Labour's think tank admits opponents of immigrants were seen as 'nasty and backward'
Opponents of immigration were routinely dismissed as 'nasty, stupid and backward' so the Left could promote mass migration, Labour's favourite think tank has admitted.
By Tom Whitehead
The Telegraph (U.K.), April 29, 2010
The Institute for Public Policy Research said the labels allowed those in support of free-flowing immigration to 'either patronise or ignore' their critics.
The timing of the comments are a further setback for Gordon Brown who yesterday accused a Labour voter of being a 'bigot' when he thought she was criticising the number of migrants who have come to the UK.
But in a significant shift in emphasis, the ippr, which is close to Labour and has been a keen advocate of immigration, admitted allowing more people to come is now not necessarily a good thing and that such an argument does not have mainstream support.
Tim Finch, the head of migration for the think-tank, even accused those who say it is progressive to argue for more migrants of having a 'fuzzy logic which has weakened our case in recent years'.
In his paper, Is the progressive case for migration truly progressive?, Mr Finch said supporters of immigration have bemoaned the drift towards restrictive and reactionary policies since the 1960s.
The fact most people disagreed with them only further convinced them they were right, he said.
But he admitted: 'A particularly unfortunate element of this syndrome in relation to migration is a tendency to characterise our opponents as nasty, stupid and backward. By so doing, we give ourselves license to either patronise or ignore them.'
He added: 'In fact, as must now be obvious to us, the vast majority of mainstream public opinion does not see the logic or the ethics of our case.'
He said while it would be wrong for restrictions to be based on race or particular nationalities, 'it does not follow that restrictions per se are inherently wrong, and it is certainly not the case that totally free flows are more progressive than controlled ones'.
He accepted that large influxes of people to some areas can have 'serious downsides' and that 'anything approaching open borders would cause chaos and massive destabilisation within both developed and developing economies'.
He concluded: 'So, to sum up, my argument is that just because migration is very often a good thing doesnt mean that more of it is necessarily better.'