I assume that’s a Shakespearian reference and not a misprint. It’s not every day you get called a fairy by a politician you admire, so I thought I’d address the point, as I hear the same sort of sentiment expressed quite often. I’m not sure why it puzzles people, although I assume it’s something to do with what the Labour Party has become. I am pretty much of the left, but loathe the censoriousness, arrogance, self-righteousness and political correctness of the left, or London faux-left, as I would describe it. I sign up to most of the stuff which used to be considered left – decent minimum wage, redistributive tax policy, social ownership of those things which as a society we need but which the market struggles to provide (trains, utilities, council housing and the like).
My worries about immigration, meanwhile, are twofold; that as a country we have become too crowded, and that the free movement of labour has made it harder for indigenous working class people to earn a decent wage, rent a decent house, get their kids educated in schools where the other kids speak the same language and so on and so on. My dislike of multiculturalism stems not simply from the belief that competing cultures undermine a sense of national identity and shared aspiration, but that some of the cultures we have encouraged, or made allowances for, are profoundly illiberal and penalize the most vulnerable sectors of society. And when that happens – either with the more rigorous strictures of Islam, or the low educational achievement and predilection towards crime of young African Caribbean men (© Diane Abbott), we should say so, and say so forcefully.
I suppose on these latter points it has largely been the right-wing doing most of the running – but I do not see why it is right wing per se to object to the authoritarianism of Islam, or a culture which leads black kids towards crime. Quite the reverse, I would have thought. But there we are. I hope this has helped.