My first ever contact with a British politician was with the centrist Liberal Democrat Right Honourable Danny Alexander who happens to be an MP and Chief Secretary to the Treasury. I had the chance to ask him a question at a London Chamber of Commerce event hosted at the Chamber HQ on Queen Street in London on Tuesday 29th April 2014. I asked him [in light of the immigration debate], “How many engineers from the Commonwealth were ‘enough engineers’?”
I quite admired his answer in terms of its technical adherence to how a politician should answer a question. He highlighted his party’s strong suits while highlighting the need to train up more British Pupils in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. He however declined to put a specific number to the question of “How many Commonwealth engineers?”
I believe that while centrists tend to be lukewarm, some call it tempered and judicious, in their outlook; in this case he gave both the right answer and the answer I was looking for. Yes his party wants to get elected on its strong suits and yes there is the responsibility of a government to train its citizens but there should not be a set number, or cap as it were, on the number of engineers allowed into this country. This however belies the reality of the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition’s strategy on immigration.
While Danny declined to answer the question with a specific number we do know that there is a cap on Tier Two migrants which is 20,700 people with firm job offers in the country. Even high value migrants: investors, entrepreneurs and the exceptionally talented were limited to 1000 by the coalition government. Danny gave the right answer on the spot but the team he is a part of continue to give the wrong answer when it comes to making the big decisions.
Caribbean East Atlantic Company Limited is committed to integrating its new arrivals into British Society on the community level and helping them to rise through the ranks of British Society through their shortage area jobs.
According to David Robinson at the Sheffield Hallam University, moral panic and scape-goating are not the answer, what we need is a measured discussion rooted in evidence of migration trends and associated experiences and consequences. Hmmmm, a tempered and judicious debate? Maybe we do need the Liberal Democrats after all.
This is Peter Campbell reporting from the centre.