Yesterday we had the spectacle in parliament of the Labour Party attacking the government for its own mistakes. I don't like to discuss immigration here, not least because I have worked in many other countries and lived round the world, but in this particular case, the issue provides an illustration of Labour stupidity.
Yesterday, Chris Bryant called the immigration minister to explain a newspaper report of a leaked memo that showed an increase in the number of convicted illegal immigrants awaiting deportation.. What was the minister doing about it, government out of control etc...etc?
Not so replied the minister, the majority of those cases involved former prisoners released on the orders of the courts not the Home Office. Moreover, they were released because they had not got the correct travel documents to be sent home, either because of a lack of cooperation from the convict or from their home government. Policy has now been changed so that unlike under the last government, preparations for deportation begin 18 moths before the end of the sentence.
But the killer blow was when Mr Green pointed out that the comparison was not with the status quo in March 2010, but over 2 years ago in March 2009, with most of the increase in that number being under the previous government. Indeed, when Bryant accused the Conservative government of releasing foreign prisoners who went on to commit 3 murders, he missed the fact that one of the "murderers" was acquitted, while another was release, committed the crime and was sentenced during the last government.
But then we had the same thing this morning. Margaret Hodge and others came on the airwaves with their blather about tax avoidance and big business (more on that in a later post), and condemning Dave Hartnett for having too many lunches with big tax payers and tax lawyers.
Now that may be appropriate or not, but when did these 107 lunches take place? From 2007 to 2009. remind me again. Who was running the country at the time?