Dust or Magic, Friday, November 3 2006

"Cheap and disgusting" eugenics on BBC's Today Programme

I sent this email to the BBC's Today Programme after a spate of news items featuring and I suspect set up by the anti-immigrant "think tank" Migration Watch.

Dear Today -

I was intrigued to hear George Walden's reaction, on the Today Programme this morning, when historian Tristram Hunt used the word "eugenics" in criticising Walden's ideas about immigration (in his new book "Time to Emigrate"). Walden exclaimed that it was "disgraceful to speak about eugenics", "cheap and disgusting"!

Well, of course eugenics is all those things and worse, as I am sure the BBC officially agrees. Yet the self-same argument Walden was advancing (that immigration is turning Britain into a "foreign country", so that true-born Englishmen are being forced to emigrate) was promoted less than 12 hours earlier, on Radio 4's "The World Tonight", by none other than Britain's most influential eugenicist, Professor David Coleman.

Professor Coleman has been a member and an official of the Eugenics Society since the mid-1970s and remains a member to this day (albeit, it has now changed its name to less-obviously noxious "Galton Institute"). As the "brains" behind the anti-immigrant lobby-group Migration Watch, he exercises enormous influence on the immigration debate (indeed, has played a huge role in *creating* the immigration debate) through the misleading statistics he prepares for the tabloid press, and which are used with glee by openly and sometimes violently racist groups.

Coleman's "public face" at Migration Watch is Sir Andrew Green - and to my dismay (but, alas, not to my surprise any more) Green was also rolled out, on cue, yesterday, on the PM programme to discuss the latest immigration figures.

Is the BBC unaware of these connections? Does the BBC agree with George Walden that to be associated with eugenics is "cheap and disgusting"? If so, do you think you are behaving responsibly, in giving air time to these people? How much more damage are you willing to allow them to do to this country's social fabric, without even challenging them about their underlying philosophy and goals?

Yours sincerely,

Bob Hughes
The Campaign to Close Campsfield

Posted by Bob Hughes on Friday, November 3 2006

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