Frank Field and preventing a British Kristallnacht.
To suggest that this is a wholly distasteful comparison and allusion is an understatement, but it is perhaps one that is more appropriate than Field realises. Kristallnacht was sponsored and abetted by the German government. Field's argument that is as "unemployment rises there is a danger of increased tension as British citizens lose their jobs." This is almost identical to Phil Woolas's completely unprompted comments that "people losing their jobs makes the immigration issue extremely thorny", and that it had been "too easy to get into this country in the past and it was going to get harder." It's true that during recessions tensions are bound to rise, but those tensions very rarely turn to major unrest or riots without the deliberate involvement of those with the most to benefit from such unrest. The riots in northern England in 2001 were almost uniquely sparked by the activities of the British National Party and National Front in the respective towns. What you do not do when tensions are liable to rise is then stoke the fire: Woolas may have been addressing what he thought was a coming problem, but he also through his statement suggested that it had been too easy to get into this country, when that is simply not backed up by the facts, as Diane Abbott pointed out. He was pandering to those whom have been arguing such for years, encouraging the kind of victimhood which the BNP feeds of off. Woolas was quite openly pointing towards who's really to blame for the economic mess, and it wasn't his party. From someone that had accused the Tories' Sayeedi Warsi of pandering to the BNP over very similar comments, this was hypocrisy of the highest order.
Likewise, Field seems to be taking the opportunity afforded by the recession to gain supporters for his immigration "reforms". His invocation of a "mini Kristallnacht" as something which can only be avoided if his slamming shut of the door is introduced is not worthy of a politician that stood up to the government over the 10p tax rate. He tries to shut down dissent to his ideas by claiming that they are overwhelming supported by the public, as though this means they are unquestionable. Then finally, to add insult to injury, he states that "[A]ny outbreaks of anger will be denied public support if voters know that the labour market is closed to new migrants from outside the EU." In other words, unless we adopt my proposals, it will be understandable if the public supports the indiscriminate targeting of "foreigners" like that which occurred in Germany in 1938. And Field has the audacity to suggest that his policies should not be confused with the position of asylum seekers, when he seems to be tacitly suggesting that riots would be understandable in the current circumstances, in which asylum seekers, legal workers, illegal workers and long time citizens of this country would all be tarred with the same brush. What a thoroughly boorish and unpleasant man Field really is.