IF I'M NOT ENGLISH, THEN WHAT ON EARTH AM I, MR COOK?
THE sheer insolence and arrogance of our 'ethical' Foreign Secretary (who could not behave ethically towards his former wife) is outstanding, even in this Government. Smearing his opponents as racist, he tells us British we do not really exist.
'The British are not a race,' says Mr Cook. Really? Then why are those of us who are not Irish, Scots, Asian, Afro-Caribbean or whatever, but born English, told to tick the 'British' box to describe our ethnicity on the census form?
If I am not ethnically British and there is no provision to claim to be English, what am I? It sounds to me as though either I am a foreigner living here - or I am living in a foreign land.
I suppose I will be accused of racism and xenophobia for mentioning my existence at all. Perhaps I have no value in Mr Cook's New Labour Britain except as a consumer of chicken tikka masala. I suppose I should not speak for the British people (who do not exist) but perhaps I might quietly say that we are not a racist people. We are tolerant to a fault but have a right to express our views. We have no wish to witchhunt those from other countries who live peaceably here but we (and most of them) want proper immigration controls.
Even Home Secretary Jack Straw said after an Afghan plane was hijacked to Stansted Airport: "I would wish to see removed from this country all those on this plane as soon as reasonably practicable."
Fourteen months later, only 70 of 164 on board have been returned home. The trial of 11 others for hijacking has collapsed. The legal bill is £12 million, the police bill £2.1 million, a re-trial £10 million. Meanwhile we are keeping nearly 100 Afghans in jail or on welfare.
The Government and the race relations industry condemn as rascist any attempt to raise these issues. So let me make my position clear. I am an integrationist. I believe every citizen of this country should have the same rights, should be valued for what he or she is, not by their race or colour, should be treated the same in law and accept the same responsibilities. Ioppose apartheid - including the voluntary apartheid of those who use language to cut themselves off from the society in which they live.
I accept our obligation to provide sanctuary to those fleeing from political persecution but not to all of those who would rather live in the country we have made than the one they have made.
I am not a candidate at this Election but if I were asked to give an undertaking to be of good behaviour in what I said about these issues, I would regard it as just as insulting as being asked not to advocate fraud, violence, murder or other deviant behaviour.
We do not need lessons in parliamentary practice. We (British) invented it.
Reproduced from The Mail on Sunday with permission
I am glad Ministers want to make Trafalgar Day, on October 21, a Bank Holiday. Mind you, had Hague suggested it, the 'demented gnome' Robin Cook would have accused him of xenophobia. But what about St Georges Day, which is tomorrow? Let us scrub the unsavoury May Day Bank Holiday and celebrate England's National Day on April 23.
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