Private Eye editor Ian Hislop’s history documentaries always tend to make for curious viewing. Tonight he covers the issue of immigration, discussing the first big debate about the issue, around the time of the Victorians to World War One.
At first, the Victorians had an open door immigration policy, but by later half the of the 19th century some familiar arguments about culture clashes and the economy came about, as well as immigration fears sparked by the press. We learn about a young Winston Churchill’s pro-immigration stance, and how Indian immigrant Mancherjee Bhownagree won a seat in parliament in 1895 on an anti-immigration ticket.
Among those interviewed in this programme are members of the public, as well as former Labour Home Secretary Alan Johnson, Tory peer Baroness Warsi, and, regrettably, Katie Hopkins, who during the course of the programme claims that some modern day immigrants, “are feral humans.”
Who Should We Let In? Ian Hislop on the First Great Immigration Row is on BBC Two at 21.00.