This is an extract from Hugo Rifkind’s column in the next issue of The Spectator, out on Thursday:
The Labour party has put its five core election pledges on mugs. No, I don’t know why. Presumably the idea is that you buy all five, and then, when your friends come around for tea, you each drink yours out of the one featuring your favourite. Yeah, I know. As if the sort of people who’d buy these mugs would have friends.
There’s an odd fuss, though, about mug four, which says CONTROLS ON IMMIGRATION on it. Quite widely, this has been perceived as a gaffe, a betrayal, a slump into Faragism, and all the rest, with numerous Labour pundits wailing in dismay.
Why, though? How many people out there don’t think there should be controls on immigration? I’m pro-immigration in almost every scenario, and even I think there should be controls on immigration. Normally, when people say ‘You can’t talk about immigration’ they’re quite wrong. Not here, though. ‘This shameful mug is an embarrassment,’ tweeted Diane Abbott. Indeed you are.