Claiming to occupy the "centre ground" is a popular ploy in British politics and the Tories did so vociferously in their conference last week. However, Ian Dent (5th October) and Simon Wren-Lewis (6th October) have paid more attention to the detail of the conference than I have and between them have enumerated the following proposals:
- to phase out foreign doctors
- to cut down on the number of foreign students
- to jail landlords if they fail to check their tenants' residency papers
- to "name and shame" companies with a high percentage of foreigners in their workforces
- build a protective wall round Euro-tunnel entrance at Calais
- reintroduce educational selection at 11 plus
- use the status of EU migrants already here as a "bargaining chip" in the forthcoming negotiations.
If this is the centre ground then one shudders to think what a far-right party would sound like. With these proposals the Conservatives shame themselves.