Monday, May 21, 2007


Scribbles isn't too happy about Margaret Hodge's move towards a nativist housing policy.

"Margaret Hodge, you make me want to puke. We do not treat the immigrants and asylum seekers as lesser human beings than us. We do not consider them more suitable for suffering. We do not put their distress on a lower priority than our own. We no more deny them the decent housing they need than we would deny them medical care by putting them at the bottom of NHS waiting lists."

That's certainly true of the NHS. There was a Times report a few years ago that a quarter of London's hospital beds were occupied by foreign nationals who'd flown to the UK for free treatment.

On the other hand, a few deserved brickbats are handed out.

"Just who has been allowing economic migrants to come here in such numbers that the racial demographics of some places were forced to stand such speedy anxiety-inducing transformations? Think you'll find that's the government ... So why did this government let it happen? Why are they only now catching onto the fact that rising migrant populations in areas where resources are already scarce will cause suffering to all and rampant racial tension?"

Ten years too late : opineth Cerdic.

Donal Blaney of the Young Britons Foundation tells of the howls of left rage which greeted a similar proposal in Fulham a few years back.

Sunny's not impressed but slightly depressed.

There are two reasons why such a policy is now inevitable: (a) providing housing to asylum seekers is constantly used by the BNP for their own electoral campaigning and is a big source of resentment; (b) Labour has invested so little in new housing stock that such shortages and the vicious fight over them are inevitable.

"This is precisely the sort of garbage which fuels the BNP"
says leftie Grimmerupnorth from the seething multicultural melting pot that is Hebden Bridge.

From the equally vibrant streets of Lancaster we hear that the Refugee Council is not happy.

Julie Morgan MP
neatly straddles the political fence, noting that Hodge's remarks are 'controversial'. Yes, woman, but so were Hitler's ! Far more interesting is her appearance at the launch of the Breastfeeding Manifesto in London, where she was joined by Arsenal and England footballer Theo Walcott. What ? Breastfeeding ? Theo Walcott ? I know he's young, but surely he's on solid foods by now ?

Interestingly millionairess MP Lynne Featherstone seems to be in cautious agreement with millionairess MP Margaret Hodge :

"In Haringey - where we have a desperate housing need and high immigration - these issues walk into my surgery week after week. What is actually the case is there is a clash - but it's not racial - anyway not here in Haringey.

It's a clash between the 'already here's' - and they are of every race and culture - versus the 'newcomers'. And the system of points for housing that gives priority to number of children, illness, etc often results in what either is or looks like queue jumping. That does cause resentment. What we need is a system that is both fair and transparent. It's difficult to balance the rights of those who have already been waiting with those newly in need, but it's a balance we have to strike – and in an open, transparent way so that people can have confidence in the system."

Fellow liberal burbler Paul Walter is deeply disturbed by the use of the word 'indigenous', reserved for noble native Americans, Siberian shamanic nomads or threatened Amazonian tribes, in connection with the native Brits or English.

And Chris Dillow (who has a book out) surprises me by not using the r-word in a measured post which as usual asks more questions than it answers. Nowt wrong with that if they're good questions.

One last piece - a comment to this Jon Cruddas piece by a poster called Ishouldapologise, who generally toes the Guardian line - I think he's a lecturer.

I am sorry, but I have to agree with Margaret Hodge.

When we arrived back in the UK four years ago my wife had a small job and so did I and the only house we could afford was a small cramped second story flat. My children had to share one small loft together with barely enough room to stand up in. Furthemore, it was a firetrap.

One of my students was a Sri Lankan refugee: a very nice man. He was not allowed to work, but I think he did anyway; in one of the network of Sri Lankan shops in our area. At the same time the government had given him and his family, with two children, a perfectly fine three bedroomed house to live in rent free. I saw it.

It seemed rather unfair to me.

We couldn't find anyone to help us. We were earning just too much to deserve help from the government, but not enough to rent a decent place to live in. My children suffered. Perhaps if my wife had been a single mother the council would have given us priority on a housing list. Perhaps if we didn't both work, then the government would have come to our aid. Perhaps.

But they didn't. Bitter irony. I didn't resent it overmuch, that my student had been helped, I resented, and resent, that we hadn't been helped. We were left to suffer by the politically correct.

There is definitely something very wrong in the system. It shouldn't stop helping refugee Sri Lankans, but it should think about helping working people with British Nationality more than it does at present.


Anonymous said...

Why are there "refugees" from Sri Lanka? How does their government oppress them?

Is it any more dire than the way the British dikatariat disenfranchises the British?

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to be either up in arms about this, or cheering it on, depending on personal philosophy.

No-one seems to realise that all she's doing is voicing a concern, and that only because she fears losing her seat.

No-one is actually putting policy in place, or wil. This is just talk, to soothe the restless mob. Nothing will come of it. They think we are stupid, remember..?

Anonymous said...

Verity - given the long running and very bloody conflict in Sri Lanka, why shouldn't there be refugess from Sri Lanka?

Anonymous said...

Hebden Bridge is Yuppieland for Liberal Democrats who've sold their home in Primrose Hill to paint watercolours of £20 notes with their "partner"

Economics used to be described as the subject concerned with allocating scarce resources to infinite demands.

It seems that the Sentimentalists have a form of rationing that puts those for whom they feel contempt at the back of the queue so the New Favourites can gorge first.

It is easy to see in this the mindset of the camp guard or warder, who puts his favoured prisoners at the front of the line for hot food leaving the others to lick the tureen clean.

It is the generosity of a senile man squandering his children's inheritance on his new wife until the novelty wears off and he needs his children to fund him.

A proper Refugee Tax raised by a 10% levy on all incomes over £250.000 and on all wealth above £2 million would do wonders for reality the interim the poor find that resources are rationed and pensioners can always be found a vacant cell when Council Tax arrears arise.

DJ said...

Re: Sri Lanka, given that the whole excuse for asylum was to supposedly protect the *persecuted*, rather than those who merely had rubbishy lives, how exactly does some guy from the fairly rubbish, but in no way Naziesque Sri Lanka qualify ?

Meanhwile, I think Voyagers got it - but don't forget price controls for m'learned friends. If it's good enough for Farmer Palmer, it's good enough for Cherie.

Anonymous said...

Laban, can I add Lenin's Tomb to your Margaret Hodge round-up. Nowt but Boiler plate of course, but you get what you pay for!

Anonymous said...

The point is that Margaret Hodge got castigated for saying this kind of thing by our ordinary fellow Brits. What does that mean our fellow Brits think of.... our fellow Brits? Not much, it seems. And that is the crux of the problem. The idea that this is Britain and is the home of the British has dissolved almost completely. It has become an island where anyone can wash up and get a free home. It's not just the politicians that believe this - our own people have come to believe this. There is no popular uprising against immigration. NO ONE CARES!

You may believe that this is your home, inherited from your forefathers, but your neighbour may believe something very different. They may believe that this is just a rock which they happen to live on and anyone else that can make it here deserves a go - no matter how insane their ideas may be.

Those of us that believe that the fact that Britain is one of the top ten countries in which to live is because of British culture and that diluting it ever more with failed cultures is suicide are actually in a tiny minority.

The only chance is to escape.

Anonymous said...

"You may believe that this is your home, inherited from your forefathers, but your neighbour may believe something very different. They may believe that this is just a rock which they happen to live on and anyone else that can make it here deserves a go - no matter how insane their ideas may be. "

Insane, suggesting irrationality and unconscious reflexes, is not the way to describe such a notion. On the contrary, it is a venerable idea, that there's no reason for someone to own something just because their fathers did. See Marx, Rousseau, the Levellers, etc, etc.

It's just Communism expanded to apply not just to individual properties but to a nation as a whole. Those whose needs can always be relied upon will find this a very rational proposal indeed.

Anonymous said...

At my husband's school in Tower Hamlets in the late 1970s, many boys supported the National Front. They gave as their main reason the preferential access to housing given by the Borough Council to newly arrived Bangladeshi refugees. My husband remembers debating against the National Front supporters. He believed that the numbers of refugees would remain small, and his classmates would be best advised to live up to British culture by being tolerant and welcoming.

Now, of course, some parts of Tower Hamlets are 70% Bangladeshi. In some schools, the figure is nearer to 90%. I imagine some of my husband's contemporaries moved out to places such as Barking. Now they are seeing the same thing happen all over again.

And the moral of this tale is ... We can't afford to be quite as virtuous as we would like to be.

(BTW I'm not suggesting that my husband is now a BNP supporter. Far from it.)

The first I heard of Margaret Hodge's comments was at Samizdata, where one of the regulars was throwing around accusations of fascism. OK, I know your average Samizdatista is a libertarian rather than, say, a classical liberal, but I was still a bit surprised at the vehemence of his reaction. Is it really considered so heinous to favour the rights of citizens (or residents) over those of newcomers? What is a nation, if it is not built upon an understanding of mutual obligation between the state and its citizens?

Anonymous said...

The denizens of samizdata are as dangerously deluded as the leftie liberals they profess to despise.

They believe most of the same crap but get to justify greed and selfishness on top.

Anonymous said...

Re: Tower Hamlets in the 70s.

I was at school in Tower Hamlets from 64 to 72. My old secondary school had one or two black/Asian pupils.

Ed Husain's 'Islamist' book tells you all you need to know about the demographic changes that have taken place.

Tower Hamlet's schools are now about 93% 'minority'.

Bengalis were not refugees they were immigrants.

The spectacular increase in Asylum/refugee numbers is a very recent phenomenon and is basically down to New Labour. Google 'UK Asylum figures 1994-2003' for some revealing stats.

Anonymous said...

Interestings comments over at Paul Walters. Seems Frank is trying to get Paul to follow his argument to the logical conclusion but so far Frank is being obtuse.

Anonymous said...

...but so far Frank is being obtuse

Bollocks. Should be

...but so far Paul is being obtuse

Anonymous said...

Sadly nothing will come of it till it's too late I fear. I worked with "refugees" for a number of years. Most of them came via Europe so they are not refugees merely economic migrants. Probably the most infuriating is seeing Roma from Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and now Romania and Bulgaria claiming "asylum" because someone spoke to them in a nasty voice etc. Yet people like Cherie Booth defend their right to come here and be given asylum and all that goes with it such as free medical and housing. Now these countries are all EU members why are they still here?
Sorry but I think Britain is wrecked beyond repair and I for one am looking at getting out.

Anonymous said...

Mark - refugees'n'asylumseekers are supposed to take refuge in the first safe country. For Sri Lankans, that would be India.

I agree with Anonymous 4:28. The destruction of our country has been intentionally ramped up during the 10 years of the Blairs. I don't think it can recover. And Dave's twizzling around calculating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Face it, should he unexpectedly win the election (which he won't), he wouldn't change a thing.

Verity - Expat

Anonymous said...

The Cassandras such as the journalist Anthony Browne and the think tank Migration Watch have been predicting this chaos for years. But like the unfortunate Trojan princess their predictions have not been believed.

Anonymous said...

Foxy - I wouldn't dub Migration Watch and Anthony Brown Cassandras exactly.

I would even take issue with you because they were not disbelieved. Their audience, however, was not allowed by the all powerful state Thought Stazi, to voice its agreement.

The British have been disturbed by these immigrants flooding in and getting their gums clamped on the state for years, but they have feared voicing their opinions - in the former bastion of freedom of speech - for fear of being picked up at midnight accused of thought crimes.

Only since the internet and blogging became so commonplace - over the last three or four years - has the tsunami of British concern swamped the ether and frightened the nomenklatura.

Now, among the nomenklatura, it's sauve qui peu! But there's no going back. The floodgates of honest opinion have been opened and it will be impossible to close them again against the tidal swell.

Too late. I think this next election is going to be interesting in that I believe both major parties will suffer staggering, possibly lethal, losses of votes.

Paul Walter said...

Tdk, Surely it is an Englishman's right to be obtuse on his own website, isn't it?