The Citizenship Debate
Anthony Milne sees the liberal élites getting worried
Immigration is transforming this country in a way that is making the liberal élite run scared. Unauthorised entry into Britain is characterised by greed, opportunism, fraud, nihilism, invasion, political coercion and legal corruption. Everything that the liberals - the 500 or so individuals who run our administrative system and the media - stand for is slowly, but dangerously being undermined. And they are beginning to suspect it.
The several million people of diverse nationality who have come to this country within the last 25 years - a rate of population transfer unequalled in peacetime Europe - has succeeded in subverting democracy (since the immigrants know they have not come with the consent of the people amongst whom they choose to live). They are changing fundamentally our cultural norms to their own advantage and they are getting those in the liberal establishment actually to lie about the character and history of their own country.
The false consciousness that ethnic minorities bring into this country (based loosely on "Britain has always been an immigration country," or "we were invited here," or "we now live in a globalised world," etc.) is being daily and insidiously reflected in academe, in school textbooks (especially sociology books), the media and official publications.
But one difficulty for liberals is that there is, by contrast with communist or theocratic regimes, no one overriding ideological script to which they can all adhere.
The term multi - whether it means ethnic groups, cultures, nationalities or religions - is a prefix that reeks of intellectual incoherence. It would be confusing for the minorities themselves if it were not for the fact that they couldn't care less how they are described. The liberal élite have trapped themselves into a whirlpool of linguistic and anthropological confusion.
What the media really think.
I have never met any member of the media élite who talks as if Britain is a genuine multi-cultural society. They do not, for example, recognise any of the foreign languages they hear in their own neighbourhoods. Their own bourgeois consumerist values make them actually dislike ethnicity in the abstract. What they do know about foreign cultures is deeply repugnant to them: cultural backwardness, the oppression of women, the wanton, pointless tribal violence, the cruelty to animals, the widespread prevalence of bonded child labour. But these are the types of people and cultures they purport to speak up for.
But the problem for liberals goes deeper than this. As Frank Kimbal Johnson pointed out last month, they have a radically mistaken mindset on racial issues. Cultural identity in any country - but especially in ethnic nations - is based on ancestry, whether western liberals find this distasteful or not. Possibly those living in Third World countries (where different but kindred ethnic groups live in territorial states) can become civic-type citizens. This is what liberal-socialists prefer because then the racial/ethnic dimension gets stripped out. A civic society held together by political or religious values becomes the closest thing you can get to a Sovietised society (or, ironically, an Americanised one).
In most Third World countries local people either speak their own dialects, as in South Asia or Africa, or speak the same language as everyone else in neighbouring countries, as in the Middle East and Latin America. The irony, then, is that it is easier for an Englishman to become a Kenyan than for a Kenyan to become an Englishman, simply because the former is an ethnic category and the latter is a citizenship category.
This important fact is, of course, deliberately overlooked. There can be no such person as a British-Asian since you can't combine two rcial categories unless there is miscegenation (a polite word for interbreeding) between two racial groups. To overcome this obvious handicap, some liberals now deny that Britishness was ever an ethnic thing in the first place. This is done not simply to appease the immigrants, but in order to get half-way to a socialised society defined in political terms.
Ethnicity won't go away.
But, once again, they find this difficult to bring about if Britain has ethnic minorities, since this implies there are ethnic majorities. Ethnicity keeps rearing its ugly head. The Home Office believes people can become British by merely having a knowledge of our language, national culture and political institutions. In other words, you can simply learn to be British (and presumably un-learn your own culture in the process). The élites want Britain to become like America (a country whose values they generally dislike), where it is indeed possible to become a hyphenated American citizen, such as a Japanese-American.
But there is continued cretinous confusion about all this, as there is bound to be. Medway Council, in Kent, recently issued a questionnaire. It was supposed to be about consumer attitudes to public transport in the county, yet huge areas of the leaflet were taken up with outrageously foolish racial questions. People were expected to choose from a whole list of hyphenated racial, national and language categories, as if Kent had somehow become South Africa! One could be White (divided into British and Irish, but significantly English was excluded, and this fits in with the policy of not allowing anyone to describe themselves as English on official forms). Then came Mixed (as in the coloured category in South Africa - i.e. someone of mixed race). Then came Asian or Asian-British, Black (sub-divided into Caribbean or African) or Black British, and finally Chinese or other ethnic group. The fact that ethnic minorities could actually choose to be one or the other, or any hyphenated permutation of them, just shows how barmy our influential liberals have become about British identity. One wonders if some of them are emotionally disturbed.
The few black liberal élites who try to go along with this half-baked nonsense are themselves showing signs of not knowing how to play their cards right. Members of the Commission for Racial Equality become confused when aspects of culture and ethnicity are raised. The word race is not often used in Third World countries. The black Trevor Phillips is in fact a subtle victim of liberal-inspired racism, in the sense that his whole campaigning life is dominated by race and racism and how to combat them. So the racial angle that he wishes to see done away with is actually reinforced. He simply becomes a raced individual without ancestral parentage, landed in a country that becomes like a giant orphanage run by people who clearly are not raced like him.
This is why the presence of non-white immigrants is deeply damaging to the intellectual life of this country. The media élite, especially, depend utterly for survival as credible commentators on political and cultural affairs, people who can speak out freely on any subject they want. Not only do they worry about the fact that they are not as free as they once were, but if the definition of Britain is changing they don't want to be seen as part of a revolutionary vanguard that has forged the change!
Indeed immigration is now feared as something that will undermine what remaining liberal credentials they have left. They find they are having to report on evidence of social alienation in our cities as a result of the turbulence that comes with political or cultural upheaval. They report continually on the crimes, the abuse of human rights and the coerciveness of small unrepresentative minorities who now live in this country.
They profess to dislike imperialism and invasion; they support ethnic and cultural independence in other (non-European) countries; they condemn globalisation and big business imperialism. In short, they support every rebel, separatist and sovereignty movement going. But any emergence of an ethnic separatist movement of Britons or Europeans will be condemned with a ranting, vitriolic language that would make Osama bin Laden sound moderate.
Hence media élites have become schizoid, made worse by the in-your-face repudiation of a Western liberal world order that they have to report on daily in their news columns. The dislike of American and Western values is growing, not receding. And if the tribes in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot live together in countries which are artificial to begin with, what hope is there for foreign tribes to find any kind of security or solidarity in an ancient ancestral country like Britain, a land with which they have no cultural connection?
Looking on the bright side, the Anglo-Celts in Britain still have a lot going for them. Most people view immigration as an inconvenience and a blight on their quality of life. On the other hand, there are more than 50 million of us still living here, and this makes us a sizeable and homogenous racial group, larger than many communities in the developing world (not counting the enormous Anglo diaspora that dominates the English-speaking white world).
Further, the fact that immigrants are extremely diverse in appearance and culture works to our advantage in that multiculturalism applies only to them. The ethnic British, by default, will become more prominent as a racial group. Multiculturalism could soon become a conspiracy against the immigrants themselves. Those who claim to be British will have the misfortune of looking like many of the recent non-British arrivals. As mentioned before, only about half of the coloured population living in this country actually have British passports. In the end, in true tribal fashion, they may end up fighting each other while we watch from the sidelines!
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