by Robert Henderson
Since they lost the 2010 election, the Labour Party have been religiously spinning the line that the massive immigration they presided over during their 13 years in office was a mistake. A favourite ploy is to try to concentrate all the admission of failure on the decision to allow the better part of a million migrants from Eastern Europe when new entrants were admitted to the EU. Labour’s new leader Ed Miliband was at it in September 2011. Asked by Nick Robinson of the BBC whether Labour had lied about immigration, Miliband said
“I don’t think we lied but I do think we got it wrong in a number of respects. I think that first of all we clearly underestimated the number of people coming in from Poland and that had more of an effect therefore than we would otherwise have thought. And secondly, I think there’s this really important issue about people coming into the country and the pressures on people’s wages. People aren’t prejudiced but people say to me look I’m worried about the pressure on my wages of people coming into this country, I’m worried about what it does to housing supply – all those issues. Now some of that is real and some of it isn’t but I think you have to address not just tough immigration policy but underlying issues as well.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2011/04/ed_miliband_we.html).
The claim that the immigration was a mistake takes some swallowing. To begin with there is the sheer volume of it. Although there are disputes about the figures, millions arrived while far fewer left. The think tank Migration Watch UK estimates that from 1997-2010 the official arrivals totalled 3.2 million, while 941,000 Britons left. Approximately 80% of immigrants came from outside the EU. The old white dominions – Australia, Canada and New Zealand – received more migrants from Britain than Britain received from them. The greatest source of immigrants from outside the EU was the Sub-Continent. Consequently, it is reasonable to assume that the majority of immigrants were Asian or black. (http://migrationwatchuk.com/pdfs/MWK001-Migration-UK-report_Print.pdf).
To those official figures must be added an unknown number of illegal immigrants. Migration Watch estimates those at another one million under the Blair and Brown governments. That may be on the conservative side, but taking it as a reasonable figure would mean that a net immigration figure of 3 million during the 13 years of Labour rule. It is difficult to see how that vast increase in immigration – in 1997 net migration was around 40,000 – could have happened by accident. How could a Government not see what was happening for 13 years and do nothing “by accident”?
But it is not necessary to rest the case for mass immigration being a deliberate policy on the numbers and nature of the immigration. Labour in power left a number of smoking guns to show that it was indeed a deliberate policy. In 2003 the Home Secretary David Blunkett said that there was “No obvious limit” to the immigration of skilled labour, adding incredibly that he did not believe there was was a maximum population for the UK (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3265219.stm). This was at a time when immigration had already ballooned to around 170,000 per annum.
Tony Blair said very little about immigration beyond while in office beyond uttering the usual pc sanctioned platitudes about how valuable immigrants were to Britain . He did say asylum applications and illegal immigration were too high, but this was done whilst allowing legal immigration to get out of hand (Blair managed to reduce asylum applications, but did nothing about illegals. The asylum drop probably meant only that illegal immigrants chose other ways to enter Britain than asylum). In his autobiography Blair mentions immigration on precisely six pages out of 691 (pp 204/5; 523/4; 630; 678). Here he concentrates almost entirely on the reduction of asylum; the use of immigration as a prime lever to justify his desire for ID cards and his wish that the EU controlled immigration. Blair does ( p 524) let the cynical cat out of the bag by boasting that he shut the immigration debate down by putting ” ID cards at the centre of the argument” and winning “Because our position was sophisticated enough – a sort of confess and avoid’, as the lawyers say…” In short, say thing are wrong but avoid blame by switching attention to what is to be done in the future.
Blair broke his reticence about immigration on 29 October 2011 in an interview with the ethnic British newspaper Eastern Eye. Here he not only spoke warmly of mass and mixed immigration but claimed it was a necessity for Britain:
‘It’s been a very positive thing and there is no way for a country like Britain to succeed in the future unless it is open to people of different colours, faiths and cultures.’ ‘
He went on to say:
“That is not to say you don’t have problems at certain points, but those problems are to be overcome without losing the essence of what has actually allowed this country’s people to get on and do well.’
… I think the majority of people in Britain today are not prejudiced and can understand the benefits of migration.
‘I think what people worry about is where they feel there is no control over who comes in and there are no rules governing who comes in or not, and that is a different issue altogether.
‘It would be very unfortunate if by putting those rules into place, we view that immigration was a somehow bad thing for the country, because it is not.’ ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2054903/Tony-Blair-defends-opening-door-mass-migration.html#ixzz1cCP3YCrZ).
Blair’s comments give credence to the claims in 2009 of a special advisor Andrew Neather during the Blair government years. He maintained that not only was mass immigration a deliberate policy of the Government, it was specifically designed to create an ever more diverse society:
” I [Neather] wrote the landmark speech given by then immigration minister Barbara Roche in September 2000, calling for a loosening of controls. It marked a major shift from the policy of previous governments: from 1971 onwards, only foreigners joining relatives already in the UK had been permitted to settle here.
“That speech was based largely on a report by the Performance and Innovation Unit, Tony Blair‘s Cabinet Office think-tank.
“The PIU’s reports were legendarily tedious within Whitehall but their big immigration report was surrounded by an unusual air of both anticipation and secrecy.
“Drafts were handed out in summer 2000 only with extreme reluctance: there was a paranoia about it reaching the media.
“Eventually published in January 2001, the innocuously labelled “RDS Occasional Paper no. 67″, “Migration: an economic and social analysis” focused heavily on the labour market case.
“But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.
“I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.
“Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche’s keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour‘s core white working-class vote.
“This shone through even in the published report: the “social outcomes” it talks about are solely those for immigrants.
“And this first-term immigration policy got no mention among the platitudes on the subject in Labour’s 1997 manifesto, headed Faster, Firmer, Fairer.
“The results were dramatic. In 1995, 55,000 foreigners were granted the right to settle in the UK. By 2005 that had risen to 179,000; last year, with immigration falling thanks to the recession, it was 148,000.
“In addition, hundreds of thousands of migrants have come from the new EU member states since 2004, most requiring neither visas nor permission to work or settle. The UK welcomed an estimated net 1.5 million immigrants in the decade to 2008.
“Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.” (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23760073-dont-listen-to-the-whingers—london-needs-immigrants.do).
After the 2010 election a Labour peer Lord Glasman leant further support to the idea that New Labour’s immigration policy was deliberately dishonest in an interview with the Labour journal Progress: :
“….immigration and multiculturalism … has become ‘the big monster that we don’t like to talk about’, claims Glasman. Mass immigration under Labour, he believes, served to ‘act as an unofficial wages policy’. The party’s position, Glasman contends, occupied a ‘weird space where we thought that a real assault on the wage levels of English workers was a positive good’. More seriously, he charges the last government with having acted in a ‘very supercilious, high-handed way: there was no public discussion of immigration and its benefits. There was no election that was fought on that basis. In fact there was a very, very hard rhetoric combined with a very loose policy going on. Labour lied to people about the extent of immigration and the extent of illegal immigration and there’s been a massive rupture of trust.’
“Perhaps most controversially, Glasman calls on progressives to recognise their ‘responsibility for the generation of far-right populism’, currently manifested in the growth of the English Defence League. ‘You consider yourself … so opposed that you don’t want to talk to them, you don’t want to engage with them, you don’t want anybody with views like that anywhere near the party.’ This, he believes, is to ignore ‘a massive hate and rage against us’ from working-class people ‘who have always been true to Labour’. The solution, he says, is ‘to build a party that brokers a common good, that involves those people who support the EDL within our party. Not dominant in the party, not setting the tone of the party, but just a reconnection with those people that we can represent a better life for them, because that’s what they want.’
That process begins, argues Glasman, by understanding that ‘working-class men can’t really speak at Labour party meetings about what causes them grief, concerns about their family, concerns about immigration, love of country, without being falsely stereotyped as sexist, racist, nationalist’.” (http://www.progressonline.org.uk/2011/04/19/labour-isnt-working/).
In true Maoist fashion Glasman soon confessed his “fault” (daring to speak honestly about race and immigration) – http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/07/blue-labour-immigration-2
In virtually any time and place other than developed world in the modern era the deliberate injection of vast numbers of people, many of them incapable of assimilation because of of racial difference or ethnic stubbornness, into a society would have been considered unconscionable. It is the betrayal of the tribe, the most fundamental form of treason because once the interlopers are present in large numbers they have effectively conquered part of the receiving land’s territory. Had Blair and Brown pursued a policy of mass immigration because they saw it as part of their worship of market economics that would have been bad enough, a crime worthy of death in a sane world. But it is clear from their own words that they had a more obnoxious and fundamental motive. Blair and Brown and their political associates actively hate their own society and sought to change it utterly whilst at the same time repressing any native dissent about the changes wrought. That is not merely treason but a form of psychopathy.
But it is not only the followers of New Labour who contain the poison. The entire British political elite pay at least lip service to the same internationalist “anti-racist” ideology. When the Neather article appeared there was no outrage from the Tory and Lib Dem leadership. When the Blair Government’s estimate of 13,000 migrants from the new east European entrants to the EU turned out to be monstrously wrong as hundreds of thousands poured in, the Tories and Lib Dems said little or nothing. Nor has the Tory/LibDem Coalition Government done anything to reduce immigration since they took office. Most tellingly, no mainstream British political party has challenged freedom of movement within the EU, without an end to which no meaningful immigration controls can be operated.
The terrible reality is this: Britain has a political elite to whom treason is second nature; men and women who make the profoundest of mistake of imagining that human beings are interchangeable regardless of race or culture and that consequently societies can be socially engineered without danger. Hayek saw their nihilistic qualities 70 years ago:
“The Left intelligentsia…have so long worshipped foreign gods that they seem to have become almost incapable of seeing any good in the characteristic English institutions and traditions. That the moral values on which most of them pride themselves are largely the products of the institutions they are out to destroy, these socialists cannot, of course, admit. And this attitude is unfortunately not confined to avowed socialists. Though one must hope that it is not true of the less vocal but more numerous cultivated Englishman, if one were to judge by the ideas which find expression in current political discussion and propaganda the Englishman who not only “the language speak that Shakespeare spake”, but also “the faith and morals hold that Milton held” seems to have almost vanished. [The Road to Serfdom p222 Chapter Material
Conditions and Ideal Ends]
Some would object that none of the the British political elite counts as Leftist today. That is true in the sense that the economic aims of socialism were dumped in favour of a worship of the market after Blair’s transmogrification of Labour to New Labour. But that is all which as been dropped. The bigger project of internationalism has encompassed all major British parties, the members of which pay lip service at least to the attendant ideology which has been developed from the internationalist ideal, namely, political correctness. The politicians who subscribe to it are the heirs of the “Left intelligentsia” Hayek found in Britain.