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22 June 2014

Confirmed: The Political Class Ignores The Strength Of Feeling On Immigration And Does So 'At Its Own Peril'

Part of this post was originally posted on 18 May 2013:

More immigration chaos at Heathrow

The 'liberal political class' dominating Britain is out of step with the mass of the electorate on immigration, major study warns.

By John Bingham, The Telegraph:

Politicians have contributed to a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment because of a widening “disconnect” between the “liberal political class” and public opinion, the UK’s most authoritative barometer of public opinion suggests.

Almost half the population now believes that a decade of mass migration has not only harmed the economy but undermined “British culture”, the annual British Social Attitudes survey shows.

The “persistent public anxiety” over immigrant numbers is something the main political parties “ignore at their peril”, the Government-funded study warns.

Significantly, the study — which has been charting public opinion for more than 30 years — found signs of a rejection of a multicultural notion of Britishness.

In striking contrast with a decade ago, when the survey showed rising acceptance of minorities, increasing numbers now single out factors such as being born in the UK or having “British ancestry” as important elements of “British” identity.

The news led to warnings on Monday that a failure to slow the pace of immigration to Britain will increase racism.

The apparent reversal in attitudes comes after a decade of mass immigration following the expansion of the European Union. 

There are now around 2.5 million more foreign-born British residents than 10 years ago, including just over a million people from Poland and the seven other countries which joined the EU in 2004.

More than eight out of 10 people now support a major tightening of rules on access to benefits and curbs on overall immigration — but the study points out that EU rules would make it “very hard” for the Government to deliver on this.

“There is a clear, and intense, demand for action on the issue from one section of the electorate, a demand politicians ignore at their peril,” it concludes. 

“Yet responding to the concerns of the voters worried about immigration today risks alienating the rising sections of the electorate whose political voice will become steadily louder in elections to come.” 

The warning comes after the UK Independence Party’s triumph in the recent European elections, a development the study said had been influenced by a serious “disconnect” between the wishes of voters and the positions of the main parties. 

It also comes amid a political row over moves by Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to require schools to teach “British values”.

When asked what made people “truly British” the survey’s participants singled out distinct characteristics. While the importance of speaking English has long been strong, support has now reached a level of near unanimity. 

The number of people citing it as a key ingredient in Britishness rose from 85 per cent to 95 per cent between 203 and 2013.

The number citing being born in Britain as an important or very important element, edged up from 70 per cent to 74 per cent, reversing a downward trend in the previous decade. Almost eight out of 10 said it was important for people to have lived most of their life in the UK before being included — up more than a tenth in a decade.

Meanwhile, just over half (51 per cent) said it was important to have British ancestry to be considered British, up from 46 per cent in 2003.

Overall, the study, published by NatCen, an independent social research group which is funded by the Government, found that 77 per cent of people want immigration to be cut, including 56 per cent backing a large reduction.

The study said 47 per cent believe immigration has had a negative economic impact, compared with only 31 per cent who see it as positive. Forty-five per cent said they thought immigration had “undermined British cultural life”, compared with only 35 per cent who believe it has enriched British culture.

Almost one in five people believe immigration has been “very bad” both culturally and economically — outnumbering those who say it had been “very good” economically by six to one. 

The study warned: “Policymakers and the interest groups they deal with regularly tend to be drawn heavily from the liberal end of the spectrum, creating a potential for disconnect and distrust between a more liberal political class which accepts immigration and an electorate among whom many find it intensely threatening. This combination of persistent public anxiety, the disconnect in attitudes between political elites and voters, and constraints on policymakers’ ability to respond have helped to fuel the rise in support for Ukip.”

It added: “In many areas of migration policy, constraints on current policy mean it is more liberal than even the most pro-migration parts of the public would like, generating widespread public discontent which is hard to address. 

“For example, EU rules make it very hard for the government to restrict migrant numbers, or regulate migrant access to the welfare state, in accordance with the wishes of most of the public.”

Frank Field, the former Labour work and pensions secretary, said the shift in attitudes was a “huge condemnation” of the immigration policies of successive governments and said it would be “unforgivable” for politicians not to respond. 

“One of the things we must do in drawing up our red and blue lines for renegotiating in Europe is that we have to have control of our borders again.” 


I posted this - The Truth At Last! Peter Mandelson Admits Labour 'Sent Out Search Parties' To Bring Migrants Here After Losing The Votes Of The Working Class - over a year ago when the cat finally was let out of the bag and the Canary in the Labour Mine first sang:

I'd like to teach the world to sing
in perfect harmony.
I'd like to hold it in my arms,
and keep it company

I'd like to see the world for once
all standing hand in hand.
And hear them echo through the hills
for peace throughout the land.
The people's flag is deepest red,
It shrouded oft our martyr'd dead
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold,
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold.

Then raise the scarlet standard high,
Within its shade we'll live and die,
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

Kumbaya my OverLord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my OverLord, kumbaya
Kumbaya my OverLord, kumbaya
Oh , kumbaya

Someone's singing OverLord, kumbaya
Someone's singing OverLord, kumbaya
Someone's singing OverLord, kumbaya
Oh OverLord, kumbayah

Someone's crying, OverLord, kumbaya
Someone's crying, OverLord, kumbaya
Someone's crying,  OverLord, kumbaya
Oh OverLord, kumbaya

Then, he croaked...along with any sane look at Labour's immediate past and future electoral successes.

Three months after the 1987 general election, Labour assembled in Brighton for its annual conference. The famous smoke-filled rooms were replete with recrimination and disbelief.

How had the party managed to suffer a third debilitating defeat at the handbag of the hated Margaret Thatcher? Most of the dwindling band of delegates simply couldn’t comprehend why millions of ‘their’ people had voted Conservative yet again.

Neil Kinnock, who even after the polling stations closed was convinced he had won a famous victory, enlightened them.


In his keynote address, Kinnock posed a rhetorical question: ‘What do you say to a docker who earns £400 a week, owns his own house, a new car, a microwave, as well as a small place near Marbella?

‘You do not say,’ he continued, adopting a cod Cockney accent intended to mimic Ron Todd, then leader of Britain’s biggest union, the TGWU: ‘Bruvver, let me take you out of your misery.’

It was a reluctant acknowledgement that Labour’s clapped-out collectivist model had run out of road. It was also the moment that the rising generation of Labour politicians realised that they could never again rely on the votes on the white working class. 

Standing at the back of the hall that day, listening intently, was one Peter Mandelson, a moustachioed former television producer brought in by Kinnock to modernise the party’s image. 

Mandelson, together with the ruthlessly ambitious young men and women who would subsequently form the nucleus of New Labour in the mid-Nineties, concluded that if they could no longer take the support of the white working class for granted, they would have to import a new working class from overseas.

Yet they have always denied that the mass immigration unleashed after Tony Blair’s 1997 landslide was a deliberate policy driven by naked political self-interest.

n an extraordinary and unexpected moment of candour, Mandelson himself confessed this week that Labour ‘sent out search parties’ for immigrants.

He told the Blairite think-tank Progress: ‘In 2004, as a Labour government, we were not only welcoming people to come into this country to work, we were sending out search parties for people and encouraging them.’

He added: ‘The situation is different now . . . entry to the labour market of many people of non-British origin is hard for people who are finding it very difficult to find jobs [and] who find it hard to keep jobs.’

It was an astonishing admission, the first time someone at the very heart of the New Labour project has confirmed that Britain’s border controls were cynically dismantled.

When former Labour adviser Andrew Neather said three years ago that mass immigration was a ploy intended to ‘rub the Right’s nose in diversity’ his claims were categorically rebutted by Labour leaders.

Mass immigration was never once mentioned in any Labour manifesto. No one voted for it. 

A policy which was to change the face of Britain irrevocably was smuggled in under the radar purely for long-term electoral and short-term economic advantage. 

The assumption was that the new arrivals would all become naturalised and return the favour by voting Labour.

The party’s new friends in the business world, meanwhile, would benefit from an endless supply of willing foreign workers prepared to accept low wages.

So it was that Tony Blair’s victory ushered in the greatest mass migration in this country’s history. 

The most outrageous Left-wing lie is that Britain has always been a ‘nation of immigrants’. This is arrant nonsense. Between the Norman Conquest in 1066 and 1950, immigration was virtually non-existent, save for a few thousand Jews and Huguenots fleeing persecution in Europe.

It began to rise when the government opened the door to Commonwealth citizens to help rebuild the post-war economy and run essential public services, such as transport and the National Health Service. 

But as recently as the early Nineties, net migration stood at around only 40,000 a year, statistically insignificant. After Labour came to power, more people moved to Britain than in the entire previous millennium.

Figures released this week show that one in eight of the population, 7.5 million people, is an immigrant.

Half of them arrived in the decade up to 2011.
Their contempt for the traditional working class is exceeded only by their hatred for middle-class Daily Mail readers.

This demographic catastrophe has its roots in the fallout from that third Labour defeat in 1987. Mrs Thatcher’s decision to sell off council housing stock to tenants had created a burgeoning property-owning democracy.

Conservative economic reforms had liberated millions of aspirational, newly-affluent people who had previously been forced to rely on state largesse or union militancy to improve their standard of living.

The trades unions were in terminal retreat, as a result of Margaret Thatcher’s comprehensive crushing of Arthur Scargill’s kamikaze coal strike, and they could no longer deliver their members en bloc at the ballot box.

Lifelong Labour voters had switched allegiance to the Conservatives, especially in dozens of crucial marginal constituencies in the Midlands and the South East.

From the rubble of Kinnock’s defeat, Labour set out to create a different country.
A fourth Tory triumph in 1992 only served to reinforce their resolve, such that after 1997 practically Labour’s first act was to demolish Britain’s border controls.

After Labour's defeat in 1987, the trades unions were in terminal retreat as a result of Margaret Thatcher's comprehensive crushing of Arthur Scargill's kamikaze coal strike

After Labour's defeat in 1987, the trades unions were in terminal retreat as a result of Margaret Thatcher's comprehensive crushing of Arthur Scargill's kamikaze coal strike

The intention was to attract millions of immigrants from across the globe, legally or illegally. A new category of ‘asylum seekers’ was created, effectively granting any foreign national who claimed persecution the right of settlement in Britain.

Background checks were cursory, at best, and Labour’s Human Rights Act made it virtually impossible either to deny entry to, or deport, anyone, no matter how undesirable.

Labour also signed up to freedom of movement within the EU, which was to lead to a mass exodus to Britain from Eastern Europe. We were told only 13,000 people would move here from Eastern Europe. In the event, more than a million came.

Those who questioned the policy were routinely smeared as a ‘racist’. The distinguished former diplomat Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, who has consistently produced accurate figures on the scale and impact of uncontrolled immigration, was subjected to the most vile character assassination.

The Tories were cowed into submission.

Despite the Left’s denigration of those who were worried about the effect of the policy on national identity, social cohesion, public services and housing, most people were not objecting to immigration itself.

The argument has been about the scale and speed of the transformation.

Indisputably, many newcomers have brought great benefits to Britain. From the Fifties onwards, the NHS and public transport would have collapsed without dedicated staff from the Commonwealth.

London would not be the wealthy, vibrant world city it is today if it was shorn of its army of hard-working, enterprising recent arrivals from across the globe.

Great businesses have been built by Asian immigrants from East Africa and the Indian sub-continent.

A new black middle class is emerging. Service industries owe much of their success to young immigrants prepared to work long hours for modest rewards.

They have been willing to take on jobs which British natives were unwilling to do, or had been given an incentive not to do by an over-generous welfare system.

Britain is a brighter, more eclectic nation as a result.

From the rubble of Kinnock's defeat, Labour set out to create a different country. After 1997, practically Labour's first act was to demolish Britain's border controls

From the rubble of Kinnock's defeat, Labour set out to create a different country. After 1997, practically Labour's first act was to demolish Britain's border controls

Immigrants have made huge contributions across sport, music and the arts. But immigration has also brought serious problems, from pressures on housing, schools and hospitals to gang culture and religious fundamentalism.

If you are reasonably affluent, you’re probably quite relaxed about immigration — which has contributed to your quality of life. 

I’m lucky to live in a suburb where different races and religions all rub along in harmony. I’ve got an Italian gardener, a Greek Cypriot barber, my wife’s piano teacher is Polish and our favourite local restaurant is Indian. 

But if you’re living on a small pension and feel trapped because the area in which you grew up has been transformed into a foreign country, you’d be forgiven for not ‘celebrating diversity’ quite so enthusiastically.

It didn’t have to be like this. We could have had a proper, managed immigration which would have delivered all of the benefits but fewer of the problems. 

Even Labour realised this at the time. In his autobiography, The Third Man, Peter Mandelson writes about the run-up to the 2001 general election.

‘I thought that if we were going to re-engage with voters, we had to have something to say on an issue that was becoming increasingly difficult and controversial: immigration and asylum.

‘Immigration and asylum were generating debate, and sometimes anger, in pubs and on shop floors as much as in gentlemen’s clubs or leafy suburbs. I was hearing that concern on the doorstep in Hartlepool, and I knew that other MPs were getting a similar message in their constituencies.’

So Labour knew people were opposed to their undeclared, undemocratic policy of transforming Britain into a different country — but carried on regardless. Three years later, they were still, in Mandelson’s own words this week, ‘sending out search parties’ around the world to encourage more and more people to settle here.

Perhaps Mandelson intends us to think more kindly of him in the knowledge that he had his doubts all along. Frankly, his hypocrisy only makes his duplicity all the more despicable.

Blair and Mandelson have gone off to become seriously rich. Not for them the problems their immigration policies have wreaked upon Britain. The downside is for the little people, the grubby working classes who had to be punished for voting Tory four times on the trot.

We will all now have to live with the consequences, as we brace ourselves for yet another wave of unwanted immigration — this time from poverty-stricken Romania and Bulgaria.

Romanian criminals and beggars are already operating in London’s West End.

The only glimmer of hope is that, as some of us have always maintained and despite the evil slanders of the Left, according to a survey published yesterday Britain is one of the most racially tolerant nations on earth.

Let’s hope it stays that way. If it does, it will be no thanks to New Labour.

Related Reading:

10 Tens Other Politicians Should Refrain From Saying In The Aftermath of Farage & Ukip's Triumphant

UKIP Victory Sends A Message To EU's Elites About Failure Of Big Government

UKIP’s Tremor

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