Anti-immigrant politician is descended from illegal immigrants
Saturday, 12 February, 2005, 12:25 GMT
Howard family's 'illegal migrant'
Michael Howard's grandfather might have entered
Britain as an illegal immigrant in the 1930s, the Tory
leader has said.
Mr Howard told the Daily Mail his father, Bernard
Hecht, had falsified details about his own parents
when applying for British citizenship.
He said his father had said they had died in Romania,
when Mr Howard's grandfather had been living in
Mr Howard said the fact his father had lied might have
meant his grandfather had entered the country
Mr Howard's grandmother died at Auschwitz in 1944.
"I have speculated on the reason and I suppose one
possibility is my grandfather might have entered
Britain unlawfully," he told the newspaper.
"There might have been some irregularities about his
Last month, Mr Howard unveiled proposals that would
see immigration levels capped under a Tory government,
with a points system for applicants seeking visas to
work in Britain.
It would also see quotas on asylum, with all claims
Mr Howard admitted he was not sure if his grandfather
would have been allowed into the country under his
"I cannot answer that. We have not yet worked out how
the points system will operate."
Mr Howard's father came to Britain, as an economic
migrant, at a time when fascism was on the rise in
Having changed the family's name after settling in
Wales, he applied for British citizenship in 1947.
Mr Howard said he had discovered his family background
"It came as a surprise to me. What my father did was
wrong," he said.
"I don't condone it - but I don't feel embarrassed,
because I have done nothing wrong myself."
Mr Howard made the revelation after the recent 60th
anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and after
learning that journalist Michael Crick was
investigating his family history, the paper said.
Mr Crick told BBC Radio 4's Today programme family
members remembered Mr Howard's grandfather living in
London up until the early 1950s.
> Howard family's 'illegal migrant'These so-called "conservative" Republicans are getting more and more
famous for having no shame in recent years.
- I agreem except that Howard's actually not a Republican, he's a Tory, the
British version of Republicans. And I remember last year that Howard called
up the White House and said, "I might end up being British Prime Minister in a
few years, so how about I come meet President Bush?" And Rove said no
way, we won't have anything to do with you or any opponent of Tony Blair. It's
rather ironic, because the Tories agree with Bush on policy far more than
Labour, Blair's party, does (except for Iraq, obviously).
--- In email@example.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
> > Howard family's 'illegal migrant'
> These so-called "conservative" Republicans are getting more and more
> famous for having no shame in recent years.
- A Tory! Isn't the Conservative Party conservative enough for these
people? I thought the article was referring to the Congressman from
Kansas/Missouri who got on the Daily Show speaking against immigrants
not too long ago.
When I look at British politics and their 3-party system, I so wish
that we had something equivalent to the Liberal Democrats here in the
US. Tony Blair successfully positioned his party to be the party in
the middle. So did Bill Clinton in the 90's thanks to Ross Perot.
To save the country, this 3rd party left-wing or populist guy must
show up again very soon. Too bad that this new Perot hasn't shown up
in the last two elections. We got Ralph Nader instead. He did too
little to help the Greens become the American Liberal Democrats, and
too much to cost the Gore victory.
It's always been these 3rd party guys who change the direction of the
country in the critical elections... (at least in 1912, 1948, 1968,
1980, 1992, and 2000 since a century ago) for better or for worse.