Tuesday, April 26, 2005

At last! Something sensible.

David Frost interviewed Michael Howard on Sunday. The issue of immigration came up (as it always does with the Tories) and it struck me that while Tory policy isn't as rascist as BNP policy there is an element of xenophobia. (I'm not the first person to say this but it is the first time I have formulated a coherent view as to why this is the case.) Michael Howard has always said that it isn't racist to have a debate about immigration - and I agree - but it certainly borders on racism when, as David Frost pointed out, (I'm not sure of the accuracy of this) the Conservative candidate for Enfield North links immigration to MRSA.

However, what really annoyed me and got me thinking was when David Frost asked if students from Iran and China (using his examples) are welcome to study in Britain. Michael Howard said that if they were bona fide students they would be welcome but would have to go back to their countries as soon as their degrees were over. At this point the question occurred to me "Would he say the same thing to a student from the USA, Canada or western Europe? Or even Japan? (Heads up to Australia and New Zealand.)" Probably not. Because those countries are rich and therefore don't fall under the Tories' (and perhaps not even the BNP's) anti- and limited-immigration radar. Another thing against the other 200 odd countries in world are that most of them aren't native English-speaking countries.


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