Thursday, 2 May 2013
Today with the rise of UKIP and their anti immigration campaigns it is sadly not unusual to hear hostile comments about immigrants. It is worth reflecting that if UKIP immigration policy had been in place not only would it have excluded many of our Olympic athletes it would also have excluded many of our best entrepreneurs and professionals like doctors etc
I am old enough to remember the storm over the Kenyan Asians fleeing from Idi Amin's.Africanisation policy. The Labour Party was in government and passed the 1968 Immigration Act to their eternal shame. Labour's Bill was rushed through in three days. 'The 1968 Act restricted the future right of entry previously enjoyed by Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies, to those born there or who had a least one parent or grand-parent born there. It was introduced amid concerns that up to 200,000 Kenyan Asians fleeing that country's "Africanization" policy, would take up their right to reside in the UK.'
Of course the grandparental rule meant if you were black you couldn't come to Britain, but if you were a commonwealth citizen from a Australia, New Zealand , Canada etc you could. The YL's had posters which said ' Labour washes whiter'. The architect of the Bill was that wretched man Callaghan. (He also opposed the race relations act applying to the police -apparently it was insulting to suggest that they may be racist Tell that to the Lawrence family)
Callaghan first took his proposals for emergency legislation to a special cabinet committee on 13 February 1968. His cabinet colleague Richard Crossman recorded in his diaries: "Jim arrived with the air of a man whose mind was made up. He wasn't going to tolerate any of this bloody liberalism."
I should say that years later I employed a women whose family had escaped from Amin in the most horrendous circumstances on a forged passport. I would not rate her chances of passing the UKIP policy test
Back in 1968 it was the Liberal Party almost alone that opposed the Act. Eric Lubbuck, David Steel and Jeremy Thorpe stuck to their principled position. In the House of Lords it was Liberal again who took on the combined ranks of Labour and the Conservatives with notable contributions from Donald Wade and this from Violet Bonham Carter objecting to Callaghan new category of belongers:
Who and what are the belongers? I asked the question, and I was told that you qualify as a belonger you must have an English grandfather: I believe that grandmothers were thrown in last night in another place. Though sex discrimination has been eliminated, racial discrimination remains. A belonger usually has a white face, Of course there are exceptions to this, as to every rule. Someone objected to me that, for instance, the Duke of Edinburgh would not have a dog’s chance of becoming a belonger and jumping the queue because he has not the right sort of grandfather. Well, what a loss to this country that would be! It just shows what nonsense the whole thing is; and what pernicious nonsense. It is racialist through and through.
‘A flagrant breach of faith’
If my memory services me well Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Cantabury supported us in the Lords. He had already alienated the die hard conservatives by support Homosexual Law Reform.
Isn't it interesting how history repeats itself
The Anti semitic comment in the Birkdale shop window is sadly not surprising. The anti Semitic campaign that the Liberal candidate was subjected to in 1910 is well recorded and it is well within living memory that Southport golf clubs did not have Jewish members-Hillside was the first to break the ban and the Royal Birkdale was the last. The good news was that there were always people who stood up against such prejudice and spoke out like the women from Barrett Rd. there are occasions when to be popular is to be wrong. So I don't care what the focus groups say about immigration our policy should be dictate by principle or we land up no different to Callaghan and all the other folk in the Labour Party who Polly Toynbe described as 'knuckle dragging neanderthals'
Posted by iain at Thursday, May 02, 2013