Thursday, March 07, 2013

David Aaronovitch's Twitter posts

Conversation on David Aaronovitch's Twitter site in which David Aaronovitch equates 2013 opposition to immigration in the United Kingdom with 1920s anti-semitism in central and eastern Europe

How ethical is it to comment on a conversation of this kind?  Presumably the catch-all word "troll" would be applied to me if my observation came to their attention (which I am not so vain as to think it might).  But David Aaronovitch is a Times journalist and Sunny Hundal is an adviser to Ed Miliband so these are sort of public people.  And Twitter is a sort of public site that anyone can look at.  And elsewhere in the conversation there were assertions that immigration policy had to be decided by experts as the ordinary people did not understand it (and so their will should be ignored).  Therefore I think it is legitimate to consider David Aaronovitch's rather sensationalist and alarmist statement as if it had been spoken aloud in a public place where we could all hear it.

Is it it sensible to hold the view that anti-immigration sentiment today is no better than anti-semitism that occurred ninety years ago and half a continent away?  It is so silly that one would not normally give it even half a minute's consideration were David Aaronovitch not a Times columnist with a weekly half-page to express his thoughts to the nation.  And it does illustrate a paranoia that I had not previously been aware of - a paranoia which might possibly explain the hysterical "racist racist racist" insults that get hurled at anyone who tries to discuss immigration and its lack of democratic legitimacy.

And has it not occurred to David Aaronvitch that many of the eastern European people that have migrated here hold sincere anti-semitic views that would be shocking were they not so farcical (one Bulgarian lady in her mid-50s, now living in London and a former communist, told her British husband that we should not let Poles into the country because they were all Jewish).

Elsewhere Sunny Hundal writes on Labour's immigration policy:

This article is just as ignorant (but in a different way) as David Aaronovitch's Twitter posts.  Does Sunny Hundal genuinely think that American society is not much different to British society, and that you can "learn" from American examples?  Perhaps this is why the Labour party so consistently fails to understand British society, and why they fail to develop policies that British people value.

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