Don’t be fooled by Cameron and Cable’s immigration stunt


1:43 pm - April 14th 2011

by Guest    


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contribution by Sarah Hayward

The morning’s news has been dominated by Cameron’s immigration speech and reaction to it. Particularly Vince Cable’s reaction.

There’s no doubt, that as with February’s multi-culturalism speech, the spin had much more bark than the speech had bite. Disagree with the policy I might, but it wasn’t actually an ill considered clarion call speech in the main. It was pretty deliberately thought through – like the multiculturalism speech.

Mike Smithson speculated on Political Betting that the speech is a reaching hand to Tory core vote ahead of next months local elections. The subject deliberately chosen to stop votes leaching to UKIP.

I’d go a stage further and suggest that the whole thing, including Vince’s media reaction is a plot cooked up between them to enable both parties to comfort their base. Cameron get’s pretty easily riled, and yet his reaction to question’s about Vince’s intervention didn’t have the air of a man responding to an unplanned outburst by a ministerial colleague. He was deliberate and consistent in his answers.

I’m pretty sure he knew exactly what Vince was going to say this morning before he said it.

For his part, Vince still wears a halo in the eyes of many a Lib Dem activist. Clearly if Clegg had made the intervention the plot would’ve been rumbled and wouldn’t’ve worked. He would’ve been portrayed as desperate to say anything to cling on to a few Lib Dem votes.

(Saint) Vince on the other hand has a reputation for ‘plain speaking’ and indeed speaking out of turn. He’s credible with the base, popular with people who may still be considering voting Lib Dem and he plays in to an issue that had been a Lib/Lab dividing line in the last government.

His intervention screams “don’t punish us too much, because look at me, I am a moderate voice”.

Vince’s intervention, Cameron’s speech and the pre & post media coverage of both appeal directly to core voters of both parties and it’s clearly designed to enable both Coalition parties to express a separate identity prior to polling day in May. Something they both desperately need.

It’s quite clever though, I’ll be looking out for more in the next three weeks.


Sarah Hayward is a councillor in Camden and blogs here.

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Reader comments


From the mid 90’s, immigration rose from 40,000 per annum to over 200,000 per annum.

Labour deliberately lied about expected polish immigration levels.

Over half of all new jobs created under Labour went to immigrants.

I will give the author credit for something though. The new line appears to be that those who speak out don’t actually mean it. Thats an improvement on the line that those who speak out are racist or secretly support the EDL.

I suggest the author speaks to her white working class constituents, if there are any left of course. Its possible they have a different view to her.

2. apologytodylan

Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl
Cameron and Cable attempt a call to the tabloid majority on an old hot favourite, Immigration. Desperate times eh, call me Dave ?

Tories are all for freedom and freedom of markets, then surely this would also include the free movement of people because without free people there are no free markets. Most immigrants are employed by conservative voters such as farmers and factory owners. It’s these people asking for a wide range of people.

I’m also amused that the press has bought this line hook and sinker.

I did initially think the Cable intervention was a sign of discipline breaking down, but I think you’re right Sarah – it was most likely cooked up. Hell, I’d have done the same.

3

The Left are all for modelling the UK on the social democracies of scandinavia. Its strange they never mention the restrictive immigration policies though.

Not so much a dog-whistle as a klaxon.

I know this site is called Liberal Conspiracy….but seriously?

Hey Tory, my post makes no reference to or comment on the actual policy content of the speech (apart from in passing to say I disagree).

I do think we need a sensible debate on immigration – so is trying to start it 3 weeks before nationwide elections the best time? Probably not. That’s why I think it’s a stunt.

I know this site is called Liberal Conspiracy….but seriously?

You’re that politically naive huh Tyler? Anyway, surely you should be arguing for free movement of Labour, like capital?

I’ve also blogged on this here:
http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/12397

10. Anon E Mouse

Sarah Hayward – I thought I was alone in not believing this today.

I actually agree with Cameron (Labour’s own Andrew Neather confirmed everything the Prime Minister is saying) so although I no longer buy your politics Sarah Hayward you are bang on the money here which is nice to see.

A Labour Party member being honest. How refreshing…

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Politics/Ex-Government-Adviser-Andrew-Neather-Says-Mass-Immigration-To-UK-Was-Deliberate/Article/200910415414170

Andrew Neather clarified what he actually said, rather than what the Daily Mail and others thought what he said

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23760648-how-i-became-the-story-and-why-the-right-is-wrong.do

8

There is no better time than during elections. Its one of the few times people might actually listen to what politicians say. Unless of course you believe voters shouldn’t have the option of voting for the immigration policy they prefer? Democracy is a dangerous thing if you’re an Equality Enforcer out of step with 70% of the British public.

Using your logic, every comment by a politician from here until after the election can be disregarded as a stunt.

‘To claim that feminism has hindered other equality shows a crass lack of understanding of what equalities is. And if this is coming from a member of the Cabinet, who’s widely regarded as one of the brightest people in politics, of any party, then people who want social equality should be afraid. Very afraid.’

S. Hayward, April 1st.

Attacking Willet’s is a stunt and you don’t believe what you’re saying! Oh wait, this only applies to Conservatives talking about immigration. How stupid of me.

13. Anon E Mouse

Sunny Hundal – I’m on about the mass immigration that Labour denied was happening and then smeared anyone who questioned it as being racist. (Not the same level of smearing they used on David Kelly but smearing nonetheless).

I linked to Sky because it is clear what he said – not his mealy mouthed excuses after the event. He said:

“Mass migration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural,” “I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if it wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”

Please tell me what Cameron said that wasn’t true Sunny Hundal. Not what you did or didn’t like in the speech. What wasn’t true….

14. Anon E Mouse

Sarah Hayward – Just to be clear I only agree with this piece of journalism here – not the typical Labour nonsense on your personal blog.

No offence…

@1 The thing about the “Polish invasion” is that you and your mates were also quite free to “invade” Poland with the minimum of hassle. It’s one of those benefits of EU membership.

I don’t quite understand why this might be clever? It’s only clever if you believe the Lib Dems and the Tories have merged into one party – the two will be campaigning on different issues and this is one case in point. It’s not clever, nor an attempt to fool us.

What is more interesting is what Nick Clegg said, in reaction to Cameron’s speech:

“Cameron’s language isn’t what we would have used…but he’s a Conservative leader talking to Conservative voters in the run-up to an election.”

What is it about Conservative voters that makes stirring shit on the immigration question so appealing?

And why is this appeal Europe-wide? What politics do we have to look forward to in Europe when the left have failed to capitalise on the banking crisis, and third way politics are on the way out?

Maybe Cameron, rather than simply talking to Conservative voters, is representing the depth of European right wing politics today, and the terms of that future debate, which is anti-immigrant and worried about the dissolution of national identity.

This article would have been more appropriate almost 2 weeks ago. How did such garbage get posted? The sites quality just took a downward dive with this. Shame on the editors.

18. organic cheeseboard

it is so very obviously stage managed. but:

the whole thing, including Vince’s media reaction is a plot cooked up between them to enable both parties to comfort their base.

and – primarily – to detract attention from the Lansley no confidence vote which effectively damns both parties.

and which it’s impossible to spin away without saying ‘look over there, immigrants’…

19. Anon E Mouse

organic cheeseboard – There are four years until the election. By then the NHS reforms will be in place and it will all be forgotten. In any event remember:

Thatcher was re-elected despite the poll tax
Major was re-elected despite the ERM /Black Wednesday
Blair was re-elected despite the Iraq War
(Brown never got elected, even by his own party, so doesn’t count)

Unlike Labour who should rid themselves of election liabilities such as Ed Miliband, the Tory’s are vicious bunch and if a minister is a perceived a loser he’s gone.

Look what they did to Thatcher and she was a winner for them. Like a lot of things Labour ducked, this immigration issue needs resolving ASAP…

This, like the Health & Social Care Bill hiatus, is just a strategy to try to reduce the complete massacre of Lib Dems in the elections in May. It’ll be back to normal on May 6th.

I wonder what other wheezes they’ve dreamt up? There’s bound to be some candid admission from another LD cabinet type about doubts and worries regarding their policies. Danny Alexander? Huhne? Most of the others have had their turn.

19. Anon E Mouse

” Thatcher was re-elected despite the poll tax ”

The poll tax was introduced to Scotland in 1989, and 1990 in England. The last election fought by Mrs Thatcher was in 1987.

“Major was re-elected despite the ERM /Black Wednesday”

The 1992 election was held on the 9th April 1992. Black Wednesday occurred on the 16th of September 1992. At no time did Mr Major ever lead the polls after BW.

Here’s my reply to the OP:

http://thepotterblogger.blogspot.com/2011/04/its-conspiracy.html

Quite frankly, I think this is one of the stupider pieces I’ve seen on Lib Con this year.

Tory @ 1

Labour deliberately lied about expected polish immigration levels.

What do you mean by ‘deliberatly lied’

Over half of all new jobs created under Labour went to immigrants.

Should we have sanctions against private sector employees who employ EU citizens over British ones. Come on, what is the point of this statement? If I run a hotel (for example) and the best candidate happens to be a Polish person, then what? It is not the Governments job to allocate jobs to people, is it?

@ 23. Jim

It is one of those curiosities that folks who regularly have faith in markets become all statist when it comes to immigrants. They either do not believe their own pro-market rhetoric or they just do not like immigrants.

I dont understand why we cant have entry and exit registers like the US and many other countries have.

George – was Vince’s response a speech? I thought it was a comment in response to a question?

@26

Sorry, it was a comment – I couldn’t quite remember the context in which he’d said it.


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