" The myth peddled by Blair’s acolytes – that high levels of immigration generated significant economic benefits for the existing UK population – was demolished in 2008 by a House of Lords select committee. It concluded: “We do not support the general claims that net immigration is indispensable to fill labour and skills shortages. Such claims are analytically weak and provide insufficient reason for promoting net immigration.” Reinforcing this point, the government’s Migration Advisory Committee recently confirmed that immigrants do “displace” some British workers – ie, take their jobs, most likely those at the bottom end of the pay ladder.
Embarrassed by indisputable evidence that Blair’s immigration wheeze (about 80 per cent of first-generation immigrants vote Labour) had “costs as well as benefits”, Ed Miliband now accepts that his party overlooked those who were being squeezed and was too quick to tell them to “like it or lump it”.
Overcoming Blair’s legacy is tougher than it seems, however, as we saw last week when a Labour council removed children from a home in Rotherham simply because the foster parents were members of Ukip. It is the mindset of Animal Farm: “All Immigration Good. All Opposition Bad”.