TUESDAY’S voting down the Withdrawal Agreement has precipitated a strange outburst of migration blues. Director of the Social Market Foundation James Kirkup’s unique interpretation of the latest data on public attitudes to migration has made him want to blub. He tweets:

His reading of the survey he has homed in on wonderfully proves that the Brits are not bigots and xenophobes after all. Dave needn’t ever have worried about those nasty swivel-eyed UKIP people. He didn’t have to pander to the brutes after all. He could have held his ground and there’d have been no need for a referendum.

You can but empathise. James and his establishment Remainer pals wouldn’t have had to be bothered with the views of the untermenschen or let such a dangerous display of democracy leave their superior ‘Davos man’ thinking so exposed.

This was James’s moment of vindication! Can you blame him? For years, the poor man tweeted, he’d been telling them this. He’d ‘encouraged politicians including D Cameron and G Osborne to say openly what they believed; immigration is net + ve. That was basis of immigration policy, but its authors wouldn’t argue for it. Instead, they accepted the Ukip narrative. Pandering + cowardice = Brexit’.

The fools hadn’t listened.

Let’s hope such a sadly cynical view of politics was not entirely shared by Cameron and his coterie – that 40 years of democratic deficit and distaste for the EU revealed in poll after poll on our membership (and well before migration became an issue after 2004) had counted not one jot.

It’s hard to decide what’s most reprehensible – Kirkup’s cavalier attitude to democracy or his blind lack of concern about the UK’s rapid, immigration-driven population growth of 2.3million since 2012 that never features in debates about congestion and public services, buses, trains, tubes and roads, all of which are under huge strain.

No wonder his selective reporting of the survey ignores what it also shows – which is that the vast majority of the public still want immigration cut and and are dissatisfied with the government’s handling of it:

  • 68 per cent say that immigration puts pressure on public services and housing;
  • 57 per cent say they are dissatisfied with how the government is dealing with immigration.

These are figures which suggest the public is far from indifferent. Nor do they, along with the 34 per cent who say ‘these days I feel like a stranger in my own country’, make them bigots or first in line for re-education camp.

Shouldn’t the exploited civility and generosity of the Brits in the face of unprecedented migration-driven population growth, I suspect unseen elsewhere in Europe, be the subject of commendation not calumny?

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