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Migration is a topic that keeps coming back to the top of the political and policy agenda these days. One moment it's tabloid scares about Polish pregnancies (simply not supported by the statistics); the next day broadsheets carry more sober accounts about the economy's essential need for more specialist skilled migrants.

This item is based on a speech which I delivered at the conference: Migrant Workers in the North West - One Year On (29th Feb 2008). Thanks are due to Steve Barwick for original material and to Denise McDowell and her colleagues in "Migrant Workers North West" who provided the platform and a great day's conference enjoyed by several hundred delegates.

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