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Unpleasant though it is to find myself quoting Guido Fawkes—life’s too short to be swamped by that much bile—the fact remains that here he’s absolutely right:
Immigration minister Liam Byrne told BBC News this morning that the Australian immigration control model had been closely examined by the British government: “I think that people want to know that only those who we need to come to Britain should be allowed to come and I think a points system has worked extremely well in Australia so we have studied that hard, we think it would work well in this country.”

The 2005 Conservative Party Manifesto promised: “We will introduce a points-based system for work permits similar to the one used in Australia. This will give priority to people with the skills Britain needs.”

Remember how the Labour Party made a huge issue of the policy and campaign posters ... condemning the commitment as a racist dog-whistle policy? Less than three years later Labour is implementing the same policy. [article]


Mar. 3rd, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
I didn't say I was happy about our immigration policy - fact is, it's become well-nigh impossible to discuss it sensibly thanks to our press. However, the implication by Guido that Labour are somehow adopting Tory policy is rubbish. The Tories campaign in 2005 is still going on, and it's simply an attempt to push the "immigration is out of control" meme.

While not an expert in these matters, I fear that by dealing with the Bosnian example, we're already falling into the trap set by the papers etc., which is conflating asylum seeking with immigration. The points-system is for economic migrants, as I understand it.

From Bosnia to Zimbabwe, as soon as war or internal persecution produced refugees, Britain imposed visa restrictions on the afflicted country. Assuming your enemies allowed you to stroll unmolested through your capital, you would need to reach the British embassy. Once inside, you would tell the staff that you wished to fly to Heathrow to escape persecution, and would be grateful for a visa. They would show you the door. The immigration rules do not include a desire to claim asylum as a valid reason for visiting Britain. [...]

I'm a bit puzzled by this. Surely if you're claiming asylum, you apply at the embassy to seek it. If you're claim is upheld then you are entitled to come to Britain - if Cohen's assertion is baldly true, then nobody would be allowed into the UK as an asylum seeker, and quite a few clearly are. As I say, I'm not an expert so I can't contradict what he's saying, but there are people who are granted asylum in the UK, so they're arriving here somehow.

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