Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Aaronovitch is at it again ...

Thanks to Ian Murray for spotting David Aaronovitch's latest attack, ostensibly on Liam Fox, but actually on Migrationwatch and Anthony Browne, Times Environment correspondent.

His attack is two-pronged, like the Green Manalishi's crown. First, Browne supports the Migrationwatch view, and his 'big mate' Professor David Coleman is a member of a society called the Galton Society. Four years ago the society was addressed by a speaker who has written a preface to a book by American (very) far-right-winger David Duke.

As Telemachus writes, 'degrees of separation'. I'm pretty sure someone playing the same game with David Aaronovitch could come up with some pretty nasty people too.

The other thing he's got against Migrationwatch is the
"melange of questionable statistics, assertions dressed as facts and straightforward scapegoating cranked out by Migration Watch UK and its main scribbler, Anthony Browne. You know the sort of thing. Housing shortages are caused by immigrants (and not by long-term changes in British family structures), Britain is twice as crowded as France, the British people don't like multi-culturalism ...."

We've been here before. In a January 2003 Observer article he attacked the 'lies, damned lies' over asylum and immigration, and asked to see us 'equipping ourselves with argument and standing to the defences of the country we also love'.

All good stuff. Only one problem. In neither article does he actually equip himself with any arguments other than the cry of 'racist !'.

Perhaps Britain is not twice as densely populated than France (though surely England is, and that is what's important as few migrants or asylum seekers go anywhere else). Perhaps no asylum seekers have any relation to terrorist activities. I'm sure there must be research in the public domain on the question of family breakdown vs immigration as a driver of housing shortage.

Perhaps ... come on, David. Everything you argue for may be true. Why are you so leery of actually producing evidence in support of it ?