Friday, November 21, 2008

Are Immigrants The New Black?

It looks like Boris Johnson is thinking about an earned amnesty for London's illegal immigrants. I'm not sure he's even allowed to do that - but either way maybe there really is a "New Conservatism" in the air. I'm not sure whether to smile or tut.

It's true he's just thinking about it and currently is talking about all kinds of unworkable proofs that they are committed to the economy (huh?), and that they have been here some years (which I'd have thought might be quite hard for an illegal to do), but let's face it, we've never had one before, not even after eleven years of Labour government, so even if he'd wanted to he'd never have been able to demand a zero borders approach.

Iain Dale carries the entirety of his statement which Johnson has rather defensively overladen with caveats - but then if I'd been him I might have been tempted to do the same. But compare and contrast his approach with that of Phil Woolas - who's only goal in life seems to be to import the BNP's manifesto into government policy.

There is plenty of evidence from excellent bloggers like Tory Troll and Boris Watch that the Mayor is, well, less than satisfactory much of the time. However, right here, right now, I'm going to say possibly the most controversial thing I've ever said at The Daily (Maybe)... well done Boris. For a front line politician in this country to even hint that we could loosen up on immigration controls is such a rare occurrence that it's worth acknowledging, especially when the source is unexpected.

It wont boost his standing in the Tory Party, it will give the Labour right loads of ammunition to attack him, not to mention the newspapers, he may well even retract the proposal after the flak he'll inevitably get, and he's unlikely to win many progressive votes either... but for one moment in his mop headed life Boris Johnson did a good thing. Thanks.


Rayyan said...

What strange times we live in. A Tory outflanking Labour on... immigration!

Rayyan said...

*outflanking Labour on the left, I should say

Anonymous said...

Credit is certainly due to London Citizens' for their migrant amnesty campaign in the run-up to the Mayor elections - they got all the main Mayoral candidates to pledge to this one, Boris included.

Anonymous said...

Addendum, apparently Boris Johnson's annoucement was in direct response to a Green Assembly motion that Darren proposed urging him to commission economic research to support an amnesty. The full text of the motion on 8 October was as follows:

"This Assembly notes the election commitment given by the current Mayor and other leading contenders in support of a one-off, time-limited, earned regularisation of suitable irregular migrants, many of whom live and work in London, which would allow those who have been in the UK for many years to be admitted to a two-year pathway to citizenship.

This Assembly now resolves to make representations to the UK Government in support of such a regularisation, and calls on the Mayor to join it in making these representations, including by commissioning supporting evidence regarding the impact on London from GLA Economics."

Proposed Darren Johnson
Seconded Jenny Jones

1. The motion received 12 votes in favour (Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green), 5 votes against (Conservative and BNP) and one abstention (Conservative).

Jim Jay said...

Go us!

Although where were all the Tories? With only four of them voting with the BNP how are they going to prevent communism encroaching on their leafy suburbs?

weggis said...

You could always ask Roger.
See comments.

Oh! And it's my leafy suburb too!

Jim Jay said...

I've done just that. Let's see what he says.

weggis said...

Ooh, lets!

Jim Jay said...

He's got back already - I was quite impressed. Basically they were away doing other things (I'm not being sarky - it does happen)