The pamphlet has been written by David Goodhart, Editor of Prospect magazine, and is a development of his controversial 2004 essay Too Diverse? The pamphlet also includes contributions from David Blunkett MP, John Denham MP, Neal Ascherson and others.
“A progressive, civic British nationalism - comfortable with the country’s multi-racial character and its European commitments - is the best hope for preserving the collective values embodied in the welfare state and a thriving public realm,” says David Goodhart. “Progressives, especially in England, have an anachronistic hostility to national feeling. It is no longer about militarist jingoism, it is the last vehicle for meaningful collectivism.”
Goodhart supports many of the government’s policy initiatives but says they should be taken further and, particularly in the case of ID cards, presented as part of a wider story of renewing and preserving citizenship in more fluid and mobile times.
The pamphlet argues that the Home Office should be broken up and a new government department should be created to oversee immigration and integration. It also proposes that a detailed annual migration report should be produced by an independent panel set up under the new department’s auspices, including representatives of all the main political parties, employers, trades unions and immigrant groups.
“We are experiencing historically very high levels of immigration but the costs and benefits are very unevenly distributed,” says David Goodhart. “If the government wants to win political legitimacy for even moderate levels of immigration it must do more to ensure that it benefits poorer citizens too. That means being much more sceptical about low-skill migration and doing much more to get existing citizens into unfilled vacancies.”
Other policy suggestions include: