Two articles in two days that that don't demand an end to all immigration or mass deportation or Alan Green to be made PM or the burka to be banned or all 'foreign criminals' to be hung or birched or castrated. What is the world coming to?
First we have Vince Cable slumming it and being very reasonable and very liberal:
"The politics of immigration is a minefield. Most politicians, therefore, avoid it, except for those on the extreme fringes who want to detonate a bitter argument on race."
He points up the misconceptions about lack of housing ('right to buy' policy to blame), Poles blamed for lack of building jobs (recession to blame), people who complain about 'illegal immigrants' when they mean black and Asians.
You can tell he's a politician when he brings out his "late wife was of Indian origin" to show what a caring, unprejudiced and experienced person he is, especially as he brought up a young family in the sixties and seventies when there were "Enoch Powell’s speeches and widespread hostility to non-white immigrants." Even though there was net emigration then, "the concern was really about the changing make-up of the British population."
But even now, "while most people are more comfortable about a diverse society, there is anxiety that immigration is ‘out of control’." Who's to blame? The government of course - claimed immigration was good for the economy, keeping wage inflation down and fuelled the economic boom.
Then he's back to the myths:
"One is that our ‘overcrowded’ island is absorbing population from the rest of the world. The opposite is true. There are more Britons living overseas – about 5.5million – than foreign-born people living in Britain.
A second myth is that the population will keep rising to 70million by 2030. But in periods of recession, as in the Seventies, as many people leave as arrive. A lot of East European construction workers have already gone back.
A third myth is that the immigrant population is an economic burden. Most, however, are young and of working age, so pay more in tax and take out less in healthcare and benefits. Many new arrivals create employment for others."
Then he points out both the students are the largest group on 'arrivals' (good for the economy again) but just in case you thought you'd stayed onto the comment page of the Guardian, we get a strange section of what can only be badly edited text (must be the Guardian): "But public anxiety is not without foundation. Illegal immigration is too high. In the decade to the end of 2008, only 114 employers were prosecuted for hiring illegal immigrants." Yes, employers do get away with employing undocumented workers, despite the Labour government's claims to be putting the onus on the employer to police their own workforces' immigration status. But that is what undocumented workers are for sure? Keep the wages down.
But Vince thinks we shouldn't tolerate these 'illegals', its not cricket after all. They are "cheats". They shouldn't be "cheats getting away with it" and that's why "a blanket amnesty wouldn’t be acceptable." But then he goes and contradicts himself by claiming that "to avoid a permanent illegal underclass, there has to be scope for earned citizenship."
And his solution for this "far more tolerant country than it was" and that has "anxieties about immigration (that) have to be addressed"? The "politicians must engage with the issue." Er, but isn't that what they have always done?*
The second, rather longer, article 'Welcome to heaven, how about a cup of tea? Mail on Sunday special investigation into why asylum seekers head to Britain'. It features a David Suchet look-a-like (very photogenic and not 'off putting' in a Daily-Mail-photo-of-foreigner-sort-of-way) telling his story of why he fled Afghanistan.
We get a fairly accurate picture too of his journey half way around the world to England. But then it gets rather surreal. The lorry he and the other migrants had crossed the Channel in is stopped by police: "As we stepped off the truck, they shook our hands and said, "Welcome to England." I was given 13 cups of tea as I was so thirsty. I was happy."
And it isn't till a third of the way through the 3,000 word piece that MigrationBotch get a mention, which is a definite relief for a Mail article. But we wont spoil it for you. Just read the article but DON'T read the nasty vituperative and just plain stupid comments ("The reason Asylum figures have dropped, is because they are near enough all here in the UK").**
* By the way, there are some great comments on this article on-line, and not all your usual standard BNP-lite tripe (though there are a few of those). Its great when the Mail reader tries to engage their brains rather than their knees or spleen. Our two favourite short put-downs (for various reasons) are: "When I need advice from a Liberal, I'll ask, but don't hold your breath." & "There are lies, damned lies and statistics and your article contains lots of statistics." Outstanding.
Oh, and there's even an idiot who comes out with the line, "Just go to Migration Watch for the correct figures."
** A selection of two more favourite comments on the second article:
"what about our human rights?
what about the human rights of my diabled nephew and my sister who cannot be houses because of lack of housing caused by immigrants?
what about the human rights of british people to be proud of our nationality?
what about our human rights that we must allow everyone elses freedom of speech yet remain silent ourselves?
what about the human rights to display our religeon proudly yet be told we can't?
what about our future when there are not enough schools, hospitals, housing and prison places when were stretched to the limit already?
what about our budget deficit yet we pay for all these people who have no right to be here?
Britain has failed the British people."
"The hidden agenda is more scary than we think. They appear to be following the 1928 manifesto of The Frankfurt School. [Note: A sort of modern version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, except for communists rather than Jews]
1. The creation of racism offences.
2. Continual change to create confusion
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children
4. The undermining of schools' and teachers' authority
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity.
6. The promotion of excessive drinking
7. Emptying of churches
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits
10. Control and dumbing down of media
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family
The outrageous truth slips out: Labour cynically plotted to transform the entire make-up of Britain without telling us"