Labour wanted mass immigration to make UK more multicultural, says former adviser
Labour threw open Britain's borders to mass immigration to help socially engineer a "truly multicultural" country, a former Government adviser has revealed.
By Tom Whitehead, Home Affairs Editor
Published: 6:42PM BST 23 Oct 2009
The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and "rub the Right's nose in diversity", according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.
He said Labour's relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to "open up the UK to mass migration" but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its "core working class vote".
As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.
Critics said the revelations showed a "conspiracy" within Government to impose mass immigration for "cynical" political reasons.
Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.
Writing in the Evening Standard, he revealed the "major shift" in immigration policy came after the publication of a policy paper from the Performance and Innovation Unit, a Downing Street think tank based in the Cabinet Office, in 2001.
He wrote a major speech for Barbara Roche, the then immigration minister, in 2000, which was largely based on drafts of the report.
He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.
He wrote: "Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration 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was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."
The "deliberate policy", from late 2000 until "at least February last year", when the new points based system was introduced, was to open up the UK to mass migration, he said.
Some 2.3 million migrants have been added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out last month.
On Question Time on Thursday, Mr Straw was repeatedly quizzed about whether Labour's immigration policies had left the door open for the BNP.
In his column, Mr Neather said that as well as bringing in hundreds of thousands more migrants to plug labour market gaps, there was also a "driving political purpose" behind immigration policy.
He defended the policy, saying mass immigration has "enriched" Britain, and made London a more attractive and cosmopolitan place.
But he acknowledged that "nervous" ministers made no mention of the policy at the time for fear of alienating Labour voters.
"Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.
"But ministers wouldn't talk about it. In part they probably realised the conservatism of their core voters: while ministers might have been passionately in favour of a more diverse society, it wasn't necessarily a debate they wanted to have in working men's clubs in Sheffield or Sunderland."
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank, said: "Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite.
"Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right.
"This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage."
The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, MPs Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, said: "We welcome this statement by an ex-adviser, which the whole country knows to be true.
"It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain."
A Home Office spokesman said: “Our new flexible points based system gives us greater control on those coming to work or study from outside Europe, ensuring that only those that Britain need can come.
“Britain's borders are stronger than ever before and we are rolling out ID cards to foreign nationals, we have introduced civil penalties for those employing illegal workers and from the end of next year our electronic border system will monitor 95 per cent of journeys in and out of the UK.
“The British people can be confident that immigration is under control.”
The Consequences of UK Labor’s Immigration Policy (I am pretending that they were not aware of the following when they introduced this immigration policy aka Mass Suicide Note) Australia’s very own Lu Kewen aka. Australia’s PM Kevin Rudd, is committed to a “big Australia” some 36 million in population and presently has an open border immigration policy with a preference for Muslim illegals.
We'll be a nation of new migrants
By NICK GARDNER
The Sunday Telegraph
April 18, 2010
THE Australian-born family will become a minority group within 15 years - outnumbered by a surging wave of migrants from Europe and Asia.
Figures from demographic consultants Macroplan Australia show record overseas migration and an ageing population mean migrant families will overtake the number of locally born residents by 2025 - far sooner than previously imagined.
The news will infuriate some Australian citizens, who claim the population is already too big and infrastucture is buckling under the strain.
According to 2006 census data, 40 per cent of the nation's population was either born overseas or had at least one parent who was born abroad.
But at present immigration levels, that proportion will jump to more than 50 per cent by 2025.
The news comes a few days after the appointment of Tony Burke as Australia's first population minister
He faces the task of managing the influx of migrants, which is expected to swell the population from 22 million today to 36 million by 2050.
As Mr Burke was sworn in, a survey of 3000 people revealed 70 per cent of Australians do not want a bigger population. Fewer than a quarter favoured immigration as the main contributor.
But experts say a migrant majority will be healthy for Australian culture and attitudes.
"It all adds to the cosmopolitan nature of modern Australia," KPMG demographer Bernard Salt said. "It means our views become less blinkered, and we become more tolerant, confident, engaged, opportunistic and optimistic because we are open to new ideas, not obsessed with keeping things the same."
Macroplan chief executive Brian Haratsis said Australians tended to "stare at our shoes and say we're the best in the world".
"While immigration needs to be managed with better infrastructure, we also need high immigration for sound economic reasons - if we don't, we'll all end up paying higher taxes."
Dr Bob Birrell, co-director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research and reader in sociology at Monash University, said the ratio of foreign-born residents was already higher in Sydney and Melbourne because they were the two most popular destinations for new arrivals.
"We're getting lots more Indian and Chinese immigrants coming to study, but many of those will end up settling here," Dr Birrell said.
The Federal Government estimates that cutting immigration from 280,000 to its target of 180,000 will result in a population of 36 million by 2050.
But it also means the number of working taxpayers will halve in relation to the number of people aged over 65.
Most migrants come from Britain (14.2 per cent), followed by New Zealand (11.4 per cent), India (11.2), China (10.5) South Africa (5.3) and the Philippines (4.1).
Mr Salt said there would be more Iraqi and Afghan migrants.