Remain supporting media joins UKIP in spreading fear over migrants
Having warned against a vote for Leave in the EU Referendum, the Mirror titles are in a dither. Do they: a) ignore the whole thing; b) try to beat UK leader Nigel Farage at his own game by whipping up fears over immigration, and in so doing connect with the paper’s readership whose vote for Labour was once a given?
The Sunday Mirror just goes with a):
Congratulations to Wales, which voted out of the EU and stayed in the Euros (source for joke: all papers). But what about those half a million desperate “migrants”? Well, the People seems unsure who they are: are they migrants or EU workers? And what of the number? A clue to how speculative it is comes in a further headline:
Brexit to cause immigration surge as 500,000 East Europeans ‘will rush in before borders close’
The inverted commas means it’s untrue. Fact is now opinion. Whose opinion becomes clear – and no, it’s not the Daily Express leader writer’s:
The warning was issued by former minister Phil Woolas who said ‘those who wanted to halt immigration will, perversely, cause the opposite’
Woolas is a former Labour MP. He says:
“Every time the UK Government announces a cap on immigration, thousands rush in before the deadline. Would-be immigrants see that the door is about to slam. So they bring forward their plans and a last-minute rush heads for the UK. In the Home Office, they call it the fire sale.”
So the paper’s headline figure is a guess based on the opinion of a former Labour MP. And what do we know of him? Well, the BBC reported in 2010:
Former Labour MP Phil Woolas has admitted defeat in his battle to overturn a court ruling which stripped him of his Commons seat. “It is the end of the road – I am out,” the former immigration minister said as he left the High Court. It means a by-election in his Oldham East and Saddleworth is likely soon. Mr Woolas narrowly won the seat in May but the result was declared void by an election court which ruled he had lied about his Lib Dem rival.
The specially convened election court ruled that comments in campaign material suggesting Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins had tried to “woo” the votes of Muslim extremists, clearly amounted to an attack on his personal character and conduct. The court ruled he was guilty of breaching the Representation of the People Act 1983 and barred him from standing for elected office for three years, as well as fining him £5,000.
What the former Labour immigration minister says is now front-page news.