November 26, 2004

Ethnic Pitch Stretches Credulity

It's the only way to get rid of the vampires
Michael Howard will today make a keynote speech on ethnicity and racism - but it is hard to believe that this Tory party really means anything it says on the subject. This is the party who for the last five years have demonised asylum seekers and taken a hard-line xenophobic attitude towards European integration. They're the party who want to introduce quotas on immigration and who, not so long ago, deselected a prospective member of Parliament because he was black. They're a party with virtually no black or Asian candidates, let alone MPs. The opportunist in Michael Howard may think that there are Muslim votes up for grabs post-Iraq. Indeed, there may well be but surely they'll be going to the Liberal Democrats or even Respect before they go to the Tories? Faced with extremists from the BNP and UKIP, successive Tory leaders have chosen to lurch to the right, not the mainstream, on issues such as immigration. One speech won't change that and it won't fool the voting public either.