Friday, 15 April 2011

If in Doubt Blame Foreigners

Now that bombing foreigners in Libya has not stemmed the reaction against the cuts and NHS reforms, David Cameron seems intent on attacking them at home as well. In a speech to party members in Hampshire the Prime Minister delivered a carefully worded speech aimed at immigrants but with a subtext that blamed the welfare state.

Immigration is not really a vote winner for an incumbent. In fact, it’s a poisoned chalice. It’s difficult to attack the issue without sounding remarkably similar to extremists like the BNP. Cameron tried to avoid this label stating that he wished reduce immigration to starve the BNP of the oxygen of public anxiety that they thrive on. That’s kind of like saying that killing Jewish people is useful because it reduces Nazi party support. Well yes, if you do what another party want they lose their raison d'etre to a certain extent.

Another difficulty with the issue is that you can’t really satisfy those who are already angry without mass deportation, which is not an option. Plus there is nothing that can be done about European immigration anyway.

It’s clear that this isn’t really about immigration but an attempt to gain further justification to attack welfare. By saying that “migrants have been filling gaps in the labour market left wide open by a welfare system that for years has paid British people not to work. That is where the blames lies, at the door of our woeful welfare system” Cameron is clearly trying to find another avenue for attack.

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