Monday, October 13, 2014

The bigotry and prejudice of Daily Express writer and UKIP supporter Leo McKinstry is disingenuous

"An air of bewilderment and panic now grips the two main parties. But the explanation for Ukip's rise could hardly be simpler. It lies in the issue of immigration. Ukip has tapped into the growing despair of the public at the relentless transformation of our country."
The above is from Right Wing commentator and UKIP sympathiser Leo McKinstry. It appeared in an article in the Daily Express which was linked in a Tweet by former Express journalist and now UKIP Communications Director (and MEP) Patrick O'Flynn. I think that what Mr McKinstry says is true. There is, as a result of UKIP's campaigning, disapproval in some quarters (maybe "despair" is a bit strong) about Britain's  "transformation" into a multicultural society. However this is a Fait Accompli and current immigration will have little effect on the quantum of this multiculturalism. So UKIP's Anti Immigration stance taps into this, as McKinstry is doing, but they can offer no "solution" because there is none. (Other than ethnic cleansing and forced repatriation - and I assume even Mr McKinstry isn't advocating that!)

Let me be clear. There are around 3 million Britons of Asian heritage. In the ten years between 2001 and 2011 only just over 500,000 (50,000 per year) came from India and Pakistan. I would suggest that these new arrivals were swiftly absorbed into the existing British Asian communities. I doubt that anyone will have noticed the difference. Membership of the EU means that we have had substantial immigration from EU countries over the same period - for example 531,000 Poles have arrived. Can anyone in UKIP tell us how this has "transformed" our country? Have parts of our cities turned into Little Warsaw? Of course not. And have these people from Poland caused any problems collectively and do they all intend to stay here, or are they mostly - as I suspect - working, saving money and will in due course return to Poland. 
The anti-immigration argument of McKinstry and of UKIP is not so deep down not about immigration at all. McKinstry has come out of the closet on this as did Nigel Farage when he complained about hearing foreign languages spoken on the train. These people simply don't like people of a different cultural background to theirs. "Relentless transformation of our country" is code for "parts of our cities having become Asian in appearance and culture". I don't want here to argue whether this change (which is undeniably true) is good or bad. I welcome it, but that is not my direct point here. That point is this. That stopping Immigration completely would have little or no affect on the "transformation of our country" - if this is how you want to describe it. It has happened. There is no rolling back. 50,000 more Asians arriving each year would only add 1% to the existing population, far less than is added by normal net demographics. And the 500,000 Poles are largely invisible and if more come (far from certain anyway) they would disappear as well.
Immigration, most studies show, is on balance economically advantageous to Britain. But immigrants do often look different, have different religions and a very different culture to the White Anglo-Saxon Protestantism of the Good Old Boys of UKIP. Leo McKinstry doesn't like immigrant cultures one bit - but his claim that there is currently "mass immigration" which is continuing to "transform" Britain is a lie. That transformation has happened and there is nothing that McKinstry or UKIP can do about it!
There are good people in Britain who focus on trying to make our multicultural society work better. Who try to break down barriers and build bridges across communities. And most Britons are tolerant of  differences. UKIP is different. I eschew generally throwing the "racist" epithet at anybody. But in Leo Mckinstry's case he condemns himself in his own words and in revealing his own bigotry and prejudice.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home