What do people take away from the 2011 census? I cannot help but see the clearest possible reason for why trust of politicians is at an all-time low.
Perhaps other voting members of the public remember as far back as 2004 when the Labour government predicted that fewer than 20,000 people would come to Britain from those Eastern European countries given full access to the UK labour market. As of last year the Office of National Statistics confirmed at least 669,000 people from these countries working in the UK.
Or they might remember Labour immigration minister Phil Woolas promising in an interview with the Times in 2008 that, ‘It’s been too easy to get into this country in the past and it’s going to get harder.’ Mr Woolas even talked about quotas being brought in.
Or they might remember the 2010 Conservative party election manifesto which promised ‘steps to take net migration back to the levels of the 1990s – tens of thousands a year, not hundreds of thousands.’
So how to explain the extra three million foreign-born people coming into the UK over the last decade?
The new census confirms what most voters already knew. Our country has been changed substantially. This has been done not just without consultation, but in opposition to most public opinion. Every major political party conspired to bring this about. Labour or Conservative, in opposition or in government, they said one thing and did another.
I know there are some people out there who are delighted with all this. But can anyone explain to me why a campaign of such concerted lying by an entire political class is good for our democracy?
More Spectator for less. Stay informed leading up to the EU referendum and in the aftermath. Subscribe and receive 15 issues delivered for just £15, with full web and app access. Join us.