A British Tea Party?
If you had had the dubious privilege of watching the BBC’s political debate programme "Question Time" on March 6, you would have been afforded a glimpse of what immigration and multiculturalism have become in Britain, their consequences for its native residents, and the Establishment’s response to both the crisis and the protests about it.
It followed the usual "Question Time" format, in which members of the public from an always-changing part of the country ask a panel of politicians and other “experts”, such as media people and assorted celebrities, questions of particular importance to them. This episode was filmed in Barking, an area of East London that has been subjected to an invasion -- a member of the programme’s audience did use this appropriate term -- by many ethnic immigrants over a short time. A look at the studio audience gave an idea of its multicultural composition.
Only one person was allowed to ask a question expressing her deep concerns over immigration, despite the fact that, as the moderator David Dimbleby explained, the programme had had more questions submitted on immigration than on any other topic except Ukraine, which was hot news at the time. He said this twice -- once in reply to a politically-correct person who even dared reprimand the BBC for allowing the question to be aired.
The questioner, a native British woman, said that her community had been totally changed by immigration, “they” were a minority there now and Barking was the most terrible place on earth to live at the moment. Amidst a less-than-warm reaction, a man was the only other member of the audience taking her side, saying how the indigenous population was discriminated against while the immigrants had “money thrown at them”. He was jobless and homeless. He became so annoyed by the response he received from the hostile audience and the patronising, condemning panellists that he very ostentatiously put his coat on and left the studio. I’ve never seen this happen before, and I’ve watched perhaps hundreds of "Question Time" broadcasts.
On May 22nd, Britain will elect its share of members of the European Parliament. One of the parties on the list will be, for the first time, Liberty GB. I am a member of Liberty GB’s Executive Council and a candidate at the May 2014 European Elections.
Liberty GB (donations towards the electoral effort are welcome) was born a year ago exactly out of this predicament and to give it a real solution, rather than the shrugging of shoulders of the main parties.
Mass immigration and Islamization are the two greatest threats for the country, clearly related. Other priorities are to sort out the UK’s disastrous economy and to protect its traditions of democratic liberties and freedom of speech: all these problems are somewhat beautifully and -- from the viewpoint of their solutions - conveniently interconnected, and we’ll see why.
Liberty GB has been compared to the USA’s Tea Party, and in fact has many similarities with it.
Looking at the Tea Party’s “15 Non-negotiable Core Beliefs”reveals that, apart from the belief about Obama’s stimulus, which is specifically American, 13 out of the remaining 14 -- the exception is about gun ownership, on which our views vary -- are very close to our own core beliefs.
The 15 open with: “Illegal immigrants are here illegally.” It may appear a truism, but there’s an important reason why tautologies like this need to be enunciated, namely that the Left nonsensically tries to deny them and their implications, in the UK as in the USA. You couldn’t find a party in Britain which would agree with that sentiment expressed by the Tea Party more than Liberty GB.
Our manifesto contains “Deport all illegal immigrants” and “Establish a National Border Police Force to tackle illegal entry and other cross-border crime.”
Several Tea Party’s core beliefs, like ours, stress the importance of economic issues and of balancing the respective countries’ budgets.
The Tea Party is internationally renowned for its strong anti-tax stance. Liberty GB has, among its manifesto policies, the implementation of two projects researched and devised by the UK’s TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA):The Single Income Tax Report for the purpose of tax reduction and simplification, and Work for the Dole, similar to the Workfare enacted in America, to train and help people on out-of-work benefits back to work, thus reducing the size of the welfare state and the burden for taxpayers.
“Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.” is another Tea Party’s core belief. That is certainly not less true in Britain.
A University College London’s study covering 16 years, the most far-reaching study ever conducted on the impact of migration on taxpayers, based on official and government figures, concluded that immigrants from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) take £100 billion, or 14%, more in benefits than they pay back in taxes.
What about European immigrants then? They pay 4% more than they take out, while indigenous British pay in 7% less than they receive from the government.
Despite the spin given by the authors of the study and some media that concentrated only on the favourable effect for Britain from European immigration, a look at the whole picture shows that immigration hurts the British economy.
While for Third Worlders the negative verdict is easy to reach, for Europeans it requires more analysis but with much the same end result.
European immigrants take jobs and pay taxes that the natives would, without foreign competition and with the help of Workfare schemes.
The TaxPayers’ Alliance report Work for the Dole analysis shows that employment today stands at a higher level than ever in UK history, and that 3.5 million new jobs have been created since 1997, but 68% of them were taken by immigrants. Therefore the number of out-of-work welfare claimants remained about the same, as many British people weren’t interested in the new jobs.
This is where all comes together: British identity, economy, welfare and tax systems, size of government.
We need to stop unrestricted immigration, to push welfare claimants to work, to reduce big government and high taxation: it’s all in Liberty GB’s manifesto.
There’s a good reason why human populations have come to be ruled by local bodies, and world government is favoured only by totalitarians like communists and devout Muslims. No country can be morally or politically responsible for what happens in so many others. Human beings, even the relatively more affluent and freer, are not omnipotent supermen or deities, and there’s only so much they can do.
People living in poor parts of the world should not be encouraged by rich nations’ wrong immigration open-doors policies to move there. It’s not just bad for the host countries, but for the ones the immigrants leave behind too.
As Roy Beck aptly and visually explains in the video "Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs," even our well-intentioned efforts to relieve world poverty through immigration are never going to be anything more than a drop in the ocean. Not only that: they may paradoxically be counterproductive, by depriving destitute nations of their most resourceful, entrepreneurial, active, and skilful inhabitants, who would do well to remain in order to help their own countries out of their quagmire.
After all, we’re not asking them to do anything that European and European-descendent people didn’t themselves do in past centuries, when they also had to fight against poverty, disease, and despotism.
The neediest are not the immigrants from the Third World to our shores, who, having the money to pay for the travel, are likely to be less indigent and isolated than their non-emigrating countrymen.
The greatest areas of difference between Liberty GB and the Tea Party are firearms and Islam, perhaps due to the diverse contexts of Britain and America.
Regarding Islam, there isn’t so much a distinction in stance as in emphasis. Islam pervades British life more, and as a consequence it’s far more present in our policies, news, articles, Facebook posts, and the like.
Gun ownership doesn’t have in the UK the same resonance as in the USA. There’s hardly any public discussion, no Constitutional amendment to argue about, and public opinion is rather indifferent.
Britain changed its gun laws to highly restrict their use as a typical kneejerk reaction to a mass shooting -- the Dunblane killings -- the kind of response which in the U.S. found a staunch opposition during the hysteria in the wake of the Newtown massacre a year ago.
In 1996 a man walked into a school in Dunblane, Scotland, armed with four handguns, and began shooting, killing 16 children, their teacher, and himself. A year later, private ownership of handguns was almost completely banned. Penalties can be up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Tens of thousands of firearms were handed into the government. It’s not so surprising, if you think that, after all, Piers Morgan is British.
I am in favour of the Tea Party’s position, maybe due to the fact that I have followed the situation in the USA and researched the topic, but since we have various views within Liberty GB’s Executive Council on this, it’s been decided that we don’t have an official stance.
We favor immigration of Christians not only for ease of assimilation, but also because they are by far the most persecuted group in the world. For the same reason we have the manifesto policy of ending foreign aid to countries without a proven record of protection of their minorities, in particular Christians.
Liberty GB also supports Christian values, marriage, and traditional families.
What the two, the British party and the American movement, share more fundamentally than anything else is the awareness that compromise on core principles does not pay in politics. Conservatives’ abandonment of what defines them doesn’t lead to more popularity and election victories, but to the moving of the political middle ground further and further to the Left, making success more, not less, elusive.
Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, LaRepubblica. She is in the Executive Council of the UK’s party Liberty GB.
She blogs at www.enzaferreri.blogspot.co.uk.