Labour’s mass immigration policy was politically inspired

February 10, 2010

The massive increase in immigration under Labour was a deliberate policy undertaken for “social” as well as economic reasons. This is the conclusion of a study by Migrationwatch of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

In an article for the Evening Standard last October, Andrew Neather, a former speech writer for Blair, Straw and Blunkett in the early 2000s, revealed that mass immigration “didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of Ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year... was to open up the UK to mass migration".

He went on to describe a Government policy document which he had helped to write in 2000. He said that "drafts were handed out in summer 2000 only with extreme reluctance: there was paranoia about it reaching the media."

The paper was eventually surfaced as a purely technical product of the Research Department of the Home Office but earlier drafts that he saw "included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural."

He remembered "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was intended - even if this wasn't its main purpose - to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."

Migrationwatch have now obtained an earlier draft of that policy paper, circulated in October 2000, and have compared it to the version eventually published in 2001 by the Home Office Research Department as a rather obscure economic paper. The draft had already been censored but it was to be neutered still further. In the Executive Summary six out of eight references to "social" objectives were removed from the version later published. These included a remark that "the entry control system is not closely related to the stated policy objectives. This is particularly true in the social area, where in the past the implicit assumption has largely been that keeping people out promotes stability." Also cut out was a statement that "in practice, entry controls can contribute to social exclusion" as well as other politicized passages in the main body of the document.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch, said “Andrew Neather later tried to play down the significance of his revelations but these documents show that his original account was correct. Labour had a political agenda which they sought to conceal for initiating mass immigration to Britain. Why else would they be so anxious to remove any mention of social aspects unless they feared that they would reveal their true motives? Only now that their working class supporters are deserting them in droves have they started to talk about restricting immigration. Our population is heading rapidly towards 70 million, largely as a result of immigration, but they still refuse to set any limits.”

Notes to Editors:
1. The Labour manifesto of 1997 made no reference to an increase in immigration. It said only that "Every country must have firm control over immigration and Britain is no exception".

2. The Labour manifesto issued in 2001, after the publication of this document, said only that "People from abroad make a positive contribution to British society. As our economy changes and expands, so our rules on immigration need to reflect the need to meet skill shortages".

3. Commonwealth citizens automatically acquire the right to vote in British general elections as soon as they put their names on the electoral register. Since 1997 there has been net immigration of 300,000 from the Old Commonwealth and about one million from the New Commonwealth.

4. Research into voting patterns was conducted for The Electoral Commission in May 2005, just after the last election. The “Black and Minority Ethnic Survey”, conducted by MORI, asked which party respondents had voted for in 2005. Of Caribbean and African voters, 80% had voted Labour, 2-3% Conservative and 5- 11% Liberal Democrat. Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshis voted 56%, 50% and 41% for Labour. The equivalent figures for the Conservatives were 11%, 11% and 9% while Liberal Democrats came in at 14%, 25% and 16%. Mixed and other categories were similar to the Asians.

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