As I blogged about a few days ago, the Labour Party in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is attacking the Conservative candidate for opposing “making foreign nationals carry an ID card”. As I said then,
The use of the word “foreign” there seems to come with some rather unpleasant overtones in this context, the implication being that ‘ooh, foreigners – they’re terribly nasty aren’t they – so surely you can’t be against keeping tabs on them now, can you?’
But – as Alex has reminded me – there’s more to this than that. Because, you see, making foreign nationals carry an ID card hasn’t until now been Labour policy. Indeed, as the Home Office’s own website says at the time of writing:
Will it be compulsory to carry a card?
That’s pretty clear really, isn’t it?
So what does this all mean?
One explanation of course is that Labour have got so desparate their leaflets are departing from the script and attacking other candidates for views that actually the Labour Party itself holds. Perish the thought.
The alternative? Well, that Labour have used the by-election to introduce a hasty change in their ID cards policy and gone for an (even more) macho anti-foreigner stance.
I do wonder, in that case, how many people in the Labour Party have been told that their policy has been changed in this way. Do you think, for example, that all the visiting Labour MPs have been told about this change? And I wonder if they are all happy with this extra anti-foreigner turn of screw slipped out during a by-election campaign?