The Super Soaraway Currant Bun had the magic bullet cure for all that immigration in the run-up to the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, and that was to shill for the kind of system they use in Australia: a points-based one. This would mean that only those whose skills were in demand would be let in. That Australia has a higher immigration rate per head of population than the UK was not allowed to enter.
This message was rammed home at every opportunity: on June 15, the Sun championed the appearance of London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson on ITV Good Morning, where he encountered a sceptical Holly Willoughby, and stressed his assertion “I believe in immigration … But I feel people think it would be better if there was an Australian-style points based system so we could actually get a good system”. Cripes readers, Beano Bozza backs the Sun!
Six days later, during a Sun Cabbie grilling, it was Bozza again, responding to the question “If we leave the EU, what guarantees can you give me and the readers of The Sun that you can get the immigration down?” by once again telling “What we can guarantee is that we can bring in a points based system, an Australian style points based system so that politicians are actually able to deliver on their promises”. Gosh chaps, a guarantee!
On the same day, an article in the paper asked “What will Brexit mean for migration?” and gave the unequivocal answer “BREXIT would stop the automatic right of European Union citizens being able to live and work in Britain … Instead if they want to come here they would need to apply under an Australian-style points based system where they would be judged on the skills they could bring to Britain”. This was “taking back control”.
Even after the referendum, readers were once again informed “Brexit would stop the automatic right of European Union citizens being able to live and work in Britain … Instead if they want to come here they would need to apply under an Australian-style points based system where they would be judged on the skills they could bring to Britain”. Verily, even the Murdoch doggies have mastered copying and pasting their own copy.
But that was then, and this is now: Theresa May has declared a points based immigration system unfit for purpose. Non-bullying political editor Tom Newton Dunn has told readers “THERESA May has rubbished adopting a new points based system to control immigration when Britain leaves the EU - casting deep doubt on if it would cut numbers”.
Whoops! Get the editorial handbrake turn ready! Out came an editorial telling readers “Those who backed Brexit must not get bogged down defending the points-based immigration system Vote Leave talked up … Theresa May is against it as the evidence shows it won’t work for Britain … It may be that a visa system for all immigrants proves more effective”. So why were the Murdoch doggies flogging the idea?
It’s clear that the Sun is going to support Theresa May unquestioningly - for now. If that means U-turns that make the hacks look foolish, so be it.