I have heavily criticised Frank Field & Phil Woolas in the past for their comments on immigration that are blatant pandering to racism. But Woolas' recent comments about controlling immigration are clearly addressing public concern.

Previously I did a lot of working helping the party in the NW against the BNP. The analysis was right that political parties have to talk about the issues that the public are concerned about and show that they are taking their concerns seriously. Otherwise extremists can flourish. That is why sometimes Woolas, Jack Straw etc. (who I usually despise) are sometimes right to directly address popular concerns. I am very outspoken in support of the Eastern European immigrants who have done so much to help improve Britain in recent years. By being slow to encourage people off invalidity benefit the Government has missed a major chance. A few years ago I was certain that there was a job in Liverpool for everyone who wanted it – the Polish, and other EU and Middle Eastern and Asian immigrants took jobs because many local people would not take them. These were not good jobs, I admit, but they were jobs that would have got people off being paid to not work at the taxpayers expense. Now that opportunity may have been passed for a little while.

The Government are surely right to be thinking of bringing forward public expenditure. I've written elsewhere about how they must take some of the blame. I really don't know what kind of coordinated international effort would work. In this modern crisis maybe it is likely that traditional Roosevelt / Keynesian public work spending will not be enough. But the Government are surely right to try.