Served up on a plate: an answer to xenophobia

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The Independent Online

David Davis's shameful speech to the Tory party conference last Wednesday has been put in its proper context. While the shadow Home Secretary was delivering a populist rant about the dangers of immigration, his bed was being made, his dinner prepared and his bathroom cleaned by the very people he sees as such a threat to the British way of life. No fewer that 34 nationalities are represented among the staff of the Highcliff hotel in Bournemouth where Mr Davis was staying.

Much of Britain's service economy would collapse were it not for migrant workers, prepared to do the jobs that Britons reject. The NHS, to take one obvious example, would be unable to function without the thousands of doctors and nurses who come from abroad to staff it. But Mr Davis did not mention any of this to his audience. He was more interested in bandying around frightening statistics about the number of people who will come to Britain over the next 30 years.

The Tories must stop playing politics with immigration, appealing to the basest sections of society. Otherwise, they are open to justified accusations of xenophobia and hypocrisy.