Monday, January 24, 2005

Tory immigration policy

The British Tories are getting attacked for their policies on immigration:

The Conservative Party's new immigration policy is "obscene", according to a leading human rights group.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, criticised the Tory proposals, which attempt to put immigration at the centre of the election campaign.

Under the proposals Britain would pull out of the 1951 Convention on Refugees and set quotas on the number of immigrants and refugees admitted to the country each year.

Ms Chakrabarti said: "Quotas are for cod fishing, not humanitarian protection. The refugee convention is one of the proudest legacies of World War Two. It is a little obscene to denigrate it as we approach Holocaust Memorial Day."

Charles Kennedy, Liberal Democrat leader, accused the Tories of falling back on "hard core" policies out of "desperation" in the face of another looming election defeat.

Trevor Phillips, chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, accused the Tories of basing their policy on "ill-informed propaganda" put out by "some of the more demented anti-immigration groups".

But Government criticism has been more muted, a fact possibly linked to consistent opinion poll evidence that immigration is a major concern of voters. Mr Blair said Labour would be publishing its own immigration proposals in the next few weeks.

Michael Howard's plans have been welcomed on the right for bringing to an end to the political silence on the sensitive issue.

Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think-tank Migrationwatch UK, which claims Britain is already overcrowded, said: "There's deep concern right across the country about immigration and this is the first time that a major party has addressed the issue for 30 years.

"For the leader to put his personal authority behind it, it's a major step forward. It's quite exceptional."


At 11:59 AM, Anonymous Nigel said...

It can't work as a matter of fact, that's what I suppose.
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