Griffin breathes deep on oxygen of publicity…

NOW that Question Time is over and you’ve had a bit of time to reflect on BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance, do you think the Beeb was justified in letting him on? Has anyone changed their mind? Certainly many protesters haven’t. And how did the panellists perform? Did Griffin seem like ‘any other politician’, and were his views in any way legitimised?

Personally, I thought Griffin looked a bit nervous and maybe even over-awed, and I was left with the impression that I couldn’t believe a word he was saying. Coming from Northern Ireland, seeing extremists trying to act reasonably on the BBC while wrapped in a flag is a bit passé, so the experience for me didn’t feel novel, as it must have done in GB.

I was not particularly impressed by the other performances either. No real killer blows where the hype demanded it, perhaps indicative of the fact that it is due to other parties’ failures that Griffin was present. The main political party representatives, particularly Straw, seemed somewhat muddled and confused about immigration, trying to oppose Griffin’s anti-immigration views without saying they were opening the floodgates. Explaining nuance isn’t really suited to QT’s format, but for Griffin it’s more easily explicable, in fact it’s a black and white issue. Here, Griffin was at least consistent – consistently abhorrent, especially with his odd and dangerous views on Britain’s ‘indigenous'(?) races. But did his appeal to some lowest common denominator land the punches he claimed afterwards? Not really, I think.

Selected highlights here, for those outside the UK or with short attention spans. Hearts & Minds explored the issue from a local perspective with Roy Greenslade, David Vance (who sounded almost reasonable after hearing Nick earlier!) and Paddy Meehan of the Youth Against Racism group here. Is there a lesson from Northern Ireland that the English need to learn?

, , , ,

  • Dewi

    A couple of things:

    1) Jack Straw looked as nervous as Griffin.
    2) Bonnie Greer was bad at interrupting.
    3) Dimbleby appeared to be enjoying the BBC’s notoriety.
    4) As the programme was 100% on a single issue (can’t remember a QT like it, even the infamous expenses QT discussed other things)it must be good for the BNP.

  • Dave

    The problem that the British political establishment have is that they no longer have the sovereignty to control their borders and thereby to control immigration. They can only control immigration from non-EU states. It is awfully inconvenient when another political party seeks to make a topical political issue about that which is post-political. Because the British political establishment has given away their sovereignty in this area to third parties, there is no political power within the government to implement any policy that the people may wish to see implemented. So even if the people want to change the policy, they no longer have the power to do so. In effect, the issue of immigration control is placed outside the democratic process. In a case where there is no democratic means available to change a policy, the political establishment must simply censor all debate about the policy and hope that the people don’t seek to change it. But suppose they did want to change it? Well, then there would be post-democratic means available. In that regard, the BNP are quite restrained in that they do not advocate the use of means that are outside of the political process.

    The Statistics Commission found in a study that 80% of all new jobs created in the UK since 1997 have been taken by non-British citizens (1.4 million of the 1.7 million jobs created). British think-tank Migration Watch also quotes a figure of 4 out of every 5 jobs being filled by foreigners. Clearly, the immigration policy has failed British people and benefited non-British people. But, of course, the British political establishment have to simply pretend that their immigration policy is a great success or simply ignore it since they would have to admit that they are unable to change it if they agreed that it was indeed a dismal failure. With foreigners taking 80% of all British jobs, the poor British will have to create 10 million new jobs just to get 2 million off the dole since 4 out of 5 jobs will be filled by immigrants. Clearly, the BNP are here to stay.

    The British political establishment are unable to address the issues on which the BNP garners support because they are fatally compromised on those issues. Voters are turning to the BNP because the said establishment has utterly failed them. In return, all the establishment can offer by way of defence is to heap abuse on the BNP and to appeal to others to ignore them – appealing to the BBC, for example, to veto the democratic will of those who elected the BNP by censoring them from the airwaves.

    The BNP are infected by racists, and it’s a shame that legitimate political issues should be censored by making the post-sovereign and thereby post-democratic, leaving the likes of the BNP to run with them. Ah well… the fun will start when Turkey joins the EU and 97 million Muslins can enter the UK in search of British jobs and British welfare at their sole discretion. Then you will see those associated with the BNP use the only means that are available to change post-democratic policy.

  • SDNY

    Dave, I think Turkey will ever be allowed in the EU because of a whole range of issues let alone most of it isn’t even in Europe.

  • Belfast Dissenter

    This was no ordinary episode of QT. It was a bear-baiting exercise rather than a proper examination of the programme. What is the view of the BNP on the big issues of the day; the postal dispute, Britain’s role in the Afghan war? We never found out.

    Griffin came across as Daniel in the Lions’ Den. He was nervous at the start but held his own in the face of a wave of vicious ad-hominem attacks. Dimbleby was a hostile and partisan chairman who seemed to be having a good time.

    The Tory woman came across as hysterical and shrill. Bonny Greer was occasionally patronising but used the weapon of sarcasm effectively.

    Jack Straw was unconvincing. Is the growth of BNP support due to Labour’s policies? Of course it is. The party has ignored – if not despised – its white working class core of support for decades. Straw’s waffle as he tried to metaphorically kick Griffin’s arse was embarrassing. He would have been better admitting this and trying to move on.

    The LibDem came across as smug and self-righteous. “Only we can stem the BNP” Perhaps.

    Griffin didn’t collapse in tears or run from the studio in a fit of pique at the way he was treated in this radical departure from the normal QT format. He seemed to relax as the programme went on despite the near universal hostility from the audience.

    I’m not convinced that they are doing the right thing in trying to isolate Griffin and his party and sack its members from their jobs. Remember political vetting in Northern Ireland. That didn’t go well. It seems to mem that the best way to deal with the BNP is not to isolate them but to draw them in to the political process. Let’s face it they will never take control of the state but they could be a fringe party for many years. Fini in Italy was brought in from the cold. A bit of political responsibility could do the same for BNP councillors and other elected reprentatives. After all, look at Sinn Fein and the PUP. If it works for these two bunches of one time pariahs why not for the BNP?

  • rob mcnaughton

    after such a dismal show i am loathe to praise the bbc, but the 400 comments or so show that when you take out the hotheads at either end of the political spectrum who either support or hate griffin that the concensus is pretty straightforward.

    1/ the audience was made up of people unfavourable to griffin.
    2/the questions were unfavourable to griffin.
    3/all other topics were ignored which may have had audience support, such as iraq and removing blair as a war criminal.
    4/ the beeb clearly wanted to make sure griffin did not “win” tonight and so the best approach wa son eof attempted political biased assassination, from dimbleby down.
    5/ the key issue of why people vote for the BNP, the immigration failures and the fact so many white working class are unemployed as most of the new jobs are picked up by foreigners was also largely ignored.

    until the elitist media accept there is a problem with immigration then the matter will get even worse. it is not a colour issue per se as east europeans are taking many jobs. not that this was also addressed. it would have been interesting if griffin had emphasised this.

  • Neville Bagnall

    Dave,

    I see you are channeling Enoch Powell today.

    Despite your evocation of rivers of blood, I remain hopeful that the likes of the BNP will remain attractive to a small minority of the electorate.

    Racial hatred or even racial superiority is much harder to disguise than anything other than an inferiority complex when more and more people have direct experience of schooling and working in a multicultural environment.

    We have freedom of movement for goods and services, not just in Europe, but increasingly throughout the world. We have freedom of movement for capital. We have freedom of establishment for businesses. The idea that we can have all that but that strict immigration control will solve the jobs crisis is absurd. If the workers don’t come to us, the jobs will go to them.

    If 80% of new jobs are going to immigrants its because:
    1) immigrants are willing to work harder for less pay,
    or
    2) immigrants are the only qualified workers.

    That’ll be true if we force them to stay at home just as much as if they come here. China proves it.

    Yes, immigration does tend to keep unskilled service wages (the sector least susceptible to cross border competition) lower than they would be without it. But since the wage level in that sector is also a key factor of national competitiveness and the cost of living, protectionism is just counterproductive.

    We have a major global problem with wage divergence between skilled and unskilled work, and between skilled blue-collar and white-collar. It won’t be solved at the borders. The genie of globalisation is out of the bottle. The modern world released it, not politicians. The genie hitched a ride on every airplane and telephone call. If you’ve ever bought a product with “Made in China” on it, don’t complain about immigration.

    Freedom of movement for workers is actually the closest thing we have to a cure for the divisive effects of globalisation. If workers can go to the jobs, they get paid more than if the jobs go to them. In the long term, if you want to stop a “race to the bottom” for unskilled work, immigration is good.

  • “seeing extremists trying to act reasonably on the BBC .. didn’t feel novel, as it must have done in GB.”

    Our extremists, including terrorists, are hardly a novelty across the UK.

  • Jo

    Vance has said and written FAR worse then Griffin on his odious blog – I can’t believe the double standards that there is controversy associated with Griffin when that man appears regularly on BBC NI and his venomous attacks on Islam are a daily feature on the internet.

    When will someone from the BBC read that blog and act accordingly? Perhaps by highlighting it here, might something be done.

  • fin

    the best moment was at the beginning when Griffin attacked Straw regarding his fathers refusal to fight in WWII, judging by Straws reaction I’m guessing that was meant to stay in the closet.

    2nd best moment was when the audience almost applauded Griffins stance on Iraq, before remembering why they were there

    3rd, was Griffin sitting quietly grinning while the others tried to out do each other immigration policy.

    Straw was a dick with his little speech about WWI and all the colonials who came to Britains aid, think he even mentioned Pakistanis (?) just wished someone had asked him to name a few regiments and generals which were black or asian.

  • RepublicanStones

    Got a great laugh at the first part of the show where they argued over the BNP’s invocation of Churchill in their literature. Whilst the BNP is a deeply racist and unsavoury party, the continued sanctification by the audience and pannelists to almost deification standards, of Churchill was nauseating. Winnie would have been well suited to the BNP, and his attitude to ‘inferior’ races is well documented. While there is no denying he was a superb wartime leader, the size of the blinkers the british public seem to wear as far as he is concerned is ridiculous.

    Bonnie Greer her interruptions aside, came across best, probably because she doesn’t have a manifesto to plug.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Of course the audience was full of people who were against Griffin. The audience is supposed to reflect opinion in the UK, and most people in the UK vote for political parties who resolutely oppose him.

    Straw was not as bad as I thought he might have been, but the parties in general focussed too much on trying to trip Griffin up, I think. Griffin showed that he was more than capable of tripping himself up.

    I tried to take an objective view and imagine how Griffin would come across to someone who did not know who he was or what he stood for. Setting aside his actual views, I thought it was transparently obvious that he was a deceiver and a liar, who denied saying things that he actually said (if he keeps being wrongly misquoted, why doesn’t he sue ?) and who is obviously trying to pull a veil of respectability over the BNP. It’s quite obvious that Griffin is far from being a clever operator, he has no sense of tact or subtlety, his approach is too “in your face” for him to get away with persuading people that he is something other than what he actually is.

  • foreign correspondent

    Dave, the population of Turkey is just under 75 million according to Wikipedia.

  • Driftwood

    Jack Straw was a cheerleader for the Iraq war. It now turns out his father was a pathetic coward who refused to fight the Nazis. How does he square that circle?

    Thought the muslim woman UCUNF panellist was very good.

  • 6countyprod

    Adams and McGuinness were able to ‘pull a veil of respectability’ over SF, but it’s clear that Griffin does not have the ability to do it for the BNP.

    I thought Griffin was lacklustre and very uncomfortable in the situation. Of course the audience was heavily loaded against him and obviously not reflective of actual percentages in British society. Nevertheless, I don’t think it was a particularly good day for Griffin and the BNP. They may gain some new supporters but the general populace I think will consider him mediocre at best and not someone to be trusted.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Not so much TV show but more ambush – Nick came across as dangerous and whackey and slimey and was exposed as such, but worry remains that he may be more in touch with the Plain People of Britian with his – no more immigrants – than the mainstream parties at least partly because those parties did not have a proper debate about the topic ( or hid the facts) and the Plain People of Britian do not trust them on this.

    re. “Coming from Northern Ireland, seeing extremists trying to act reasonably on the BBC while wrapped in a flag ”

    That also applies to the outrageous porkies we had to endure from the Army, and some British politicans wrapped in their flag and justifying their actions in Norn Iron on the BBC and elsewhere.

  • Three thoughts:

    The best challenge to Nick Griffin on QT was from the non-politician on the panel.

    Pretty bad that the first debate on immigration policy between the main political parties is on a night with Nick Griffin on the panel – it is the lack of that debate and the administrative/policy incompetence of Labour (and the unwillingness of the others to engage on the issue of immigration) that has opened a door for the BNP.

    Niether Vance nor Meehan, on Hearts and Minds, seemed to regard freedom of speech as a fundamental freedom; with exceptions from their respective political perspectives.

  • William

    The programme was a disgrace….it was with the exception of the final 10 minutes, all about the BNP, with everyone, including Dimbleby intimidating Griffin. Where was the Voltaire maxim, I may not like what you say, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it. That used to be the British way….sadly the morons in the audience didn’t see it that way.

    However, what I found most hypocritical was Hain…the words he used against the BNP, considering his background. I don’t think Griffin delivered the eulogy at the funeral of a dead terrorist John Harris….see:

    http://docs.google.com/gview?a=v&q=cache:FPtmIpwAak4J:www.francisbennion.com/pdfs/fb/2006/2006-046-fb-on-hain-prosecution.pdf+'murderer+john+harris,+peter+hain'&hl=en&gl=uk&sig=AFQjCNHytEOU_4LncL47P5nHHjVuOF9l2w

    Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, both representives of the murderers of 1700 people didn’t have hundreds outside BBC studios nor did the audience treat them as Griffin was last night, when these terrorist leaders appeared on QT. I have no time for the BNP nor their policies but I also hate the hypocrisy of the Left, many of them Loony variety.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Belfast Dissenter

    I was going to respond to certain parts but really pretty much all of it echo’s my views.

    I would add to the pathetic overtly pc slimy Straw’s contribution. At one point when responding to a dapper black fella in the audience who had made a realistic(more to come)point about immigration policy. Straw dithered, stammered then unbelievably responded that he was from immigrant stock and to the black guy “I don’t know if you are or aren’t” The cringeometer went off the scale.

    Driftwood

    >>Thought the muslim woman UCUNF panellist was very good.< < Would she know what UCUNF means? lol! I have seen her loads on question times and to be honest her tokeninisty(is that even a word) stands out. Last night she barely gets a pass and only for telling Straw to cut the crap and answer the question on immigration honestly. For once she actually looked worthy of my attention. RS >>Bonnie Greer her interruptions aside, came across best, probably because she doesn’t have a manifesto to plug.<< Yep, she allowed the man to talk, actually listened and did not scream the man down. Considering where we come from politically RS, deon't know about you but I felt sorry for the guy at the total unfairness of t all. Now if I feel that way how is your ordinary sassenach going to take it in. A chance was missed by not allowing Griffen to do himself down by himself, instead he was being labelled left right and centre and that was just from Dimbleby. On immigration. Where I come from has until the last few years been 95% plus white. Lately it is pleasant to have a wee mixture, different faces/cultures/stories. my wee boys pals in School being called Farruz, Moses and Pieter along with the more familiar. Who knows we might have a more healthy 10% plus non-Scots/Irish mix around here now. my visits to various parts of England over the years has been quite an experience though. There are whole areas where it really is spot the white. Human beings do not like rapid change and undoubtedly that has happened in England. Should that happen here then people would be open to exploitation. The fears of people have always been preyed on, in England they really feel as if they are being pushed aside in their own land. Result, really fertile ground for the likes of the bnP, fear not racism.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Got to love Williams and 6countyprods attempts to equate SF with the BNP, oh the irony!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Prionsa Eoghann,

    I thought Straw was quite good and reading the names of those involved in the war was a good idea.

    re.
    “attempts to equate SF with the BNP”

    Yes indeedy… and how do the Orange Order get public money to organise marches and bonfires causing and justifying sirpatrickmayhem in community relations thoughout Norn iron with the leaders of supposedly moderate Ulster Unionists as cheerleaders – that the sort of support for intolerance Nick can only dream of.

  • RepublicanStones

    I take your point Prionsa, it did seem like a bit of a lynching and Griffin was shouted down to the extent his ‘own petard’ could have been a lot worse. Indeed it reminded one of Saddams execution, where the monster in the face of all the baiting, appeared dignified. A lesson learnt should be if their is going to be metaphorical public lynchings in future, best to let the idiots use their own rope. Less is more…perhaps.

  • RepublicanStones

    there*

    (preview is good)

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Sammy

    Straw got perhaps one really good hit in early but the message was diluted by him mentioning Pakistani soldiers in WW1 and just his general demeanour really. Let’s be honest I have not read The Irish wanabee fascists Vance’s blog but if I was him I’d be having a field day with the guy he was so wet. He was like a caracature of the oily salesman in headlong pursuit displaying his overtly liberal pc wares. Thing is the veneer does not add up once we add into the mix certain realites regarding Islamic influence which just cannot be ignored.

    Did you see the bit I mentioned earlier regarding the black fella and nimmigration? If so then that says it all. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a Zimbabwean university lecturer. He took offence that I had guessed from his accent and appearance that he was from there, I was looking forward to discussing his countries past and recent history etc. He stopped me short and seriously questioned why I did not think he was from Scotland. Turned out to be the total wank that my first impression made of him. Straw is playing this daft pc game where we are not allowed to use our intellect in case it offends the wanks of this world.

    RS

    Exactly. Trouble is should the biased (against the SNP) EBC wish to have done a job on Griffen why not pull in rent-a-Brits like Goerge galloway and even the Hitchens or even Wee Eck salmond. These guys would have beat him with misses.

    We are all missing the point though. The platform that the BNP are standing on needs to be made public. We need credible people to have discussions, god forbid we have to listen to pc claptrap from the likes of Straw. The English really need someone to call a spade a spade.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    PE,
    I dont like Straw but last night I thought he was good- I thooght mentioning the Pakistani soldiers was good and effective.

    re. the Black Fella – the problem for ALL the parties is that they are out of step with the Plain People of Britian – that’s not Straw’s fault but rather a reflection on the lack of debate – and maybe many people simply think that multi-cultural has gone too far and perhaps more simply there are a big bunch of racist bigots in Britain which might be partly explained by the triumphalist imperialist history they get fed – e.g. that people who killed thousands of indigenuous people armed only with spears when they were armed with machine guns are somehow brave and noble with Britian full of statues celebrating attacks on indigenous peoples all over the world.

    Personally I’m more in favour of integration rather than multiculturalism, which i think is the route the French take – now if we could just integrate those fecking, troublesome Unionist Paddies into our country….

  • Couldn’t comment – should’nt

    Ovearall rating 3/10 –

    political discourse 1/10

    taking on the BNP – panel 2/10
    – audience 4/10

    Contrived spectacle – 10/10

    Entertainment value – 1/10

    worth watching or the hype – no

    but did think the Tory women did the best of all panelists but even she wasn’t great

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Sammy

    >>I dont like Straw but last night I thought he was good- I thooght mentioning the Pakistani soldiers was good and effective.<< Watched a good docu on Indian soldiers(Pakistan did not exist hence his ef up, now yours ;¬)) in WW1 Western europe and how badly they were treated. This was Straws big hit but even this he himmed and hawed over. I agree that the history fed to English people(curriculum has changed in modern times) was very pro-imperialist. This has nothing to do with Straws pathetic performance last night. If you can't see it we'll have to agree to disagree. Point of note, my weans are now taught Scottish history, this is a recent phenomena. Wonder why they don't want us to be taught our own history(my 30 something generation weren't) or why no mention of the recent oil fields that have been discovered west of the Shetlands?

  • Greagoir O Frainclin

    Ah sure isn’t that Britishness is – Muticulturalism. The land mass beside us was always heavily settled by “Johnny foreigners” reaching the zenith when it ruled the world with it’s empire.

    Such Farage and Griffen are French names. Repatriate these Frenchies if that’s the case.

    Nick Griffen’s opinions and ideology went up and down like a whore’s knickers – the mad crazy bastard!

    BTW, if ye want anything near the original “Britons” of these islands come to Ireland, and I don’t mean the north either which full of plastic Brits and their love of a Johnny foreigner Dutch King!

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    PE,

    re. “Wonder why they don’t want us to be taught our own history”

    Much easier getting the oil for free – if you lot feck off they will have to pay for it.

    re. Straw,

    The standard party(s) line is that Britian is, and loves to be, multi-cultural and the vote for the BNP is somehow an abberation – perhaps it is not but that is somewhere which it is understandably difficult for mainsterm politicans to go and so they all tend to trot out what sound like platitudes.

    To any fair viewing of last night Nick looked like a crackpot – but a crackpot that many people like and I’m not sure last nights show will sway many away from him but may have mobilised other crackpots/racists to flock around the Nick’s Union Jack.

    p.s.Probably expect to see the BNP heavily represented in the Summer in South Africa – with the indigenous people of that country now carrying weapons – they will need to be very careful.

  • #

    Got to love Williams and 6countyprods attempts to equate SF with the BNP, oh the irony!
    Posted by Prionsa Eoghann on Oct 23, 2009 @ 10:41 AM

    I know. The Far-right has always had links with certain sections of unionism and loyalism. Irish republicans were always a hated enemy of the far right and unionism.

  • Jimmy Sands

    I can’t make up my mind: when Fatty Griffin describes himself as a victim of lynching is he trying to be funny or is he really that stupid?

  • Dave

    “Dave, the population of Turkey is just under 75 million according to Wikipedia.” – foreign correspondent

    Touché!

    72 million, and 97% Muslim. That’ll keep the BNP in business if Turkey joins the EU. However, it isn’t just the BNP who are worried about that prospect (or salivating over it), Giscard d’Estaing thinks that Turkey’s entry into the EU would be “the end of Europe”. Roll on Turkey’s entry…

  • Reader

    It was Sammy: Much easier getting the oil for free – if you lot feck off they will have to pay for it.
    Prionsa Eoghann might have to pay for it too:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article5120287.ece

  • Greenflag

    Very poor show by the Beeb and even worse for all the politicians involved . It looked like a rent a mob lynch party for Griffin and the whole thing became more of an anti BNP rant than anything else . No kudos to anyone in my view .

    Watching Griffin make an arse of himself might have played well to the gallery but the issue of ‘immigration ‘ itself was barely touched on .

  • Jimmy Sands

    There’s no doubt it had to happen. Our own experiences demonstrates the futilty of broadcasting bans as a tool against extreme nationalism. It reminded me of the infamous Late Late when Grisly Adams was brought in from the cold after which the same criticisms were made. In both cases it was inevitable that the outcast would himself be the story, but our own experience suggests that this is as good as it will ever get for Griffin, and that once ultra-nationalists have to deal with issues other than their chauvinistic obsessions they tend to flounder. Certainly Griffin does not strike me as the sharpest tool in the box.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Reader

    *groans*

    D’ye reckon Rathlin should declare independence?

    You British slaves just do not know when parody becomes you, old bean!

  • Dave

    Charles Moore makes some good points about the warped sense of morality that undermines the BNP’s critics as seen in some blatant double standards:

    [i]The first is that we are slipshod in our definition of extremism. The BNP certainly is extreme, because hate is intrinsic to its message. But our Government has active links with people who are more extreme. There are Islamist groups which support Hamas suicide bombings, the killing of homosexuals (Mr Griffin merely finds it “creepy” when they kiss in public) and the killing of British troops in Afghanistan. These groups engage with the state, and even get taxpayers’ money. The Government justifies this with the weird theory that it is only the hard men who can hold back the even harder men from violence. So the hard men get the leverage.

    In Northern Ireland, Labour has set up a system which permits and pays Martin McGuinness to be Deputy First Minister. Mr McGuinness was for many years Chief of Staff of the IRA, planning its terrorist operations. He has dropped this occupation, but never renounced it. He has proved the favourite terrorist argument – well-calculated murder wins you power. When Martin goes on Question Time these days, there is no Griffin-style bashing, just the solemn nodding of panel heads when he explains how to bring peace to our troubled world.

    On Thursday night, Jack Straw fiercely engaged Nick Griffin on the subject of Holocaust denial. But when he was Foreign Secretary, Mr Straw led the attempt to appease President Ahmadinejad of Iran, who denies the Holocaust on the global stage and is trying to build a nuclear bomb to wipe out Israel.

    When establishment figures say that the attitudes of the BNP help prepare the ground for violence, they are right. But they do not apply this logic to their engagement with Islamism – the only form of extremism which nowadays kills large numbers of our fellow citizens.[/i]

    That hypocrisy would not be lost on those Moore describes below:

    [i]This week, a campaign called Nothing British (full title: “There’s Nothing British about the BNP”) launched. It draws attention to how the BNP steals British military symbols and tries to recruit among service families. I wrote the foreword to the manifesto. Focus-group research done by colleagues involved in the campaign finds certain common features among BNP voters. They are not all racists. Many have black friends or have intermarried with non-whites. But they all raise immigration straightaway as their biggest concern. They feel it diminishes their chances in life.

    It threatens their jobs, they believe. Ten years ago, a self-employed painter and decorator in, say, Barking might have earned £120 a day, enough to get a reasonable mortgage and sustain a modestly secure family life. Today, after the Government underestimated the number of Eastern Europeans likely to come here by almost 20 times, he would get £70 or £80. If his ailing father pays regular visits to hospital, he may be denied a bed because so many foreign women are giving birth. If his child has special needs, he may find the local school neglects them because it is desperately trying to teach English to children who do not speak it at home. If his brother is a soldier, he may return from risking his life to be insulted on the streets of his country by people who hate it.

    The strongest common characteristic of such BNP supporters is pessimism. They feel they are sinking to the bottom of the pile, and that people from other countries are being privileged over them by the public services. If they complain, they are told they are racist. It is not surprising that they say things like “My country is being taken away from me”. They are not completely mistaken.[/i]

    What is missing in this BNP debate among the MSN is a recognition that immigration policy is now post-democratic (in so far as it relates to EU immigration), and that is why the political establishment seek to censor all debate about immigration policy, seeking instead to brand those who raise the post-democratic policy as racists or other derogatives. Someone mentioned Enoch Powell above, but of course Mr Powell advocated careful government control of the UK’s immigration policy at a time when it was possible for government to change it because its had not given away the applicable sovereignty. Now it is no longer possible, and demcracy does not apply. Therefore, the use of democratic means to change policy is no longer possible. Nick Griffin doesn’t seem to have figured out that he is pointlessly trying to use politics to change a policy that can no longer be changed by politics. He hasn’t figured that out, but it won’t be long before others do, and use the only means that is now available within the post-democratic framework wherein they now must operate.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Reader,

    re. Shetland and Orkney

    Didn’t realise it was as late as 1469 – because of the context I initally misread the intended meaning of the term ‘occupied islands’.

  • Reader

    Prionsa Eoghann: D’ye reckon Rathlin should declare independence?
    Only if there is oil there – they would be in trouble otherwise. Anyway – it’s up to them, not your or my decision.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    I seldom find myself in agreement with the Telegraph’s encyclicals but on this occasion I can agree with many of Moore’s points .

    ‘What is missing in this BNP debate among the MSN is a recognition that immigration policy is now post-democratic (in so far as it relates to EU immigration), and that is why the political establishment seek to censor all debate about immigration policy, seeking instead to brand those who raise the post-democratic policy as racists or other derogatives.’

    Anti immigration drives and anti foreigner feeling have been part of Britain’s (mainly Englands) history since the first couple of hundred thousand agrarian Irish descended on Manchester in the mid 18th century .

    The poorer ‘english’ of that time did not like to see their wages ‘depressed ‘ because of an oversupply of cheap labour and nothing has changed since then apart of course from the establishment of the Welfare State in the 1950’s which has provided the ‘poor’ indigenous with enough sustenance to keep them from abject misery but is not ‘low ‘ enough to encourage the ‘indigenous ‘ to compete with immigrants in the market economy for low wages which have been driven lower by the arrival of these same immigrants and of course economic forces beyond the ken of either indigenous or immigrant labour .

    Immigration policy in Britain or elsewhere has to be seen in it’s local context and what’s perceived in Tunbridge Wells is very different from what’s perceived in Barking or by readers of the New Scientist or New Statesman .

    Some facts re why Britain is where she is in the immigration stakes

    1) Millions died in World Wars 1 & 2 thus impacting on the supply of ‘indigenous ‘ labour .
    2) Nine Million Britons (99% white ) live abroad in places like Australia , USA , Canada , New Zealand , Ireland , Cyprus etc . These people apart from retirees presumably emigrated for advantage i.e so that they would enjoy a higher standard of living elsewhere than what they could expect in the UK .

    3) The de -industrialisation of Britain in the 1980’s and it’s move to a services sector economy along with the weakening of Trades Unions have led to the creation of what is called an ‘indigenous ‘ underclass. These are the people the BNP targets with their simplistic appeal that their present status and lack of hope /pessimism is the fault of recent immigrants.

    Immigrants are in fact just the visible tip of economic policies pursued by all British Governments since the post war period which have sometimes slowed down but not stopped the relative emisseration of Britain’s working and lower middle classes . The British Welfare State and it’s NHS are probably the two main bulwarks against ‘blood ‘ in the streets exacerbated no doubt by anti immigrant feelings .

    ‘He hasn’t figured that out, but it won’t be long before others do, and use the only means that is now available within the post-democratic framework wherein they now must operate.’

    Would this post democratic framework be similar to the post democratic framework which Germany ‘enjoyed’ following the destruction of it’s working and lower middle classes ‘confidence’ in democracy in the 1920’s ?

    Britain is unlikely to home grow a local Hitler and anyway they’d be kicked out of the EU if they did oddly enough by the Germans among others .

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Reader

    I really have more important things to do than respond to your twaddle, but my courtesy always outdo’s my common sense.

    away’n’chaseyirsel!

  • Henry94

    Jo

    Vance has said and written FAR worse then Griffin on his odious blog – I can’t believe the double standards that there is controversy associated with Griffin when that man appears regularly on BBC NI and his venomous attacks on Islam are a daily feature on the internet.

    In fairness Jo, that’s nonsense. I know you have had your issues on David’s site but it’s time you moved on. Everybody else has.

    As for Griffin it would have been much more effective to have him address the normal issues of the day. His lack of depth would have been exposed. By making him the issue you play into his hands. Polite society will have been happy to see him getting a kicking but his message will have got out to his target market.

    If I could draw a comparison with Gerry Adams (not that I am comparing polices, just TV experiences), he did very well when Section 31 was lifted and it was all about the armed struggle and the peace process. But when he was on during the small-party leaders debate before the last election he tanked on the economy. I’m not happy about that but it’s a fact

    Treating people as normal elected politicians when they are elected is a much more effective way of getting the measure of them.

  • Itwas SammyMcNally whatdoneit

    Henry94,

    Not sure allowing the BNP to address ‘normal’ issues would have been a good idea – you would simply help to sanitise their views.

    The fact that Grizzly allegedly ‘tanked’ had got more to do with his ability, preparedness and familiarity with the topics rather than his policies and Griffin being no dozer may well have prospered if permitted to stray into less contentious areas.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Henry

    The man is a monster, just because he is nice to you now and again does not diminish the fact. Neither does the fact that you may well agree with him on a few issues. I have noticed your creep to the right over this past wee while.

    ps. The Tic were lucky again the day, I made the mistakeof going to paradise last week v Motherwell, that’s scunnered me for another year or two.

  • Brit

    Well if the BBC’s decision was in part influenced by a desire to increase viewing figures it worked in my case. I havent watched the programme for several years mainly because it doesn’t involve genuine honest debate but consists of politicians trying to defend the party line, score points and make populist arguments lapped up by the audience. But there was no way I was doing to miss Thursdays episode.

    Some thoughts:-

    1. the BBC was right to allow him on. His party attracted enough support at the EU elections to warrant a place (on the basis of the clear precedent established by the Greens and UKIP).

    2. As well as being morally / politically wrong to prevent him going on QT it would probably have been in breach of the BBC’s charter and unlawful – with the consequence of Griffin portraying himself as a martyr and then winning a court case.

    3. Whether or not the appearance on QT strengthened or weakened the BNP/Griffin is irrelevant to the above arguments. And the argument that he shouldn’t have been allowed on is at base illiberal and also elitist on the basis that it implicitly says that “us” middle class/intellectuals can hear what he says but if the common people hear him they are too stupid to know better and will become fash.

    4. He came across as the c@nt that he is. Apart from his vile and outright racist views, which came across clearly, it is obviously that has no charisma or charm.

    5. Whilst I didn’t feel sorry for him I think the show was a bit of a farce. To some extent this would have been unavoidable however the programme had been set up but it did look like the Nick Griffin show and a bit of a metaphorical lynching which may have given rise to sympathy for the supposed underdog.

    6. I think Lady Varsi was the most calm and confident panellist and both Staw and Huhne were disappointing. Grier said little of real import.

    7. The EU election results are likely to be a high water mark for the BNP and reflect largely misplaced concerns about immigration and a disatisfaction with mainstream politics as a result of the somewhat manufactured expenses scandal – rather than a million outright racists in the UK who want to see mass deportations and who think that mix-raced relationships (an increasingly growing demographic and naturalcounter to racism) are a tradegy. The BNP are a small minority party who are never going to get any real power and the BNP will likely lose its seats in the next EU elections and we’ll see Griffin outside mainstream media.

    8. As a born-and-bred Londoner and resident of that great city I felt quite pleased to hear him say that London is not English/British. This is a backhanded compliment from him and in general my city is represented by mutual tolerance and peaceable co-existence, inter-racial/ethnic friendships, relationships, connections and shared identities, and cosmopolitanism.

    9. Churchill was, no doubt, a bit of a racist. But it was an unthinking reflection of his culture and the times rather than an express embrace of a theory or racial supremacist. Plenty of socialists in later half of the 19th and first part of the 20th Century said shockingly racist things but no one suggests that Engels, for example, would have joined the BNP now. Churchill was a democrat and a strong opponent of totalitarianism and Nazism. The BNP, had it existed then would either be expressly pro-Nazi or at the very best appeasers who would no doubt have turned into British quislings/vichyites had the Nazis ever occupied Britain. So the panelists were right to argue that the BNP has no claim to Churchill’s mantel.

  • Brit

    “Anti immigration drives and anti foreigner feeling have been part of Britain’s (mainly Englands) history since the first couple of hundred thousand agrarian Irish descended on Manchester in the mid 18th century”

    Try 600 years earlier
    mate http://ddickerson.igc.org/cliffords-tower.html

    Anti-immigration and anti-foreigner feeling is, sadly, a part of human history generally and is not limited to Britain.

  • Brit

    “my visits to various parts of England over the years has been quite an experience though. There are whole areas where it really is spot the white. Human beings do not like rapid change and undoubtedly that has happened in England. Should that happen here then people would be open to exploitation. The fears of people have always been preyed on, in England they really feel as if they are being pushed aside in their own land. Result, really fertile ground for the likes of the bnP, fear not racism.”

    What areas are these PE, and what is the rapid and recent change which has occured? Most ethnic ghettos in cities have long been associated with the dominant ethnic community and think false idea of huge immigration and massive and quick changes to demographics is generally a bit of false received wisdom believed because it is repeated ad nauseam.

    And as for “spot the white” which is not a phrase I’m massively comfortable with, the UK is generally much more cosomopolitan and integrated that the US where large swathes of many East Coast cities are basically wholly black. None of this means that the US is about to go fascist or that it is not a sucessful country with a common US patriotism.

    If it was really fertile ground for those scum their electoral support would be much higher than the 2 to 3% indicated by recent polls.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>What areas are these PE…?

    Parts of east London including Daghenam and Ilford where I have visited a few times. Also having drunk in Kilburn the insides of the Irish pubs almost wholly contrast with the outside in a racial sense. I have never been but know that parts of south London and most of the cities in the English midlands have areas where whits would be in tiny minorities.

    >>what is the rapid and recent change which has occured?< < Are you for real?, within a generation or two they have changed ethnicity, not counting the recent influxes from Europe. >>false idea of huge immigration and massive and quick changes to demographics is generally a bit of false received wisdom believed because it is repeated ad nauseam.< < Really? And this is because you say so. >>as for “spot the white” which is not a phrase I’m massively comfortable with…< < Why? >>the UK is generally much more cosomopolitan and integrated that the US where large swathes of many East Coast cities are basically wholly black. None of this means that the US is about to go fascist or that it is not a sucessful country with a common US patriotism.< < Good point re-cosmopoloitism and fascist. Though this cosmopolitism is being changed by recent events like UK born Islamicists trying to kill as many of us as possible. Oh and you may wish to look at the 'white flight' phenomena in the US and the vast tracks of living space they have to move into. >>If it was really fertile ground for those scum their electoral support would be much higher than the 2 to 3% indicated by recent polls.<< Brit, bury your head in the sand all you like if the immigration issue isn't addressed by all of us it has the potential to spiral out of control.

  • Brit

    “Parts of east London including Daghenam and Ilford where I have visited a few times. Also having drunk in Kilburn the insides of the Irish pubs almost wholly contrast with the outside in a racial sense. I have never been but know that parts of south London and most of the cities in the English midlands have areas where whits would be in tiny minorities.”

    Well as a lifelong resident of Kilburn/Queens Park I dont recognise your description of Kilburn at all. It was very irish in the 70s and 80s (and signficant elements of that community exist amongst my parents generation) but it always (since I was a kid in the 70s/80s) had a large black and asian community. I dont think that Kilburn is less “white” than it used to be. In fact is it probably more white, as a result of gentrifiction and the Poles and other eastern Europeans who have moved their.

    My street is an advert for cosmopolitanism with every ethnic, racial and religious mix and it is a friendly place where people know, like and trust each other.

    Your spot the white man line and your claims of rapid change is totally inaccurate in relation to Kilburn.

    There are bits of London and other cities where whites are a minority but this had been the case for decades and decades (look at Brixton, Southall, Handsworth, Stepney) on the basis of immigration from the 50s nd 60s so it is hardly recent.

    I would call change in a few years as rapid. Not change over two generations which is slow.

    “Really? And this is because you say so.” Well I admit to not having the detailed information but I do actually live in London and my anecodtal experience is very different to yours based on a few visist and, no doubt, perceptions gleaned from other sources.

    ” by recent events like UK born Islamicists trying to kill as many of us as possible.”

    Not sure that this sits with your thesis. the 7/7 bombers were British citizens of Pakistani origin, whose forefathers came to Britain (invited) in the 60s. Not part of some new mass wave of immigration which the likes of Griffin and others, less racist but equally ignorant, have imagined.

    Islamist violence exists globally and is a global problem in America, Europe, the middle East, Asia and north Africa. A explanation which looks to British immigration and integration (or lack thereof) would not be very good at explaining bombs in Pakistan, India, Israel or Bali.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    >>Your spot the white man line and your claims of rapid change is totally inaccurate in relation to Kilburn.< < You live there, last time I was there in the late eighties it was definetely spot the white in the main busy high street I was in. perhaps the upwardly mobile whites have moved back in. >>I would call change in a few years as rapid. Not change over two generations which is slow.< < Highly debateable and depends on the amount of change I suppose. Or you could just be taking the emu approach. >>Not sure that this sits with your thesis.<< Yep figured as much! You seem in your own annoying roundabout the houses way seem to be setting the scene, attributing views to me that I do not hold. Should you wish to deny or lessen the evidence of your own eyes. Argue that people will like the changes in their areas because it happens over 30-40 years rather than 10 or 20 then go ahead. I still hold that we have to realise that there are issues to be dealt with, argue with the racists on their platform and show them up for what they are. Immigration is an issue so must be discussed, to bury your head in the sand is no longer an issue. If there are no issues as far as you are concerned, everything is rosy in the garden then there is nothing more to discuss.

  • Brit

    PE when you talked of “rapid change”, white minorities and immigration and peole being pushed aside, I had understood you to be talking about something recent and something ongoing, say in the last 5 years . ie some sort of mass immigration rapidly changing the democraphics of English cities and towns.

    I think that a lot of people believe that this is happening and that it is a problem, because they read it in the Daily Mail or hear people talking about it in TalkSport. I also think its largely false and based on ignorance.

    Many of the problems of multi-culturalism, such as they are (and I think they are wildly overstated), relate to long established communities who are not immigrants and are second or third generation but who are growing in numbers and moving into new areas but without fully integrating. This problem is to be solved by cross community engagement, by listening to the white working class and by trying to build social cohesion but no immgration control will impact it.

    If your mental picture is based on Kilburn High Road over 20 years ago then that would hardly explain the recent relative increase in BNP support nor shed any light of recent rapid changes!!

    Now I do believe in allowing the BNP to speak on QT or elsehwere. I also believing in engaging with their arguments and showing them to be not just racist but also undemocratic and hostile to working class politics and Trade Unions. I dont believe the supporters should be vilified as neo-Nazis or extreme racists and that their concerns about immigration should be listened to. However many of the concerns are based on a hugely false perception and I would like progressive forces to explain why the perception is largely false rather than pander to it with trying to seem tough. To the extent that particular white working class communities were given unfavourable treatment and de facto discriminated agaisnt then of course action should be taken but that again is largely a false perception. Lets do some robust myth busting about the numbers of immigrants and what they actually do so we can have a proper debate without being on the defensive.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Brit

    >>If your mental picture is based on Kilburn High Road over 20 years ago then that would hardly explain the recent relative increase in BNP support nor shed any light of recent rapid changes!!< < Eh no, I sought to explain no such thing, I merely voiced an opinion that many areas which used to be white are now increasingly non-white. No matter how short a time, how many generations etc. And how many people may feel alienated which allows the hateful ones to get their foot in the door simply because those raising these fears may often be branded racist. >>However many of the concerns are based on a hugely false perception and I would like progressive forces to explain why the perception is largely false rather than pander to it…< < I don't believe in pandering to it at all, rather I agree with the sntence previous to the above where you seem to be taking a similar pandering line to me. >>Now I do believe in allowing the BNP to speak on QT or elsehwere. I also believing in engaging with their arguments and showing them to be not just racist but also undemocratic and hostile to working class..< < >>Lets do some robust myth busting about the numbers of immigrants and what they actually do so we can have a proper debate without being on the defensive.<< Go ahead be my guest, provide us with dynamic evidence! Though I repeat the evidence of our own eyes should not be discounted.

  • Brit

    “I merely voiced an opinion that many areas which used to be white are now increasingly non-white. No matter how short a time, how many generations etc”

    The “increasingly” suggests a current and ongoing issue or even crisis which i strongly dispute (and you havent challenged me on that) But if you take the increasingly out of it this is all pretty ancient history.

    Britain embraced signficant non-white immigration from the West Indies and South East Asia (and more recently East Africa), and the descendents of Caribeans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangleshis the the overwhelming majority of the the inhabitants of the “many” areas which used to be white, in the 40s, 50s and 60s and are now not. Like North Kensington (aka Notting Hill before that bit of it became very white and gentrified).

    These changes happened ages ago and have been accepted and there is no turning the clock back. The people who feel alienated and fearful and/or voted for the BNP in the EU elections are not responding to the changes above but to a false perception about being swamped.

    I know people from overwhelmingly white towns who voice views about swamping and illegal immigration and the beloved bogus asylum seeker in complete ignorance because they have read the Daily Mail for the last 20 years. Their views are not based on any rapid or slow changes but on totally misplaced fear.

    I’d like to know where these areas are which have changed so rapidly? Certainly not the kind of northern Lancastrian and Yorkshire towns where the BNP has attracted much support as the Pakistani and Bangleshi immigration took places in the 60s and 70s not recently?

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Brit

    >>The “increasingly” suggests a current and ongoing issue or even crisis which i strongly dispute (and you havent challenged me on that) But if you take the increasingly out of it this is all pretty ancient history.< < Usually when there is a dispute it takes two sides. I do not dispute what you are trying to say regarding there being ethnic communities established from the sixties, however distant from the particular issues I raised. However for you to suggest that all of the ethnic growth is from generational ethnic groups, then that is patently nonsense. >>Britain embraced signficant non-white immigration from the West Indies and South East Asia (and more recently East Africa), and the descendents of Caribeans, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangleshis…<< Sorry but this embracing simply doesn't fit the narrative told by the immigrant communities themselves. Tolerated and got on in the main might be closer to the truth. Ok let's address the ongoing theme here. You seem to believe that generational growth of immigrant ethnic communiities is not a problem. Yet many prospective party candidates now report that immigration is an issue, I reckon it would be difficult to tell recent immigrants from generational in some cases. you also claim that there has not been massive immigration to the UK over the last ten years. I live in Scotland, traditionally a place that asylum seekers were/are forced to go to. Legal/illegal immigrants don't exactly flock here either mainly due to the sparcity of jobs. Statistics show that the population of Scotland has been rising of late and the evidence of my own eyes tells me that there are a lot, lot more black, Aisan and Slavic faces(those that I can spot) kicking about. Even 5 years ago I could go all day and the only non-white faces I would see were in the local shops. Now there are plentifull varieties of Africans, middle-eastern, east and west Aisan and all living in my local area. My local area is typical of Glasgow. Now if my own experiences notice a big difference, and considering that there are established populations of almost every ethnicity, and England get's the lions share even when head of population is taken into account of new arrivals. Why do you not see this as a potential problem? ps. I don't read the daily mail.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Should read;

    ..almost every ethnicity in England but not in Scotland…

  • Brit

    PE,

    I’m not sure there is a huge amount of substance between us but I’m prepared to keep this going for a while longer.

    “Sorry but this embracing simply doesn’t fit the narrative told by the immigrant communities themselves. Tolerated and got on in the main might be closer to the truth.”

    You’re right, and the word was probably inappropriate. I meant to convey that the British government decided on large non-white immigration and that this has been a long term and accepted bit of British life which no serious or popular political movement has tried to alter. Of course I accept that immigrants faced dreadful racism when they first settled here. My wife’s father was a first generation immigrant from India so I know from only one-step removed what the reality was.

    “You seem to believe that generational growth of immigrant ethnic communities is not a problem. Yet many prospective party candidates now report that immigration is an issue, I reckon it would be difficult to tell recent immigrants from generational in some cases. ”

    I’m not being obtuse but I don’t fully understand what you are saying here. Are you talking about second, third and fourth generation non-white Britain’s from the traditional and established ethnic minorities? Are you talking about recent immigration and first generation ones?

    In my view immigration has not given rise to any significant problems and such problems as are associated with it are balanced out by the benefits. The fact that immigration is a political issue doesn’t disprove my view as set out above. In the 1930s lots of Germans thought Jews were the principal cause of Germany’s problems and that they had to be dealt with. They were wrong.

    “you also claim that there has not been massive immigration to the UK over the last ten years”

    I’m not sure I said that but no I don’t think that immigration has been particularly massive however and certainly not problematic. The only particularly noticeable wave of immigration in recent years from a personal perspective has been from Poland and Eastern Europe but a) many have now moved back and b) concerns about such people is rarely high on the agenda of the BNP or its supporters.

    “Now if my own experiences notice a big difference, and considering that there are established populations of almost every ethnicity, and England get’s the lions share even when head of population is taken into account of new arrivals. Why do you not see this as a potential problem?”

    I don’t know the detail of the numbers but my understanding is that the total influx is not very signficant, and from my personal experience I have not noticed any rapid and sweeping changes, and certainly no major problems. Of course there could be a theoretical problem if there were no immigration controls whatsoever depending on the nature and size of immigration but such a change has not happened and would not be possible.

    And, as much as I disagree with much of what you say, I wouldn’t have had you down as a Daily Mail reader in a million years.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    Brit

    I agree that there is not anything between us apart from the fact that I feel that a certain issue, ie the one I have highlighted could potentially be a problem, especially in England.

    >>I meant to convey that the British government decided on large non-white immigration and that this has been a long term and accepted bit of British life which no serious or popular political movement has tried to alter.< < Crucially important bit here that is raising it's head more and more. Regarding the views given to Parliamentry candidates that I mentioned earlier. Seems that the ordinary people, far from 'accepting' it(mass non-white immigration) are questioning why they were never consulted on it. The ubiquitous response to views on immigration being; "Well we never asked for it!" >>I’m not being obtuse but I don’t fully understand what you are saying here.< < What I was trying to say(badly) was that unless you speak to them you cannot tell for how long anyone has been here. And also in the context that I am speaking of I don't think it really matters. Many whites feel alienated and increasingly outnumbered in various parts of England. You may not have a problem with being a minority white face in your own country, and you may indeed be correct. What we need to do is open up to those that feel that way and have a debate. I can only repeat that my own experiences of travelling in England was an eye-opener and understood completely why some may feel uncomfortable. To be honest I did, why? Don't really know. I have lived, went to school, had friends and relationships with all sorts of races/nationalities when living in multicultural Australia. Being part of a white minority did make me feel uncomfortable though, my self-awareness told me that if someone from my background could feel like this then anyone could, yourself not included ;¬) >>In the 1930s lots of Germans thought Jews were the principal cause of Germany’s problems and that they had to be dealt with. They were wrong.< < The Jews made up less than 1% of the population of Germany if I remember correctly and only added to german society. >>I don’t know the detail of the numbers but my understanding is that the total influx is not very signficant..< < Since none of us are producing numbers of recent immigrants, which in my view is irrelevant to my overall point anyhow we are going to have to disagree. Immigration is aq big issue for the bean counters though, not to mention the various political parties. Even labour were forced to initiate curbs by introducing the Aussie points based system. >>I wouldn’t have had you down as a Daily Mail reader in a million years.<< Thanks, made my day!

  • Brit

    PE

    My final comments on this.

    Firstly the figures from 2001 census show less than 8% of the UK population is a non-white ethnic minority, so we are not in the same universe let alone ball park as having a white minority (clearly there are places where whites are in a minority and I’ve lived pretty much all my life in the borough of Brent which has a non-white majority). I feel totally comfortable seeing lots of black and asian faces around my street and area, and chinese and Jewish and white British and white irish, French, Italian, Poles, Russians and Brazilians (in fact I am generally extremely pleased to see Brazillians of certain gender). I admit that I probably wouldn’t feel comfortable living in an area which was 90% non-white, particularly if the 90% were all from the same ethnic minority (like west Baltimore, say) but I think such places are fairly few and far between in the UK. Also ghettos are often place of great social deprivation so there is an issue with poverty and exclusion as much as racial/cultural difference. Certainly in most of London, residential or central, you will see a mixture without any one community forming a majority.

    Second, the overwhelming proportion of that 8% are from established communities (half of them asian – of Indian, Pakistani and Bangledeshi, and another quarter black and the remainder mainly chinese). These groups are very well and long established communities in the UK and certainly in London, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester and the northern mill towns where they are part of the fabric of British society. I don’t think anyone is saying “we werent asked” about the immigration which took place 50-30 years ago, bringing these people dads/grandads to the UK, or suggesting that these well established communities who re into fourth generation Brits are not British or should be sent “back” to India or Jamaica which is a distinct and foreign country for them.

    Immigration happened and non-white Brits are a fact of life, which cannot be undone anymore than the second world war can, and its hard to imagine such a long passed event causing legitimate or well founded fear and alienation. Perhaps the more numerous non-white faces are newer in places like Glasgow and that has given you a false perception, or perhaps I am judging things from my London perspective where in many places there is often plurality of groups which causes less problems than when two communities are rubbing up against each other.

  • Prionsa Eoghann

    can’t fault your response, and I do feel that you are starting to become *more* aware that not everyone feels the same as you. granted part of my feelings may be because I am not used to some of the situations I found myself in whilst in England, and that our situation in Scotland lends us an easier oportunity to see the changes. However it does you no good to speak of false perceptions of those who do feel the alienation, the fear, for whatever reasons. The outright racists can easily be identified and rooted out. Racism is prevalent in all the ethnic groups, however the voices of ordinary people you ignore at your peril. Hence, I reckon the cry for help of some who are going to/already have voted for the likes of the BNP.