Blogs by Don Flynn
Just one day after the government sets out its proposals to continue to bear down on immigration in the Queen’s speech the European Commission comes up with a set of proposals which are intended to pull policy in another direction altogether.
Why have successive British governments, apparently, made such a hash at administering immigration control policy?
The word ‘apparently’ is important because of the difficulty in knowing by what standards we are measuring the success. The high level of discontent which shows up in public opinion surveys, with 70% of respondents regularly expressing dismay at the state of border controls, suggest that all is in disarray and we are truly living in a country with ‘broken borders.’
Migrants seem to be so deeply implicated in all the problems of the welfare state that it seems surprising that no one has yet seen fit to blame them for the new ceiling on total amount of cash benefits that people can receive which is being rolled out from today.
There is a sobering story in this week’s on-line edition of The Voice, a paper which reports news from the vantage point of Britain’s black community. It concerns Herold Newell, a lorry driver formerly in the employment of the ASDA supermarket chain.
It’s one of the hottest topics for discussion amongst those who care about this sort of stuff – this weird thing we are calling populism, with people asking what it is and the meaning of its apparent rise in the political systems of the UK and other European countries at this point in time.
If you have a keen interest in anything to do with immigration policy – particularly from the standpoint of wanting to defend the rights of migrants – the rise of populism is supposed to be a wholly bad thing. The example of UKIP is held out as the only direction in which populism can lead – directly towards xenophobic and anti-immigration standpoints.
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