What did he say? Did Ed M really admit that the Labour Party didn’t realise that immigration would have a different impact on different classes? Yes, actually, he did. In an interview with Martha Kearney, he admitted that Labour in government didn’t realise that immigration was a class issue. Which really makes you wonder what the party is good for.
Remember, what we are talking about is 3.8 million individuals coming to Britain in the course of ten years … net foreign migration, mark you, and not counting illegal migration. If Labour couldn’t work out the impact of an influx of nearly four million people in a decade, most of them from outside the EU, on working class jobs, on community cohesion, on house prices and on services, then there are just two possibilities. Either the party wasn’t listening to its own voters (mind you, it didn’t get any help there from the trades unions), or it did listen and didn’t care. (Labour’s inner circle, obviously, were among the middle class beneficiaries of increased asset values, cheaper nannies and exciting new diversity in the restaurant sector.) Either way, this doesn’t inspire much confidence in Ed’s being in touch with reality, or his commitment to do better next time.