UK News Why Is Boris Johnson Apeing Nigel Farage On Immigration Rhetoric?
Johnson pledges 'tough' new measures to fight knife crime
Boris Johnson has promised a "tough new approach" to fighting knife crime and serious violence if he wins the election. © PA Knives on display at Greater Manchester Police HQ The prime minister has pledged to "come down hard on the scourge of knife crime" if the Tories return to Downing Street after 12 December.
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Is Boris thinking what he’s thinking?
When Nigel Farage said today that the Brexit Party didn’t have a manifesto, he wasn’t kidding. His schtick was that the public associates manifestos with lying, so instead he was offering a ‘contract with the people’. However his thin, policy-sparse, uncosted document felt more like a contract with the Tory party than a blueprint for government.
Farge’s decision to only stand candidates in non-Tory seats means he has effectively sub-contracted his party to Boris Johnson. He was unabashed about the fact he was dependent on the contents of the Conservative manifesto (“we will be reading it carefully on Sunday”), adding that many of the Brexit Party’s ideas “can only be delivered if the prime minister sticks to his commitments” on Brexit.
How you rated Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson in the ITV General Election leaders debate
It was their first head to head of the election campaign 2019The pair have clashed in the Commons since Mr Johnson took over as Prime Minister, but this time, it was on a prime time slot on ITV .
Having abandoned the line that Johnson’s Brexit “is just not Brexit”, Farage has been reduced to warning that his party will somehow force the PM to keep his promise not to extend the transition period due to end in 2020. That threat will be difficult to carry out unless he pulls off a miracle and wins several seats to act as kingmaker in any hung parliament.
Shorn of any Brexit passion, what the former UKIP leader was left focusing on most today was the issue of immigration. A warped ‘patriotism’ (the party’s latest broadcast features lots of Poppy Day wreath laying) is indeed the last refuge of the scoundrel, after all. It’s worth saying that the Brexit Party is not UKIP, which turned into an Islamophobic far right sect before its disappearance from the public stage. But the way Farage used immigration today proved he’s unafraid to get down and dirty on this toxic topic.
Brexit is 'just beginning of political revolution' - Farage
Nigel Farage has said the Brexit Party wants to lead a "political revolution which puts the ordinary people first".As part of his party's policy launch - he pointedly refused to call it a manifesto - the former UKIP leader announced a series of plans which he claimed would provide a better life for the general UK public.
Tearing up any sense of that this was a subject that needs careful handling by responsible politicians, he twice used the phrase “our own people” (“We do not train enough of our own people...we do need to invest in our own people.”) He then talked about Britain not being “taken for a ride” by refugees. He added that if a total ban was placed on migration under or over the English Channel, “perhaps we can have genuine debate about who a refugee really is”.
Asked how to prevent migrant deaths such as those in the Essex lorry case, he doubled down by saying a strong message would act as a deterrent: “If you enter our country illegally – across the Channel or under the Channel or in the back of a container lorry – you will not be allowed to stay.” It seems that no tragedy, no matter how large or how recent, stops Farage from exploiting it.
For several months, he’s tried to stay professional (even talking about diversity) since the launch of his party this year. But the mask slipped today and we saw the same Farage as the one in front of that infamous ‘Breaking Point’ poster during the EU referendum. He talked of the UK having a “population crisis” because of EU migration, warning of the “damage to people’s lives and people’s communities” it causes.
Evidence shows electoral fraud not danger to British democracy
At the launch of the Brexit Party's "contract with the British people", leader Nigel Farage made a serious charge about the integrity of British democracy. © Other Campaign Check is looking at politicians' claims over the general election period "I'm astonished that nobody seems to want to reform the postal voting system, something that has been totally abused since it was opened up nearly 20 years ago," Mr Farage told an audience of activists.
Of course, Theresa May played this ugly tune in 2015, saying it was “impossible to build a cohesive society” when immigration was too high. She claimed, falsely, that immigrants forced down wages (not a single study shows anything than a small effect) and took people’s jobs (the UK has record employment). She talked of “millions” of people wanting to come to the UK, and claimed that migrants put intolerable strain on the NHS and schools.
May is history of course, but in this election Boris Johnson is echoing Farage too. A recent MORI poll showed that immigration was low down voters’ list of priorities behind Brexit, the NHS, crime, care for the elderly and even the environment. Nevertheless, just as Farage thinks that being ‘tough’ on migration is the key to winning Labour Leave votes, the Tories have been desperate to make it a hot electoral topic to break through the ‘Red Wall’ in the midlands and north.
Priti Patel tried to get the issue going earlier this month, only to see the message drowned out by coverage of the floods. She then stepped up the rhetoric to say “We will reduce immigration overall”. But a day later she refused five times to say whether it would actually go up or down under a Tory government. Patel watered it down to say “we can absolutely look to reduce the numbers in the system by having control over our immigration policy”.
Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for ‘tank-topped bum boys’ jibe. Again.
Boris Johnson refuses to apologise for ‘tank-topped bum boys’ jibe. Again.The leader was challenged during a BBC Question Time Leaders’ special on Friday evening about his use of racist and homophobic slurs during his work as a newspaper columnist.
And that word ‘control’ is again the weasel word being used. Despite dabbling in deception about Turkish migration in the EU referendum campaign, Vote Leave veterans like Michael Gove and Johnson are actually pretty liberal on migration but don’t want to appear so. What they don’t say is that even if the UK were to control numbers, migration can still go up even under the ‘Australian points based system’ they advocate - if the economy needs it.
Home office minister Victoria Atkins was honest enough to refuse to say if numbers would go up or down. She hasn’t been seen on the campaign since. Yet Johnson himself, before the ITV debate, wrote a letter to asking “would immigration be higher or lower under Corbyn’s Labour?” During the debate itself, he tried a pre-packaged line of “Would he [Corbyn] take back control of immigration?”, though it got lost amid the melee. We are not yet at the notorious 2005 Tory election slogan ‘are you thinking what we’re thinking’, but we are not far off it.
If Corbyn wasn’t at war with the CBI, he may want to cite its boss Carolyn Fairburn, who said the Tory points plan would harm construction, agriculture and social care because “it’s not just ‘brightest and best’, it’s people at all skill levels across our economy that we need.” Instead, he’s under pressure from union chiefs like Len McCluskey to claim that migrants depress wages and take jobs, rather than boosting growth.
Briton who drove truck in which 39 Vietnamese died confesses to plot
A British man admitted plotting to assist unlawful immigration after 39 Vietnamese migrants were found dead in the back of a truck he was driving. The driver, Maurice Robinson, also pleaded guilty to acquiring criminal property but was not asked to enter a plea on 41 other charges including 39 counts of manslaughter in a case which has shone a light on the illicit human smuggling trade.Robinson, 25, from the British province of Northern Ireland, was addressing a London court hearing from prison a month after the 39 bodies were found in the truck on an industrial estate in Grays, about 20 miles (32 km) east of London.
The Tories were delighted by Labour’s conference motion that pledged to “maintain and extend free movement rights”. But the party manifesto simply says EU freedom of movement would be subject to negotiations. Aides stressed yesterday that not putting an arbitrary figure on migration levels did not mean “open borders” as the Tories have claimed. Given the Tories themselves won’t put a figure on migration either (that 100,000 target proved how laughable a quota was, and the latest figure is 226,000) the open border claim seems particularly lame.
But it’s not just lame, it’s deeply cynical and inflammatory. Even a normally liberal Conservative like Matt Hancock couldn’t resist a dogwhistle of his own this week, tweeting “It’s the National Health Service not the International Health Service”. Johnson has called for an amnesty for illegal immigrants in the past, yet it emerged today that in 2014 he tried to sound tough by saying “we discourage illegal immigration, and they jolly well ought to be rounded up and sent back”.
Farage said today the Tories had “no intention” of reducing immigration numbers, and claimed that was because business donors wanted “cheap labour”. He offered his own vision of a 1950s Britain with immigration numbers of 50,000 people a year.
No matter how keen Johnson is to win votes from Brexit voters of all stripes, many Tories will feel deeply uncomfortable at apeing Farage. Handling this issue sensitively and honestly is possibly the best test of statesmanship we have in this election. It would be truly depressing if they all failed it.
Tories complain as Johnson replaced by ice sculpture in TV debate
A row has erupted between Channel 4 and the Conservatives after the broadcaster used an ice sculpture in place of Boris Johnson when he didn't turn up to their leaders' debate on climate issues.A row has erupted between Channel 4 and the Conservatives after the broadcaster used an ice sculpture in place of Boris Johnson when he didn't turn up to their leaders' debate on climate issues.
Quote Of The Day
“I’m not suggesting that trees are the answer to everything”.
Nigel Farage puts trees at the heart of his non-manifesto
Friday’s Election Cheat Sheet
Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon prepared for a BBC Question Time Special from Sheffield.
The PM visited Bassetlaw (Dennis Skinner’s seat) to announce plans to impose a “3% increase in stamp duty for foreign buyers”.
John McDonnell said the Institute for Fiscal Studies “got it wrong” when it described Labour’s tax plans as “not credible”. A new study by the Resolution Foundation also called for more ‘honesty’ from Labour, stating “the reality is we will all need to pay higher taxes if we want a state the size of Germany’s that delivers not just free social care but free broadband”.
McDonnell suggested a Labour government would allow ‘sympathy’ strikes between different unions, though he said it would not be a return to secondary picketing. “Any worker should have the right to withdraw their labour,” he said.
Nigel Farage launched his ‘contract with the people’, pledging to halve the foreign aid budget, abolish the House of Lords, scrap the HS2 rail project and cap permanent immigration at 50,000 a year. Oh and he’d plant lots of trees.
A constituency poll for the Economist in Great Grimsby suggested Labour’s Mel Onn was on course for a heavy defeat to the Tories.
The BBC said it would expose untruths by politicians in the election but would never call any of them ‘liars’ because “that’s a judgement for audiences to make about an individual’s motives”.
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price called for a £20bn “green jobs revolution” in Wales as he launched the party’s general election manifesto. The 10-year plan includes rail and bus travel schemes, three tidal lagoons, a barrage and a new offshore wind farm.
What I’m Reading
The Four Huge Issues Being Overlooked In The Election - Manchester Evening News
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The British public 'couldn't spell Pinocchio if they tried,' Boris Johnson's father Stanley says .
He was answering a message on the Victoria Derbyshire that called his son Pinocchio , the character in a children's character that has become synonymous with lying.Asked about the viewers comments, he said: "That requires a degree of literacy, which I think the great British public doesn’t necessarily have."'That requires a degree of literacy'Stanley Johnson criticised the viewer who called his son a liar. (Photo: BBC)The presenter asked: "What do you mean by that?" He responded: "I'm not gonna get into that.
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