The Week That Everything Changed In Britain
[VDARE.COM note: Anthony Browne,
the Environment Editor of the London Times, wroteus in
August about the stir caused by his August 4 article,
“Britain Is Losing Britain.” Last week, he tells us,
things got a lot more stirred, and Browne himself received
the penultimate British accolade, a denunciation in
Parliament. The next step: arise Sir Anthony!
Which will be richly deserved - he may have sparked
the debate that can save his country.]
By Anthony Browne
I always knew it was inevitable, I just didn't expect
it from the third most powerful politician in the land.
The first law of immigration reform in all western
countries is that anyone who dares say that not all
forms of immigration at all levels are beneficial to
everyone in every possible way, will at some point be
denounced as a racistand a fascist.
It was on a BBC national radio show that I was told
I was 'just a clever racist', which I guess was at least
half a compliment.
A presenter on another show said I must be racist because
I had dared mention in passing in a think tank book
out last week [Do We Need Mass Immigration?
published by the Civitas Foundation] that immigration
is causing record levels of TB and HIV in Britain. He
didn't contest the point, but said that since people
mainly coming from Asia (where skins are generally brown)
and HIVis mainly coming
from Africa (where skins are generally black), I must
be a racist to raise the issue.
But it was David Blunkett (the Home Secretary i.e.
Britain's interior minister) who denounced me by name
in Parliament as "bordering on fascism", for a series
of articlesI had written in the Times newspaper trying to
get a more honest and rational approach to immigration.
Since Mr. Blunkett chose to denounce me in Parliament,
he had a thing called
Parliamentary privilege, which meant he was automatically
legally protected from any claims of defamation.
I can only guess it was an attempt to silence me and
make my views beyond the pale - but it had precisely
the opposite affect. Three national newspapers (including
a left wing one) came to my defense, denouncing Mr.
Blunkett for being cowardly, and writing editorials
in support of me and against the government's
"McCarthyism." One pointed
outthat I couldn't be a fascist because I am in
many ways quite liberal.
Countless television and radio shows demanded interviews
so I could explain "why I am not a fascist", a unique
interview experience. I defended
myselfin the Times (December 04 ) [access free with registration], pointing
out that since unskilled workers, ethnic minorities,
global development and the environment are all losers
from large scale immigration, immigration reform is
a cause of the left as well as the right. One politician
I was debating whether or not I was a fascist with on
TV greeted me as "the famous Anthony Browne".
By denouncing me as a fascist, the Home Secretary had
turned me into a one day cause celebre. I even
got fan mail from black Britons saying immigration was
disastrous for them and urging me to keep up the pressure
on the government.
All of which gave me hope for immigration reform in
Britain. It was the week that everything changed, and
Britain woke up.
People realized that it was not necessarily fascist
to want less immigration not more. TV and radio have
been given the freedom to discuss the previously taboo
issue, and in the name of balance any immigration debate
now has to include one of the growing band of immigration
reformers, rather than just the usual immigration lobby groupsdeclaring all immigration is wonderful for everyone.
Top national TV talk shows are covering this previously
unmentionable issue. Local BBC radio stations, normally
so timid about controversy, are phoning me up for extended
interviews about the merits and demerits of mass immigration,
without feeling compelled to have someone on to oppose
me or denounce me. The debate has been legitimized.
More and more newspaper commentators are now questioning
the received wisdom that Britain has to have mass immigration
in order to survive as a nation. John Humphrys, Britain's
most respected TV and radio journalist (sort of a British
version of Walter Cronkite) wrote a column a year ago
that we should have open borders and let everyone in;
last week he wrote "It is not racist to be worried
about immigration. It is irresponsible not to be."
This is just truly remarkable.
The turning tide was recognized by the left wing Observer
newspaper, which last week (December 1) ran a very
balanced featureon the "onward march of the lobby
against immigration", without denouncing anyone as racist
It is not just myself and a new pressure group called
by Britain's former ambassador to Saudi Arabia) that
have helped make immigration debatable, but immigration
itself has. There have been a series of immigration
stories that are so extreme that it is difficult not
to report it in any way other than with concern.
warfarebroke out on the streets of North London
between rival Kurdish and Turkish organized criminal
gangs, killing one and injuring dozens. The police gave
an official warning that they would no longer be able
to control the ethnic conflict between rival organized
criminal gangs of Kurds, Turks, Albanians, Kosovans,
Pakistanis and Jamaicans as they rival for supremacy
across British cities.
Immigration has overtaken gay sex as the main cause
of HIV in Britain, because we have large amounts of
immigration from areas devastated by HIV without any
health checks at all. The government's response is not
to try and control immigration or impose health checks,
but to blame
British people and warn them to start wearing condoms
week showed TB in London is now at higher levels than
China, Brazil and Tajikistan, as Third World immigration
brings Third World diseases with it. Even the government
didn't attempt to blame British citizens for that.
Britain already gets the highest number of asylum seekers
of any country in the world - despite the fact we are
at the remote end of a peaceful continent, and they
all had to come through many safe countries to get here.
But new figures showed the number of claimants still
rose by a quarter over the last year to over 100,000.
The government, unlike European counterparts, has totally
failed to control this at every attempt, and last week
gave up pretending the asylum seekers weren't economic
migrants and could be kept out, and just gave British
work permitsto 1200 of them sitting in a refugee
camp in France. The capitulation of any pretence of
border control was so extreme that even opposition politicians
felt free to denounce it.
Britain has many advantages over the US in this debate.
We have no national
credothat Britain was built up by immigration.
We are already one of the most densely populated islands
in the world, with most British people thinking it is
overcrowded. Most immigration is focused on London,
the centre for the media and government, so all journalists
and politicians see its effects first hand every day.
And although the government broadcaster, the BBC, feels
compelled to brainwash the people about the delights
of multiculturalism at every opportunity, the national
newspaper media is both incredibly powerful and overwhelmingly
right wing (there are few left wing papers, and they
are the worst selling).
Now that the debate has opened up in Britain, we just
need to make sure it moves in the right direction. All
three main political parties still insist that Britain
needs mass immigration to survive.
In many ways, the battle has just begun.
But it has definitely begun.
[Anthony Browne is the Environment
Editor of the London Times. Contribute to the
debate via email@example.com]
December 07, 2002