Simon Carr: Even the unicorn blocked its ears to Gordon's ramblings

Sketch

Share
Related Topics

The Prime Minister adventured to east London to stand on a podium in front of the great symbol of Britain, our coat of arms. This consists of foreigners, mainly. There are five or six immigrant lions, a unicorn that's claimed asylum from another dimension, and a whole bunch of text in French – and not ordinary French, you know, some of it's subjunctive.

Would any of this lot have had the appropriate skill levels to be allowed in to Britain under the first and second tier of Gordon's points-based system? Many felt we were self-sufficient in unicorns by the 17th-century. And as for those lions coming over here and eating our wildebeest. You don't believe it? How many wildebeest can you see in Shoreditch any more?

No, the PM's purpose was to set our minds at rest over immigration. Calm our fears. Soothe our nerves. Expose scaremongering.

And while he didn't renew his offer of "British jobs for British workers" he certainly led us to believe he had been tough on aliens and tough on the causes of aliens. While he was greatly in favour of people coming to Britain for "their net contribution", the numbers were falling rapidly, and this was not only a good thing, he also had a clever way to "reduce the overall need for migration".

What exactly was he trying to convey? If the news bulletins show extracts with him saying "as measured by the ONS long-term international migration series" and the "provisional figures of long-term passenger surveys" then we'll get one impression. If they show him saying we'll be self-sufficient in chefs and carers by 2014 – that'll be another impression. But if they show him saying that slackers, idlers, suicide bombers and fakers aren't welcome here – then we'll get the impression he was after.

The passages we couldn't listen to still made their point. He may be dull but he's no fly, fast-talking, off-the-cuff, back-of-the-envelope man, like some we could mention. No, he is master of the brief, and here it is: "Let me describe what is happening under Tier Five of the points system." The unicorn blocked its ears.

He also told us that the Tory proposals would only allow 40,000 people (and in practice only 15,000) to come in. A super-skilled applicant could be rejected in October because the quota had been filled in August.

Was this true? Where was the Tory rebuttal? On the Conservative web page, Chris Grayling "responded to Gordon Brown's speech " with two pars, no reference to the factual claims, and a list of 10 "worst failures" in which point seven had been superseded by the speech.

Again and again and again, they concede the argument. It's an unusual election strategy, let's see if it works.

simoncarr@sketch.sc

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Field Based Sales Surveyor - OTE £40,000

£16000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Field Based Sales Surveyor is...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI Designer/ User Interface Designer (UI, User Flow, Design)

£6000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: UI De...

Investigo: International Finance Analyst

£270 - £300 per annum: Investigo: An exciting opportunity to join an internati...

Recruitment Genius: CAD / CAM Ladies Cocktail & Eveningwear Gerber Grader

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Are we really to believe that the mansion tax would stop Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie moving here?

John Walsh
 

Daily catch-up: stupid questions in opinion polls, in the House of Commons and in job interviews

John Rentoul
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?