Labour Knew Immigration Was Out of Control Seven Years Ago, Says Former Minister

James Kirkup, Telegraph (London), June 22, 2012

Mr Denham, who is now permanent private secretary to Ed Miliband, the Labour Leader, said it was clear seven years ago that estimates for migrants were ‘vastly wrong.’

The Labour MP for Southampton said: “We were advised about 15,000 and about that came to Southampton alone in the first 18 months.”

Asked when he was first aware of the problem he added: “I think for me in really 2005. It was then it became clear that the estimates we relied on were vastly wrong.

“What we are acknowledging today is that far more people came in far more quickly than people anticipated.”

The last Labour government oversaw a liberal immigration policy that led to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of workers from eastern Europe.

In 2004 when the European Union expanded to take in Poland and other eastern states, the UK decided not to impose any restrictions on the arrival of citizens from those countries.

But Mr Denham refused to say there were too many immigrants coming to Britain.

The former chair of the Home Affairs Select Committe replied: “That’s not the issue we’ve been talking about today. I think there is a debate and a discussion still to be had about the numbers overall that you have in a country.”

Today Mr Miliband will admit in a speech that Labour got it wrong on immigration.

The Labour leader will say that while middle-class households benefited from mass immigration to Britain their working class counterparts suffered.

Mr Miliband will admit that the influx of cheap workers had been good for the middle classes who wanted a new conservatory but bad for the British labourers who built them.

Speaking on the ITV1 breakfast show, Mr Miliband said: “People are talking about this up and down the country. Labour’s got to talk about it, we can’t shy away from this issue.

“I think immigration benefits this country, but I think there are costs as well. And I think when we were in government, we were too slow to recognise some of those costs—the pressures on public services, the speed of communities changing, and the pressure on wages.

“It’s not wrong for people to employ Polish builders or French chefs or Swedish childminders, that’s a part of our economy, lots of people do it. What’s wrong is when for example the minimum wage isn’t paid, and there is evidence of that.”

Making a speech attempting to change the Labour Party’s image on issue of immigration, he will insist that being worried about the arrival of foreign workers in Britain is not racist.

Mr Miliband will admit mistakes by the last Government on immigration and promising to speak for working class voters concerned about recent changes in British society.

“Immigration made things easier for some, but it also makes things harder for others,” he will say. “If you wanted a conservatory built for your home, you were probably better off. If you were working for a company building conservatories, you probably weren’t.”

That was “a mistake”, Mr Miliband will say today, suggesting that the arrival in Britain of Poles and other workers from Eastern Europe has undermined living standards for some working-class households.

A Treasury calculation made under Labour and still in place today suggests that such mass immigration adds around 0.25 percentage points to annual economic growth.

However, such figures fail to take account of the wider impact of immigration and the “price” paid by poorer Britons, Mr Miliband will say.

“We were dazzled by globalisation and too sanguine about its price. By focusing exclusively on immigration’s impact on growth, we lost sight of who was benefitting from that growth,” he will say.

For some middle-class families, the availability of cheap skilled labour was a boon. Yet for workers facing new competition from the new arrivals, it had negative effects.

Mr Miliband will criticise employment agencies that specialise in immigrant workers, calling for a change in the law to prevent such firms offering staff solely from one country.

Labour will highlight a number of agencies which advertise an all-Polish workforce, suggesting such arrangements are unfair on British workers.

Many people in working-class areas have worries about immigration, Mr Miliband will say, citing his own constituents in Doncaster.

“They are worried about the future. They want there to be good jobs, they want their communities to grow strong once again. And they worry about immigration,” he will say.

“Worrying about immigration, talking about immigration, thinking about immigration, does not make them bigots. Not in any way. They are anxious about the future.”

Having ignored such fears in the past, Labour must now attempt to position itself as the party that can express voters’ worries about immigration, he will say.

The opposition must “listen to those anxieties and speak directly to them in return”, he will say. “That’s not bowing to the Right. It’s doing what Labour does best.”

Mr Miliband will also offer a public criticism of Gordon Brown’s infamous promise to provide “British jobs for British workers,” suggesting the pledge only fuelled public cynicism about politicians over immigration.

However Immigration Minister Damian Green said: “John Denham has blown apart Ed Miliband’s so-called apology for immigration under Labour by revealing what Labour really think.

“They still don’t think immigration was too high when they were in power and they still won’t say that immigration needs to come down.

“That’s why they’ve opposed every one of the Government’s policies to cut immigration, and it’s why they cannot be trusted to run Britain’s immigration policy.”

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • JackKrak

    There are only two possible explanations for Labour’s immigration policy  –

    -they were/are comically naive about the real numbers of immigrants that would jump at the chance to move to the UK when the doors were thrown open, and thus demonstrated their inability to govern


    -they knew very well that they were importing the next generation of Labour voters since no sane white Englishman votes for them anymore, and thus betrayed their traitorous instincts

    Those are the only two options.

    (The same applies to Democrats in America).

    • loyalwhitebriton

      Your second explanation is the correct one, though the last part of your first explanation also contains some truth, i.e. their inability to govern.

    • JohnEngelman

      Democrat and Labour politicians who promote immigration with the hope of getting more voters are short sighted. A heterogeneous work force is more difficult to organize into labor unions than a homogeneous work force. 
      This article admits that working class people are jeopardized by immigration. High rates of immigration cause them to vote for right wing candidates. 

  • Space4jan

    This issue cannot and should not be reduced to an economic balance-sheet.  It is a cultural, social and racial issue.

  • Fakeemail

    Yeah, they knew and WANTED alien immigration to be out of control.  Wasn’t there a story recently where a prominent labor figured admitted that they wanted to rub white people’s noses in the diversity of third worlders?

    • KenelmDigby

      Yes. Exactly.
      His name is Andrew Neather.

  • mikejones91

    You know the comments on the OP really do make me smile. One guy said ” I don’t have a problem with immigration at all. European immigration. It’s nice to see an influx of women that share my ethnicity.”. 

  • loyalwhitebriton

    Tell you what, Labour have some courage! I wonder if they practice in front of a mirror, this ability to say with their mouth, whilst keeping a straight face, things which everybody knows to be untrue!
    As has previously been reported, Labour deliberately instituted a mass immigration policy to “rub the rights’ nose in diversity”
    Also, nice of Labour to say concern over immigration isn’t racist now that they are in opposition! When they were in government, racism Racism RACISM was all you ever heard from these creatures at the slightest mention of immigration.
    Labours’ hypocricy and opportunism stinks! More than that, though, I hate them for what they’ve done to my country! 

  • Ed Miliband comes from Russian / Polish / jewish immigrants.

    Hmm, interesting.

    • The__Bobster

      Sweden received alot of jews in the 60’s, which speeded up the displacement process.

      A lot.
       The realignment was initiated by David Schwarz (once rescued to Sweden from concentration camps in Poland) and Dagens Nyheter. This debate was then chopped off to other newspapers and in book publishing, where Schwarz again was driving.The tone of the debate was from Schwarz and his fellows so forcibly, so debate participants with other views were on the defensive.
      The debate resulted in governmental investigations, especially immigrant inquiry-where Schwarz and his fellows completely dominated.Schwarz line was that there were not sufficient for immigrants to be allowed to keep its own culture-the Swedish society had a responsibility to actively, that is with tax funds, support this. Schwarz was successful, and the result was a money rain of rarely seen kind, which fell to immigrant associations, immigrant periodicals, and more.The leading debaters that claimed minority rights and conditions were especially David Schwarz, Inga Gottfarb, Amadeo Cottio, Voldemer Kiviaed, Géza Thinsz and Lukasz Winiarki. I think you know what ethnicity these people had…
      After this it just went downhill, think of it as a snowball who gets bigger and bigger as it is rolling. In 1975 the Parliament made it a law that Sweden is multicultural, and the then boatloads of immigrants began to came in a very disturbing rate. Now the jewish media is just holding this multicultural agenda up, they don’t have to be aggresive like Schwarz was, because he set the tone from the start. When a immigrants rapes or murders someone, they dont show his face, wonder why?

      • Jack Straw who was in charge of Britain’s UK policy on immigration is jewish, he said ” the English are not a race.”

        Greg Dyke boss of the BBC said ”  the BBC is hideously white.” is jewish.

        Alan Slatter head of Ireland’s immigration  has let in hundreds of thousands of Africans into Ireland is also jewish.

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

    I ALSO  will keep track of all media you put out every conference you organize etc and make sure i lobby for your permits etc to get pulled. I WILL WORK TIRELESSLY 24 7 AND WILL NOT REST UNTIL THIS SITE IS PULLED.

  • “I think immigration benefits this country, but I think there are costs as well. And I think when we were in government, we were too slow to recognise some of those costs—the pressures on public services, the speed of communities changing, and the pressure on wages.

    Let’s not forget the self-sustaining, rapidly expanding, no-go Muslim colonies springing up around Britian.

  • How’s the Australian economy doing? The US and the EU are set to collapse in a few short years. I see it as a blessing, it’s the only way I see this madness ending.

  • KenelmDigby

    There is no doubt whatsoever that Labour wanted and encouraged massive, uncontrolled immigration into Britain and secretly instituted an ‘open borders’ policy.
    It was deliberate.
    It was planned.
    They fully knew what they were doing and the exact and intended effect.

    Times were different 10 years ago. There was no economic crisis. Labour had been in power for years, were riding high in the polls, and were feeling cocky and arrogant enough to show their true colors with impunity. Although they never, ever revealed their plans to the British people (who never but never would have accepted it), they snuck them in like thieves in the night regardless.

  • blindsticks

    Well said Un. Exactly  how it is.  We have permission to blame all our problems on the white European  immigrants. I  should think this legitimacy has been strengthened by British born black and  Asian people complaining also. Neither group  has  ever much  liked the idea of all these new upstarts coming over and taking some of  the territories previously  designated as  Black, Asian, Muslim.  

  • ncpride

    Exactly. What a spinless, cowardly LIAR this Denham is.  Britian has a serious extremist Muslim problem that THEY created…. they know it, the British people know it, and he ain’t fooling anybody. Just read the comments on the orginal article. Hopefully the Brits will start coming together as a people and do something to save their country.

  • What Labour are doing, as usual, is covering up and pulling a trick of obfuscation.

    Firstly,  they are only saying this about immigration because it has lost them many voters from their traditional voter base  – the white working classes.

    Secondly, Mr Milliband played both hands of this game. He proposed there were problems, but still did not condemn immigration or provide workable solutions for ceasing it, or even discussed ceasing it.

    Thirdly, Milliband is not in any position to enact anything, so it is posturing of the highest order. He is trying to create a narrative of David Cameron being “out of touch” – over and over again. This is just another issue to grandstand on to make himself look like he has the finger on the pulse, when we all know that Labour, if they are ever voted back into office, will wreak even more damage than they did before.

    Fourthly, they forget to inform people that ‘chain migration’ is one of the highest immigration formats since the 1960’s – and pretty much the first thing Labour did when they were elected into office in around 1997, was to water down or repeal restrictions on spouses attaining citizenship. This is primarily from Pakistan and Bangladesh.

    Fifthly, they are trotting out the “Eastern Europeans” to bash. They only mention EU immigration and whites that flooded in ‘more than anticipated’ – which was the only area they could NOT control because Labour had signed away our borders to the European Union and ‘free movement’ (although we were not part of the Shengen agreement).

    Therefore, they fail to recognise that only around 1 in 5 arrivals were from Eastern Europe. 4 out of 5 arrivals were from NON-EU nations, over which they – theoretically – had full control of the borders.

    Nobody I know really grumbles about an odd Polish family here or there, although the ‘Roma Gypsies’ are a real problem.

    What people are noticing more, is the “United Colours of Benetton” presence in ALL our towns and cities, with Vietnamese, Turks, Somalians, Pakistanis, Tamils, Gurkhas, Indonesians, Malaysians, Nigerians, Congolese, Sudanese, Chinese, and people from places you never even knew existed and would have a hard time to find on a map of the globe.

    Sixthly, they still did not promise “British Jobs for British Workers” or any other feature – only more unworkable bureaucracy and legislation about agency workers and recruitment companies.

    This is despite it being revealed a few years ago that around 98% of all new jobs went to foreigners, and, in bitter irony, the most unemployed and unemployable in this country are Blacks and Asians (Pakistani’s, Muslims) by a factor of around three times compared to whites.

    The government were therefore inviting mass floods of European workers to do the work that previous non-white “workers” and immigrant groups were unwilling or incapable of doing.

    Seventh, we hear about this “need for a sensible discussion” about immigration endlessly. It is NOTHING but a ploy which confuses the public that muttering about immigration and the need for “grown up debates” IS the SAME THING as talking and having that discussion!

    The “discussion” we do get, is about the need for a discussion -and when we even get that fig leaf of a discussion, it is sealed tighter than a gnats eyelid which has conjunctivitis.  It is sterile, abstract, ill-informed (see points one to six!), mis-directional and missing the fundamental issues which we all talk about here on sites like this.

    Conservatives are just the same, and just as bad. Labour did it for ideological reasons and vested interests of corporations. Conservatives carry it on for vested interests of corporations and money, and cannot face opposing it for any ideological reason that even hints at an indigenous society existing or that it is otherwise a travesty. In fact, under the Conservatives, immigration has INCREASED even higher than where Labour left off!

    “Stop the world, I want to get off”.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Facts about those who hate borders:

    To clarify, the neo-theonomists maintain at once that…

    The Christian nation is spiritual, not physical. Anyone demurring from this is a racist, and thereby a murderer, and should be executed without delay.

    There are no such things as Christian nations, only the one monolithic Christian nation. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    The Christian nation is composed of all peoples—who aren’t actually peoples. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    Nonbelievers and any incapable of credible profession of faith are non-citizens. This would logically include mental deficients, children, and the senile. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    All Christian children are your children and must be treated as your own. Therefore, all children are interchangeable and you are prohibited from having any preference for your own or denying all other Christians equal access to your children. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    In the millennium all countries are Christian, and their populations interchangeable; therefore Christians must welcome invasion. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    Segregation, whether racial, cultural, linguistic, or social, is murder. Therefore, borders are abolished. Any demurring, see bullet point above.

    •  Jed,

      I saw the pic in  that post of the clod who wrote, “This machine kills fascists” on his guitar.

      My response to that is exactly the same as that of a black talk radio host in St. Louis who responded to one of his moronic callers and his suggestion that black musicians brought about the civil rights revolution, though I’m stretching the point when it comes to one word in this sentence:

      Nobody ever sang their way to freedom

      –Onion Horton


    The Tories have failed to act on promises to reduce immigration, so what are the odds that Labour is sincere?

  • JohnEngelman

    The only immigrants who should really be encouraged are those who come here with capital and business smarts and who start businesses while hiring American citizens. Everyone else competes with American citizens for jobs.