I’ve said this before and no doubt I’ll need to say it again

As a BME student who – with two very minor exceptions – never faced overt racism to my face, it made uncomfortable reading. Students had been told “You don’t speak well enough to get into Oxford” and “You do know they only accepted you because you’re black”. Those in Rhodes Must Not Fall might take the worldview that BME student feeling alienated is their fault – I hope most right-thinking people would not.
Then there was the 100 Voices report from Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE), part of the Oxford University Students’ Union (OUSU). Although completed in 2014, it was inexplicably sat on for 10 months or so. Excerpts from it are equally grim:
“I was told of an incident during the college photoshoot where, upon seeing the two students he was going to be photographed with, a tutor responded ‘ah excellent, a woman and an ethnic’.”
What the debate over Cecil Rhodes’s statue has done most effectively is to involuntarily stop reasoned discussion about BME students and their experiences.
If we want to combat racism and an imperial legacy, over-simplified and grotesque statements conflating France and Daesh aren’t the way forwards – they simply play into the hands of tin-pot nationalists.
Victory, more often than not, is won through dialogue. Whether Rhodes falls or not, wide structural issues will stand – and they can’t all be tackled through force of character alone.
Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan is a third year English student at the University of Oxford,

Hope he can write better than that after 2 13 years at Oxford studying English.

Because he’s not actually made an argument for anything either way.

However to repeat myself from before. Current day Britain is one of the least racist societies either currently extant or across history. As far as “the outsider” and the rest of the society, this is about as good as it has ever been for humans. Doesn’t mean it’s perfect, doesn’t mean that it can’t get better but still….

I’ve lived and worked in Russia, the US, Czech Republic and UK, and really, the UK stands out for the incredible indifference we have to race compared to those other places. Others who read here (I think of Tim Newman specifically, experiences in Russia) will confirm this.

Actually, last time I said this there was a comment from one lady who described a kaffeeklasch with some friends. Wondering what society would make of such children of the group that were mixed race. She was impelled to point out that of all the children of the group, only those of herself and her partner would not in fact be mixed race. Thus, given that some rather large proportion of children are going to be mixed race they’re going to do fine.

And that is actually one of the reasons why race in the UK is, compared to so many other places, so unimportant. Simply because we Brits have got into the habit of fucking each other regardless of melanin content. Sure, it’s not immediate, takes a generation or three, but the outmarriage rates are vastly higher among us than they are in just about anywhere else you might think of. I think I’ve seen rates of 30% or so for Afro Caribbeans for example. At that rate the “problem” goes away quickly enough by any societal standard. A slight tint to a formerly pinkish society is what we’ll end up with.

Frances has her critics it seems

OK, so it’s Reddit, and not necessarily the most sane part of it, although this is even more odd.

But seriously? The Cologne attacks were made by paying locals to pretend to be immigrants so as to stir up anti-immigrant feelings?

Quite apart from anything else isn’t that rather overestimating the intelligence of those in Pegida?

Elsewhere the American fascists have picked up on it. First comment: only a Jew could have said such a thing.

Yup, rather over estimating the intelligence of Pegida and allies.


The fight on Sunday underlines the difficulties Germany faces in handling hundreds of thousands of migrants. Although incidents in such centres are common, the chaos in the shelter at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airport was more violent than normal.

“There were apparently many hundreds of people involved,” a police spokesman said. An unspecified number of arrests were made.

Michael Elias, who is in charge of the shelter, said 830 people were housed at the facility and that between 20 and 30 started the disruption. “It’s the simple fact that there are a lot of young men travelling alone here. We withdrew … because the situation simply exploded. It was a complete blow-out,” he said.

Didn’t last long, did it?

Germany is to start deporting Syrian refugees after reinstating EU rules under which they must claim asylum in the first member state they enter.

And Greece is pretty fucked, isn’t it?

Actually, maybe not:

And a longstanding German court ruling means the country cannot deport refugees to Greece, where the majority of Syrians first arrive, because of poor conditions for asylum-seekers there.

But presumably the German courts are just fine with the Greeks themselves having to live in those appalling conditions enforced by Germany?

Hmm, I wonder….

Traffic jams up to 30 miles long built up on roads between Hungary and Austria yesterday as police stepped up searches to stop gangs of people smugglers trafficking migrants through Europe.

And in chaotic scenes at a Budapest railway station, thousands boarded trains bound for Vienna and Munich with chants including: ‘Germany! Germany!’

The town I’m in, Usti nad Labem, is on the main line Budapest, Prague, Berlin. An idle wonder really, wonder if those trains are full? Could well not be, as it would be the long way around. And there’s no Prague: Munich link (it’s a bus) so, maybe not I guess.

Hoist and petard come to mind

There are those who insist that Labour opened the non-EU immigration flood gates in order to gain a complaint electorate:

Labour have seen a collapse in their crucial ethnic minority vote since 2010 in a blow for Ed Miliband with three quarters of Indian voters abandoning the party.

Influential pollsters say that Labour are mistaken in their belief they are “sitting pretty” with the ethnic minority vote and Indian, Pakistani and African voters are turning away from the party in huge numbers.

The number of Indian voters identifying with the Labour party has fallen from 77 per cent in 1997 to just 18 per cent in 2014 – a fall of over three quarters, according to the figures from the British Election Study.

Pakistani support has fallen from 77 to 57 per cent, a fall of 27 per cent. Meanwhile Carribean support has dropped 14 per cent from 78 to 67 per cent.

Support from the African community has dropped by 20 per cent, from 79 to 63 per cent, the research shows.

Bit of a pisser if they’ve gone and changed the country but not even achieved their aim.

Weird, just weird

At least 15 migrants in and around the French port of Calais have died in the past year as an influx of young men and women from east Africa take ever greater risks to get the UK, according to an investigation by the Guardian.

Agreed, bad thing.

He said the UK – along with other northern European countries – had to “provide a mechanism” that allows those with legitimate claims to seek asylum when they first arrived in southern EU countries.


The system is quite simple and very clear. You have the right to asylum in the first non-dangerous country you can get to. You do not have the right of choosing which country you will try to claim asylum in. Those who are in Calais should be claiming asylum in France: if not in whatever countries they were in in transit to get to Calais.

This really is nothing at all to do with Britain. Someone walks off a boat from Syria into Rotherhithe and claims asylum then they get it (or should). Someone gets off a plane from North Korea into Heathrow and claims, they get it. But someone already in a safe country like France does not have the right of asylum in Britain. That’s just not how the system works.

Those bloody courts again!

Judges block Home Secretary from deporting convicted terrorist
A convicted terrorist banned from Britain for being a risk to national security has been stopped by the courts from being deported.

And yes, so the courts should.

There\’s two entirely different points here.

The challenge hinged on interpretation of the Immigration Act 1971 and other immigration legislation. The court hearing included a debate about the meaning of the word “while” in the phrase “while he is in the United Kingdom” from the 2002 Nationality, Asylum and Immigration Act.

Patrick Mercer, a Conservative MP and security expert, said: “This is particularly worrying in view of the Home Secretary’s efforts to exclude this man. The immigration Acts have been exploited and this loophole needs to be closed.”

The first is that the politicians have not managed to pass laws which are entirely clear in their application. That\’s the politicians\’ fault of course, not the judges. And it isn\’t just this slightly trivial point of the law. There\’s a tension between the laws passed against terrorists and the laws passed proteting human rights. Indeed, given the waves of laws we\’ve had on both the law is at times directly contradictory.

Whether or not you think the Human Rights Act (no, Council of Europe, not EU) is a good idea or not it does make a difference to all sorts of other laws that we\’ve got or have passed recently. That\’s the point of it in fact. Very similar to all this stuff about privacy injunctions: the politicians can\’t whine about the judges working through the implications of these new laws that the politicians themselves have decided to impose.

The second point is much more important in this particular case:

Lord Justice Pill, Lord Justice Rix and Lord Justice Lloyd backed the terrorist\’s right to be in Britain while he mounts an appeal. Lord Justice Pill commented that denying him access to Britain could lead to \”potential injustice\”.

His case is that if he\’s sent to Tunisia then he\’ll be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated.

He may be a scumbag terrorist. Might be a killer, might not be, who knows? But it\’s hardly the mark of a lenient justice system that we work out whether he can or should be sent to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated before we actually send him to Tunisia to be killed/injured/tortured/have his human rights violated.

What\’s the point of allowing him to appeal after he\’s been sent to Tunisia and been killed/injured/tortured/had his human rights violated?

Of course he should be allowed to stay in the UK while his appeal is heard.

Really, what are people making a fuss about?

At the extreme, the argument that we ought to \’oick \’im out straightaway is that those sentenced to capital punishment get their appeals heard after the execution of the sentence.

That\’s not quite what we\’d like in the land that invented liberty, is it?

Eminently sensible idea

Foreign footballers and international businessmen are to be offered a £15,000 personalised visa renewal service to avoid them having to queue, as part of an increase in immigration fees announced yesterday.

Officials from the UK Border Agency will offer to visit highly skilled migrants at their office or home to sort out their immigration documents.

During the visit they will take the new “biometric” photograph and fingerprints and then provide an on-the-spot decision on whether the visa will be renewed.

The Home Office admitted that the £15,000 price is in excess of the £1,982 cost of providing the “mobile biometric enrolment and case-working” service.

Those who can and are willing to pay for immediate service should of course be charged for such. Straight old price discrimination, a good thing.

All we need to do now is add another level on top of this. For £100,000 we\’ll guarantee that you get the visa, not just a quick decision but the right decision.

If there are those willing to pay for the right to live and work here we should charge them to do so.

Sounds sensible to me

Tens of thousands of failed asylum seekers will be able to obtain free health care following a Government rethink, it has been announced.

Yes, yes, I know, Johnny Foreginer freeloading…..but there are public health implications. We do want everyone to get their vaccines, get treated for communicable diseases, don\’t we?

Strikes again

Last time around these strikes were all about \”British jobs for British workers\”. Essentially, anger over EU nationals being shipped in to do jobs while UKites didn\’t get them.

Rightly or wrongly, that was the issue.

Around 1,200 contract workers walked out of the Total plant in Lincolnshire last week after 51 employees were laid off by one contractor while another was taking on staff.

They complained that an agreement not to cut any jobs had been broken – a claim Total denies.

Managers had sought to persuade staff to return to work but 900 of them were sacked on Thursday night, the Unite union said.

That particular part seems not to be an issue now, but the strikes themselves have escalated.

One thing though, are they actually allowed to sack people who strike? Does labour law allow that?

The trouble with planning


The “e-borders” system will log passenger information according to the data provided by the airline, which in most cases will be from the non-British passport used for the outbound journey. As a result, a dual national – even if readmitted to Britain by an immigration officer on showing a British passport – could be registered as an alien with no more rights than any other tourist, and limited to six months in the country.

On a subsequent trip, such a person attempting to return to Britain could be recorded as having broken immigration law. An airline, under the “e-borders” system, would be denied permission to carry the passenger home. Even if a British passport were presented, it would have to be verified by the nearest consulate or by the Passport Agency in the UK.

There\’s some half a million who could be affected by this problem.

Now I agree, there are indeed somethings that need to be planned. However, when you try to plan things you find out that the real world, full of those persnicketty autonomous individuals, always has more wrinkles than are allowed for in your planning structure.

That\’s why planning needs to be used sparingly, only in those situations where it must be, rather than where it might be.

Those migration figures

Mark Wadsworth tells us that economic migration is indeed the largest part of total immigration.

Can\’t say I\’m convinced. Table 2.04 from the 2 series at this page which he points us to.

A quick eyeballing says that out of 1991\’s numbers of 329 k immigrants there were 50 k with a definite job, 21 k looking for work, 90 k "accompany/join", 56k formal study, 67 k other and 45k no reason given.

For 2006 of a total 561 k the numbers were in order 161k, 70, 104, 157, 56 and 43 (all k\’s).

Unfotunately I can\’t see a cross reference to the point of origin numbers.

We can see how many immigrants were New Commonwealth, for example, and we can see how many were economic migrants and family members (accompany/join). But what I can\’t see are numbers for non-EU economic migrants.

The Frank Field solution addresses specifically non-EU economic migrants and them only. What we\’d like to know is how many ofthem there are/were before we can see how much of a difference it will make.

The details of \”Balanced Migration\”

Frank Field lays them out.

Employers would have to advertise jobs, first locally and then throughout the EU – as they should now, but some plainly do not. For its part, the government would wish to ensure applicants\’ qualifications were genuine. These workers would then be admitted, but only for a maximum of four years. They would come to the UK on that clear understanding. Employers would have to produce evidence that workers had left at the end of their contracts. No departure, no approval for new contracts.

This is very, very different from what everyone else seems to be reporting. One in one out depends not upon the number of Brits coming in or out, nor the number of any others groups, EU nationals, family members or asylum seekers.

It\’s purely that the number of economic migrants will be capped and for one to come in one must leave.

I still need to see the report itself to see what the relative numbers are but I really don\’t see howmuch this might help anything. I\’m still working on the assumption that non-EU economic migrants are the smallest part of immigration as a whole. It\’s also true that economic migrants are the people that we arguably want more than any of the other groups….

Balanced Migration

This is interesting.

A cross-party parliamentary group – the first to tackle such a politically divisive issue – says net immigration must be reduced to zero, with the numbers arriving balanced by those leaving.

Under such a scheme my moving back would deprive someone of the opportunity to immigrate?

As there are no rules whatsoever about my ability to enter or leave the country, about who I must inform if I do so, how does this work then?

But there\’s a rather larger problem:

The group acknowledges that EU freedom of movement laws, mean the UK government has no power to control immigration from inside the European Union, but says most immigration has come from beyond the Europe.

Has it? Are we certain about that?

As far as I\’m aware (and I\’ll have to wait for the report to actually be published to find out what numbers they use) there are four groups that immigrate.

1) EU citizens.

2) Asylum seekers.

3) Family reunion.

4) Non-EU economic migrants.

We\’re not allowed to limit 1 and 2 under international agreements. 3 is something that\’s rather tough to limit with any semblance of fairness and I am certainly under the impression (mistaken or not) that 4 is the smallest of the groups anyway.

I\’m not sure I can see how the proposed changes are going to make much difference to be honest. Anyone spots the whole report in the wild do let me know.

There\’s an answer to this you know?

Harsh as it may sound, it\’s also a pretty simple answer.

He and his brother, Ian, are third-generation fruit farmers and produce 5,000 tonnes each year, requiring an extra 100 workers at harvest time. \’We think we are fully booked, but quite often people don\’t turn up,\’ he said.

\’The bottom line is, if there are not enough pairs of hands on the farm when a crop is coming towards the end, the farmers will just have to shut the gate and walk away, leaving good, unpicked British produce still on the plant. That is criminal,\’ he added.

Melvyn Newman, of Newmafruit Farms, hires 200 seasonal workers for his 1,200 acres in Kent. \’It\’s getting more and more difficult,\’ he said. \’Two or three years ago we had a flood of people knocking on the door. Now there are very few coming and looking for jobs.\’

Part of the problem is that the foreign pickers, once grateful for the £6 per hour a fruit picker earns for this physically demanding job, can now earn more elsewhere. \’Change that back into euros and it\’s against them,\’ said Dave Morton, who runs Aston Fruit Farm, near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. \’So they are now more inclined to go to the eurozone, where they will earn more money, and we are losing out to France, Holland and Belgium.\’

If you can\’t get the labour you want at the price you\’re offering then raise the price you\’re offering for the labour you want.

It just ain\’t rocket science.

Marriage licences

I would call this utterly predictable.

Confidential guidelines have been issued by bishops to warn clergy of the scam, which has exploded since a Government crackdown on sham marriages was introduced in 2004.

Official figures show that the number of bogus weddings performed by Anglican priests has risen by as much as 400 per cent in some dioceses over the last four years.

Foreign nationals have turned to the Church because it is exempt from rules that require all foreign nationals from outside the European Union to obtain a Home Office certificate of approval to marry in a register office.

The prize of legal residence is so great that close off one route of getting it and  people will find, pretty quickly, any other means of getting it.

One wonders what the bureaucrats behind the original decision thought.  That immigrants only knew about register offices or something?

This is also depressingly predictable:

These regulations, which require people not legally settled in the UK to seek special permission to marry, were ruled as unlawful by the Law Lords ruled last month, but a Home Office spokesman said that they would continue to operate the current scheme to investigate individual applications.

We don\’t care what the law is, we\’re going to do what we want anyway. Typical of the Home Office.

White Americans to be minority by 2042

An interesting thought: if this is indeed true (and I see no reason why it wouldn\’t be) just how long would the "white majority" have lasted?

Taking the current borders of the country, so that we include say California and Oregon right from the beginning, when did the US first have a white majority?

Certainly it didn\’t in the 1620\’s(?), when Jamestown was first settled….but did it even by the time of Independence? There were, what, 3 million or so in the 13 (ex-) colonies? Was the Indian population of the rest of the area higher than that? At a guess, I\’d say yes (very much a guess as well).

So, the white majority by, say 1850? Earlier? Later?

So this white majority would be something that lasted a couple of centuries perhaps? No more than that, or only a couple of decades more than that, you think?


That Immigration Report

The number of immigrants entering Britain should be capped, an influential House of Lords committee has warned.

OK, how?

The vast majority of the immigration is from other EU states. We can\’t change that in any way at all.

Asylum seeking is regulated by UN agreements isn\’t it?

Which leaves extra- EU immigration for either economic or family reasons. The economic immigration is a small part of the flow in itself and it\’s already pretty difficult.

Which leaves family immigration: again, a small part of the problem anyway and are we really saying that we\’ll have solved the perceived problem if someone\’s elderly granny can\’t come and live with the kids?

What, in fact, can actually be done, within the set of regulations already woven around the subject?

We can leave the EU of course, and take back the powers currently weilded by Brussels over who is allowed to enter….