THE FACTS belie almost every word Mrs Thatcher spoke on the immigration issue on Sun day. She spoke of Britain being swamped by an alien culture: by the end of the century the "immigrant" community (does that include the Irish?) will be about 6 per cent of the population.
She said clear figures were not easily obtainable from the
Home Office: detailed
statistics are published annually by the Home Office. The overall figure for "New Commonwealth" immigrants was 22 per cent down last year.
Mrs Thatcher spoke of between 45,000 and 50,000 people a year coming into Britain. The actual average for the five years up to 1975 is 39,000, and it is now falling.
There is now a net emigration of the West Indian com
munity, and most of the Asian nevitcomers are dependants. In both cases their birthrate
seems to be levelling down to the average British birthrate of about two children per family.
Later Mrs Thatcher said the dependents of these who came
in after 1 973 have no right to
permanent settlement. The European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms guarantees the right to marry and found a family and respect for privets and family life.
Does Mrs Thatcher not know these facts? Her words do not alley fears but play on them.
Up until now, this has been the technique of the National Front. IS Mrs Thatcher trying to steal their slogans?
In Mr Peter Walker, the Conservatives have a man who is aware of what some of the race problems are. He has spoken consistently, courageously and accurately on them. Why does the party leadership try to confuse the facts and mix up the issues of race and Immigration?
Race Is about inner city poverty and discrimination. Im migration is about people of many races, including white Anglo Saxons, who have or have not the right to settle here. The difference between these two issues must be kept clear.
With local elections, poesibly a general election, a parliamentary select committee report on immigration, and action on the Green Paper on nationality this year is going to be Britain's testing time on race.
Cardinal Hume told the Anglican Synod this week that one of the areas for cooperation between the churches was racial )ustice. One urgent task is for the churches to counter racialist propaganda by the truth and to denounce attempts by politicians on all sides to make race an election issue.