Despite the fanfare, David Cameron still isn’t doing anything on immigration

25 March 2013

5:31 PM

25 March 2013

5:31 PM

Well, it was right not to expect much. The full text of David Cameron’s speech on immigration is here but it can be summarised in one sentence: ‘mass migration has brought some good things, but it has also brought problems so here is some tinkering we propose.’

There are so many problems when our politicians speak on this subject. Not least is that they expect to be congratulated for saying the utterly obvious. For instance, most British people worked out a long time ago that those of us who already live here ought to have priority in housing over people who have just arrived. We also worked out some time back that an NHS which provides for the whole world is unsustainable and that if people haven’t paid into the system then the system shouldn’t pay out.


Then there is the gap between rhetoric and reality. As is par for the course, the Tory press (presumably briefed by Conservative party employees) advance-billed this as a ‘major’ speech with ‘tough’ rhetoric etc etc. In fact what Cameron turns out to be proposing – while perfectly fine in its unambitious way – will only affect a small number of people. And in that gap lies another problem. For when the electorate are promised ‘tough talk’ they think they are going to hear about illegals being sent back by the plane-load. But of course Cameron doesn’t dare to propose any such thing. What the PM’s speech showed is that the Conservative party, like the other mainstream parties, still cannot bring itself to address matters which even the left of the political spectrum outside Parliament has been mulling on for some time now.

Take, for instance, David Goodhart’s forthcoming book on Britain and immigration ‘The British Dream’ (which the Mail has serialised over recent days). Goodhart – who comes from the left of the political spectrum – addresses those questions that any honest government must address but which no European government will even touch at the moment. For instance, how long should political asylum be for? If someone flees a dictator and that dictator subsequently falls, shouldn’t that be the end of their period of asylum? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to return to help rebuild their country?

The ‘debate’ on immigration has gone on quite long enough. The British people have consistently stated their opposition to mass immigration and the parties have responded by talking tough while doing little or nothing in the hope of tricking the voters into voting for them despite the record. At some point the ‘national debate’ has to stop and the national ‘actually doing something’ has to start. Despite the fanfare, today was not that day.

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Show comments
  • plasterer surrey

    plasterer surrey
    Intelligent domain valuation and estimation based on appraisal values and analytical data.
    Twenty-five years ago, I spent six months flat on my back with a dislocated disk, unable to much of anything but nap & read. One day, my once-a-week cleaning woman was dusting my bedroom, and she paused as she picked up a paperback copy of “Bleak House” that was lying near my sickbed. She looked at the cover, which showed a painting of a woman in an somberly decorated 1880s interior, then looked around. “Looks like this place.”

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Britisher pals, you’re keeping the right people out, and letting the wrong ones in. And I think we all know who the dodgy ones are.

  • Nuff

    It’s just more of the same…. what I’m surprised about is that after everything that’s happened – that anybody believed what Cameron had to say at all.

    What concerns me is that for some people in this country, if anything threatens their world view they dismiss it out of hand. Take the BNP for example…. some of their members have less than perfect track records, but the same can be said for the Labour party and the Conservatives. If people stopped the knee jerk reactions, they’d realise BNP speaks to the vast majority of those Brits who are sick and tired of being forced down the road of “liberal” fascism, and who feel like second class citizens in their country.

    A complete moratorium on immigration from anywhere is needed, until the shambles that is the Border Agency, the Home Office and the Foreign Office is dragged kicking and screaming into working for the good of this country, and its values. Our social infrastructure doesn’t need much more, for it to collapse completely, with all the attendant havoc and civil unrest.

    I will never vote for any of the three main parties again. I will probably vote UKIP – after all, they couldn’t do worse than what we have now, could they?

    What we need is for citizens to be able to force General Elections as soon as politicians start leading us down the slippery slope. What’s happened to us? We’ve allowed ourselves to be turned into wimps.

  • John Glenn

    Other than it is getting a bit crowded in some places, why should DC get his knickers in a twist. Most immigrants I come into contact with seem pretty hard working, decent people – after all they have moved here to get on in life.

  • Iain Hill

    On access to social housing, you appear to make the usual conflation between refugees, who may deserve priority, and economic migrants, who do not.

    • FreyaB

      I have real difficulty with your use of “deserve”. Who decides who deserves? I can sympathise and empathise with, say, a senior citizen who has been waiting for years for a flat because s/he cannot manage to live in a house any more, who has worked hard and paid taxes, and is forced to watch others who have done none of these jump the queue. Maybe senior citizens in such positions should demand refugee status

  • Mike Barnes

    You don’t get it. This isn’t an accident, it’s the plan. This is globalism in action. Free movement of money going out of the country to tax havens. Free movement of unskilled workers into the country to ensure the workforce has to work for peanuts.

    Both of these things are of great benefit to the global elite, hence the three main political parties doing nothing to change things. They know where their bread is buttered.

  • Nick

    As soon as I heard Cameron was due to make a major speech on immigration,I knew it would be a white wash.
    Cameron is a weak man.
    He’s a weak leader.
    He doesn’t know how to manage the country.
    He doesn’t have the credentials to run the country.
    And he knows sweet FA about dealing with immigration.
    I just can’t wait for the next General Election when I can vote for UKIP.

  • darwins beard

    And these muppets wonder why UKIP votes are on the rise ?

  • allymax bruce

    But it must be recognised, Labour got us all, (UK citizens, and immigrants), into this mess, and Labour must never be allowed to into power again while they contrive to be EU ‘all-in’ merchants!

  • allymax bruce

    David Cameron is hitting all the ‘popular’ votes with the most popular gripes in UK politics just now. That’s what UK politics has coem down to; press-propaganda!

    Vote ‘Yes’ 2014 Scotland; you know it makes sense.

  • andy_gill

    No-one has a problem with recruiting highly-skilled immigrants who want to work here and contribute.

    The problem is with low and unskilled immigrants from the third world, who as well as draining resources, cling to a cultural baggage based on a set of values incompatible with British society. Few people are prepared to discuss the Islamization of the UK , although it is probably one of the most disliked consequences of the recent waves of mass immigration.

    • Framer

      The current rules, supported keenly by Boris, permit 25,000 Intra Company Transfers (ICTs) a year to the UK for workers who then pay no national insurance but get free healthcare and education. They are ‘highly skilled’ (i.e. could earn over £20k) but why do we need them?

      Are we incapable of training-up 25,000 more IT graduates in the UK?

      We have enough professors on our screens pleading for more immigration who might be better employed teaching locals.

      This was all fine when the UK was booming. We now face a 20-year recession outside central London and Surrey. The problem is our politicians inhabit those areas.

      • Daniel Maris

        Very well said. But even in the London area we have the problems of overpopulation and housing pressure which are making life a misery for those on middle incomes rather than city salaries.

  • Eddie

    He didn’t mention the asylum system. That was a joke when I was teaching in London over a decade ago. What would happen is this: someone would get to the UK and claim asylum. The waiting list for cases was 18 months so they would get temporary leave to remain – getting free housing healthcare and often working on the side. Then, almost automatically, they would get indefinite leave to remain.
    I taught such people from many countries: Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Russia (!), many lands in Africa (many used any turmoil in their region as an excuse to come here – liks Brits perhaps claiming asylum somewhere in the 80s because of IRA bombs). The system was inconsistent: Germany did not accept Somalis as refugees but the UK did, for example. In short, it was an utter mess and a massive immigration loophole, stoked by greedy immigration lawyers . Most Turks who came here claimed to be Kurdish!
    The thing is, they all got away with it then called their mates to tell them what mugs the Brits were – and are.
    The 1951 legislation that makes all that possible should be redrafted for the modern age; in 1951 most people in the world had never even seen a plane; now anyone in Africa can be at Heathrow in hours.
    Most British people are sick of mass immigration, are saddened (not enraptured) that in many of our cities white faces stand out as exceptions, that we seem to be giving our country and our money away. If the government want riots, they are going the right way about it.
    It is time to root out and stop all immigration scams, and to punish the legal parasites responsible too. No immigrant should have any entitlement to healthcare or housing. No child born in the UK should automatically have right of residence (which goes to the mother too now – which is why so many pregnant women come here to give birth).

    • Drogo Santiago

      Dear Eddie. Humans can travel to the other side of the world in a day. The internet allows humans to communicate with foreigners in less than 300 milli-seconds. The era of tribal nation-states is well past its zenith. If your chief complaint is the lack of “white faces”, I suggest printing out posters of white people and plastering them all over your walls. Perhaps this will help satisfy your fetish. I have met many individuals with different skin pigmentation levels, and to my amazement, found some worthy of befriending. I am also glad, that as a white person, you are advocating criminal violence (i.e. “riots”), because when white people commit crime, it’s not a crime in racist lala-land. In any event, your words are meaningless. The non-white nations of the world (Asia and South America) are poised to overtake the West in the next 5-10 years through economic and intellectual might without firing a shot (can’t say the same for the UK / US). I hope you are encouraging your children to learn Mandarin, Hindi or Portuguese, because your protests are nothing more than a fart in the wind.

      • Austin Barry

        Your views exactly reflect those tacitly accepted by our bovine political elite, not those of the seething, angry native electorate to which the steady rise in UKIP’s fortunes attest.

        Stay tuned.

      • Jim

        When you blithely declare that “The era of tribal nation-states is well past its zenith” all you are doing is speaking for yourself and airing your own ‘fetishes’. For instance, a poll taken between 2004-2008 covering 83,000 people in 57 countries found that people had a far stronger attachment to being a citizen of their country than with the idea of being a “world citizen”. And in-fact, people felt vastly stronger about being a citizen of their own country than even as being a member of their local community. National identity matters to people. Despite what you claim.

        • Daniel Maris

          And Drogio’s view won’t get much support from the 1.4 billion Indians or 1.2billion Chinese, or indeed the 0.2 billion Brazilians or the 0.2billion Russians.

          In fact, apart from this small corner of NW Europe, Drogio won’t find many people supporting his notion that “tribal nations” are outmoded.

          • Eddie

            Indeed. My extensive knowledge of the peoples of the world – via teaching them – is that no Chinese would ever consider that a white person, even one born in China, even one whose grea great great grandparents had been born there, could possibly ever call themselves Chinese.
            Ditto for all Asian countries.
            Ditto for Africa. Most Afrcians do not accept that any white can be African at all.
            And yet we in the West are supposed to accept what those who lecture us from the ivory towers of the palace of diversity tell us over and over again: that all immigration always enriches our lives; that there would be no British culture at all without immigration – so let’s have more and more; that anyone coming to Britain can automatically call themselves British (or English, Scottish, Welsh) etc, despite being as black as tar, despite not speaking English, despite having no knowledge of or respect for our cultures and traditions.
            They tell us this – and it gets more surreal and absurd every time they do.
            Can I be a Pakistani is I go and live in Pakistan and get a passport? If my white atheist Christian heritage childreb grow up in Pakistan or China or Nigeria, will they ever be considered Pakistani, Chinese or Nigerian?
            The hypocrisy is starling here. I do wish the hypocritical lefties and the pc gestapo who enforce diversity-think would have the guts to admit it: the brown and black peoples of the world are utterly racist, nationalistic, xenophobic and bigoted: to them, no white can ever be one of them. So why do they expectt o come here and be one of us? Weird.

            • ian channing

              No major East Asian people ever really accepts foreigners as fellow citizens. To Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, race and bloodlines are vitally important. A few nights ago, the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping in a keynote address referred to the ‘great Chinese race’ and repeatedly used the race word, minzu in the speech. Imagine Cameron talking publicly about the British or English ‘race’–you cannot, because it’s politically impossible now. Japan’s dislike of foreigners coming to live among them permanently is well known. Recently it was accepting fewer than 20 refugees a year; I haven’t got the latest figures but I doubt they are much different. East Asians remain completely indifferent to what is happening in the increasingly multiracial societies of the West. There is not the tiniest chance they will follow suit.

    • Eddie

      Last week, the famous African author of Things Fall Apart died aged 80. His novels were very bitter that whites had come to African, bringing their culture and religion, and that is seen now as the right-one liberal view of empire (rather than its multiple benefits).
      The thing is, now immigrants to Britain are imposing their own cultures and traditions on us, forcing ours out, and telling us that their ways are superior – however, if one criticises that de-whitening effect and that invasion of alien peoples and ways, one is not called a great freedom fighter like that African author; no, one is called a racist, a bigot, a right-winger and – worst of all – a Daily Mail reader.
      Yet the two views are exactly the same and grow from the anger, sadness and bitterness peoiple feel when their homeland is being ravaged and destroyed, and their culture and history erased.

  • Georgina

    To be fair, David Cameron’s speech did live up to the fanfare – no one expected it to be a revelation and it wasn’t! So many things were wrong with this speech….I love the “We will deport immigrants who are illegal and are found to be not working”. Yes DC, because you have been SO good at deporting foreign criminals before haven’t you….. cough*Abu Qatada*cough!!!

    • Patricia

      “I love the “We will deport immigrants who are illegal and are found to be not working”.”
      Are we supposed to sing and dance because he’s deigned to touch on a situation that should have been dealt with years ago ? Anyway, what does he mean
      by ” who are illegal and are found not to be working?” Is it OK for illegals to be here as long as they work ?

      • FreyaB

        Cameron is a cardholding prat, big on rhetoric as we see but tiny on delivery. So he will deport illegal immigrants, will he? Well let him start with that cancer on our revenue, Abu Qatada, who got in here illegally. If he did that I may just believe the stinker.

    • Minnie

      Georgina, Abu Qatada has been working extremely hard to kill as many indigenous Britons as possible so you cannot accuse him of not working.
      And today our wise Judicial system agreed with this.

  • Austin Barry

    Cameron won’t talk about cultural change. It’s just numbers. Our political elites just don’t get it.

    • Daniel Maris

      Yep. It makes me feel very sad for the future of this country.

      I mentioned on another thread a very honest account by Jasvinder Segarah on Desert Island Discs of life in the Sikh community: girls considered a misfortune, no outmarriage from the community, avoidance of contact with the mainstream community, no English spoken at home, male teenagers allowed to screw around with the English girls but the Sikh girls watched like hawks, arranged marriages effectively being forced marriages…

      Cultural change indeed.

      Where is there any politician in this country speaking honestly about such things?

  • Daniel Maris

    On the regional news in London this evening: London education authorities are going to have to find 88,000 NEW school places in 2014/15. These are the hidden costs of mass immigration which the politicians aren’t addressing.

  • Daniel Maris

    “What the PM’s speech showed is that the Conservative party, like the
    other mainstream parties, still cannot bring itself to address matters
    which even the left of the political spectrum outside Parliament has
    been mulling on for some time now.”

    Well said, Douglas, and herein lies the danger – the great danger – the lack of response from the system, suggesting that in this area the political machine just doesn’t work.

    The danger is that at some point the vehicle is going to career off a cliff edge.

  • Ron Todd

    Step one elect a Conservative PM. Step two leave Europe.

    • berosos_bubos

      Step 3 begin the ‘trials’.

      • Austin Barry

        Step 4 prepare the gallows.

        • Drogo Santiago

          Step 5. Setup the camps.

  • Boudicca_Icenii

    “The British people have consistently stated their opposition to mass immigration and the parties have responded by talking tough while doing little or nothing in the hope of tricking the voters into voting for them despite the record.”
    And it’s worked extremely well for them, since a majority of British voters are too tribal, too lazy and too apathetic to hold their MPs and Govts to account and vote for them regardless.
    They have abused this trait, not only to impose unwanted mass immigration on us, but also membership of a supra-national Organisation that is proving to be an absolute disaster for the peoples of Europe (but extremely lucrative for the Elite!)
    Fortunately a significant and growing proportion of the electorate have finally woken up and aren’t going to meekly fall back into line again. No amount of tough talking is going to cut it: this is OUR country and we want it back.

  • Cornelius

    the UK government has a responsibility to UK citizens, and to lesser extent eu citizens. it should not trade the welfare of those for whom it is not responsible (immigrants) for the welfare of those it is responsible for.

  • Mussi Buma

    I look forward to the Tories becoming a marginal party like the LibDems. I want to see the avowed socialists bring on the epic financial crisis. The sooner that happens the better.

  • CaediteEos

    As Douglas Murray himself argued in a recent debate, if mainstream political parties cannot address the immigration issue, it leaves a political vacuum open for fringe parties to fill. It’s clear to see with the rise of UKIP, but Cameron still can’t get his head around it.

    No one wants a “National Debate”, or minor tinkering with the system, they want to stop being replaced in their own country. Is that really too much to ask our elected parliamentarians?

    • koe

      Very well said.

      The biggest threat with UKIP, is that their average supporter does not realise they are only a half step away from the BNP.

      • Nick

        So what?

      • Vindice

        I am at a loss as to how you reached that conclusion. You don’t substantiate your assertion and you can’t because it is untrue. I suggest your read the two parties’ manifestos – they are poles apart.

        • koe

          Well, actually there i a huge overlap in their policies, the fact you are not aware of this only serves my point. Please take your own advice and compare both manifestos carefully, or google “ukip bnp comparison”.

          There is plenty of evidence of similarity between the two parties, and overlap of values shared by supporters of both parties, as shown in the recent YouGov pole.

          Also as Dr Goodwin pointed out at the Guardian:

          Like the BNP, at the last general election Ukip demanded an end to uncontrolled immigration, tighter border controls, the expulsion of illegal immigrants, the removal of benefits for remaining immigrants and an “end the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government and all publicly funded bodies”.

          This radical right pitch to voters included an end to political correctness and a ban on the burqa, and led Ukip to invite Geert Wilders to show an anti-Islam documentary in the House of Lords.

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear, isn’t all of that just what call me Dave calling for or are you deaf? In fact most of what you have listed could be applied to the Tories and Lib/Dems, are they brothers in arms with the BNP? whose support has gone through the floor anyhow! What’s wrong with wanting a ban on the burqa? didn’t the French do that, didn’t one of the failed London Bombers wear one to go on the run?

            Latest reports show that UKIP are taking support from all the “major” parties and isn’t that what you are really worried about.

            You can always rely on one at least, commentator to use the BNP to try and frighten and smear when losing the argument.

          • Nuff

            What is wrong with a what UKIP wants to put in place, unless you speak from a leftist/multiculturalist point of view? How often does it need to be said that the open borders policy is not working, and not all Brits want to be an insiginificant part of the amorphous sinister “club” that is the EU?

            All polls commissioned by the government will say what the government wants it to say, if it fits with their agenda.

            We have thousands of would be Islamist jihadis free in this country because of what “liberal” fascists coerced us into doing, our Police are hamstrung for fear of upsetting a group of people who use threats and violence to achieve their subversive aims. Did any government, not Thatcher’s, not Blair’s, not Brown’s and certainly not Cameron’s ask the people who elected them if we wanted an open borders policy and mass population transfer? If it goes to the wire, and there is widespread civil unrest because of politicians’ empty words – they won’t be the ones to suffer with the likes of us – they’ll be on the first plane out of here.

  • Redneck

    Mr Murray

    Excellent summation.

    Terrible position to be in, as an electorate, isn’t it: to feel completely subjugated by the mores of a PM in whom you had high hopes.

    The centuries-old stability of the UK irrevocably destroyed in one generation: we should hang our heads in shame.

    • CaediteEos

      No, “WE” should not hang our heads in shame, we should hang the politicians who allowed it to happen!

      • Boudicca_Icenii

        They didn’t just ALLOW it to happen. They deliberately and systematically worked to implement it – in cahoots with the Elite in the rest of the EU.

        • Patricia

          ” …in cahoots with the Elite in the rest of the EU.”
          I have come to believe that the EU is just a vast money-making machine for keeping EU politicians in lucrative jobs and the immigration rules are just one tiny cog. The EU bureaucrats will never concede on any of their regulations.

  • Thatcherite Lee

    This criticism that his plans only effect a small number of immigrants is bizarre.
    The premise of this criticism are the figures showing that only a small percentage of immigrants claim benefits, free NHS care and a council home.
    The figures may well look small and it may well be a minority of immigrants taking advantage but most of us still think it’s too high.
    This dismissive attitude of the so call right wing press today especially the Telegraph makes me despair and shows they are out of touch with their own readers.
    The criticism of Cameron today is akin to claiming it’s wrong to crackdown of law and order on the premise that only a small percentage of people break the law.
    It is as I said dismissive of the problem and bizarre to say the least.
    The right wing press seem to have been won over by the pro immigration lobby today.

    • Mussi Buma

      On the World at One today there was someone saying that the figure for money lost by “health tourism” was at least 10x higher than the official figure. Hospitals are incentivised not to investigate. If they cast doubt on someone’s eligibility then the hospital must chase the patient for repayment. So, the hospitals collude with it.

      I have friends whose relatives come here for operations. Like all the other scandals in Britain, the professionals collude in it for an easy life.

      • greggf

        Whether the enterprise is state run or private there is absolutely no excuse for the cant trotted out that “the NHS is not set up to check patient’s entitlement”!
        Why isn’t it?
        All foreigners will have some ID/passport, and locals should have a credit card, driving licence or pension card, so why can’t these be checked at entry? They need patients’ details – address etc……

        At present the taxpayer funds which finance Britain’s welfare and healthcare services are effectively made available for looting by foreigners.

        • Mussi Buma

          I completely agree. When the NHS and welfare state implode, many Britons will blame immigrants for it. And there’s something to that, but the real blame lies at the top, with capitalists brining in immigrants to undercut wages, and Labour and trade-unions wanting looking after the interests of foreign workers rather than British workers.

    • Daniel Maris

      The figures are being fiddled or dodgy categories are being used (e.g. “foreign nationals” rather than “foreign born”) and so on. In somewhere like London the figures for foreign born occupants of social housing is probably something like 25-30%.