Immigration has not exactly been at the centre of the 2010 election, but it has probably been more widely and openly discussed than in any British general election campaign, ever. And it flared up again when Gordon Brown was caught calling an elderly voter a “bigot” after she voiced concerns about the influx of eastern Europeans.
For many “bigotgate” is not just another embarrassment for the beleaguered PM—although it is certainly that too. It is also further evidence of how the liberal elite refuses to take seriously people’s worries about the number of people coming to Britain.
Prospect editor David Goodhart has for some time argued that you can be both a liberal and a mass immigration sceptic. A few weeks ago he produced an Analysis programme on how Labour since 1997 came to embrace mass immigration. Emailing a few people in his address book to prompt them to listen to the programme, he triggered an impromptu debate…
Phillip Blond is director of the think tank ResPublica, Peter Kellner is president of YouGov, Randall Hansen is a political scientist at the University of Toronto, and Peter Jukes is a scriptwriter and Prospect contributor.
Phillip Blond: I’m very interested in all this—I wonder, is there a point at which mass immigration undermines the social foundations of a society?