Ed Balls seems to be going after the bigot vote:
There have been real economic gains from the arrival of young, hard-working migrants from eastern Europe over the past six years. But there has also been a direct impact on the wages, terms and conditions of too many people – in communities ill-prepared to deal with the reality of globalisation, including the one I represent. The result was, as many of us found in the election, our arguments on immigration were not good enough. We faced rising anti-European sentiment with small parties claiming they could seal the borders.
One slight snag with that. Intensive studies have shown that such immigration has not had a lowering impact on wages. If anything it has slightly raised wages. Ed Balls seems to forget that there is a National Minimum Wage.
I accept that Ed Balls may have faced “rising anti-European sentiment” on the doorsteps during the election campaign. But conceding something to be true which isn’t, is hardly the right way of dealing with such “sentiment”. Indeed, it is the coward’s way out. And that paragraph in the Observer seems to be a coward’s way of trying to position himself as Labour’s leading self-flagellator.
There is another fatal flaw in his argument:
We faced rising anti-European sentiment with small parties claiming they could seal the borders.
Der, Ballsie. Have you not heard the May 6th result from Barking? The Labour vote went up by 5% to 54% while the BNP’s Nick Griffin lost nearly 2 percentage points from last time. In the council elections there, all twelve BNP councillors lost their seats! This whole thing of “rising anti-European sentiment” is a complete non-issue, unless of course you are desperate to open up some sort of Unique Selling Point in the Labour leadership race….