UK & World News
Miliband: Labour Got It Wrong On Immigration
Immigration has always been a difficult subject for the two main political parties.
Who will ever forget the hapless Gordon Brown's comments about that "bigoted woman" Gillian Duffy during the last election?
As for the Conservatives, ever since Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech, they are accused of racism almost every time they raise the issue.
Ed Miliband, however, has decided to tackle the subject head on, and has admitted that Labour got it wrong in 2004 by not setting a limit on the number of people coming to Britain to work from the countries of Eastern Europe, which had just joined the European Union.
In a speech in central London, the Labour leader also admitted that his party had lost touch with the concerns of the British people.
He said: "Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make them bigots.
"They're anxious about the future. And since this conversation is going on in the houses, streets and neighbourhoods of Britain, it must be a conversation that the Labour Party joins too.
"Our party seeks to be more rooted in peoples' lives than any other party, therefore we must listen to those anxieties and speak directly and candidly to them in return."
Mr Miliband believes immigration has brought huge benefits to Britain, but at a cost: The pressures on schools, hospitals and housing, pressures which he says Labour failed to recognise.
He said: "Quite simply, we became too disconnected from the concerns of working people.
"We too easily assumed those who worried about immigration were stuck in the past. Unrealistic about how things could be different, even prejudiced.
"But Britain was experiencing the largest peacetime migration in recent history, and people's concerns were genuine."
He said Labour didn't listen because they were dazzled by the benefits of globalisation, but will listen in future.
If Labour is in power when countries like Croatia or Turkey join the EU, there will be a seven year limit on people from those countries coming here to work.
He also wants tighter border controls and greater enforcement of the National Minimum Wage, raising the fines for contravention from £5,000 to at least £10,000 to stop employers bringing in workers from abroad as cheap labour.
Mr Miliband also wants recruitment agencies to stop finding jobs exclusively for migrant workers and he wants more companies to follow the good example set by Rolls Royce, Dixons and Morrisons, which train British workers rather than recruit from abroad.
This will require a change of commercial culture, but, in a swipe at his former boss Gordon Brown, said he was not advocating "British jobs for British workers."
He said: "The ready supply of temporary, low wage, low skill migrant labour has further pushed some businesses to take a short-term, low skill approach, and it has discouraged too many firms from training and developing their own workers.
"There is nothing wrong with anyone employing Polish builders, a French chef, or a Swedish childminder. I am not going to promise 'British jobs for British workers'.
"But we need an economy which offers working people a fair crack of the whip. The problem we need to address is in those areas and sectors where local talent is locked out of opportunity."
He pointed to the construction industry and the social care sector as being particularly bad.
While saying that he won't make promises he can't keep, Mr Miliband accused the Coalition government of doing just that.
He said: "The Conservative-led Government wants us to believe that their cap on non-EU migration will solve all the problems.
"It won't. It can't. It covers less than 3% of the total number of people who come into the country.
In 2011, 589,000 people arrived in Britain and the cap covers just 20,000. Their cap was supposed to bring net migration down, but it has not.
"They cannot possibly deliver their target of getting net migration down to the tens of thousands."
what do you think?
ed if you get in no 10. go to the eu and tell them no more immigrants . if they wont listen give the people the vote to get out of the eu . then send the lot back problem solved
We can't control our own borders! THE DAMAGE IS DONE, and i speak as the son of immigrants who was born here.
Labour admits it got it wrong over Immigration, Tories admit GCSE's aren't working and want to return to O' Levels, where has this outbreak of honesty and Common Sense in Parliament come from? still, its nice to know that I'm officially not a Racist for believing people from Britain should be given priority in jobs, NHS, schools and housing...
They are beginning to worry about another political party gaining ground.
yet another massive dose of waffle in the hope of winning a few votes. look lets get something straight politicians are all a bunch of liars we know that. theyve been talking tough on immigration for decades and what have any of them done about it .. NOTHING. why do they insist on treating the electorate like a bunch of morons. they talk the talk hoping to get voted into power and if they do all the promises they made go straight out of the window. i for one am sick and tired of hearing it. i wish they would do us a favour and go away and die and stop embarrasing themselves. they just dont realise we are on to them .
Its true, all politicians want to do is line their own pockets and have a decent pension, they all lie to get into power then screw up the country blaming the last lot in power caused the problems.
This man disgusts me - he and the labour party knew exactly the impact immigration would bring to the UK, Milliband and labour silenced free speech for their own ends and ensured nobody would be allowed to talk out against immigration. His apology is quiet frankly pathetic. This man is not fit for any role within or out of politics
mick Cameron disgusts me . people starving in this country what s Cameron done . i will tell you what hes done give his rich mate big tax brake sent the country back in recession
and privatised the NHS
Where's the starving people? Or do you mean they can't afford another 20 cigs?
Ha ha ha yeah or can't afford to feed the kids cos cannabis costs too much.
Stephen, what planet are you on? We are in a far better position than most of Europe and the IMF are expecting us to grow more than the Eurozone in 2013. The foundations to improve our economy have been laid, it took 13 years to bankrupt the country, its going to take mor ethan four or five years to recover.
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Is this the same labour party who allowed unrestricted inmmigration from Eastern Europe and then called anyone who expressed concerns racist or bigotted ?? We want to be re elected so lets just admit it, say sorry and ask the saps to trust us again in 2015. In your dreams sunshine.
Dave ed isn't Gordon brown .the next labour government will not be the same as Blair . it will be a completely different government.. cameron is just thatcher all over again there will be no change in anything under Cameron
Stephen. I agree the present crowd are a shambles but I have heard the one about the next Labour govt will be entirely different before. Remember Brown saying his govt was to be so different from Blairs. No spin, no presentation over substance, no backbiting etc and nothing changed.
To Mick Daniel. Fruit of an anti-Thatcher ploy turned sour. Dear Old Labour imported votes &, later coinciding with the Credit Crisis, has put its own Rank & File on the spot. The Coalition is an unhappy marriage of convenience, of course. I wanted Labour returned so that even the UK electorate would get the message. Some hope.
d and d Phillips
British Politicians 2012 = Waste of Space
Miliband, like the other politicians and their supporters in the media, much prefers to blame the dire state of our services - 'the added pressures on our schools, hospitals and housing' - on immigrants. Immigrants have not caused the deficit, they have not imposed austerity, neither did they gamble our money on the money markets. What IS adding pressure on our hospitals, schools and housing is the utter refusal of the failed capitalist system to meet the needs of society and invest in our infrastructure providing jobs and growth. Why would it do anything different? Capitalism is only concerned with profits and making its shareholders even richer. Miliband, like all the rest, is seeking to blame immigrants for the failure of the politicians and their miserable capitalist system, a system which he and the Labour Party support.
Tell me of one successful communist country. And don't count China because it's not Commie anymore, if it ever was.
Couldn't agree more Chris. The immense greed of the top 1% has begun to bite hard, they created the banking crisis but have they suffered the same hardships as the working classes? Just look in SIR Fred Goodwins direction for your answer. Tory or Labour - they both a front for big business and the financial industry, you can't put a cigarette paper between them. As for this being a democracy, what makes you believe that Lorgar? What changes are the common people able to influence? None, because we don't hold the purse strings. Our children marched against tuition fees but their protests fell on deaf ears whilst SIR Philip Green gets away with paying his £285 million tax bill, which ironically would pay the full £9k tuition fees for 32k students. Please explain how that is democratic?
If there are 'added pressures on our schools, hospitals and housing' then invest the billions we've handed over to the banks, the billions salted away by the millionaires in tax evasion/avoidance and the billions floating around in the accounts of big business, and BUILD MORE. That's where you'll get growth. Instead, Miliband joins the ranks of his fellow capitalist politicians in blaming immigration to hide the failures of their rotten capitalist system.
Yes Miliband, Labour got it wrong. And what's funny is if you get in again, you'll get it wrong again. Labour cannot be trusted with our borders.
Fully agree that Labour aren't fit to govern but are you saying you're happy with the direction the country is taking now? Do you think the Conservatives can be trusted to do what's right for the masses?
Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted and crying over spilt milk spring to mind.
Did he say that immigrants should be sent back ? Did he even say that immigration should be stopped ? Did he critisise Cameron for allowing immigration to actually " rise " since he took office ? They are all Bilderburgers ! internationalists ! globalists ! Multi-culturists ! all Milliband is going to do is try to sell it to you another way.
sorry --- criticise
There is no difference whatsoever between Tory and Labour policy on immigration
Took your time admitting tht. I'm all for british jobs for british people simply because if we went to another EU country lookin for housing and a job we wld be sent packing. I think britian has turned from looking after its own to looking after every1 else. As for bein racist the subject of immigration is clear it simply isn't. Why hav the subject if it is........ So what have we to do not talk about and jus continue with the blinkers on and kidd on its not there. Think our borders shld be closed to immigrants and a feww million shld be sent packing tht wld lighten the burden on so much in this country and hopefully wld help us reach our goals of bein a wealthy well formed country again.
They got it wrong in 1968. Enoch Powell has been proved right. It's too late now.
Ironic isn't it? If what has happened with immigration over the last few years had occured during a war time, it would be called an invasion. If Argentina were to have another crack at the Falklands, that would similarly be called an invasion. The official figures do not reflect the true number who have entered both legally and illegally. When the demographics of comminities are changed so fundamentally and suddenly, it places enormour strain not only on resources, but also goodwill, tolerance and community cohesion.
Minority communities were have never been given time to assimilate in reasonable numbers...in fact there is no official requirement for them to assimilate atall. We should tread very carefully on this issue as it is second only to the economy in terms of importance to the electorate and we need to avoid any chance of a repeat of the events in Norway here.
"enormous" - apologies for the typo!
Wake up Britain, as much as I have issue with some immigration the political parties only use this and similar emotive policies (benefit claimants, feral youths etc) to distract us from whats really leading to a broken Britain! Whilst I am fully aware of the pressures immigration puts on housing, the NHS and schools, it is not the reason we are having austerity inflicted upon us. Big business has put profit ahead of morality, they have moved manufacturing to 3rd world countries, depriving our children of jobs and use legal loopholes to get out of paying tax. We need to start punching up instead of attacking the most vulnerable in our society.
How do we bring back those jobs to the UK when wage and pension demands and expectations are so high?
Anyone know anything the Labour government got right? They screwed up immigration They screwed up public spending They screwed up education They screwed up the NHS They allowed greed to screw up the Banks and big business I am sure there are many other things but I think this is enough to give a flavour of their capabilities.