This year's local elections are being compared with 1968 when the Tories swept all before them.
IMMIGRATION has brought NO economic benefit to Britain, a devastating new report says today.
Instead, the heavyweight Parliamentary inquiry demanded a LIMIT on the numbers flooding into the UK.
Peers warned that the population could soar from 60million to 92MILLION over the next 70 years.
And Lord Wakeham, who led the inquiry, forecast spiralling “tensions” unless ministers took urgent action to tackle the crisis.
Far from boosting the economy by £6billion as the Government has claimed, immigration PREVENTED young Britons from getting jobs; REDUCED training for young people because there were so many cheap, migrant workers; CAUSED wages in low-paid jobs to fall; PILED pressure on schools, hospitals and houses; and WOULD send house prices soaring by 10 per cent as the population increased.
Lord Wakeham said: “It will not happen immediately, but there will be tensions – that is for sure.”
The House of Lords economic affairs committee said the only “winners” were the immigrants themselves – and bosses who got cheap labour.
Government claims that immigration on a scale “unprecedented in our history” had boosted the national wealth – or GDP – were “irrelevant and misleading”.
Ministers, the report added, must decide how many immigrants Britain could cope with each year – and set a target range.
Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said last night that the hard-hitting report proved “unequivocally that the benefits of the current immigration policy to ordinary UK citizens are largely nonexistent”.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of campaign group Migrationwatch, commented: “This report is a watershed.”
Polygamous marriages conducted by Muslims outside the UK are reported to have been given legal recognition by the British government, even allowing husbands who bring more than one wife to the country to claim welfare benefits.
The government in December last year concluded a year-long review that found recognition of polygamous marriages conducted overseas as "the best possible" option, the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported. The decision has not been publicly announced.
Islamic law permits men to have up to four wives at any one time - known as a harem - provided the husband spends equal amounts of time and money on each of them. In Britain, bigamous marriages conducted in the UK are punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Four governmental departments - the Treasury, Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenues and Customs and the Home Office - were involved in the review, launched by ministers in November 2006 after it had emerged that some families benefited financially from the arrangement.
Though Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE permit polygamy, a UN committee on women's rights on February 1 called on the Saudi government to end the marital institution saying it "runs counter to the principle of equality between the sexes", newswire AP reported.
In the UK, the review also concluded that extra welfare benefits can continued to be paid to those already in polygamous marriages, of which ministers estimate a thousand partnerships exist in the country.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has issued new guidelines for income support which state: "Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate... The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently 33.65 pounds ($66.41)."
If the family agrees, income support for all of the wives may be paid directly into the husband's bank account. A husband with many wives may also be eligible for additional housing benefit and council tax benefit under the deal agreed by ministers, in order to reflect the larger property needed for his family.
The decision has been condemned by opposition political party the Conservatives, who accused the British government of favouring a particular group and also of setting a precedent that would lead to demands for further changes in British law.
A DWP spokesperson told the Telegraph that the number of people in polygamous marriages entering Britain had declined since the 1988 Immigration Act, which "generally prevents a man from bringing a second or subsequent wife with him to this country if another woman is already living as his wife in the UK".
While a married man is not allowed to obtain a spouse visa to bring a second wife into Britain, some multiple partners can enter the country via other legal routes such as tourist visas, student visas or work permits.
In addition, officials have identified a potential loophole by which a man can divorce his wife under British law while continuing to live with her as his wife under Islamic law, and obtain a spouse visa for a foreign woman who he can legally marry.
"Entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience," an immigration rulebook advises. "This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household."
Michael Thatcher is continuing to foster Baroness Thatcher's special relationship with the U.S. - by helping his high school American football team into the Texas state finals.
So it is a little disappointing to find she is not glugging the pink Cristal champagne rumoured to sustain her day to day. She is making do instead with a single cup of fresh mint tea.
Neither is she wearing a show-stopping creation from Julien Macdonald or Vivienne Westwood. And, when we meet, she most certainly does not offer to sing.
She is very much off duty, sporting the comfy jumper, fur beret and shades of a woman who takes recuperation seriously. Dame Shirley has been on the razz.
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Dame Shirley Bassey at this year's Glastonbury festival complete with diamante initials... she says she does not recognise the Britain she grew up in
Few would recognise this rather slight figure as the vertiginously high-heeled, big-bosomed diva of Big Spender or Diamonds Are Forever, but this may be no bad thing.
She is safe enough here within the portrait-lined walls of Cliveden House in Berkshire, the sort of hotel where the staff remember she is a Dame Commander of the British Empire. But a recent brush with the criminal classes has left her shaken.
"It was all rather nerve-racking," she says. "I was Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge with my daughter Sharon. We'd been into Harvey Nichols to find some presents.
"Somebody must have seen all the money and cards when I opened my bag to pay and followed me. I felt a bump but nothing more than that. And when I opened my bag at the next shop, there was no purse."
It seems unremarkable, perhaps. Pickpockets are a fact of life in most big European cities, and ever more so in London. But to someone used to the security of life in Monte Carlo - the ritzy, casino-laden side of Monaco - it was a genuine shock.
"The worst of it is the worry," she says. "My cards can be cancelled but I worry who has my details or a picture of me. They took my residence card for Monaco."
She spends most of her time in the principality these days and, as she explains in her first interview for two years, the comparison with the life she sees back here is far from flattering.
"This isn't England any more - at least it is not the country I remember growing up in," she says. "You don't hear English spoken here. You read about terrible things - not just drugs but all the killings.( Read more...Collapse )
The former frontman of the Smiths, who is now based in Rome, claimed England was just 'a memory now'.
The 48-year-old added: "Other countries have held on to their basic identity yet it seems to me that England was thrown away.
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Row: Morrissey has sparked fury after saying he refuses to live in Britain because of the 'immigration explosion'
"The change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country.
"If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won't hear an English accent.
"You'll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent.
"The British identity is very attractive, I grew up into it and I find it quaint and very amusing."
Morrissey, who has sung of his love for English culture and can count Tory leader David Cameron as a fan, is the son of an Irish immigrant family which settled in Manchester.
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Controversial: Morrissey is known for making contentious comments
In 1986, when The Smiths released their critically-acclaimed album The Queen is Dead, the UK had a population of 56million.
It now stands at 60million and some predict that could almost double by 2081.
Morrissey's comments were made in interviews with the music magazine NME.
In the mid-1990s he was accused of racism after wearing a Union Jack on stage and releasing the songs Bengali in Platforms and the ironically-named National Front Disco.
The singer's supporters insisted he had been seeking only to reclaim the flag from extremists.
Tim Jonze, the reporter who conducted the interview, said: "Morrissey has had a stormy relationship with this magazine and its readers over the last three decades.
"He might once have been the voice of a generation but given his comments in these two interviews, he's certainly not speaking for us now."