Both the main parties are feeding a new generation of racist myths over the issue of asylum.
In the run-up to both the 1997 and 2001 general elections, the Commission for Racial Equality called the leaders of the major parties together for a Queensberry rules type summit. These meetings culminated in the signing of a 'compact' committing the parties to a sensible and moderate debate about immigration and asylum. In truth the compact, though well intentioned, amounted to nothing as politicians scrambled for votes. As unofficial campaigning for this year's election starts in earnest, the best that can be said is that we are being spared the cynical pretence.