The Empire strikes back, Labour & Immigration 2022.

Dave Levy
5 min readNov 24, 2022
from flickr CC Danny Howard 2010 BY

History repeats itself; I remember that Enoch Powell told his supporters to vote Labour to stop the EU, but then neither Wilson nor the 70’s left, were pandering to racism. This time, the difference is that Labour are courting that vote. Starmer in his speech to the CBI states that,

But our common goal must be to help the British economy off its immigration dependency to start investing more in training workers who are already here.

Kier Starmer at the CBI ‘22

Farage climbs out of his now moon lit coffin to say, that Labour are to the right of the Tories on immigration. I can no longer forgive this sort of language, pouring over the text of speeches looking for good news is something I promised to stop during Ed Miliband’s leadership. It’s a language designed for the headlines he i.e. Starmer wants. It’s part of the speech where he is mainly talking about training, and training provided by business. There is absolutely no need to use this sort of language.

A campaigning colleague of mine, Zoe Gardner, called the counter-logic of the policy out on twitter, as did Jonathan Portes,

Frankly this is incoherent, evidence-free nonsense from Starmer.

Is the “immigration dependency” he complains about that business prefer skilled workers from abroad, or that they depend on “low pay and cheap labour”?

- Jonathan Portes (@jdportes) November 22, 2022

This approach was trialled by Rachel Reeves in a Sky interview, immediately after Labour Party Conference. My disgust and anger led to me proposing and winning the following motion at my Constituency Labour Party and Union branch.

This branch notes the appointment of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister and the re-appointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary with responsibility for immigration and Border Force.

This Branch believes that the Tory immigration policy is cruel and illegal, that Labour should stand for legal routes to enter and stay in the country, that recognises the right to work, a right of family reunification and uncompromising support for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.

This Branch notes Labour

Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT,