Labour, immigration and ID cards

Benedict Brogan, writing an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph, thinks that Labour leadership candidates may try to link immigration and ID cards:

Yet now power has been lost, and the old views can be disowned, the party has started talking about national identity and the impact of migrants with the bug-eyed enthusiasm of an iPad bore. For those fighting to lead Labour, the topic has gone from taboo to mandatory. The four Identikit candidates likely to be on the ballot when nominations close – the Miliband brothers, Ed Balls and Andy Burnham – all admit that they did not pay enough attention to what they were being told on the doorstep, namely that we are full up. Amid the soul-searching on the Left, there is an acknowledgment that Mr Brown’s general refusal to acknowledge such concerns contributed to defeat. David Goodhart, the editor of Prospect, has even called on Labour to become the anti-immigration party.

This was, perhaps, a rhetorical flourish, but it shows the danger for David Cameron and the Coalition. Though the Labour contest has ages to run, there are plenty involved, especially the frontrunner, David Miliband, who have spotted an opportunity to outflank the Coalition from the Right. Scrapping ID cards and DNA testing, he argues, plays well with the chattering classes, but badly with ordinary voters, who believe only criminals and illegal immigrants have anything to fear from such intrusive measures.