Soapbox Saros Kavina: Far right UK parties spouting the same rhetoric that led to Nazi Germany
THE leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has just declared that he should now pay more attention to the fears of those who have concerns about immigration.
My immediate worry is whether this could be a ploy to obtain more votes at the next general election.
If anyone knows about the destructive nature of racial prejudice, then he certainly should, as an example of anti-Semitism in Europe.
I was recently loaned a book by a retired senior police officer in Derbyshire whose father was Jewish.
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It is entitled The Alien Menace and is by Lt Col A. H. Lane. Its third edition came out in the 1930s, around the same time as Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany.
In the foreword, Lord Sydeham, of Combe, writes that "the facts and figures which Colonel Lane presents in his book will convince every reader that the alien penetration of our country is a sinister menace to the moral, social and economic life of the nation".
In the concluding page of his book, the author exhorts his readers to "commence the work of cleansing... If this present state of affairs continues, will it not be that England will no longer be English?"
On the subject of ethnic cleansing, Lt Col Lane writes: "Amaurotic Family Idiocy is a disease peculiar to Jewish children and not appearing in other races.
"English persons by inter-marriage are liable to have their children as sufferers from this disease, which is hereditary."
The Jews and Irish were perhaps the earliest targets of racial prejudice in this country.
During my own involvement in race relations, I have seen racism directed at Indians, Pakistanis, West Indians, Africans, Kurds, Afghans and Eastern Europeans, such as Poles.
Political parties on the far right still speak the language of The Alien Menace at the present time.
To them, what was true in 1930s Britain is still the same today. Their warnings, like Lt Col Lane's exhortations, are cloaked in patriotic language.
Unfortunately, more and more members of the British public are falling for their concealed lies.
Labour must not try to obtain votes by using immigration for advancement in elections.
It would be a fundamental mistake, as it would be going against everything a multi-racial and multi-cultural Britain stands for in the 21st century. If there are concerns about immigration, take out the elements of race and colour.
In 1968, during my stay in the US, I was involved with Quakers in Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Here was a visionary who understood the pain and hurt of a racially-divided society and sacrificed his life for equality and justice.
He reminded us all that "what truly matters is not the colour of a person's skin but the content of his character".