John Reid just gets worse every time he opens his mouth.
His latest latest pronouncements on the subject of illegal immigration are notable not just for declaring appalling, repressive policies (we're used to that), but also for the Alf-Garnett-Writes-Guest-Column-For-The-Daily-Mail language he uses. It's all "clampdown", "foreigners", "stealing our benefits" and "throwing out".
It is a sign of how debased the political "discussion" about immigation has become that Reid can proudly set out his plan to make life "constrained and uncomfortable" for illegal immigrants. He wants to stop them getting "housing, healthcare or work". Put another way, he wants to make them homeless, ill (or perhaps dead) and unemployed - I guess he'll then slag them off for being dirty, infectious and lazy.
This really is the kind of stuff that the BNP would welcome.
And Reid has even left political space for the Lib Dems to come across all anti-racist, damning him for "yeeling at 'foreigners'". Look any closer, though, and you'll find that the LibDems simply want a more 'efficient' (read 'ruthless') immigration system accompanied by some slightly politer speeches.
And his actual proposals?
- 'Watch list' of people not entitled to public services
- Enforcement teams to track down bosses employing illegal workers
- Compulsory ID cards for foreign nationals
- Text alerts for people overstaying visas
- Possible £20,000 fines for landlords housing illegal immigrants
- Remove driving licences
- Pilot schemes to use ID card data to ensure migrants pay for NHS care
Please note that the maximum fine on a landlord for ignoring orders from environmental health officers to improve their property is £2,500; and the maximum fine for harrassing a tenant out of their home is £5,000. Great set of priorities there, then.