of democratized dictatorship has to go. We need to be able to directly vote on issues like this.

    We need direct democracy.

  3. lifelogic
    April 21, 2012

    Without getting powers back from the EU (as promised) the government has little control of anything. They simply have to let virtually all in. Furthermore each of the other EU counties can also open the door to any individual to come to the UK.

    It is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
    Osborne’s £10B (robbed from pensioners) to give to the IMF is also deck chairs on the Titanic as everyone sensible knows.

    1. lifelogic
      April 21, 2012

      Perhaps Osborne should start studying Norman Lamont’s speak after Major’s ERM fiasco.

      Perhaps something like Mr Osborne admitted “today has been an extremely difficult and turbulent day all the Billions we “lent” to the PIGIS is now worth only about 10% of face value” – but a Downing Street spokesman said Osborne would not resign despite polls showing 90% think he should.

  4. Iain
    April 21, 2012

    “Most of these moves were prevented by the Coalition Agreement,”

    A coalition agreement negotiated by the Cameroon’s from which the Libdems reported that they couldn’t believe how easy it was to get their way.

    I don’t think the coalition agreement gives the Conservatives any political cover, for there is and has been massive amount of doubt how determined Cameron was to pursue a Conservative agenda. In this we don’t just have negotiation boastings from the Libdems to go by, for after the Rose Garden love in we got a queue of modernisers crowing how how the coalition with the Libdems gave them the opportunity to marginalise the right.

    1. Nick
      April 21, 2012

      Most of these things can be implemented without going to the commons. The minister just changes the rules by signing a bit of paper.

      Remember, a lot of laws now don’t need democracy. It’s dictate

    2. lifelogic
      April 21, 2012

      Clear the the Coalition Agreement is needs re-looking at it will bury both the Tories and the sarcastically named Liberal Democrats in 2015.

      1. A Different Simon
        April 21, 2012

        Lifelogic , that sounds like one of those good-news-bad-news jokes .

        What’s the bad news ?

      2. zorro
        April 21, 2012

        They will get what they deserve….


  5. WitteringsfromWitney
    April 21, 2012

    ” Conservatives campaigned in 2005 and 2010 to get powers back from the EU. The last election manifesto did not specify all the areas which would figure in a renegotiation , but many Conservatives would wish to include borders in such a process. Most of these moves were prevented by the Coalition Agreement, and cannot be pursued without a Commons majority for them.”

    Come, come Mr. Redwood; we both know – as does your leader – that repatriation of powers is a non-starter, another sham policy of your Party. Were one power repatriated, it would start a domino effect resulting in the total collapse of the house of cards – and for that reason and that reason alone the EU will never return anything.

    Why does Cameron persist with this charade of repatriation? We all know he believes in membership of the EU; in which case he swallows it whole or he spits it out – there is no middle way. As an afterthought perhaps Cameron would wish to point to the Article in the Lisbon Treaty – or any other treaty – that spells out the procedure for the repatriation of powers.

    MPs of all parties talk grandly about sovereignty and democracy – yet methinks they have little understanding of either word.

    1. Mike Stallard
      April 21, 2012

      It is in no way cynical to agree with all this.

      Actually, I get the impression that immigration from Europe is slowing – as it is from the rest of the world. Maybe I am wrong. I only see a tiny little window. But let us not doubt, the immigrants from all over the world are here permanently and they will bring as many of their families over as they possibly can. Wouldn’t you? Europeans have roughly the same sort of families as we do. Muslims deliberately do not on religious grounds of the highest pedigree too.

      Every time Europe runs with a new brilliant idea – Holy War, Absolute Monarchy, Revolutionary Republicanism, Unification, the Drang nach Osten, and now the ghastly EU, English people have held back and been a refuge for the victims.

      But then nowadays, we are not what we once were.

  6. Dan Fuller
    April 21, 2012

    I find in our country we make things far too complicated. Our laws and regulations should be of our choice not dictated to by Europe or the US. Immigration should as cut and dry as Australia, you can only come in if there is a need for your skills at that moment in time. Illegal immigrants provide nothing and cost us a fortune. Is it time to get a little less considerate in removing them?

    1. alan jutson
      April 21, 2012


      Fully agree.

      1. Mike Stallard
        April 21, 2012

        So do I!

  7. Timaction
    April 21, 2012

    I hope you are right Mr Redwood but unless the Human Rights Act is abolished (as it should be) then many will remain as their rights to a family life will be liberally interpreted, as always, above the population at large. So once here they will not be removed.
    I don’t know how many cases need to be reported before something is done.

    1. APL
      April 21, 2012

      Timaction: “I hope you are right Mr Redwood ”

      He’s not! But he is doing a very good PR job for the Tory Party.

      Pity about the country!

  8. me
    April 21, 2012

    The Book of Excuses that will be bitterly read by the last few British people in the last remaining British stronghold on British soil in 100 years time will be a weighty tome.

  9. David
    April 21, 2012

    The new rules on the points system for non European Economic Area (EEA) nationals are tough – no doubt about that. My worry is on the unintended consequences. They may well be counterproductive for the research sector that i work in – we are looking to retain very high calibre individuals (who can not always be found within the EEA) – the new scoring system makes this very challenging for those living on university salaries.

    I am sure this was not an intended consequence of Coalition immigration policy, some way of balancing up academic expertise and track record alongside salaries would be welcome. The points system at the moment places far less weight on academic excellence than on annual salary. We need to attract and retain the brightest minds to boost innovation and grwoth.

    1. Winston Smith
      April 21, 2012

      Gosh! What will happen if the Country spends a little less on academic research? Maybe, the those well paid academics, with their low working hours, inflated benefits and unsustainable pensions can work a bit harder.

    2. stred
      April 22, 2012

      The success of UK research policy depends largely on the freedom the UK offers to bright researchers who are denied the possibility of using their ideas in their own countries. The tradition of control by the hierarchy is still the norm in Europe. If we manage to stop foreign excellence immigrating, there will be little to take its place, given the state of British science education.

  10. stred
    April 21, 2012

    Asks about numbers of unskilled migrants from Eastern Europe in recent years.
    Repyl: I believe Migration Watch publishes figures on this. There were large inward migrations following the original liberalisaiton, but this has slowed greatly in recent years. The past government made forecasts that were far too low when they authorised it.

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      MigrationWatch has some useful charts as does the Migration Observatory. Though the net figures are lower, there are still significant inward flows from the former Eastern Europe which are not properly accounted by the lamentable attempts at calculating flows such as the International Passenger Survey….

      Also, a large number of EEA nationals are starting to settle in the UK and have children so will continue to be a long term burden on finances and infrastructure because of their low salaries….Meanwhile British youngsters are allowed to stew on benefits.


    2. stred
      April 22, 2012

      If you think it has slowed, take the tube to Dagenham.

  11. bob webster
    April 21, 2012

    England is already very overcrowded with plans in place to build on almost 200 square miles of land in the next 20 years. A house now needs to be built every 6 seconds to meet the needs of immigrants who are still pouring in from every corner of the globe. Current government policies will do little to stem the tide. UKIP policy is to implement a five year freeze on all immigration for permanent settlement, followed by a long term cap of 50,000 per year. This policy would stabilise the UK population at around 60 millions within a couple of decades and would be introduced without EU interference.

    repyl : Sounds easy, but as this government is explaining it is difficult closing the borders of an open democracy trading freely with much of the rest of the world to all permanent migrants without damaging much else and without falling foul of international rules which the country is bound to unless and until this can all be changed by legal and democratic means. The UK does need to have movement across borders to welcome students, employees of foreign companies, entrepreneurs and investors, friends and relatives of existing citizens etc etc

    1. Steven Whitfield
      April 21, 2012

      If we break these ‘international rules’ will the EU fine the UK. And if we don’t pay the fine will they boot us out of the EU. Oh dear that would be terrible.

      What you describe Mr Redwood is the governments official view but how does that work for the mother who finds that her school of choice is oversubscribed , the low skilled worker that can’t find work, or the family waiting for a council house?. None of these people are represented in Westminister by the political elite. But these are the sorts of day to day grass roots issues that constituency Mp’s are elected to deal with.

      What’s the point in a constituent coming to an Mp’s surgery if they just shrug of critisicm and say’it’s government policy, we can’t change it because it breaks EU rules etc.

      The group that adds real value to the Uk’s economy and genuine students are a small proportion of migrants. The House of Lords committee that looked into this is quite clear. Why do the interests of this minority group and their modest contribution to the economy override the rights and best interests of the population as a whole ?

      The measures need to be tough and it won’t be easy but it’s not as difficult as coping with the pressures caused by a population expanding at a rate that outstrips resources.

      1. zorro
        April 21, 2012

        The EU may threaten to fine us….so what! Yes, let them throw us out then, they really want to do that so that we won’t loan them any more money….I think not….Empty threats


        1. zorro
          April 21, 2012

          It doesn’t help cutting UKBA’s budget of course, as the queues over the summer will show, or help remove people.

          Since 2010, the rate of increase in grants under the ‘amnesty’ programme went up….Refusals/removals at ports of entry have halved in the last two years…..The number of people removed from the UK has dropped from 68,000 in 2008 to 52,000 in 2011.

          All facts available at this website if you care to look….cynicism is in the eye of the beholder.

 – The Asylum and Migration backlog


    2. Winston Smith
      April 21, 2012

      Excuses, excuses. The USA has introduced the very measures you and your colleagues find too difficult to manage. Your socialist friends predicted it the US economy would suffer. Well, it clearly hasn’t. I am growing weary at your pathetic excuses for Conservative and Coalition policies. You’ve lost my respect.

    3. Graham
      April 21, 2012

      You can tell by the defeatest response from JR that there is no will to tackle the problem – its all just to difficult for the cosseted MP’s.

      With regard to other problems JR pushes others to accept change but not on this.

      The moratorium would not stop those real temporary visitors but would send a message to the third world that the gravy train has just become harder to join

      I feel that it is impossible to stop the rot.

      Reply: I have had several meetings with Ministers on this, and several exchanges about issues like ICT visas, in response to pressures from this site. I will continue to do so. The latest exchanges are reported here, with Minsiters now believing they have done most of the things needed to control numbers – time will tell if that is so.

      1. libertarian
        April 21, 2012

        Just on the issue of ICT visa’s as we have massive skill shortages in ICT do you not think its about time that our schools and colleges actually taught it?

        For those that don’t know the curriculum at the moment is mostly involved with Office productivity tools, i.e. using WP’s spreadsheets and database content.

        There are no programming elements, web design or hardware maintenance or network set up modules at all. i.e. all the areas where the shortages actually are.

    4. Dennis
      April 21, 2012

      It’s a question of numbers so as to not exceed our fair share of the environment which we are doing now excessively. Would it be desirable to welcome 100,000 Einsteins, 100,000 Picassos, 100,000 Mozarts, 100,00 Steve Jobs and the like every year?
      This desire to boost our economy with skilled immigrants is a selfish, greedy policy – we are too rich now visa vis the biosphere so we should be a lot poorer if we want to be ‘fair’ while we have this vast population.

    5. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      Reply to reply….Yes, it does need to have people travel in and out to trade and some settlement. So are you saying in effect that not much can be done? Do international obligations mean we have to pay benefits to those who do not contribute….I think not.


      Reply: Of course I am not saying we are powerless. I am saying that the Minister reckons his measures will make a substantial difference, and I think he believes that. If they do not then we need to take other measures.

    6. Bazman
      April 22, 2012

      Exactly. How do you stop them from coming in? Fortress Britain would never work and if was implemented would just filter the less determined.

    7. Electro-Kevin
      April 22, 2012

      In reply to Mr Redwood’s reply: The Australians and Canadians seem to have a grip on immigration without affecting their economies adversely. In fact they are doing far better than we are.

  12. Brian Tomkinson
    April 21, 2012

    I plead guilty to being one of those who “cynically complained that it was all words, pointing out that over the last year there has still been a high level of entry.” Call me a cynic if you must but I did make the effort of providing numbers to illustrate the government’s lack of progress; data which were conveniently missing from the government’s statement. I predict that next year there will be no difference in net immigration. I have no confidence that this government will come anywhere near fulfilling your party’s election pledge: “It is our aim to reduce the level of net migration to sustainable levels down from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands within the lifetime of this parliament.” Your excuse will be that the LibDems won’t let you do all the things you would like to do. This excuse is wearing very thin from both parts of this coalition and in fact is being used too often by both parties. I heard a LibDem MP this week say that if they hadn’t gone into coalition with Cameron there would have been another election in October 2010 at which the Conservatives would have gained an overall majority. I suppose Cameron thought the same at that time and that’s why he pursued the coalition idea so vigorously. That’s the cynic in me again!

    Reply: I used the word cynically because I do believe Ministers are trying their best to amend the law and tighten border controls to solve this problem. I have also honestly reported that so far their efforts have not rpoduced results, and stressed that they now need to show that they will produce results.I will not duck the task of commenting and if necessary critcising if in a year’s time there is not good progress.

    1. Alan Wheatley
      April 21, 2012

      Re reply and reply to bob webster, seems to me this shows this government is finding the job more difficult than they can handle.

  13. Martyn
    April 21, 2012

    And yet in the DTel today we read that France and Germany are aiming to take back more control of their borders (notwithstanding the Schenegen agreement) to control immigration into their countries. In effect perhaps about to declare UDI because, although not specifically mentioned as such would appear to be because of their serious concerns about the numbers pouring into Europe via the porous Greek borders.

    If France and Germany can do it, why cannot the UK, given the will to do so? And at the same time, put that troublesome person whose lawyers have made a laughing stock of the Home Secretary, on the next plane to Jordan? Who is going to argue with that, other than of course our increasingly political legal-beagles and ‘ambulance-chasing’ lawyers…

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      They are talking about restoring border controls between EU states. The UK already has a border control (don’t laugh) with EU countries. It’s just that it appears to be very porous and unable to stop massive amounts of people settling and claiming benefits. There is a subtle difference….IRONY KLAXON.


  14. alan jutson
    April 21, 2012


    As I said in my original post, I wait and see, but the problem is free movement of labour within the EU.

    It is destroying the construction industry, it will destroy others as we race to the bottom with regard to payment rates.

    Please do not think the legal minimum wage is the lowest anyone is paid, there are thousands of eastern European workers who earn less than this, and the so called self employed are certainly not covered, as they work for their own negotiated rates.

    A family man in the Uk living with his family in his own (owned or rented) house cannot compete, when we have single men fron Europe living 10-20 in a house sharing the overheads of every cost.
    Yes its overcrowding, I know it, you know it, most people know it, but that is how it works, and that is why they can exist on £35.00 per day, and the bona fide builder in the Uk who has insurance, pays taxes, national insurance, charges VAT and has his own vehicle (not a shared one) cannot get enough work at a reasonable price to pay for all of his overheads, both living and business costs..

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      Of course, he cannot compete because these workers will not be paying tax and will save what they can as it will be worth many times more in their own country. But the politicians don’t really give a damn because they know sheeple will continue to vote for them….or will they?


  15. Nick
    April 21, 2012

    Notice too what John is omitting to talk about. It’s always interesting to see what politicians leave out.

    No mention of what to do with the 1 million who are here illegally.

    Here’s my prediction. Lots will have children. Then when they are caught, its oh you can’t kick me out because my children’s human rights will be abused.

    So we will be lumbered with them.

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      Well and truly lumbered!…and a very sizeable proportion will be a net drain on the taxpayer and a drag on public services when we have no money.


  16. Lindsay McDougall
    April 21, 2012

    How is it that when we surrender an opt out we can no longer reclaim it? Whatever happened to “No parliament can bind its successor.”?

    This country will proably have to negotiate with the EU by putting the relationship we want with them on the statute book, with a six month delay in implementation during which time the EU may negotiate with us. Unless we put ourselves in the riving seat, nothing will happen.

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      No Parliament can bind its successor….we just need a majority to get out of the EU.


  17. Bernard Otway
    April 21, 2012

    So now the majority is CYNICAL, are you also inventing words [a la ORWELL] to paint a
    BAD picture of all of us who oppose immigration and have read into this statement what we have.
    Shame on you John,I [we] expect better

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      I might be a cynic – and there is nothing wrong with being a cynic…

      Some definitions of the word – cynical

      1. – ‘distrusting or disparaging the motives of others’

      2. – ‘bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous or pessimistic’

      3. – ‘Believing or showing the belief that people are motivated chiefly by base or selfish concerns; skeptical of the motives of others’

      4. – ‘Negative or pessimistic, as from world-weariness’

      5. – ‘showing contempt for accepted standards of behaviour, esp of honesty or morality’

      I can’t blame people today being cynical today faced with the political reality in this country.

      Thank God politicians don’t exhibit any of these definitions of being cynical…..


      1. lifelogic
        April 25, 2012

        How can one ever be too cynical when Labour people can email “today is a good day to bury bad news” on the day of 9/11?

        Or they talk of “Cast Iron Guarantees” or say they are on the side of the elderly or business while doing the exact reverse in reality?

  18. ian wragg
    April 21, 2012

    And still they continue to come.
    Whats the betting in a years time another 200,000 plus have come and John will be telling us that the policies take time.
    Are we still issuing passports to all and sundry???

  19. Denis Cooper
    April 21, 2012

    Clearly the rate at which people come here from the rest of the EU is related to the new access granted through enlargement of the EU, among other factors.

    As the Poles, Balts etc were finally granted full access in 2004 most of the inflow from those countries has already happened and they are no longer contributing so much to the annual immigration statistics – but instead they are now contributing significantly to the birth rate, and so to the demands placed on health services, especially maternity wards, and then on to schools – while presumably the inward flows from Romania and Bulgaria have not yet tailed off.

    This should be taken into account when looking at recent immigration; at present the bulk may not not be from the EU, but not so long ago it was much higher and we must now live with, and pay for, the long term consequences, and of course every new EU member state must be examined as a potential source for renewed and uncontrollable immigration.

    We may not get much immigration from Croatia, but shouldn’t we the citizens of the UK be asked directly in a referendum whether we want to give every citizen of Croatia the automatic right to come and live in our country?

    And how can the Tory party rationally support the accession of Turkey to the EU, unless it positively wants to allow and encourage many millions of Turks to migrate here?

    1. uanime5
      April 21, 2012

      Were Turkey allowed into the EU millions of Turks are more likely to head to Germany, than the UK. I’m unsure why they like Germany but it’s where the Turkish migrants keep going.

      1. libertarian
        April 21, 2012

        Its because there is already a massive Turkish community in Germany , there are 4million people of Turkish descent forming 5% of the entire population and the second largest ethnic group after the Germans themselves.

        In the 50’s Germany suffered major shortages of workers so they came up with a Guest worker ( Gastarbeiter) recruitment treaty in 1961 it made Germany the prime host country for Turkish guest workers and by 1973, some 80% of the Turks in Western Europe lived in Germany.

        1. Bazman
          April 22, 2012

          The Turks do all the worst jobs in Germany. German shipyard workers are rarely seen and when you do are on some sort of personal downward spiral. Germany is a middle class country for most Germans.

      2. rose
        April 21, 2012

        This reminds me of the socialists’ confident assurances of how few Poles etc. would come here on accession. Then their assurances of how few Bulgarians and Romanians would come in their turn.

        I am actually very pro Turk, but I don’t think it would help our relations with that important and independant nation if this unpredictable and uncontrollable process were to be repeated.

      3. stred
        April 22, 2012

        They like Germany because of historic alliances. They also like the UK because of the freedom to do business. Personally, I like Turks because they are enterprising and hard working.

        1. AGrad
          April 23, 2012

          Can you prove that all Turks are enterprising and hardworking? Somehow I doubt your sweeping assertion is an accurate one, as I’m sure you’d agree that not all Brits are enterprising and hardworking. Having lived in Germany I can assure you the Turks have also brought with them social and religious attitudes that do not blend well with German culture and liberal western attitudes. For example a German friend of mine related a story about her Turkish sister-in-law who also was living in Germany and married to a Turk. She was forbidden from leaving the house without male company, and was prevented from learning German. The husband also (treated her badly-ed) but my friends husband was powerless to intervene as this would have brought dishonour to the family (I understand this is also the norm for many Turkish women in Germany).

      4. Denis Cooper
        April 22, 2012

        Even if millions of Turks moved to Germany that would still leave millions more who could move here. The UK government prediction was that maybe 5000 to 13000 people a year would move here from the eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004, but in the event that proved to be massive underestimate just for the number of Poles. Moreover Turkey is much poorer than Poland, so the economic driving force for immigration into the UK from Turkey would be much greater than the driving force for immigration from Poland.

    2. Winston Smith
      April 21, 2012

      Dennis, surely you must be aware that the Govt continued restriction on Bulgaria and Romania that MUST end on 1 Jan 2014. There WILL be a massive influx from these two nations.

      1. zorro
        April 21, 2012

        There are already large numbers of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who are (in the UK -ed)

        There is precious little control on Romanian/Bulgarian nationals now and I’m sure that something is happening in late July/August which might prove something of an attraction for whatever reason.

        There is a sizeable Turkish/Turkish Cypriot community in the UK.


      2. Denis Cooper
        April 22, 2012

        Thanks for that reminder; I got my timings wrong. So as you say probably the peak for Romania and Bulgaria has yet to come. That may prove to be an embarrassment for the Tory party as the 2015 election approaches.

  20. Gerry Dorrian
    April 21, 2012

    When Cambridge’s Addenbrookes hospital recruited from the Philippines, the arrivals came with solid working-class principles and unimpeachable Judaeo-Christian beliefs; this, and their fluent English, ensured that they fitted right in from the start.

    Then, when Eastern European nations joined the EU and a lot came over, rules stated that employers had to give EU workers priority over workers from outside. Philipinos found their work-permits not getting renewed, and were replaced by (word left out-ed) blokes who often hardly spoke English.

    Immigration can genuinely be enriching, but at present it is a system without a brain, and its moral bankruptcy is symbolised by the difficulties the Coalition is having in shifting Abu Qatada (but at least unlike Labour they’re trying). I believe we can only return to the enriching sort of immigration if we enact a policy like British Freedom’s of stopping immigration outright for five years. we have to work out who’s here to live an ordinary life and who’s here to hurt us. We must, dare I say it, clean the Augean stables.

    1. uanime5
      April 21, 2012

      Well it’s not the fault of the EU that UK companies hired people who would work cheaply even though they couldn’t speak English.

  21. c777
    April 21, 2012

    UKIP “will” get us out.
    The LibLabCon party will not.

    Reply: UKIP has been promising to get us out for years, but without a single MP in the Commons it is as far a way as ever from that promise having any meaning. National polls show a Labour government if there was an early election, not a UKIp one.

    1. Graham
      April 21, 2012


      Your reply makes me angry.

      This is a real issue affecting us now NOT a smug political pointscore game.

      We are really concerned about our country being overrun but our politicians do not seemingly care.

      (words left out-ed)

      Reply: I have no intention of being smug and understand the feelings of some people about this issue. I have allowed the government to explain what they are doing, and will watch carefully to see if,as they believe, their actions do the job intended. If not more will need to be done. Some people writing into the site seem to think you can seal the borders of an advanced active country like the UK. If they spend just a few hours at Dover or Heathrow they might understand that life is much more copmplex than that. As we all wish to live in a free country there has to be reasonable freedom of movement acorss our borders.

      1. rose
        April 21, 2012

        You don’t strike me as smug or point scoring, just tirelessly matter of fact. However, on this particular point of yours, Mr R, we have never had an iron curtain, and yet, as has been pointed out elsewhere on this site, we didn’t have these problems 30 years ago. That was because there was a firm immigration policy in place, which the government regarded as paramount. It presided over a prospering country then, without allowing itself to be blackmailed by big absentee employers into driving down living standards for everyone apart from the elite.

        1. rose
          April 21, 2012

          And even the elite must find it a bit inconvenient at times – when they get out of their helicopters for instance and have to go by road or train.

          1. alan jutson
            April 22, 2012


            Many them then get into Limo, so never venture onto public transport, and thus never come, and never need to come into direct contact with the masses, only the chosen few, for publicity purposes.

            Yes aware you use the train JR, and also drive your own car.
            Perhaps why your view is rather more grounded than some Ministers.

        2. Bazman
          April 22, 2012

          The latest scam is to have regional pay for NHS workers. This however will not apply to managers as they have to attract the right calibre of person. Ho! Ho! Ho! As usual this does not apply to the lower end of the scale. Usual story. Anyone who thinks my view on employers is wrong there you have it. The very reason I have paid for my house, have no debts and am fully paid up with my council tax. To tell employers to ram it when I hear this ideology. It’s a pity more people are not in this position instead of believing we are all in together and their companies will look after them as they are all just one big team/family are some other crap put forward by a manager who could not care less. Have a 10% pay rise for cutting pay 10%. Look into my eyes. They usually look away from me. Should be laws against workers with assets Huh?

        3. Electro-Kevin
          April 23, 2012

          “…we didn’t have these problems 30 years ago.”

          Quite right, Rose. And advanced and free economies such as Australia and Canada don’t have these problems either.

          Mr Redwood. Our borders have been thrown open. Your explanation as to why it’s difficult to close them again aren’t convincing.

          You say you understand our feelings on these matters but what are your feelings on these matters ? I get the impression that you’re not that bothered.

          Reply: On the contrary,. I want the governemnt to deliver the PM’s pledge and regularly meet the Minister to stress that.

    2. c777
      April 21, 2012

      A Labour government.
      And the difference would be?
      No difference at all.

    3. libertarian
      April 21, 2012

      John, couple of points, don’t mistake the past for the future. Things change rapidly these days.

      More importantly The Conservative, Labour and LibDems all promised us referendums at certain times, even being in the last Lib Dem manifesto. Yet when the trigger was reached by an E petition 3 line whips went out and the lobby fodder voted against ( I know you were an honourable exception) so as ALL of our main political parties eschew democracy who would you suggest I vote for being as I am for a small state, independent England, low tax , direct democracy wealth creating country as espoused in UKIP’s manifesto?

  22. i albion
    April 21, 2012

    The damage to England is done to try and “do” something now about immigration is to little to late even if they stop it tomorrow (ha ha) Every thing has worked out the way each Government knew it would they all know that and Mr Redwood knows that.

  23. Tony (Somerset)
    April 21, 2012

    I may have posted this before, but it bears repeating.

    It doesn’t matter what the government say or do about immigration, they are powerless to restrict unlimited immigration from EU countries, irrespective of the qualities or qualifications of EU immigrants.

    In fact it doesn’t seem to matter much what the government says about anything, as we appear to be in total thrall to the EU, ECHR, etc., in any case.

  24. backofanenvelope
    April 21, 2012

    Have we signed up to any international treaty or agreement that requires us to issue British passports to foreign nationals? Or, for that matter, to grant indefinite or permanent right of residence? If we stopped doing this, it might take the pressure off.

  25. nicol sinclair
    April 21, 2012

    Just had a quick look at the Coalition Agreement and spotted the following:

    “We will end the storage of internet and email records without good reason.” Agreement 3 Civil Liberties 11th Bullet Point.

    I wonder what happened to that promise given the recent news? What other promises have been kicked in to touch?

    I believe that it is now time to study the Agreement in some detail to see where this Coalition has been less than diligent in following through. Yes, I know there is still three years of this dubious marriage to go but, on the other hand they have had two years already to make a 2/5ths progress. Who is invigilating the Government? What grade would you give them – “could have done better” or “unsatisfactory”?

    For any of your readers who may be interested:

  26. Steven Whitfield
    April 21, 2012

    It’s now almost 2 years since the last election or approximately 102 weeks or 720 days. Empires have risen and fallen, fortunes have been made and lost and around 450,000 extra people have come to live on this island all requiring water and shelter….but still we are told that we just need to be patient and give the ministers more time.

    Mr Redwood if you were advising a struggling company that was so archaic that it took 2 years to make a change or take a decision you would despair. So why is this government any different ?

    The coalition agreement or the ‘tail wagging the dog’ as it is more accurately described is a shield to protect Mr Cameron and conceal his anti Conservative agenda .
    If he was a Conservative in other than name he would have told the Liberal’s to take a running jump and gone back for re-election in October and won an outright majority. The president of the Liberal party said as much this week when he boasted on BBC’s Question time that his party had saved the country from a properly Conservative government’

  27. Damien
    April 21, 2012

    EU citizens living in the UK cannot cast a vote in any general election whereas anyone from the commonwealth including India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are entitled to vote in a general election. This presents quite a dilemma for various parties at the next election. Given that 121,00 immigrants arrive annually from the Indian sub-continent the coalition will tread carefully. The sectarian politics of Northern Ireland could be closer than we think if you look at the successful organisation behind the George Galloway victory. As someone said our postal voting system would shame a banana republic!

  28. Tad Davison
    April 21, 2012

    Hang on a minute, can’t you see the sleight of hand of a very dextrous conman at work here?

    Cameron, that doyen of the Euro-sceptics (yeah right), would wish us to get back all of those powers already lost to the BBNM (the Brussels Bureaucratic Nightmare Machine), or so he would have us believe, but he can’t, because of the coalition partners, the Lib Dems, whose avowed intention is to chain us ever closer to it.

    Point 1. Had the Conservatives been more ‘Conservative’ at the last election, they would have won outright with no-one hanging on to their coat tails. Evidence – the greatly increased satisfaction rating of the Prime Minister after using his veto. It is what the public wants.

    Now call me old fashioned, but where a politician’s views coincide with the wishes of the public, it makes for very popular government. Evidence – Mrs Thatcher’s landslide victory in 1983 after she took Britain from the sick-list, and put us back on the map.

    Point 2. To a lunatic, the whole world is mad, and they are the only same ones in it. That speaks volumes for the Lib Dems, because if they seriously think the EU is something that could ever work, they are seriously deluded and away with the fairies!

    Point 3. To acquiesce to something as crazy as the stance taken on Europe by the Lib Dems, the PM either has no bottle, no powers of persuasion, or worse, an ulterior motive. And for me, it is the latter.

    I am not a professional politician, but even I could argue from a position of overwhelming strength, and make others see that the EU is an absolute, unworkable nonsense – given the chance – but it is noteworthy, that my own Lib Dem MP, Julian huppert, will not engage me, nor will he furnish me with the information on the EU that I asked him for six months ago.

    David Cameron is using the Lib Dems as a lightning rod to deflect anti-EU strikes away from himself, but some of us can see through him. Until he makes a fist of it, and comes out fighting, and God knows he now has the ammunition, he will leave himself open to the charge that he goes along with the Europhiles and all their works, because secretly, he is one!

    Tad Davison


    1. forthurst
      April 21, 2012

      There are people in Parliament who are there specifically in order to deny the English people their democratic rights.

      A (people-ed) contains people of all levels of intelligence otherwise there would not be the availability of labour to address all tasks including the most menial. This concept is incompatible with universal suffrage: it is far too easy for interlopers to groom the less fortunate with promises which, of course, they have no intention of keeping, in order to wage a proxy war on the (voters-ed) as a whole.

      1. zorro
        April 21, 2012

        Panem et circenses….


    2. lifelogic
      April 21, 2012

      Yes indeed.

      Lib Dems, because if they seriously think the EU is something that could ever work, they are seriously deluded and away with the fairies!

      Indeed on the green issue, democracy, the EU, human rights and even civil liberties they are clearly away with the fairies.

  29. rose
    April 21, 2012

    “Conservatives campaigned in 2005 and 2010 to get powers back from the EU. The last election manifesto did not specify all the areas which would figure in a renegotiation , but many Conservatives would wish to include borders in such a process. Most of these moves were prevented by the Coalition Agreement, and cannot be pursued without a Commons majority for them.”

    I concur with you on this: if Conservatives had got a majority, so much more could have been done. Denying them a majority next time will only compound the problem, if not hand government straight back to the very people who did the damage.

    I know you don’t want to discuss the Breivik case, and I understand and support your reasons; but I think nonetheless that we need to listen to the Norwegian PM on this, not the Media. He said “We need more openness, more democracy.” He comprehended the tragedy. As do the lawyers. As did the King. The media just don’t, and won’t. They are part of the problem, in that they continue to distort and misrepresent matters which should be discussed. We had a prime example from John Humphrys this am.

    The Norwegian poeople responded to their PM’s impassioned pleas by increasing their membership of the 3 biggest parties in the wake of their appalling national tragedy. The biggest increase was in membership of the conservative party, not the labour or populist party.

    Naturally the media there – and here – won’t report that.

    Mrs T demonstrated that where there is a strong conservative party, people don’t need to look elsewhere for the defence of their nation.

    1. zorro
      April 21, 2012

      With Cameron in sole charge, I seriously doubt that there would have been any difference….


      1. rose
        April 22, 2012

        We may never know now. I would prefer us to have found out.

  30. rd
    April 21, 2012

    Best we get this Parliament majority then. They claim to represent us do they not?

  31. Roger Farmer
    April 21, 2012

    It is a simple question, do you want action and resolution or continual fart speak.

    The conservative party has to rid itself of Cameron and most of his cohorts. Then it has to state unequivocally that imigration will end except in the most humane of cases ie proven genocide and required skills. It must revoke all politically motivated EU law as applied to the UK, in effect reverting our relationship to that of an EFTA partner.

    This I submitt is the only course that can make the Conservatives electable. It is the only course the electorate will buy into. The Lib Dems will scream because they know that an election on such a manifesto will consign them to oblivion. A failure to take such a course will let Labour back in by default.

    So when are you 100 plus conservative MPs prepared to persuade the rest and take action. Cameron has continually lied his way through this Parliament and presided over some monumental screw-ups. All he has is a glib turn of phrase proven time and again to be baseless. Do something about it.

  32. Robin
    April 21, 2012

    Nice try John.
    Parliament, corrupt politicians and the bbc have cleverly set in motion the emasculation of free speech and democracy in this country. By doing so they have all but taken away the future for my children and grandchildren. They have achieved this without a mandate or resort to violence and incarceration. Clearly the former dictators of Russia and Germany were mere amateurs!
    John, I admire and respect your considerable intellect and integrity. A pity I cannot say the same for all but a handful of your colleagues, this government and parliament.
    By all means keep up your excellent work. I wish you success in all your endeavours but fear that you will achieve little.

  33. DeWinterMax
    April 21, 2012

    It is difficult to allow extend any latitude on the issue of immigration to those Conservative MPs who were in place when the infamous Blair Cabinet Meeting took place at which they determined to allow immigration on sucha a scale as to “rub the right wing’s noses in diversiry.”
    To me the failure of MPs to alert their constutuents to what was going on without their consent or knowledge was infintely more shameful and damaging than any expenses scandal.
    I do not belive that in the “village” of Westminster, the goings on at that meeting were not widely known. Yet none of you spoke out. This is due to the pusillanimity of many MPs and the opportunism of others.
    Mass immigration is the greatest betrayal of this country in its history and its architects have never been brought to book.

  34. Barbara Stevens
    April 21, 2012

    I always understood, if immigrants had children that didn’t automatically mean they and the children had the right to remain if they are here illegally. However the ploy now is the Human Right’s Act, and they get away with it. We have debates on the terrorists we have difficulty getting rid of, and when it comes to the million or so asylum seekers here ilegally we don’t see any action at all, nor won’t. The problem is, and the truth to tell, we don’t want any of them here at all. We are told the legal requirements we have to go through, yet others forget their legal requirements and act for their nation. This grates the ordinary man and woman in the street, who cares about legallities when we are keeping and housing at our expense these despots. Patience is wearing very thin with the electorate. Those who seek to lead us think they know best, well with immigration they don’t. We can never gain control of our borders and all the illegals until we bring this country back under our own control, politicians know this, we know it. Why can’t politicians speak the truth and say it as it is.
    Cameron is not speaking the truth when he says he’ll bring back this and that powers, he can’t do a thing and he knows it. Ken Clark this very week as been acting as though he’s made new arrangements, like hell he has! They will concede nothing, and drastic action is the only thing we will have to eventually do, like withdrawing from the European Court. I’m sick of politicans speaking as if they know what’s going on, they’ve no idea at all. When Nigel Farage speaks he knows what he’s talking about, he’s actually there, seeing hearing, and telling as it is. We are not fooled anymore. Until all parties realise we know what’s going on and won’t be put off anymore the sooner the better. The Conservatives should begin to rule themselves and forget the Lib Dems, they are losers, and they will to if this goes on for much longer.

  35. Bernard Otway
    April 21, 2012

    So now my whole long post was OBLITERATED from the original piece on immigration .
    PERHAPS ? this will be also.What I wrote was impossible to censor as it compared the numbers of immigration [NON INDIGENOUS people at least 100%] to EMMIGRATION
    [more than 90% INDIGENOUS people] and that the first set of figures given in another post
    PROPERLY analysed shows a population change of over 800,000 in ONE year.I quoted
    Sir Andrew Green,s MIGRATIONWATCH forecasting that by 2050 the INDIGENOUS british
    will be in the MINORITY by then. What is so inflamatory in using the word INDIGENOUS
    it is used to describe Aborigines in Australia ,North American Indians, AND many other countries people. I have copied that post and am now passing it on to my entire Email
    contact list telling them it has been completely CENSORED by you asking that it be sent Viral,one of my list will send it throughout an organisation where there are over 32000
    recipients. I have also sent it to INFOWARS in the USA. Nothing in what I said is at all actionable. I am so ANGRY I am now also telling EVERY person I can, you have LOST the
    respect I did for you and I will now go ON AND ON AND talking to all the many people I see on a Daily basis. (words left out-ed)

    Reply: I will post this – my concern is how do you work out the figures and how long does someone have to be here – or their ancestors – to qualify under your way of looking at the numbers? Do Celts, Angles, Saxons , Vikings, Hugenots, 1930s jewish emigres from Germany, Commonwealth migrants from the 1960s etc qualify or not? If not, why not? I do not wish to divide fellow countrymen and women into differing categories and make some long standing citizens of the UK feel unwelcome.

    1. Steven Whitfield
      April 22, 2012

      The shadow of Enoch Powell casts a long shadow over the careers of many Mp’s of John Redwood’s generation, no doubt he is mindfull of how Powell was treated by the establishment. JR must have been cutting his political teeth during the aftermath of Powell’s sacking by Heath , arguably this must have coloured his political judgement around issues of immigration . But having said that, most people are not fools and resent being treated like children.

      I don’t wish to intrude into a private disagrement with Mr Otway but my view is that Mr Redwood is acting with good intentions but is misguided . It’s Mr Redwood’s blog and his rules but I hope he might reflect on his decision to withhold postings.

      Censoring posts isn’t the way forward unless the writer is so unhinged that they are , inciting hatred or violence (not that any right thinking person would be affected by such a piece) or just being overtly offensive.
      Setting up one minority group or another as more worthy of special treatment is in itself divisive and creates resentment amongst the majority.

      It is highly patronising to suggest that particular groups in society would be made to feel unwelcome by a discussion of the history of the United Kingdom. Many immigrants still hold strong ties to their country of origin(British Pakistani, British Indian etc. ) and most people do not see a problem with this. We do not need to try to re-write history Mr Redwood.

      Furthermore it is disingenuous to most of the people in the Uk who are in the majority friendly and welcoming to immigrants.

      I’m sure Mr Otway’s intention wasn’t to suggest that many immigrants haven’t settled here in the past and that they shouldn’t feel welcome and participate fully in society. But the issue is the numbers of newcomers and the pace of change this causes that many including more recent settlets find uncomfortable.

      Please allow this link from the MigrationWatch website Mr Redwood as I think it is relevant.

      I’m not aware of the text of what was censored but I presume it was a discussion of migration history. To ignore history or not put events into historical context is foolish – as with any subject how can we know how we are to proceed in the future if we cannot look back at where we have come from ? .

      Reply: I allow a lot of debate on immigration on this site, though it is not a subject where I offer special knowledge or research. I do so because I know how much it matters to many people. I just ask that people use measured language and do not spend time insulting large numbers of people by categorising and steroetyping them in a way which does cause offence. I do not wish to have to spend time defending this site from accusations about racism, as there is no racist bone in my body. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to amending or refraining from posting.

      1. rose
        April 23, 2012

        On the question of the anthropologists’ word “indigenous” having come into general usage :

        A friend of ours told us his father used to say with pride: “My father was Jewish; I am British; my son is English.” And he is indeed very English.

        The sad fact is that these nice distinctions could not be made today with the same certainty of understanding, because neither British, nor even English, mean much now, other than that a British passport has been procured.

        So we are left with the offensive word “white” or the incorrect word “indigenous.” I find “white” offensive for the same reasons that I find “black” offensive. They are designed to divide, and to perpetuate division, by people who were missing the old class war. And they deny our history and geography, in particular our ownership, as a nation, of these islands.

        So I’m afraid “indigenous” it has to be, until someone can come up with a pompous term like “British, of British Isles descent” or somesuch. They have done it for Indians, Pakistanis, and Bengalis; they have done it for Chinese, Vietnamese, and even Irish. But they didn’t do it until those various nations demanded it. Until then, they were all classed as “black.” In my local authority even women were classed as “”black” in the lunatic seventies, because, said the equalities people, they were technically, if not literally, a “minority.” This was clearly for the purposes of stoking the new class war.

      2. Steven Whitfield
        April 24, 2012

        Reply: I allow a lot of debate on immigration on this site, though it is not a subject where I offer special knowledge or research. I do so because I know how much it matters to many people. I just ask that people use measured language and do not spend time insulting large numbers of people by categorising and steroetyping them in a way which does cause offence. I do not wish to have to spend time defending this site from accusations about racism, as there is no racist bone in my body. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to amending or refraining from posting.

        Mr Redwood, I understand immigration is a sensitive subject but I don’t think pandering to left wing acusation’s of ‘racism’ is sensible. We are supposed to rightly opose stereotyping of all groups, but it seems some wish to stereotype contributors on this blog. A curious double standard.

        Accusations of racism are beneath contempt and not worthy of a response – if we let these accusers determine the terms of a debate we are accepting there false PC logic and disingenuous view of the nature of most British People. The warmth of feeling expressed towards the footballer Fabrice Muambo should serve as a reminder that this is not a racist country that is incapable of having a rational debate about immigration.

        The debate on immigration is about numbers – if observers to this blog wish to accuse such a dialogue as being motivated by racism then that quite frankly is disgusting.

        I remember John Major years ago calling you a ‘Fruitcake’, a b word and ‘one sandwich short of a fruitcake’ for your pains in putting the case for staying out of the EURO. David Cameron has taken a leaf out of Major’s book and described UKIP supporters as being ‘closet racists and fruitcakes’.

        When the left have lost the argument or wish to close down a debate they always seem to resort to personal attacks.You no more need to say ‘there is no racist bone in my body’ as deny that you are ‘one sandwich short of a picnic’ or not a ‘b’ word.

      3. rose
        April 25, 2012

        I realize I haven’t mentioned housing in this – but the Newham story says it all. The BBC is blaming the Olympics and the Guardian is naturally blaming Margaret Thatcher, but our taxi drivers have been making a good living for years by driving immigrants and asylum seekers long distance at the expense of council tax payers, to disperse the new arrivals around the country. (etc)

    2. Denis Cooper
      April 23, 2012

      A cautionary tale …

      Having got increasingly fed up with Merkel throwing her weight around in Europe, my gut reaction was annoyance when I found that the Germans were even taking over the manufacture of sausage skins in our country:

      (Without going into great detail of why I was looking into this, it had to do with a team of sausage skin makers who appeared on a TV quiz show.)

      However I could have spared myself unnecessary indignation, as the firm was founded in 1921 by Ludwig Weschenfelder who’d come here in 1898 and they’re now on their fifth generation of Weschenfelders, all but the first having been born and bred in England.

      We’re not Germans and so we don’t insist that Englishness or Britishness is solely a matter of blood (“jus sanguinis”) but have long accepted that being born and bred here is an alternative qualification (“jus soli”), and because we’re English not German the present Weschenfelders are also English not German, albeit originally of German extraction and still with a German surname.

  36. matthu
    April 21, 2012

    How much blame for the UK’s difficulty/inabilitly to deport undesirable immigrants must we attribute to the fact that our government ratified the Lisbon treaty which enshrined the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (the same one which Keith Vaz, Minister for Europe, 1999-2001 claimed would be ‘no more binding than the Beano or the Sun’ )?

    If indeed all of our issues in this respect stem from this single act of ratification, then is it entirely within this government’s power simply to repeal that act?

    This single course of action, completely within the power of government, would of course currently attract very widespread support from the electorate and would also at a stroke solve innumerable problems faced by the Home Office.

    Reply: We would also need to pull out of the ECHR Convention/Treaty

  37. Alan Wheatley
    April 21, 2012

    I think the Government should carry out an environmental assessment into the effect of immigration policy on our carbon emissions. After all, the more of us there are the higher the emissions. And this Government does subscribed to the theory of Anthropomorphic Global Warming, does it not.

  38. merlin
    April 21, 2012

    A number of commentators seem to think that UKIP will solve all our problems, I’m sorry to disappoint you, UKIP do not have any seats in the UK parliament therefore they have no influence over government policy at all. Further to this, I predict UKIP will get no seats in the next UK parliament either. We have an open door immigration policy with the EU this means that there will continue to be a steady flow of EU nationals into this country. This fantasy land of repatriating powers and referenda on leaving the EU will never happen. The priority of most people in the UK is the economy, health and education, europe is way down the list. The brutal fact of life is that we are governed by the EU and that there will be more not less control by the in the future and all uk governing parties since we joined the EU have welcomed this. It is important to note that the EU operates through engrenage ( creeping socialism ) or in common parlance stealth. Like all socialist/communist/communitarianist ( Blairism ) political systems they will never give up until they completley control everything including how you think. We are in the very early stages of this process, it will take many,many years and most people are not aware that it is actually happening. We are all hoping that there will be this catastrophic moment and suddenly european countries go back to their original currencies-dream on!

    1. rose
      April 21, 2012

      The really weird thing is why the Liberals go on about civil liberties and how they are holding back Conservative threats to them, and yet at the same time prevent us freeing ourselves from the EU – with its directives on mandatory data retention, and compulsory VAT, etc. Why the coverup of this weird contradiction, on the conservatives’ part? You would think they could do a bit of differentiation themselves now and again, just to inform the public of what is going on.

    2. Tony (Somerset)
      April 22, 2012

      Don’t be negative, Merlin !

  39. Bernard Otway
    April 21, 2012

    To Merlin
    You obviously have no grasp of History, the USSR broke up,the Berlin wall came down ,Germany became ONE,the Iron Curtain is gone,IF that could happen to the USSR it can AND WILL happen to the EUSSR,anyone who cannot see this is Blind.
    And John if you want to know the definition of indigenous read the many other people who use this term , it certainly does not mean immigrants arriving in the last 25 years or so whether in this country or any other,and it certainly means those that EMBRACE the culture of the country they arrive in and pass it on to their children having accepted it by becoming citizens, Question why are the people who emmigrate to AUS/CAN/NZ
    so quickly considered and consider THEMSELVES to be OF those countries,it is obvious
    they ASSIMILATE. MARRYING their previous culture to the new BUT mostly the new culture replaces the old, as I said in that censored [completely and unacknowledged until
    you allowed my complaint yet still censored part of it,but rest assured it is going to the same recipients (etc etc)

  40. Caterpillar
    April 21, 2012

    Personally I tend to be pro-immigration (well, pro the free flow of most things), though it is not a subject on which I have highly developed thoughts.

    I do not believe that the UK is full, I suspect barriers on housing, water etc. come largely from planning, regulation etc. limits.

    I do not believe there are limits on jobs, I cannot see how economics is a zero sum game. (words left out-ed)
    I fear that reform of the student visa system damages a UK industry, and more care should have been taken. Other countries actually compete for students and their resources. I think arguments based on “the very brightest” are dubious. Starting up the next McD / BK etc. is not obvious from study success, competing on the high street/car wash etc does not require the brightest but does require entrepreneurialism. Generating wealth based on academics is probability not causal.

    I suspect immigrant workers making remittances back to original countries may have more focussed benefit than international aid. Indeed I could be persuaded of cutting international aid based on immigrant remittance payments.

    I do not like a temporary workers settlement argument to be based on earnings as this does not appear to recognise UK geographical skill (and industry) variation.

    I think more understanding of the role of exchange rate on both in and outflows needs to be made public. Given that the Bank of England does not follow its CPI rate mandate at all, the other effects of its actions should be made very clear in parliament and to the public (- recently at least house prices in London and cancelled emigration due to exchange rates).

    { I do though agree that family settlement and periods of self-sustainability are extremely important/difficult policy areas.}

    Anyway, my overall leaning is that the UK should be attracting immigrants but it should be based on security, property rights, reduced red tape, easing planning permission, lower taxes … all the things that attract and enable business, it should not be based upon trial avoidance, welfare system …

  41. John Johnson
    April 22, 2012

    Asylum seekers and immigrants that come here and go straight onto benefits get £250/ week and £225/ week for a spouse plus housing benefit and child benefit. They also get £100/ week hardship money. I make that £575/ week plus per family/ week.
    A British OAP couple gets £131/ week . Where is the fairness in that???.
    I believe all OAP’s, disabled, unemployed ect, should take this government to the Human Rights Court as what they are doing is against our Equal Rights.

    Reply: These comparisons are untrue. A pensioner receives various top up benefits if they do not have savings and/or a second private pension. Illegal entrants of course qualify for no benefits. Most migrants from the EU come under the rules that allow people to come here to take a job.

    1. rose
      April 23, 2012

      If they sell the Big Issue they hit the jackpot. I know one (word left out-ed) woman with 5 children who is thus claiming disability, attendance, child, jobseekers, and housing benefits, plus more. The 5 children all go to our heavily over-subscribed primary schools, and there will be health costs too. I have forgotten the exact figure the various benefits all add up to, but when I found out I stopped feeling sorry for her. She is a devoted mother and doing her best for her children’s future. Or maybe some man is snaffling her earnings and sending them back to (her former homeland-ed). There are many others like her, but she is the one I talk to. I am really attached to her now.

  42. Bazman
    April 22, 2012

    Companies wanting cheap labour are directly responsible for the wave of immigration in this country a point lost conveniently on the fantasists. If there was no work then they would not come here. The minimum wage was necessary because the immigrants from the more poor EU countries would have worked for pennies putting large swathes of the population out of work forcing the government to pay ever higher levels of benefits or face shanty towns of unemployed and riots. The East Europeans often live five to a room/car and live on communal food. They are young and fleet footed. The fantasists expect fifty something family man who has worked in the same town then made redundant to compete with them? Not real. Interesting to see them compete given the same personal circumstances. What they are basically saying when letting the market rip and privatising everything is to externalise all the costs onto the taxpayer and working population. The private companies have filled their boot nicely for years on this basis and now sit on a mountain of cash. You seriously expect the same people to solve Britains economic/social problems? Ram it.

  43. Mark
    April 22, 2012

    Perhaps Damian Green might be persuaded to give some estimate of the trends he expects. Looking at these statistics:—Why-are-People-migrating-to-and-from-the-UK-

    might it be reasonable not to expect from Figure 3.11 (immigration for over a year):

    A reduction in work related immigration below 175,000
    A reduction in Formal Study immigration below 100,000
    No increase in other categories

    and from Figure 3.15 (settlement):

    A reduction to no more than 100,000 a year

  44. Manicbeancounter
    April 22, 2012

    The reason that we have such high immigration is not just due to EU rules. Having been married to a Brazilian for nearly two decades, and experienced the immigrant community at first hand, there are two things I things we need to consider about Britain that makes it stand out as a place to live.
    The first is that the British culture is one of the most decent and honourable on earth. I hope we never lose this attractiveness to outsiders. In fact I hope we try to regain some of the ground we have lost over the past decades.
    The second is that we go out of our way to be reasonable and give people every chance. We embrace outsiders without having any expectation that they embrace some of our culture and values. My wife, for instance, worked as an interpreter for a number of years. Paid for by local authorities, it was often for the same people who after years of living here still failed to have more than a rudimentary grasp of the English language. You can even take the driving test in any number of languages – including a choice of Brazilian or European Portuguese (Very similar – most the accent) There is no US-style melting pot, where people become variants of the one culture, enriching it in the process. The application to become a British citizen embodies this. You have to study a book that has very little on British history, but lots about the benefits system.

  45. James Reade
    April 23, 2012

    And what about those of us that tried (unsuccessfully) to point out your total inconsistency on this point relative to your bigger picture (get govt out of the way)?

    1. James Reade
      April 24, 2012

      And another example for you John of how the immigration policy is having negative effects.

      I’m organising a conference here in Birmingham, and one of the participants has been denied a visa to come, thus diminishing the quality of the conference.

      I can tell you don’t really care about these kinds of things because they are inconvenient and the masses are shouting about how terrible immigration is and hence you have to say the right things to appeal to them.

      But I figured I’d keep pointing out to you how harmful these restrictions are in keeping Brits lazy, protecting mediocrity and negatively affecting productivity in this country. All things I thought you cared about.

      1. Steven Whitfield
        April 24, 2012


        If we are agreed that immigration policy should be tightened (there is cross party concensus on this) tougher decisions will have to be made on who can and can’t enter the Uk. My perception is that fewer low skilled persons are to be allowed entry while preserving routes of entry for higher skilled persons. This seems an entirely sensible measure to put us back on course to sustainable immigration levels.

        I don’t hear the masses ‘shouting’ about immigration to be honest. There is anxiety about jobs and housing etc and some light tutting about fairness issues over welfare and NHS entitlement. I almost never hear immigration being discussed as most people are naturally very careful not to cause offence – that’s the British way.

        I don’t remember John Redwood writing anything that might give a reasonable person the impression that he doesn’t care about the consequences of immigration policy. I must have missed that.

        How is restricting immigration ‘keeping Brits lazy’. My view is if that if immigration is reduced then those ‘lazy Brits’ as you stereotypically call them will find it easier to get into the labour market.

        ‘negatively affecting productivity in this country’. Interesting.

        In the real world outside of local government, productivity of British businesses has been falling – despite immigration being at record levels during the Labour years. So I think we can assume that there is nothing but a very tenuous link between productivity and immigration.

        Productivity hasn’t fallen as dramatcally as it has in the public sector but we are not as competitive as we used to be in the 90’s.

  46. Iain Gill
    April 25, 2012

    (raises migrant IT contractors again-ed)

    The Conservatives have no chance at the next general election with people like me forced to vote against them

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