FIRMS must list foreign workers, blares the headline of London’s Times newspaper today after a speech from the Conservative government’s new home secretary, Amber Rudd. The idea, it seems, is not to list each and every individual but for each company to list the total number of its foreign employees so that they can be “named and shamed”. 

Conservative Home Secretaries have a tradition of throwing red meat to delegates so it may be that this policy never goes any further. On BBC’s Today programme this morning, Ms Rudd was emphasising that the policy was only “for consultation” and if she consults business, she’ll probably get a pretty rude answer. Which business would want to be named and shamed as the top of the list, with all the potential for adverse publicity, demonstrations etc? It’s all a bit reminiscent of the First World War when shops with German-sounding names had their windows broken and the Royal family changed its name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor.  

But this was not the only bad idea to come out of the current Conservative conference. First, there was the idea of Continue reading