IMMIGRATION CONCERN

Immigration and related issues, mainly in the United Kingdom.

Details of other pages are at the end of this page

RECENT NEWS AND VIEWS

Extracts in date order, except latest additions first. Updated 24 June 2018

*NEW*
Diversity – identity politics, intellectual freedom
Make no mistake, we are living under a diversity dictatorship
Zoe Strimpel
Sunday Telegraph, 24 June 2018.

Those who cry repression and oppression – racism, sexism, transphobism – have become judge, jury and executioner.

We've seen countless times in the past year or so how anyone accused of an outrage against identity will immediately pay the price, from classicist Mary Beard, accused of racism and mauled on Twitter as a result, to Germaine Greer, ceaselessly attacked for her unorthodox views on transsexual women and #MeToo.

If the obsession with identity politics had remained a matter for vitriol and silliness only on Twitter, or in Left-wing newspapers and journals, things wouldn't be so bad. But they've seeped, with chilling consequences, into absolutely all aspects of life, with our institutions now as obsessed as their American counterparts with dictums for promoting "diversity and inclusion" at the cost of just about everything else.

This means, with catastrophic consequences guaranteed, that the once highly prized notions of merit, creativity, and freedom of thought and speech are being systematically tossed on the bonfire of all things Potentially Un-PC.

And what a week it was for the country's diversity warriors. ...

Job discrimination, whether based on sex or race, is wrong and illegal. It is crucial that employers aren't allowed to refuse promotions on these grounds. But the idea that "diversity" comes down to tabulating the number of skin colours in any given management tier, room or discussion, is idiotic, pretty racist itself, and (shiuld be) insulting to everyone's intelligence. ...

The noxious effects of what I can't help but call the ever-strengthening "diversity dictatorship" is particularly dispiriting in once-irreverent domains like comedy. Shane Allen, the former head of comedy at the BBC, said last week that Monty Python wouldn't "stand a chance" of being broadcast on the Beeb these days. Nor would Hugh Laurie or Stephen Fry, because they are "Oxbridge white blokes". ...

Nassim Taleb, the Lebanese-American scholar and statistician, put beautifully on Twitter last week the sinister nature of all this diversity-mongering. "The more you institutionise rules of ethical behaviour that should be voluntary (say, anti-racism, anti-sexism)," he tweeted, "the more they will be used as a cover for unethical actions."

Unethical, absolutely – and plain lunatic, too. ...

Meanwhile, amid all the "inclusive" quotas and pledges and sackings, the bias trainings, the shamings and the relentless jargon, our society is losing its creativity, humour and intellectual freedom.
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*NEW*
Immigration abroad – Republic of Ireland
Ireland to take more refugees in show of 'solidarity'
Shona Murray
Irish Independent, 23 June 2018.

Ireland is willing to do more on migration including taking more refugees and giving financial support, said the Taoiseach.

Speaking ahead of next week's June summit where the migration issue could trigger a major political earthquake in Germany and across the EU, the Taoiseach committed Ireland to giving more as a way of repaying the solidarity Ireland has received over Brexit. ...

Mr Vardakar defended immigration, saying: "On balance migration is a good thing; Europe needs migration.

"We've a shortage of skilled labour to staff our economy and run our health service. It enriches our cultures and societies."

But, he said, "it does need to be managed; it can't be uncontrolled and the fact that it has been uncontrolled has given rise to far-right and nationalist/populist forces across Europe and that has to be a bad thing".
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*NEW*
Immigration – public opinion
Revealed: two years after Brexit vote, public still supports tough immigration targets
Channel 4 [television], 22 June 2018.

Almost three quarters of British adults still back Theresa May's tough stance on reducing immigration, a Deltapoll survey for Channel 4 News reveals. ...

Two years after the EU referendum, support for the government's tough immigration targets is widespread across the country and political allegiances, according to the poll.

Most people want the number of immigrants coming to Britain to be reduced to "tens of thousands" per year after Brexit – although many believe there should be some flexibility.

Strikingly, the majority of Remain voters would like to see numbers of immigrants go down. Some 23% of Remainers want a "big reduction" in EU immigration, while 35% want a small reduction. ...

However, many people remain positive about the overall impact that immigration to the UK has had over the last few decades.

Half of UK adults believe it has been mainly beneficial, compared to around 40% who said it had mainly been detrimental.

Other recent surveys have suggested attitudes towards immigration may have softened after Brexit.

But the survey by Channel 4 News shows that 42% of UK adults want to see a big reduction in EU immigration after Brexit. And a further 28% would be happy with a small reduction.

Only 14% of people want EU immigration to increase. And just 15% oppose the government's target to reduce immigration to "tens of thousands". ...

And most Conservative voters still support the "hostile environment" policy – compared to around four in ten Labour voters. ...

Between different age groups, the Conservatives' policy to bring immigration levels down to "tens of thousands" is least popular among young people, aged 18-24. However, the majority of young people still support it, according to the poll. ...

In response to the poll findings, Ken Clarke MP told Channel 4 News: "I don't think freedom of movement has done us any harm at all myself. We live in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-national society. And if you think that has gone too far already, I think as far as my grandchildren are concerned, you ain't seen nothing yet." ...

Deltapoll interviewed 2,063 adults between 8th June – 11th June, 2018.
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*NEW*
Immigration abroad – USA
Migrant families separation poster girl not taken from mum
BBC, 22 June 2018.

A little girl who became the public face of US migrant family separations was not taken away from her mother at the US border, says her father.

A photograph of the Honduran toddler sobbing in a pink jacket was snapped at the scene of a border detention.

Time magazine has used the image for its latest cover, depicting President Donald Trump looming over the girl with the caption: "Welcome to America".

But thousands of other child migrants have been taken from parents in the US. ...

The photo helped secure $17m (£13m) in donations from hundreds of thousands of people on a Facebook fundraiser for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, a Texas-based non-profit organisation. ...

Honduran Deputy Foreign Minister Nelly Jerez verified Mr Valera's version of events to Reuters. ...

Mr Valera said Ms Sanchez and their daughter had left the Honduran city of Puerto Cortes without telling him or the couple's three other children.

He said he believed she went to the US in search of better economic opportunities. ...

He told the Daily Mail he understands Ms Sanchez paid $6,000 to a smuggler to get her across the border.
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Citizenship – EU citizens, residence
UK unveils post-Brexit EU citizen settlement scheme
Lisa O'Carroll and Jamie Grierson
The Guardian, 22 June 2018.

The government has promised to fast-track the registration process for EU citizens who want to stay in the UK after Brexit, with decisions on applications to remain in the country reduced from six months to "a matter of days".

Unveiling details of the "settlement scheme" for EU citizens, the Home Office promised that the application process would be "short, simple and user friendly" with a default position of accepting rather than rejecting applications. ...

Applications will cost £65 per adult, with children half price. EU citizens will be issued with an ID number, but not a physical card, which they will be required to use for public services such as the NHS and possibly employment and property rental checks. ...

It has been estimated that the Home Office will have to process up to 4,500 applications a day to get through 3.2m applications before the programme closes in June 2021. However, numbers could be even higher, with the Home Office saying there could be anything from "3.2m to 3.8m" EU citizens eligible for the scheme. ...

Anyone with a criminal record involving a jail sentence of more than 12 months is at risk of being rejected. Checks on the national police database and watch lists will be automatic but past crimes in the rest of Europe will not be automatic. ...

It will remain open for two and a half years, with EU citizens who arrive in the country eligible to apply right up until the end of December 2019, the proposed end of the transition period.

Those in the country for less than five years will be granted "pre-settled status" which can be swapped for a full "settled status" ID after five years.

The new status will also be considered a route to British citizenship, ending the need for EU citizens presently in the country to go through the permanent residency process.

Close family members, defined as "spouse, civil partner, durable partner, dependent child or grandchild or dependent parent or grandparent living overseas" will be allowed to join those with settled status under a "lifetime right" of EU citizens already in the country.
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Citizenship – EU citizens, residence
3.8 million EU migrants are allowed to stay here after Brexit: That's 600,000 more than estimated – and they can bring their families
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 22 June 2018.

Nearly 4 million EU migrants will be allowed to live permanently in Britain after Brexit – and bring their families with them. ...

Any EU migrant who has lived in Britain lawfully for at least five years will be granted this 'settled status' – giving them full access to schools, hospitals, pensions and benefits. Applicants will face only three questions: to prove their ID, whether they have criminal convictions and whether they live in the UK.

However, international criminal record checks will not be routinely carried out, meaning violent criminals could get the right to live here.

Even if an EU citizen has a criminal record in Britain, they might not be considered for deportation.

Officials said that if an offence such as rape had been committed many years ago, it might not meet the threshold to deport someone. Successful applicants will also get the right to bring their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, children and partners to join them – even if they are not EU nationals.

Officials revealed they were planning for 3.8 million applications – about 600,000 more than previously expected. It is because officials do not know exactly how many EU migrants are living here.

Applicants' names will be screened against only UK police and security databases, unless there is 'good cause' to suspect a person has a hidden criminal history abroad. ...

Tory MP Philip Davies expressed concern about the 'lax' checks on criminal databases, adding: 'Migrants who commit crimes here should be deported unless there are extenuating circumstances. The Government seems to be taking the view that unless it is a very serious crime, they are okay to stay, which is the wrong way round.' ...

Lord Green of Deddington, of the Migrationwatch think-tank, said: 'The effect of these arrangements is that EU citizens who arrive during the transition period will have the right to stay on for five years. They would then acquire rights to bring in spouses, parents and grandparents that were greater than those of British citizens.'
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Terrorism – Islam
Councillor who said Isis does not exist is given antiterror role
Neil Johnston
The Times, 21 June 2018.

A Labour councillor who was forced to resign as a school governor after claiming that Isis did not exist has been appointed to a council committee dealing with radicalisation.

Safia Akhtar Noor was suspended by Yew Tree Community School in Birmingham after several Facebook posts in which she questioned whether Isis was to blame for terror attacks became public.

Although the school suspended her and she later resigned, she was allowed to stand for Labour in May's local elections and won a seat in the Small Heath ward with more than 3,000 votes.

She has since been appointed to the children's social care overview and scrutiny committee, which examines initiatives to prevent radicalisation and has given guidance on the Prevent strategy, ...
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Employment – Europe
Surge in refugees hits young Germans' job prospects, warns OECD
Tim Wallace
Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2018.

Refugees run the risk of damaging the job prospects of low-skilled young men in Germany, Austria and Sweden as more people compete for jobs, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned.

In parts of Germany refugees make up more than 15pc of the unemployed, putting pressure on vulnerable parts of the existing workforce. These new job seekers pose the greatest competition to young men with few qualifications, who are already most likely to struggle.
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Immigration – Europe
The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray - review
David Sexton
Evening Standard, 21 June 2018.

On publication in May last year, The Strange Death of Europe became a surprise bestseller and remained so all last summer. It's rare that a book of such seriousness, cogency and pessimism finds so many readers.

Murray announces quite simply in his introduction: "Europe is committing suicide." He predicts within the lifespans of most people currently alive "Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home".

Murray puts forward two simultaneous causes. The first is the mass movement of peoples into Europe post-war, making it into "a home for the entire world". The second is the way Europe itself "has lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy". ...

Murray surveys the history of migration, highlighting how much it has been underestimated by governments and how little serious public discussion has been permitted – even when, for example, the 2011 census revealed the enormous changes that have taken place, in London especially. ...

He traces the way new parties have emerged across Europe to represent popular opinion so determinedly ignored by mainstream parties. "There is an ongoing effort to make European publics not believe the evidence of their own lives," he says, quoting poll after poll, showing how out of step with public opinion governments have become. In 2010, 47 per cent of Germans said they did not think Islam belonged in Germany. By 2015, that figure had become 60 per cent. Now it is higher again.

In a new Afterword for the paperback, after surveying the events of the last year, Murray says he had anticipated criticism. "Yet none of the many facts in this book were able to be refuted and nobody of any consequence has even tried to contest or deny them." The Strange Death of Europe is essential reading, just as much for those who would dispute its analysis as for those who will find here lucidly set forth what they already intuit.

The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray (Bloomsbury, £9.99)
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Immigration abroad – Spain, France
'Almost half' of rescued Aquarius migrants want asylum in France, NOT Spain
Romina McGuinness
Daily Express, 20 June 2018.

Nearly half of the 630 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean who arrived in Spain at the weekend want to claim asylum in France, Spanish officials said on Monday. ...

France said it would welcome some of the migrants and help Spain deal with asylum applications following criticism of President Emmanuel Macron's initial silence on the plight of the rescue ship.
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Immigration abroad – Australia
Majority of Australians say there is TOO MUCH immigration for the first time, study reveals
Brooke Rolfe
Daily Mail Australia, 20 June 2018.

For the first time in history the majority of Australians believe there are too many immigrants entering the country, according to social research figures.

Nearly 55 per cent out of 1200 people thought the number of migrants coming to Australia was 'too high', in data collected by Social Research Centre in Melbourne. ...

Debate was recently sparked by New South Wales Labor leader Luke Foley who controversially highlighted a 'white flight' trend bought about by migrant families.

He was referring to low-income migrants forcing Anglo families out of affordable housing areas in Sydney's western suburbs. ...

Nearly three quarters of Australians think the government has allowed too much investment from China, up from just 56 per cent in 2014.
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Politics – European Union
The Migrant Question
Theodore Dalrymple
City Journal, 20 June 2018.

... whatever attitude governments take to the migrants, no one truly believes that they are more of an asset than a liability. /.../ When European leaders discuss the migrant question, it is always in terms of sharing the burden, not the assets, equitably. No one speaks of foreign investment in this way, which suggests that European politicians believe, whether rightly or wrongly, that the free movement of people and capital are different in an important way.

The leaders speak of sharing the burden, then, and are incensed when countries such as Hungary and Poland refuse point-blank to take any migrants from Africa or the Middle East. But I have never seen mentioned in this context the question of where the migrants themselves want to go. They might as well be inanimate toxic waste as far as the discussion is concerned, rather than human beings with wishes, desires, ambitions, and so forth. They are but pawns in a political game. Hungary, for example, is deemed duty-bound to take x number of migrants: no one asks whether x number of migrants can be found who want to go to Hungary. Nor is the question ever discussed in public whether Hungary, having open borders, would be held responsible for making the migrants stay there once they had arrived. Short of penning them in, how exactly would you keep them in Hungary, or in Poland?
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Crime
Lithuanian deported from Sweden four times strolls into UK - and goes on £500k luxury car part theft spree
Julia Roberts
Mirror, 19 June 2018.

A thief who came to the UK after being deported FOUR TIMES from Sweden has been jailed for stealing £500,000 worth of steering wheels, onboard computers and parts from luxury cars in just three months.

Ernestas Lukosevicius was repeatedly booted out of the country where it was said he had developed the necessary 'skills and expertise' to carry out such car crime.

By April last year, the Lithuanian had racked up his eighth conviction for 23 offences, was jailed for nine months and handed his fourth deportation order.

A court heard he is currently banned from returning to Sweden until February 2027. ...

The court was told there was no record of when he came to the UK, and Recorder Matthew McDonagh said he could not make the same recommendation for deportation as ordered in Sweden.
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Crime – deportation
Foreign criminal thrown out of UK for shoplifting four years ago walks back into the country to continue his one-man crime wave
Richard Spillett
MailOnline, 19 June 2018.

A foreign thief who was deported from the UK for shoplifting waltzed back past border guards and resumed his life of crime, a court has heard.

Eriks Gindra - who has racked up convictions in Nottingham, Doncaster, Leeds, Barnsley and Huddersfield - was kicked out of Britain four years ago. ...

In an unusual move, Gindra did not give his nationality in court, replying only 'gipsy'. But he used a Russian interpreter, suggesting he is from one of the Baltic states. ...

Gindra - who has 25 convictions for 49 offences in the UK - was arrested again in April and jailed him for eight weeks by Southern Derbyshire Magistrates last week.

It is expected he will deported again at the end of his jail term.
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Politics – Liberal Democrats
Nick Clegg's U-turn as he now warns the EU that immigration is not an 'untouchable principle'
Daniel Martin
Daily Mail, 19 June 2018.

Nick Clegg has performed another U-turn by dropping his unequivocal support for the free movement of workers between EU nations.

In an article yesterday, the former deputy prime minister said Brussels should stop seeing the controversial policy as an 'untouchable principle'.

It comes four years after he described freedom of movement as a 'good thing' and a 'cornerstone of European integration'. ...

For years former Lib Dem leader Sir Nick has been one of the most vociferous supporters of free movement. But, writing in the Financial Times yesterday, he called on European leaders to reform the rules – saying he hoped it could see Britain remaining in the EU. ...

Recent election results on the continent show millions of people believe the 'EU's collective approach to immigration is serving them poorly', he wrote.
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Politics – diversity
UK makes Windrush Day official with £500k grant to support events
Nadeem Badshah
The Guardian, 18 June 2018.

A day celebrating the contribution of the Windrush generation and their descendants is to be held annually, the government has announced.

Windrush Day will take place on 22 June, the day when around 500 migrants from the Caribbean arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex in 1948 aboard the MV Empire Windrush.

It will be supported by a grant of up to £500,000, available to charities and communities wanting to hold commemorative and educational events.

The communities minister, Lord Bourne, said the annual celebration will help to "recognise and honour the enormous contribution" of those who arrived between 1948 and 1971.

"It will keep their legacy alive for future generations, ensuring that we all celebrate the diversity of Britain's history," he said.
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Population – cost, National Health Service
'Nobody will talk about it!' Farage reveals why NHS funding MUST increase for THIS reason
Jamie Macwhirter
Daily Express, 18 June 2018.

Nigel Farage hailed Theresa May's announcement of a 'Brexit dividend' for the NHS, but reminded listeners the money was only necessary because of rapid population growth fuelled by mass immigration. ...

Speaking on his LBC show, Mr Farage said: "Spending on the National Health Service has to go up every single year significantly, not just because of administrative waste, not just because of health tourism.

"The British population is rising by half a million people every single year, and 75% of that is because of people coming into this country and those that have come having children.

"Is it any wonder we need to increase spending?

"And of course part of the argument around Brexit was that by leaving we can take back control of our borders and significantly reduce the numbers coming into Britain.

"But there's little prospect of that, and as I say it is the elephant in the room and nobody wants to talk about it because immigration has disappeared completely off the political radar in this country."
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Immigration abroad – European Union
The EU is facing an existential crisis – but it is migration, not Brexit, that will be its undoing
Juliet Samuel
Daily Telegraph, 18 June 2018.

Alongside sunburnt Brits, they are one of the modern staples at Southern Europe's popular tourist spots: Arab and African men selling tourist tat. These men (and occasional woman) come from many places. ...

If they can raise enough cash and get a spot on a boat crossing the Mediterranean, their odds of getting to Europe are high – 98 per cent make it. That is why people keep trying. ...

The migration surge has been fuelled by technology and growing wealth, which have for the first time brought the means to flee conflict and migrate economically within the reach of millions. The EU hasn't created this situation, but with its migration policies, it has removed from national governments the means to address it and, with its legal structure, it has neutered Brussels' ability to step in instead, since national politicians can't agree on an approach. And the more pro-EU politicians try to collectivise policy, the more they fan the flames of populist revolt. ...

... What's not clear is whether national governments will have any more success than Brussels in slowing the demographic tide.
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Diversity – employment
CBI boss wades into diversity debate again
Christopher Williams
Sunday Telegraph, 17 June 2018.

The new head of the CBI has backed companies to favour women and ethnic minorities over equally capable white men as a way of improving diversity in the upper ranks of business.

John Allan, who is due to be confirmed as CBI president at the lobby group's AGM this week, said in a Sunday Telegraph interview that he was "quite a long way" from advocating positive discrimination that would mean less capable women and ethnic minorities are awarded senior roles.

But he added: "I'm absolutely unashamed in saying that if I had two candidates for a particular role on the board of equal merit and one of them would help us get further down the path in terms of diversity than another then I would choose them.

"I'd regard that as being a perfectly satisfactory reason for favouring one candidate over another."
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Immigration abroad – Belgium, European Union
Belgian minister: Europe needs Australian approach to migration
Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli
Politico, 17 June 2018.

Belgium's right-wing immigration minister, Theo Francken, has suggested Europe should follow Australia's example and only accept asylum claims via the United Nations.

"Aren't there any safe ports in North Africa? Those who come to Europe should lose their right to asylum," Francken, who leads the right-wing New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), said in an interview with Flemish daily Nieuwsblad published Saturday.

Europe, he added, should only accept refugees who ask for asylum via U.N. camps in conflict zones and send back those who arrive on its shores by boat.

"This illegal migration must stop," Francken told the Flemish daily. ...

Francken – who consistently polls as the most popular politician in Flanders – was one of few European ministers to express support earlier this week for Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini's decision to close the country's ports to a vessel carrying more than 600 migrants. ...

The Flemish right-wing politician is not alone in calling for a tough response to migration in Europe. Austria's conservative leader Sebastian Kurz has called for an "axis of the willing against illegal migration" between Italy, Germany and his own country, and pledged to make fighting illegal immigration a top priority for Vienna's presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2018.
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Diversity – equality
We're now confusing diversity and equality. Which is our priority?
Kenan Malik
The Guardian, 17 June 2018.

What do we mean by diversity? And why is it good – or not?

For all the myriad debates about diversity today, such questions are rarely addressed in any depth. The latest hoo-ha was generated by a Lionel Shriver column in the Spectator, which questioned publisher Penguin Random House's pledge to make the company more diverse. ...

"Drunk on virtue," Shriver wrote, "Penguin Random House no longer regards the company's raison d'être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books." ...

Mslexia, a magazine for women's writing, dropped her as a judge for its annual short story competition. Although it welcomed "open debate", Shriver's comments were "not consistent with Mslexia's ethos' and mission". So, an open debate, but only with the right views – the importance of diversity but not of a diversity of views.

... For both sides, "diversity" has become less an issue to debate than a symbol, of virtue for the one, of vice for the other.

Penguin Random House aims to make the company as diverse as Britain with respect to "ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability". (I assume "social mobility" is a euphemism for "class" – it's obviously a category that no longer speaks its name.)

But Britain is diverse in many other ways too – by religion, age, occupation, regional affiliation, politics and so on. It's unlikely that any institution would ever be representative in all these categories (especially political viewpoint). Here "diversity" means being representative in a few chosen categories, and only in those categories.

PRH's categories represent some of the groups that, historically, have faced discrimination, and been excluded from positions of power and privilege. From this perspective, the drive for greater diversity is a push for greater equality, and an attempt to dismantle barriers of exclusion.

But equality and diversity are not synonymous. There are many reasons for a workforce or institution not to be representative of society. Consider the recent debate about admissions to Oxford University. Black people make up around 3% of the UK population, but only 1.9% of Oxford's intake. Labour's David Lammy damned the university as a "bastion of entrenched wealthy, upper-class, white, southern privilege".

But, as Channel 4's Fact Check pointed out, black students both disproportionately apply for the most competitive courses and are more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades. Taking this into account, Oxford, according to Fact Check, "was very slightly more likely to offer a place to black candidates". ...

If the argument in favour of diversity is not as straightforward as it seems, neither is the critique. ...

In a review of novels about immigration, Shriver makes the valid, and necessary, point that most stories about migration are written from the viewpoint of immigrants, rarely from that of "host communities". She goes on, however, to talk about immigration as a form of inappropriate cultural invasion. ...

Diversity is, of itself, neither good nor bad. The real issue is about how we engage with diversity. But that means engaging with all the issues for which "diversity" has become a proxy: equality, identity, class, immigration, racism, ideas of belonging and home. In this context, neither unthinkingly celebrating diversity, nor reflexively rejecting it, makes much sense.
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Immigration – students, visas
Tens of thousands of foreigners will be allowed to study at UK universities without having to prove that they can speak English
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 17 June 2018.

Tens of thousands of foreign students will be allowed to attend universities in Britain without having to prove they have the right qualifications.

The Government has also scrapped rules requiring them to provide evidence they have enough funds to live here and can speak English.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid yesterday simplified the process of securing so-called 'Tier 4' visas for students from countries it considers a 'low risk' of abusing the system. ...

In the latest shake-up, the Government added 11 countries to its 'trusted' list for the purpose of student visas. The additional countries – China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Bahrain, Serbia, Dominican Republic, Kuwait, Maldives and Macau – bring the list to 30. Overseas students from these nations will benefit from a streamlined application process, which means they will have to provide fewer documents when applying for visas.

Controversially, they will no longer need to submit evidence showing they meet the requirements for living costs of up to £1,265 a month, previous qualifications or evidence they can speak English fluently. ...

However, the Migrationwatch think-tank warned of a 'slippery slope', saying: 'The last time the student visa system was loosened in 2009 it took years to recover from the massive inflow of bogus students, especially from India.' ...

Countries already on the student visa trusted list are Argentina, Australia, Barbados, Botswana, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, the US and Taiwan.
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Racism – Northern Ireland
Amnesty International says Northern Ireland has a huge racism problem
Shauna Corr
Belfast Live, 17 June 2018.

Racism is a "huge problem" in Northern Ireland, Amnesty International has said.

The human rights charity has called on the government to act following the results of a new Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey. ...

More than half of those surveyed admitted they would have a problem with a Muslim or Irish traveller marrying into their family - and a quarter would not willingly accept an ethnic minority co-worker. ...

More than a thousand (1,063) racist incidents were reported to the PSNI from July 2016 to June 2017, but there was no prosecution in 83% of them.
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Crime – violence, knife crime
Ex-head of Met Police calls for more stop and searches and claims migration is fuelling knife crime
Steven Swinford
Sunday Telegraph, 17 June 2018.

Police should increase the use stop-and-search to tackle soaring tackle knife crime and violence in London, the former head of Scotland Yard who oversaw a huge decline in the use of the powers has said.

Lord Hogan-Howe, the head of the Metropolitan Police between 2011 and 2017 when Theresa May was Home Secretary, believes that the surge in violence means "we now need to increase the amount of stop and search again".

Nearly 50 people have been fatally stabbed in London since the start of the year, while the overall number of knife offences in the capital rose by more than 20 per cent last year to 14,680.

He also linked migration and higher birth rates in parts of London to increased violence because it means that there are growing numbers of young men.
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Terrorism – Europe
Radicalised asylum seekers have murdered or injured more than 1,000 in terror attacks in Europe since 2014
Ian Drury
Daily Mail, 16 June 2018.

Radicalised asylum seekers have murdered or injured more than 1,000 people in terror attacks in Europe since 2014, a new report has revealed.

In the past four years, 32 Islamist plots have involved those who had sought sanctuary – or 16 per cent. Three of the potential atrocities were in the UK, including Parson Green tube bomber Ahmed Hassan.

An analysis by academics found 44 refugees had either carried out atrocities or been thwarted before they could bring bloodshed to the streets.

The findings echo warnings by law enforcement chiefs that some so-called Islamic State fanatics who are bent on murder posed as refugees fleeing war and persecution. It was claimed they exploited the migrant crisis by pretending to be asylum seekers to sneak into Europe and cause carnage.

Terror expert Robin Simcox, of the Heritage Foundation think-tank in Washington DC, said it was 'disturbingly simple' for jihadists to hide among genuine refugees because the Continent's borders were under huge strain.

European leaders had 'inadvertently increased the terrorist threat' as a direct result of their 'catastrophic' handling of controversial immigration and open-border policies. ...

Mr Simcox made clear that the fault for 11 successful attacks involving asylum seekers, which killed 182 people and injured 814, lay with the terrorists.

The report said: 'Ill-conceived immigration policies have made it easier for them to strike. European leaders were either naïve about the risks or failed to communicate honestly with the public the impact that accepting such large amounts of people would have on security.

'The fall-out from the decision to take in such a large amount of unvetted people in such a short time will continue for decades to come.'

The study found that there were 194 Islamist terror plots between January 2014 and December 2017. The total casualties were 357 deaths and 1,678 injuries.

Of those, 32 involved asylum seekers or refugees. They included the attack by IS-inspired gunman and suicide bombers who murdered 129 innocent people in Paris in November 2015 and Tunisian-born Anas Amri who killed 12 when he drove a truck into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016. ...

IS had direct connections to the majority of plots, with Germany targeted most and Syrians more frequently involved than other nationalities.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Italy, European Union
EU elite must tackle traffickers to end migrant crisis
Bill Carmichael
Yorkshire Post, 16 June 2018.

When the German Chancellor Angela Merkel threw open Europe's borders to over a million migrants three years ago – without a single security check – she didn't consult with all of her EU counterparts, even though her decision would have disastrous consequences throughout the continent.

It was a classic example of the European political elite taking decisions without the slightest regard for the thoughts, feelings or welfare of the 500 million people they are supposed to represent. ...

But despite blame for the crisis being firmly laid at Merkel's door, Germany did not suffer the worst of it. The impacts on countries closer to the migrant routes to northern Europe, for example Greece and Italy, were far more serious.

For example, since 2013 an estimated 700,000 migrants have been ferried to Italy by NGO 'rescue ships' and EU vessels. This placed huge pressure on a country already racked by high levels of debt, stagnant growth, and high unemployment, particularly amongst the young.

But Italy's desperate pleas for help from the EU fell on deaf ears. ...

When politicians stop listening to voters, we shouldn't be surprised when the people vote for someone who will.

The hypocrisy of the French President is staggering. As Salvini pointed out, the French agreed to accept 9,816 migrants to relieve the pressure on Italy as part of a 2015 EU redistribution scheme. So far in three years they have accepted just 640.

Salvini also argues that migration across the Mediterranean is part of a huge moneymaking racket run by ruthless people-smuggling gangs operating out of Libya. The NGO and charity ships are simply operating a naval taxi service by picking up these paying customers a few miles off the Libyan coast and transporting them to Italy. ...

The charities tell us the people on the board the ship are "desperate", but not so desperate that they would seek refuge in the nearest safe port – in Tunisia. They have paid hard cash to get into Europe and they expect to get what they paid for.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – Islam
More than 140,000 Muslims gather at 'Europe's largest Eid celebration' in Birmingham as millions of around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan
Connor Boyd and Jordan Barnes
MailOnline, 16 June 2018.

Birmingham hosted Europe's largest event to signal the end of Ramadan earlier with more than an estimated 140,000 worshippers attending prayers at Small Heath park earlier.

It was the biggest gathering yet for organisers Celebrate Eid, in its seventh year, with 106,000 Muslims attending the event last year.
[Site link]

Diversity – political correctness
Tyranny of the minorities: We live in an age of mob rule by minorities in which anybody who disagrees with them is censored and freedom of expression is something only THEY enjoy....
Quentin Letts
Daily Mail, 16 June 2018.

... this week when our so-called liberal Left went into convulsions of illiberality after author Lionel Shriver mocked the latest diversity madness. ...

The forces of political correctness impose their unyielding views everywhere. ...

Supposedly apolitical charities try to thrust correctness down the gullets of their staff. The National Trust instructs country house guides to wear gay pride badges. The RNLI sacks long-serving lifeboatmen for using tea mugs with risque images of women.

Theatre companies are left in no doubt that they will not be given Arts Council subsidies unless they cast a number of 'non-traditional' actors – i.e., women playing Shakespearean kings or Afro-Caribbeans as English Regency fops.

Firms ban employees wearing crosses in case they offend non-Christians or atheists (but it's fine to wear a burka). ...

'Diversity' is now a booming employment sector and it offers hefty salaries. More insidiously, others exploit it for political ends and furtherance of their own ambitions. ...

Lionel Shriver was swiftly condemned this week by people who pretty clearly had not read her article and were interested only in hurting her. ...

There is a profoundly worrying problem with this tyranny of the minorities. By insisting every minority has preferential rights, you end up denying the majority their rights. ...

A few months ago, I had an experience like Ms Shriver's when I criticised the Royal Shakespeare Company for what I felt was some clumsy, minority-quotas casting in a Restoration comedy. I asked if the RSC was being leaned on by the Arts Council (which places inordinate store by its diversity policies). Did it fear that unless it cast black actors in historically white roles it might not be given such big dollops of public cash? ...

The RSC denounced me as a racist and numerous blowhards in the subsidised theatre world pretty much compared me to Satan. Behind the scenes, senior theatre practitioners told me they completely agreed with me – but feared that if they said so in public, their careers would be damaged.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – Islam, police
Non-Muslim police officers take part in 18-hour Ramadan fast to 'gain a better understanding' of the local community
Charlie Bayliss
MailOnline, 15 June 2018.

Non-Muslim police officers have taken part in an 18-hour fast for Ramadan to help boost relations with the Islamic community.

Northamptonshire Police said the move was to 'show unity' and 'gain a better understanding' of the local community during the Muslim holy month.

PSCO's were this week pictured at the Headlands Mosque in Northampton, joining in with the evening iftar meal having fasted from sunrise to sunset.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – European Union
Macron and Italian PM Conte back EU 'asylum centres' in African nations
BBC, 15 June 2018.

Italy and France have jointly expressed support for EU "asylum centres" to be set up in countries where many migrants begin their journeys to Europe.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron met in Paris after a days-long row over the fate of the rescue ship Aquarius. ...

Mr Conte and Mr Macron have now agreed the current system must be reformed.

Mr Macron proposed building migration centres in countries of departure, including Libya, from which many people attempt a dangerous sea crossing to Europe - an idea he has raised in the past.

He said many of those attempting the journey had "no possibility of obtaining asylum in Europe", but die in the attempt - or spend months living in poor conditions only to be sent home.

Processing asylum claims in applicants' home countries could avoid those problems, he said.

Mr Conte, the head of Italy's new populist coalition government, agreed with the plan, calling for widespread reform of the current system.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
Angela Merkel's political near-death experience in Bavarian brawl
Matthew Karnitschnig
Politico, 15 June 2018.

Merkel's refusal to endorse a plan by her Bavarian interior minister to turn back some refugees at the German border set the stage for a showdown that, barring a last-minute compromise, could bring down her government. ...

The dispute ostensibly revolves around the question of whether Germany should turn back refugees who have applied for asylum in other EU countries. Merkel opposes the policy on the grounds it could hasten the collapse of Europe's system of open frontiers by forcing Germany's neighbors to re-impose border controls.

The root of the dispute has less to do with that narrow question, however, than with Merkel's broader refugee policy, which the CSU has resisted from the beginning. ...

Even as Merkel vowed to stand her ground, the leaders of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) dug in their own heels. ...

Meanwhile about two-thirds of Germans agree with the CSU's position on turning away refugees at the border, according to a separate poll released Thursday.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – nostalgia
Nostalgia should not be dismissed
Andrew Rumsey
Church Times, 15 June 2018.
[The Revd Dr Andrew Rumsey is Team Rector in the Oxted Team Ministry, in Southwark diocese]

Nostalgia (as the old quip goes) isn't what it was. A new report by the think tank Demos, At Home in One's Past: Nostalgia as a cultural and political force in Britain, France and Germany, is a timely recognition that, far from being mere sentimental indulgence, nostalgia is now driving populist politics across Europe.

This insightful piece of research pays particular attention to the impact of nostalgic attitudes on the 2016 EU referendum campaign, remarking how both Leave and Remain campaigns sought to "outplay" the other's nostalgic discourses to demonstrate their status within the national story.

Refining its focus from general impressions – that, for example, 63 per cent of British citizens believe that life was better when they were growing up (fairly constant in all eras, one suspects) – the report homes in on more sensitive questions around "traditional values" and the perceived benefits or threats of a multicultural society. Among the more striking statistics, it finds that 78 per cent of people in British communities that have experienced large-scale immigration in recent years believe that this transition has made them more divided.

The report is significant for at least two reasons: first, in its acknowledgement, through careful qualitative analysis, that political life today is shaped as much by our felt senses of belonging and tradition as the more familiar categories of economic prosperity or party allegiance.

The second is its emerging from a progressive culture that has hitherto either downplayed such sympathies, or dismissed them as reactionary. Accepting that nostalgia tends to be employed as a "liberal slur", it concludes that, if this term reflects citizens' genuine experience, "we cannot dismiss nostalgia itself as irrational, hyperbolic, or feeble."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
Germany fires head of scandal-hit asylum agency
Reuters, 15 June 2018.

Germany's interior minister has dismissed the head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), which is mired in a scandal over irregularities in making asylum decisions, a spokesman said on Friday.

The decision by Horst Seehofer, leader of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union (CSU), comes at the height of dispute over immigration that threatens to splinter Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc. ...

BAMF chief Jutta Cordt had come under criticism after an internal review by BAMF of 4,568 asylum rulings had found that the Bremen branch knowingly and regularly disregarded legal regulations and internal rules.
[Site link]

Diversity
'It's not fair to accuse me of racism'
Ed Cumming
Daily Telegraph, 15 June 2018.

Lional Shriver was vilified this week for criticising a publisher's diversity policy. ...

"It's wilful misrepresentation," says Shriver, ..."opinions are being imputed to me, and to that column, which neither I nor the column profess. It's malicious. I was amused and concerned by the letter from Penguin Random House because it seemed to me they were aiming for diversity quotas. They deny it, saying it was an aspiration, but that's just semantics. If you're aiming to mirror the proportions of [minority] groups in the UK, that's a quota. We've got to the point where diversity is sacrosanct, and you can't say anything even in the vicinity of that word that is short of worshipful.

"Diversity is a laudable goal, and I've never said anything else, but it shouldn't be the primary goal if your company is meant to be doing something else. ..."
[Newspaper link]

Multiculturalism – Islam, Conservative Party
Our new moves to stamp out anti-Muslim abuse or discrimination within the Conservative Party
Brandon Lewis
ConservativeHome, 15 June 2018.
[Brandon Lewis is Chairman of the Conservative Party, and is MP for Great Yarmouth]

As Muslim families gather today to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan, they will be joined by neighbours of different faiths and none to celebrate this happy day. This is a wonderful reminder of how much Muslims contribute to the community and culture of British life.

Britain would be a poorer place without British Muslims. We are lucky to have a rich tapestry of faiths and different communities in the United Kingdom. It is one of the things that makes this nation strong. As a Party we are strongest when we reflect the diversity of backgrounds and experience of wider society in our membership. ...

Yesterday, I met with TellMAMA, an organisation doing tremendous work to support and protect Muslims in Britain. They recognise that the Conservative Party has acted swiftly in disciplining members who have expressed unacceptable attitudes towards Muslims, but we should always be looking to do more to stamp out anti-Muslim abuse or discrimination of any kind.

So I am taking the following steps:

. First, the Conservative Party will work closely with TellMAMA to give local associations tailored advice, support and guidance to deal with abuse and bigotry robustly.

. Second, I will make diversity training available to all members and association officers to improve awareness of discrimination and promote inclusion.

. Third, I will be writing to local associations to remind them of the standards of behaviour expected from representatives of the Party and to stress the importance of promoting tolerance and inclusivity.

. Finally, I will ask all local associations to report back to CCHQ about how they have dealt with locally reported complaints.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – people smuggling
People smugglers make billions: UN report
MailOnline, 14 June 2018.

People smugglers made billions on the backs of some 2.5 million desperate migrants in 2016, the UN said in a report Wednesday as the plight of refugees worldwide continues to top the headlines.

The report, issued by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said people-smuggling rings earned some $7.0 billion ... in 2016 – an amount, it noted, equal to US and EU humanitarian aid that year.

The figures are the latest available covering 30 major migrant routes in Africa, Europe, North America and Asia but they quite likely understate the extent of the problem, according to the report.
[Site link]

Immigration – visas, doctors, nurses
Immigration rules to be relaxed for non-EU doctors and nurses
BBC, 14 June 2018.

The government is to relax immigration rules to allow more non-EU skilled workers into the UK.

On Friday, the Home Office is expected to confirm that foreign doctors and nurses will be excluded from the government's visa cap.

The cap - introduced by Theresa May when she was home secretary - sets a limit for all non-EU skilled workers at 20,700 people a year. ...

NHS England had 35,000 nurse vacancies and nearly 10,000 doctor posts unfilled in February. ...

The proposed change would only apply to doctors and nurses - but could free up thousands of visas for workers in other industries like IT and teaching, even if the 20,700 total didn't change.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – politics
What kills migrants on boats? The left's good intentions
Rod Liddle
The Spectator, 16 June 2018.

You will remember the shrieking from the left a few years back when the first wave of migrants set sail from the North African coast. 'These are people, we must do something,' the liberals demanded, insisting that the rest of us were callous bastards. The thing they wanted was more patrols in the Med, to scoop the refugees out of the water once their boats had, inevitably, capsized.

It seemed plain to me and to many others that if we did this, many more people would be encouraged to come, and many, many more would die attempting to achieve landfall. And that is exactly what happened: the death rate increased almost exponentially – in the first six months of 2017 some 2,000 migrants died. But those of us who predicted this were castigated by the 'But these are people' brigade – in fact this was their only response to suggestions that stepping up the patrols would cost more lives. I remember the columnist David Aaronovitch saying that if we did not 'do something' to help these people then the government would be directly accountable for the deaths which occurred.

Given that many more people have died because we did indeed do something, are those subsequent deaths not on Mr Aaronovitch's hands? And on the hands of the rest of the dense, squawking liberals? Even more so, are they not the responsibility of the various NGOs and charities which now openly connive in the trafficking of these people, thus encouraging still more to come? If the NGOs really wished to do something useful, they would fish the survivors out of the sea and take them straight back to where they came from.

Another outcome the lefties did not see was the effect these mass migrations would have on the nations of Europe. One by one, populist governments deeply opposed to immigration have been elected and the European Union is now a much more fissiparous and fragile entity. ...

... You can't beat good intentions for causing misery, deaths and political upheaval.
[Site link]

Immigration – public opinion, European Union
Immigration, terrorism top concern list of Europeans: poll
Jan Strupczewski and Julia Echikson
Business Insider / Reuters, 14 June 2018.

Immigration and terrorism are the two top concerns for the European Union as a bloc, but trust in the EU and optimism about its future are on the rise, a European Commission poll showed.

The Commission's twice-a-year Eurobarometer poll showed 38 percent of the EU's 510 million citizens saw immigration as the most important issue facing the bloc. Paradoxically, the highest level of concern about the issue was registered in countries were immigration is minimal – Estonia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Concern over terrorism was mentioned by 29 percent of Europeans. Again, it was highest in countries that have not had a single terrorist attack in recent years – Lithuania, Cyprus, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland and Latvia. ...

The survey showed that more than eight in 10 respondents supported the free movement of EU citizens with the right to live, work, study and do business anywhere in the EU.
[Site link]

Employment – doctors, nurses
It may be controversial to say it but it's true – lifting the immigration cap for the NHS is a bad idea
Mary Dejevsky
Independent, 14 June 2018.

It probably had to happen. All the stars were aligned: the perennial shortage of qualified medical staff in the NHS; the advance planning for next winter's "crisis"; a loud chorus of special pleading led by the great and the good; frightened politicians, and a new home secretary keen to set a fresh tone on migration following the (totally unrelated) Windrush scandal.

And so the government will announce that it is abolishing the "cap" for recruiting nurses and doctors from outside the EU – and presumably, post-Brexit, from inside the EU, too. ...

... Even with an entirely graduate profession of nurses and the long training required to produce a doctor, the NHS could have had four years' worth of extra nurses by now and two years' worth of new junior hospital doctors, with a new crop of fully trained GPs, surgeons and other specialists in the pipeline. Numbers of training places have increased a bit, but at nothing like the necessary rate. ...

But the biggest reason for the NHS to demand more imported medics is surely the same as it has always been: that bringing in fully, or nearly, qualified medical staff is a lot easier, more flexible, and above all cheaper than training them yourself. So here we go again. Whether the cash savings in the longer term are as great as they seem in the short term, however, may be less clear-cut.

Language competency requirements may have been increased, but I know from experience that there can be quite severe communications problems. Doctors trained abroad are more likely to be struck off than those trained in the UK (though many argue this may reflect inbuilt discrimination in the cases that are brought).

More significant, perhaps, were the findings of a peer-reviewed 2015 study, which concluded that "the use of non-UK-educated nurses in English NHS hospitals is associated with lower patient satisfaction. Importing nurses from abroad to substitute for domestically educated nurses may negatively impact quality of care."
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Italy
Boat carrying over 900 migrants docks in Italy
MailOnline, 13 June 2018.

An Italian coastguard ship carrying more than 900 migrants was allowed to dock in Sicily Wednesday, after Italy controversially turned away a separate foreign vessel with rescued migrants on board.

The Diciotti ship arrived at the port of Catania and the migrants began to disembark, an AFP photographer saw.

They were saved during several rescue operations off the coast of Libya. An official in the Catania coastguard told AFP there were more than 900 migrants.
[Site link]

Extremism – terror threat
Jihadis free to roam the UK: Concerns over tracking dangerous extremists as only 40 out of 400 British fanatics returning from Syria and Iraq have been prosecuted
Larisa Brown
Daily Mail, 13 June 2018.

Only 40 of the 400 British jihadis who fought in Syria and Iraq have been prosecuted on their return home.

At least 360 battle-hardened fanatics are being allowed to go free because there is too little evidence to convict them.

The figures, disclosed by security minister Ben Wallace, will raise concerns over whether the authorities can keep track of all the dangerous extremists on our streets.

Police chiefs have repeatedly warned of the severity of the terror threat facing Britain – particularly from those who have been radicalised by fighting abroad.

John Woodcock, the Labour MP who had pressed for the release of the figures, said: 'It's no wonder the Government tried to keep secret that it has only managed to prosecute one in ten of the British jihadis returning from Syria.

'It is an affront to our country that the difficulty of amassing admissible evidence means there is no comeuppance for people who went to aid an evil regime that wanted to slaughter British civilians.'

He said it should be made illegal to travel to terror hotspots without good excuse. ...

The last time the Home Office revealed the number of returning foreign fighters taken to court was in 2016. Then it stood at 14. ...

The 40 figure refers to successful prosecutions. More will have faced charges that did not stick. ...

Around 850 Britons are believed to have travelled to Syria or Iraq and at least 15 per cent of them are thought to be dead. ...

Ministers are yet to agree on what to do with captured foreign fighters.
[Site link]

Diversity – radio broadcasting
Radio industry needs to reflect UK's diversity – media regulator
Jim Waterson
The Guardian, 13 June 2018.

Ethnic minorities, disabled people and women are all under-represented in the UK's radio industry, according to a new report, prompting warnings that its output may be out of step with what modern British audiences want to hear.

According to research by the media regulator Ofcom just 6% of staff in the sector are non-white, far below the UK population average of 14%. ...

The figures show that the radio industry is well behind television when it comes to ethnic diversity, although radio does employ a higher proportion of people with disabilities.

The study of nearly 9,000 staff focused on the UK's three biggest broadcasting groups: the BBC; Global, which owns Capital and Classic FM; and Bauer, which runs stations including Absolute and Magic.
[Site link]

Crime – asylum
'Hate-filled asylum seeker' stalked police and gathered weapons and bomb chemicals at Yorkshire home
Yorkshire Post, 13 June 2018.

A hate-filled asylum-seeker who "stalked" police officers, a district judge and a female solicitor as he amassed a potentially lethal haul of explosive substances and weapons at his Yorkshire home has been given a 20-year extended prison sentence.

A judge added an extra five-year licence period on top of 33-year-old Askhan Ebrahimi's 15-year prison term because of the danger he still posed to his intended targets. ...

The court heard during his trial how Ebrahimi, who is understood to have come to the country from Iran in 2009, turned his flat in Oak Lane, Halifax, into "the hub" of his hate campaign against those in authority who he felt had wronged him.
[Site link]

Population pressure – wildlife, mammals
At least fifth of British mammal species could be wiped out within a decade
Josh Gabbatiss
Independent, 13 June 2018.

Populations of much-loved British mammals including hedgehogs and water voles have dropped by up to two-thirds over the past 20 years, and many more are threatened with imminent extinction. ...

These findings come from a review carried out by the Mammal Society and Natural England, the first of its kind to be conducted in more than two decades. ...

The scientists constructed the first ever "red list" for British mammals, and found 12 are threatened with extinction. ...

Meanwhile species introduced to Britain by humans such as the American mink and grey squirrel have led to massive declines in water voles and red squirrels, respectively. ...

Darren Tansley of the Essex Wildlife Trust told The Independent there was a need to ensure that nature-friendly policies are implemented to prevent Britain's animals being squeezed into ever-more fragmented patches of habitat.

"So often we see green space in housing estates and developments but if it's a mown flat lawn it's of no use to nature conservation at all," he said.

"You've got to have space for untidy nature to exist."
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – European Union
EU to triple spending to €5bn a year targeting illegal migration
Daniel Boffey
The Guardian, 13 June 2018.

The EU will establish a 10,000-strong standing corp of guards to patrol its land and sea borders under plans that will see the bloc triple its spending to €5bn (£4.4bn) a year on targeting illegal migration into the bloc, it has announced.

The building of new border infrastructure including scanners, automated number plate recognition systems, and mobile laboratories for sample analysis, will also be prioritised, along with the establishment of teams of sniffer dogs.

Announcing its €34.9bn spending plan for 2021 to 2027, the European commission insisted, however, that it would not fund the installation of fences on the EU's borders. ...

While the earmarking of extra funding is widely approved by the EU's member states, they remain deeply fractured over their migration and asylum policies after two years of disputes.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – police, USA
Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016
Joseph Cesario, David Johnson and William Terrill
Social Psychological and Personality Science, 13 June 2018.

Abstract

Is there evidence of a Black-White disparity in death by police gunfire in the United States? This is commonly answered by comparing the odds of being fatally shot for Blacks and Whites, with odds benchmarked against each group's population proportion. However, adjusting for population values has questionable assumptions given the context of deadly force decisions. We benchmark 2 years of fatal shooting data on 16 crime rate estimates. When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects. Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests. Exposure to police given crime rate differences likely accounts for the higher per capita rate of fatal police shootings for Blacks, at least when analyzing all shootings. For unarmed shootings or misidentification shootings, data are too uncertain to be conclusive.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – Denmark, Sweden
Multiculturalism: Is Denmark a den of intolerance and Sweden a land of political correctness?
Mahama Tawat
LSE Religion and Global Society blog, 12 June 2018.

In 2006, ...

That year, in a book titled Beyond Stereotypes: Immigrants and Integration in Denmark and Sweden, the Swedish political scientist Bo Petersson stated that "in Sweden the image prevails of Denmark as a den of intolerance, racism, and xenophobia, whereas Sweden is depicted in Denmark as a land of multiculturalism and political correctness, where people's real opinions about immigration and integration are not allowed to be articulated." His co-editor, the Danish historian Ulf Hedetoft, meanwhile asked how academics could better "understand the relationship between traditional divergence and a possibly greater actual convergence between Denmark and Sweden". ...

The multicultural question is where this common trajectory diverges. Broadly speaking, multiculturalism is defined as the equal recognition of cultures in contrast to assimilation which gives predilection to the majority culture. Sweden formally adopted multiculturalism in the mid-70s. It was argued that the multiplicity of cultures was necessary for the well-being of minority communities, but also for enriching the national Swedish culture.

... It is not until the late 1990s that the divergence with Sweden became apparent and Danish policy was established as assimilation. ...

In a systematic comparison of both countries' immigrant cultural policies as expressed by their respective ministries in charge of culture from 1960, I found that, in essence, Swedish policy has amounted to the celebration of difference, the idea that immigrants' happiness depends on the possibility of enjoying their cultures (cultural embeddedness) and that ethnocultural diversity is enriching for the majority culture. To this end, the Swedish government has encouraged and funded immigrant cultural associations since the 1970s but more so in the 1980s. In the 2000s, it implemented diversity plans throughout state cultural institutions and in 2006 declared a Year of Multiculturalism whereby all state institutions including embassies abroad were to showcase multiculturalism. ...

By contrast, Danish policy has amounted to toleration with its main characteristics of (1) preference for the majority culture, (2) the avoidance of any form of coercion and (3) privatization, or the possibility for immigrants to practice their culture in the private sphere. Concretely, successive Danish governments have favoured the national culture in the public sphere, emphasising the Danish language and Christianity as its pillar.
[Site link]

Crime – violence, blacks
Tory MP risks sparking fury for suggesting police should carry out more stop and searches on ethnic minorities because they 'commit more crimes'
Kate Ferguson
MailOnline, 11 June 2018.

A Tory MP has risked sparking fury by suggesting police should stop and search more ethnic minorities because they 'commit more crime'.

Philip Davies said black people are more likely to be murderers - and be murdered themselves - on Britain's streets. ...

Speaking in a parliamentary debate, he said: 'When it comes to the most serious offence of all – murder – it is clear that black people, and in particular black males, are far more likely to be victims.

'They are also more likely to be murderers.'

He added: 'It is also a fact that black people are more likely to use a knife or a sharp instrument to kill. ...

He said official figures from the criminal justice system show that from 2013 to 2016 four times more black people - at 32 victims per million people - were killed compared to white people at 8 victims per mission people.

Mr Davies, MP for Shipley, said: 'Why are more black people being stopped?

'If the uncomfortable truth is that they commit more of the crimes for which they are stopped, we need to accept that and deal with it. If that is not the case, we need the evidence to show what the issue is.

'The Prime Minister said that institutions should explain or change. I say that this evidence needs an explanation, and it may well be that it should result in a change to the recent policy on stop-and-search, and that stop-and-search should be used more.'

His remarks are likely to spark anger among some who say that police stop and search powers have unfairly targeted ethnic minorties.

As Home Secretary, Mrs May announced a crackdown on the use of the powers, which she warned had bred resentment between officers and the communities they were sent to police.

But the move has proved hugely controversial after a surge of violent crimes in the years that followed.

There have been 70 killings in London this year - many of them stabbings - and at one point the capital's murder rate was higher that New York's for the first time.

In February more than 250 knives and swords were seized across London in just one week where 283 people, many of them teenagers, were arrested for carrying them.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Mediterranean, Italy
Italy's Salvini shuts ports to rescue boat carrying hundreds of refugees and migrants
Crispian Balmer
Independent, 11 June 2018.

Italy is refusing to let a humanitarian ship carrying more than 600 refugees and migrants to dock at its ports, but has instead asked Malta take them in.

Malta brushed off the request, saying it had nothing to do with the rescue operation, ...

The move by Italy's new interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who is also head of the anti-immigrant League, represents an opening gambit to make good on his electoral promises to halt the flow of migrants into the country.

"Malta takes in nobody. France pushes people back at the border, Spain defends its frontier with weapons," Mr Salvini wrote on Facebook. "From today, Italy will also start to say no to human trafficking, no to the business of illegal immigration." ...

However, Mr Salvini does not have authority over the ports and it was not immediately clear if his line would hold. The mayor of Naples, who has repeatedly clashed with the League leader, said he would welcome in the humanitarian boat. ...

Charity boats operating off the Libyan coast have played an increasingly important role in rescuing migrants who often put to sea in flimsy inflatable boats not designed for the open sea. ...

Mr Salvini has accused the charities of acting as a "taxi service" for the migrants.
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Labour frontbencher says immigration could go UP after Brexit despite pledge to regain control of Britain's borders
Kate Ferguson
MailOnline, 11 June 2018.

A Labour frontbencher has today said that immigration could go up after Brexit - despite pledges for Britain to regain control of its borders.

Jeremy Corbyn has conceded that many Britons voted to leave the EU because they wanted immigration to be brought down - and has agreed free movement must end.

But his shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald has today raised questions over how committed Labour really is to seeing numbers brought down.

And shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer also hinted Labour is getting ready to U-turn on their pledge to end free movement. ...

Mr McDonald told BBC Radio 5 Live: 'Your immigration levels should be consistent with the needs of your economy. Now whether that means going down or going up.'

He said that if businesses call for more immigrants to be allowed into the UK the these demands should be heeded.
[Site link]

Immigration – doctors, nurses, NHS
Staffing the NHS properly requires more training – not endless immigration
Lord Green
Conservative Home, 11 June 2018.

Lord Green is Chairman of MigrationWatch UK and a cross-bench peer

The immigration lobby are asking us to believe that raising (or even abolishing) the cap on skilled migration would solve so many problems at a stroke. We could have all the doctors and nurses that we need, and industry could have all the skilled people that they demand. Problem solved. Really?

Is the Government unaware that nearly two thirds of the population wish to see a significant reduction in immigration? Have the Conservatives missed the fact that 84 per cent of their supporters take this view? ...

Only recently, a Demos poll found that 73 per cent of those sampled believed that immigration had made the communities where migrants had settled more divided, reaching 78 per cent in areas that have experienced large-scale migration in recent years. ...

Of course, if you ask the public whether they think that a particular category of skilled workers should be granted visas they will say yes – but that is subject to their overall concern about numbers.

Part of the immediate pressure is about medical staff. First, we should recognise that certain medical skills have already been identified by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as shortage occupations, which are not only granted visas, but are given clear preference over other applicants. Indeed, the government estimates that around one third of the 20,700 permits issued every year go to the NHS.

So what about other doctors? We already have one of the highest proportions of foreign-trained doctors in Europe – 29 per cent compared to less than 10 per cent for France and Germany, and about three per cent for The Netherlands. It has been obvious for decades that we have failed to train the staff that we need.

The real solution surely has to be to reduce this reliance on those trained overseas and to train our own. ...

As for nurses, the former chair of the MAC, Sir David Metcalf, said in 2016: "There is no good reason why the supply of nurses cannot be sourced domestically. There seems to be an automatic presumption that non EA skilled migration provides the health and care sector with a get out of jail free card." They also pointed out that in 2016 the shortage of nurses in England was closely linked to the decision to cut training places by almost a fifth between 2009 and 2013. Indeed, until 2014 over 30,000 UK applicants for nursing courses were turned away every year. ...

So here we are again with the NHS management once again blaming immigration control for their failure to train British workers, indeed for turning them away in their thousands in past years. It is time that we had a different conversation. For a start, any concessions should be time limited and should steadily diminish.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Mediterranean, Italy
Matteo Salvini's decision to turn away a migrant rescue ship is an historic moment
Nicholas Farrell
Spectator blog, 11 June 2018.

The refusal by Italy's new 'populist' coalition government of the alt-left Five Star Movement and the hard right Lega to allow an NGO vessel with 629 African migrants on board to dock in Italy is an historic moment. ...

Salvini announced on Sunday that he had refused to allow the NGO vessel – the MV Aquarius operated by SOS Mediterranée and Médecins Sans Frontières and registered in Gibraltar – to dock in Italy. ...

Now Spain's new Socialist government has agreed to allow Aquarius to dock in the port of Valencia. It will be interesting to see how many more migrants Spain is prepared to take in from Libya as the summer migrant season now begins to kick off in earnest. Maritime law stipulates that those rescued at sea should be taken to the nearest safe port which in the case of those rescued off the Libyan coast is either Tunisia, or else Malta. But it never happens.

... And so, since 2013 more than 700,000 migrants have been ferried to Italy either by NGO rescue ships or EU naval and coastguard vessels. Nearly all are young men from sub-Saharan Africa and so, even according to the UN, few are genuine refugees. But once on terra terma in Italy, fewer still ever get deported. Last year for example Italy deported 6,340.

At any one time, there are 180,000 migrants in Italy's state-financed hostels who have applied for asylum. Their applications take at least two years to process. And if rejected they too just disappear. These hostels cost the Italian taxpayer 5 billion euro a year. ...

All other migrants just disappear. Nearly all want to get out of Italy where there is no work and no welfare – north – to EU countries like Britain, Germany and Sweden where there is. But in 2015 France abandoned Schengen at its frontier with Italy and will not let them through. ...

This is why Salvini is so popular in Italy.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Islam, Austria
Austria to close seven mosques and expel dozens of foreign-funded imams amid massive crackdown on 'political Islam'
Erica Doyle Higgins
The Sun, 9 June 2018.

Austria's government has said it is closing seven mosques and plans to expel imams in a crackdown on "political Islam" and foreign financing of religious groups.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said the government is shutting a hardline Turkish nationalist mosque in Vienna and dissolving a group called the Arab Religious Community that runs six mosques.

The actions by the government are based on a 2015 law that prevents religious communities from getting funding from abroad.

Interior Minister Herbert Kickl said the residence permits of around 40 imams employed by ATIB, a group that oversees Turkish mosques in Austria, are being reviewed because of concerns about such financing. ...

Chancellor Kurz told reporters: "Parallel societies, political Islam and tendencies toward radicalisation have no place in our country."
[Site link]

Racism – hate incidents, police
Police waste 3,750 hours dealing with 'hate incidents' that are too trivial to be considered actual crimes
Ian Drury and Rosie Taylor
MailOnline, 9 June 2018.

Police are wasting thousands of hours dealing with 'hate incidents' which are too trivial to be classed as crimes.

New figures reveal that 30 police forces dealt with 11,236 such incidents in 2015-16. Across the whole country, that works out at one every half hour. ...

The reports included someone alleging racism when a man's dog barked at them, a mother angry after her children fell out with others playing in the street and a man who claimed a tennis umpire had made racist line-calls against his daughter. ...

One in 20 incidents reported to police related to social media posts.

Hate incidents are defined as hostility based on a personal characteristic: race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or if a person is transgender.

They are upgraded to a 'hate crime' if a law is broken.

Crucially, the police must record a hate incident simply on the word of the alleged victim, then investigate by sending an officer to visit or making a phone call. ...

David Spencer of the Centre for Crime Prevention think-tank said: 'While the fact that many people feel it is right to report 'offensive' social media posts to the police illustrates much that is wrong with modern society, it is even more worrying that our police seem willing to prioritise these cases over real crimes.

'It is time for a return to common-sense policing where officers are out on the street protecting the public and preventing violent crimes, rather than sat in front of a computer screen deciding whether each tweet they are sent is offensive or not.'
[Site link]

Diversity – publishing
When diversity means uniformity
Lionel Shriver
The Spectator, 9 June 2018.

I'd been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague's forwarded email has set me straight. /.../ The email cites the publisher's 'new company-wide goal': for 'both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.' /.../ 'This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.' ...

The accompanying questionnaire for PRH authors is by turns fascinating, comical and depressing. ...

And check out the ethnicity pull-down. 'Asian or Asian British' may specify 'Indian,' 'Bangladeshi, 'Chinese', or 'Pakistan'; the correct adjectival form of the latter nationality seems to be mysteriously unprintable. 'Black or Black British' may identify as 'Caribbean' or 'African'. 'Mixed' allows for the options 'White and Black African', 'White and Black Caribbean', and 'White and Asian', but any other combo is merely 'Mixed: Other'. As for us crackers, there's 'White: British', 'White: Irish', and 'White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller', but the rest can only tick 'White: Other'.

Let's unpack that pull-down. If your office is chocka with Italians, Greeks, Spaniards, Germans, Danes, Finns, Bosnians, Hungarians, Czechs, Russians, Americans, Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, Argentines, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Romanians who aren't travellers and South African Jews – I could go on – together speaking dozens of languages and bringing to their workplace a richly various historical and cultural legacy, the entire workforce could be categorised as 'White: Other'. Your office is not diverse.

I see two issues here. First: diversity, both the word and the concept, has crimped. It serves a strict, narrow agenda that has little or nothing to do with the productive dynamism of living and working alongside people with widely different upbringings and beliefs. Only particular and, if you will, privileged backgrounds count. ...

Second: dazzled by this very highest of social goods, many of our institutions have ceased to understand what they are for. Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company's raison d'être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books. Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes. ...

In the news last week, we find the ultimate example of this fatal confusion over what is your actual job. Will Norman, London's 'walking and cycling commissioner', bemoaned the fact that too many cyclists in the city are white, male and middle-class. 'The real challenge for London cycling,' he declared, 'is diversity.' As opposed to building more cycle lanes for everybody, or fixing potholes lethal to everybody's wheel rims, Norman regards his principal function as increasing black and minority ethnic ridership. /.../ For a cycling commissioner to define his primary remit as 'diversity' is no less ludicrous than for Transport for London to turn a blind eye to the chronic tailbacks along the Embankment, just so long as the requisite number of Koreans is stuck in them.
[Site link]

Diversity – universities
Universities that fail to improve student diversity could have tuition fees cut, regulator warns
Eleanor Busby
Independent, 8 June 2018.

Universities that fail to improve student diversity could have their tuition fees cut by a third, the new university regulator has warned after Oxford and Cambridge were in the spotlight over admissions.

Sir Michael Barber, chair of the Office for Students, said he is "interested in results, not just plans" in boosting student diversity at the most selective institutions in the UK. ...

In an article for The Daily Telegraph, Sir Michael warned that he would use his powers to reduce the tuition fees cap from £9,000 to £6,000 if a university did not increase its intake of students from diverse backgrounds. ...

This week Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, said Oxford and Cambridge's failure to take in more students who are black or from less privileged backgrounds was "staggering".

He criticised the elite institutions for not doing enough and warned they could be fined by the new higher education regulator if they do not meet admission targets.
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – integration, cost
£19 million funding for councils to boost integration
GOV.UK, 8 June 2018.
[Press release]

From: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

Councils across England will receive a share of a further £19 million to help ease pressures on local services resulting from recent migration, Communities Minister Lord Bourne announced today (8 June 2018).

This latest allocation from the Controlling Migration Fund includes more than £16 million for 38 projects. Local authorities have developed plans to ease local pressures on housing, education and health services arising from recent migration providing benefits to the whole community.

The announcement today includes £1.75 million of funding to help new refugees into work and integrate into their new communities after their asylum decision is made. ...

This latest allocation brings the total funding to £73.5 million since the Fund's launch.
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – Germany
A Girl's Killing Shakes Germany's Migration Debate
Katrin Bennhold
New York Times, 8 June 2018.

It was a gruesome murder: A 14-year-old girl was raped and strangled, her body buried under brushwood in a secluded area near the railway tracks near her hometown in western Germany.

But the fact that the chief suspect is an Iraqi asylum seeker has turned a terrible crime into political dynamite.

On Friday, the case dominated the German news media and became the latest cudgel for Chancellor Angela Merkel's opponents and, some predicted, a potential turning point in the migration debate in a country where some 10,000 asylum seekers still enter every month. ...

The killing comes on top of a deepening scandal and calls for a full-blown parliamentary investigation over allegations that civil servants may have granted asylum to as many as 1,000 migrants in exchange for money – and that some of those migrants may have been criminals or even terrorism suspects. ...

Rainer Wendt, head of one of Germany's biggest police unions, said the murder was emblematic of something larger.

"People feel that the state has lost control," Mr. Wendt said. "There are thousands of people in the country and we don't know who they are. That is an enormous security risk." ...

Susanna was not the first German teenager to be murdered by an asylum seeker in recent years. In March, an Afghan man was sentenced to life in prison for raping and murdering a university student. In January, a 17-year-old high school student was stabbed to death by another Afghan teenager.
[Site link]

Extremism – Islam
95% of UK's PC Islamic 'deradicalization' programs fail
Michael F. Haverluck
OneNewsNow.com, 7 June 2018.

A government report revealed that the United Kingdom government's "deradicalization" initiatives have a failure rate of greater than 95 percent – which is blamed on their politically correct delivery because instructors are too scared to use a "religious extremist" context and resort to discussing "Islamophobia," instead of Islamic terrorism.

"More than 95 percent of deradicalization programs are ineffective, according to a study commissioned by the Home Office that raises questions about the government's Prevent program," the UK daily The Times divulged. "The study revealed failures in the approach to deradicalization in schools, youth centers, sports clubs and English-language classes."

Only a miniscule fraction of the programs were assessed to do what they intended because timid teachers repeatedly resort to using "unoffensive" rhetoric. ...

It was discovered that instructors' reticence to directly tackle the topic – and their personal fear to address it – was the main obstacle impeding their ability to get the message across to students.
[Site link]

Crime – knife crime, London
London Crime Wave: Nearly 90% of Knifepoint Robberies Go Unsolved
Liam Deacon
Breitbart, 7 June 2018.

Just one in ten London knife robberies was solved by police last year, data has shown, as leftist Mayor Sadiq Khan finally speaks up on the problem, begging the public to help police the city.

The new statistics, from London's Metropolitan Police force, shows there was a fall in all cases of knife crime successfully investigated in the capital last year, as the number of recorded attacks shot up.

The so-called "sanction-detection rate" for knife robbery crimes, those that end in some form of sanction or conviction, has been falling since 2015, with Mr. Khan taking over in early 2016.

In 2015, 32 per cent of cases of violence against the person involving a knife was acted on, dropping to 27 per cent in 2016, and 23 per cent in 2017, a Freedom of Information request by Conservative London Assembly Members (AM) revealed.

However, for robberies involving a knife, police acted on just 11 per cent of cases last year. This plummeted from 20 per cent of cases in 2015, and 14 per cent in 2016. ...

Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt, the head of Territorial Policing for the Met, conceded there had been a "very significant increase" in violent crime last year and there was "far too much knife violence", but argued the crime wave was "stabilising".
[Site link]

Multiculturalism – education
Curriculum 'must cover more than dead, white men' - Bousted
Helen Ward
tes, 7 June 2018.

Speaking at the Bryanston Education Summit, Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU teaching union, said England was "hurtling forward to a rosy past" with its emphasis on knowledge. ...

"As an English teacher, I have no problem with Shakespeare, with Pope, with Dryden, with Shelley," she said. "But I knew in a school where there are 38 first languages taught other than English that I had to have Afro-Caribbean writers in that curriculum, I had to have Indian writers, I had to have Chinese writers to enable pupils to foreshadow their lives in the curriculum."

She also added that the canon tended to exclude black writers and women writers.

"If a powerful knowledge curriculum means recreating the best that has been thought by dead, white men – then I'm not very interested in it," she said.
[Site link]

Extremism – deradicalisation
Most programmes to stop radicalisation are failing
Fiona Hamilton
The Times, 6 June 2018.

More than 95 per cent of deradicalisation programmes are ineffective, according to a study commissioned by the Home Office that raises questions about the government's Prevent programme.

The study revealed failures in the approach to deradicalisation in schools, youth centres, sports clubs and English-language classes.

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the so-called nudge unit formerly part of the Cabinet Office, examined 33 deradicalisation programmes across the country designed to safeguard vulnerable people from far-right and religious extremist threats. The Times understands that most were funded by or fell under the label of Prevent.

The study found that only two programmes were effective and that some projects were counterproductive.
[Site link]

Politics – Labour Party
Gordon Brown calls for tougher controls on migration
Larry Elliott
The Guardian, 6 June 2018.

The former prime minister Gordon Brown has called for tougher migration controls as part of a package of measures designed to address the concerns of Brexit voters and to prevent the UK being permanently paralysed by its decision to leave the European Union.

Speaking in London, Brown said the referendum result was a revolt against the political, business and cultural establishment and it was a mistake to dismiss the 52%-48% result as false consciousness. ...

Brown presented a six-point plan for dealing with concerns about migration: no undercutting of wages by migrants; registration of jobs to give local people a chance to apply; registration of migrants on arrival in the UK; possible removal of migrants if they failed to find a job within nine months; a ban on employment agencies advertising jobs abroad that had not been advertised in the UK; and a bigger fund to help mitigate the impact of migration on local communities. ...

... The referendum was a "genuine expression of people's anxieties about the future" and sent out a message that globalisation was "not working for British citizens".
[Site link]

Politics – Muslims, Jews, Labour Party
Jeremy Corbyn is pitting Britain's Muslims against Jews
Ed Husain
Daily Telegraph, 6 June 2018.

In recent days, we have seen the worst elements of Jeremy Corbyn. Behind the veneer of an affable, bearded chap I see a sinister Marxist who believes in class warfare and also in pitting Britain's Muslims against Jews. ...

For more than a decade, Corbyn has been a vocal supporter of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and a friend to several of its leaders. To their shame, the MCB – who were first to call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory party – have used the term as a political card, mimicking homophobia. Anti-Muslim bigotry undoubtedly exists, but it must be more than merely a stick with which to beat the Conservatives, a political party which gave the world a Muslim chairperson, a culturally Muslim Home Secretary and prime ministers that host Iftar and Eid gatherings in Downing Street.

Perhaps, then, this is not about Islamophobia. To put it crudely, Britain's Jews offer no more than 300,000 votes. To be seen as hostile to Jews and Israel, in order to gain some of the votes of almost four million British Muslims, is therefore worth the trade-off. There are at least 30 seats where the "Muslim vote" can help Labour win. That is a convenient political calculation, but it is also based on deep conviction.

The surge of Momentum activists taking over the Labour Party has ensured that Islamists are in their midst.
[Site link]

Racism – Islamophobia
No, Islamophobia is not the new anti-Semitism
Brendan O'Neill
Spiked, 6 June 2018.

It is the definition of historical illiteracy to compare Islamophobia to anti-Semitism. And yet that is what is happening. /.../ They fail to realise the fundamental difference between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: the former is one of the world's oldest hatreds and has caused the deaths of millions of people; the latter is a word invented by the Runnymede Trust in 1997 to demonise criticism of Islam. ...

Anti-Muslim prejudice unquestionably exists, but Islamophobia is an invention. Don't take my word for it. Take the word of the Runnymede Trust, one of Britain's leading race-equality think-tanks. It openly boasts that it is 'credited with coining the term Islamophobia... in 1997'. And what does this term Islamophobia mean? It doesn't mean racial hatred. Runnymede's definition of Islamophobia, which has been adopted by the Metropolitan Police, includes any suggestion that Islam is 'inferior to the West', and even the belief that Islam is sexist. If you think Islam is 'unresponsive to change', you are Islamophobic. And, get this, if you 'reject out of hand' 'criticisms of the West made by Islam', you're an Islamophobe. So even to ridicule Islam's view of the West is apparently to be infected with the 'cancer' of this so-called racism.

These are criticisms of religion. In a free society they ought to be entirely legitimate views, subject to no punishment whatsoever. And yet the police actually say in their internal documents that the ideas listed above count as 'Islamophobia'. That is chilling. Anti-Muslim prejudice is out there, yes. But 'Islamophobia' is an elite invention, a top-down conceit, designed to chill open discussion about religion and values and to protect one particular religion from blasphemy. The war on Islamophobia is in essence a demand for censorship.
[Site link]

Diversity – USA
University of Florida gets new $280k-per-year diversity officer
Daniel Payne
The College Fix, 5 June 2018.

The University of Florida recently hired a new diversity official to oversee its campus diversity initiatives, a position that will cost the public university $280,000 per year.

Antonio Farias will assume the position of chief diversity officer at the school this July, according to a recent press release from the university. ...

Farias, who holds degrees in comparative literature, comparative ethnic studies and fine arts, will join a university that already employees thirteen diversity employees, including five staffers of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, two in Black Affairs, and two in Lesbian, Ga, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Affairs.
[Site link]

Illegal immigration – Irish border
Cross-Channel migrants 'targeting UK via Irish border'
Colin Campbell and James Dunn
BBC, 5 June 2018.

Migrants are bypassing tougher cross-Channel security to get into the UK via Ireland, the BBC has discovered.

Smugglers are taking migrants from Calais and Dunkirk and flying them to Dublin, from where they cross the Irish border and travel onwards to London. ...

An Iranian who made the journey said there were fewer checks in Ireland.

Hamid - not his real name - paid smugglers £10,000 to make the journey. He said the Irish route drew less police attention than entering the UK via London or Kent.

To board the flight to Dublin, Hamid used a genuine Greek passport that had been fraudulently obtained by the smugglers. ...

He said at no point did he show any identification after leaving Dublin. ...

Former director general of immigration enforcement Dave Wood said the new migrant route exploited weaknesses at Ireland's ports and airports.

He said: "If there are weaknesses at Irish ports or Irish airports, they will exploit them and use them, because once you're into Ireland, effectively you're into the UK.

"There's nothing stopping people once you're in Ireland travelling north to Northern Ireland and then to the wider UK." ...

The Irish border is about 310 miles long with as many as 275 crossing points and, apart from road signs changing from miles per hour to kilometres per hour, there is no physical infrastructure to see.
[Site link]

Racism – Islamophobia
Met Police confirm that criticism of Islam constitutes 'Islamophobia'
Archbishop Cranmer, 5 June 2018.

The Metropolitan Police Service report 'Hate Crimes against London's Muslim Communities' was published five years ago, and it outlines the everyday nature of Islamophobic incidents: ...

We can all agree that such incidents are abhorrent: anyone who threatens or harasses a Muslim simply for being a Muslim is not merely moronic, but barbarous and wicked. /.../ The vision of Christendom still persists in Western civilisation: it is our surpassing quality and sanctity; our superior morality and culture...

Uh-oh.

According to the Met Police, this Western-superiority syndrome is Islamophobic: ...

So, if you believe Islam is inferior to Christianity; or that Islamic society and culture are inferior to "the West", you may be arrested for Islamophobia. If you believe Islam is "sexist", you may be arrested for Islamophobia. If you believe Islam is "violent" or "aggressive", you may be arrested for Islamophobia. Astonishingly, if you believe Islam to be an expression of political ideology (or is used for "political advantage"), you may be arrested for Islamophobia. ...

The Met may make appeal to the definition of the Runnymede Trust, but there is a world of difference between a think-tank developing guidelines for community and fraternity, and an agency of law enforcement incorporating these definitions into a definition of criminal activity. /.../ Is Wahhabism or Saudi Salafism an expression of Islam? If so, how can it be Islamophobic to articulate the bald truth of its violent, aggressive "clash of civilisations" theological genesis and political nature? Doesn't the Met understand the fundamental difference between abusing Muslims and criticising a religion; between being anti-Muslim and anti-Islam? ...

Is historian Tom Holland guilty of Islamophobia? He said in the Channel 4 documentary 'ISIS: The Origins of Violence':

There are things in the past that are like unexploded bombs that just lie in wait in the rubble, and then something happens to trigger them. And there are clearly verses in the Quran and stories that are told about Mohammed that are very like mines waiting to go off – Improvised Explosive Devices. And they can lie there maybe for centuries and then something happens to trigger them and you get this.
Is Pope Emeritus Benedict guilty of Islamophobia? ...

Is it 'hate speech' or a 'hate crime' to highlight the hate speech in the Quran?
[Site link]

Immigration abroad – politics, Denmark
Social Democrats go it alone in break with allies over immigration
Michael Barrett
The Local [Denmark], 5 June 2018.

Denmark's Social Democrats will not seek to form a coalition government with erstwhile ally the Social Liberal (Radikale Venstre) party in the event that the current opposition wins the next general election.

Mette Frederiksen, leader of the Social Democrats, confirmed the change in policy regarding her party's traditional ally on Monday. ...

"I do not wish to be a the forefront of a Denmark that does not have immigration [udlændingepolitikken, ed.] under control," Frederiksen said.

According to Jyllands-Posten's report, Frederiksen sees strict immigration rules and the introduction of further, even stricter laws on migration as more important than any other political issue.
[Site link]

Terrorism – threat level
UK's terror threat level 'will stay at severe and may rise further' warns Home Office on anniversary of London Bridge attack
Lara Keay
MailOnline, 4 June 2018.

Britain's terror threat from Islamist militants will remain severe for the next two years and could even rise, the Government has said. ...

Currently the threat level to the UK is severe - meaning an attack is highly likely.

Home Office officials will publish a revised counter-terrorism strategy today designed to cope with a new shift in terror tactics. ...

The statement said the threat from 'extreme right-wing terrorism' was also growing and four plots had been disrupted since March last year.
[Site link]

Immigration – numbers, births
One born every minute? How many migrants arrive in the UK and how many children do they have?
Abbas Panjwani
Full Fact, 4 June 2018.

Around 775,000 children were born in the UK in 2016 – the latest year for which data is available. Of those children, 210,000 were born to mothers not born in the UK, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. ...

Around 580,000 immigrants came to the UK in the year ending September 2017 – according to estimates for the latest year figures are available for. ...

And that's the total number arriving. The net figure (i.e. the number arriving minus the number leaving) is around 245,000, or two every five minutes.

The migration figures used here are collected by interviewing people leaving and arriving in the UK at airports, ferry terminals and other routes in and out of the UK. Broadly speaking, if someone plans to come and live in the UK for more than a year they are counted as an immigrant, if they plan to live outside the UK for more than a year, they are counted as an emigrant.

From these interviews the Office for National Statistics estimates the level of immigration and emigration to and from the UK, but the figures have a wide margin of error. The ONS says that they are confident the true level of net migration will fall within 42,000 of the reported headline figure of 244,000 (they're 95% confident the correct figure lies somewhere between 203,000 and 286,000).
[Site link]

Politics – Conservative Party
Theresa May insists net migration will be reduced to tens of thousands but it will 'take time'
Kevin Schofield
PoliticsHome, 4 June 2018.

Theresa May has insisted that the Government will cut net migration below 100,000 - despite mounting Tory calls for the target to be ditched.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson last week said the pledge - first made by David Cameron before the 2010 general election - "does not fit the requirements of the country".

However, it has never been achieved and the most recent statistics put the figure at 244,000.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid stopped short of endorsing the policy on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, insisting only that he was "committed to our manifesto".

But the Prime Minister's official spokesman said the target remained in place, and insisted that it would eventually be achieved. ...

The spokesman also confirmed that the cap on the number of non-EU doctors being granted so-called 'Tier 2' visas to work in the NHS is set to be lifted after the limit was reached.
[Site link]

Crime – child sexual abuse
Rape Gangs: A Story Set in Leafy Oxfordshire
Douglas Murray
Gatestone Institute, 3 June 2018.

What price has been paid, is being paid, or might be paid at some stage, by all those public officials who tacitly or otherwise allowed these modern-day atrocities to go on, doing nothing to stop them? The policemen, politicians, council workers and others who were shown to have failed time and again. They have never been sentenced to prison for any of their oversights – and perhaps criminal charges (not even charges of criminal negligence) could never be brought against them. It is worth asking, however, if any of these people's lives, career paths, or even pension plans were ever remotely affected by their proven failure to confront one of the greatest evils to have gone on in Britain. That is the mass rape of young girls motivated by adults propelled by (among much else) racism, religiosity, misogyny and class contempt. ...

... the many people in the UK who for years turned a blind eye to the mass rape of young girls in their area. But of course these people are not in prison. They are rarely if ever vilified or even mentioned in the national press. They have not had their lives turned upside down. /.../ If Britain is to turn around the disgrace of its culture of 'grooming gangs' it should start by changing the risk-reward ratio between those who identify these monstrous crimes and those who have been shown to have covered them up.
[Site link]

Population pressure – housing
Countryside is being 'concreted over' as greenfield sites developed at fastest rate for 25 years
Harry Yorke and Gordon Rayner
Daily Telegraph, 2 June 2018.

Greenfield land is being developed at the fastest rate for 25 years as campaigners warn that a Government drive to release land for houses means the countryside is being "concreted over".

Farmland, forests and gardens are being swallowed up at an "alarming" rate, the Campaign to Protect Rural England said, with the acreage lost to property development soaring by 58 percent in the past four years, according to new research.

The CPRE has blamed a relaxation of planning rules for a surge in development in "wastefully low densities" in rural areas, which it blames on the Government's "build more at any cost approach". ...

The Government has committed to building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s, and Theresa May has warned councils that they must draw up plans to address local shortages or be stripped of their right to decide where new homes are built.
[Site link]

Border controls – airports
Who is coming into Britain? Airports failed to check the passports of 11,000 passengers after they were sent the wrong way at arrival gates
Arthur Martin
Daily Mail, 1 June 2018.

Airport blunders have allowed up to 11,000 passengers over the last five years to enter Britain without going through passport control, figures show.

Each year around 2,000 people bypassed border controls after they were sent the wrong way upon arrival at UK airports.

Airlines and airports are responsible for directing all travellers on international commercial flights towards immigration desks. ...

Figures released by the Home Office show that 2,328 were misdirected last year – an average of six a day. This represents an increase of 70 per cent on the 1,364 in 2016.

The Home Office said some of the passengers who are misdirected are sent back to border control to show their passports. But it admitted that some are able to leave airports without being checked.
[Site link]

Diversity – culture
The campaign to decolonise culture in Britain
The Economist, 1 June 2018.

Calls to revisit historical narratives in museums to make room for the perspectives of those who were colonised have grown louder in recent years. Groups of activists seek to identify the Western bias involved in cultural heritage and shame institutions into redressing it. As such, the activists ask provocative questions about who owns culture.

These debates spurred a group of young museum professionals from different minority and immigrant groups to form Museum Detox in 2016. Their aim is to build awareness around diversity in cultural organisations, to build a network and to help members achieve leadership positions. Their inaugural event, in October that year, was a flash mob at the Museum of London. It saw some 60 black and minority-ethnic museum workers disrupt "Punk.London", an exhibition marking 40 years of punk and its legacy. The flash mob fittingly caused anarchy by raiding the show with cards and texts about African and Caribbean culture. ...

The previous day gal-dem, a collective of ethnic-minority women, had also staged a cultural coup at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. ... Scrutiny of the canon is extending to universities, too. Non-Western academics and thinkers are sharing their "decolonising syllabi" and discussing the subject online. Last year undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge petitioned to diversify their English-literature curriculum with non-Western voices. At Cambridge, in an open letter to the head of the English faculty, students said they want to change a syllabus which they feel "elevates white male authors at the expense of all others". They stated that while strides had been made to include women writers, "the curriculum, taken as a whole, risks perpetuating institutional racism." Students suggested more post-colonial authors in exam papers, more diversified speakers at the university and "a zero-tolerance policy on the dismissal of race as a subject worthy of discussion/enquiry in essays".
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Terrorism – Europe
By any other Name: No-go Zones, Rhetoric and Reality
Migration Research Institute, 6 March 2018.

Conclusion

A place where a woman can be harassed in the open during daytime, insulted, deprived to wear what she wants, or to behave the way she wants, whether we call it a sensitive area, a vulnerable area, a banlieue, a ghetto, a no-go zone, or any other name, is the daily reality in many Western European cities. Even more, these areas constitute threats to safety and security by way of crime, riots and terrorism. The latter triad is not a subject of debate. /.../ The schools are usually the worst in the country, the ones where students threaten and attack the teachers, where the buses are vandalized, and bus drivers are menaced, etc. The truth is that these areas have the most polluted air, the least jobs, the least income, have the most radical Islamists, unauthorized mosques, informal activities that do not pay taxes, unhealthy food, undeclared and underpaid jobs, the noisiest places, the ones you can hear fights every night and the ones that lead some young people to become terrorists.

Hungary's position and that of other Central European countries consists in arguing that migration comes with sensitive or vulnerable areas (or like some would call them no-go areas), the cost and the implications of which are disastrous for society, culture, and everyday life and even if most people are peaceful, gangs and terrorists groups use these spaces to sabotage and destroy the host society.
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