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Textverständnis und Analyse: Sachtext: "Prime minister's address to conservative party members on the government's immigration policy"


  1. Point out David Cameron’s views on immigration as expressed in this speech. 
  2. Examine the way in which Cameron tries to convince his listeners of his views on immigration. Focus on Cameron’s line of arguments, techniques of persuasion ad use of language.



In his speech to conservative party members Prime Minister David Cameron expresses the need for a change in British immigration policy. For him this means coming to a debate which is free of emotional ardour and polemic positions and instead focuses on sensible and reasonable views. He rejects the idea that mass immigration is an economic must.      Drawing on examples of positive immigration histories, for instance immigrants with a successful career (in medicine, as teachers, shop owners or entrepreneurs) or immigrants who contribute much to local life and the community, Cameron is convinced that, for the good of the country, Britain should be more selective about its immigrants. He emphasises the contributions which immigrants have made to Britain.

At the same time he points out that the constant influx of people has put enormous pressure on many communities where immigrants are not willing to integrate or learn the language. Cameron therefore concludes that in future, immigration should be limited and also restricted to such people who are potentially willing to contribute to British society.

(172 words)


David Cameron’s speech may be split into five major parts which support his line of arguments. The Prime Minister starts his address by reminding his audience of a government’s duty towards the wishes of the electorate (l.1-5) and of the role of politicians when it comes to dealing with the subject of immigration. Their task is to “cut through the extremes of the debate and to approach the subject sensibly and reasonably.” (ll.12-13) Cameron goes on to announce the core message to his fellow party members: the line the government has to follow on the issue of immigration (“good immigration, not mass immigration” l.13). In order to illustrate his point he refers to positive examples of immigrants that have integrated well and have contributed to British society contrasting them with examples in which communities have become unbalanced due to high numbers of immigrants. David Cameron rounds up his speech by defining the Tories’ direction concerning immigration policies of the future.

Despite the fact that his address is meant as a party political guideline for the conservatives on the issue, David Cameron puts great store by emphasising who actually set the agenda for future immigration policies, namely the British people. In order to strengthen their importance for the government’s political line, Cameron refers to “the people” throughout his speech. It is the voter’s message that he “heard loud and clear on the doorstep” (l.2), it is the British people who said that they wanted a government that did what was good for the country (see l.3-5) and it is also them that are so “fair-minded” (l.18) that they “can be honest about what they think about the subject [of immigration]” (l.19-20). The simple style of language further underlines the Prime Minister’s intention that his address is not only directed at his fellow party members, but in fact at all British people.

The frequent use of appeals (“Let’s start” l.18; “Go (in)to” l.21-24; “you’ll find” l.21-25) coupled with a parallel, anaphoric sentence structure serves the speech’s role as a signpost for the Tories’ immigration policy. The listeners are summoned to have a look around the country at the positive and negative examples of immigration and to draw their conclusions. The communal task of defining Britain’s immigration policy of the future is further underlined by the regular use of the pronouns “we” and “our” (see l.1-5). Thus also, Cameron stresses the national unity.

(400 words)

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