Sunday, April 17, 2011

Miliband ally attacks Labour migration 'lies' over 2.2m they let in Britain

A close ally of Ed Miliband has attacked Labour for ‘lying’ about immigration. Lord Glasman – a leading academic and personal friend of the Labour leader – said that the previous Labour government had used mass immigration to control wages.

In an article for Progress magazine, the Labour peer wrote: ‘Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration … and there’s been a massive rupture of trust.’

Labour let in 2.2million migrants during its 13 years in power – more than twice the population of Birmingham.

Maurice Glasman was promoted to the House of Lords by Mr Miliband earlier this year. He has been dubbed the Labour leader’s ‘de facto chief of staff’ by party insiders and has written speeches for him.

Lord Glasman, 49, had already told BBC Radio 4 recently: ‘What you have with immigration is the idea that people should travel all over the world in search of higher-paying jobs, often to undercut existing workforces, and somehow in the Labour Party we got into a position that that was a good thing.

‘Now obviously it undermines solidarity, it undermines relationships, and in the scale that it’s been going on in England, it can undermine the possibility of politics entirely.’

The academic, who directs the faith and citizenship programme at London Metropolitan University, criticised Labour for being ‘hostile to the English working class’. He said: ‘In many ways [Labour] viewed working-class voters as an obstacle to progress.

‘Their commitment to various civil rights, anti-racism, meant that often working-class voters... were seen as racist, resistant to change, homophobic and generally reactionary. ‘So in many ways you had a terrible situation where a Labour government was hostile to the English working class.’

Lord Glasman has also argued for Labour to take a more patriotic stance, opposing the sale of the ports of Dover to the French as ‘lunacy’. He said: ‘I would like to see Ed on the white cliffs saying, “This is forever England”.’

Tory MP Michael Ellis said: ‘What we want to know is: will Ed Miliband admit that the Labour government he was a part of lied to the country? ‘It’s time for Ed Miliband to apologise for Labour’s record on immigration.’

Mr Miliband has denied that Labour let in too many immigrants during its time in government.

A source close to the Labour leader tried to play down the significance of the peer’s remarks. He said: ‘Maurice Glasman is a mate of Ed’s but he is not his guru on this or any other issue.’


Anti-immigrant "True Finns" party to make gains in current Finnish election

Finns go to the polls today in what looks to be a tug-of-war between parties for and against EU bailouts, with the pro-EU crowd recently increasing its slim lead and dampening the spectacular rise of the nationalist True Finns.

The National Coalition, a pro-EU junior member of the current centre-right government, topped the latest poll on Thursday with 21.2% support. Nonetheless the three runner-ups, Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi’s Centre Party, the leftwing opposition Social Democrats (SDP) and the True Finns, are all lagging less than four percentage points behind.

But while the numbers have remained fairly consistent in recent surveys, the populist, nationalist and immigration-sceptical True Finns have seen their four-year spurt dip slightly, ending at 15.4% on Thursday. “I think that the drop in True Finns support is the real thing. After all, it’s the third poll to indicate a downturn,” political analyst from Tampere University, Ilkka Ruostetsaari, told AFP.

This is still a tremendous feat for the party that won only 4.1% in the last elections in 2007, handing it six of the 200 seats in parliament. And while the party’s chances of making it into the next coalition government have shrunk some, the predicted influx of True Finns MPs means parliament will lurch right no matter what.

For while party leader Timo Soini is considered a moderate with a leftist economic policy, the True Finns’ anti-EU, immigration-sceptic rhetoric has attracted a number of extremists, including a few members of an ultranationalist group called Suomen Sisu. “Soini himself could have a hard time if he’s in the same parliamentary group with some of the more radical members,” political researcher Pasi Saukkonen, of the Centre for Research on Ethnic Relations, told AFP.

Ruostetsaari said the recent boost for the ruling Centre Party and National Coalition was probably due to televised debates. “The alternatives the opposition is offering, especially in how they would handle the EU debt crisis, isn’t coming across as particularly credible,” he said.

In recent broadcast debates, the True Finns have called for Finland to refuse to back any more loans to debt-ridden member states, and the SDP has demanded provisions for banks and investors to take on more responsibility in exchange for agreeing to back more loans.

In contrast, Prime Minister Kiviniemi and particularly National Coalition Finance Minister Jyrki Katainen have stressed Finland’s “responsibility” to the European Union.(!!)


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