Today’s Guardian carries a reasonably fair-minded comment piece by John Harris, entitled ‘It’s not racist to be anxious over large-scale immigration’. Given that any sensible person knows that already, it tells you something that it’s still a surprise to read such a headline in the Guardian!
Our polling on EU migration is quoted too, in which 79% said they wanted to keep the restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians coming to this country, rather than throwing the door wide open in just eight days time. This, says Harris, “cannot solely be traced to the screams of rightwing papers and the rise of Ukip’s Nigel Farage, let alone some metro-left fantasy that outside the M25 simple bigotry runs rampant”. He refers our poll as “recent” but it was actually done in January. However, if anything, that proves the point: the British people have wanted something done about this for the last year, not just since Cameron belated woke up and started trying to defuse the issue over the last few weeks.
The article acknowledges the negative effects of free movement of labour from the less economically advanced Eastern European states, with young Britons seeing intense competition from migrants for employment and a downward pressure on wages for those that do find a job.
So, is this an article in the Guardian advocating proper border controls, limits on migration and putting a stop to the EU’s ideological obsession with free movement? Well, no. The tensions being caused by uncontrolled migration are the fault of the basic structure of our economy, apparently. That’s what we have to fix, not our borders policy, according to the author. How exactly we reconfigure our economy so that an influx of hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers doesn’t disadvantage our own people, or place a burden on the various parts of our welfare state, is not explained.
There is another way: the Government could just decide that we’re not going to allow unlimited migration any more. Quick and easy—so where’s the problem? Is it just too obvious, too simple to appeal to the intellectual heavyweights at the Guardian? Or is it, perhaps, that such a solution would almost certainly mean we’d have to leave the EU?
By James Harvard, Campaign Manager