John on October 27, 2009 at 10:01 am
From the Daily Mail:
Ministers today faced calls for an inquiry into claims that their open-door immigration policy was designed to make Britain more multicultural and allow Labour to portray the Tories as racists.
A former Labour adviser alleged that the Government opened up Britain’s borders in part to try to humiliate Right-wing opponents of immigration…
The Daily Mail reported on Saturday the controversial claims by Andrew Neather, who worked for Tony Blair and Jack Straw.
He said Labour’s relaxation of immigration controls in 2000 was a deliberate attempt to engineer a ‘truly multicultural’ country and plug gaps in the jobs market.
He said the ‘major shift’ in immigration policy was inspired by a 2001 policy paper from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a Downing Street think-tank based in the Cabinet Office…
Ministers were reluctant to discuss the move publicly for fear that it would alienate Labour’s core working-class vote, Mr Neather said. But they hoped it would allow them to paint the Conservatives as xenophobic and out of touch.
‘I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date,’ Mr Neather added.
This follow up story today demonstrates that the recommendation was intentionally dishonest:
The PIU, a think-tank originally set up by Tony Blair, has been criticised for painting too positive a picture of mass immigration in the 2001 report.
Drafts seen by the Standard reveal it was revised several times with paragraphs detailing the possible risks removed.
An entire section entitled ‘Criminal behaviour’ was allegedly removed because Downing Street was ‘nervous’ it would be seized on by critics.
Another passage proposing a cross-government communications strategy on migration to inspire a more positive public attitude to it was also pulled.
Fortunately, nothing like this would ever happen here.
So how’s that border control fence coming, Barack?