David Cameron will today make the provocative claim that communities across Britain are being damaged by the record levels of immigration of the last decade.
He will accuse some new arrivals of not wanting to integrate with their neighbours, leaving some areas suffering “discomfort and disjointedness” following dramatic population shifts. He will also risk accusations that he is inflaming tensions over race in a local council elections campaign speech asserting that immigration has been too high for too long.
But an unrepentant Mr Cameron will insist he is right to speak out on an issue that concerns millions of people – and accuse the last Labour government of fuelling support for the British National Party by refusing to address popular concerns on the subject. Mr Cameron will declare: “I want to get the policy right: good immigration, not mass immigration.”
Although he will stress that immigration has benefited the country immeasurably, he will sound the alarm over the net migration of 2.2 million people to the UK between 1997 and 2009. “That is the largest influx of people Britain has ever had and it has placed real pressures on communities up and down the country. Not just pressures on schools, housing and healthcare, though those have been serious, but social pressures, too.”
He will say that real communities are bound by “common experiences, forged by friendship and conversation, knitted together by all the rituals of the neighbourhood, from the school-run to the chat down the pub”.
He will add: “These bonds can take time, so real integration takes time. That’s why, when there have been significant numbers of new people arriving in neighbourhoods – perhaps not able to speak the same language as those living there, on occasions not really wanting or even willing to integrate – that has created a kind of discomfort and disjointedness in some neighbourhoods.
“This has been the experience for many people in our country – and I believe it is untruthful and unfair not to speak about it and address it.”
His comments, the tone of which could dismay some Liberal Democrat ministers, mark Mr Cameron’s second recent foray into sensitive waters. In February he delivered a scathing denunciation of 30 years of multiculturalism in Britain, warning it was directly contributing to home-grown Islamic terrorism.
He faced anger from Muslim groups for “patronising” them and was accused of playing into the hands of extremists by delivering that speech on the same day that the English Defence League staged a major show of strength in Luton.
Speaking in Hampshire, he will argue “controlling immigration and bringing it down” is vitally important to Britain’s future. He will maintain that a series of measures, including an annual cap on skilled non-European migrants, new action on “sham marriages” and a crackdown on bogus colleges aimed at foreign students, are already having an impact.
Mr Cameron will dismiss the argument that immigrants are essential for undertaking the jobs that British workers do not want to accept. “Migrants are filling in the labour market left wide open by a welfare system that for years has paid British people not to work. That is where the blame lies – at the door of our woeful welfare system and the last government who comprehensively failed to reform it.”
It concerns me that we have a problem that many across the country could see but not discuss due to the PC culture that exist today.We are in reality a small island with limited resources,i have spoke to many over the past years in regards to the strains faced by local services with the high levels of migration,take a walk down any main streets today and it will be full of many people from different countries,many of those people have lived here for years we are part of Europe which allows free travel within that community,and of course i would like to get some idea on how that would be stopped? we have gained through immigration but we have suffered also
It’s an easy task to use the race card in politics but i have always left that to the likes of the BNP, i never felt the Tories would use it, things in the Tory ranks must be desperate,of course it’s a vote winner but do you have to crawl along the bottom of the pile to achieve your goals in life?if we are to discuss it lets be sensible and open and look at what we wish to achieve and how we could obtain it and not just jump on the race Bandwagon,i have seen how the Tories have used BANDWAGON POLITICS locally and it’s not for me. Politics is a dirty game by nature but when you take it to certain levels perhaps it’s time to scrap the dirt of your shoes and get out.