Saturday 8 December 2018

'The myth of xenophobic Britain. Take it from an immigrant: this is one of the most welcoming nations on Earth.'


A Russian British comedian who voted Remain explains how angry he is that British people think leave voters are xenophobes and explains why here in Spiked.

Routines where I ridicule the locals are often better received than jokes about Russia or my marriage. By contrast, a British comic who made fun of the locals in Russia would be the one in stitches, not the audience.
This tolerance of others, of free speech and of freedom of choice, is the reason Britain and the West are an example and a draw to the rest of the world.
Immigrants may come here to share in our prosperity, but often they stay because of the other freedoms on offer: freedom from corruption, nepotism, suppression of thought, oppressive religious dogma, and government interference in their lives.

But the backlash to the Brexit vote has shown that, in one of the most open, welcoming and inclusive nations in the history of humanity, many prominent voices have become convinced that half of our fellow citizens are racist xenophobes. As someone who voted Remain, I find this allegation to be disrespectful, hugely damaging to society, and, most importantly, untrue.

This is what I would expect. I think th British are unusual in not minding our country beinbg criticised or ridiculed. I think that is a great strength, as far as 99% of people go. Unfortunately for the left-wing intellectual 1% it morphs into a curious and very morbid dislike of things British. Orwell, a socialist who would have voted Leave, put it best, in words as true today as when he wrote them in the war.

“In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanised. 
They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the 
general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident 
thought. England is perhaps the only great country whose intellectuals 
are ashamed of their own nationality. In left-wing circles it is always 
felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman 
and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse 
racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably 
true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of 
standing to attention during ‘God save the King’ than of stealing from a 
poor box. All through the critical years many left-wingers were chipping 
away at English morale, trying to spread an outlook that was sometimes 
squashily pacifist, sometimes violently pro-Russian, but always 

1 comment:

  1. I've always pointed this out - it is a *distinctive* of English culture to be tolerant and open to new things. It has never been an inward-looking culture.
    Aristibule Adams