My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Friday, April 22, 2005

Questions on Immigration...

Thanks to Michael Howard, leader of the Conservatives, there is now a debate on immigration in the UK. We also need a debate on immigration here in Canada, but I doubt that our Conservatives will initiate one. Here are some excerpts of a terrific article in The Spectator:
As a result of the explosion in immigration, British society is changing rapidly, especially in our biggest cities. In inner London, 55 per cent of all births are to foreign-born mothers. Of course, all right-thinking people are meant to believe that moves towards a multicultural society are a thoroughly welcome development, making Britain more tolerant, vibrant and economically successful. The Tories themselves are only too eager to adopt this approach. ‘We are a stronger, more successful country because of the immigrant communities that have settled here,’ said Howard in an election speech in Telford.

That is certainly the line I used to take. Indeed, at the beginning of the Nineties, I could hardly have been more enthusiastic in my support for multiculturalism. As an Islington Labour councillor, I chaired the borough’s equal opportunities committee. I marched for Kurdish refugees and did voluntary work teaching English to Asians. As an aide to Harriet Harman, I spent much of my time trying to resolve the immigration and housing problems of her African-Caribbean constituents in Peckham. But even in the middle of all this activism I began to have my doubts that multiracial immigration was of universal, undiluted benefit. Peckham was a place of fear, where any sense of community had vanished and violent crime was rife. When Harriet was shadow chief secretary to Gordon Brown in 1992, I took him to the North Peckham estate for a press conference about youth training. The first sight that greeted him as he stepped out of his cab was an old lady being helped into an ambulance, following a savage mugging. And within Islington Council I saw how municipal services were being badly undermined by the over-promotion of ethnic minority staff in the name of racial equality.
Of course, there are lots of good things about immigration, but there are some worrying trends.
But the problems go far beyond economics. Britain was once renowned as a place of gentleness, where even the policemen were unarmed, but we now have urban violence on a scale that would have been unthinkable for the postwar generation of Britons. Some of this is no doubt the result of a degenerate culture, and a reluctance by the police and courts to enforce the law, but some is clearly the long-term result of immigration. According to the British Crime Survey, 31 per cent of all street robberies in Britain are committed by criminals of African-Caribbean origin, while at least 60 per cent of all muggings in London are perpetrated by blacks. Only last week it was reported that shootings in Brent have gone up by 22 per cent in the last 12 months — this in a borough that was recently paraded as a success story in driving down gun crime. Black and ethnic minority groups account for 24 per cent of the male and 31 per cent of the female prison population, despite the fact that white defendants are more likely to be found guilty in court. And when I visited Peterborough last month to cover a football story, I was surprised at the number of people who complained about the aggressive behaviour of young Eastern European men in the city centre.

As the recent vote-rigging scandal at Birmingham City Council shows, Third-World practices in intimidation and corruption have now become a part of British democracy. Just as worryingly, the politics of race has poisoned some of our urban constituencies. It is telling that the Liberal Democrats won recent by-elections in Leicester and Brent because of their anti-war, pro-Islamic stance but lost in the mainly white North-East seat of Hartlepool. The pro-immigration lobby attacks the Tories for their nastiness, but what could be nastier than the hostility of some Muslims towards the black Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Oona King? George Galloway, the Respect party’s candidate in Bethnal Green — who has spent much of his time campaigning for Muslim support by flying to Bangladesh — said that King’s support for the Iraq war meant she had colluded in the killing of 100,000 people ‘including a lot of women who had blacker faces than hers’.
We need a clear-headed debate in not clouded by religious pieties of multiculturalism.