Damian Green Speaks! Nothing Said!

Green realises he has nothing to say.

It must be a pretty frustrating job being immigration minister. You get to call yourself a minister, you might get a couple of rides in the Home Sec’s limo, but you don’t get to announce new exciting stuff. That bit is saved for the Home Secretary herself. This week must have been quite a chore for Damian Green. Bigged up on Sunday through his interview with the Sunday Times, heralding a speech on Thursday at Policy Network, only to watch as the assembled journalists, critics, thinkers and supporters start inspecting their nails and shoes as you announce the speech is going to be more of a lecture than anything else.

It must be the political equivalent of telling your mates you’ve got a killer funny joke then building up to a punch line that leaves everyone with a bemused look on their faces.

Bully’s Grin

Poor Damian Green, “I’ve got something really, really important to say about immigration” – and so he should after two extensive consultations, with a load of policy currently being moulded into Immigration Rules for Parliament to discuss, only for Theresa May to tell him “you can’t tell them that – or that – or that….” you can almost picture the smug bully’s grin on the face of his Boss as he realises he’s basically had a big build up to a speech where he can’t say anything of substance.

He tried. “For the past decade the immigration debate in this country has been mainly about numbers”, that’s been the case for a darn sight more than  a decade, Damian, Enoch had a few warnings about numbers back in the day… He claimed that immigration  would no longer be just a numbers game, but about the quality of immigrants.


If that were true the Coalition Government would have to promptly drop their mantra of “cutting net immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands” and given that a) the phrase has lots of numbers in it and b) it is the hook upon which all immigration policy is hung by the Coalition Government, it’s going to be hard to wiggle out of that one.

Never mind, Damian tried a sound bite for the media – they love one of those! “The Brightest and the Best” is what he came up with. But when you stop to think about who this means – alarm bells should start to ring. Unsurprisingly, the yardstick used to judge who is the ‘best’ is income. Former-Sir Fred Goodwin ‘best’, hardworking nurse therefore ‘worst’? Does it seem to you that the government’s formulation of wealth equalling good is a tad out of step with the zeitgeist of today? Or is it just me?

The ‘new‘ selective immigration regime was today unveiled – just 4 short years after the Points Based System was introduced – the PBS being erm… a selective system for immigration management designed to bring in – the ‘best’ and the ‘brightest’.


“We have talked in the past about a Points Based System. In the future it will be more accurate to talk about a contribution-based system.” was another golden Green nugget served up this morning. The government are so keen on making sure every immigrant contributes to the UK, perhaps they’ll revive the 1970s idea of Pools collectors who could knock on the door of each immigrant’s house on a Friday to collect their weekly contribution?

But what’s of most concern to us in the JCWI Nerve Centre is what is to come from Theresa May. Perhaps still smarting from the disgraceful cat speech and the resultant mauling she got, it promises to be nasty, to be heartless and to split up/keep families apart, pour hardship upon hardship for cross border couples and all for the want of a bigger pay packet.


The return of the ‘Nasty Party’? It never really went away.

JCWI had m0re to say, it got reported in The Guardian, The Independent, the BBC and elsewhere.

About jcwi

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants is a key campaigning voice in the field of immigration, asylum and nationality law and policy. It is completely independent from government funding, remaining entirely free from government influence. View all posts by jcwi

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