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About me

A tale of 500,000 illegal immigrants


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

During the election campaign, Mr Blair said

You cannot determine specifically how many people are here illegally

He even said it was impossible to estimate the number. I know, because I sat and watched the interview when he made these claims.

Also during the election campaign, John Salt came up with a figure of 500,000 illegal immigrants, which ministers called

grossly inaccurate

Of course, how they knew it was inaccurate when they were unable to make the calculations themselves is a mystery.

Now it’s quite understandable that the Labour party would be a little coy about admitting that 500,000 people are in the country illegally when an election is being fought in which immigration and asylum are central themes.

Yesterday, though, the Home Office declared that there are approximately 570,000 illegal immigrants in the country. Which is, no doubt, a help when we’re debating an ID cards bill, which is (nonsensically) supposed to tackle illegal immigration.

Clearly confused, some bright spark asked the Prime Minister’s Offical Spokesperson if it had come as a surprise to the Prime Minister that Home Office were able to produce statistics on illegal immigration given that he had said that such figures were impossible to calculate. The PMOS’s reply? That Tony Blair could not possibly have known the figure during the interview because it hadn’t yet been calculated. So why he said it was impossible to calculate, nobody really knows.

Putting to him that this was convenient that this figure had not been available during the General Election but was now being used to justify ID Cards didn’t get anybody much further. The PMOS simply replied that the figures were not being used to justify ID cards, and…

In all of this we should not lose sight that asylum applications are down 73% from the peak of October 2002.

See what he did there? He jumped from immigration to asylum, despite condemning the Tory party during the election for confusing the two in people’s minds. In answer to a question quite clearly about immigration, he tells us that asylum applications are down!

But we really shouldn’t be surprised at all this. Tony Blair’s public image no longer matters as he’s not seeking re-election, and thus is not accountable to the wider electorate any more. He can do what he likes, and get the dirty work done without having to worry about looking bad in public. And what did Alan Milburn say during the campaign?

I’d do anything to win the election.

Guess what? He has.

This 652nd post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

Some recently published posts

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Some random old posts

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‘The X Factor Final’ Liveblog / December 2010, Less than a minute long

From Teflon Tony to Slippery Johnny / July 2006, 2 minutes long

Comments and responses

Comment from Engelbert Goldstein

by Engelbert Goldstein

Comment posted at 21:27 on 1st July 2005.

Time and time again Tory Bliar lives up to his name.

No increase in student fees.
Weapons of mass destruction activated in 45 minutes.
No referendum on the EU constitution.
A referendum on the EURO.
The EU rebate is non-negotiable.

When are people going to realize that when this man says something, he is going to contradict himself a few weeks later?

Comment from Lyn

by Lyn

Comment posted at 14:01 on 25th July 2007.

UK is ruined no one is happy we have far too many illegal immigrants the Uk is destroyed completely now and its what all our ancesters fought for worked hard for for others countries to take away.We are too placid nice calm peaceful people no other countries would do the same for us.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 02:58 on 26th July 2007.

I’m happy, I don’t think we have too many illegal immigrants, and I think the values our ancestors fought to protect are still firmly in place. Every generation thinks the UK is ruined, and it’s still here today.

Comment from Chris

by Chris

Comment posted at 20:24 on 1st August 2007.

You really do live up to your strap line as an “ill-informed medical student”. I think our American cousins coined the phrase ‘fat, dumb & happy’ for you. You may well be happy – quite a few of your better informed medical colleagues quite clearly aren’t.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 15:11 on 4th August 2007.

Many of my better informed medical colleagues are economic immigrants themselves. What exactly is your point?

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