January 23, 2005


Howard plays the ‘race card’ again (James Cusick, 1/23/05, Sunday Herald)

THE asylum and immigration system is “out of control” and increasing immigrant minorities pose a “danger” to community relations, the Conservative leader Michael Howard will claim this week.

In a pre-election taste of the Tory manifesto, Howard will risk accusations that his party is again playing the race card when he unveils new policies tomorrow that will seek a yearly limit on immigrant numbers, a points system for work permits, and a quota for refugees.

The lurch to the right on immigration – a territory the party had previously promised belonged to a less-tolerant generation – will also be defended by Howard on GMTV this morning. In the pre-recorded interview, he said immigration is causing “widespread concern across the country” and there should be “no no-go areas in policy reforms”.

He adds: “Under this government, immigration is unlimited and out of control.” He claims there’s been no debate, consultation nor discussion about immigration “running at an average rate of 160,000 a year” and “forecast over the next 30 years to amount to over five million – five times the size of Birmingham”.

The interview is part of a media offensive which includes a full-page advertisement in The Sunday Telegraph in which the party underlines its commitment to impose an annual limit on immigration with quotas for asylum seekers.

Headed “I believe we must limit immigration”, it is signed by Howard, emphasising his personal policy commitment.

Were the Tories to combine a Third Way/Ownership Society pitch with anti-immigration, anti-EU, pro-death penalty, pro-gun policies they could revive themselves. They're too timid to do so however.

N.B.--Even the Herald's own on-line poll, associated as it is with this article, has results favoring restrictions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 23, 2005 1:27 PM
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