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Not So Much 'Dog Whistle' Politics, More a Shrill Cry for Help

08/05/2013 15:58 BST | Updated 08/07/2013 10:12 BST

According to the Queen in her speech at the state opening of parliament today, the government "will continue to focus on building a stronger economy". Can you run that past us again please, Your Majesty?

That will presumably be the same government that has inflicted on us the slowest economic recovery in almost 150 years?

The same government that has lost its highly-prized AAA credit rating - something George Osborne once invited us to judge him on - and only avoided a triple dip recession by the skin of its teeth.

This government has no credible economic record on which to build. In fact it is imposing such massive cuts to pay, pensions, jobs and working conditions that 250,000 members of my union are engaged in a three-month campaign of industrial action and protests, including walkouts today by workers in key public bodies.

Yet, rather than tackle these serious shortcomings, among the measures announced at this festival of opulence and inherited wealth were plans to scapegoat migrants even more and force people to work longer before they can claim their state pension.

The suggestion that landlords should turn border force police and check on the immigration status of tenants is the stuff of Ukip paranoia. This is not so much 'dog whistle' politics, more a shrill and desperate cry to the far extremes of a Tory party licking its wounds after a drubbing in the local elections.

Bloodied by Ukip - the self-proclaimed anti-Establishment party bankrolled by rich ex-Tories and led by a Dulwich College-educated former City trader - the Tory party are again turning their fire on migrants.

It is as transparent as it is despicable. Potentially denying immigrants and their families a home is not only cruel, it will do nothing to solve the catastrophic shortage of council, social and affordable housing across the UK. This is a crisis that could be tackled by joining the dots with the current crisis in the construction industry and legislating for a massive new housebuilding programme.

On pensions, following on from making public servants work longer and pay more for less, the government wants to bring forward by eight years the increase in the state pension age to 67, forcing all but the wealthy to wait longer for their retirement - with the threat that this will rise further. So instead of leaving our children and grandchildren a better society, we will be handing down the very real prospect of them having to work into their 70s.

This might suit the Queen's family, but it shouldn't be inflicted on the rest of us.