This collection of essays, which draws together contributions from people who worked on immigration during the Blair-Brown years -- both inside and outside government -- sets out to answer why the issue caused such problems for Labour.

In the main, it is a set of reflections on a historical period, but the authors also seek to draw lessons for the future.

In its famous five pledges, first made before the 1997 general election and updated in 2001, New Labour told the British people how it wanted to change the UK. The focus was on education, health, crime, youth unemployment and sound economic management.

By 2005, a sixth pledge was added, in a new policy area: 'Your country's borders protected.' It represented a belated recognition among the party hierarchy of an issue that had loomed large over Labour's years in government: immigration.