Sunday, 31 July 2011
We all know how adept Muslims are at explaining away from of the most problematical parts of their so-called holy texts. In the expert hands of a skilled Muslim apologist even the Koran's most blatant exhortations to violence ("Slay the infidels wherever you find them...") can be made to seem innocuous and unobjectionable.

It seems the British left is now picking up on the techniques of deception mastered by their Muslim allies. In the Observer today, Nick Cohen attempts to brand Neathergate - the scandal arising from Labour speechwriter Andrew Neather's revelations of a Labour conspiracy to flood the country with immigrants to make it more multicultural - as a far-fetched right-wing conspiracy theory.
The conspiracy theory began when Andrew Neather, a former speech writer for Jack Straw, wrote in the London Evening Standard that Straw and his Labour colleagues allowed mass immigration because they thought it would undermine the Tory party. "I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if it wasn't its main purpose – to rub the right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date."

Neather's account could not have been true, as he later half admitted when he said his views had been "twisted out of all recognition". Far from destroying white Britain by opening the doors to migrant hordes, Straw imposed ferocious restrictions on asylum seekers, which I and many others said stopped genuine refugees in fear of their lives finding sanctuary here.

Cohen's story hook is that Anders Behring Breivik made reference to these revelations in his manifesto. So, implicitly, anyone who now believes in the Labour conspiracy has to be a potential mass-murdering lunatic, right?

Let's look at what Neather said, though:
It didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year, when the Government introduced a points-based system, was to open up the UK to mass migration.

Drafts were handed out in summer 2000 only with extreme reluctance: there was a paranoia about it reaching the media.

...But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended - even if this wasn't its main purpose - to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.

...Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche's keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean, above all for Labour's core white working-class vote.

Cohen's attempt to reinterpret the plain meaning of Neather's words and impute some innocuous significance to them is absurd. His argument is that because Jack Straw intended to impose restrictions on asylum seekers, Labour's entire immigration policy must be blameless. But asylum seekers represent only a small fraction of total inward migration. It's true that after swelling grotesquely, Labour had reduced the asylum seeker numbers by the end of their term of government. But as you can see from this Migration Watch graph, other sources of migration had risen dramatically, most especially so during Jack Straw's tenure as Home Secretary (1997-2001).



I should also mention the caveat that I'm not clear whether these asylum seeker figures represent actual grants of asylum simply admission to the country for the purpose of seeking asylum. If the latter, the real figures would potentially be much greater than shown here as we know Labour left a huge backlog of asylum seeker claims, many of which have now been granted by default.

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