Ok, we know that Polly Toynbee is either full of spite, class envy, and self righteousness or very seriously misguided but what in sweet, pinko, unholy fuck is this?
On Monday the Citizens' Organising Foundation's campaign, Strangers into Citizens, is holding a mass rally in Trafalgar Square, with bishops, imams and trade unions calling for an "earned amnesty". They call for all who have been living here for at least four years to be given work permits. After two years, if they have a job, no criminal record and learn English, they would earn citizenship. This process could begin when the new ID card starts next year.
It would rescue lost souls from the shadow world of fear, abuse and exploitation. Combined with a tough new work inspectorate, it would stop sweatshop labour. Those who fear an upsurge of new illegals hoping for a future amnesty should remember that the real draw to Britain is not a citizenship promise but the ease of finding illegal work. The only way to shut down the black economy is to regularise the workforce and heavily penalise illegal employers. If work is hard to get, fewer people will come.
Um not really Polly, I think you will find that one of the large attractions is the fact that it is becoming increasingly difficult to prosecute or deport migrants of non caucasian origin due to more and more playing the 'racism card' (and people are cottoning on to this, as the yardies say about the UK "the judge don't hang"). Also (and more significantly) we have such a disgustingly cumbersome, indulgent welfare state that citizenship practically guarantees a life with plentiful unearned income if an individual knows how to get round the system (let me assure you it's not rocket science).
Let me clarify, this amnesty you propose will simply open the doors for thousands of immigrants to try and outlast the supposed statute of limitations in order to gain citizenship. I do not believe this will shrink black market labour as benefit fraud will simply increase exponentially. What you propose could lead to everybody paying more and more tax to support the influx of migrants who are continually qualifying for citizenship (but you people love tax hikes don't you). And lets be honest once we grant them citizenship they are here to stay.
Our welfare state is a national embarassment, benefit fraud now means that more people than ever live on the taxes of those who have strived from a young age to succeed academically or vocationally in order to get a highly paid job. What you propose will simply increase the burden.
You offend me, your views offend me and your party offends me. I hope you have an extremely unfortunate accident involving a rusty piece of iron piping and your anal passage you shrivelled up, piss-scented old bitch.