John Reid appears to be trying to echo Michael Howard's slogan IT'S NOT RACIST TO TALK ABOUT IMMIGRATION. No it isn't, but it is certainly opportunistic when you have absolutely no plans to do anything about it. Some time ago the government was warned about the flood of Eastern Europeans who would come here once Poland and other Eastern Bloc countries joined the EU. The Home Office said these warnings were alarmist and that only 13,000 people would come. The reality? Four hundred thousand came here to better their lives - and who could blame them? Germany and other EU countries took a different course and wisely did not open their borders.
This country certainly needs immigrant workers. No one's denying that, but the numbers have to be controlled. We now face the prospect of another 400,000 Bulgarians and Romanians arriving here next year.
John Reid's solution should be simple. Stop them coming, just like other EU countries are doing. Our infrastructure is already creaking with the number of illegals here at the moment, let alone those who are entitled to be here. The LGA reckons that Council Tax will have to go up by 6% plus inflation next year just to pay for the housing and education of recent immigrants. This simply cannot go on. If Reid fails to act, we'll know his words are just window dressing and that he himself is not 'fit for purpose'.