The Apollo Project
Liberal Ideas for the 21st Century
Sunday, March 05, 2006
So hip, so trendy, those cool conservatives
Damien Green is in the Observer this morning, telling us how much the Tories have changed.

His speciality is immigration. He doesn't exactly apologise for baseless scaremongering and pandering to racism, but is prepared to admit that
Maybe the tone has been too harsh.

So now the Tories welcome immigrants, nothing against immigrants, fine people immigrants. Got it?

But of course he has to be mad about something. So now he is mad about statistics. He expresses this, well, madness with a stunningly fatuous comparison:

Here are a few things the government does not know. It cannot say how many people are living here illegally. It comes up with a figure of somewhere between 310,000 and 570,000. If the Chancellor told us he was taking somewhere between 31p and 57p in the pound in taxation and couldn't be more accurate than that, he would be out on his ear.

If a Chancellor told us that a particular tax was probably going to raise 440 million, but that on pessimistic assumptions the tax take might be as low as 310 Million, and on optimistic assumptions as high as 570 million (a rather better analogy, if I say so myself) then I do not think anyone would give a damn.

But what does Damien Green want? Apparently he wants the collation of an enormous quantity of statistics wherever an immigrant/illegal immigrant/asylum seeker might come into contact with the the public services:

What about figures which must be available to the authorities, because they involve those receiving a public service? How many children of temporary migrants are currently in state schools? How many temporary migrants are receiving NHS treatment?

So this is the new liberal conservatism. Not mad about immigrants, but bonkers for immigration statistcs - and prepared to make it a little bit more difficult for anyone who just might be an illiegal immigrant to use public services in orde to get them.

Thanks but no thanks, Damien...
posted by Peter Pigeon @ 4:02 pm  
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"What is Liberalism?: I should say it means the acknowledgment in practical life of the truth that men are best governed who govern themselves; that the general sense of mankind, if left alone, will make for righteousness; that artificial privileges and restraints upon freedom, so far as they are not required in the interests of the community, are hurtful; and that the laws, while, of course, they cannot equalise conditions, can at least avoid aggravating inequalities, and ought to have for their object the securing to every man the best chance he can have of a good and useful life." C-B.


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