Anyone else choke into their cornflakes over the headline 'Cameron Urges Public To Report Suspected Illegal Immigrants' this morning?
As I read it, I could hear crowds chanting 'Juden Raus', smashing glass and shifty phone calls. How, exactly, are you meant to tell who is an 'illegal' immigrant, who is a 'legal' immigrant and who is a refugee? My guess is that Daily Mail readers and other racists will be making anonymous calls when black people move into their streets. Gangs of EDL supporters measuring noses and
Imagine the possibilities for abuse. One quick call and the sweatshop owner gets rid of his uppity workforce. Neighbourly disputes escalated by a 4 a.m. raid, mistaken or otherwise. I could get rid of students to whom I take a dislike, and they could do the same to me.
This is vicious lunacy. We all know there are illegal immigrants in this country. Many businesses depend on their slave labour. But the way to deal with it is certainly not to encourage a culture of vigilante mobs, anonymous informers and spies. The public isn't informed enough - nor should it be inclined - to know who is legal and who isn't. I suspect most of us don't understand the EU freedom of movement laws, let alone the refugee legislation. There's a border authority which exists to apply the immigration laws If citizens do start flooding the police with calls, the system will collapse under the weight of xenophobic paranoia.
There's only one explanation for raising such an impractical, dangerous notion: David Cameron thinks there are votes in raising lynch mobs and blaming the nation's ills on immigrants rather than speculators and their pet politicians.