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Loki
Saturday, April 23rd, 2005, 04:42 PM
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,19809-1581217,00.html

April 23, 2005

The two faces of top Tory's migrant campaign

By David Charter, Chief Political Correspondent

http://images.thetimes.co.uk/images/trans.gifMICHAEL HOWARD’S Shadow Immigration Minister was attacked for hypocrisy last night after sending out election leaflets with different messages to white and Asian voters as Tony Blair accused the Tory leader of exploiting public fears on the issue.

Humfrey Malins, the Tory candidate in Woking, wrote in Urdu to Muslim voters asking for support over his record on helping with visas and visits, while predominantly white areas received a tough message on reducing immigration.

Mr Howard also faced the first party splits over his focus on immigration, with criticism from Michael Portillo and Steve Norris, the Conservative London mayoral candidate.

And Sir Digby Jones, Director-General of the CBI, gave warning last night that any attempt to cap immigration would prevent firms recruiting skilled workers. “What we know for certain is that we need them to keep coming — so long as it is controlled and managed,” he told The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4.

Mr Blair said that Mr Howard was trying to frighten people rather than putting forward constructive solutions.

The Times has learnt that Mr Malins, who hopes to be Immigration Minister under Mr Howard, is targeting Muslim voters by emphasising his help to the community. In a letter in both Urdu and English sent to voters in Maybury, a predominantly Asian area of the constituency, he promoted his “prompt, sympathetic and very often successful help” with “all those in the community who have contacted me on the subject of visas, family visits, etc”.

The letter added that Mr Malins had founded the Immigration and Advisory Service “which gives free legal help and advice to those with rights of appeal under immigration law”.

But a leaflet sent to predominantly white areas of Woking read: “In our first month we will introduce plans for Parliament to set an annual limit on the number of people who can settle in Britain. This will substantially reduce immigration.”

The Muslim Council of Britain condemned Mr Malins’s apparently twin-track campaign last night. Iqbal Sacranie, its general secretary, said: “We are quite concerned by this behaviour. This sort of crude electioneering is . . . bringing our whole political system into disrepute.”

Residents of Maybury were bemused by the difference in the two leaflets. Shown the tough message, Mazar Iqbal said: “I don’t remember anything like this coming. I do remember seeing the Urdu letter. I don’t think it is right that he can be double-faced.”

Manzoor Hussain added: “I got the Urdu letter but not the other one. This very tough language is worrying because we live in a peaceful community.” Mr Malins told The Times that he did not target his messages but could not say which houses had received each leaflet.

He added: “My local literature is intended to be very local. People who want to look at the national policies of the main parties can see it on the web sites, radio and press.”

Asked if one message was being sent to ethnic minority areas and another to white areas, he said: “The leaflets . . . are being distributed very widely. To ask me which particular doors have had which particular leaflets is odd, to say the least. My work in this whole field of community relations is known widely.”

Mr Blair, speaking in Dover, said the that Tories has “gone from being a one-nation party to being a one-issue party”.

“We are a tolerant, decent nation,” he said. “It is the duty of Government to deal with the issues of asylum and immigration. But they should not be exploited by a politics that in desperation seeks refuge in them.”

In an interview for The Sunday Programme on GMTV Mr Norris added to the pressure on Mr Howard, saying that he was surprised by the party’s focus on immigration, adding: “I can’t say I am all together delighted by it. (The) dog-whistle approach to politics is about as cynical as you get.” But in a tough interview with Jeremy Paxman on BBC One, Mr Howard stood by his policies. But he was unable to say what the Tory limit on immigration would be or where asylum applicants would be processed. “We will set a number for family reunion. And we will set a number for genuine refugees. And in that way we arrive at the annual limit,” he said.

Loki
Saturday, April 23rd, 2005, 04:45 PM
Typical Tories for you - just what I suspected. This supposed "hard line" they now have on immigration is just nonsense, and blatant lies. Well, what else can you expect from a party which is ruled by Jews?

There is only one thing which is worse than a Labour-party member - and that is a Tory. :speechles

Vanir
Saturday, April 23rd, 2005, 05:06 PM
Typical Tories for you - just what I suspected. This supposed "hard line" they now have on immigration is just nonsense, and blatant lies. Well, what else can you expect from a party which is ruled by Jews?

There is only one thing which is worse than a Labour-party member - and that is a Tory. :speechles

Couldn't they put Margaret Thatcher's brain in a cyborg body and crank her out again? a REAL Iron Lady!

Seriously though, two party politics is a sham. The illusion of choice.
(in Australia: Liberal + Labour = Laboural)
they're essentially identical on all the issues that count.
No difference between "Vote Yes for Saddam or Vote Yes for Saddam" and Vote "Yes" for Liberal or vote "Yes" for Labour...

I don't think that anything will ever come through working via the traditional political system, it is playing the game in their court.