It is rare for me to side with the former Archbishop Carey and I don't agree entirely with what he has to say about immigration. But, at least, he is trying to get the subject talked about openly which is something that I've pushed for many times on this blog. Bishop Packer's attempt to shame him into silence is also a prime example of how our freedom, in my country, to discuss controversial issues (e.g. anything that might lose the government votes) is deliberately curtailed by those in authority by the political correctness they have instilled in our society over the last 40 years or so.

My stand point on this issue is clear. Keeping stum about immigration, an issue that is of major concern to the "silent masses," may keep the lid on things temporarily, but in the long run leads to frustration and, in the end, possible violence. It is much better to allow everybody to talk openly about what worries they have without fear of censure. This might be unpleasant to begin with but should hopefully lead to everyone involved understanding each other better and, maybe even, all groups concerned learning to willingly (not because they are forced to) accommodate each other and respect each other's grievances as being valid.


The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds the Right Rev John Packer said the views of Lord Carey and the parliamentary cross-party group on balanced migration could lead to a lack of tolerance and welcome towards asylum-seekers. He added that the emphasis should instead be placed on issues surrounding poverty and unemployment in the run-up to the general election.

Bishop Packer was speaking after 19 MPs and peers, including Lord Carey, backed a call for all the major parties to make a commitment in their general election manifestos not to allow Britain's population to reach 70 million.

He did not "believe Lord Carey or the group are racist but their approach can play into what becomes a racist opposition to people who are not from a white, Anglo-Saxon background. The sorts of concerns they raise can lead to a lack of tolerance and welcome towards those seeking asylum. I believe we ought to have a culture of hospitality towards asylum-seekers," he said.

Earlier this month, Lord Carey said he was not calling for a ban on immigration into Britain but warned that, if concerns were not addressed, it could play into the hands of the far-right British National Party.



  1. Sigh. Let’s dig right in.

    I am not British, but I lived in Britain for some years, until recently.

    I am of ancestral French descent and I was raised in a Commonwealth country. I have fair skin and a fairly Anglo accent.

    When I lived in Britain, many British friends and acquaintances wanted to tell me about the country, because I was ‘new’ and, they assumed, wouldn’t know. They often wanted to tell me about immigration. Mainly how terrible it is.

    Thing is, when they slagged off immigrants in front of me, they never meant me. Never did I receive any hassle, and this is with people knowing where I was from.

    I learnt quickly that “immigrant” is, in Britain, essentially a synonym for “not-quite-white”, be that Asian, Polish, or anyone else who doesn’t quite look right.

    I learnt that, as racism has become frowned upon and people don’t want to be thought of as racist, prejudices have just been moved sideways onto a new word.

    Frankly, it is perverse.

    What appalled me even more is the way that immigration discourses are fed to the media by politicians. Blame it on the immigrants, they’re an easy target.

    You don’t talk about immigration in Britain, you say …. oh, you talk about it all too much.

    Frankly, Britain needs to STFU and take some responsibility. Take responsibility for the casual use of immigration as an easy way to denigrate people who aren’t just like you. Take responsibility for the way politicans use it to manipulate voters. Take responsibility for the roughly 200 years British people traipsed over the globe telling everyone they found that Britain was the superior nation by far … and that means people want to live there.

    And bloody well take responsibility for the Britons who emigrate to places like Australia for reasons like “they’re tough on immigrants over there” with absolutely no sense of hypocrisy.

    You don’t talk about immigration? I can’t express how angry reading that post just made me. I wish the never-ending national discourse in Britain about immigration would end so that people can live their lives without being treated like crap.

  2. I agree with most of what you say, anonymous. I think it is a good summation of our present situation. Where we differ is on how to get from your complaints to your hopes for the future. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but you seem to be saying that we should put up and shut up. I think this is a disastrous policy. It allows the government, employers, the media, criminal gangs and fascists to dictate the conversation and could lead to civil unrest on the scale we saw in the early 1980s. Perhaps naively, I think the answer is to follow the example of post apartheid South Africa and allow an open conversation where ordinary citizens, of all ethnicities, can voice their concerns, fears and hopes without fear of being bullied and censured by those representing vested interests that have nothing to do with the welfare of the people involved themselves.

  3. The problem is class and the blame is race: so tackle class. In other words, we have developed an underclass due to economic failure and an illusory economics, and now after the collapse it should be reasonably obvious that real added-value in an economy is to work on basic provision including housing, education, anti-poverty and do so directly and in an infrastructure-like way that makes a direct difference to people’s lives. The fact is people are going to keep having babies, and unless there is net emigration there will be a population rise.

  4. You may well be right, Pluralist. But I still think we need to make the conversation possible before we can discuss the problems and benefits and move forward.

  5. Just a quick question – Before the world shifted and OCCICBW took on its new form, there was apost on this topic whihc quoted at some length a chap who had written a book on Islam and Europe expressing the lack of discussion argument. Are you able to let me have a copy?

    Generally, we will ever be able to access an archive of that which went before?