Why Ed Miliband is wrong to say Labour got it wrong on immigration
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Labour Party leader Ed Miliband today admitted that the Labour Party had made a mistake in allowing too many immigrants from Eastern Europe into the country during Labour's time in government. This is a move by Miliband, and the current Labour leadership, to show that Labour recognises voters' concerns from the last time the party was in office, and that the current form of the party is making strides to change policy on such areas. I understand completely why the party is doing this, but immigration is an area that Labour has nothing to apologise for. Miliband has, instead, allowed himself to be praised by such figures as Nick Griffin (leader of the BNP) and Nigel Farage (leader of UKIP), both of who are staunchly anti-immigration in almost any form. Not exactly the kind of people that I would want to be praised by, or associated with. There is a common misconception in this country over immigration, particularly over the past decade or so. That misconception is, when several Eastern European nations joined the European Union, thus allowing free movement of labour across the EU member nations, that millions of Eastern Europeans came to the UK to find employment and that we were 'flooded' with immigrants. This is absolutely ridiculous, and is a lie which has been peddled by right-wing media outlets. The true facts are that, from June 2002 to June 2011, there was a net migration of 593,000 people to the UK. That's not exactly the 'millions' that several newspapers were predicting in such apocalyptic terms. It's roughly the same number of people that live in Glasgow, but spread across the entire country. Miliband is also, in admitting that Labour were wrong, playing up to the age-old stereotype that immigration drives down wages for the 'natives', as they take up low-paid labour. This has, and always will, be proven to be false. To give some historical precedent, during the First World War, British trade union leaders were concerned that, by using women to replace male workers at the front, wages for male workers would be driven down. They were proven wrong, seeing as women are still paid less, on average, than men.
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