From this morning’s Today programme:
As the election approaches, immigration has become a primary concern for many voters but the sensitivity around it is preventing election candidates from making immigration a central issue.
Could that sensitivity and reluctance perhaps have anything to do with the way the BBC has dealt with the issue in the past? When immigration – or more specifically Tory immigration policy – became a major topic during the 2005 election campaign, the Today programme responded by doing an outside broadcast (on St George’s Day) from Leicester. The leader of the Conservatives on Leicester City Council was invited on to defend his party’s policies; he faced a hostile audience and a clearly biased Carolyn Quinn who sided with the crowd and lobbed easy leading questions to a pro-immigration community representative.
It’s a bit rich of the BBC to suddenly start asking why politicians from the mainstream parties are reluctant to talk about immigration when the BBC itself has shown such antagonism towards those who have raised the issue in the past.