The Battle for the Soul of Britain
From the Sunday Times a couple of weeks ago, three stories which illustrate a theme I want to develop over the next few weeks: the battle for the Soul of Britain
Immigration is an important part of this theme, for reasons that the liberal elite has long decried as horrid and racist, but are simply true. Not because the colour of one’s skin has any necessary bearing on my world view on the worth of the person within it, but because shared cultural and social values are critical to a stable and peaceful civil society, and because it is the norms of the community in which a person is brought up which informs a person’s cultural, moral, religious and political values.
Over the past few years Britain has become a magnet for asylum seekers. One such being the perhaps comically named Mr Serafa Salami. Mr Salami pitched up in this country in 2000, claiming asylum. He comes from Togo. I do not know much about Togo, other than it has some deserts and purportedly democratic system of government but nobody can really agree who has been elected because it is a pretty corrupt place. There is also plenty of petty crime. As such, on a world view it fits rather into the “average” part of the spectrum, and not too far from Westminster, apart from the deserts. Pretty unremarkable then, and hard to see why Mr Salami would be fleeing persecution.
Even our own befuddled and incompetent immigration authorities seem to have worked that out, because in 2002 his application for asylum was thrown out. This irritating little detail did not cause too much of a problem for Mr Salami, however, because the authorities did nothing about him, and he was left with time to counter with the now standard manoeuvre of fathering a couple of children. By whom is not recorded.
This, of course, trumped the authorities’ ace, and he was then permitted to remain apparently subject to conditions. This allowed him time in which to commit a serious sexual assault and be imprisoned at tax payer’s expense (estimated at £112,000) for three years.
Now released, Mr Salami enjoys a flat in West Drayton in London, at a further cost to the taxpayer of £800 per month, plus some vouchers and benefits. To be fair, I am not sure what £800 per month gets you even in West Drayton these days. Mr Salami says it is “not a lot” and has complained about it. Perhaps he is there because of his other requests which he made upon entering this country, such as that he be housed near a hospital because he might need an operation, but also near a mosque and a college. Requests which were dealt with in his case file by the observation “oblige ...if possible.”
Mr Salami should have been deported upon his release from prison. It seems that being convicted of a serious criminal offence was a breach of his conditions of residency. He remains, however. It is not clear why. I expect that any further attempt to deport him will result in the now ubiquitous Human Rights challenge, once again using his status as a “father.”
Speaking of which, of course this week we have seen case of Mrs Rashida Chapti. Mrs Chapti (54) has been in the country for six years. She qualified for British nationality via her parents who had a British protected passport issued when Malawi was a British colony.
She lives in Leicester but, perhaps surprisingly, it is not upon this ground that she seeks to complain about an infringement of her “Human Rights.” Indeed, no! Mrs Chapti has been married for 37 years to a gentleman who lives in rural India who is 58, and wishes to bring him to live with her, but this is being resisted on the grounds that he does not speak English, and does not want to learn. Mrs Chapti (who does not much like speaking English either) has deployed the usual Human Rights challenge to this policy, asserting her right to a family life. Since there is nothing, as far as I can see, preventing Mrs Chapti from being re-united with the bosom of her family (she has seven children) by taking the next flight to Mumbai, I think that the case might more accurately be described as an assertion of her “right” to claim the social security, benefits, pension medical benefits which her husband would enjoy, having made no contribution to this country whatsoever. But then, that’s cynical me. I understand her case is being funded by the public, by the way, under Legal Aid. So the public must pay for her case and pay to defend the case she brings.
However, on the other side of the coin we have the story that that children of ambitious immigrants and “ethnic minorities” are forging ahead in taking up places in grammar schools in disproportionately high numbers. In the West Midlands, for example, Indians make up 9% of the population, but children from an Indian background make up 19% of grammar school children.
Grammar schools have since Shakespeare’s time and before been the principal and best ladder engine of social mobility, enabling and encouraging the talented children of the poor to rise in society. Perhaps that is why the Political Establishment (not just the Left) has for so long tried to destroy them. Sally Liu, who came to this country in the 1970’s and worked in a Chinese restaurant, sends her son Michael to a grammar school. She says:
“We went without a lot. We stopped going out to save money for books and things like that. He travels for more than an hour to get to school, but it is worth it.”
Words that reflect the decent, inspirational values of right thinking, hard working parents the world over. And note her son’s first name. Not Cheng or Bao or Jet, but Michael. I suspect Michael will work hard and prosper. An Englishman with a proud Chinese heritage, just as I am an Englishman with a proud Irish heritage.
Conclusions? I have long had the murky, unprovable and yet persistent nagging feeling that the Establishment’s open door policy on immigration has not been to do with economic regeneration or servicing gaps in the labour market, but has been predicated on a wilful and deliberate attempt to break a socially cohesive, largely conservatively minded society and the values that went with it.
Crucial to these were respect for the common law and freedoms secured under it, and a commitment to the democratic process. These are not at all common features of societies around the globe. Indeed, they are the product of more than two thousand years of history from Romano-British times to this, much of it bloody. I would argue that they are, as Churchill wrote, particularly and peculiarly the values of the English speaking peoples of the world.
I have sometimes paused to consider whether it has been the policy of Her Majesty’s Government positively to encourage the wholesale importation of every sponger and criminal in the Sub Saharan, Arab and Asian continents. I know that is absurd, yet such is the manner in which the asylum system in particular has been handled that I still have some nagging doubts in the back of my mind.
However, we are where we are. The huge scale of immigration coupled with the much higher birth rates amongst many “immigrant communities” (I use the term loosely) means that the term “ethnic minority” may very soon be redundant or indeed rather ironically, in certain sections of the country may enjoy a new meaning which is quite the reverse of its original connotation. That cannot be now be undone.
The question is not what the colour of the citizens of this New Jerusalem will be. The question is: what values will prevail? Will it be the primitive criminality of Mr Salami, or the freeloading of Mr and Mrs Chapti? Will it be the intolerance of aggressive Islam which in some areas is already purporting to assert the pre-eminence of Sharia law?
Or will it be the dynamic, hard working, Anglicised approach of Mrs Liu? Over the next fifty or so years, this will be the battle for the Soul of Britain.
Gildas the Monk