Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bloody foreigners

The following inflamatory speech in the House of Commons by a Conservative MP railing against 'foreign invaders' whom he claimed were displacing native Britons caught my eye:

'Not a day passes but English families are ruthlessly turned out to make room for...Romanians, Russians and Poles. Rents are raised 50 or 100 percent...It is only a matter of time before the population becomes entirely foreign...The working classes know that the new buildings are erected not for them but for strangers from abroad; they see schools crowded with foreign children, and the very posters and advertisements on the wall in a foreign tongue.'

The date of the speech? Er, 29th January 1902. Its author, one Major William Evans-Gordon was demonising Jewish people looking for refuge from anti-semitic pogroms in Eastern Europe. Thank goodness British MPs today would never stoop so low as to make a bid for political power by playing the race card against migrants.

[Quote from Nigel Harris, Thinking the Unthinkable (2002), p. 46]

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