Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
The Truth On The Mail’s Apocalyptic Labour Immigration Story
31 May 2017, 11:04 | Updated: 31 May 2017, 11:49
The Daily Mail claims Labour want to “open Britain’s doors even wider” for immigrants - but a government adviser proposed the same thing months ago.
"Today the most powerful newspaper in the country is trying to spook you into thinking that Jeremy Corbyn is going to, I don't know, send the lefty bandwagon to Europe and fill it up with immigrants before driving it back himself.
"Despite the fact that the same newspaper, the same journalist, reported the same policy last year when it was a senior government adviser making precisely the same suggestion in completely and utterly different language tone and intent."
The Daily Mail's front page today cited an "internal policy document" which they say shows "the party is considering introducing a visa for migrants seeking 'low-skilledm unskilled or seasonal work."
James explains the problem with the story: "It's not even a policy it's not even in the party manifesto and it's not even a tiny bit different from what the government received as advice from a top immigration advisor last year."
On August 25 last year the paper reported the story as: 'Low-skilled EU workers should apply for permits says government's top adviser'. This was a reference to Sir David Metcalf, of the Migration Advisory Committee, who proposed the scheme.
James says that while this one story is troubling, it is illustrative of a more serious problem.
“I just use it as one example perhaps of why everything is so hard to pin down at the moment because we've even allowed the simple concept of objective truth to be subverted.
“It is the same story being viewed through two completely different lenses. When it's the Labour Party doing it it's potentially apocalyptic in its awfulness, when it's the Conservative party doing it or their key advisors it's just, you know, 'interesting we'll have a look at that’.
“And that's where we are now. You just don't know where to turn.”