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Up with globalism, down with the UK


WHAT baffles me about the obsession with embracing and celebrating ethnic diversity from outside our islands is that the media and political establishment either forget or conveniently ignore that the British Isles were already ethnically diverse, consisting of the English, Welsh, Scots and Irish before more recent arrivals.

Acknowledging this in no way denigrates the positive contributions of those law-abiding British citizens of Afro-Caribbean and Asian descent who have integrated successfully. It would be more accurate to highlight that the indigenous people of the British Isles were already ethnically diverse. 

Now, I know that the term British Isles irritates many Irish and Scottish nationalists because it reminds them of the interwoven ties of culture, history and ancestry between all the peoples of these islands which they pretend don’t exist. Like many people, I have ties to various parts of these islands. I wouldn’t exist if one of the descendants of my Anglo-Scots Presbyterian ancestors who settled in Ulster hadn’t taken a shine to a young Gaelic Irish Catholic woman. I’m not just culturally British and Irish, it’s etched into my DNA.

In recent years and since last week’s local elections, the increased support for Sinn Fein in both parts of Ireland and the SNP in Scotland has led the media and many politicians to speculate about a possible break-up of the United Kingdom. In some quarters they are even cheerleading for such an outcome. The media and much of the political class across these islands are on the whole EU enthusiasts who lament Brexit.

It is truly baffling that many of these same champions of diversity want to break up the ethnically diverse union of the peoples of Scotland, Wales, England and the part of Ireland which hopefully will continue to remain in the UK. It is quite perplexing to see Irish and Scottish nationalists arguing for the break-up of the union with England, with which they have inextricable links, while longing to be in an aspiring federal European superstate alongside countries such as Latvia and Slovakia with whom they have little in common. Scottish and Irish nationalists wish to purge the overarching British culture which has pervaded our islands for centuries while championing for a nebulous European identity. Without any sense of irony, these people can sneer at the concept of British unionism one minute and laud European unionism as a noble endeavour the next.  

Putting aside my criticism and opposition to Irish and Scottish nationalism as a myopic lens through which to view the totality of history and relationships on these islands, I’m also aware that they are rooted in a degree of genuine historical grievances and what Freud termed ‘the narcissism of small differences’. With this in mind, the most confusing thing about Scottish and Irish nationalists in the modern era is how completely they are on board with the globalist agenda of mass immigration. On the one hand, they argue that the individual nations of these islands are culturally distinct and owing to historical ethnic tensions should remain politically separate. At the same time, they are proponents of importing large numbers of people from everywhere in the world, many of whom come from countries which have ethnic tensions with other incoming immigrant groups and a significant number of whom abhor the values of the liberal democracy which is taking them in. 

The truth is that most Scottish and Irish nationalists don’t really believe in a distinct and separate national identity. They are merely opposed to a unified British identity with English and Welsh people, to whom they are culturally very similar. An independent Scotland or a united Ireland outside of the United Kingdom won’t be distinguishable from England by becoming more Scottish or Irish culturally. In fact, the one thing they would retain in common with many English cities is the ongoing process of mass immigration that started during the Blair era.

Immigration at this scale and intensity and from certain incompatible cultures makes integration and social cohesion very difficult to achieve. Whether you are in London, Dublin or Glasgow, parts of these cities are quickly losing their distinct cultures which manageable numbers of immigrants integrated with in the past. Instead, thanks to globalism, they are taking on the characterless atmosphere of the arrivals hall of an international airport. The SNP or Sinn Fein won’t alter any of that. They will make it even worse. They are perfectly fine with more globalism as long as it comes with less Britishness.   

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Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine
Andrew Devine is an Orwell Prize winning writer & blogger

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