Let me be clear: any newcomer to Britain who is caught selling drugs or using guns will be thrown out. No one who sells drugs to our children or uses guns has the right to stay in our country...If you commit a crime you will be deported from our country. You play by the rules or face the consequences.
Fine words, which could have been uttered by Michael Howard. And there's the rub. Michael Howard, as Home Secretary, would have ensured that it happened. Gordon Brown, however, seems contentto let the Border & Immigration Agency to stick two fingers up at him. They're refusing to even look at deporting anyone who has a prison sentence of less than twelve months.
This shows the dangers of "taking the politics out" of certain aspects of our system of government. It's all very well to have independent agencies, but they should still be forced to implement government policy. This is my worry over the NHS. We constantly hear cries for it to be independent of politicians, but the truth is, it never can be and never ought to be. Any body which spends more than £100 billion needs proper political accountability. And if politicians in the House of Commons aren't there to provide that, then you have to question why we bother electing them in the first place.