As Labour are uniformly denounced for being beyond the pale in their alleged shift left under Corbyn, the Tories in Manchester have marked out new territory to the far right. Ignoring the rogue buffoon Boris, the speech by the Home Secretary Theresa May was an astonishing mixture of contempt and barely concealed racial hatred. It may be that she feels that the only political contest she will face is that from UKIP, but it will fill even hardened Tory-haters with dread.
Ignoring the wave of public-spirited humanity towards asylum seekers and refugees facing the worst crisis since the second world war, she instead sought to limit the right to claim asylum in Britain and to announce attempts to deliver deep cuts in immigration. It prompted even the Telegraoph’s James Kirkup to write: “It’s hard to know where to start with Theresa May’s awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible speech to the Conservative Party conference today. If you haven’t seen reports of it, allow me to summarise: “Immigrants are stealing your job, making you poorer and ruining your country. Never mind the facts, just feel angry at foreigners. And make me Conservative leader.”
Alan Travis writing in the Guardian observed: “She portrays the few thousand who have made it to Calais or to Britain as the “wealthiest, fittest and strongest”, with the pseudo-Darwinian implication that they are in some way queue-jumpers. But it is not surprising that the majority who make the journey are men in their twenties. They take the risk so that their families can follow them safely later. It is also not surprising that the wealthy are to be found fleeing war and persecution. Islamic State and Bashar al-Assad don’t check anybody’s bank balance before dropping a barrel bomb.”
The speech contrasts sharply with the recent report by Humza Yousaf to see at first-hand the plight of refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean. One politician going to see for himself the reality on the ground, the other stirring racial hatred for short-term political gain.
In one passage she said, in repatriation language that wouldn’t be out of place in a 1972 BNP pamphlet: ‘Mass immigration is forcing thousands of British people out of jobs and is making it “impossible” to build a “cohesive society”.
Much of it was incomprehensible and contradictory. If “Immigrants drive wages down” as she claims then the Govt needs to enforce minimum wage and gang labour law. She deliberately muddled and mixed refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in a jumble that would sit right at home in a Richard Littlejohn article. Cameron wants to use his renegotiation with the European Union ahead of the in-out referendum to reduce the “pull factors” to migrants – though many think this is a doomed mission. But, already the Governent has announced that new migrants from the EU will be banned from claiming benefits in the UK for four years.
It was a sad and dismal speech from a frightened cadaverous little woman who is bringing nothing to this world but fear and hatred.
There is considerable evidence that immigration to this country creates jobs, opportunities & wealth and contributes to vital services and key roles. It’s poverty that damages social cohesion and the desperately unequal society being carved out by these ideologues will only exacerbate that. This was Enoch Powell in high-heels, a tub thumping neo fascist speech to the blue rinse mob. She said: “There are millions of people in poorer countries who would love to live in Britain“. I certainly don’t.