Immigration a mistake? Come off it, Jack!
Labour deliberately set out to transform the demographic make-up of England, writes RICHARD LITTLEJOHN
Two former Labour Home Secretaries are being congratulated on their belated candour about immigration. Jack Straw now says letting so many people settle in Britain was a ‘spectacular mistake’. David Blunkett has gone further, warning of civil unrest in his home city of Sheffield because the behaviour of recently arrived Roma gypsies is ‘aggravating’ the locals.
Joy there is said to be in Heaven over every repentant sinner. But before the angels start cracking open the Bollinger, it is worth pausing to consider the part played by both men in creating the mess we find ourselves in today. Straw and Blunkett were two of the most senior figures of the Blair/Brown era. They were fully signed up to the New Labour ‘project’.
The two former Labour Home Secretaries, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, were two of the most senior figures of the Blair/Brown era – and were fully signed up to the New Labour ‘project’. Mass immigration wasn’t a ‘mistake’. A mistake is forgetting to take an umbrella when heavy rain is forecast. A mistake is wearing brown suede shoes with a blue pinstripe suit.
No, trawling the globe for immigrants was a deliberate Labour policy. It was designed, in the memorable words of former Blair speech-writer Andrew Neather, to ‘rub the Right’s noses in diversity’. Neather says Straw conspired with Blair to ‘dishonestly’ conceal the plan from the public because they knew voters would never go along with it if the truth came out. And Neather should know, because he worked for Straw at the Home Office.
The reptilian Peter Mandelson, another co-conspirator, has since joked about Labour ‘sending search parties’ for immigrants from the four corners of the Earth.
Labour set out utterly to transform the demographic make-up of England without making any attempt to obtain democratic consent. I say ‘England’ specifically, because it is England which has borne the brunt of mass immigration and is now struggling to live with the consequences. New Labour hated the English. We weren’t to be trusted. In 2000, Straw himself damned the English as violent nationalists who have used force to subjugate other races. It was a despicable slur, but entirely in keeping with Labour’s core strategy.
That preposterous Welsh-born oaf Two Jags, who demeaned high office for a decade, even claimed: ‘There is no such nationality as English.’
In 2000, Straw himself damned the English as violent nationalists who have used force to subjugate other races. It was a despicable slur, but entirely in keeping with Labour’s core strategy. The fear was that the love affair with New Labour wouldn’t last and the English would revert to type and return a Conservative government. So the plan was to flood the country with immigrants who would then repay the favour by voting Labour.
Ministers told bare-faced lies about their true intentions and smeared anyone who objected to the unprecedented influx of foreign nationals as a ‘racist’ or a ‘xenophobe’.
Sir Andrew Green, the mild-mannered former diplomat who runs MigrationWatch UK, was subjected to a vile and sustained campaign of character assassination. Green’s ‘crime’ was to expose, forensically and accurately, the genuine scale of immigration.
Straw was up to his neck in this synchronised deceit. Now that he is standing down as an MP and no longer has to ingratiate himself with his Muslim constituents in Blackburn, he seems to think that a quick mea culpa and a couple of Hail Marys will absolve him of his share of responsibility.
Blunkett, too, is one of the guilty men. You didn’t have to hack his mobile phone to divine his real intentions. In 2003, Blunkett declared there was ‘no obvious upper limit’ to immigration. So it’s a bit rich for him to complain about the consequences in his own backyard.
In Sheffield, the locals are angry about Roma gypsies loitering in the streets and dumping litter. Blunkett said: ‘We have got to be tough and robust in saying to these people: “You are not living in a downtrodden village or woodlands.” ’
This would be hilarious were it not so tragic. Labour’s pernicious policy of ‘multi-culturalism’ encouraged immigrants to carry on behaving as they did in their homeland with no concessions to the host community.
The sheer weight of numbers arriving in a short space of time meant that there was no need for them to integrate. The multi-cultists expected British society to adapt to accommodate immigrants, not vice versa.
This column has always maintained that among those most disrupted and disturbed by the recent waves of unfettered migration are the members of settled minorities.
In London, there have been tensions between the long-established Cypriot community and Johnny-come-lately Albanians, Kosovans and Kurds. Elsewhere, West Indians have clashed with Somalis.
It can be no coincidence that in Sheffield, local Pakistanis have started street patrols to ‘educate’ the Roma about ‘how to behave in England’.
What did Blunkett expect the itinerant Roma people to do once they landed in Yorkshire — open agreeable little restaurants and set up community recycling schemes?
Astonishingly, this country now has one of the biggest Roma populations in Europe — 200,000 and counting, even before Romanians and Bulgarians get the right to work and feast on Britain’s benefits buffet in January. How did that happen and who voted for it? I can see what’s in it for them, but what’s in it for the rest of us?
At this point it is only polite to record the many advantages immigrants have brought. But it is absurd to pretend that mass immigration has been an unalloyed success story.
Those of us who expressed reservations about Labour’s reckless open-door immigration policy were howled down and smeared as neanderthal racists by Labour and its allies in the BBC and the Left-wing press.
This was never about immigration in itself; it was about numbers and the wisdom of allowing millions of newcomers with no historic connection to Britain to settle here in such a short period of time. Straw and Blunkett now see themselves as wise elder statesman. They will get their reward in the House of Lords, where they will draw their gold-plated pensions and be waited on hand and foot by liveried flunkies.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will have to live with the consequences of their disastrous, cynical immigration scamboli as best we can.
Straw, Blunkett and the rest of their Labour co-conspirators shouldn’t expect to be applauded for admitting that the scales have now fallen from their eyes. They should hang their heads in shame.