Saturday, May 20, 2006

Why is Jack Dromey Newsworthy?

The BBC News just carried a report on Jack Dromey's comments proposing an amnesty for illegal immigrants. They described him as a 'senior union official', conveniently forgetting the fact that he is also Treasurer of the Labour Party. I can see the news value of the Treasurer of the Labour Party saying we should let all illegals immigrants stay. I could even understand the news value of Harriet Harman's husband saying such a think. But what I can't understand is why the remarks of the Deputy General Secretary of a trade union should be remotely newsworthy -unless of course you're a reader of Tribune.


David said...

And according to him these 500,000 ILLEGAL immigrants are 'good people' etc. Yeah right - what about the Triads, the Yardies, the Albanians not to mention the terrorists etc etc?

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Now I personally would think the Treasurer of the Labour party would have other issues on their mind!

One has to ask the question as to if such a senior Labour figure holds this view - do we take this as Government policy? Will all illegal (and that is the key word ILLEGAL) immigrants be granted leave to stay in the country?

Over to you Dr Reid - answers please!!

Anonymous said...

What is exactly wrong with Tribune?

Iain Dale said...

nothing at all - I read it regularly believe it or not!

Inamicus said...

Why is a Jack Russell down a toilet newsworthy Iain?

Iain Dale said...

It's not, but it made me laugh. But then I'm not funded by a poll tax am I?

Anonymous said...

Now this is an interesting snippet. Is he 'on message', or not? I can't believe that this Govt is seriously considering granting an amnesty to illegal immigrants. The political cost would be too high, it would need a long and carefully orchestrated communication campaign, initially fed by opinion pieces rather like the one just with interest.

nsfl said...

Do you enjoy BBC drama such as The Line Of Beauty? The uninterrupted PMQs coverage? Question Time? Newsnight? Etc etc? You can watch all these online without having a TV licence, just as you can listen to Radio 4 etc without a licence. Fed up with paying for a Government mouthpiece, I cancelled my licence last month and now feel happy in the knowledge that I am not funding the corp and its institutional bias. But how will The Line Of Beauty etc be funded if we all did this? Let's jump off that bridge when we come to it.

Bob Piper said...

Never mind 'is a dog down the toilet' newsworthy. Someone who 'entertains' us with news of that Tory Twizzler Hamilton and his old boot of a wife is hardly in a position to be critical.

Man in a Shed said...

If there are 500,000 illegal immigrants in the UK and they are granted an amnesty by the Government - whom do you think they will vote for ? Do we know any political parties that are desperately short of votes at the moment ?

As ever this has been done before.

In the 19th century US political parties used to help new immigrants of the boat, settle, help with accommodation and work in exchange for their votes.

Welsh Spin said...

"what about the Triads, the Yardies, the Albanians not to mention the terrorists etc etc?"

I understood Dromey's point to be that precisely because they are here illegally they have no alternative but to rely on such unsavoury support networks.

I happen to think a full amnesty would set a problematic precedent, but there is a valid case to be made in favour of a selective one - especially when the introduction of ID cards in a few years time promises to make their identification far easier.

Anonymous said...

I think Dromey's comments are in large part intended as an attempt to kid the public that 500,000 is the true number of illegal immigrants.
If he and his cronies got out more, for example, by slumming
it on public transport, they would very quickly come to realise that the true number is several times that.

In my experience,travelling several times a day on Central London Underground and buses, it is very often the case that a significant MAJORITY of the passengers are non-British and I am not referring to tourists.

The evident increase over the past 2-3 years has been absolutely startling and the Government appears totally oblivious to what has been happening on the immigation front or, more likely, they simply don't know how to deal with it.

Anonymous said...

The Unions need all the subs they can get and Labour needs every vote it can acquire, irrespective of how it acquires them.

SPL said...

David's stereotype of "ILLEGAL immigrants" as "the Triads, the Yardies, the Albanians not to mention the terrorists etc" is entierly unhelpful, not to say dangerous.

Nsfl's reference to "institutional bias" within the BBC is ridiculous. Surely incompetence, with specific regard to this article, is a more likely scenario? I do like the BBC, mind you.

I also disagree with the notion of "illegal" immigration per se, as I argue here:

Anonymous said...


Firstly, David's point is obviously unhelpful to you. He disagrees with your opinion. So in true BBC fashion you label his point dangerous. His point is merely that Dromey was wrong to describe law breakers as good people. I agree. It can hardly be dangerous to suggest a law breaker is a law breaker. The groups he mentions are people who arrived as our guests, and have hardly contributed to the `fabric of the nation`. Was the immigration of these people a good thing. I recently visited Cardiff, and I found many people who would disagree with you.

Your reference to the BBC's incompetence is a case of wishful thinking. The BBC consistently reports matters in biased way. The most recognisable instance of this is their coverage of the Middle East, which scarcely pretends to be even handed. You could say this is merely my opinion. However many of the stories of alleged Israeli atrocities contain no right of reply for the Israeli Government. I have started to log BBC reporting on the Middle East, and am comparing it to the coverage of Sky and others. BBC is consistently one-sided. Incompetence would hardly explain such a consistency. If you like the BBC, then that is your democratic right and I respect that. Perhaps your fondness for the Beeb has more to do with sharing their political ideology. Many people resent having to pay for a service which does not deal with the news in an even handed way. We long for the day when we can chose which television station receives our hard earned cash.

Using the word illegal in quotation marks entirely misses the point. Just because you disagree with a law - as you clearly disagree with any immigration controls - does not give you the right to question the legality of it. These people are breaking the law and are criminals. Period.

As for your argument that all immigration is good. Well free movement for all individuals would no doubt improve the mean standard of living for the human race. After all individuals would make decisions which best serve their interests. However the law of this country does not serve the interests of the human race in general, rather the people of the United Kingdom. If you are seriously suggesting that Britain would benefit from the uncontrolled immigration of many unskilled and dependent people, from all corners of the earth, then I am afraid you are naive in the extreme. I will not even begin to discuss the problems caused by the addition of many people who do not speak our language, and are at best described as politically hostile to the things that Britain holds dear.

Hope this helps.

PS Enjoy St Annes, my girlfriend is an alumni. But then so is Edwina Currie...

Anonymous said...

Michael Oakshott, your girlfriend is an alumna - unless she has multiple personalities:)

Anonymous 1:38

" is very often the case that a significant MAJORITY of the passengers are non-British."

Presumably you are defining the characteristic of Britishness as having a white face?

It would be interesting to know just how many people can trace their ancestry back to the original inhabitants of the British Isles (I believe there is one man in Somerset whose DNA links him to the original inhabitants of Cheddar Gorge). Whilst I do not deny there is a perceived problem of illegal immigration, it must be remembered that the Britsh, and in particular the English, race is itself a melange of waves of immigration over the millenia - all of which, by contemporary definition, were "iilegal"

Anonymous said...

Re: David Chappell,

A fair point you make, and I stand corrected. Though perhaps the other conclusion is closer than you realise.

To defend Anonymous 0138. I think it is wrong for you to assume that he defines Britishness as having a white face. He does not say this, and of course there exist other ways of distinguishing London's ever greater foreign population. Language for example. Wild unfounded accusations of racism merely serve to agitate most decent British people.

The issue of immigration is not one of race. It is one of competence. As most visitors to London will realise, the Government has lost control of this issue. The refusal of the Establishment and their media mouthpiece to engage in reasonable debate over the issue only increases the prospect of success for the Far Right.

The issue of how we all came to be here really does not help us with the problems we face now. Contemporary laws on immigration should not be compared to the past, because we faced different issues at those times(as we he knows). It was all very well accepting ALL immigrants after WWII. Air travel now is cheap, and movement is easy. We need practical sensible policies to deal with a real problem. I expect the end result will be that we withdraw from the treaties that burden us with accepting ANYONE is danger. The job of Government is not to do what is right, but to do what is possible.

This is what amazes me most about the pro- immigration argument...their complete refusal to deal with the reality of the problem. For example the arguments I read on SPL's blog on this subject could be applied equally to recommend the abolition of the nation state. Complete fantasy land.

I am not against ALL immigration, just the type we see most of in London. What peeves me most is that most of these people make no effort to adopt British culture or language. I have lived and worked in two foreign countries. I have made considerable efforts to learn the language of both countries, and to adapt to their accepted norms. In the case of the country I live in at the moment, this has been a considerable and often bewildering effort. But I do it because I am their guest. I just wish guests in Britain would adopt the same attitude.

nsfl said...

David Chappell - English is not my first language but I now consider myself English and know enough of this country's tongue to point out that "millenia" is probably a worse howler than "alumni" (for "alumna"). Latinate mistakes aside, you're right: by "contemporary definition" the way that the Romans, Normans and Vikings etc entered this country would indeed be considered "illegal" nowadays.

Croydonian said...

Minor technical point - watching BBC programmes on a PC still leaves you liable to pay the licence fee.

Meanwhile, google 'Dromey Warwick' and prepare to be scandalised.

Anonymous said...

If you're referring to the Joe Dromey cannabis-incident, then you shouldn't believe everything you read in Warwick's student newspaper! The story was discredited after it got out to the national press.

nsfl said...

Croydonian – your minor technical point. Watching TV on your computer with a device such as EyeTV does need a licence, yes. My point was that watching programmes such as The Line Of Beauty via the Beeb's broadband links does not. The difference is appreciated by Tessa Jowell.

Anonymous said...

David Chappell, above, wrote ...

Presumably you are defining the characteristic of Britishness as having a white face?

Absolutely not. I was basing my comments, not on skin colour but on a language basis - indeed, it is very evident here in London, that a very high proportion of recent immigrants, legal or otherwise, are white eastern Europeans.

David said...


Having been the Equal Opportunities Officer for a certain unit that now has black and Asian soldiers when they had NONE in 1995, I hardly think pointing out that SOME of the so called good illegal immigrants are not good but very BAD is dangerous; it is actually more truthful than some of the rubbish Labour are coming out with as they finally realise that this issue could cause them a lot of grief come the next election.

welsh spin:

Your point that as bad boys they have to rely on the underground to support them is also invalid since most of these criminals have more money and a better lifestyle than many of us who served in the Army for 23 years!

Praguetory said...

I conclude that his comment is about reinforcing the 500,000 figure. As this is calculated backwards from census returns it is manifestly low.

Jack Dromey is not incompetent. Tangent coming up - As Labour Party treasurer he can look at all Labour party bank accounts. He would not go on record if loanations had been received into Labour Party accounts. He has not been sacked in the aftermath of his public whistleblowing. Ergo, loanations have been received by a cabale and Blair has lied. Journos have not been asking the right questions here. This issue is the Tories earliest route to power.