Kinnock is saying we must ‘assimilate’ other cultures into our own, seemingly suggesting these foreign cultures are of less value.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, assimilation was an ideological basis for French colonialism. If their foreign subjects adopted French culture and disregarded their own heritage, then they could earn civil rights.
On Twitter, others smelt a whiff of colonial rhetoric from Kinnock:
Nobody is born racist, but immigration that reaches levels beyond a society’s capacity to cope can lead, in extremes, to racism.
But a report from The Guardian has shown that areas with the highest level of immigration overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU:
London, which absorbed 133,000 of the 330,000 net arrivals in 2015, voted the most strongly for remain. Manchester also voted for remain – and at 13,554 had nearly double the level of net migration seen in Birmingham, which voted leave.
Kinnock’s point seems to be nothing more than an arbitrary inclination.
Myth 2: immigration destroys public services
Kinnock also supports UKIP rhetoric when he suggests immigration is “beyond a society’s capacity”. This diverts attention from massive government cuts, letting the Conservatives off the hook. For example, here’s a chart showing the impact of Tory austerity on the NHS:
Kinnock and other right-wing Labour MPs need to stop vindicating UKIP rhetoric and start debunking it. Or people will begin to think they don’t seriously want to challenge the economic inequality behind the problems UKIP blames on ‘foreigners’. People may start to wonder if these MPs only want to preserve existing power structures. Fortunately, this time, Twitter users were there to put Kinnock in his place. And rightly so. Xenophobic rhetoric must be condemned wherever it rears its ugly head.
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.