The Things They're Saying    
    Extracts from the mainstream media    

Tory immigration policy

In respectable, liberal-minded, middle class company there is no more certain way of producing, according to circumstances, a gasp of horror or a pitying laugh than to say: "Enoch was right." John Townend, a Yorkshire MP who is retiring from parliament at the forthcoming election, has just had this experience, in his case a gasp of horror from William Hague.

"John Townend's remarks on immigration and asylum" Hague pronounces, "in no way reflect the position of the Conservative party. They are totally unacceptable." He goes on to extrude the statutary verbiage welcoming "the contribution increasingly made to our society people from the ethnic minority communities."

That's all very well. But an important part of that contribution was what Mr Townend was talking about, as Enoch Powell was talking about it 30 years ago. Of course, "Enoch was right," not as yet in his premonition about "rivers of blood," but in his perception that mass immigration was the means by which our society would be overturned and changed utterly from what had been for centuries.

Peter Simple, Daily Telegraph (30 March 2001)

Political correctness

Because we lost control in dealing with crime, police chiefs are targeting politically correct issues and there is nothing more politically correct at this moment than race.

I think society is getting a bit fed up with this. What people want is crackdowns on muggers and burglars. Violent crime has gone up and people are more fearful of violent crime and burglaries than most other crimes. They are the crimes we should really be tackling.

P.C. Norman Brennan (director of Victims of Crime Trust), quoted in The Sunday Times (1 April 2001)

American imperial ambitions

Stephen Glover sees a new billion-dollar fortress in Kosovo, and writes about the US spy plane which was forced down on Hainan Island and doesn't think America is pushing for world hegemony (Mail)? He must he losing it.

Check the map. How far is Kosovo from the US? How close is it to Russia? How far is Hainan Island from the US? How close is it to China.

When was the last time the Russians had a military base so close to main land America? When did you last see a Chinese military aircraft rumbling up the California coast?

American military power follows Coca-Cola and McDonald's as surely as British redcoats followed missionaries in colonial times. Time for a reality check, Mr Glover.

Peter Wilson, Letter in Daily Mail (12 April 2001)

Military decline

Whether you look at the size of our armed forces or the quality of their equipment, Britain is well on the way to becoming a demilitarised state. This has profound and far from positive implications not only for our national security, but also for our national culture. The tragedy is that our society is now so demilitarised that almost no-one cares. This indifference is itself the most telling sign of our demilitarisation.

A few more years of demilitarisation and heaven help us if we are suddenly confronted by an enemy better armed than the foot-and-mouth virus.

Niall Ferguson, The Spectator (24 March 2001)

The Jewish vote

Tony Blair has, unusually, sent a Passover message to British Jewry - the festival is celebrated this week. Normally such messages are sent by Prime Ministers only for Jewish New Year. But there is an election in June and Mr Blair is taking nothing for granted, not even the Jewish vote. Intriguingly, his message showed a detailed grasp of the customs associated with the spring festival. It all points to the hand of Lord Levy, Mr Blair's tennis partner and Middle East envoy.

Ephraim Hardcastle, Daily Mail (10 April 2001)

More grovelling

Further to my note about Tony Blair's ingratiating Passover message to British Jews, I hear he submitted a similarly grovelling dispatch to the Jewish Telegraph in February for the festival of Purim. Unmoved by the Prime Minister's fine grasp of Jewish traditions, editor Paul Harris returned the missive to Downing Street complete with his newspaper advertising rates. "I never heard another word," he tells me.

Ephraim Hardcastle, Daily Mail (11 April 2001)

Foot-and-mouth disease

For the first time since the outbreak of foot-and-mouth there's a fighting chance it might soon be brought under control. In 24 hours the military has achieved more than the Ministry of Agriculture had in 24 days in organising the slaughter and disposal of livestock.

The Government is planning to spend billions on public works, But the money will be frittered away by the same inefficient bunch of self-serving Guardian-reading bureaucrats who created the mess in the first place. There's only one solution. Drastic times call for drastic measures. Once foot-and-mouth has been eliminated, send in the Army. We don't need an election, we need a coup.

Richard Littlejohn, The Sun (27 March 2001)

The Global Warming sect

Every age has a governing creed from which dissenters are branded heretics and enemies of the people. Once it was that God created the world. Next it was that man had to recreate the world as the workers' paradise. When communism imploded in the late 1980s another belief emerged to fill the gap - that mankind was destroying the world through global warming... There is no conclusive evidence to support the global warming theory. Scientists are deeply divided over it. Most independent climate specialists, far from supporting it, are deeply sceptical. A growing body of rigorous science is showing that many of the claims made to support the most apocalyptic scenarios are demonstrably false.

Melanie Phillips, The Sunday Times (15 April 2001)

Gap years

Gap years for adolescents are justified by parents (I speak from experience) as a chance for these alien creatures to rest from their academic labours and see a bit of the world.

Equipped with mobile 'phones they are sent off to gather experience and to allow their parents to boast about it.

A gap-year aspirant told me she was looking forward to working with the poor in the Third World. Were there any projects working with the poor in Britain, I asked.

Don't be silly, I was told. Working abroad is a chance to meet poor people you'd never otherwise encounter. Charity begins at home - but not among our gapocracy.

Peter McKay, Daily Mail (9 April 2001)

Public corruption

The corruption of the British public service has been swift and thorough. The administration of the police, prisons. schools, hospitals, housing departments and the social services is rotten through and through. Britain is riddled with Potemkin villages, and spin-doctoring is now the queen of the sciences.

Theodore Dalryple, The Spectator (31 March 2001)

Self sufficiency

Perhaps, instead of introducing policies which reduce farmers to custodians of the countryside for leisure purposes while we support a global market, we should be stressing the benefits of greater self-sufficiency...

Professor Robert Bradley, Letter in The Sunday Times (25 March 2001)

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