Wednesday, May 17, 2006

"Illegal" Immigration

Regular readers of this blog may be aware of my aversion to using the term "illegal" immigration, because it is not clear to me how humans can be "illegal". I also think it is unnecessarily emotive. But this is not meant to be a serious post about immigration policy, or about the case for open borders, for example, which is canvassed in an interesting way at Stumbling and Mumbling today. Nor is it a commentary on the rather entertaining performance of IND official Dave Roberts before the Commons Home Affairs Committee yesterday.

No, let me content myself with this homily. Once upon a time there was a moment when the UK was "pure". Somebody somewhere knew where everyone was, and who everyone was. There were no "illegal immigrants". And then someone put the Home Office in charge, and everything went wrong. People forgot that if you didn't brand foreigners with a big "F" on their foreheads when they came into this marvellous country then you might reach a stage where you didn't actually know how many of them there were, and where they were, and you wouldn't be able to distinguish between those who are "nice" immigrants, with "decent, hardworking families", to coin a Blairite phrase, and those who are "nasty" immigrants, who are "illegal", who abuse the health service, cost us taxpayers money, dirty the streets, etc. etc. (you get the picture).

The offensive thing about Blair's and Reid's reaction to this whole pallaver is that they have not gone on the offensive and made the obvious point, namely that only totalitarian states know for sure how many foreigners there are in the country, what status they have, and can act easily to get rid of them if they want to. The USSR, for example, or the DDR. No, on the contrary. They make clear that they actually want to turn the UK increasingly into a society which, if not quite totalitarian, is certainly one that is so surveillance dominated that the differences become increasingly hard to spot. Because what do they say is the answer to all of this? At PMQs today,

"Mr Blair also outlined two measures to help the country reclaim control of its borders.
He said: "First of all, we need to introduce electronic borders.
"And secondly, we need identity cards both for foreign nationals and for British nationals if we want to track people coming in and out of our country and know the identity of people here."

Goody goody. That's just exactly what we all want.

The thing that makes me sick about the Tory Party is that they seek to set a repressive and restrictive agenda on immigration, and the management of non-nationals, and yet proclaim that they are a party to protect our ancient civil liberties. I don't normally use naughty words on my blog, but that is the biggest load of bollocks that I have heard in ages. Liberties apply to all, not just to some. There are a few bloggers out there as well who would do well to remember that point.


Blogger HW said...


BW, you're quite perceptive for a Leither.

Thursday, May 18, 2006  

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