Frank Field MP
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One in Nine

The UK's race relations lobby has a mixed record. For the very best of motives it succeeded for all too long in closing down a debate on the changing composition of Britain's population.

The reason for this is as understandable as it was wrong. The race relations industry feared a racial backlash from British citizens.

This approach was part of the two long decades of deceit that the political classes practised in Britain. Never was the obvious question asked on why there might be a backlash.

Had such a question been posed, I believe there would have been two answers. The first was that when forces were at work that fundamentally change a society, that society should have the right to decide whether or not they approve the changes.

Following on from this answer would have been a plea to moderate substantially the rate of change. The political classes seem to have been born without the common sense of voters that integration takes time and real effort.

The race relations industry knows it has now lost the argument - badly. But it still peddles its politics of deceit.

Take the Royal Commonwealth Society's response to yesterday's figures that one in nine people in Britain were born abroad. Do not worry, we are assured, immigration to Britain had to be seen in the light of hundreds of years of Britain as a hub of people on the move - "immigration adds to the patchwork of Britain".

The deceit is clear. Of course Britain has had open borders from its very inception. It is the numbers coming - coming in at twenty five times any record peak, and for that peak to be maintained for such a long period of time that is the deep cause of discontent.

The Government knows that the electorate is likely to settle the accounts at the next European election and at the following general election - hence the quick footwork to try and re-establish a new position.

But no amount of prattling on about the new points based system makes much difference. Modelled on the Australian system, it has the key component missing. Australia starts with a number of people it is prepared to admit to its shores, and it calculates this figure on how well these people can be integrated as Australian citizens.

Look at the Australian application form. One question is: "Can you speak English?"

The one in nine statistic is deeply troubling because the political classes have made no attempt to set out what it means to sign up and be full members of UK ltd. Failure to limit citizenship to signing up fully to our way of life, and pledging first loyalty to Britain, means separate communities have been created in this country.

It is now a hundred times more difficult to begin that process of integration. But that will be the task not only of the next radical Government, but one that is not prepared to blink first.
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