Observers of the last general election will surely remember the encounter between Gordon Brown and a woman by the name of Gillian Duffy, a voter from some Lancashire constituency or other, a person of no importance at all; just an ordinary individual. Still, she had her fifteen minutes of fame. She spoke some unwelcome truths to the then Prime Minister. She raised concerns over mass immigration, for which she was later dismissed as an ‘awful woman’ and a ‘bigot’ by Brown when he thought only his toadies were listening.
Gillian Duffy became for a brief time everywoman, or everyperson, a representative of thousands and thousands of ordinary voters who have effectively been disenfranchised, vote or not, by the political machine, by the social democratic oligarchy that dominates debate and dismisses each and every concern over immigration as ‘bigotry’ and ‘racism.’ The real issue is nothing of the kind; the real issue is numbers. But it’s become a truth that dare not speak its name, or if it does speak its name – bang! bang!, you are dead.
Douglas Murray is one of the few journalists for whom I have a particularly high regard. He says what he thinks, a dangerous pastime in our liberally illiberal culture. He said what he thinks about mass immigration in the latest issue of Standpoint (“A census that revealed our troubling future”). His focus is the 2011 census, which does indeed show that we have a troubling future. The census, and the comment that has followed its publication, shows something else I think: it shows that England, as a nation, is being systematically eroded, worn away, deliberately so, by the politicians, bureaucrats and pundits who govern our lives and dominate our media.
I often use the term England – wrongly, I’m occasionally reminded – to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole. But here I really do mean England. Wales, which I do not know that well, and Scotland, which I know very well indeed, have magnified their own distinct identities, just as England’s vanishes by degrees. The arrogance of the liberal intelligentsia, you know, the Islington set, is quite stunning, the contempt for our past and our traditions palpable. Murray mentions two of the usual suspects, liberal rent-a-mouths wheeled out on television discussion shows – Bonnie Greer and Will Self, the former who appeared on Newsnight, the latter on Question Time.
So, Greer speaks – “There is always this failsafe, spoken or unspoken, that there is a British identity. That’s always interesting to me. I think it one of the geniuses of the British – of being British – is that there isn’t this sort of rock-solid definition of identity that an American has.”
She obviously is referring to the English, as I think few will dispute that the Scots, Welsh and Irish have a fairly rock-solid definition of identity. The argument that the English allegedly do not is a justification for mass immigration, the more the merrier, all in the name of multiculturalism and diversity. One of the most alarming facts from the census is that native English people are now in a minority in London, the nation’s capital. Boris Johnson, the mayor, says that we need to “stop moaning about the dam burst.” Yes, that’s right; let’s just drown. In 23 out of the 33 London Boroughs ‘white Britons’ are now in a minority. A spokesman for the National Statistics Office apparently hailed this as a victory for ‘diversity.’ As Murray rightly asks, what exactly are the limits of diversity? When there are no white Londoners at all?
Then there is that self-satisfied prig Will Self, the grand ayatollah of soft soap leftism, mouthing away shop-soiled clichés on Newsnight. The audience was packed with the usual debating fodder (does the BBC keep these people in permanent reserve?), that ‘cross section’ of the English public who clap at every right on remark, sorry, left on remark. In the wake of the census he said “Up to the Suez crisis...most people’s conception of what being British involved was basically going overseas and subjugating black and brown people and taking their stuff and the fruits of their labours. That was the core part of British identity, was the British empire. [sic]. Now the various members of the political class have tried to revive the idea quite recently without much success?”
Do you have any idea what he is on about because, quite frankly, I don’t? Anyway, his view is in complete contrast to that of George Orwell, who had far more direct experience of Empire than Self will ever have. Most English people ignored the Empire, Orwell wrote more than once; it wasn’t something that impacted directly on their lives. The Self argument is essentially that England must be punished for its past ‘crimes’. The Empire, you see, strikes back in mass immigration. The Newsnight audience went in to orgasmic hysteria over his platitudes – “The people who line up on the opposition to the immigration line of the argument are usually racists...with an antipathy to people, particularly with black and brown skins.”
Back we go to Gillian Duffy and her kind, the people who simply don’t matter, the people who are not ‘representative’ enough ever to be included in a Newsnight audience, the people who can be scorned and ignored as their nation is literally swept from under them by the dam burst. These are the people that Self and the other metropolitan literati can disregard; these are the people who can be damned as racist with the usual self-satisfied smugness of those who know that they are always right.
I value the tolerance of the English people, one of the defining characteristics of an identity that we are not supposed to have. But tolerance can be too tolerant. Is there any other nation in the world that would allow itself to be treated like this, to be told that mass immigration is a necessary corrective for past wrongs? The implication is that the end of England should be celebrated in the name of diversity.
We are not and never have been a nation of migrants, another lie perpetrated by the likes of Greer and Self. Until fairly recently in history our identity as a people was solid and unremarkable. The mass migration of the French Huguenots in the late seventeenth century, for example, was a fraction of a fraction compared with today’s figures. Orwell could write about the English in a wholly uncontroversial way. He couldn’t now; few could. Perhaps we should call, before it is too late, for our country to wake up. Either that or face death by diversity.