What is this country coming to, Telegraph columnist Jeff Randall asks this morning, when we cannot even kick out al Qa’eda masterminds, Nigerian rapists, Romanian Big Issue sellers and those nice smiley Polish girls behind the counter at Pret, and set our indigenous chavs to work selling over-priced sarnies instead?
Throw in repeated over-the-top use of alleged analogies between liberals and German fascism, and deliver the outcome in a prose style reminiscent of Jeremy Clarkson minus his characteristic wit, intelligence and literary panache, and you end up with what evidently passes for serious comment on the political right these days.
Precisely because this offering is from a big name writer in Britain’s best-selling broadsheet newspaper, it is worth considering exactly what is being said here.
Randall starts by invoking Churchill’s famous speech to the US Congress in December 1941, in which the late prime minister famously asks: ‘What kind of people do they think we are?’ From there, through the insertion of the three words ‘seven decades later’, Randall describes the dystopia of Britain today, as he sees it:
‘What has happened to the freedoms and independence for which [Churchill] urged us to fight? It’s hard to imagine our wartime chieftain being anything other than dismayed by the erosion of sovereignty, capitulation to the “equalities industry” and enslavement by debt. We have lost control of domestic borders, ceded legal primacy to Europe and allowed the Storm Troopers of political correctness to stamp their corrosive version of right and wrong on British law.’
The ludicrous contention here is that there is some form of parallel between what this country has become and what this country might have been had it lost world war two, with Monsoon-frocked social workers organised in mass right-on paramilitary formations to provide the necessary thought police. These are presumably the first death squads in history with an equal ops policy.
Actually, I suspect that Churchill would have knocked back another breakfast time double brandy and shrugged his shoulders about where we are now. Britain has participated in European integration because that was the only realistic option open to the post-war British capitalist class.
If Randall regrets the consequences, he should recall that it was Macmillan that first applied to join the Common Market, Heath who took Britain in, Thatcher who signed the Single European Act and Major who agreed the Maastricht Treaty. The storm troopers of political correctness cannot be blamed for everything.
Yet he is insistent that ‘human rights obsessives and jackboot egalitarians’ have led us to our present sorry state of affairs. And there was me thinking that liberals wore Birkenstocks.
He goes on to accuse the left of relentless assaults on popular consciousness, of demanding the unconditional surrender of adversaries and the criminalisation of those who resist us. To top the lot, he even speaks of something called ‘the Brown Terror’, presumably intending to evoke the Red Terror of the early years of the Russian revolution.
Look Jeff, I wasn’t too much of a fan of Gordon either. But if his supporters really had instituted a period of mass arrests and summary executions, I would have been among the first to put down a resolution condemning such actions at my local Labour Party ward.
Then there is all those bleedin’ foreigners, innit. Randall has got nothing against them, you understand. His only surprise is that ‘so few’ are already here. After all, who wouldn’t quit a ‘rat hole’ in Bucharest for £500 a week in handouts and a subsidised home?
Yes folks, that really is how Randall thinks that immigration works. Millions of Britons with at least one immigrant parent – and full disclosure: that category includes me – will know that the overwhelming majority of immigrants come here to graft their socks off, leaving the national economy better off as a result.
True, my mum did get disability benefits, a widow’s pension and a council flat. But she earned them by helping to build the NHS as one of its first nurses, and then scrubbing floors and working part-time in a care home while she raised two kids. Just like hundreds of thousands of immigrant women are doing today, I guess.
Sorry, but many of us actually like Britain pretty much the way it is now. Our inability to send Abu Qatada back to Jordan is not firm evidence that everything is going to hell in a handcart.