No talk of immigration? What planet is the Daily Mail living on?

Bizarre populist claims disguise the paper's real concern - UKIP splitting the Tory vote.

Farage Dover


“Mass immigration, the subject that dare not speak its name, has been all but airbrushed from this election, even by the Tories.”

That was the message on the front page of yesterday’s Daily Mail, in what must be among the most bizarre moments in a very odd election campaign.

For any one awake and literate (or semi-literate) over recent months, the claim that immigration is ‘the subject that dare not speak its name’ is enough to make one’s head spin.

The paper’s comment ran next to its report that among Tory voters in 2010 who plan to vote UKIP this year, 94 per cent named immigration as the reason for the switch.

The paper ran a rare full page editorial headed:

IMMIGRATION: It’s the issue of our time. So why is it being totally ignored by the major parties?

Mail immigration

The piece calls on David Cameron to reassure these UKIP voters and urge them to ‘come home’ to the Tory party. Today the paper got it’s wish. The Mail’s front page screams:



Cameron appears inside with his own full-page editorial doing just as the paper wanted. (Almost as if the whole thing was contrived by the Mail and Tory HQ…)

Cameron immigration

What makes this so surreal is the fact that everyone is talking about immigration. All the time. 

It’s possible the Conservatives are keen to skirt over their missed ‘tens of thousands’ target, with immigration in the year up to September 2014 at 298,000. (In 2010 Cameron told voters: “If we don’t deliver our side of the bargain, kick us out in five years.”)

But the idea the subject has been put on the back burner is false.

Both David Cameron and Ed Miliband gave speeches in November and December respectively focussed solely on immigration.

‘Controls on immigration’ is one of the Labour party’s five election pledges. They even put it on a mug.

Miliband made a speech just last week on immigration arguing for tough controls and saying Labour would succeed where the Tories had failed.

And in March, UKIP, a party whose main election platform is reducing immigration, launched its campaign at the white cliffs of Dover with posters of escalators to show how easy it is for migrants to reach Britain. (I think they might regret that one in light of recent events.)

The recent deaths of hundreds of migrants crossing the seas to Europe have placed migration at the centre of public and political debate.

Today, as the Mail gives space to Tory propaganda attacking Miliband, the Labour leader is giving a speech on foreign policy with special attention on what to do about migration from Libya.

All this and more (newspaper stories, for example) about ‘the subject that dare not speak its name’! 

Perhaps when the Daily Mail calls immigration the central issue in this election, what it means is the central issue for the Daily Mail, and for readers who might split the Tory vote.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter


Read more: Tory cynicism as press takes Salmond’s budget joke seriously

Daily Mail spins BBC leaders’ interviews to toe the Tory line

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41 Responses to “No talk of immigration? What planet is the Daily Mail living on?”

  1. Mike Stallard

    Let us be honest. Mr Miliband and Mr Balls and his wife were right there at the centre when the Labour government opened the doors to half a million Poles.
    Now I like the Poles. I tried (niestety nie mogawem) to learn Polish. Then came the Liths and Letts. (I was teaching two lovely Lith Ladies English just yesterday). Mr Farage it was, as I remember, who first warned about an influx of Romanians and Bulgarians for which he was mocked by the entire Press Corps and the impartial BBC including the Heir to Paxman, Ewan Davis.
    Last night four Romanians turned up with one Bulgarian. When I go to the gym, it is the team of Romanians who are doing the car wash outside Tesco. Several of the Poles I know now (most have left ages ago) are living off the State.
    Trick me once – your fault.
    Trick me twice – my fault.

  2. damon

    There isn’t much of a discussion about immigration, because people like Leon keep wrecking them. There’s a guy on LBC radio show a bit like him too.
    This is a book he’s brought out about diversity and immigration, called ”Loathe thy neighbour”

    ”Immigration is the thorny question that just won’t go away. It feeds a whole industry of commentators, pundits and politicians who take great delight in whipping us all into a frenzy, speaking for the ‘ordinary people’. But, when ugly prejudices are being fed by professionals grown fat on the fear and fury of their consumers, it is time to stop and ask whether the faceless group of immigrants really exists – or whether it just appeals to our basest fears. In this lively polemic, James O’Brien brings some common sense back into the discussion. Some people want to be frightened. They thrive on anger and division and upset. But many people don’t, and it is they who are most let down – most insulted – by the immigration debate. We don’t need to buy into this myth. There is no such thing as ‘immigrants’. There is no ‘they’. There is only ‘we”’

  3. JoeDM

    Uncontrolled immigration is the root cause of the problems in the NHS, the housing market and low wages.

  4. Guest


    As you whine in…a discussion, as you try and prevent publication of books you don’t like.
    You’re a censor and an anti-semite.

  5. Leon Wolfeson

    Keep whining, as you pick out the foreigners you see, for your hate, ignoring everyone else else.

    You evidently bitterly hate Poles, of course, and everyone else not just like you. You want to smash shut the borders or there might be the odd foreigner around,.

    You’re not tricking anyone, it’s transparently your agenda to lower wages via blaming the Other, Mr. Farrage, as you talk about the risk of something which never happened to the scale you claimed, even remotely so.

  6. Leon Wolfeson

    Something which doesn’t exist is the “root cause” of your hate for the NHS, your opposition to house building and your calls for lower wages, right.

    You’d rather blame the other and stir up hate and violence than admit the roots of the problem are your neoliberalism, capitalism and austerity. Domestic issues.

  7. Leon Wolfeson

    Their problem is there’s a debate, and they are not winning.

  8. damon

    Leon, you’re worse than the Daily Mail. Because at least they make an argument.

  9. Johnny

    Where does The Daily Mail owner live ? Let us make him stop there until he pays his rightful taxes

  10. Johnny

    Maybe Ed is right then, lets weed out the non-doms ?

  11. Guest


    Right, I’m now allowed an argument in your world, because Jewish. Same old, same old, Lord Blagger.


    Britain has a reputation for honouring agreements. We entered WW11 because the Nazis invaded Poland. We signed up to EU treaties and honour them as we should. We should vote to get out of the EU then we have no obligation. All we need is a trade agreement with anyone that wants to trade fairly.

  13. damon

    Aren’t you meant to stay off the internet during Shabbat Leon?

  14. Jonathan Lunn

    You are really irritating. Having mass immigration of dumb, uneducated people from other countries doesn’t boost our economy. It crushes peoples wages and stop young people and poor people from ever having a good income to get ahead in life.

    A Romanian, Polish or German person can get on a plane, come to the UK and within a mouth have a National Insurance card and be claiming benefits, using the NHS and even be eligible for a council house. But my Filipina friend, who is a nurse and speaks perfect English, loves English culture and TV programmes and has grown up listening to British music, if she wanted to come to the UK she would have to pay £900, be sponsored by someone, and she can’t claim NHS or benefits for 2 years. We let in dumb Eastern Europeans but block educated people from other parts of the world from coming here. It’s disgusting. We don’t need loads of cheap labour we have a million young people unemployed already.

  15. Zippy

    Sounds like JoeDM loves the NHS enough to want to save it from the massive increase in demand from unfettered open-doors immigration, and probably also wants to protect both the green belt and the urban environment from imillions more immigrants who all need homes to live in, who fill our schools with children who can’t even understand English or are even culturally opposed to the teacher and basic subjects like science, art, music and religious studies that include other religions than their own, and will further jam up the packed transport infrastructure until it totally grinds to a halt.

    Not wanting to limit the number and quality of arrivals is admitting a desire to intentionally overpopulate this island until it too resembles a third world wasteland and an Islamic state. We must secure the border now and reverse Islamic immigration or we will lose all of the things that you and I presumably both hold dear, not least of which is to ensure that our own mothers, wives, sisters and daughters will never face enslavement and rape in the coming decades at the hands of homegrown Islamists from among our muslim populations (and I stress ISLAMISTS who obey Muhammad’s orders to fight and kill or enslave disbelievers everywhere, not the moderate so-called muslims who don’t know or choose to ignore those commands from Allah).

    The alternative is to remain blase about immigration and border control and just assume that it could never happen here, which sounds like your position on this imminent crisis we all face.

  16. Alan59

    Vote UKIP , ex Liebour Voter .

  17. Alan59

    How many UK nationals have been murdered by Eastern europeans since the freedom of movement ?

  18. Leon Wolfeson

    Ah, so you care about crime purely on the basis of nationality.

  19. Guest

    Ah yes, smashing the economy and defunding it, on the basis of your myth.

    And I see, mansions on the green belt and low-rent slums all round for you! Gotta get those wages down and the rich entitled, after all.

  20. Leon Wolfeson

    Facts are, sure.
    Go home then, dumb uneducated person, back to your right wing blogs.

    You chant the same old myths, ignoring the studies and trying to stop trade to suppress wages. Your agenda is clear.

    You spout off myths about benefits, and ignore the rights UK people have. You support, selectively, visa’s for your friends…right. Your “nurse” friend can’t come because she’s unskilled? Aww.

    You want plenty of cheap, unskilled UK labour, on lows wages after you smash trade. Right.

  21. Guest

    And I see, you are Islamophobic, and are trying for violence against Muslims, you gotta seal the borders and murder all the Muslims right, as you act worse than any mere Islamist. Jews would of course be high on your list as well.

    Keep making it plain that you approve of enslavement and rape, from your own ideology. You want to fight and kill and enslave non-believers in YOUR ideology, and that’s all fine.

    The alternative is not to like criminals like you at all. As you talk about your fervent desire for a civil war, your “crisis”. Which you are working hard for.

  22. Guest

    Where did I say I was especially religious, Lord Blagger?

    Once more, you show you’re obsessed with the fact I’m Jewish.

  23. Guest

    So, you want zero trade agreements, because they’re partisan documents made from hard-fought negotiation, no fairness allowed.

    That does explain why you want to leave the EU and cancel all the trade treaties – thanks for being consistent in your anti-trade stance!

  24. Alan59

    No I dont , but at the moment we dont have criminal record checks at the Border do we .

  25. Leon Wolfeson

    That’s not where it’s done either here or in other countries, no.
    But hey, facts.

    You then go and prove me 100% correct, no crime by British people matters to you, very clearly.

  26. damon

    It was a ”joke” Leon.
    I like a lot of Jews btw.
    Tony Curtis was great.

  27. Jonathan Lunn

    ‘Facts are sure’ omg u aren’t English lmao

  28. Guest

    Ah, the “joke” defence. And “I have a gay friend, really”.

    It’s sad on your part. Man up and own your views.

  29. Arturo Franks

    “Race” as presumed by religion is more usual.

  30. Leon Wolfeson

    Honestly, same difference to a large degree.

  31. Guest

    So you’re an ex-BNP voter, as you show from your spelling choices, voting for much the same policies.


  32. Guest

    I’m British.

    And you managed to lose a comma in there, magically, to “prove” your “point”. Dishonest of you.

  33. Jonathan Lunn

    My ass. What British person endorses the mass immigration of 100,000s of people, the collapse of peoples wages and the millions in poverty in this country. I bet you are one of them immigrants that came here and within 2 month had a British Passport. That doesn’t make you English! You are obviously someone who gained from this corrupt system and have no empathy towards any REAL English people who are struggling. Selfish, that’s what you are.

  34. Guest

    Your ass what? You’re one, it seems.

    As you engage in No True Scotsman, and blame the Other for everything.

    I’m not you, but thanks for your projection – I’m British, born in Britain. I don’t like your kind of Little Englander, as you struggle with the millions you earn to lower wages and raise poverty, as you fight the evil trade and try and stop people fleeing you.

    Selfish you say, selfish for the peons not to be worse off, to be corrupt like you.

  35. Jonathan Lunn

    The only thing I got from that is: 1. Your English is bad, 2. You are saying that I am blaming other people for problems that aren’t their fault and 3. That I am selfish and corrupt.

    You said nothing about the poor people I spoke about, and the struggle of hard working families in this country. You also didn’t speak of the 100,000s of people flooding into this country. You just avoided talking about that and attacked me.

    I don’t know what life you are living but you seem to be enjoying it and seem to have no care for other people. I’ll leave you to your little life. Goodbye.

  36. Robert

    No thank I’m ex labour, but voting for a bunch of political morons to run this country, Farage for leader, Farage for Chancellor, Farage in fact all ministerial places because the rest of his party are to bloody illiterate to do the jobs, no thanks.

  37. Robert

    The debate has been taken over by the big two who now state immigration was wrong, but it was right when Blair was in power and Brown, but now it’s evil. the Tories are no better we will stop immigration but can you well no.

  38. Robert

    That is not immigration that is migration within the EU nothing wrong with that so long as it’s not to bring down wages as it was under labour. labour opened the door for wage control and boy did it work. we need doctors nurses and we need carers and we need well a lot of tasks people do not want, so let them in. But people who are on a benefits welfare trip show them the doors.

  39. Mike Stallard

    I want to support you: a Polish friend was actually sacked for no reason after 7 years’ work in a factory. He has a wife and daughter of five. He is forced to live off the state now, even though eh joined an Agency.
    He did do Agency work when he could (zero hours, natch) and, one day, went to his old factory to see the “Black Haired” Bulgarians had taken his job for a nett wage of just £3.50 an hour. All completely legal.

    PS Don’t feed the Trolls!

  40. Jonathan Lunn

    Thank you. And I need comment on these Trolls because people will believe the lies they spout. Please watch this video and share. I do not want Britain to become like Sweden. A New Stockholm To Be Built Within 6 Years:

  41. Jonathan Lunn

    My friend who is a nurse and is Filipina, would have to pay £900 and be sponsored by someone before even setting foot in this country. And she also will can’t claim NHS or benefits for 2 years.

    We are letting into Britain vast amounts of unskilled labour but blocking educated people from the rest of the world from entering this country. It’s disgusting!

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