For historical research, twenty years ago I visited an exhibition marking the closure of Harperbury Hospital, a former colony for ‘mental defectives’. One board featured a controversy from circa 1970, covered by local newspapers. Families had complained of foreign staff failing to communicate with their sons or daughters because they could hardly speak English. The display boasted of the hospital management’s refusal to tolerate prejudice. So parents with legitimate concerns were not merely ignored by the authorities, but conveniently cast as racists.
I was reminded of this while reading Douglas Murray’s book on immigration, as it had stirred doubts in my then naïve view of a marvellous, exotic melting pot. A highly respected commentator, Murray has produced a tour de force, pulling no punches in describing the overwhelming influx in Britain and Europe as a steady and seemingly irreversible process of cultural suicide. For all who have been exasperated by the pathetically lax response to the biggest demographic change in history, Murray does not console. But he confronts a liberal establishment that continues to encourage this huge transformation of a once-stable society. How much more immigration do they want? Is this merely the beginning, and what is the ultimate destination? Looking at the ethnic mix in schools, it needs neither pessimism nor genius to envisage a white British minority and soon after a Muslim majority.
Murray has carefully recorded those awful Question Time discussions, the sanctimonious drivel by ‘progressive’ politicians and fêted metropolitan pundits, and the constant insulting of the intelligence and sensibilities of ordinary folk. They wanted to ‘rub our noses in diversity’ (as an aide to Tony Blair urged). The vindictive taunts of Will Self: you flag-wavers are getting what you deserve for pillaging the world; American import Bonnie Greer telling us we have no culture. At the very least, Murray exposes these characters for their brazen stupidity. And undoubtedly this smug, sneering commentariat contributed to Brexit.
The book is a polemical but scholarly account, scrutinising the political propaganda and the policy-based evidence from biased research cloaked in academic rigour. No armchair critic, Murray visited places such as Lampedusa, the tiny island where thousands arrive weekly from the nearby Libyan coast, and the suburbs of Paris where many a terrorist plot is hatched. The facile assumptions about the value of mass immigration are skewered: the contrived crisis of ageing (as if living longer is bad), the economic Ponzi scheme, and the nebulous concept of ‘diversity’ that in practice means replacement of one culture with another (as in Seine Saint Denis or Oldham).
The writing is on the wall, yet nothing gets done. With its schema of displacement and denial, liberal Western society appears to be going down the toilet. Don’t educated people see the risks for hard-won equality for women and LGBT, for freedom of speech, and for what’s left of our ‘green and pleasant land’? Perhaps our best hope comes from within the diaspora communities. Some of the clearest thinking on the challenges of culture clash are of Asian or African background, such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In Germany, Bassam Tibi called for a leitkultur, whereby a heterogenous society is united by the heritage, laws and freedoms of the host country. Diversity is good if it is playing jazz, rather than a cacophony of competing tunes.
Murray’s analysis has drawn ire from the likes of The Guardian, whose reviewer Gaby Hinsliff resorted to snide remarks: ‘Katie Hopkins, but with bigger words’. Racism, with footnotes. The Telegraph review was better, but showed the reluctance across the mainstream media to speak truth on the rapid and dramatic changes to our world. ‘Alarmist’ is a frequently used term in discussing the book, thus shifting the problem from observed reality to the observer.
Our society is not ready to listen to the likes of Murray. Conservatives worry about stable doors and the lateness of the hour, but the liberal establishment dismisses their anxiety. As in the Soviet Union under Stalin, the language of mental illness is used to undermine dissent. We have phobia, and therefore we are incapable of reasoned discourse. But perhaps our sickness runs deeper. Murray may be interested in a new research paper by experts on the evolution of social behaviour (Aarøe, Bang Petersen & Arceneaux), which explains everything: –
Our results suggest that people high in disgust sensitivity are not opposed to immigration because they are conservative. More likely, these people tend to be conservative because their behavioural immune system propels them to oppose immigration.
There you are, Douglas. Relax, put away the Mr Sheen and get with the programme.
(Image: Paladin Justice)