Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Four Unspeakable Words

“Enoch Powell was right.”

Those are the Four Words that you may not speak or put into writing in Great Britain today.

If you are so rash as to do so, you risk being publicly humiliated, losing your job, and perhaps being arrested for “inciting racial hatred”.

Last year Nigel Hastilow discovered this rule to his great misfortune. Mr. Hastilow was a Tory candidate standing for Parliament, and published the following in a newspaper editorial:

When you ask most people in the Black Country what the single biggest problem facing the country is, most say immigration.

Many insist: “Enoch Powell was right”. Enoch, once MP for Wolverhampton South-West, was sacked from the Conservative front bench and marginalised politically for his 1968 “rivers of blood” speech, warning that uncontrolled immigration would change our country irrevocably.

He was right. It has changed dramatically.

No more candidacy for Mr. Hastilow! He was forced to resign for saying the Four Words.

I have written previously about Enoch Powell and his infamous speech, but that was back in 2005, when Gates of Vienna had virtually no readers, so I’m re-posting it below.


Preventable Evils

Jonah Goldberg’s column in yesterday’s NRO reminded me of Enoch Powell’s famous “Rivers Blood” speech in 1968. There have been other reminders of it recently — one of the commenters here at Gates of Vienna mentioned it, and, as a result, people searching for “Enoch Powell rivers of blood” often wash up here at the Gates and are detected by our site meter. Apparently Enoch Powell is making something of a comeback.

Like the designation of Churchill’s famous words as the “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” speech, the shorthand “Rivers of Blood” for Powell’s speech is something of a misnomer — the eponymous sentence is actually this: “As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’”. But such are the vagaries of collective memory; people recall “Rivers of Blood”, so “Rivers of Blood” it is.

Enoch Powell was a Conservative member of Parliament when he gave the speech. I was living in England at the time, and I remember the occasion well. He was immediately reviled in the press and on the BBC, and lost his position in the Tory shadow cabinet as a result. The conventional wisdom loathed him, and he was depicted as a demagogue and a would-be Hitler.

But he was also ridiculed. I was a teenager in those days, and avidly read the satirical weekly Private Eye. In its pages he was mocked as a ludicrous throwback and a bigot. The editors enjoyed using file photos of him and adding silly graphics and speech balloons to make their points. Since he attracted a following among Sir Oswald Moseley’s heirs, all the derogatory labels tended to stick.

It is hard to look at the writings of people who have been declared beyond the pale. Presumably there are points worth noting in Mein Kampf and Das Kapital, but the verdict pronounced by history on their authors tends to prevent close scrutiny. Even so, it is worth revisiting what Powell said in the light of today’s events. His words were not those of a frothing madman, but an intelligent and carefully-chosen argument.

The key paragraphs of the speech were at the beginning:

The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future. Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and even for desiring troubles: “If only,” they love to think, “if only people wouldn’t talk about it, it probably wouldn’t happen.”

Perhaps this habit goes back to the primitive belief that the word and the thing, the name and the object, are identical. At all events, the discussion of future grave but, with effort now, avoidable evils is the most unpopular and at the same time the most necessary occupation for the politician.

There’s the rub for an elected politician who also feels a duty to posterity: how to identify and deal with those events which occur now but will have significant effect so far in the future that it is politically safe to ignore them.

He goes on to describe an encounter with a constituent:
- - - - - - - - -
A week or two ago I fell into conversation with a constituent, a middle-aged, quite ordinary working man employed in one of our nationalised industries. After a sentence or two about the weather, he suddenly said: “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay in this country.” I made some deprecatory reply to the effect that even this government wouldn’t last for ever; but he took no notice, and continued: “I have three children, all of them been through grammar school and two of them married now, with family. I shan’t be satisfied till I have seen them all settled overseas. In this country in 15 or 20 years’ time the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.”

I can already hear the chorus of execration. How dare I say such a horrible thing? How dare I stir up trouble and inflame feelings by repeating such a conversation?

Notice that even in 1968 the reign of PC thinking had already taken hold; Powell knew that his words constituted a heinous thought crime in the eyes of the enlightened.

Notice also that it was the black immigrants from Commonwealth countries who were considered to be the great danger. It was to be another decade before Elvis Costello sang, “London is full of Arabs” (in a song mocking the successors of Enoch Powell). In 1968 the Arabs weren’t a danger. Why would the Arabs come? They were not in the Commonwealth.

But come they did, seeking political asylum to avoid persecution by their own governments for their dangerous versions of Islam. And, in even greater numbers, Muslims from Commonwealth member nation Pakistan immigrated to settle in Britain.

Powell went on:

What he is saying, thousands and hundreds of thousands are saying and thinking — not throughout Great Britain, perhaps, but in the areas that are already undergoing the total transformation to which there is no parallel in a thousand years of English history. In 15 or 20 years, on present trends, there will be in this country three and a half million Commonwealth immigrants and their descendants. That is not my figure. That is the official figure given to parliament by the spokesman of the Registrar General’s Office. There is no comparable official figure for the year 2000, but it must be in the region of five to seven million, approximately one-tenth of the whole population, and approaching that of Greater London. Of course, it will not be evenly distributed from Margate to Aberystwyth and from Penzance to Aberdeen. Whole areas, towns and parts of towns across England will be occupied by sections of the immigrant and immigrant-descended population.

…It is this fact which creates the extreme urgency of action now, of just that kind of action which is hardest for politicians to take, action where the difficulties lie in the present but the evils to be prevented or minimised lie several parliaments ahead.

No matter how much it pains us to say it, we have to acknowledge that Powell was precisely right. Whatever his motivations, despite any racism or bigotry on his part, he was right.

And he hit other nails on the head:

There could be no grosser misconception of the realities than is entertained by those who vociferously demand legislation as they call it “against discrimination”, whether they be leader writers of the same kidney and sometimes on the same news papers which year after year in the 1930s tried to blind this country to the rising peril which confronted it, or archbishops who live in palaces, faring delicately with the bedclothes pulled right up over their heads. They have got it exactly and diametrically wrong. The discrimination and the deprivation, the sense of alarm and of resentment, lies not with the immigrant population but with those among whom they have come and are still coming. This is why to enact legislation of the kind before parliament at this moment is to risk throwing a match on to gunpowder. The kindest thing that can be said about those who propose and support it is that they know not what they do.

These words can only remind 21st-century Americans of the unchecked flow of illegal immigrants across our borders, and of the bedclothes pulled up over the heads of most of our elected leaders.

Demonstrating that he was not your typical racist, Powell said:

Nothing is more misleading than comparison between the Commonwealth immigrant in Britain and the American negro. The negro population of the United States, which was already in existence before the United States became a nation, started literally as slaves and were later given the franchise and other rights of citizenship, to the exercise of which they have only gradually and still incompletely come. The Commonwealth immigrant came to Britain as a full citizen, to a country which knew no discrimination between one citizen and another, and he entered instantly into the possession of the rights of every citizen, from the vote to free treatment under the National Health Service.

And then there is this, all too familiar to us in 2005:

In the hundreds upon hundreds of letters I received when I last spoke on this subject two or three months ago, there was one striking feature which was largely new and which I find ominous. All Members of Parliament are used to the typical anonymous correspondent; but what surprised and alarmed me was the high proportion of ordinary, decent, sensible people, writing a rational and often well-educated letter, who believed that they had to omit their address because it was dangerous to have committed themselves to paper to a Member of Parliament agreeing with the views I had expressed, and that they would risk penalties or reprisals if they were known to have done so. The sense of being a persecuted minority which is growing among ordinary English people in the areas of the country which are affected is something that those without direct experience can hardly imagine.

Plus ça change…

And this one is uncannily prescient:

We are on the verge here of a change. Hitherto it has been force of circumstance and of background which has rendered the very idea of integration inaccessible to the greater part of the immigrant population — that they never conceived or intended such a thing, and that their numbers and physical concentration meant the pressures towards integration which normally bear upon any small minority did not operate. Now we are seeing the growth of positive forces acting against integration, of vested interests in the preservation and sharpening of racial and religious differences, with a view to the exercise of actual domination, first over fellow-immigrants and then over the rest of the population.

Powell concluded his speech with this:

As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”… Only resolute and urgent action will avert it even now. Whether there will be the public will to demand and obtain that action, I do not know. All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.

Regardless of his racist motivations, regardless of any demagogic ambitions he might have had, Enoch Powell was right. He lived until 1998, long enough to see that much of what feared had already come to pass. In 1968 he was in the unenviable position of someone in 1931 warning of the danger that Hitler posed to the world.

But the timeline of Islamofascism is slower than that of the Nazis. It is not yet 1940 for us; it is still 1938 or 1939. There is still time. But is there any evidence that our leaders have the nerve and the wherewithal to deal with the preventable evils of our time?


Hat tip: LN.

27 comments:

Shawmut said...

Powell words were no less appropriate then than now. Clearly he spoke at a time when exaggerated sympathies had not yet become politically correct.
The problem, as I see it (deeply feel and fear it actually) is that the obvious is being denied and pollyannish denial is being acclaimed.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

In all but one key element, Powell's beliefs and words from 1968 have been spectacularly wrong.

What was Britain like in 1968? The nation was a decade away from the nadir of a long decline, beginning in 1918. Of course we all know of the decline of the British empire. Of more import for Britain was the economic decline on the island itself. For most of this 60 year decline England had kept itself "white," with little immigration allowed until well into the 1950's.

By 1979, when Margaret Thatcher took over, Britain was a European economic basket case. She turned things around. Did she do so by further battening down the hatches, restricting immigration, closing foreign trade outlets, further protecting coddled native employees in state-run industries?

She did exactly the opposite. And a key reason for Britain's economic resurgence since 1979, in addition to sound government economic policies, has been the vigor and prosperity brought by hard-working immigrant populations from the Caribbean, Africa, and South Asia. These people were fully integrated into British economic and political life, unlike the German "gastarbeiter" or the French Arab populations. And they are a key reason why Britain is where it is today, a European economic powerhouse with among the highest standards of living within the EU.

There is one glaring exception to Enoch Powell's wrong-headedness - the Muslim immigrants to Britain. Well, perhaps "glaring" is too strong a word - many Muslim immigrantshave followed the pathway of other immigrants to economic success and assimilation. But a key percentage of Muslim immigrants to Britain have not assimilated, as this site and others devoted to exposing the Islamic menace to Europe have documented quite well.

So the question remains - should Britain (and other European nations) reject all non-European immigrants in an attempt to preserve European culture? As an American, I would not presume to answer that question. But the story of most immigrants to Britain would make the answer to that question, "no."

Let's put it another, more facetious way - would the Baron and Dymphna be happier eating pub grub from the 1970's instead of curry in London today?

thll said...

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon (what is he known as now?) said...
"Let's put it another way - would the Baron and Dymphna be happier eating pub grub from the 1970's instead of a curry today?"

Lol! The old curry line of reasoning - a korma, a korma, my kingdom for a korma.

KG said...

Powell was broadly right. Which is why Crusader Rabbit has carried a link to the text of his speech on the blogroll for a year now.
What's of more interest is how a person who dared speak out was vilified and marginalised--the truth is no defence at all.

Piggy Infidel said...

The BBC's attitude towards Powell is softening somewhat, the recent BBC documentary surprised many with its more balanced approach

BBC Powell documentary on Youtube

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Diamed said...

Gordon, I would point you to the recent government study in the UK proving that immigration has contributed nothing to the economy, it takes as much in taxes as it pays. The 'hard-working immigrant' is a myth, they don't work nearly as hard as the 'hard working' natives (strange you never see them referred to in such a good light huh?), nor are they as skilled. The economy rebounded not because of immigration, which stayed the same as before under Thatcher, but due to supply side economics, the same with Reagan in the USA. I see a lot of misinformation being used to justify the unjustifiable--the genocide of entire nations and their entire population replacement by foreign invaders. Esau traded his birthright for porridge, but I see you've graduated up to curry.

CarnackiUK said...

Gordon, apart from predictable platitudes mouthed by a few recent NuLabour politicians, I've never before heard the totally absurd suggestion that the British economic resurgence under Mrs Thatcher was due to the influx of immigrants imported by previous Labour administrations. Any observant Briton who lived thru those days will tell you that the turnaround was as a result of Thatcher reining in the then all-powerful unions with their outdated work practices, frivolous demarcation disputes and over-manning.

However, if you're referring to the regeneration of the prostitution and heroin-importation rackets, you might have a valid point. Hardworkers like 'Lucky' Gordon and Johnny Edgecombe would appreciate the belated tribute.

Your thesis is so off the mark that I can only conclude that your real-life experience of the UK has been as extensive as, let's say, Charles Johnson's.

As for exotic culinary choices, I've little doubt that you would plump for the 'Charlene Downes special'.

With extra relish.

no2liberals said...

I think an observation of events in the UK would indicate that Powell's words were as astounding in his time, as were Nostradamus'.
Thank you for posting this, I was completely unfamiliar with this man or his insight.
As for the liberal view that unchecked immigration cures economic ills, I think jellied eel is the proper snack for that notion.

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

carnackiuk: And who did those ridiculous labor practices, overmanning, union tyranny, etc. that Thatcher took on and defeated benefit anyway? New immigrants? Or the "native stock?"

Thatcher's liberalization of the economy allowed the immigrants, not protected by the unions and their Labour Party buddies, to thrive and prosper.

And help bring Britain up with them.

heroyalwhyness said...

carnackiuk - "As for exotic culinary choices, I've little doubt that you would plump for the 'Charlene Downes special'.

With extra relish."

You hit that one out of the park!! That quotes a keeper.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

Nodrog, I'm far too toasted to raise a cogent argument right now, however I will say this: your reading of the 70s is about as wide of the mark as my ability to shoot a target at 30 yards when filled with vodka.

Not that I would try such a thing.

Let me put it this way. Being drunk I care not what offence I give, and you are being sh*t-ignorant. Maggie liberalised the economy by reducing taxes, slashing regulation and killing the union grip over productivity and slashing the bureaucratic nonsense that prevented innovation and entrepreneurialism (try spelling that when you're drunk, I dare you) Immigration had f*ck all to do with it. Had she done this in a nation without any immigrant population it would have have exactly the same effect.

You obviously know nothing about my country, so do yourself a favour and shut up until you've learned.

Paul said...

Here is the legacy today's Brits have left behind: http://youtube.com/watch?v=6_5hSUs11Jo

Being of yankee Texas roots, when I first heard this piece I was reminded of Bob Wills and Texas Playboys, and other *real* country tunes before the modern *pop music* imposters took the stage.

I now know what I thought was country was in fact traditional folk music that come over the water in wooden sailing ships.

And to think that contemporary Europeans have tossed their heritage in the garbage, and substituted Multicultural bilge in it's place is difficult to comprehend.

An invitation to our Norsk and Dansk friends: Is there Danish, Norwegian or even Swedish like the Scots music referenced above that you can send us links to???

'twould be most appreciated!

Paul said...

This is what it was like:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=k1_W7Og-L3Q

Yeah!

Before cable TV and the internet screwed up the whole world there were some worthwhile things.

In places like northern rural Alabama and Tennesee there used to be 'just plain folks'. Good folks.

Now we have 'American Idol' and the rest of it...... And that's just the edge of it.

Sagunto said...

@tpfkag,

Allow me to pick from your elaborate exposé the following two statements..

- "But a key percentage of Muslim immigrants to Britain have not assimilated, as this site and others devoted to exposing the Islamic menace to Europe have documented quite well."

- "should Britain reject all non-European immigrants?"


..and ask why you seemingly refrain from poppin' the obvious question, being: should Britain reject all Islamic immigrants?

Kind regs from Amsterdam,
Sag.

John Rohan said...

Great article. It's also worth mentioning that before this speech, Enoch Powell was better known as a great hero of WWII, and the only man in the war to go from the rank of private to brigadier general.

Nigel Hastilow also displayed a great deal of courage in his firing, refusing to grovel to political correctness (for more on him, see here).

Profitsbeard said...

Powell had the nerve to want Britain to remain British.

They rejected his wisdom.

And pay with their future.

VinceP1974 said...

I think American Idol is fun.

Paul said...

VinceP1974 said...

I think American Idol is fun.

And that's just it: I know it. My wife likes it too, and so would I if I let myself plug into the tv.

How in the world can we resist 21st century mulitculties and liberal vacuum speak? Gads...

no2liberals said...

Paul,
The music we generally refer to as blue grass or mountain music, was brought here by settlers, most were Scots or Scots-Irish. As they arrived in the colonies, they were often treated with disdain, and not accepted readily in society. That was fine with them, they didn't want to be around those who didn't want them, and the new world gave them the perfect opportunity, they moved into the mountains in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. They created their own nation, in a sense, and signed the first majority rule system of American democratic government, the Watauga Association. Sycamore Shoals, Tennessee was the first permanent American settlement outside the original thirteen colonies. These good folks were living a life far away from the direct influence of the British Crown, just the way they liked it, and even after the Revolutionary War began, they didn't feel threatened or obliged to join in...until.
An arrogant, pompous British Officer, in command of an all British Loyalist Army, issued a threat to the good folks of Sycamore Shoals.
"that if they did not desist from their opposition to the British arms, and take protection under his standard, he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword. "
Needless to say, the proud, independent minded, and liberty loving Scots who inhabited this region, didn't tremble at this threat, they called a meeting, said a prayer, grabbed their gear, and set out, mostly on foot, crossed up and down mountains, and streams, and promptly attacked the British officers Army, which in effect, caused Cornwallis' left flank to collapse, ending the British invasion of North Carolina, and forced Cornwallis to move to South Carolina, giving Nathanial Greene time to reorganize his army.
It was a tremendous event, historically, but one seldom mentioned.
Without the bravery of those brave and good folks from Scotland, and other European countries, this nation would never have been. This is also what is so deeply troubling for me, as I do feel gratitude for those folks, and what they accomplished, and sacrificed for us, and for freedom and liberty, in general. To think that the spirit of those settlers is lost in Europe, is what saddens me, and I continue to hold out for a flame to be ignited in the native lands that produced such remarkable people.
Battle of King's Mountain.
Sycamore Shoals:Where Liberty Began.
Prayer-Sycamore Shoals Muster.
"Almighty and gracious God! Thou hast been the refuge and strength of Thy people in all ages. In time of sorest need we have learned to come to Thee - our Rock and our Fortress. Thou knowest the dangers and snares that surround us on march and in battle. "Thou knowest the dangers that constantly threaten the humble, but well beloved homes which Thy servants have left behind them. "O, in Thine infinite mercy, save us from the cruel hand of the savage, and of Tyrant. Save the unprotected homes while fathers and husbands and sons are far away fighting for freedom and helping the oppressed. "Thou, who promised to protect the Sparrow in its flight, keep ceaseless watch, by day and by night, over our loved ones. The helpless woman and little children, we commit to Thy care. Thou wilt not leave them or forsake them in times of loneliness and anxiety and terror. "O, God of Battle, arise in Thy might. Avenge the slaughter of Thy people. Confound those who plot for our destruction. Crown this mighty effort with victory, and smite those who exalt themselves against liberty and justice and truth. "Help us as good soldiers to wield the SWORD OF THE LORD AND GIDEON." "Amen"
We, as Americans, were given so much to grow on, from our European ancestors. Perhaps it is the natural order of things, that we should send back some of that spirit we were blessed with.

no2liberals said...

As for American Idol, I will not submit.
I am a hardcore Simpsons and South Park fan, though.
South Park was excellent tonight. It was a Grapes of Wraith take on the loss of internet access. They all migrated to Californee, for some internet.

Darrin Hodges said...

Piggy Infidel said...

The BBC's attitude towards Powell is softening somewhat, the recent BBC documentary surprised many with its more balanced approach

It was a very good documentary, however it lost its "balance" in the closing narration, where the establishment basically try blamed Powell for the current state that Britain finds itself in. It ran along the lines of "if Enoch haven't have said those things, then there would not have been a strong reaction against him and we wouldn't have the run-away multiculturalism we have today".

To me it was a tacit admission by the establishment that multiculturalism was a ghastly error.

Ray Boyd said...

I have blogged about and saved the speeches of Enoch Powell. Even more interesting is his 1977 speech which is less known:

Enoch's 1977 speech

and here is the video of the Rivers of Blood speech that I edited down just to contain the original footage:

Rivers of Blood

Afonso Henriques said...

"So the question remains - should Britain (and other European nations) reject all non-European immigrants in an attempt to preserve European culture? As an American, I would not presume to answer that question. But the story of most immigrants to Britain would make the answer to that question, "no.""

Gordon:

So the question remains - should Britain (and other European nations) reject all non-European immigrants in an attempt to preserve European culture? As a European, I am presuming to answer that question. And the story of most immigrants to Britain would make the answer to that question, "a clear yes!."*

*Try to understand this! It is not racism. All massive immigration is bad. I don't want non European peoples in Europe unless they are good for Europe, which is not the case. Only highly qualified people, and I mean really high, should come here. So I am talking of 100 or 1000 and not 1 000 000 of them who are living in my country.
My country was a multicultural one when it had the Colonial Empire, since we can not have it because it is racist, why can't you people leave us alone?

Gordon, and I am asking this to you because I would lke a honest answer:
Woould you mind if Brittain was to be only 50% white? Would that disturb you?

The Poster Formerly Known as Gordon said...

Interestingly enough, there is a clear way Great Britain could have kept itself more lily white - it could have rejected Margaret Thatcher and kept going with the discredited Labour statism that was bringing the economy down.

A lot fewer people would have wanted to come to Great Britain (or stay there) if the economy had remained in the tank.

So you should be blaming Margaret Thatcher for the number of non-whites in Great Britain.

Sagunto: If I were Britain (and any other European country for that matter), I would advocate putting a freeze on any and all immigration of Muslims into my nation. But I would continue to welcome immigrants from other lands.

Afonso: Would I mind if Britain was to be only 50% white? My answer (which is undoubtedly colored by the fact that I am an American) would be "no, if those non-whites were part of my culture." And, except for British Muslims, the non-white immigrants to Great Britain are part of British culture.

By the way, your arguments about excluding racial and ethnic minorities can be easily expanded to include religious minorities, such as Jews. And that would be an odious policy choice indeed.

WesternMind said...

Piggy
Radio 4 also carried a surprisingly fair account of Powell's speech. I think it does reflect a weakening of the liberal consensus, maybe a result of the events of recent years, and the perceived consequences of mass immigration.
Gordon
It's certainly the Muslim presence in Britain that is most threatening, but there are problems with the black community too, notably the growth of gang culture in the inner cities. It's easy to 'celebrate' the cultural diversity of curry, soulfood and rap music, but it's not necessarily such fun close up. I recall one Guardian-reading mother describing how her liberal ideas had been destroyed by life on one estate run by black gangs.
And Graham Dawson is right, your summary of the economic effects of Mrs Thatcher's reforms is wrong. It was the Big Bang that deregulated and modernised the City which really powered the UK's economic comeback. The other main element was Britains high tech industries such as BAE, and sophisticated arms systems, combined with North Sea oil and gas. Breaking the power of the unions was important, but I would say that mass immigration was not key to any part of it, except to a 'pop' cultural aspect of Britain.

It’s typical of this debate that people are either for or against diversity. In fact, some diversity is good (think Anita Anand), but too much is bad. Countries are large communities which must retain some sense of cohesion. I had to laugh this morning hearing Mike Leigh talk about making films about Britain, starring British actors, and dealing with ‘our’ world. Of course he just meant a ‘non American’ world. Many now feel it is precisely members of the liberal elite like him who have smugly sabotaged any real sense of an ‘us’ in Britain by adopting multiculturalism on everyone's behalf.

Sagunto said...

@tpfkag,

".. I would advocate putting a freeze on any and all immigration of Muslims into my nation. But I would continue to welcome immigrants from other lands.."

Thnx for y'r answer. I think we might be in agreement, provided that (when looking at my own country, NL) firstly, the successful immigration policies of the past are reinstated, i.e. we welcome immigrants with skills our society actually needs and, secondly, we continue to reorganize our welfare system in such a way that everyone can rest assured that immigrants are not coming over here because welfare is the main attraction.

Of course one could always argue that the Netherlands are too densely populated anyway (quite a different perspective from the situation in the US) and on those grounds stop immigration alltogether. But that would mean leaving the EU-superstate (happy to!) and declare null and void all kinds of treaties.

Hmmm.., would be all in favour of that, and I wouldn't be the only one in Holland ;-)

Sagunto

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

it could have rejected Margaret Thatcher and kept going with the discredited Labour statism that was bringing the economy down.

Ok, Gordon, now you're just being a blithering idiot. Which party imported tens of thousands of foreign, unskilled labourers into the UK? Which party implemented so many of the early "affirmative action" policies that so riled Mr Powell? Which party, my friend, was the one that started implementing anti-race-hate laws as a means to suppress the working-class population's resentment of the incoming mass of unskilled immigrants who were taking over their jobs?

I'll give you a clue. It's name doesn't begin with C.

It was Labour, in the late 60s, and early 70s, that brought in the first big wave of immigration in an attempt to boost the economy, working on the assumption that it was a lack of available labour - this while the native population were already suffering mass unemployment due to their policies. We didn't need immigration. We did need Labour statism to go, but they were using the inevitable results of that statism as justification to bring in a large number of unskilled migrant workers. Thatcher's reforms made that immigration wave unnecessary by freeing up the existing workforce for something more productive than leeching off the state. Now, as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats; the immigrants who were here at that point could also take part in that economic growth and, yes, contribute to it, but Thatcher didn't bring them in and didn't bank or count on their presence for the success of her government's policies. They were immaterial to the whole thing, unnecessary and quite probably more of burden than a benefit; on the other hand they were absolutely essential to Labour's plans in the previous decade.

Lets face it, they were basically slave labour.

Under the Tories immigration was limited and stable, with about as many leaving as came into the country in any one year. Under "new" labour, even accounting for EU immigration, it's shot up year on year.

I don't mind immigration as such. My sister-in-law is from south america and when it comes to nationalities she's probably got more than you can count on one hand (including Flemish, oddly enough, but also Guarani indian and, unsurprisingly, Spanish). Having her in the family has given me the opportunity to travel to places I never even dreamed of seeing a few years ago so I don't think I could be called insular. or anything like that.

I like immigrants in numbers large enough to bring along a cultural influence, but small enough to be easily absorbed into my own culture. I like them to come, bring something of their own culture to ours and then integrate. Curry house without mosque, lets say. Mass immigration, which is what we're undergoing, prevents this integration. Reaching the point where entire towns are "foreign", almost entirely of another ethnicity, is not what I would call a healthy immigration policy.

So, once again; be quiet until you know what you're talking about. Your pronouncements about my culture carry as much weight as a Euroleftie's opinion of "bigoted" Americans.