Thursday, 19 March 2015

When Hope not Hate talk about 'open and honest debate', they do so in poor faith

Hope not Hate's self-justifying article 'The 2015 UKIP threat' states in its midst:

"There is nothing wrong about talking about immigration or even expressing concern about the rate of change or immigration policy – in fact HOPE not hate has always argued that we need a much more honest and open discussion about the subject. But it is the manner of this debate that is so important."

Which leads us to wonder why later in the same article they bring up the subject of the repatriation of
immigrants. Still on he Hope not Hate website is an article copied from the Observer newspaper during the Newark by-election focussing on UKIP candidate Roger Helmer. Inspired by Hope not Hate research, the Observer attacked Helmer for comments in his book 'A Declaration of Independence', stating

"Voluntary repatriation, in which legal immigrants are given financial assistance to leave the UK, was supported at the last election only by the BNP. The last time the policy was accepted by a mainstream party was in 1970, when it was a cause of the Tory MP Enoch Powell and featured in his party's manifesto."

As we wrote at the time, voluntary repatriation of immigrants who wished to return to their country of origin was first included in Section 29 of the Immigration Act 1971, and the scheme was expanded by the Blair government in the Nationality, Immigration & Asylum Act 2002. It remains in force.

The Observer - following a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission - had the grace to apologise for the error, print a correction and withdraw the article from their website. Visitors to Hope not Hate's pages who follow the link in their article will find that it leads to a 'dead' page on the Observer.

Hope not Hate - who monitor the media both personally and via their US based consultants - can hardly fail to have missed the Observer's correction, or that voluntary repatriation was introduced by the Conservative government in 1971 and expanded hugely by the Blair government in 2002. Have they withdrawn their own version of the article, which is however you look at it simply untrue? No. So when they say

"HOPE not hate has always argued that we need a much more honest and open discussion about the subject"

Remember that what they mean by 'honest and open' is continuing to publish something which is not just spin or a matter of interpretation, but what in the old days was considered a straight lie. An untruth. A falsehood. And no 'open and honest' debate can start with such a blatant display of poor faith.

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