Ed Balls struggles to grasp the details
Rejected overwhelmingly for his party's leadership by his parliamentary colleagues, Labour Party members and his trade union buddies. His head is still with Children, Schools, Families, breast-feeding and nappy-changing, while his heart is still in the Treasury. But his feet are well and truly in his mouth when it comes to Home Affairs.
Yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May delivered a statement to the House of Commons on the Coalition’s intention to reduce immigration. She said:
"Under Labour, net migration to Britain was close to 200 thousand per year, for most years since 2000. As a result, over Labour’s time in office net migration totalled more than 2.2 million people – more than double the population of Birmingham. We can’t go on like this."
It’s true: we can’t. New Labour not only promoted plurality and ‘multi-culturalism’; they wilfully imposed it upon us through mass immigration to bolster their support base in an attempt to eradicate forever the ‘forces of conservatism’.
To address this, the Home Secretary announced a plan to reduce net immigration substantially.
We cannot, of course, do anything about immigration from other EU member states: the Poles and Romanians will continue to pour in (if that isn’t xenophobic or an incitement to racism), and we can expect a flood of Irish as well as their salaries are cut and unemployment rates soar. But economic migration from outside the EU will be cut from 28,000 to 21,700 per annum.
A modest cut, perhaps. But it’s a start.
In response to this, on the BBC News yesterday evening, Shadow Home Secretary Ed Ball's was awfully confused.
He said: "The problem is 80 per cent of our migration comes from the EU states – they're not affected at all by the cap which was announced today by Theresa May."
But this is quite wrong.
According to the Office of National Statistics (Long-Term International Migration Series), the UK welcomed 528,000 migrants last year, of which 292,000 were non-EU.
If Ed Balls does his maths, he will find that this is 55 per cent of the total; not 80.
But the issue is not migration, but net migration. Last year, inflows and outflows of British and EU citizens largely cancelled each other out and non-EU net migration counted for more than 93 per cent of the total!
Perhaps Ed Balls has not quite got up to speed yet with his new brief.
Or he is eyeing the dog’s dinner that Alan Johnson is making of being Shadow Chancellor.
Or the pig’s ear Ed Miliband is making of being Leader of the Opposition.