We are surprised by Lord Carey of Clifton’s recent intervention in the immigration debate. He is calling for an artificial limit on immigration and for new migrants to have an understanding British society. A society, in his words, “which values parliamentary democracy which is built upon our Christian heritage”. Lord Carey is obviously aware that under the Points-Based System the Government has introduced very strict immigration policies to control new migrant workers from non-EU countries. Under this system workers can only come to the UK to fill skill gaps that our economy needs and they cannot have recourse to public funds. He is also aware that we live in a secular and pluralist society where religious values are personal to individuals. There must be no exception for migrants. We also live in a society based on harmoniously respecting and tolerating each other’s beliefs and values, religious or otherwise. If Lord Carey’s intention is to diminish false public anxieties around immigration it has already proven counterproductive. Regrettably, but also predictably, the racist BNP is already making political capital out his statement.
January 8, 2010