by Archbishop Cranmer
Ed Miliband is apologising today for Labour’s open, generous and unlimited immigration policy, which saw millions of foreign nationals flood into the country ostensibly to meet the needs of the economy. Forget how many billions it cost the taxpayer in housing, welfare benefits and translation services. Forget how many schools have been forced to employ dozens of ‘support staff’ in order to deal with half a million children who do not speak English as their first language. Forget how many indigenous Britons were bypassed for council housing in favour of ‘higher priority’ immigrants with greater needs (ie more children). Forget the impact on hospital waiting lists, or to getting an appointment with a GP or dentist. And forget how much irreversible damage all this has had on community cohesion.
When Ed Miliband apologises for Labour’s immigration policy, he has statistics in his head, political posturing in his heart, and absolutely nothing in his soul. This is no sincere or meaningful apology, because there is no attitude of regret and not a shred of insight or analysis into the culture of equality and interminable political correctness which produced the policy.
Remember Gordon Brown calling Gillian Duffy a ‘bigot’ merely for expressing concern about immigration? Her response was natural, human, compassionate and concerned about her community and way of life. To Labour, she was simply a ‘bigot’. Gordon Brown grovelled and squirmed, but his apology was hollow, for we all knew what he really thought and believed in his heart.
Labour’s immigration policy has not been merely a matter of money: it has destroyed trust. Immigration has been on such a scale for so long that entire ghetto communities have imported their customs and cultures and refused to integrate, forcing Britons not out of their homes but out of their country. Among the ethnic restaurants and foreign corner shops there is fear, a lack of understanding, an absence of compatriotism, unity, cohesion.
And there is an increase in fundamentalist religion, of the sort which has no time or tolerance of the mores and traditions of liberal democracy. For some of these immigrants – the undoubted minority but very vocal – there is an aggressive assertion of divine law, an intolerance of apostasy and religious freedom, and a total rejection of the foundational principles of the Enlightenment.
Labour’s immigration policy was not about economic charts, employment figures or equality tables: it destroyed lives, killed trust, harmed communities, and challenged our very sense of what it means to be British.
True sorrow means repentance, which necessitates profound change way beyond the rhetorical flourish of political posturing. If Labour were truly sorry, they would need to bring forward policy proposals to regain sovereign control of our borders. And that would mean not only reconfiguring welfare and benefits to deter bogus claims for asylum; it would involve fundamental reconsideration of the unconditional ‘free movement of people’ within the EU. And that would set us on the path to withdrawal.
Sorry, Ed, but unless you’re prepared to go there: your apology is worthless.