Greg Roberts (Salisbury Review, Summer 2022) asks whether the promulgators of mass immigration and its consequences for this country realised what they were doing or not.
His question was no doubt rhetorical, even ironic. But many people seem to regard those phenomena as merely the workings of random historical forces, and what’s more that they have led to conditions that we ought to welcome and are, indeed, hugely beneficial for everyone.
The answer to his question is surely apparent to any thoughtful analyst of British history over the last seventy years. First, the excuses made for the initial importation of over a thousand Caribbeans to supplement our depleted work force were startlingly shallow. If the NHS required extra staff, was it not obvious that the migrants would add not only to medical staff but even more to the numbers of those requiring medical treatment. If no one calculated the likely population increase, given comparative rates of reproduction etc, the authorities were especially negligent.
Had those authorities the welfare of the immigrants in view? Did they not realise that introducing people from a very different culture (unavoidably marked by obvious physical differences) would cause social difficulties? Did they really think the British were uniquely mild, docile and tolerant, and would accept the new dispensation without complaint? Why should they have done, unless they were indeed the race to whom Tsar Alexander I, visiting in 1814 attributed ‘something inherent in the people …. A temper of mind, a soberness of thought, reflecting habits, such as no other people have [which] cooperated with, and made practicable in perfection all her institutions.’ In fact, the British proved remarkably accepting, almost to a fault; nevertheless they were castigated for xenophobia and have been so remorselessly to this day.
The problems attached to the Windrush episode were of course multiplied a thousandfold when immigrants from much more alien cultures arrived in even larger numbers, and were not submitted to the disciplines that the United States had wisely put in place during the great transatlantic migrations of the late nineteenth century: disciplines that ensured all newcomers learned the language and adopted the basic values of the society they were entering.
Here, Pakistanis, Indians, Ugandans, Bangladeshis and all were permitted to go about their business as though they had never left home. Go to Southall in west London today and try, as did one politician a few years ago, to highlight British morals and legal structures there: you will meet a very dusty reception. The Tory MP who took that initiative was thrown out of his own party for his pains.
That has been a pattern, from the ejection of Enoch Powell for making a prediction (in learned and civilised terms) that has proved frighteningly accurate, through innumerable examples such as Ray Honeyford and Roger Scruton, till today: James Watson, one of the discoverers of DNA, has been ruthlessly stripped of his deserved honours for holding scientific opinions not in accord with what is required of anyone in public life. Anyone speaking up for British social and legal norms in cases of intercultural dispute will always be not only silenced but demonised.
The language of demonisation has vastly expanded to cope with the problem. The horrors of the mass enslavement of numerous English girls in Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere were allowed to happen because the authorities were frightened of being accused of racism – a very useful Leninist-style blanket crime, of a type now being proliferated widely. This is traditional Bolshevik tactics, and I have little doubt that the whole campaign, political and social, over many decades, has been the work of neo-Marxists (that is, those who hate the West and its cultural and political achievements), inspired by the Frankfurt Marxists of the 1940s and ’50s.
Among these were Antonio Gramsci and Rudi Dutschke, who championed the ‘long march through the institutions’ that we now witness achieving such success everywhere – in the media, in the Church of England, in the universities, in the Royal Academy. No area of public life is unaffected by increasingly shrill imperatives to attack our traditional culture: to ‘diversify’, to ‘decolonise’, to abolish ‘white privilege’- all wonderful new fictions invented by the radical left and now to be found in the mouths of ordinary middle-of-the-road public officials, clergy and teachers.
I know personally at least one member of the thoroughly respectable establishment who has deep-rooted Marxist affiliations, who has done great damage in his sphere of influence, and who has been materially rewarded by the establishment. If Dr Roberts wants proof that the authorities know what they are doing, he should look around him!