Those wishing to sustain high levels of immigration into the UK frequently make the claim that ‘Britain is an immigrant nation’. Idealists working in advocacy groups parrot the phrase and talking heads on television nod wisely as they attempt to throw open the doors as wide as possible in order to bring in any who want to come.

It is not only high-minded youngsters and the naive. Robert Winder, a trustee of the Migration Museum Project, and author of Bloody Foreigners writes of the ‘amnesiac streak’ Britain has ‘when it comes to acknowledging the immigrant blood in her veins’. According to Winder, migration legacies are inscribed in quintessentially English cathedrals, in the nation’s historical figures and place names, in the English language itself; all provide evidence of our all-embracing immigrant status.

Even the New York Times chimes in with, ‘The very story of Britain has always been one of migrants. Poke around behind Britain’s currently rigid surface of chauvinism and a composite picture emerges — of Romans, Vikings, Celts, Normans, Jews, Indians, Chinese, Africans and more. The whole country is a living museum of immigration — if only its people would acknowledge it’.

There are nations which can be described as immigrant nations, those where a majority of the population have ethnic roots out with the national boundaries. The USA, Australia and Brazil are obvious example of large immigrant nations. Jamaica and Israel are smaller immigrant nations. But is the United Kingdom in any form an immigrant nation?

If we are to go far enough into the past, almost all nations are immigrant nations and the term thus becomes meaningless. A common sense definition of ‘immigrant nation’ would be: a nation, which at the time it became a nation included a large percentage of people whose ancestors did not reside within that nation’s territory. Actual evidence would indicate that Britain fails the common sense ‘immigrant nation’ test.

It is undoubtedly true that Britain has known flows of migrants in its past. There have been invasions by the Romans, Viking and Normans. In more recent times we have sheltered those fleeing persecution, such as the 17th century French Huguenots and Jews fleeing Tsarist and Nazi pogroms. During the slave trade, Africans also found themselves unwillingly deposited in Great Britain, where they remained and integrated.

Due to the relatively small numbers of immigrants since the settlement of Anglo-Saxons and others in these isles during the 5th to 7th centuries the basic population has remained remarkably homogeneous. Between 1066 and the turn of the 20th century, it is unlikely that the foreign-born proportion of the population ever exceeded 2 per cent, if that. The oft cited French Huguenots for example, numbered no more than 50,000 and are unlikely to have constituted more than 1 per cent of the population. Sharing a religion with the Protestant British they quickly assimilated and became part of the fabric of the nation.

Up until the present century the make-up of the British population was pretty much as it had been for more than 1,000 years. A study by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics in Oxford and published in Nature (2015) reported that native Britons living in one particular area of the country are almost as closely related to other Britons living elsewhere in the country as they are to their immediate neighbours. The indications are that there is very little genetic structure differentiation within the native British population.

The largest differences are between the Orkney (part of Norway until 1472) and North Wales with a variation of 0.003, Orkney and Pembrokeshire had a similar variation of 0.003. In comparison the same values for major continental groups (European, African, Asian etc.) are in the range of 5-15 per cent, 100 times greater than the average variation between areas in Britain. A cluster analysis of the genetic data found that the vast majority of English people could be assigned to a single genetic cluster spanning from the South coast all the way up to the Scottish border.

A previous paper in Nature (2008) showed that the native British population can be demarcated genetically from the native populations of mainland Europe. Plotting the two principal components of variation it was found that the distribution of points matched closely the geographic distribution of European countries. This indicates that native Britons are all more closely related to one another than any of them is to the average Italian, Spaniard or Slovak.

The ‘immigrant blood in her veins’ asserted by Robert Wilder seems to have been severely diluted. The science would indicate that up until very recently Britain, although it had received minor immigrant waves, was not an immigrant nation. Rather Britain has until recently been remarkably homogeneous and distinct.

Contemporary levels of immigration into Britain are unprecedented. According to The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, the share of foreign-born people in the UK’s total population in recent years has increased by more than half, from 7 per cent in 1993 to nearly 13.5 per cent in 2015. In 2015 the number of foreign-born people relative to total population was greatest in Inner London (41 per cent) and Outer London (35 per cent). This would indicate that Britain is in the process of far-reaching change.

‘Nation of immigrants’ bears little relation to reality. It is a rhetorical device employed to silence those opposed to open immigration. If Britain was a nation of immigrants it would mean that we are all at some remove immigrants, therefore have no right to question further immigration. This would ultimately mean that we have no more right to live and work in these islands than anyone else who cares to turn up. Which is the standpoint of those who employ the term.

(Image: Tee Cee)


  1. “we have no more right to live and work in these islands than anyone else who cares to turn up”,
    It would appear that even that standpoint is out of date. Everything seems to have swung well beyond that standpoint and we are constantly told that we couldn’t survive without our inflow of vibrant workers. Public policy seems to discriminate against the native populations.

    This was reinforced whenever I came through Heathrow. It felt as though I had inadvertently caught the wrong flight and arrived to encounter the officials of some foreign land.

    • “…we are constantly told that we couldn’t survive without our inflow of vibrant workers.”

      Yes, we are, and it’s a fallacy. Immigration, especially from outside the EU, is of fiscal cost to the UK. We need ‘quality’ migration not quantity.

      “Between 1995 and 2011 the fiscal cost of migrants in the UK was at least £115 billion and possibly as much as £160 billion according to a report from the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration headed by Professor Christian Dustmann at University College, London. The report found that migrants in the UK were a fiscal cost in every year examined.”

      As the above is the case then that other oft quoted nugget that we have an ever increasing older population (true) therefore we need immigrants to pay for their pensions is not true. A further fact that the pro-mass immigration, mainly left wing, clueless ones never consider is that immigrants grow too!

      • The Left either cannot do Arithmetic or consider it a Capitalist plot, so anything to do with numbers, whether it is imigration figures, finance or temperature records, it is completely lost on them.

  2. Great article.
    On the subject of London, one of the by products of the Grenfell tragedy is that many millions around the UK got to see how much London has changed.
    The MSM do not comprehend that vasts amounts of Brits don’t visit London nor want to visit London. Speaking with older members of both my own, and my wife’s extended families a theme soon became apparent. That is, how astounded people were, at how few ethnically British were living in that tower. The tragedy opened a window onto something they had no view of.
    This was a real talking point for them (but not the media).
    The MSM and political elite simply don’t grasp how this insight into the population make up of London really shocked many in the rest of the UK.
    Its a good example of how detached the Metropolitan MSM are from the rest of the UK.

    • I’ll put my hand up and admit I don’t know whereabouts Mr Winder actually lives, but I have an inner conviction that he doesn’t have too many “bloody foreigners” in his neck of the woods.

    • Lived in central London for nearly 30 years and the scale of change has been enormous. Except for the older generations the white working and lower middle class are largely gone from central London

    • I can tell you that in ‘the sticks’ the lack of native Brits in Grenfell did not go unnoticed. But this merely confirmed what I knew as a friend lives in K&C in social housing and she is the only native in her block. This is a huge problem and it is time the political class actually began to properly control immigration which is not the huge benefit to us all they make it out to be.

      • Some distinguished commentator, a few years back observed
        that you cannot have welfare & immigration.
        The generational responsibilities, which are so much more than cash, are
        ruptured once substantial numbers of immigrants come in to the UK to
        benefit from the sacrifices of our parents & grand parents.
        The Nigerian woman who racked up an NHS bill of £500,000 & refuses to
        pay it is an excellent example, even though she was no immigrant.
        Just a health tourist who dropped by to take other people’s entitlements.
        Until we have compulsory ID cards for all residents & serious sanctions against
        illegals, our welfare system will break down.
        Re Grenfell.
        I doubt if all the facts will be published in our lifetimes.
        Like the autopsy on Dr David Kelly (100 years).
        Those residents who actually worked would have been exploited in poorly paid
        jobs, and that applies especially to the illegals who would be subletting
        from employees who worked for nearby Kensingtonians as servants.

  3. Although I agree broadly with the conclusions of this article it is rather Anglo-centric. The author writes of “invasions by the Romans, Viking and Normans” but carefully omits the invaders who came between the Romans and the Vikings. In the very next paragraph he refers to “the settlement of Anglo-Saxons” instead of “the invasion of the Anglo-Saxons.”

    Studies of DNA some years ago showed linked the Celts of Wales and Ireland with the Basques of Spain and France.

    Genes link Celts to Basques

    A much more recent study suggests that there was a huge change in the make up of the British population with the arrival of the Beaker people in the Bronze Age.

    Ancient-genome study finds Bronze Age ‘Beaker culture’ invaded Britain

    Reich’s team calculates that Britain saw a greater than 90% shift in its genetic make-up. But Roberts says he doesn’t see evidence for such a huge shift in the archaeological record. The rise of cremation in Bronze Age Britain could have biased the finding, he cautions, because it might have eliminated bones that could have been sampled for DNA. Although archaeologists are excited to see ancient DNA yield breakthroughs in problems that have vexed their field for decades, says Linden, he expects some push back against the latest study’s conclusions. “It’s not at all the end of the story.

    Of course the Beaker people and the ancestors of the Celts in general all arrived a very long time ago so so none of this invalidates Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack’s argument. I simply want to point out that he should not forget the people who were here long before the Anglo-Saxon invaders.

    • It is not surprising that the Basques and the Celts should be related. The population of North West Europe owes descent from small bands of closely related individuals which emerged from ice age refuges in what is now the Basque Country.

      These bands followed the retreating ice to areas surrounding what is now the North Sea. Some of them went West to coastal districts populating what became Wales, Ireland and further North.

      To this basic substructure were added Incursions of other people from the East, especially with the advent of agriculture in the neolithic.

      Suffice it to say that in general the people of Britain can trace their ancestry here or hereabouts back to the Stone Age and before that to the Ice Age.

      The invaders of Britain in the so- called Dark Ages were closely related genetically to those already here. They also shared cultural and religious affinities.

  4. Good article and correct. I challenged a well known progressive writer to 1 .
    Name the immigrant waves between 1100 and 1850 excluding Hugenots.2
    Where did they come from and when.
    For my pains I was roundly abused as a racist.
    This lie of an immigrant nation is essential to the cultural marxist position. The reality is that now it is proving to be true and we can all see the results.
    London is place to avoid for millions especially with young children . How it will work out when London and other cities become no longer thought of as part of our lives remains to be seen.

  5. The accusation of “WAYCIIIIIIIIST!” has become the default argument of the left. It may not have started in America, but Obama’s election certainly gave it legs. Any criticism of O’Barmy required no response. It was automatically racist, although he himself was the most blatantly racist president since Johnson.

    • How come Johnson was racist ?
      He advanced integration more than any other, even though he
      stated it would cost Democrats the South for a generation.

      • Well, firstly, Johnson had a history of racism, in common with most Democrat politicians of his time, and that is well documented. When he ended segregation, he was doing no more than the Republicans had been attempting to do for a whole century, always blocked by Democrats in Congress, or by one in the White House.

        On top of that was his claim, regarding his “War on Poverty”:

        “I’ll have them n*****s voting Democratic for the next two hundred years”.

        Well, we are a quarter of the way through his two centuries, now, and the Democrats have stuck pretty close to his plan, with no discernible benefit to black Americans in Baltimore, Oakland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago…

        This isn’t racism on the part of the United States, or the individual states, or counties, or cities, or on the part of white Americans in general. The racism was in Johnson’s plan from the start: keep black Americans dirt-poor and dependent on welfare.

        If that isn’t racism, I don’t know what is.

        • That’s very interesting & I wouldn’t want to dispute with you..
          The N word could have been used humorously, as in Blazing Saddles.
          I greatly admire Condoleeza Rice, who as a child, was escorted to school by the National Guard in Johnson’s day, & George Wallace
          a good ol Southern Democrat who reversed his position in his latter years.
          BTW, I love (the safe parts of) Chicago, & was impressed by its cultural centre, built c1900.
          The walls are covered with literary quotes, about 50% of which are
          British. Little more than a century after the War of Independence, they
          were making mosaics of the thoughts not just of Shakespeare & Milton
          but such as Arthur Quiller Couch.
          I still think there is a special relationship, with us as a respected junior partner which is much better than being second paymaster to the Fourth Reich. and losing our self government.

  6. This is a very good article and absolutely on the money. I would also like to second Colkitto03’s comments about London and the ethnic make-up of the inhabitants of Grenfell Tower. When the 2011 census results were announced and it was learned that, for the first time, those who defined themselves as ‘white, British’ had fallen below 50% of the population in London, the Government knew this was a shocking statistic and launched a propaganda drive. Cue every member of the liberal elite was a talking-head guest on every conceivable type of TV programme saying how wonderful this was and how we should rejoice in London’s ‘diversity’. Many, many articles along the same lines in the broadsheets followed. The census gave the ‘white, British’ population of London as 44% – that’s the official figure. Speaking as someone who has lived in London for decades, the real figure is probably no more than a third, if that. The huge numbers of illegal immigrants in London obviously don’t bother completing census forms.

    London has a myth of itself as a great ‘melting-pot’ whereas the reality is that one or more ethnic groups dominate a given area with very little actual ‘diversity’ within them. The area around Whitechapel, for example, is largely inhabited by those of Bangladeshi extraction (with even street signs appearing in Bengali) – other groups such as the Jewish and Chinese communities that would have brought genuine diversity to the area are, by and large, long gone.

    There has been massive, massive ‘white flight’ from London with consequences that are yet to be fully understood. Occasionally, a politician will demonstrate how out-of-touch they are by suggesting that there needs to be more integration of immigrant communities without somehow realising that what they think of as ‘mainstream’ society – the white, British working and middle classes – no longer really exists in London or in some of our other towns and cities.

    And what of our elites that have presided over all of this? A good acid test of their real views is not to pay attention to their words but their deeds – to look at the choices those members of our social, political and economic elites who are always pushing for more immigration and for the condemning of anyone who questions it, actually make in their own private lives. It is amazing how often the most enthusiastic cheer leaders for immigration don’t choose to live in our ‘vibrant, multi-cultural, diverse’ inner cities but, instead, prefer very expense, very exclusive, very white areas such as Cotswold villages.

    • Absolutely.
      Regarding London’s population I am sure it is much greater than reported.
      Certainly those working in both the water supply and effluent/sewer management industries have a much greater idea of how many people there actually are. Its their business to plan for it, and they can tell a lot from volumes used and volumes produced (if you get my gist).
      They have extensive records and much experience in management forecasting, and this is very closely linked to population numbers. From what I understand there are many working in this area that say official population numbers are seriously way to low.

      • ” and effluent/sewer management”.
        They used to say ‘different day, same sh*t”. Now I suppose it is ‘different day, different sh*t’.

        • LOL
          London certainly produces a lot more pro rata than elsewhere. And that is not just because it it home to channel4 news

  7. The British are constantly being fed lies on immigration & its concomitants,
    including from Tories.
    As a socially liberal conservative, who is worried about becoming a bit racist
    in the face of the criminal & anti social behaviour of far too many persons of immigrant
    stock, may I present the findings of David Goodhart, founder of the impeccably liberal
    Prospect magazine ?
    More immigrants enter the UK ANNUALLY than in the entire period 1066 -1950
    Apart from the Irish ( 1 million over 200 years), the main arrivals have been 50,000
    Huguenots over a 200 year period & 150,000 Jews from the early 19th century on.
    Both these groups had high personal moral standards & were very keen on integrating
    Needless to say, the destructive left, which dominates the subsidised cultural
    scene for decades have no platformed the courageous Mr Goodhart at a recent literary
    love in – I think Haye on Wye

    • Excellent points. No Britain has not in what we call modern history been a nation of immigrants, for all that it has been a refuge for many – usually on temporary basis. As an American, I can see the difference, your love of England is justified (and in fact shared by many others) but it is England. Substitute Britain if appropriate, its hard to tell where one ends and the other begins from here.

      In the States, our reverence isn’t so much for the local soil, and in fact, when that exists, it is usually for a state, at most, which in fact is often on an English scale, the nation is simply to big and diverse. Our reverence is mostly reserved for our documents (some shared with you) and our ideals, which essentially means that anybody who shares those is welcome.

      Sadly, with the present migrant flows we share the same problem, so far without solution.

      • I greatly admire & love much about the US, though obviously it is
        not perfect.
        Respect for documents & decisions proceeding therefrom is important
        and we have lost much of our nation’s statehood because of ignoring
        or cancelling key Acts.
        Most notably, Cameron had the cheek to lead the celebrations of
        Magna Carta while simultaneously embracing the European Arrest Warrant
        which goes against the basic principles of Magna Carta.
        At the Deep State level one cannot but notice that the US is cultivating India & Australia, while depositing the UK in the EU.
        “When I call Europe, who do I speak to ?” was the old US governmental
        question. The answer is Berlin, & also call the UK in London when necessary.
        When in New Orleans last year, several Americans congratulated us on
        giving the finger to the Germans.
        The difference between governments & citizens is as great in the US as it is in
        the UK.
        Difference is, your citizens aren’t being replaced.

        • I agree. Well, they’d like to, I think. And that too is why Trump won. But it’s harder to replace 3 hundred million, especially when people start to wake up. And we are, as you know, considerably rowdier.

  8. Anybody from any of the 200 countries in the world can turn up at Heathrow or Dover with an hard luck story and eventually become ‘british’, which means nothing to me since it has been diluted and made worthless by successive governments,who hoped that by encompassing us all under one identity,that we would all live together as one happy-clappy multi-cultural society.Well I’m afraid that a Somalian pimp or Jamaican gangsta are in no way as ‘british’ me for the simple reason I’m English,and the sooner the people of this country,in particularly the English who have been subjected to enforced mass-immigration and multi-culturalism the most,start to reclaim their English identity instead of very slowly but surely having it eradicated by ‘british’,the better.No other people of any country would continuously vote for political parties who hate them(Emily Thornberry anyone?)And yes,I’m a racist for wanting to protect my peoples identity in their own country.

    • The only people in Britain who call themselves British are the English who have been shamed into non existence just as Britain as a whole will be.

      • Funny how London, the ancient capital of the English, has proportionally fewer English than at any time in its history.
        Even stranger is the fact that the Scots etc have their own Parliaments, but the English, who foot all the bills don’t have one.

        • Not surprising given the views of the political elite like Jack Straw.
          “Beware the English – a nation with the potential for aggression and violence.”

  9. A nation of immigrants only exists if, from at least the inception or soon afterwards, large groups of non-indigenous people from various parts of the world became part of the nation’s fabric. Upon examining British history, that clearly wasn’t the case; there were large periods between invasions where the ethnic population remained homogenous. I don’t believe that Britishness is something free; if it was, then there is no such thing as being British, just as there would be no such thing as any nationality– which, of course, is the liberal viewpoint. Someone is nobody. Everyone is nobody. Britishness for the immigrant is acquired through a respect, affinity and loyalty to the country’s history, culture, customs and values. It is troubling that this does not appear to be a requirement for many who come here.

  10. The claim that Britain is a nation of immigrants is an official lie intended to foul the plebs while the open borders anarchy ensues. One important statistic from the Dept of Education last week that was never reported by the MSM : white English pupils will be a minority in English schools within two decades.

  11. WHY isn’t TCW writing about Charlottesville, Trump’s support for neo-nazis, and his advocation of Police violence ???

    • Ah yes the appalling violence of Fascist Left filth like we so often see. We saw it in Berkeley when Milo was due to speak.

      • You mean Milo that wholesome pillar of family values??

        You might reflect on what is really going on.

        In recent days we have seen military style violent protest and political murder – followed by calculated equivocation rather than immediate condemnation….which really amounts to coded approval of neo-nazi activity.

        Here we have a POTUS who cannot say the same thing twice, who has missed an opportunity to display leadership, and has thus shoved America further down a slippery slope.

        • Why are you complaining ? You are perfectly happy to see Fascist Left violence against conservatives. You are perfectly happy to stop conservatives speaking at Universities – like Milo – etc and other places. All you do on here is spread your vile Fascist Left views like a trail of bile and hate. Waste of space.

    • Trump supports something you & your type cannot comprehend.
      It’s called free speech.
      Through free speech & its concomitant free enquiry we make genuine progress.
      The vile leftists who act as if they are above the law in the UK, often are.
      They are the new fascists & since Hitler was a socialist & Mussolini an ex socialist
      it’s hardly surprising.
      Incidentally, why hasn’t London been subject to any fascistic left wing demos lately ?

    • Trump didn’t support nor- Nazis. He condemned violence in all sides.

      Not noticeably reported in the MSM is the fact that the Antifa i.e. left fascists and BLM activists, ie black racists, arrived at their counter demonstration wearing motorcycle helmets and clearly looking for trouble.

      • In fairness you may have a point -I don’t know about those examples.
        However for a serving President to deliberately equivocate as he did gives thinly-coded encouragement to neo-nazis.
        You also need to take this in context of his campaign incitements and his recent speech implicitly (only just) encouraging Police violence.
        David Duke & friends are high-fiving as we speak.
        No other serving President has done this, and he is responsible for whatever follows.

        • He didn’t ‘equivocate’ about anything, he blamed both left and right equally and the facts show he was correct.

          If you want to apportion blame, you could try the authorities in Charlotteville who permitted the right wing gathering and then withdrew the police forces who were keeping the rival groups apart, thus triggering the violence that led to the right wing nutter mowing down innocent people and killing a woman.

          • Yep, no excuse for that nutter. There are also many reports that the police literally drove the permitted demonstrators (the withdrawal of that permit was illegal in itself – it had already been adjudicated in federal court) directly into the unpermitted antifa counter demonstrators. But neither is worthy of support – both are fascist organizations, as I said yesterday it’s like watching Weimar in the 20s. Those who don’t learn from history will repeat the lesson.

          • Interesting point about Wiemar, and I share that worry, but the POTUS is putting out the fire with gasoline.

          • Interesting points but I don’t think you can make a causal link between that and getting in a car and mowing people down.

          • As Trump did not in fact endorse the alt-right, any such interpretation is factually incorrect, no matter how much you want it to be true.

  12. Not only was Britain racially homogenous to a great degree, it was religiously and culturally homogenous as well.

    It was this homogeneity and its Christianity which made Britain one of, if not the most internally peaceful of polities on earth.

    ‘The chief characteristic of the English Civilisation’, said Orwell in 1942, ‘ is its gentleness.
    One notices it the moment one sets foot on English soil’.

    This supreme achievement of a Civilisation has been torn up and cast to the four winds by our political class, who seem to think that the tolerance of the British is a somehow permanent feature of this country. They seem to think that it will survive the 180 degree reversal of all the characteristics which created it.

    This is a stunning example of the power of normalcy bias.

  13. “Britain’s currently rigid surface of chauvinism…”


    We have been more than accommodating to the people who have come here, and in return we have sexual abuse gangs, jihadi terrorists and hate preachers who abuse our freedoms to promulgate their message of religious bigotry.

    These hate preachers are far more free to spew their bile over the streets of this country than we are to discuss any of these matters. Abu Hamza was protected by the rule of British law for years while a return to his native country would have seen him tortured to death.

    Of course, as soon as we talk about any of these things, we face accusations of “chauvinism” from left-leaning publications and their blind agenda of welcoming anyone and everyone, no matter how filled with hate for our way of life they are.

  14. Why don’t immigrants have as much right to live and work in a new country as the people born there? Why does being born somewhere automatically entitle you to work and live there. You’ve not contributed yet. In fact if you are a native you have taken more out than immigrants who comes to work! It’s same principle as the free market making people move further out of the city. Just because your family has lived in a neighborhood doesn’t mean you should get subsidies to help you pay the rent to stay there.

  15. Quite selective quotations I suspect -driven by what?
    For example a recent study found central and southern english to have a 40% ‘French’ genetic component not linked to the Norman ingress, and that most ‘white british’ people have an approx 30% commonality with modern Germans.
    Why make distinctions?
    Does the author no longer think we are ‘all equal in the eyes of god’ ?
    I think this approach has dangerous overtones – not without historical precedent.

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