Immigration: A denial of democracy
On immigration, the British political class simply ignored public opinion. And the Pakistani working classes are just as upset as the traditional "white working classes. "What does this say about our 'democracy'?
Twelve years ago Bradford and other towns in the north of England witnessed inter-racial riots between the local white community and Asians, mainly Pakistanis.
Blaming either side is not appropriate. The only relevant truth is that the local native white community never voted for, nor wanted their towns settled and changed by a foreign culture. Yet that is what the political class imposed on them.
Today, in Sheffield, the Pakistani and local white communities have had imposed on them a settlement of Roma (or gypsies). The people of Sheffield never voted for or wanted these Roma, yet the political class has forced the Roma community on them.
Where is the democracy in all of this?
Britain is supposed to be a representative democracy, yet not one mainstream politician (with the historic exception of Enoch Powell) has ever represented his constituents by taking a strong public stand against immigration. Not one mainstream politician has ever stated that if the British people do not want culture-changing immigration then they must not have it imposed on them.
On this hugely important issue of immigration, Britain has never been a democracy.
Asian and African immigration has drastically altered the living conditions and sense of belonging of virtually all white working-class communities throughout Britain.
From the East End of London to Bradford, Burnley, Oldham, Rochdale and the major cities of Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, white working-class communities with deep homogeneous cultural roots have been fractured and alienated in their own country. Indeed, many working-class whites feel that Britain is no longer their country. (Again, forget about whether such feelings are right or wrong and concentrate on the democracy question.)
Recent Eastern and Central European immigration has exacerbated this sense of alienation, not just of the white community, but of the previously imposed but now settled immigrant communities.
Just take a look at what the political class, Labour, Conservative and Liberal, continue to impose on Britain’s working-class areas. An article in the Daily Telegraph describes a scene in the Page Hall district of Sheffield with Slovak Roma: “Battle lines are being drawn between the Roma and the locals—predominantly Pakistani families who arrived to work in the mills in the 1950s.”
Local people, it is reported, find it hard to get a decent night’s sleep because of Roma gangs, with endless noise and burglaries. Both white and Pakistani communities feel under siege in Sheffield, with Roma youths hanging around the streets day and night:
“Throughout the day, hordes of young Roma men pack out the gambling machines at a nearby betting shop. Others simply walk the streets, content to pick up benefits to which nationals from EU countries are entitled.”
One local teacher said: “They bring the forms for me to translate and they are getting £500 a week in benefits for just sitting at home.”
According to the Daily Telegraph, the streets are littered with filth, schools are heavily oversubscribed with non-English speakers and GP services are under severe pressure. So bad is the sense of fear and hatred in the Page Hall district that the police have imposed a curfew.
Just think about that. Britain today, as a result of immigration, has to enforce a curfew to protect the public and maintain the peace. And yet mainstream politicians still endlessly talk about “the benefits of immigration.”
The British working class never voted for this. No British government ever had a mandate to impose a foreign culture on the people. Today, the people of Sheffield do not want to live among Roma gypsies, yet that is what has been imposed on them.
Working class aspirations, before and after the Second World War were expressed largely through the labour movement. The workers fought for and eventually got a welfare state, which basically meant medical care and social insurance payments for the unemployed. The conditions were now in place for a big improvement in working class living conditions.
But it didn’t happen. Instead, both Labour and Conservative governments turned the British welfare state into a World welfare state that pulled millions of Asians and Africans to Britain eventually to settle in white working class areas.
The result was huge pressure on housing and services and the destruction of a homogeneous working class culture that eventually left the white working class marginalised and alienated, living in the shadow of mosque and temple, helplessly looking on as their high streets were covered in the Arabic and Devanagari scripts of Urdu and Hindi.
Today in Sheffield, one of those foreign cultures, Pakistani, now feels under threat as a result of the most recent immigrants, the Roma. One Pakistani family man expressed his bitter regrets at having bought a house in Page Hall. He thought he was doing the responsible thing, he said, buying a house for his family.
But to protect his home, he has had to install security cameras and spends most of his evenings chasing away Roma who are making his life a misery. This unfortunate man has now discovered what the white working class community discovered many years ago: the political class just do not give a damn.
Most white working class people could never escape the consequences of immigration. They could not escape schools where immigrants could not speak English. They were and are forced more and more to live in enclaves, marginalised and alienated in what was once their community.
That is not democracy, because it most definitely is not what the British people wanted. Britain’s policy on immigration since the end of the Second World War must be the most undemocratic ever enacted by a democratically elected political class.
On immigration, the British political class simply ignored public opinion, a fact admitted by the BBC journalist and historian Andrew Marr in his book History of Modern Britain.
Recently there have been apologies over immigration from some of the main architects of it, Jack Straw and David Blunkett, thereby adding insult to injury. But such apologies are nothing more than a tactical move in response to UKIP. For the truth is that the mainstream parties are still entirely committed to large scale immigration.
According to Nigel Farage, Mr Cameron has always been and still is a keen supporter of the free movement of peoples throughout the EU, which he hopes one day will include Turkey.
Interestingly, a Gallup poll of Turks found that the main reason they supported joining the EU was that membership would allow them to move to Western Europe. Conservative, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are all strong supporters of Turkey’s EU membership.
It’s difficult to avoid the belief that there was always an element of social class snobbery and contempt in Britain’s immigration policy. You will not find Roma immigrants loitering in Mr Cameron’s Oxfordshire constituency or hanging around the Chipping Norton set.
Nor will you find them at any of Tony Blair’s nine residences. Yet both these leaders fully support the large-scale imposition of Roma on the British working class, both Pakistani and White.
On the subject of immigration, British democracy is a sham.
Vincent Cooper is a regular contributor to the Commentator
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