Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Theresa May: 'And I Am Not Making This Up...'

It's hard to know where to start with Theresa May's awful, ugly, misleading, cynical and irresponsible speech to the Conservative Party conference today.

If you haven't seen reports of it, allow me to summarise: "Immigrants are stealing your job, making you poorer and ruining your country. Never mind the facts, just feel angry at foreigners. And make me Conservative leader."

This line deserves close attention: 'And we know that for people in low-paid jobs, wages are forced down even further while some people are forced out of work altogether.'
Really? We know that, do we?

Because last year, Mrs May's own officials carried out a pretty serious review of the evidence.

This is what they found: There is relatively little evidence that migration has caused statistically significant displacement of UK natives from the labour market in periods when the economy is strong...

James Kirkup, writing for that notorious left-wing paper The Daily Telegraph.

Here's a Guardian factcheck of her various claims today.

She was also criticised by the Institute of Directors' Simon Walker; 'We are astonished by the irresponsible rhetoric and pandering to anti-immigration sentiment from the Home Secretary... The myth of the job-stealing-immigrant is nonsense. Immigrants do not steal jobs, they help fill vital skill shortages and, in doing so, create demand and more jobs.' 

The Refugree Council added; 'The home secretary’s clear intention to close Britain’s border to refugees fleeing for their lives is thoroughly chilling, as is her bitter attack on the fundamental principle enshrined in international law that people fleeing persecution should be able to claim asylum in Britain.' 

Many pointed out the cruel irony that May's best-known intervention at Conservative conference before was telling delegates in 2002; 'There's a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us – the Nasty Party.'

A seismic moment that led to Cameron's 'let's say nice things about minorities and give the buggers gay marriage' volte face. 

Camilo and Frank and their cat, Maya.
In 2011, the same year Cameron came out in support of gay marriage, Theresa May famously warned conference about immigration and asylum; 'We all know the stories about the Human Rights Act... about the illegal immigrant who cannot be deported because, and I am not making this up, he had a pet cat.'

Except it was soon shown that that story was made up.

The decision to let Bolivian Camilo Renzo Soria stay in the UK with his partner Frank Trew had nothing to do with their cat.

Surely everything Ms May says to conference should be prefixed with the warning; 'And I am not making this up'?

ie She probably is. 

PS Will we start sending back LGBT people we've granted asylum to? Standard. 

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