I can be melodramatic, it’s true, but I am actually getting quite close to scared now. It feels like we’re just a few steps from putting badges on foreigners and loading them onto cattle trucks.
Theresa May sending a bus around the streets of Britain in 2013 to tell illegal immigrants to “GO HOME” seemed a low point. But with a speech from the Home Secretary being compared to Mein Kampf and the PM redefining immigration control as basically getting rid of foreigners it seems we can go lower, much lower than we ever thought possible.
In response Corbyn’s Labour might re-assert the economic arguments that immigration is good for the country, call 52% of the electorate racist or, if in stroppy teenager mode, simply refuse to talk about it.
UKIP just won a council by-election in Hartlepool with almost 50% of the vote.
The Tories know how to play this one; it’s dead easy. They’ve been playing it under the radar for decades, particularly in local elections, and Brexit is all the permission they need to lay out their anti-foreigner stall with pride. Anna Soubry will be a mild irritant but they’ll win votes. Where they don’t win votes UKIP will and that won’t really matter because they’ll be taking votes from Labour so it’s fine. I refer you to that Hartlepool by-election result.
Labour hates it. Labour would rather not talk about it at all but if they must they will say that people should be able to come and go as they please and it’ll all work out it in the end. It is the one and only issue on which Corbyn’s Labour Party adopts a laissez faire, market forces will work it out approach.
But of course this is the Left and there has to be some kind of public division so the centerists are begging for a conversation about immigration and being told they are racist and should go join the Tories and the Left of Corbyn (yes, there is such a thing) are hanging up banners saying “British Jobs for British Workers” and wondering if it would condemn their mortal souls to secretly vote Tory or if they might be able to get away with it.
Meanwhile, the pound plummets and foreign workers in the NHS (a quarter of all doctors) are put on a countdown to deportation. British ex-pats are suing Junker and a man is murdered in Harlow for openly speaking Polish.
Like I said, I’m getting quite close to scared now.