Anorak News | They Came, They Saw, They Gardened

They Came, They Saw, They Gardened

by | 1st, July 2005

‘“GIVE me your kitchen porters, your cleaners, your masses of textile workers, your au pairs, your cycle couriers, your pizza delivery drivers…”

From Belgrade to your door in five weeks – or your money back

Tony Blair has yet to erect Britain’s Statue of Liberty, or Meritocracy, and, as yet, the world’s poor and hopeful are not met at Dover by a massive effigy of a grinning Tony wearing a crown of thorns, some sandals and lifting football’s World Cup above his tousled head.

Not that immigrants need any encouragement to visit Britain. As the Telegraph reports on its front page, there are believed to be around 500,000 illegal immigrants already living in the country.

At the time of the General Election, the paper reminds how in an interview with Jeremy Paxman, Blair told us: “You cannot determine specifically how many people are here illegally.”

But we now learn that you can make an educated guess. And yesterday the Home Office estimated that the number of illegal immigrants in the country is somewhere between 310,000 and 570,000.

Indeed, we realise that Blair could have made a decent stab at estimating the number of illegals living in the land had he consulted a study made by a Professor John Salt of the Migration Research Unit at London University.

Salt’s estimation of half a million illegal immigrants was dismissed as “grossly inaccurate” by the Government before polling day.

And that’s odd, because the Telegraph has it that the Prof was helping the Home Office in its research and had contributed to earlier drafts of the report.

But Tony did not mislead the electorate, as Patrick Mercer, the Tory’s home affairs spokesman tells the paper, because, as the Times report, at the precise moment of making his comment he did not have the figures to hand.

And Tony would no more estimate the scale of a problem than he would suppose a foreign power possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that can kill us all in, say, 45 minutes. He deals in facts.

As the PM’s spokesman explains in the Times: “This is still a guesstimate using one possible methodology. It can’t be seen as an accurate or definitive figure.”

Of course, how can it ever be wholly accurate? It’s unlikely illegal immigrants will place their hands in the air when asked to show themselves for a quick head count.

Especially when they’ve got both hands on your lawnmower…’

Posted: 1st, July 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink