It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants—from anywhere—as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.…and snobbery:
Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people—usually in the poorest parts of Britain—who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’. If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.He ponders the consequences of his youthful zeal…
I have imagined what it might be like to have grown old while stranded in shabby, narrow streets where my neighbours spoke a different language and I gradually found myself becoming a lonely, shaky voiced stranger in a world I once knew, but which no longer knew me.…and the hypocrisy that accompanied it:
Even back in my Trotskyist days I had begun to notice that many of the migrants from Asia were in fact not our allies. They were deeply, unshakeably religious. They were socially conservative. Their attitudes towards girls and women were, in many cases, close to medieval. Many of them were horribly hostile to Jews, in a way which we would have condemned fiercely if anyone else had expressed it, but which we somehow managed to forgive and forget in their case.Hitchens blots his copybook, as far as I am concerned, by heaping blame on Saint Enoch Powell but none of us is perfect. By opening eyes to the Left’s hostility to Britain and the British, he has performed—and continues to perform—an immensely valuable service.