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Gordon Brown is right and very wrong.

Yes, I would agree with Mr Brown that these sounded like the words of a bigot:

“All these Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?”

Actually it sounds exasperatingly pig ignorant as well.

Brown ought to have ballsed it out. Mrs Duffy sounded like the voice of the Express. Instead Brown wimped out by issuing six apologies to the deranged harridan. And not only that but by apologising to her he tacitly bought the BNP agenda that everything would be hunky-dory if only we didn’t have these foreigners coming over here.

Labour are clearly terrified of losing the white working class vote to the BNP are they not? I reckon Nick Griffin poured himself a large one and had a belly laugh over this farce.

I don’t know whether that was an epic fail or Brown merely being yellow.

Don’t get me wrong here. Immigration is a topic we ought to debate but it is one like the prohibition of drugs which cannot seemingly be addressed within the public sphere in an even vaguely rational manner. Immigration has become toxic because it is so conflated with asylum, “diversity” and benefits and such like. I could go on all day about this but I will simply pose a question – why does this country (and many other countries) make it so hard for people who actually like us to come and live here?

13 Comments

  1. JuliaM says:

    I think in labelling Mrs Duffy a ‘deranged harridan’ when everyone can clearly see she’s nothing of the sort you run the same risk as Brown of devaluing the words to the point where they mean nothing.

    “Labour are clearly terrified of losing the white working class vote to the BNP are they not? “

    I think it would be a mistake to:

    a) assume Mrs Duffy speaks for the ‘white working class’, and
    b) assume that her concerns are only those of the ‘white working class’…

    “I could go on all day about this but I will simply pose a question – why does this country (and many other countries) make it so hard for people who actually like us to come and live here? “

    Well, there’s two things to consider.

    One, we don’t actually care about whether they like us. In fact, we’ve taken on (and in) people who it would appear hate us and all we stand for, keep themselves resolutely seperate from us, yet hold out their hands for a free slice of the tax pie and demand that the country is changed to suit them. And they have been enabled in that by..guess who.

    Two, if enough people from elsewhere – ‘like us’ or ‘hate us’ -come here and then proceed to change the culture, is it still ‘this country’?

  2. Andy says:

    I think the problem is that you (and Gordon) don’t speak “Gran”. She’s not racist, she’s not a bigot, but probably doesn’t spend every day forming well-honed arguments on her blog that she can spout out at a moment’s notice. I suspect she doesn’t have a PhD, but she also didn’t sound “pig ignorant”. I suspect I wouldn’t like this woman, her being a (ex-)Labour voter, however… When she said her highly amusing

    “All these Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?”

    She was speaking “Gran”, just like a lot of other people in the country. I’ll translate for you:

    “I am not a bigot. My geography is not excellent. I have not got a prewritten speech and I am speaking off-the-cuff, so you will forgive any seemingly tautological questions that I may ask. Where I live and where I work I see that there is a growing immigrant population. I do not object to them for their race, but I do object to the ever increasing burden on local services and benefits that I and my family have paid for over many years as contributory citizens. I worry that my pension is taxed solely to pay for people from other countries to come here and live the life of luxury they see many of the native work shy enjoying. I worry for the future of my grandchildren. Do you agree with me that this is a problem, Gordon, and what do you propose to do about it if you do?”

    I watched the footage of this woman being played Gordon’s comments, and she was genuinely upset, saying “what did I say there that was bigoted?”. I’m inclined to agree with her. I’d suggest a quick trip to the dictionary for Gordon too, as I don’t think “bigot” means what he thinks it means; and perhaps, dare I suggest, a little bit more understanding of the perhaps less well educated from yourself.

  3. NickM says:

    Julia,
    I stand by what I said. Perhaps I said it badly but the immigration issue is a very tricky one because it is so volatile. Specifically Mrs Duffy mentioned Eastern Europeans. They will not appreciably change our culture and they are not demanding bennies. They are an awful lot like us (see why I didn’t say that first time – that sounds awful). I do think it bigoted to appose the free movement of people who want to work and who integrate with our culture easily. They may bring aspects of their culture with them and I like that. Polish immigration to my area has brought a wide range of pickled goods. That is not an existential threat to Englishness, that is gerkins. There are other cultures though that bring violence, appalling treatment of women and demand the rights they would deny the rest of us. I don’t think I have to name names here do I?

    The East Europeans have been scape-goated here because media and politicians are so terrified of being branded racist that the only immigrants they can blame are white ones. Note my question. Try getting into this country if you are American. Turn-up from some Crapistan and seeky asylumy and fine. It’s all stuffed-up. It’s such a mess. And note this is not (or should not be) a race issue (it is so easily conflated with that) because that American could be of any race.

    I’m sorry I can’t say more. I just feel very strongly here. Far off things and battles long ago…

  4. NickM says:

    “I do not object to them for their race, but I do object to the ever increasing burden on local services and benefits that I and my family have paid for over many years as contributory citizens.”

    How precisely is a Polish plumber a burden? They pay taxes, right?

    Oh, and I’m not accusing Mrs Duffy of racism (ridiculous in the case of the Eastern Europeans). Indeed I’m not really accussing her of much. My main point was to do with this insane populist backlash. Mrs Duffy came out with a load of Biddylish and it is ridiculous that it prompted such a craven mea culpa from Brown. As I said, he should have ballsed it out rather than Ed Ballsed it up. He has just made (not for the first time) himself look pathetic. OK, I’m no fan of Brown to put it mildly but this is kicking him for the wrong reason.

    This country is going to the dogs and it ain’t because there’s a Czech restaurant down the road.

  5. JuliaM says:

    “Polish immigration to my area has brought a wide range of pickled goods. That is not an existential threat to Englishness, that is gerkins.”

    We already had gerkins. Down here, we call them wallies.. ;)

    But the point is that you may see an addition to your diet, but others see it as a threat, an encroachment, an intrusion – and no-one asked if they wanted it to happen. That’s what upsets the Mrs Duffy’s of this world.

    Plus, pressure on housing, services, etc. Is that all offset by tax?

  6. NickM says:

    Julia,
    If tax isn’t paying for the services then that is a serious problem but it is not limited to immigrants. I suspect it is *the* problem but it applies to all of us. Perhaps it applies less to immigrants who one would guess tend to be youngish. As to housing – build more. We are a relatively densely populated country but it still amounts to (I think) 12% of our land area.

  7. JuliaM says:

    And then you are into ‘tearing up the green spaces to build more housing for ‘outsiders’ and..’

    You see, the people that promote free movement either don’t live in built-up inner cities or do and like it. And therefore think everyone else should like it too.

    But they don’t.

    Yes, it’s unfair that the East Europeans are catching the flack because criticism of any other minority culture is seen as racist, but they too change the culture of an area if the population tilts too much the way of the incomers.

  8. JuliaM says:

    I’ll give you an example – I recently saw a notice up in a Tube station I was passing through; obviously, there was a local problem with fake Oyster card dealing, so an official LUL poster had been put up. In english, and one other language.

    I don’t know what language ( I know what it wasn’t – not French, German, Arabic, etc) or whether it was aimed at the liky perpetrators or victims of this scam, but it was jarring. It was a reminder that this area had a sufficiently high population of immigrants that it was considered a good idea to have official notices in a foreign language. And as such, it was like a thumb in the eye…

    I think areas can stand a certain amount of ‘diversiry’ but tip rhe balance too far – or make it a single group of outsiders – and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Aren’t we already seeing this, with the success of the BNP?

  9. NickM says:

    The problem is not immigrants but “diversity” and immigrants are not intrinsically “diverse” in the important sense of the word. That’s why I mentioned the pickles from Poland. Poles bring things in jars that fun-up our shops and Somalians bring girls who have had their clitoris excised with a broken jar. There is a difference.

    As to foreign language signage and stuff. I’m with you. I have very seriously considered moving to Prague. The one thing stopping me is that Czech looks like a Scabble bag of consonents and I’m a dunce at languages. But my point is that it isn’t them coming over here and not learning the lingo but the Righteous enabling them not to and indeed wanting them not to.

    In the ’90s I dated a US citizen. I loved her deeply and can only speculate as to what might have happened but for the Home Orifice and it’s DC equivalent. Now the thing is she was deeply anglophile (and graduated something Latin from Cornell) but she wasn’t allowed in. It scarred me deeply. Very deeply. It was perhaps the first time I realised how powerless I was. Would Jessica have added to our “diversity”? Yes. Not because she was a different colour (how weirdly racist are our PC masters) but because she was (I guess is) brilliantly clever, funny and had a world-class ass. Diversity in the real sense is not a challenge. The real issue is the perverse “diversity” of favouring people from grossly different and indeed hostile cultures over people from ones that mesh.

    Jessica was kicked out. Abu Hamza can’t be deported. A lad my wife knew at college who was Indian and public school educated and could probably have written an MA thesis on the LBW rule was turfed out despite having a job offer. As was a black Canadian pal of mine who loved this country.

    The problem is not immigration or difference but the perverse desire to attract people who live on bennies and are frequently actively hostile to this country. I do not detect that with the Poles. Where I used to live in Manchester there were a load of Poles but no little Krakow developed. I can’t say the same for the Pakistanis. I lived in Levenshulme which is an old haunt of the Irish. Well the also Catholic Poles just meshed in with them like – like fellow Europeans (there, said it) because of the shared heritage and common fundamental values.

    Let us not forget that if it were not for the Poles relieving the siege of Vienna in 1683 or the 145 who flew for the RAF in the Battle of Britain (the largest foreign contingent and they had the highest kill ratio – when all you have loved has been raped and butchered it concentrates the mind) Europe entire would have fallen. And that was not put-up-able with. But that’s not really the point. The point is this. I have not heard of a single British-based Pole bombing an abortion clinic. British-born Pakistanis (I use that hyphenated phrase advisedly because the bad buggers still think of themselves as Pakistanis) have though engaged in jihad. One group wants to live here. Another wants to conquer here. That is the difference.

  10. PaulH says:

    “Why does this country (and many other countries) make it so hard for people who actually like us to come and live here?”

    Good question Nick. As a libertarian (small l) I’ve always believed that anyone should be able to live where ever they want, provided they make the effort to fit in with the local culture, learn the language and are prepared to work to support themselves. And, since leaving collage 20 odd years ago that’s exactly what I’ve done, living in the UK, USA, Bahamas, The Netherlands and Spain.

    Now Nick, I’m not going to call a woman a bigot because she feels that anyone coming to her neck of the woods should do the same. Nor am I going to fall into that old trap of calling all immigrants spongers or job thieves (how can they be coming to layabout and to work at the same time). I also think that you are probably right that ‘Eastern Europeans’ have become a PC code word for who they really mean. You can thank 911 and 7/7 for that. And here is where OBL has succeeded in all terrorists’ aim to drive a wedge between ‘them’ and ‘us’, whoever they define these as.

    So Nick, the only (admittedly long term) solution is to avoid people having to be economic migrants and instead allow completely free movement to cultural migrants. If, through globalisation, we can allow all the people of the world to earn themselves a good living in their own countries then the only reason to migrate is because you have a fascination with the destination country. And who would object to somebody immigrating because they love the country, want to learn the language and want to work and to fully experience the culture.

    These were my reasons to live in all the different countries I have and I have never once experienced any hostility.

  11. JuliaM says:

    “The problem is not immigration or difference but the perverse desire to attract people who live on bennies and are frequently actively hostile to this country.”

    Ah, but that provides the Righteous with jobs, doesn’t it? It’s I their interests to foster a dependency culture…

  12. John B says:

    It is the person, indeed.
    A person who wants to be friendly or at least just amicable, or not destructive, is fine. A person who wants to stuff up your way of life and remove your freedom is a pain as is anyone with a chip on their shoulder. Also a person who wants to significantly alienate you from that which you are comfortable with, is a pain.
    The being ‘comfortable with’ was brought home to me when I was 15 and at a boarding school in Johannesburg. I hated the place and after several false starts got a plan together to run away into the Lesotho mountains (Sani Pass).
    I became awfully lonely after a few days. I encountered a Basuto lad about the same age as me as I was walking up the Pass and we chatted somewhat and he actually saved me from a snake, but I became dreadfully aware that we had very little in common, nothing really to relate to. And I felt even more lonely after a while.
    This was nothing to do with any political systems or racial beliefs but simply we could have been on different planets as far as culture and interests and attitude went.
    I guess the British can feel justifiably miffed when the whole fabric, flavour, attitude, music, everything they have known for so long, is drastically altered within a generation or three.
    As for those who want to dominate and transform everything to a Medieaval nightmare, yes, well, may common sense prevail sometime soon.

    As for ‘the gaffe’. It is indeed a media event. But I suppose if politicians want to pretend to be better than human then that is the way it is. A game he plays without being coerced to do so.
    Me? I am a sinner saved by grace! For which I am very grateful.

  13. TDK says:

    It seems to me that the two problems are
    1. Multiculturalism
    Instead of expecting and supporting integration we actively seek the reverse. We desire division. As an example look at the teaching for Black history month. This is supposed to empower minorities through an understanding of their history. In fact it recites a shopping list a white exploitation of black people. This can only divide people. Championing diversity is rebranding division as a virtue.
    2. Dependency
    We have thousands of indigenous people (and I include settled immigrants) capable of taking up plumbing but they do not do so, either because they are caught in the benefits trap or because the perceived rewards are deemed too small. It’s correct to say that Polish plumbers pay tax, but in taking that job they depress the salary for indigenous workers. In the absence of that external labour face, the market would drive salaries up. This particular hurts those that Labour wish to court. The domestic labour compares potential salaries to the welfare lost, the external labour to what they might get at home.

    In the long term, employing migrant workers won’t solve these problems. Either the migrant settles in which case their children become subject to the same distorting forces or they return home to be replaced by younger migrant workers.

    I tend to agree with Nick that immigrants are unfairly blamed. However, the ruling elite benefits from the way things are. They provide cheap workers who, till now, fuelled the boom and when their children don’t work they provide client groups that keep them in power. Labour have acknowledged that they used immigration as a tool to permanently change the British culture. It’s hard to see how any reversal doesn’t involve some kind of restriction on immigration, at least in the short term

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