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Tony Parsons

20 November 06 17:42 GMT

We asked best-selling author and man of the people Tony Parsons for his Take Of The Week.

" A rich country like Britain gives an immigrant something to hold onto. Usually a broom, a spanner or a stopcock.

But now John Reid has announced he's getting tough on immigration and restricting the number of Bulgarians and Romanians who will be allowed to work in this country.

It looks to me like a phoney war; a PR exercise to stop Labour from looking soft on immigration.

Is John Reid really a hard man or just a white van man?

Our borders are not fit for purpose

It doesn't really matter what John Reid says he's going to do about the Bulgarian and Romanian masses, because they're coming anyway.

Under EU law there are absolutely no travel restrictions on any Bulgarian or any Romanian who wants to come to this country as a tourist and then work in the black economy.

And in seven years, all working restrictions will be dropped anyway.

We?ve surrendered a level of national independence that should never ever have been surrendered.

And that's the real issue: our borders are not fit for purpose.

The government lied about the numbers

Before the expansion of the EU in 2004, the government told us to expect less than 15,000 newcomers - and that was just before the biggest wave of immigration in this country's history.

It's to this nation's eternal credit that we peacefully assimilated 600,000 East Europeans in just two years.

But the government lied about the numbers two years ago, and they're lying today.

We can't even take care of our own people

Mass immigration is good for the economy.

A cheap, flexible, highly motivated workforce makes a rich country even richer.

And mass immigration is good for someone like me: someone who has private healthcare, whose kid goes to a private school and who owns his own home.

But what about the NHS? What about the state schools? What about council housing? What about the working class? We can't even take care of our own people.

Happy to be here

And I like these East Europeans.

In an age when there are plenty of people with British passports who seem to absolutely hate the place, the Poles and the rest seem happy to be here.

No Bulgarian or Romanian is ever going to carry a bomb onto the Central Line or demand the introduction of Sharia law.

And that's a fact worth remembering when half a million of them turn up on your doorstep. And they will.

But when they do, it will be the poorest people in this country who are asked to pay the price.


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