Posts Tagged ‘housing’

The reverberations over Nigel Hastilow’s article last week, and its links to Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of blood speech’, (see earlier post), continue.

I have been struck by the similarity between the words in Hastilow’s article, and the words used by Margaret Hodge MP and Minister of State for Culture Media and Sport.

Contrast Hastilow’s words

“Today, far too many immigrants – they tell me – wheedle their way into Britain in order to benefit from the generosity of our welfare state. Asian Britons resent this as much as anyone. And no wonder. Does anybody in the country really want to see our population grow by almost half a million every 12 months so that in 24 years’ time it will have increased by almost 11 million?
Do we really want to see the country devastated by another three million houses or more over the next 12 years? Up to two thirds of these houses are only needed to cater for immigrants.”

with Margaret Hodge’s words in May 2007

“We should look at policies where the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by the indigenous family overrides the legitimate need demonstrated by the new migrants.”

Talking about her constituency she said:

“a recently arrived family with four or five children living in a damp and overcrowded privately rented flat, with the children suffering from asthma, will usually get priority over a family with less housing need who have lived in the area for three generations and are stuck at home with the grandparents.”

Commenting on her own article, Hodge said

“I set out to ask some difficult questions on the tension between ‘entitlement’ and ‘need’ in the allocation of social housing….I, of course, accept the need for more social housing and did so in the article. However there will always have to be rules to ration what will always be a finite resource.”

I see little difference between the view taken by Margaret Hodge about the housing aspects of immigration, and the views taken by constituents of Nigel Hastilow, which he reported in his article that caused all the trouble. The words used by both are remarkably similar, hardly surprising perhaps when they both start from the same basic premise of perceived unfairness.

The only difference of course is that Margaret Hodge was allowed to continue in office as a Minister, and Nigel Hastilow was asked to stand down as a candidate for Parliament. One has to wonder and marvel at the hypocrisy of some politicians and sections of the media, in their highly partial reporting.

Could it be that the statements Hodge made, came about from her own cynical calculation about the possibility of her losing her job as an MP? Did she see the election of 11 BNP councillors in her constituency, as evidence of a swing to the right, and that her electorate was getting upset about aspects of perceived housing unfairness. Was that why she spoke the words she did?

You might think that, I couldn’t possibly comment


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