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I am, somewhat unfortunately for them, against Tory plans to test the health of migrants.
On the one hand, it would clearly reduce the burden on the NHS, which is largely a good thing. But at what cost?
Combined with the other proposals put forward by the Conservatives, it risks creating an immigrant under-class. If we are only to take a given quota of the best skilled and most healthy specimens, it begins to sound like these people are being treated as nothing more than commodities. This can’t really do much to help social integration.
A later story on the Labour response to the proposal claims:
Labour rubbished Michael Howard’s plans for HIV checks on immigrants this morning, calling them “untested, uncosted and chaotic”.
This just makes the government look silly. Clearly, any proposal when it is first put forward is untested. So that’s an unfair allegation. It’s only uncosted because the government have failed to keep an accurate check on the health of immigrants to this point in time. And how can anybody claim that the system, which has yet to be implemented, will be ‘chaotic’? I think Des Browne must just have been a bit desperate for a word to finish his pattern of three, there.
The Lib Dems, in the form of Mark Oaten, have come flying to the rescue with some sensible and wise words:
Their shadow home secretary, Mark Oaten, said: “This is another worrying step in the war of words over asylum and immigration between Labour and the Conservatives.
“They are in danger of pandering to prejudice rather than challenging it.”
It’s beginning to become a consistent pattern here that I’m favouring Lib Dem policies. But I don’t particuarly want to be taxed to death once I’m earning, and I should (hopefully) qualify under the next government.
It’s an interesting puzzle, but if I were judging purely on today’s annoucements, I’d have to vote Lib Dem, as they are the only party who have spoken with any degree of common sense.