Anyone who believes in free markets and free trade has to believe as a corollary in the free movement of people. Guido is the son of immigrants who came from Ireland and India to London in the 1950s and 1960s for economic and social reasons. They came, primarily, to better themselves. Now having lived and worked in some of the world’s greatest cities Guido still believes that London is the best of them all and is grateful that the city took in his parents.
Sure the roads are congested, they are in Tokyo and New York as well. Culturally New York is very self-centred and less internationalist, Tokyo is a bit of a mono-culture that just about tolerates foreigners. London is much more cosmopolitan than even New York with better French food than Paris, more bankers than Frankfurt and better nightlife than Berlin. Many people have come here without the right paperwork, they have come here to work and better themselves. They are not the problem and should be allowed to stay and given if necessary an amnesty to make them legally resident. They enrich us all. It is the people who come here to abuse the welfare state and commit crimes that are the problem.
Cameron disavows the policy and ConservativeHomies are up in arms about Boris supporting an amnesty for illegal immigrants. They should remember that one of their heroes, Ronald Reagan, supported and implemented an amnesty. London should be a beacon to those who want to be free to prosper for themselves and their families. Disqualifying newcomers from abusing the welfare state and deporting convicted foreign criminals might reduce the opposition to immigrants. Ronald Reagan did something like that when he had an amnesty for immigrants in 1986, because to him, the ultimate conservative optimist, immigration was a vital part of his vision of his country as “a shining city upon a Hill”.
Boris is an optimist in the Reagan mould who would like London to be a shining city for those seeking freedom and prosperity. An amnesty might not be a popular stance to take, illegal immigrants don’t have any votes, but it is the right stance.
Sam Coates on The Times got it first. “So where did it come from?” Guido asked, Sam is obviously not saying. The video is clearly recent, filmed by a campaign-friendly video-camera, rather than a hostile journalist.
Guido suspects that given that the Labour Party is polling double digits behind the Conservative Party, Ken is shrewdly distancing himself from the party that is a liability. Why else when asked “what would you say was your proudest moment?” would he laughingly reply: “Oh it’s taking on and smashing the New Labour machine in 2000 when Tony Blair wouldn’t let me run for mayor and just grinding them into the dust. But you won’t be able to use that one.”
But they did use that one, didn’t they? Ken got coverage and distanced himself from the party to which he is only semi-attached at the best of times. Smart tactics? Ken is no April fool…
“Lets face it, Boris is better known than most of the shadow cabinet, this will give him a chance to show leadership, he will crush Harriet Harman at the dispatch box“. Is this a high risk strategy? Not really, he is up against Harriet Harman…
UPDATE :In the comments there was some dispute about whether Hendy threatened police funding. Here is the quote from an email: “The statements clearly come from the Met traffic officers involved in the investigation (and are manifestly incorrect). It makes me inclined to cut support for TOCU in future budgets as clearly their support for us is limited to taking money and is one way.”
TOCU is the Transport Operational Command Unit, the Met division charged with tackling road safety and bus crime. Funded by TfL, it has 1,200 police officers, community support officers and traffic wardens and is a key part of the Met’s anti-crime strategy.
Not really a valid comparison is it? The Met Police didn’t shoot or kill anyone. The violent Poll Tax Riots were a response to the policies of a democratically elected government whereas hundreds of peacefully protesting Chinese citizens were murdered by a dictatorship in Tiananmen Square. Of all Ken’s many pitiful apologies for dictators like Chavez and Castro, this was just about the lowest.
The Olympic Torch will be in London on April 6. Guido will be supporting the Free Tibet Campaign’s Freedom Torch Relay in Argyle Square on that day. That burning Olympic torch should not pass through London unhindered while the flame of freedom is extinguished in Tibet.