After Heywood and Middleton, Labour needs to make tough choices on immigration, the economy and the leader

by Atul Hatwal

On one point, Douglas Carswell is right: the big result last night wasn’t Clacton, but Heywood and Middleton.

Shell-shocked Labour spokespeople have been on the airwaves giving the official line: the vote held up, no complacency, blah, blah, blah.

What they are saying doesn’t matter. They can’t tell the truth because the truth is toxic for the party. There are three reasons Heywood and Middleton happened: immigration, the economy and Ed Miliband’s leadership.

On each of the three, Labour needs to make a hard choice, if it is to avoid an almighty crash next May.

1. Immigration

Every canvasser who went to Heywood and Middleton came back with the same doorstep story: the voters wanted to talk about immigration. But Labour ploughed on with its line on the NHS. Disastrous.

Now, Labour will have to face up to having the difficult conversation on immigration, and it can go one of two ways:  it can either tack right towards Ukip or it can make a case for its actual policy.

The former is the seductive option. It means that on the doorstep, canvassers can agree with voters. There’s no need for any tricky disagreement. All Labour representatives need do is to nod sympathetically, promise to be tough and hey presto, all is solved.

Except of course, it isn’t.

When Ed Miliband apologises for Labour immigration policy a decade ago, the message that voters hear, loud and clear, is that Labour accepts too many people were let into Britain.

But when they then ask how Labour will stop people coming into the country, all Labour spokespeople talk about is enforcing the minimum wage and stopping labour market exploitation.

All very laudable, but nothing to do with directly reducing the numbers of people entering Britain. No wonder voters smell a rat.

So Labour needs to make a choice. If it wants to be credible on cutting immigration, it must make ending freedom of movement within the EU a red line for renegotiation.

Clearly, the rest of the EU are not going to accept an end to one of the founding principles of the European project, so this option, de facto means Brexit. For all those who wring their hands in concern about EU immigration, there is only one coherent solution; Ukip’s solution.

Alternately, for those that want to stay in the EU, which presumably includes Ed Miliband, there is another path: stand up and make the case for immigration, particularly EU migration.

This isn’t a counsel of starry-eyed idealism, but practical politics. If Labour is not prepared to leave the EU then the benefits of immigration must be set out, otherwise Labour will always be on the losing side of the argument.

There are manifold benefits to EU immigration for Britain. Without doctors and nurses from the EU our NHS would collapse. EU migrants put a lot more into the public purse than they take out – over £2,600 per year according University College London – and millions of British jobs depend on international investment that is contingent on Britain being an open, trading economy in the EU.

What cannot continue is Labour’s current confusion on immigration, particularly in Labour’s heartland constituencies where Ukip is going to make this a defining issue.

2. The economy

Too often in politics, the debate focuses exclusively on the immediate; what’s directly in front of peoples’ noses. While immigration is a big part of Labour’s problem, it’s salience as an issue with the public would be greatly reduced if voters believed Labour was going to improve the economy and make their lives better.

But they don’t.

In last week’s ICM poll, David Cameron and George Osborne stretched their lead over Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to 20 points, on who is most trusted to manage the economy. This isn’t a stunning endorsement of the current government. Few believe Cameron and Osborne to be particularly competent or even operating in the interests of the majority of the country.

Instead, the ICM poll is a devastating repudiation of Labour’s equivocation on the economy.

Fear of upsetting centrist voters with tax rises and higher borrowing means Labour has not been able to commit to the type of major policy offer desired by the left.

Yet Ed Miliband’s fear of angering the left means he hasn’t talked about the sort of cuts he would make and so Labour hasn’t done what is needed to win back public trust on spending.

As a result, the party has neither neutralised Tory charges of spending profligacy, nor painted a picture of the brighter tomorrow that could be achieved if Labour was elected.

If Labour wants to mitigate the impact of public mistrust on immigration, it must address its weakness on the economy. Two paths are open.

The leadership could embrace the left, commit to higher taxes, higher borrowing and higher spending on public services. At minimum, an unashamed left turn of this type would test the left’s contention that there is a public appetite for such a prospectus.

In retrospect, the hard men of the right on Labour’s NEC in 1983 did a great service to the party when they consented to almost everything the Bennites wanted for the 1983 manifesto. The result was an electoral catastrophe, but few could then doubt the public’s aversion to unalloyed Bennism.

The other option is for the leadership to move right, back towards the centre of public opinion. Last year at Labour conference, Uncut set out what such a platform might look like.

It would involve difficult and painful savings; an end to ring-fenced budgets for the NHS, cuts in education and cuts in areas like international development as well as some targeted tax rises. But the funds freed would enable a transformative vision to be made real. In Uncut’s manifesto it included free, universal childcare for all under-5s, 200,000 homes built a year from 2016 (not 2020 as is the current aspiration) and 1 million new jobs guaranteed for the unemployed.

Both paths carry major risks and entail confrontation: with either the public or the party and unions. But after Heywood and Middleton, these are now significantly less than the danger of simply drifting on with the current economic strategy.

3. The leader

One of the abiding weaknesses of analysis of Ukip’s rise is the failure to control for the impact of the leader, and to focus exclusively on Ukip’s policy platform.

Without Nigel Farage, Ukip wouldn’t be anything like the threat that they are today. It’s notable that both Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage stood down from leading their parties, only to return following a less than lustrous showing by their successors.

When working for the Labour party in the mid-1990s, I recall seeing quantitative and qualitative research showing voters disagreeing with almost every individual Labour policy position, but still backing the party, because they liked Tony Blair.

In leadership terms, Ed Miliband is the inverse of Salmond, Farage and Blair. He lags behind his party on public approval and in the latest polling, a third of Labour supporters even prefer David Cameron as Prime Minister.

Speak to anyone who knocks a door in any constituency for Labour and away from the trite tweets of “great response on the #labourdoorstep” they will tell of the Labour voters wavering because of doubts about the leader.  They will tell of the Lib Dem and Tory switchers who aren’t switching because of the Labour leader.

Heywood and Middleton would not have been possible without Ed Miliband’s leadership of the Labour party.

Earlier this week, Rob Marchant made a good case for any talk of leadership challenges being fanciful. He’s likely still right, but the calculus has changed.

Now, MPs in northern seats who thought that they would never be challenged are suddenly looking nervously at their majorities.

In the past month, since the denouement of Scotland’s independence referendum, Ed Miliband has been over-shadowed by Gordon Brown and Jim Murphy, delivered what is acknowledged as the worst leader’s speech to conference in thirty years and come within an ace of losing a rock-solid safe Labour seat while in opposition.

Who knows where Labour will be by Christmas.

It is no longer clear that the fall-out from a painful change in leadership will be more electorally damaging than a continuation of the status quo.

How would the situation be worse if Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham or Chuka Umunna were to become leader? And how might it be better?

These are the questions Labour MPs will be pondering over the weekend. With seven months to go until the election, the clock is ticking.

On immigration, the economy and the leader, Labour faces fundamental choices. The pallid words from Labour’s broadcast brigade about listening to the wake-up call and not being complacent, fool no-one. Labour can’t go on like this.

For the first time, almost all of the Labour party sees what many of Uncut’s writers have been saying for the past few years. It’s not an optimistic place to be.

Atul Hatwal is editor of Uncut

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34 Responses to “After Heywood and Middleton, Labour needs to make tough choices on immigration, the economy and the leader”

  1. Tafia says:

    Part of what I wrote in the earlier post regarding Clacton – but more relevant to this one:-

    I used to have a pub in Heywood (my first one. The Crown on Bury St for those who know the area) and know the area well – Labour only held the seat because they held it’s share of the middle class and gained the Lib Dems (again mostly middle class)- it’s blue collar working class core deserted it in droves and traditional working class areas such as Darnhill and Back O’ The Moss were awash with UKIP posters. I know active Trades Unionists and lifelong Labour Party members from there who voted UKIP quite openly and have no intention of ever voting Labour again.

    Labour were only prepared to fight on the NHS (possibly because that is McInnes’s background and so she probably only felt comfortable with that) and that wasn’t what the people wanted to talk about on the doorstep – doorstep was EU and immigration.

    The agenda for GE2015 has just been set – it’s the EU & immigration (both EU and non-EU) whether that’s what Labour and the Tories want it to be about or not.

    Labour gained from Lib Dems and that hid the loss to UKIP. In short they gained middle class voters at the expense of core blue-collar working class voters. Although they held Heywood and percentage -wise marginally increased their vote a smidgen by 0.8% on a low turnout, that masks that underneath there was a massive 18% swing from Labour to UKIP.

  2. Ultra_Fox says:

    Blairism is dead and has been for years. No amount of denial-ridden dross published on this site and others is going to change that fact.

    Miliband, given his background, should be only too aware of the dangers of appeasing the far-right and yesterday’s results give him precious little reason to go down that road now.

    It’s notable that very few analyses (and this one is no exception) acknowledge the role Iraq War 3 may have played in boosting the UKIP vote.

    The PLP’s decision to back the latest military crusade in the Middle East helped reinforce the message in the minds of many actual and potential voters that “the mainstream parties are all as bad as each other.”

  3. Tafia says:

    Without doctors and nurses from the EU our NHS would collapse. You don’t even understand the argument do you. Skilled immigrants would still be allowed in under UKIP to fill shortgaes. Voters are not in the slightest bothered by skilled immigrants. What they are bothered about is low-skill/no skill immigrants swamping the bottom end of the job market and pricing them out of it by working for less. They also don’t see why they should have to compete with them for scarce social housing for rent, nor why they are allowed tax credits etc etc – and they have a right to those concerns because at their level of life they are real, eroding their lives, and making their lives unstable.

    Same as this rubbish about HIV immigrants – what is the cost to the NHS in cash terms of someone afflicted with HIV? We cannot take immigrants on a net financial loss – we will just go bust faster. I also notice that the people moaning about this don’t seem to have a problem with us getting ready to ban entry to people with a temperature – you are more likely to get HIV than Ebola in this country. We are also drafting legislation to test non-EU immigrants for TB – and you don’t here complaints about that either.

  4. Robert says:

    It has been obvious since 2010 that the best possible result for Labour in 2015 was a hung Parliament. That is still true and people should calm down!

    Atul is right about immigration but only partly right on the economy. Labour needs to point out that Osborne’s austerity has resulted in a deficit that is still more than £100 billion a year. It then needs to make the case for a sensible rate of deficit reduction, while also carrying out some left of centre policies. On the leadership, Miliband is unpopular but he has managed to move away from New Labour and avoid a civil war. A leadership election would cause a civil war several months before an election, which would be a disaster!

  5. Dave Roberts. says:

    The UK shouldn’t go it alone on restricting free movement in the EU. It should be Spain, France, Holland, Belgium and German as well. Spain as a million Rumanians the vast majority in Andalucia adding to its unemployment figures.

  6. Atul’s answer on the economy is to move even closer to the Tory line on cuts and austerity. That’s really going to help Labour fight UKIP isn’t it?

  7. 07052015 says:

    We dodged a bullet in heywood .Ashcroft managed to produce another inaccurate poll which has added to the shock and anger.Sad that atul reruns the change the leader stuff ,you almost get the feeling he would have preferred us to lose the by-election,ditto that master of not lying straight in bed jack straw.But we need cool heads and discipline not hissy fits rerunning the blair brown self inclicted wound.This isnt the sydney labour club you know old chap.

    Both main parties face the same problem now,a significant proportion of their core isnt listening and may well stay that way next may.

    Atuls policy stuff is important becos eds current lines wont cut it in the debates -which after manchester is his only remaining chance to affect the popular lazy journo past time of yet another article on why he Isnt up to it.

    On immigration what chance mr blair putting his hands up re 2004 accession states and explaining himself together with whoever was home secretary at the time and who equally has kept quiet since.That might make our current task easier ,which amounts to it wont happen with serbia,albania etc .Ed needs to decide whether he goes down the road of fair not free movement.Big call.

    On the economy no opposition says it will cut anything so we shouldnt start now.As for not ring fencing health and cutting education sounds like a real vote winner to me.The elephant in the room is the failure on tax collection from companies and the super rich.Mr blair wasnt interested in it and thought it would frighten the C1s and soft tories in gillingham,crawley and reading.Mr brown pretended he would take it on and then bottled it when the usual suspects said they would decamp to geneva.Ed will stand a bit firmer ,but the city thinks it has balls and umuna in their pockets so I wont hold my breath.

    Shame becos tax evasion/avoidance is a world scandal which could cut the deficit at a stroke.

    Anyway maybe two more tory defectors -one in december ,one february shouod keep the pot boiling.

    Tricky time for all politicians and bloggers -they are playing four dimensional chess meanwhile the electorate are playing snakes and ladders.

  8. paul barker says:

    An honest, thoughtful article but it ignores the Elephant in the room – Unite. If Labour tries to drop Milliband or move back to the Centre Unite will leave & Labour will go bust. Perhaps New Labour shouldnt have run up those debts ?

    On the wider Politics I dont think either Labour or Tory activists have grasped whats really happening. The whole Political system is opening up with fewer Voters locked into the Labour/Tory duopoly. That wouldnt matter so much if Labour & The Conservatives were built around values & ideology but they arent. The glue that holds Labour together is being Anti-Tory & that glue is dissolving.

  9. Ex Labour says:

    1. Immigtation

    Miliband has refused to accept that labour had it badly wrong last time round and has said nothing of any consequence in the last 4 years. He is a coward.

    2. Economy

    Its dead to labour. Going to fight on the economy is a vote loser. The public polls show that labour cannot be trusted.

    3. Leader

    Miliband isn’t one – full stop. The public know it and the Conservatives will make it about who you want as PM.

    The H&M result is a massive warning that the Labour sheeple have had enough of piss poor leadership, class war policies that fall apart on the first challenge and a legacy of economic incompetance. We are in the 21st century and despite what Labour think many people are aspirational and dont want to go back to the 70’s.

  10. Madasafish says:

    The die is cast: it’s too late to change public perceptions.

    Any party with Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor is doomed as far as economic credibility with the public is concerned.

    It’s too late to change Ed Miliband even if there was a mechanism to do it.

    And as far as immigration is concerned, the Diane Abbotts of the Party will make any policy change look like a bloodbath.

    All rather predictable for a party which allows special interests to be so dominant in selecting a leader.

  11. Robert says:

    Ex Labour, Miliband has said that Labour got EU immigration wrong in 2004.

  12. BenM says:

    Try to deal with these questions in no particular order:

    3. Miliband isn’t going anywhere. I loathed the conference speech and could not believe the complacency it exposed. However it is greater fantasy to believe a leadership contest now would lead to anything other than defeat next May. And next May the ultimate objective is to stop Cameron being PM. This is very possible – nay, probable. The country needs these reckless Tories out of office, whether or not that means a weak coalition.

    1. There is no rabbit here. Gobshites like UKIP will offer fantasy solutions to an intractable issue (away from tabloid fuelled perceptions immigration is not a major problem) but short of leaving the EU itself there is no way to stop migrants. And nor should we – for the sake of the economy. The Tories are caught on the horns of this dilemma too, but they did more than anyone to create it by puffing up the myths the media pumps out. Their paymasters in business won’t countenance leaving the EU, so the Tories too are stuffed. This is a reason why UKIP voters are not guaranteed to return to the Tories despite what some Tories may think.

    2. The economy. It is possible to win without leading in popularity contest on the economy. Osborne has failed, borrowing will be shown to have clearly risen this year before people go to the polls. The ephemeral growth spike based on house prices and further consumption is petering out, and no substance supports the Tory propaganda about their economic performance. It is dismal. I think the author touches on something by dismissing Cameron/Osborne lead in plls on economic competence as not being an endorsement of them per se (the top line voting intentions with Labour lead widening support that theory). This gap may well fall before May, and only Labour in government will prove those respondents incorrect and foolish.

    It’s all to play for at this stage. The moderate Tory bounce has disappeared, the polls are still static, and Labour won in Heywood and Middleton where the Tories got thumped in both constituencies and are likely t lose Rochester too. It is the Tories facing a particularly nasty, if not terminal, pre Christmas period. And I’ll sink a few mulled wines in celebration while they squirm.

  13. Ex Labour says:

    @ Robert

    He may have said so but what are his policies ? How does he intend to bring down non-EU immigration and what is he proposing to do with the EU on EU immigration and welfare / health tourism ?

    His big idea is apprently to clamp down on employers illegaly employing immigrants….well whoopee do….we can all rest easy.

  14. Tafia says:

    (away from tabloid fuelled perceptions immigration is not a major problem)

    Are you on another planet? It is a major major issue – especially EU internal migration in the low skill/no skill employment sector. Just remind everyone what the Labour Party themselves say that the major doorstep issue was in Heywood & Middleton?

    As I said above, I know the area and the people very very well – their concerns over immigration are not fuelled by the tabloids (the same tabloids that will either back Miliband or shred him in 6 months time remember) – they are fuelled by already low wages being depressed by huge surpluses of imported labour, by the fact their children cannot get jobs because they are being taken by mostly EU immigrants.

    And you are either deliberately avoiding the reality of this or you are genuinely stupid. It’s not immigration people have a problem with – it’s the consequences of uncontrOlled immigration. The fact that these immigrants have direct access to tax credits, housing benefits, social housing, child benefits, the NHS, local school places etc etc, putting them into direct competition with our own indiginous workforce. For instance, did you know that in H&M the UKIP vote amongst the asian community was just as big as it was amongst the white?

    Because of what is happening, a good wage in H&M is 16K year – which means because of a general shortage of housing that over half the workforce are relaint on top up benefits and they are not grateful for that – they are extremely resentful, and rightly so.

  15. Tafia says:

    Ex Labour, Miliband has said that Labour got EU immigration wrong in 2004.

    And their proposal to right that admitted wrong is?

  16. swatantra says:

    Ok, we can always compromise on ‘the Leader’, but never, never, must we ever compromise our principles on Immigration and the Economy; with imigration never give in to the racists and xenophobes, and on the economy always remember we are the Party of fairer redistribution of wealth, from the wealthy to the poorer in society that deserve a better life through their hard work. But that does not mean we help the scivers the dodgers and the scroungers other than to change their ways.

  17. Chris Wheeler says:

    Actually “enforcing the minimum wage and stopping labour market exploitation” is pretty relevant to many of the worst bits of immigration.

    Without the ability of employers and subcontractors to get away with undercutting local workers, the gangleader people smugglers will go to other countries, and a lot of the pressure on low paid jobs will vanish with it.

    Economically immigration is mainly a distraction from other issues, such as the lions share of the benefits of productivity improvements going to capital owners, failure to invest, publically and privately, and domination of political thought by capital owners. Oddly these capital owners are also those pressing Immigration as an issue in the media.

  18. Brucie says:

    Dissapointing article.
    On immigration UKIP only have one policy get out of the EU, how are they going to achieve this? no-one knows, it smacks of the Lib-Dem promise to abolish tution fees. Labour need to target this saying that UKIP promises the world only to deliver nothing.
    With the economy, its clear you are really unsure what to do, and don’t understand why things are bad. The key problem isn’t the deficit (if it were Mr Osbourne wouldn’t have a job with him borrowing more than Labour) it’s the lack of investment and a lack of decent paid jobs both of which Labour needs to show it can solve.
    Finally with ED being so crap – no denying that, but it’s too late for a change in leader, a change would only show Labour as a party who don’t know what they’re doing.

  19. Madasafish says:

    “Labour has said it backs further restrictions on migrants’ ability to claim benefits as a sign it understands public concerns about immigration.

    Deputy leader Harriet Harman said her party was considering requiring migrants to “earn the right” to contributory benefits.”

  20. Landless Peasant says:

    No one from Labour (or any other Party for that matter) ever comes canvassing in my area. Not once has anyone knocked on my door to ask me what I think, who I’ll vote for, what issues are important to me. I’ve lived here 17 years. But if they did I would tell them I’m not interested or concerned with immigration. I am interested, however, in fighting the brutal Class War now being waged against us by our enemy the Tory scum, and would like to know what exactly Labour are doing to help us, as it seems they are doing nothing.

  21. Landless Peasant says:

    @ swatantra

    “But that does not mean we help the scivers the dodgers and the scroungers other than to change their ways.”

    Precisely the type of reactionary attitude that prevents me from voting Labour. The “scivers, dodgers and scroungers” are the Rich.

  22. Tafia says:

    2.2 million Britons live in continental Europe, while 2.3 million other EU citizens live here, however most of those Britons are either skilled workers (suchj as my daughter in Germany) or retirees (such as those in Spain & Bulgaria) whereas most of the EU migrants here are semi-skilled/no-skilled workers.

    EU migrants form 2.1 per cent of UK welfare recipients goes the Labour myth – however that is only those claiming unemployment benefits. It does not include those in part time or full time work who are getting housing benefits, tax credits, child benefits, free school meals etc etc, treating them under the NHS, the cost of educating their children, the demands they make on social housing etc etc. If this is not a problem, then Labour will have no problem excluding them from the entire welfare apparatus until they have worked full time for 5 years and denying them entry unless they have guarenteed employment to go to will they.

  23. John Reid says:

    Ukips policy is hardly like LibDems getting rid of tuition fess, the Dems went into coalition, witha host of policies, UKIp, if they went into coalition with the tories would already be in power with a party who want a referndum

  24. BenM says:


    “Are you on another planet? It is a major major issue”

    Only in people’s minds. In Clacton there are hardly any immigrants.

    And in polls, although immigration comes top of “concerns” about the country, it regularly lags in polls about “concerns” in your local area.

    The disconnect can be explained by anti-immigrant propaganda pumped out by Tory tabloids and broadsheets. Immigration is a problem they all cry, but none ever clearly explains why.

    This leads to one conclusion, the issue is being used to 1. sell newspapers (outrage always does) 2. force people to vote for a partcular party (the Tories).

    Except that UKIP is the frankenstein’s monster the Tory media has released and now has no means of controlling.

    The irony is hilarious, albeit concerning.

  25. swatantra says:

    @ landless. I think I accounted for the ‘dodgers’ ie the tax dodgers and the idle rich. But lets also be hard on the ‘idle poor’ as well and not let them get away with it. The point is we don’t owe anyway a living, if they are not prepared to make their contribution to society by giving and not taking all the time. That has been the problem with Labour in the past, and it has to change. Labour is seen as an ‘easy touch’.

  26. John Reid says:

    BenM, I would estimate that 90% of people over 20 in Clacton were born 40 plus miles away,it’s very easy for the 90% to pop back see their elderly relatives or if they’re in the over 60 group their kids who stayed in Norwich, (M25) Essex, or Ipswich, and see the demographic change of the places they were born in,

    I’d guess the Clacton Ukip vote, some Ex Labour from 2001 on wards, see their place of origin, seeing jobs go by European migration for jobs,

    The more middle class parts of Clacton,would be those sticking to the One nation Tory,vote,
    Had it been a different candidate than Carswell, and he hadn’t brought his own persona vote across, the atory vote would have been near as high as 2010′ the majority ofthe ukip vote was either ex Labour or those who hadn’t voted before

  27. Landless Peasant says:

    @ swatantra

    Sorry I don’t share your opinions as I do not believe in the Tory concept of the undeserving poor. The State has a responsibility to adequately provide for its citizens. And in consideration of the fact that we are all the subjects of mass social engineering stretching back over several centuries, by which means modern Britain was designed and created, and during which the State & Aristocracy stole all the land in order to create a nation of Landless Peasants to be exploited as a Workforce generation upon generation – inbetween being used as cannon fodder, and also in consideration of the subsequent collapse of demand for that Workforce, then I would say that the State does indeed owe us a living, and don’t you ever forget it.

  28. Tafia says:

    The disconnect can be explained by anti-immigrant propaganda pumped out by Tory tabloids and broadsheets. Immigration is a problem they all cry, but none ever clearly explains why.

    This leads to one conclusion, the issue is being used to 1. sell newspapers (outrage always does) 2. force people to vote for a particular party (the Tories).

    Even the Labour supporting Daily Mirror is demanding a far tougher stance on immigration. And now that Sky & the BBC want UKIP on the debates, guess what they will become bogged down in.

    UKIP decimated the Labour vote in Heywoood & Middleton – there was an 18% swing from Labour to UKIP and it was Labour’s core blue collar vote that jumped ship. Labour remained static because middle class Lib Dems jumped to them. Is Labour the party of the worker or the party of the middle class – because it cannot be both.

  29. Mike Homfray says:

    No point in having a Labour party at all if it ends up advocating the same racist policies as UKIP

  30. Tafia says:

    No point in having a Labour party at all if it ends up advocating the same racist policies as UKIP

    It’s comments like that that are crippling Labour.

    Strictly controlling immigration on economic grounds (which includes housing, infrastructure, benefits etc etc) – is not racist. You have just accused the US government – run by a black president – of being racist, the governments of Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada (and the bulk of their voters) and many more of being racist. Within the european zone you have just declared the governments of Swizerland, Germany, Denmark, and a few others of also being racist.

    A country is a business at the end of the day whether you want to think of it as such or not. If it doesn’t make a profit it eventually collapses and deservedly so – it serves no useful purpose. The more ‘revenue negative’ immigrants you take in – especially when you have a large chunk of your indiginous workforce that are idle or on subsistance wages with top-ups, then the faster you will collapse and rightly so – that’s all you are fit for.

    If you want to retain the immigration free-for-all we currently have, then freeze it until all the infrastructure that is needed is in place first – schools, hospitals, doctors, teachers, social housing for rent, employment etc etc and bring in a system whereby immigrants make no claim on the welfare system for a minimum period – say 5 years full time employment.

  31. Landless Peasant says:

    @ Tafia

    “A country is a business at the end of the day”

    Really? I thought it was a clump of land sticking out of the sea with a load of human beings living on it. Why does it have to be a business? Why do we have to compete with other countries? Why not share everything? There should be no man-made national borders in the world. People should be free to move around the world as they please. It should be illegal for anyone to hoard wealth. I don’t want to be part of any business.

  32. Landless Peasant says:

    @ Tafia says:

    (No point in having a Labour party at all if it ends up advocating the same racist policies as UKIP)

    “It’s comments like that that are crippling Labour.”

    You mean the fact that Labour is not a racist party deters racists from voting Labour? Oh, right. Labour is a Socialist Party, it attracts the votes of Socialists and Communists like myself. You don’t sound very much like a Socialist or a Communist to me.

  33. Edulike says:

    Tafia is spot on. We can’t keep importing people if there are not more homes, jobs and schools where they are going to. Generally, people are not against immigration per se, as long as there is sufficient infrastructure to accommodate those who come in. If you don’t build enough houses, schools or hospitals or have enough jobs, then immigration will become an issue. The people are not against the immigrants themselves, who they largely sympathize with, but their experience that they can’t get a school place, a house or a GP appointment as easily.

    Ed Miliband has shown *some* leadership. He gets no coverage when he does so. He can’t help not being as charismatic as Cameron or Blair. He can’t be worse than either.

  34. Tafia says:

    Really? I thought it was a clump of land sticking out of the sea with a load of human beings living on it. Why does it have to be a business? Why do we have to compete with other countries? Why not share everything? There should be no man-made national borders in the world. People should be free to move around the world as they please. It should be illegal for anyone to hoard wealth Meanwhile back in the real world…..

    I don’t want to be part of any business. Well luckily for you – especially as you don’t like borders, you are free to nip off to and settle in any part of the EU you fancy. The rest of us realise that everything has to be paid for – even the dole, and the only way to pay for that is to generate more exchequer income as a country than exchequer expenditure. And to do that, we have to build wealth and control expediture and allocation of resources.

    Idealism is a good thing to have when you are young, but as you mature (when you reach 15 or 16 or so) you realise that idealism has to come behind reality and pragmatism and that you have to be able to afford idealism before you can bring it about.

    The State has a responsibility to adequately provide for its citizens.
    As a moot point, we live in a Realm and as such we don’t have citizens, we have subjects. That said, it’s a two-way contract – the State has a responsibility to it’s subjects, who in turn must accept they have a responsibility to the State.

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