Tory polling: just as dumb and duplicitous as their plans; immigration.
The Conservatives want to know what I think of Theresa ‘empty-slogan’ May’s 12-point plan. Question 5: “Control of immigration: We will continue to attract the brightest and the best to work or study in Britain but there must be control of the number of people who to come to Britain from Europe.” (Yes, the word ‘want’ is missing from the sentence – great proofreading, Tories!). I am asked to grade on a scale of 0 to 10 how strongly I support this statement. Let’s think about that.
If I say ‘zero support’ because I am against controls on the freedom of movement in the EU, do I then also say I am against attracting the best and the brightest to this country?
If I say ‘maximum 10 support’ because I am in favour of allowing good people into the UK, do I then also say I am in favour of blocking people from the EU to come to these isles?
It of course depends on how Tory Central HQ wants to interpret the results. Presumably, very few people will vote against letting the best & the brightest into the UK. Therefore many will support the statement in general. The catch is of course that it also signals approval for control against EU citizens. Tory HQ can then triumphantly say: “See, most voters want to block EU immigration.”
The second disgraceful sleight of hand revolves around the wording ‘from Europe’. May and her ilk want us to forget that at the peak about 50% of the famous 300,000-plus immigrants (and over 60% of the net number, taking into account UK citizens moving to the EU) were from countries outside the EU: mostly Asia and other emerging nations. Of course, that slice of immigration is perfectly controllable by the UK and clearly a failure by Tory Governments to, well, control the flow. Additionally, Tories do not want to be depicted as racist: if they single out immigrants from Asia, Indian sub-continent and Africa it is clearly White-versus-coloured argument. No, much safer for the Tories to single out EU citizens….! Conservatives also conveniently forget that EU immigrants are net contributors to the UK economy by paying more in taxes than using in services as they are younger & healthier than the indigenous Brits.
The third revolting demagoguery is the ‘letting best & brightest in.’ What exactly does that mean! How are the Tories going to implement? The ‘best’ in what, by which standard? The ‘brightest’ in which field, measured how? Demonstrably, my Polish carpenters were the ‘best’ crew that I could get in my area: excellent craftsmanship, hardworking, on–time, friendly & pleasant. Yet, my carpenters do not have a PhD and by purely educational standards are not the ‘brightest’. Tell me Tories, does that dis-qualify my Polish carpenters from entering the UK? My Italian waiter in the local Italian eatery works 12 hours a day and then goes to evening school to study & improve his English. In waiter-terms he is among the ‘best’, he is in qualifications not the ‘brightest’. Yet, he is ambitious, has hopes & dreams and is willing to work 16 or 17 hours a day for it. Tell me Tories, are these Polish and Italian workers despicable people? Oh wait, they are from the EU and we hate them Europeans….
Sorry, but I think the Conservatives are playing a duplicitous, xenophobic game based on demagoguery that appeals to the lowest instincts of the least ‘best & brightest’ voters in this country.