Neather tries to backtrack from his claim that Labor used immigration to destroy British identity
After something of a controversy was set off by Labor speechwriter Andrew Neather’s article last week revealing that Labor’s real purpose in removing all numerical controls from immigration in 2000 was to turn Britain into a multicultural society, Neather turned around and said that he had been misrepresented by “excitable Right-wing newspaper columnists,” and that the real purpose of the changes in immigration policy had not been to diversity and transform Britain, but merely to easy the entry of of skilled workers into the UK.
But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.
I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended—even if this wasn’t its main purpose—to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.
Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche’s keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour’s core white working-class vote.
According to Neather’s first article, creating a multicultural society was the main point at issue. The subsidiary point was rubbing the Right’s nose in it. And he described how there was ‘paranoia’ among ministers that the people who voted for them might learn the truth about what the government was up to.
Neather’s second article is therefore an absurd attempt to pretend that he didn’t say what he did say. But he can’t stuff this particular cat back into the bag. What he blurted out last Friday is a scandal. Or should be, if the media and Conservative opposition were not paralysed into silence over immigration. [LA replies: but how does silence come to an end? By people speaking. In hundreds of columns about the Islamization and cultural transformation of Britain, Phillips has never mentioned that immigration is the way this transformation has occurred. So silent was she that even when readers wrote to her asking why she never talked about immigration, she would either refuse to reply to them or brusquely cut them off. So there has indeed been silence about immigration, and Phillips has been a leading instigators and practitioners of it.]
For what is almost as astonishing as Neather’s revelation is the fact that it has occasioned so little comment. As far as I can see, the BBC hasn’t even reported it. Yet last Friday Neather revealed that the demographic composition of this country had been deliberately altered by the government in a deliberate deception of the British electorate who had voted it into power and whose cultural identity was now being deliberately and covertly destroyed. And yet everyone is either too indifferent or too intimidated to talk about this. [LA replies: How do we know that they’re silent because they’re intimidated? Maybe they believe in non-discrimination and therefore think it would be morally wrong to restrict immigration. Or maybe, like Phillips, they’ve been waiting for someone else to talk about it first.]
Truly, this country is in a lethal trance. [LA replies: Yes, and in a country in a lethal trance, Melanie Phillips is the best there is.]
Simon F. writes from England:
The tacit pact among the media barons to collude in the ‘release’ of remarkably-belated info & views about curiously-rapid changes in a hitherto-stable country, the stage-management of successive stages in the big “reveal” is just more of the same.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 29, 2009 03:04 PM | Send