This may well be the week that social historians will look back on has being the defining moment in the public discussion about immigration. The stupidity of David Blair apologising for the actions of our ancestors in India had attracted a selection of good comments on the BBC News blog but it was Mark Easton's decision to put forward his ideas on white flight that really got the discussion moving. Okay the numbers of comments, before the discussion was closed, aren't huge but they were there linked to a headline on page one of the news page for twenty four hours.
It wasn't simply the opening of the gates that was good though but it coincided with Nick Clegg's must publicised appearance on LBC which attracted a lot of scorn and cries of 'clueless' on many newspaper comment sections. The stop mass immigration e-petition is currently gaining 'signatures' at a rate of 2,000 a day and should easily reach its target of 100,000 by the end of March thereby facilitating a House of Commons debate on the issue.
Peter Hitchens appeared on Question Time from St.Paul's, although the point he made about immigration seems to have been
missed by some people who have a particular axe to grind. Hitchens made the important observation that immigration isn't a 'race issue', that he had long believed that it doesn't matter about the colour of somebody's skin, he went on to ask, "does a country which has a very large amount of immigration adapt to the immigrants or do the immigrants who arrive in that country adapt to the country?" He then added that he believed that in order for their to be a tranquil situation that the immigrants must adapt to the country they are coming to. "For many years we have not been helping or encouraging them to do that". He made the point that multiculturalism has created divisions rather than giving the chance for a cohesive, focused (my word) society to develop, leading to a a situation where immigrants are not embracing British ideals and values.
The edition of Question Time is available on iPlayer in the UK - Hitchens response to the question about the 2011 Census showing that white British make up 45% of the population of London is from 30:54 to 32:38