All About Me

Missing: British Identity

February 22, 2010

Multiple Pages
Missing: British Identity

“This is our country, our land, and our lifestyle. If you are not happy—then Leave.”

At last a politician in possession of testicles and a backbone. By definition then, not possibly a British parliamentarian. The words were recently uttered by Australian PM Kevin Rudd, a Labour leader no less, who declared in uncompromising fashion that he was tired of worrying whether his nation offended some particular culture or individual and that it was the immigrant and not Australia which needed to adapt. Take it or leave it, he bluntly stated. All hail to Rudd.

For what the Australian has grasped—unlike his liberal-left compatriots lodged in the northern hemisphere—is that our liberty and democracy are anchored in our value system, our value system embedded in our very national identity. Mess with that identity, transform us into a multi-cultural and multi-valued swamp, and you risk dismantling the whole. Through negligence and sleight of hand, that is precisely what the Blair and Brown administrations have inflicted on Britain.

“Where once we gave the world the English language, now we offer teams of translators in order that our ‘new Britons’ may communicate.”


Give us your weak and your poor and your huddled masses, your illiterate and uneducated, your crack-heads and serial rapists, your paedophiles and murderers, your drug-traffickers and radical imams. Anything goes and all are welcome, regardless of background or how little they contribute; few are ever deported. Hijack a plane? Human rights legislation will ensure you stay. Commit a string of violent robberies? We must embrace you. Plot against us or plan to don an explosive vest? Have a house.  Because, in the lying and lazy parlance of the liberal-left, this tsunami of uncontrolled immigration brings ‘significant economic and cultural benefits’. Er, no it actually does not (just check the statistics). It is more a reflection of epic vote-rigging by the Labour government, of creating a captive voter-base dependent on state-sponsored welfare and state-provided jobs. We suffer and the health and wealth of the nation decline. And they say trust in politicians is much reduced. No shit.

Unlike the United States, we in Britain do not enjoy the luxury of saluting the flag or taking an oath of allegiance to bind ourselves close or at least paper over the cracks. We have no equivalent to the American Dream. Maybe that is part of the problem. Our identity and the legitimacy of our institutions have evolved over centuries, our language percolating through Chaucer and Shakespeare, our common law and basic precepts of justice and fair-play tracing their roots to the Anglo-Saxons and further back to an earlier Christian heritage.

We are neither a tribe from the African rift valley nor descended from a Pathan mountain village. We are neither Mongol horsemen nor Barbary pirates. We are neither part of a Caliphate nor a cog in a centralized socialist empire (unless you count the European Union). What we are is an island and a north European nation-state, a liberal democracy distrustful of ideology and extremes and happy with a constitutional monarchy. Englishness is at our core. We like our gardening, our cricket, our pubs and our dogs, are resilient and self-deprecating, value irony and humour and a lightness of touch, it works for us. Somehow, it is not enough. Somewhere, the soft Left persuaded us that to preserve our way of life was embarrassing and racist, that it was a good thing to have roadsigns in Urdu, women with their faces veiled, Somalians driving our London buses. The line peddled—and constantly reinforced with diversity directives—was that we owe the world a living.

We owe nothing of the sort. For sure, there are those fleeing persecution and slaughter. Yet given there is scant democracy in Africa, less in the Middle East, and none in China, we cannot offer a home to whoever takes to a raft with a clothes-bundle and a grievance. Most who come to Britain do so as economic migrants. Of course they want an easier life. We all do. But want does not necessarily equate to need and right. It is the permissiveness and undiscerning palate of the liberal-left that has helped to blur the distinction. Identify a portrait of our Great White Queen in a British town hall and you are almost half-way to gaining citizenship and a bank giro. Not to my satisfaction. Many of these newcomers have no stake in Britain, no loyalty or links save for an arranged marriage, a fraudulently–obtained permit for further education, an encyclopaedic knowledge of our football teams and a vague notion of free health care. None of their forebears ever bled for my freedoms. Yet I am expected to welcome them without question, to pay tax for them, to subsidise their children, their schooling, their housing, their welfare, their medical treatment, their own personal odyssey. By return, they are under no obligation to learn my native tongue or the history of my land. Call me churlish.

Where once we gave the world the English language, now we offer teams of translators in order that our ‘new Britons’ may communicate. Visit any hospital or benefits office and you will find queues of migrants aware of their entitlements and yet supremely ignorant of our customs and culture, our language and laws. The melting-pot so championed by liberals is in danger of becoming little more than a congealed stew of separated parts. And yes, I do blame those who promoted mass immigration, for what we have squandered and have failed to gain. Without pausing to put their agenda to the public vote, they have altered irrevocably the feel and demography of the nation. The arrogance and the stupidity. One day, we shall be forced to address the question not of who we are—but what the hell we have become.

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