Labour’s Hypocrisy on Immigration Is Breathtaking

EVERY time I pop to the shops, I’m reminded that the Britain of my childhood has gone for ever.

These days I’m as likely to hear Bulgarian, Polish or Romanian as English. And while I have no objections to any of these no doubt decent, hard-working, law-abiding people individually, I cannot help but feel the country I grew up in is no longer my own.The burgeoning popularity of Ukip suggests that I’m not alone. But until recently it wasn’t something you could admit in public without being called “racist”. This was one of the Labour party’s most successful and dangerous achievements in the wake of Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.For four decades, Labour created a climate in which even to question the idea that mass immigration, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” were an unmitigated good was tantamount to being a member of the National Front.Typical of this was Labour’s response during the 2005 general election campaign to a speech by the then Conservative leader Michael Howard in which he said: “It’s not racist to talk about immigration. It’s not racist to criticise the system.

It’s not racist to want to limit the numbers. It’s just plain common sense.” According to Labour spokesman Peter Hain these were “scurrilous, Rightwing, ugly tactics”.

But will Hain, I wonder, condemn the comments by a senior politician earlier this week that “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration or to call for immigration reform”?

Somehow I’m guessing not. Though the words sound remarkably similar to Howard’s the MP speaking them this time was none other than Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. As breathtaking hypocrisy goes, this takes some beating.

Not only does it breach Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge last week that: “What we will never do is try to out-Ukip Ukip” but it is also an outrageous attempt to duck responsibility for a crisis which is of Labour’s making.

The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government

House of Lords

Between the 1997 arrival of Labour’s Tony Blair as prime minister and the departure in 2010 of Labour’s Gordon Brown, immigration in Britain soared by 45 per cent – from around 327,000 immigrants per annum to 596,000.And those are just the ones officially recorded by the Office For National Statistics.Once you add illegal immigrants that figure may double to more than one million a year.

“The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government’s Managed Migration policies.”

That’s a quote from a 2008 House of Lords economic affairs select committee telling us something that Labour is now very reluctant to admit: that the 2.3 million migrants added to the UK population between 2000 and 2009 didn’t arrive here as a result of some forgivable border control oversight.

They came as a direct consequence of Labour policy. We know this because of a Labour whistleblower called Andrew Neather – a former speechwriter to Tony Blair, as well as Labour home secretaries David Blunkett and Jack Straw – who later became a newspaper columnist.

In one of his articles he revealed that Labour’s wholehearted embrace of mass immigration had a “driving political purpose” – to “make the UK truly multicultural”.

Read the rest at The Express

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If Nigel Farage is the New Enoch Powell He Should Be Proud

Whenever I find my faith wavering in Nigel Farage and the UKIP project, all I have to do is open my morning newspaper to be reminded why they are both so very necessary.

Yesterday’s Telegraph was a case in point with its snide, insinuating story about how in 1994 Farage wrote to Enoch Powell – the Conservative intellectual and politician long acknowledged as one of his heroes – asking him to support his candidature in a local election. UKIP also wrote on several occasions to ask Powell to stand as a candidate in two national elections.

So far so very ho-hum. Powell – a highly intelligent, supremely principled politician with a fine war record, well loved by his constituents – would have been a natural fit for UKIP with his anti-EU views, his ability to connect with the views of ordinary people and his brave refusal to allow the immigration issue to be swept under the carpet as the Establishment was so keen to do then and remains so eager to do so today.

Why then the story?

Well, it was pegged to the fact that on Thursday night a priapic, soap-dodging, informationally-challenged pocket demagogue called Russell Brand accused Farage on BBC Question Time of being a “pound shop Enoch Powell.” And amazingly, the Telegraph was inviting us to take the view that this grandiloquent half-wit’s cheap shot – playing on the popular leftist meme that Powell was a “racist” because of his “Rivers of Blood” speech – ought to be taken as a valid criticism.

Wearing the mask of sage neutrality, the Telegraph opined in its accompanying editorial:

Whatever the stance one takes, it should be remembered that it was the language used by Mr Powell in the Sixties that so poisoned the immigration debate – and arguably made it so difficult to reopen until very recently. Back in 2005, Michael Howard was accused of having a “Powell moment” as Tory leader when he questioned the wisdom of uncontrolled immigration. That spectre has often been used to shut down such conversations, to the advantage of no one.

Hence, while many in Ukip will be unrepentant in their admiration for Mr Powell, they should surely take note of the bitterness that followed the “Rivers of Blood” speech, and consider the consequences of over-heated rhetoric. Certainly, a debate about the impact of immigration needs to be had – and it should be a prominent part of the mainstream political agenda, rather than left to fester on the margins. But this vital discussion is best conducted with calm, reason and respect for the feelings of others.

Ah yes. The old “over-heated rhetoric” canard.

It always puzzles me when I see one of my fellow journalists wheeling it out. It’s akin to a restaurant critic trying to make a virtue of the fact that from now on he’ll only be reviewing establishments that don’t serve meat; or a poet renouncing rhyme. Why would you want to do such a thing? Why would you want to shackle yourself in this way? The point, if your stock in trade is language, surely, is that you want to be free to employ it in all its rich variety – a bit of low snark here, a bit of Augustan rhetoric there. You’re appealing not just to your reader’s intellect but his emotions too. The idea that, say, strong imagery should be off-limits lest some bad person responds incorrectly is as absurd as ordaining that cars should only travel at 10 miles per hour because any faster and they might kill someone.

And exactly the same thing applies to political oratory. In the decades since Powell made that speech in 1968, it has become accepted wisdom that it killed free public debate on immigration stone dead and that the reason it did so was because of its inflammatory language. I’d concede the first part because it is depressingly, self-evidently true. But the second part is a nonsense.

It wasn’t Powell’s inflammatory language that killed the debate. What killed it was that a political and media Establishment which for various reasons didn’t want to have the debate – some for reasons of ideology, others out of moral cowardice – found it convenient to close it down by shooting the messenger. They didn’t have to close it down. There was no law that declared “If any politician quotes Virgil in a speech on immigration and some people get upset or offended by the fiery tone then for a period of no less than half a century the subject of immigration shall be off limits in case any more people get upset or offended.” Rather, it’s because, a craven political and media class chose to close it down, with consequences we are ruing to this day.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

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