Talk about Newsnight

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Exclusive: Ken calls for illegal migrant amnesty

  • Paul Mason
  • 14 Jun 06, 10:00 PM

London's mayor Ken Livingstone has tonight become the most senior Labour politician to call for an amnesty for Britain's estimated 1/2 million illegal migrants. He issued this statement to Newsnight:

"It was clear after the 1997 election that the disastrous state of the immigration service inherited from the previous government was leading to massive problems in the immigration system including an appalling backlog in dealing with cases. Having spent nine years trying to improve this failing system, and considering the overwhelmingly positive contribution of immigration to the economy and cultural life of the UK, there is now a compelling case for starting from scratch, and clearing all pending cases with an amnesty. Of course the government would first have to decide how it wanted to run the system from the point at which a new regime started and there would be nothing to be gained from giving clear commitments until the government was ready to act."

The move comes after Labour immigration minister Liam Byrne refused to rule out an amnesty. I understand community groups representing London's vast army of migrant cleaners and security guards are in discussion with churches with a view to a hearts and minds campaign among politicians to present this as the only practical option versus the cost of finding and deporting half a million people (ie nearly one in every hundred of the UK population).

MoD confirms "black" military aviation projects exist, sort of

  • Paul Mason
  • 14 Jun 06, 03:33 PM

My colleagues, Meirion Jones and Liz McKean, have been digging through old MOD documents about UFOs - contrary to what you might think the military are still very interested in the concept of alien invaders from outer space and as late as 2000 produced a comprehensive document rubbishing the idea of UFOs. One of the reasons people keep seeing them (apart from magic mushrooms) is the rumoured existence of US military aviation projects, in particular the Aurora project. Anyway some poor soul in the MOD had to go through the report when it was declassified and physically insert little crosses in biro where all reference to US military projects is "redacted" You can read the full thing on the Newsnight website or stay here and read the cut-n-paste summary below...

Continue reading "MoD confirms "black" military aviation projects exist, sort of"

Now that's what I call nationalism...Vol.1

  • Paul Mason
  • 14 Jun 06, 09:34 AM

The problem with nationalism is: it is a febrile emotion; even fragile. Like the stock market, it can go up and down in a volatile manner. You can see this from my anecdotal England flag count: it is down.

I have just wallked past a whole hundred yards of rush hour traffic jam, and not a flag in sight - even on the numerous white vans. The reason for this, I surmise, is the growing realisation that of the seeded teams England gave possibly the worst performance; that Trinidad and Tobago made the Swedes look ordinary; that England may have to face Ecuador, who made the Poles look ordinary - plus the fact that several other teams look like they are playing a totally different game to ours, in particular Argentina.

Maybe the white van driving community is simply reflecting the mood of the TV pundits, which has been hangdog since the 55th minute of the England-Paraguay match, when Sven revealed the full extent of his commitment to tactical surrealism. I would imagine Sven's televised interview last night, in which he saidhe had not told Michael Owen why he was taken off, has done its bit to reduce the flag count as well...

Continue reading "Now that's what I call nationalism...Vol.1"

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