The ‘special’ James Slack

James Slack has a reputation for twisting, distortion and good old-fashioned lying when it comes to his many articles on immigration. He is paid to ensure any news story on immigration slots nicely into the Mail’s narrative, which seems to be that Britain is being swamped by brown-skinned foreigners to such an extent that we are becoming a minority. Last night James Slack posted a ‘Special report’ titled: ‘Will the white British population be in a minority in 2066?’.

The whole article is based on a report by Prof Coleman who Slack makes a special effort to verify as ‘one of Britain’s foremost experts on demographics… hugely respected for his academic ­rigour and for the avoidance of ­emotion and prejudice in his work’. However, further on the Mail underlines his credibility somewhat by pointing out that he does research for the MigrationWatch ‘think-tank’, well known for providing completely bogus figures on immigration to be lapped up by an unquestioning media. Prof Coleman’s report suggests that:

The white British-born ­population — defined by Prof Coleman as white English, Welsh, Scottish and Irish-born citizens — would decline from 80 per cent of the total now to 59 per cent in 2051.

Further into the future, and also taking into account factors such as changing birth and death rates, the ‘white British population’ would become the minority after about 2066.

So, already the report seems to be on dodgy ground – as is Slack – because what it is suggesting is that there is a fundamental difference between being a White Briton and a Briton that has a different skin colour. I can understand to an extent people becoming concerned at British identity being lost, but to be concerned because that British identity actually includes people of a different skin colour is just plain racism.

Prof Coleman seems to produce one of these reports every few years and he has been accused in the past as being ‘rather simplistic’ with the projections that he makes. Not surprisingly James Slack does not attempt to question the report in any way – after all, he happily churnalises MigrationWatch reports on a regular basis. At the end of the ‘Special report’ James Slack says that:

Whatever the view a person holds on immigration, nobody should disagree with his desire to see the subject fully — and maturely — debated.

So, what is Slack’s idea of a ‘mature’ and ‘full’ debate? Well, bringing out the usual tabloid rubbish about immigration. Firstly, he claims that Labour and the Lib Dems are ‘widely considered to promote open-door immigration policies’ and that the Lib Dems in the coalition ‘continue to want open-door policies’. Before we can have a mature and full debate about immigration the right-wing must first accept that there has never been an ‘open-door’ immigration policy. People from outside the EU have always struggled to move to the UK. Tell the Iraqi interpretors that we have an open-door immigration policy, or the Gurkhas. The only open-door policy is immigration within the EU, which is reciprocal and largely involves white people which should surely make the Daily Mail feel slightly less scared.

The next point follows on from this previous point: Slack actually suggests that ‘Tories have long believed that Labour encouraged mass immigration in the belief that as newcomers to a nation tend to be more Left-wing, Labour’s electoral chances would be enhanced’. This argument needs to be consigned to the dustbin before any proper discussion can take place.

The next point is the height of hypocrisy: ‘Meanwhile, in the absence of proper debate or consultation with the British people, odious far-Right groups were able to cynically capitalise on the sense of alienation felt by working-class voters in particular’. ‘Odious far-Right groups’ are the result of the perception of immigration, not the reality. The media work hard to create this false perception and it is about time they put their hands up and accepted this.

Slack also argues that integration has been hampered by ‘the failed doctrine of multiculturalism’. Who says it has failed? Who has decided this? Where has the ‘open debate’ been on this point? What does integration actually mean? You can’t just say something has failed. This is also linked to Slack’s claim that:

there was the belated introduction of the so-called Life In The UK test for foreign nationals seeking a British passport. Yet this eschewed questions on British history in favour of risible sections on how to claim welfare benefits.

Show me this test please James. Show me the sections on claiming benefits, show me the lack of questions on British history. If you cannot do so I will assume that the UK citizenship test is actually more like the one on the official test website. A lot of ‘White British’ people took this test a while back and the vast majority of them failed miserably because the questions are so obscure. Also, we all failed to notice the sections on claiming benefits.

Slack argues that ‘it is encouraging to note that his thought-provoking ­article should be published by a Left-leaning magazine, suggesting that — finally — we may be moving to a time when adult discussion of immigration policy is considered possible’. I wonder why he doesn’t describe other reports published on immigration by ‘Left-leaning’ magazines as ‘thought-provoking’? Is it simply because this report says exactly what the Mail wants to believe and the others do not? Of course it is, which is why no ‘adult discussion of immigration’ is currently possible.

As if to really ram home this point Slack also brings up Gillian Duffy – the rather simple granny that Gordon Brown called a bigot, who became a champion in the eyes of the media who kept calling her ‘eloquent’, even though she clearly was not. As I pointed out at the time, the right-wing claim that you ‘cannot talk about immigration’ was ludicrous given that the right-wing talk about little else. What I do agree on is that we cannot have a proper discussion on immigration as long as the right-wing papers insist on only discussing it in racist terms using distorted figures or outright lies.

Currently, James Slack is employed by the Daily Mail to tell lies about immigration. How can he seriously suggest we should enter into a ‘mature’, ‘adult’ debate when this is the case?

6 thoughts on “The ‘special’ James Slack”

  1. um…Gillian Duffy is indeed a granny. I’m just wondering, however, what the relevance of that fact is to your argument.

    (oh wait…I get it now – old and female so bound to say stupid things – can’t really expect to get any sense out of a woman can we?)

    Perhaps your next blog posting could include some mother-in-law jokes.

    1. Yes, you’ve rumbled me. I set this blog up as an elaborate ruse to eventually get round to some mother-in-law jokes.

      The reason why I mentioned that she was a granny is because it is in fact relevant, given that a lot of people laid off Gillian Duffy when she made the comments that she did because it was clear that she wasn’t a BNP voting neo-Nazi but rather a somewhat confused, ineloquent pensioner. Hence it would have been difficult to be too harsh to her, but also it was ludicrous for the press to paint her as an eloquent talker of sense when she clearly wasn’t. Go and read the transcript of what she said at the time, it is a pretty confused mess. Also, feel free to read the post I wrote at the time which covers it.

      So, feel free to not get upset at the racism the post was talking about and instead focus on the word ‘granny’ as if I was somehow being offensive.

      Well done you.

  2. This white Dutchman scored 42% on the test. Seems I won’t be coming over in a hurry. Pity, because I hear the benefits are top notch and everyone all over the world is clamouring to come to the UK to claim them – though it has to be said, I only hear that from the British media, it’s not a fact particularly renowned elsewhere in the world.

    Given how well our right-wing populistic politician du jour, Geert Wilders, is doing at the moment, I feel lucky our press isn’t as insidious as the British. I shudder to think what would happen if his opinions would be reinforced by a press cynical enough to exploit the fear and xenophobia.

  3. I have a confession to make, though born in England to Welsh parents, I grew up in the Netherlands, and upon moving to the UK at the end of the ninties, I was assumed to be a forigner by many regular Brits, so I ticked ‘white european’ in the 2001 census (wasn’t sure what else to tick, was used to ticking ‘Brits burger’ in the Netherlands).
    That said, I’ve always found the UK’s approach to ethnicity some what abstract, and devoid of meaning outside of an anglocentric context. I mean, French and Russian are both ‘white European’, so presumably their lack of Britishness renders them the same.
    There again Indian Punjabis and Pakistani Punjabis are presumably worlds apart and Africa is one homogenous blob.

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