Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The perils of immigration

Wasn’t there some hyperbolic mush from the Conservatives about immigrants bringing in diseases a few years back? I can’t be bothered doing the three minutes of googling to find out the exact details, but I’m pretty sure I remember Michael Howard or one of the other shadow ministers arguing that we should start screening people for TB and the like…

Turns out they were right.

In a way. One of the most potentially devastating diseases in recent decades could have been brought here by a migrant according to the BBC.

A dead swan found in Fife which tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu has been identified by scientists as a whooper swan.

The breed originates from outside the UK but it was unclear whether the bird, which has been subjected to DNA tests, picked up the disease abroad.

Y’see! You start letting these foreigners in willy-nilly and the next thing you know we’re back to the times of the plague. It’s not really Johnny (or should that be “Swanny”) foreigners fault – its just that the countries they come from don’t have the same level of hygienic awareness that we do: no Oust to realise delicate freshness, no quilted toilet paper, no scented candles to make bathing an almost transcendental experience. It’s worse than the average Weatherspoons toilet over there.