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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

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Howard raises fears of race riots
Last week, things were beginning to look good for Mr Howard. He was looking good, making sensible pledges, and Labour were in self-destruct mode. If only he’d continued in that style, he could easily have made a significant dint in the election results.

And then he goes and says something like this. Why? He’s gone into self-destruct mode himself! I don’t know who he’s trying to appeal to with this announcement (other than the winner of ITV’s Vote for Me), but these terrible proposals are just draconian and unnecessary. There’s nothing logical about quotas.

A quota would also be slapped on how many refugee seekers Britain is prepared to take, and once the limit was reached even those with genuine claims of persecution would be rejected

With everything that is going on in the world, Mr Howard wants to turn the genuinely desperate away from Britain’s door. That isn’t just bad electioneering, it’s just wrong.

The Tory leader’s decision to go on the offensive over asylum and immigration – with a newspaper advert today listing his beliefs about immigration, claiming that Britain has ‘reached a turning point’ and only his party has the ‘courage to act’ – will inevitably bring charges of playing the race card.

There’s no need to ‘accuse’ Mr Howard of playing a race card here. He’s effectively saying ‘I don’t want so many foreigners in our country’. And it’s a sick thing to say. Particularly for the son of Romanian immigrants.

And if he’s trying to reach the Daily Mail readers, I think he’ll find that they have a new minority group to incite hatred against of late: Gypsies.

Making people apply for asylum from their home countries is one of the most ludicrous suggestions I’ve heard from Mr Howard. Just imagine that there are people coming after you, trying to kill you, and you genuinely fear that you’re not going to see another day. No longer will you be able to fly to England, and be assured of help in your time of desperation. Instead, you are expected to sit in your home and fill in forms, send them off, and wait for a response. That just is not practical in the situation.

I understand that it can be perceived that there is a problem with immigration in this country, with the rate being rather higher than the ideal. I’m not a great believer in this. I think that the main problem with immigration and asylum in this country is that we don’t help the people seeking immigration or asylum enough, so they end up feeling isolated and not a part of the community. If Mr Howard wants to restrict immigration slightly in order than more GBP per person can be spent on extra help for these people, then I think that this could be a positive move. But I’m more confident that Mr Howard proposes to use the ‘savings’ from this policy to cut tax.

Quotas on asylum are definitely not the answer. If Michael Howard genuinely beleives there is a problem with the number of new citizens entering our country (a problem which I’m not convinced exists at the moment), then by all means restict immigration if you must, but please don’t stop helping genuine refugees.

This 248th post was filed under: Election 2005, News and Comment, Politics.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th August 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

Photo-a-day 361: Christmas cup (published 27th December 2012)

More rubbish from the Daily Mail (published 12th January 2007)

Why the NHS isn’t all about the “N” (published 18th August 2009)

Diary for 21st December 2008 (published 21st December 2008)


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