Author who called Priti Patel immigrant even though she was born in London responds to criticism

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Tuesday 15 October 2019 14:30
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Picture:(Getty and Twitter screengrab)

Priti Patel has been called an “immigrant” despite having been born in London, prompting outrage online.

An online political publication called Spiked tweeted the following about home secretary:

Why do the woke left and Remainer elite hate Priti Patel so much? It’s because she’s an immigrant with right-wing views. These people loathe non-whites who deviate from what they consider to be correct thinking. It is outright racism, says Brendan O’Neill

The article was written by author and editor Brendan O'Neill.

Priti Patel, many quickly pointed out, was born in London in 1972.

Brendan O'Neill, the author of the article addressed the criticism and provided indy100 with the following statement:

Like Ms Patel, I am a first-generation Briton. And I frequently use the word immigrant to refer to new arrivals and their immediate offspring. I use the word immigrant to describe myself, as can be seen in my 2018 essay ‘Bad Immigrant’. That title was partly inspired by the book ‘The Good Immigrant’ in which many first-generation Britons from black and Asian backgrounds discussed their experiences.

I don’t recall that book title causing a stir.

I come from a working-class immigrant community in which the word immigrant was often used to refer both to the people who came here and to the generation they gave birth to (my generation). I guess our linguistic traditions don’t count for much in the face of political correctness? Okay. I am always happy to be corrected by the native middle-classes who are of course far wiser than ‘immigrants’ like me.

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