Tory leader David Cameron faced fresh embarrassment after rebel Tory activists snubbed calls to ditch a Parliamentary candidate who said Enoch Powell "was right" on immigration.
The Halesowen and Rowley Regis constituency association refused to accept the resignation of would-be MP Nigel Hastilow and instead demanded crisis talks with the Conservative Party Board, the organisation's top decision-making body.
Senior Tories had hoped the local party would drop Hastilow, 51, who quit on November 4 after refusing to apologise for comments he made in a newspaper column in support of Powell's 1968 "rivers of blood" speech.
Officials have been lobbying the local association in a desperate bid to limit the bad publicity, asking them to move on and choose another candidate.
But local members remain furious at the way Hastilow was treated by the party HQ and refused to accept his resignation, saying his views on immigration have widespread support.
Meanwhile, Neil Hamilton has written an excellent article on the Hastilow case in the Daily Express! Yes, I know he's a smarmy crook with a deranged wife and a worrying predilection for loud, spotty, bow-ties, but his article is excellent nonetheless. Some salient extracts:
Immigration is out of control and millions of indigenous Britons feel like foreigners in their own country. Even Gordon Broon recognises this. A few weeks ago, posing as leader of the Brownish National Party, he promised “British jobs for British workers.”Personally, I agree with everything Hamilton has written. And, as an added bonus, he's managed to upset the execrable Cameronite mouthpiece Daniel Finkelstein, who says that describing Peter Hain as an "undesirable immigrant" is an "utterly unacceptable insult" (he does not, of course, actually bother to say what, precisely, is so "unacceptable" about it). So, well done Neil Hamilton!
All spin and lies, of course. EU law, which Broon wants to extend without a referendum, stops us deciding who we want to let into this country.
Two weeks ago, Cabinet Minister Peter Hain (himself an undesirable immigrant) came clean, admitting 1.1 million foreign nationals have taken jobs here since 1997, not 300,000 as previously claimed.
The Office for National Statistics says it is 1.5 million. Governments have routinely deceived the British people about mass immigration. Those, like Enoch, who campaigned to close the door, were abused as fantasists and racists.
Yet, if we had had a referendum 40 years ago, how many of us would have voted to transform our great cities into colonies of foreign cultures?
But immigration is principally a question of numbers. Our major cities have become a kaleidoscope of ghettos, co-existing but not coalescing. Manchester University demographers forecast that, by 2011 Leicester will be the first British city where Brits are a minority. Birmingham will follow by 2027.
On current trends, ethnic Britons will cease to be the majority group in Britain sometime in the next century.
Would you vote for that? Don’t worry, the politicians won’t ask you to.