I am greeted today with the not so shocking news that the Conservative-Liberals are starting to flake out on their election wheeze/promises of being 'tough' on immigration.
Having been around long enough to take a plot line through the history of both Labour and Conservatives (and the same old rhetoric and sleight of hand they engage with on this matter), I knew it was only going to be a matter of time before edges were tinkered with, boundaries moved, involvement with "external bodies" to "advise" them on the immigration issue would start.
I wish I had kept a record for the last 15 years of all the announcements and policy plans from various home secretaries, immigration ministers, opposition MP's to such positions, prime ministers, etc (for both Labour and Conservatives). I did collect a few about 10 years ago from the various newspaper archives on line, but sadly I do not have them any more.
It would probably be a long list now. Comments made by William Hague and Michael Howard for the Conservatives - especially when they campaigning against Anthony Blair - and with Labour, many have had their fingers in the immigration/media pie. To name but a few: Jack Straw, David Blunkett, John Reid, Ruth Kelly, Charles Clarke, Tony McNulty, Liam Byrne, Phil Woolas, Alan Johnson.........
.....Is your head spinning at the sheer amount of people they have switched around?
Mine has been spinning like Alastair Campbell on steroids, but more often than not, I was more akin to the character in "The Omen" - not being possessed by the devil, but by the compelling desire to top myself over their unbelievably sinister actions - and partaking in some projectile vomiting (around a full 360 degrees) due to what they were doing to this country at every stage.
It seems the old phrase "A change is as good as a rest" was Labour's motto when it came to ever 'sorting out' immigration. If they changed the speakers and the ministers enough, a perpetual cycle of conning the public could be engaged in. At every turn, the newly appointed ministers were 'really going to crack down' on this or that.
Often,the complete opposite happened. It grew, and grew and grew. Even in the case of bogus work visas and bogus college students, their "legislation" to "limit" it taking place eventually tripled the volume of what was already in the papers as being scandalous volumes.