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Howard raises fears of race riots

Hold up!

See that little date above?

This post was published years ago.

My opinions have changed over time: I think it's quite fun to keep old posts online so that you can see how that has happened. The downside is that there are posts on this site that express views that I now find offensive, or use language in ways I'd never dream of using it today.

I don't believe in airbrushing history, but I do believe that it's important to acknowledge the obvious: some of what I've written in the past has been crap. Some of it was offensive. Some of it was offensively bad. And there's may be some brass among the muck (you can make up your own mind on that).

Some of what I've presented as my own views has been me—wittingly or unwittingly—posturing without having considered all the facts. In a few years, I'll probably think the same about what I'm writing today, and I'm fine with that. Things change. People grow. Society moves forward.

The internet moves on too, which means there might be broken links or embedded content that fails to load. If you're unlucky, that might mean that this post makes no sense at all.

So please consider yourself duly warned: this post is an historical artefact. It's not an exposition of my current views nor a piece of 'content' than necessarily 'works'.

You may now read on... and in most cases, the post you're about to read is considerably shorter than this warning box, so brace for disappointment.

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

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