The Great Immigration Conspiracy

John Rentoul

immig 224x300 The Great Immigration ConspiracyFor the Daily Mail it is not bad enough that Labour governments should carry out policies with which it disagrees; there has to be a conspiracy.

So it is with immigration. The latest census figures have drawn attention again to the scale of immigration in the 10 years from 2001 to 2011. Some people think it shows how successful the British economy was for most of that period; others think it was the largely accidental consequence of EU enlargement that should have been forestalled; but Stephen Glover in the Daily Mail thinks

There is patchy, though compelling evidence that Labour spoke with a forked tongue, and had a secret agenda.

That is “compelling” in the rare Old English sense of “fruitcake”. The Mail, as we know, “has a healthy scepticism of conspiracy theories“. So it is reassuring that Glover has “compelling evidence” for this one. He writes:

Existing proof of a conspiracy may be slender, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.

No, wait. There is more. The party of Tony Blair – for it was he – had a motive. Well, it may have done:

Its chief motive may have been electoral. Migrants, and to a slightly lesser extent their descendants, are much more likely to vote Labour than for any other party. So, according to this theory, the Labour Party was furtively trying to increase its powerbase.

What a lovely touch from How Journalism Works, chapter XIV: “according to this theory”!

Then that essential prop of a conspiracy: yes, a Freedom of Information request:*

Other fragments of evidence include an official document from 2000 (released in 2010 under a Freedom of Information request) that makes clear immigration policy was partly driven by economic needs, but also by the Government’s ‘social objectives’ — a phrase that is repeatedly used.

This refers to a document published in February 2001, which had a whole chapter (chapter 4) on the objectives of policy, concluding:

Thus it is clear that migration policy has both social and economic impacts, and should be designed to contribute to the Government’s overall objectives on both counts.

(The Cabinet Office in 2010 did release some earlier drafts of the report, requested under FoI, but rather to the disappointment of the applicants they revealed that the final version was pretty much the same as the internal drafts.)

So, the Government did some research, analysed it, published it and discussed the policy implications. Or, in the Daily Mail paranoid universe, there was a vast conspiracy to hide Tony Blair’s real motives, which were to ensure that Labour won elections for ever. Because that fits the facts.


*Why material obtained by Freedom of Information requests is so valued by conspiracy theorists is a puzzle: surely any half-decent conspiracy is going to have suppressed or destroyed the evidence, or suborned the public servant charged with responding to the request?

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  • mercury51

    whose? the cad woolas? a greater scoundrel never drew breath.

  • Adam Snow

    Dictionary definition of conspiracy: Noun “an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.” as well as the legal definition “an agreement to pursue a course of conduct…” words can have more than one meaning, suggesting that perhaps your understanding is faulty? It is quite clear that the first is used in this blog.

  • Adam Snow

    Is there a Twitter hashtag for this (as in QTWTAIN) #HJW doesn’t seem right, can I suggest #HoJoWo?

  • Toocleverbyhalf

    Your suggestion that “conspiracy” is merely a synonym for “agreement” might raise a few eyebrows and not only in legal circles. It’s not how the aged judge at the Old Bailey defined it when I was a juryman in a conspiracy case.

    Try the free online dictionary if you can’t afford a real one.

  • Hubbled

    Chris Nineham and Mehdi Hasan, amongst others, have already done a pretty good job of that.

  • Ifeanyi Urigwe

    If anybody is really serious about stemming the tide of marriages of convenience, illegal immigration and human trafficking from anywhere at all to the rest of the world they must first start dealing with it from the source. Those immigrants were put in their positions because of several corrupt politicians who squandered their nation’s resources, forcing its citizens to look for means of survival in places where they do not exist. We have all seen these things. As long as our natural habitats are not conducive for living, humans will always continue to do what comes naturally, seek a habitat elsewhere. I have been there many times before. It formed my primary motivation for writing my book ‘Evicted from My Space’. (EBay,, Barnes & Noble)

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