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Tories plan HIV tests for migrants


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

This post was published more than 16 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 16 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 write 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 16 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider 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  • Factual information might be outdated.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...

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.

This 346th post was filed under: Election 2005.

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