Saturday, 3 October 2009

Max Hastings - lying about immigrants, and sounding like the BNP

Max Hastings' latest column appears to be an attempt to out-do The Sun in lavishing praise on David Cameron ahead of the next election. Max swoons:

Cameron possesses the brains, fluency and star quality to become a remarkable prime minister if he can also find iron in his soul...When friends express doubts to me about the Tory team, I respond simply: we must believe.

Testify Brother Max!

Does this mark an attempt by the Mail to become a louder cheerleader for the Conservatives than their red-top rival?

Max has listed all the problems he believes need fixing about modern Britain and - unsurprisingly - immigration pops up. But he displays an ignorance that suggests he doesn't even know what the problem is, by stating:

Immigrants, legal and otherwise, can often invoke human rights to gain access to Britain's benefits system.

By 'otherwise', he means illegal. And illegal immigrants do not get benefits. No matter how often he, or Carole Malone or Richard Littlejohn or Judge Trigger say it, it won't make it true.

Perhaps Max could tell us which benefits these illegal immigrants are getting?

He goes on:

Nothing would more swiftly check the immigration tide than calling time on newcomers' automatic claims to benefit and housing.

There's so much wrong with that sentence.

Firstly - does Max really believe that all immigrants to Britain just for benefits and housing? There are no other social or cultural reasons? Nothing to do with Britain as a fair, tolerant, multi-cultural, democratic society?

Apparently not.

Secondly - why peddle this myth that new arrivals get 'automatic claims to benefit [sic] and housing'? The benefits available to immigrants are far more complicated, and tough to get, than that.

So Max thinks people flock to Britain solely to avail themselves of free money and houses, and if these 'automatic' benefits were stopped, so would the 'tide' of people.

It's an idea that happens to be supported by the BNP. An article from May 2009 entitled 'Invaders Resort to Armed Violence to Get into Soft Touch Britain' says:

swarms of bogus “asylum seekers” know that if they can just get onto British soil, they will qualify for council housing and generous benefits...

Only once the scroungers of the world know that they will not get benefits in Britain, will they stop coming here.

Compare that with what Max says:

Nothing would more swiftly check the immigration tide than calling time on newcomers' automatic claims to benefit and housing.

'Swamp' may be more extreme than 'tide' but it's much the same idea. And it's not the first time Max has sounded like the racist far-right party.

Max also says:

It would be so irresponsible for uneasy Tories to cast a protest vote for UKIP or, worse still, the BNP.

Yes, we wouldn't want people supporting the ideas and policies of the BNP. That would indeed be worse than 'irresponsible'.


  1. Max is putting on a really poor performance, of late.

  2. Your political compass seems to point to the left, so presumably you are in favour of....

    "A fully funded National Health Service for all British citizens."

    And presumably you agree that....

    "The fiasco of rail privatisation with different companies running services and track leading to higher fares and lower safety also needs to be resolved."

    You see, the BNP has many policies that most reasonable people would consider objectionable, but criticising a newspaper for advocating a policy because it happens to be one espoused by the BNP is just lazy.

  3. hesspartacus - You appear to misunderstand. I'm criticising it because it is wrongheaded and not based on reality.

    The point is that Max is the lazy one - peddling old myths with those two sentences and I would even argue he is giving them respectability.

    These are exactly the type of 'immigrants are all scroungers' or 'Muslims are all terrorists' myths that appear in the Mail (and other papers) almost daily, full of exaggeration or very often outright lies.

    And, as I have written about many times here, those same stories are cut-and-pasted straight from the Mail website and used by the BNP. They pop up on the Stormfront website forums. The EDL use those headlines in their promo vids.

    That is why I criticise.

  4. @hesspartacus

    Right, so they support a 'left-wing' policy of social healthcare., so we'll overlook the bigotry and racism?


    "The party does not regard non-white people as being ethnically British, even if they have been born in the UK and are naturalised British citizens".


    "The BNP supported University of Leeds lecturer Dr. Frank Ellis, who was suspended from his post after stating that the Bell Curve theory 'has demonstrated to me beyond any reasonable doubt there is a persistent gap in average black and white average intelligence'".

    Don't hide racism behind token left wing policies, the BNP are fascists, and if you vote for them, so are you.

  5. Excuse me folks,
    There is absolutley nothing racist or bigoted about stating the bloody obvious fact that non White naturalised Britons are not ethnically British.
    If someone lives in Britain, accepts British values and is a productive member of society, who the Hell cares what colour they are? I certainly don't and I am a member of the British National Party.
    Cultural identity is what counts, a shared value systemn and a compatible code of ethics, not the person's original racial and ethnic origin.

  6. red squirrel - what does ethnically british even mean? how far back do we go? if my ancestors are norman - am i ethnicalyl british? if my ancestors are 18th century irish immigrants, am i ethnically british? if my ancestors are germanic vikings or saxons, am i ethnically british? if my ancestors are latinate romans, am i ethnically british? i can go right right back and end up in the first human settlers from africa - am i ethnically british?

    plus everything i have read and heard from the BNP says they do indeed care what colour you are.

    and what are british values for that matter? i had hoped they were openness, tolerance, justice and a fair society. not a racist, biogoted, jingostic loud mouthed thug.


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