Saturday 24 July 2021

European countries are becoming immigrant societies like the USA, without any discussion

This news story is about the UK and Brexit but it's an example of how every country in Western Europe is moving from being an essentially ethnic state, which has absorbed over time large numbers of immigrants, to being an immigrant society like the USA. Belgium and Switzerland are federations of what were ethnic ministates, but are increasingly multiracial.

The same thing is starting to happen, in a small way as yet, in Eastern Europe. Birth rates fall and young people move west to fill jobs in Western Europe because birth rates are low there. The vacancies in Eastern Europe are filled by people from Asia.

5,605,800 applications to settle in UK were received by May 31. Over 2.7 million applicants were granted settled status, allowing them permanent leave to remain in the UK. 2.2 million were given pre-settled status and need to reapply after living for 5 years in the UK to gain the right to permanent residence.

The BBC covered this story to draw attention to the question of whether enough immigrants would be allowed to stay and, if not, whether this could cause political problems for the Government.

Compare the number 5,605,800 with the 20,000 Ugandan Asians permitted by Edward Heath to settle in the UK in 1972, which caused huge anger across the country. 

Compare it too with the 179,000 immigrants that a former low-level government advisor Andrew Neather described as 'dramatic' in an article in the (London) Evening Standard in 2009 about the report in 2001 on immigration by Tony Blair’s ‘Performance and Innovation Unit’ (PIU), a government think tank. 

So secretive was Mr Blair's Government's thinking on immigration that historians will talk a lot about this article. 

Mr Neather thinks mass immigration a very good thing, but he wrote:

"The results [of Labour's immigration policy] were dramatic. In 1995, 55,000 foreigners were granted the right to settle in the UK. By 2005 that had risen to 179,000; last year, with immigration falling thanks to the recession, it was 148,000....

"Eventually published in January 2001, the innocuously labelled “RDS Occasional Paper no. 67”, “Migration: an economic and social analysis” focused heavily on the labour market case.

"But the earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

“I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date. That seemed to me to be a manoeuvre too far.”
An increase in ten years from 55,000 foreigners allowed to settle in the UK to 179,000 was indeed dramatic, Mr Neather's word, but the increase to 2.5 million with a similar number to come after 5 years is remarked in the media and, so far as it still exists in the time of Covid, in Parliament, only along the lines of the fears that immigrants might be ill done by. 

The more than 5 million people who have or will acquire the right to settle and become British subjects are not, of course, newcomers like the Ugandan Asians. They are already living in the UK. Most speak English well. 

They will, in most cases, become British subjects and acquire the right to vote in parliamentary elections, making up almost one tenth of the electorate. 

They will have a very big influence on British politics and decide the course of British history. 

Had they had the vote in 2016 Brexit would not have happened. Would Mr Corbyn supported by the Scottish Nationalists be Prime Minister now? 

Who knows?

Nobody thinks this point interesting. 

Some, perhaps many, but we cannot know how many, would have chosen to become British anyway, even had Brexit not happened. 

Many would not have bothered.

In addition, as a result of Brexit more immigrants will settle in Britain from outside Europe. 

In particular, the Hong Kong Chinese have been given the right to do so and a million or more may take up the offer.

We live in an age when protecting what are considered victim groups, such as immigrants, has taken the place of the sacred in a largely post-Christian society. This was not yet the case in 1972.

Christians in the West and especially the clergy have also become increasingly concerned with ideals about human rights and welfare which, however noble, are essentially materialistic and worldly. Bishops are still influential, even though few people in England still go to church. They help form the moral universe in which people live, along with academics and the expert class.

In Romania it is different, of course. 

The Romanian Orthodox Church, like the Catholic Church before the Second Vatican Council, has not made peace with the Enlightenment or the French revolution, although it did co-operate with the Communists. 

This colours everything in Romania. The Enlightenment and the idea of equality as a moral imperative have not entirely taken hold, though they are coming via the internet and the European Union. 

Religion, not economics, is the basis of culture even in unreligious countries and Romania is the most religious country in Europe. Orthodox Christianity is the reason why she is a conservative as well as an old-fashioned country. 

This will change however, partly because of the increasing number of immigrants like me who come to work in Bucharest.


  1. What I think we're looking at is the failure of the nation state idea. The modern nation state is, to most people, an abstraction. It's an abstraction because government is now so remote from the people. How many people today believe that their MP actually represents their interests? How many people in the West today truly believe that the government cares about people like them? And the modern nation state is now the modern bureaucratic nation state, not just remote but hostile and oppressive.

    Liberal democracy and modern nation states simply no longer command any genuine loyalty. Such loyalty as people now have to those things is entirely dependent on the ability of liberal democracy and the modern nation state to deliver a high material standard of living. Once they are no longer able to deliver that then loyalty to liberal democracy and the nation state will evaporate overnight.

    Since people no longer feel any connection to the modern state it's not surprising that the question of the ethnic makeup of the nation is now a matter of indifference to them. If you no longer feel any connectedness to Germany, or Britain, or Australia, then why would you care if the ethnic makeup of your country changes?

  2. I don't see why the bureaucratic welfarist liberal state should seem more distant than the state as it was in 1914, when as AJP Taylor pointed out the only time when the man in the street came into contact with it was when he went into the Post Office.

  3. The problem, if there is one with nation states, is not the disappearance of the state but the decline in importance of the idea of the nation. But has this happened in real nations?

    1. But has this happened in real nations?

      I'd say that a proper nation has to be a monarchy (a real monarchy, not an absurd fake monarchy like the UK). Loyalty to the king is the glue that holds a nation together. Remove monarchy and you have a proposition nation, which is an abstract nation that cannot survive in the long term.

      The US is the proof that proposition nations are an absurdity, and everyone wants to emulate the US.

      Was the American Revolution the worst disaster in modern history? I'd say yes.

    2. Interesting point about monarchies. The lack of a monarch is usually a very great defect, but the the Roman Republic flourished mightily and so did the Serene Republic of Venice. France is a prime example of the evil effects of being a proposition nation, as is America. Neither is really a proposition nation but each thinks she is.