Labour still can’t face facts on immigration



23:16 GMT, 14 December 2012

It was the week when the BBC and the Labour Party – after a decade seeking to crush all public debate on immigration – were finally forced to confront the truth.

The Corporation led its bulletins on Tuesday with the extraordinary news from the 2011 census that 7.5million foreign-born residents now live in England and Wales – almost four million of whom have arrived since 2001.

Yesterday, Ed Miliband delivered a speech in London (where, according to the census, white Britons are a minority) in which he acknowledged that voters feel ‘profound anxiety about immigration’.

Reluctant: Ed Miliband delivered a speech in London in which he acknowledged that voters feel 'profound anxiety about immigration'

Reluctant: Ed Miliband delivered a speech in London in which he acknowledged that voters feel 'profound anxiety about immigration'

Risibly, however, the rest of the Labour leader’s often weasel-worded speech was most telling for what it did not say.

The media had been briefed in advance that Mr Miliband would admit that Labour ‘did too little to tackle the realities of segregation in communities that were struggling to cope’.

But, when he spoke, this sentence was missing – presumably because he was still unwilling publicly to confront his party’s role in promoting the multiculturalism that did such damage to Britain’s social fabric by encouraging ethnic minorities not to integrate.

Incredibly, despite the census findings, there was still no commitment to limit future immigration to this small island.

Nor, crucially, was there any apology for the disgraceful way Labour smeared anybody voicing legitimate concerns about immigration as a ‘racist’ – or ‘bigot’, to recall Gordon Brown’s appalling condemnation of an elderly Labour voter.

Fears about migration had nothing to do with race (especially as many of the incomers were white). They were born of understandable worry that housing, schools and hospitals could not cope with the unprecedented number of arrivals.

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They stemmed from recognition that it is impossible for society to integrate so many people – many of whom spoke no English – in such a short period.

Only Labour can know why, in defiance of the clear wishes of the public, it chose to transform so many of our communities permanently and beyond recognition.

The suspicion is the party believed migrants, once granted citizenship, would be more likely to vote Labour.

One of Tony Blair’s ex-advisers even said that the secret intention was to create a ‘multicultural’ Britain alien to the Tory Party and its supporters.

Whatever the motivation, the dishonesty with which Labour implemented its mass immigration policy is unlikely to be forgiven by a public which was never consulted.

As this paper has long argued, a properly managed immigration system can enrich British society and bring great benefit to business, hospitals and universities.

However, Mr Miliband’s pitiful speech offered no reason to hope that, if elected, he could be remotely trusted to deliver proper controls on our borders.

Until he learns from – and apologises for – Labour’s mistakes, his party’s credibility on immigration will be the same as it is on the economy: non-existent.

New life for Gary

After his extradition to the US was courageously halted by the Home Secretary in October, Asperger’s sufferer Gary McKinnon made it clear he was ready to stand trial in the UK for hacking into Nasa computers while looking for evidence of ‘little green men’.

But, after consultations with the American authorities (presumably worried that disclosure rules would force them to reveal embarrassing security failings), the CPS yesterday decided not to press any charges – leaving Gary a free man.

The Mail makes no apology for the role our campaign played in ending his decade of mental torture. Now, helped by his indefatigable mother Janis Sharp, he can begin to build a new life.