Dear Mr. Field
I read your letter in today's Observer with some dismay. If ever it was the time for the Labour Party to stand united, take on UKIP and reclaim its base, it is now.
However, instead of challenging the myths of mass immigration that have been exploited by the BNP and latterly by UKIP, you have chosen to jump on their bandwagon and let a party devoted to far-right populism set the agenda.
Your letter raises the following questions, which I'm sure Labour Party members and your own constituents would like answering.
- How many of the 2m workers from the EU8 countries have since returned to their country of origin or another EU country, such as Germany?
- What was the net contribution to the UK economy, both in direct taxation (income and national insurance), as well as job creation by new businesses and contribution to local economy of those 2m workers?
- By how much is the increase in population of EU8 nationals attributable to birth rate - of what now are new UK citizens?
- How many of the 3/4m EU8 workers in the UK last year were here for a period of less than 3 months? How many were students?
- What is there to suggest that we will face large numbers coming to settle here over the next decade?
- Poverty pay - is this what you call the Minimum Wage? If not, isn't this a problem of law enforcement and exploitation of migrant workers?
- Currently the UK is 40th in world ranking for immigration. So what is 'mass immigration'?
- How do you attribute the lack of affordable housing to immigrants, to quote your previous paragraph, on 'poverty pay'?
- What percentage of current hospital capacity is being used by foreign nationals? (I'll give you a clue - it's less than 1%)
- How does immigration affect transport infrastructure?
As these questions all arise directly from the text of your letter, no doubt you'll have the answers immediately to hand.
Thanks in anticipation of your speedy response,