The Great Immigration 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?Tagged in: daily mail, hjw, immigration
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