The BNP and how Labour sacrificed the working class
By Sir Andrew Green
Chairman of Migration Watch UK
The Daily Mail, London, 19 April, 2006
The news sent a tremor through the political establishment: up to one in four of London voters could back the British National Party at next month's local elections.
Across England, the figure is one in five according to a new study by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
On top of this, you have Margaret Hodge, the Minister for Work, warning this week that eight out of ten white constituents in her East London seat of Barking are ready to support the BNP.
In recent months politicians have been trying to avoid the issue. They will talk about green issues until the cows come home, but not about one of the major concerns of the British people.
A recent MORI opinion poll found that immigration came second only to crime among public concerns - confirming that a large majority of the British people are sick and tired of the present massive levels of immigration.
The white working class in particular is, in some areas, near the end of their tether. If the Government doesn't already know that, they have completely lost touch with the real world.
And considering that a recent Yougov poll showed that 76 per cent of the population want an annual limit on immigration, it should come as no surprise that so many are prepared to consider voting for the far Right.
But the Joseph Rowntree study is nevertheless an astonishing document. For its 'epilogue' reveals more about how and why this government has encouraged high levels of immigration than almost anything we have seen before.
It is written by Jon Cruddas, who is now Labour MP for Dagenham but was, until recently, a member of No.10's think-tank and therefore at the heart of the New Labour project.
Looking at London, Mr Cruddas admits that the 'dynamics at work in terms of population inflows into the capital are extraordinary'.
Indeed so. Even the official figures show that 120,000 extra immigrants arrive in London every year while 100,000 British residents head out of the city over the same period
Yet this takes no account of illegal immigrants. Though the Government admits to a total of nearly half a million illegals in the country, the real figure is at least three-quarters of a million and many will be in London.
Mr Cruddas candidly accepts that 'the baseline of public policy-making [by the government] severely understates the actual population of London.'
You might think that this was another way of saying that the Government has lost control of our borders. But it has done more than that. As Mr Cruddas shows, it has deliberately stimulated immigration for its own political ends, for example by quadrupling the number of work permits issued every year.
The impact in some areas has been huge. 'Rapid diversification within what was a stable, white, working class community fractures community cohesion and poses fundamental questions around identity,' writes Mr Cruddas.
Margaret Hodge put it rather differently. According to her, 'it is gobsmacking change.'
And Mr Cruddas continues, saying that 'the State cannot keep pace with these dynamic movements of people in global cities such as London. Its decision-making is years out date and is just too slow.'
But why should Labour have deliberately encouraged immigration? What political benefit could there be? The explanation is as shocking as it is revealing.
This government has, says Cruddas, 'tacitly used immigration to help forge the preferred flexible North American labour market. Especially in London, legal and illegal immigration has been central in replenishing the stock of cheap labour across the public and private services, construction and civil engineering.'
Immigrant labour, he tells us, 'is the axis for the domestic agenda of the Government'.
Here at last we have the undeclared agenda of the Government's immigration policy. Their mantra of 'managed migration' sounds good even if immigration is actually badly mismanaged.
But these admissions take the lid off the Government's true policy. No wonder they refuse to set any limits to immigration. That is the last thing they will do as they intend to use massive levels of immigration for social and economic engineering.
The chattering classes - those individuals who Labour is targeting in the marginal seats that are the focus of all their efforts - are content. They get cheap nannies, cheap restaurants and Polish plumbers who actually turn up.
It is the white working class who suffer, as the epilogue points out: 'At work their terms and conditions are under threat as they compete for work with cheap immigrant labour. In terms of access to housing and public services and their position in the workplace, many see immigration as a [main reason] for their own relative impoverishment'.
As long as no one discussed immigration, Labour hoped they could get away with this. Margaret Hodge had the brass face last week to claim that 'the political class', including Labour, was frightened of the issue of race.
Yet Labour and its friends have been ruthless in smearing anyone who raises the subject of immigration with implied accusations of racism.
They have now run out of road. Migration Watch has been warning for four years that, if the main political parties continued to refuse to address this issue, the field would be left wide open to extremists. This is exactly what is happening and it is a very dangerous development.
Surprisingly, despite the success of the far Right in France and Austria, the government never believed that the working class would switch allegiance to any other party.
Mr Cruddas admits quite openly that 'the corner-stone of New Labour has been the assumption that working-class voters ...have nowhere else to go, as they would never vote Tory. Yet this mixture of population movement and policy failure ...has meant that many are now developing a class allegiance with the far Right.'
This is underlined by the Rowntree focus group research in Barking and Dagenham, which found 'a widespread disillusionment with all the traditional political parties, especially directed at Labour, who no longer represent their interests. This disillusionment is specifically linked to immigration - the dominant political issue in these communities.'
A further finding was that immigration has come to symbolise a more fundamental belief in a deeper malaise in the country overseen by the mainstream political classes.
People feel that politicians are just not listening. Both main parties are seen as deliberately boosting patterns of immigration, whilst pretending otherwise.
Truly, as the public see through the Government’s systematic deceptions, we hear the deafening sound of chickens coming home to roost.
Sir Andrew Green is a former British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Syria.
© Copyright of Sir Andrew Green
The Daily Mail, London, 19 April, 2006