Blogs by Don Flynn
Labour’s annual conference, has at least (surely!) settled the matter of who is going to be leading it up until the next general election – whenever that might be. Many other issues remain unresolved, including the one which has most vexed such a large part of its traditional working class support base – immigration.
The arguments around the role that immigration has played in eroding support for Labour have been gone through too many times to need repetition here. In brief, I should mention that there is a belief that the large-scale migration to the UK after 2004 has had a negative impact on the wages and working conditions of at least a significant segment of the working class as well as the more general sense that it has all happen just too fast.
With news programmes leading this morning on PM Theresa May’s intention to make a big, bold speech to the UN high level summit on migration in New York hopes might be raised that something new is going to be said.
After all, Mrs May is just the person to say it. Her long period in office as the UK’s home secretary has seen her struggling with the realities of migration as it takes place in the world today and she must have learnt a great deal since 2010 when she was confident that the movement of people into the country could be reduced to the ‘tens of thousands’.
Unfortunately it seems that she seems to be intent on returning to a script that Tony Blair tried delivering to gatherings of international leaders back in the early ‘noughties.
The High Level Summit (HLS) taking place at the United Nations in New York on 19 September is a timely reminder that immigration is not just an issue that affects the UK, but involves the whole world.
The discussion on that day, involving “heads of state, government and high representatives” of the UN’s members will focus on safety and dignity in policies which address “large movements of refugees and migrants”.
The report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (ECHR) in mid-August which found evidence of 'entrenched' race inequality in many areas, including education and health has provided the basis for the government’s latest, and to some a rather surprising initiative.
The first anniversary of the death of the three year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, Aylan Kurdi, is coming up fast.
Even people who were shocked by the appalling image of the Turkish police officer cradling the drowned infant might be forgiven for thinking that things have got better for the refugees who were fleeing conflict in the Middle East and North African region. The news reports describing the hundreds of boats arriving on the Greek islands during that period and the images of thousands of despite people queuing at the European borders which had been so hastily thrown up to bar their admittance are no longer making the headlines.
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