Murray’s book is largely about immigration. A subject which is so wrapped in misunderstanding, political correctness and virtue signaling that it is almost impossible to discuss. Question immigration at all and you are automatically classed as a xenophobic quasi fascist who wants to expel all foreigners. If only we had open borders then we would live in paradise (or its sub-department the Nirvana known as the EU). On the other hand there are those who see immigrants as the source of all our problems – if only we get rid of them then we would live in paradise – a land full of honest, hardworking and nearly perfect British people, unsullied by foreigners.
Let me lay my cards on the table. I am a big fan of immigration. The UK and the USA are nations of immigrants. I love the fact that in my own city of Dundee there are over 100 different nationalities. Our city and country would be far poorer without those who live amongst us from other cultures. I think any country can benefit from having a regular and steady influx of people from other cultures. Furthermore a wealthy country like ours surely has a responsibility to do what it can in taking refugees from less fortunate parts of the world. In my view Scotland could do with more immigration and not less. However there is no doubt there is a big problem with immigration – something which Murray evidences with devastating effect.
Is Immigration out of Control?
My problem with immigration as it is currently practiced in Britain is that in some areas it is out of control and as a result, in other areas it is far too tight. Because 400 million EU citizens have the right to live, travel, work and claim benefits in our already overcrowded island, this means that the government, in order to try and restrict immigration are much harder on other nationalities. The much-vaunted ‘freedom of movement’ is freedom of movement only for EU citizens – it excludes Africans, Americans, Asians and Arabs. With the turning of marriage into a civil contract, and the removal of other values, including the whole idea of nationality, money seems to have become the only criteria (unless perhaps sexuality is seen as a protected category – if you want to be recognised as a refugee from Iran, don’t claim to be Christian, claim you are gay!).
We now have the ridiculous situation where my daughter for example, born, raised, educated in Scotland, may not be able to return to her native land with her husband – simply because she married an Australian. This means my grandchild would be excluded as well. She would be welcome back – but without her husband. What a family friendly society we have! The government has decided that unless you earn more than £21,000 you will not be allowed to stay – no matter your circumstances (unless you are one of the few able to claim refugee status). Meanwhile I observe millions of people from out with the UK, some of whom are sworn enemies of the UK, being able to come and live here – and many are paid by the UK taxpayer for doing so. It’s little wonder that working class people are so often driven to frustration and resentment. For middle class people immigration usually means something else –they can afford the economic restrictions and ‘free movement’ just means lattes in Milan, concerts in Berlin and cheap labour for their healthcare, culinary and domestic needs. Who needs slaves when you can hire Poles?
Freedom of Movement?
The ‘open borders’ of the EU has not brought the freedom of movement that has become a mantra of the ‘progressive’ left and right. Yes it allows for business people, and those who can afford it to travel and work ‘freely’ within the EU area. In theory it means that anyone in the EU can live and work anywhere else within the EU – but what that means for an unemployed miner from Sunderland is vastly different for what it means for a student from Edinburgh. In reality it means that people can be employed not because of their qualifications but because of their race – a top dentist from the US can be excluded- a substandard one from Eastern Europe cannot (which is not to suggest that all dentists from Eastern Europe are substandard or that all US dentists are top standard – I’m sorry that I have to even make that obvious point but such is the poisonous irrational atmosphere we live in that almost every sentence has to be qualified!). Big and small business can employ cheaper labour and undercut local wages (I know for example of companies who employ only Eastern Europeans on the grounds that they are cheaper, more reliable and more hardworking). A further question – Is it right for rich countries like the UK to take the best doctors, nurses and dentists from poorer countries in order to staff our own health services – whilst we train doctors, dentists and nurses to go to Australia, New Zealand and the USA?!
The Return of Slavery
Immigration means that the middle classes in Cambridge, Oxford and Edinburgh can get their nannies, taxi drivers, gardeners and baristas at a ‘competitive’ rate. Big business farmers can get their cheap labour, paying them the minimum wage and in some cases recouping much of that by charging them to stay in dormitory accommodation. Glastonbury can import a couple of hundred Czech and Spanish workers for a few days on zero hours contracts to clean up the mess of the middle classes at play (and sack half of them after a couple of days) – whilst shouting about how they are all for the poor and against zero hours contracts! George Soros can argue for open borders because his corporate, globalized capitalism needs to be able to manipulate governments and move subsidized factories around as they will. People to such globalists are as disposable commodities as buildings.
Meanwhile the British working class have been told they are to become the British dependency class – 20% of whom are disabled and ‘unfit’ for work. British people cannot be expected to pick fruit, work on the land or do menial tasks. Our young people don’t have the time. We are creating a work-shy, dependency culture which is now almost at the stage where we have to rely on cheap imported labour (who in Roman times would really be slaves and in Marxist terms are ‘wage slaves’) to do the jobs we think are beneath us. Incidentally again as I write the headline news on the BBC is the report that modern day slavery in the UK is far worse than anticipated with tens of thousands in every city being involved. Modern Slaves in every town and city in Britain Again let me make an observation to our Guardianistas, Tory pro-EU marketeers and SNP social progressives – when you retweet, moan and complain about ‘our farmers’ (farm businesses) not being able to get cheap labour, remember that you are talking about a system which makes it so much easier to have wage slavery. When work is farmed out to gang masters and companies (labour providers) to employ people from throughout the EU, you have far less control and far more chance of exploitation. It is harder to make local people slaves. It is easier to get slaves to take the jobs that local people could do. This is as much about empowerment as economics.
The immigration debate is about far more than just welcoming and accepting people from other cultures. It is about what we make of our own. And it’s about economic justice and social dignity.
How Did We Get Into This Mess?
Lets turn to The Strange Death of Europe and as before I intend to let Murray speak in his own words – hence the extensive quotations that follow.
Murray gives a devastating critique of how we got into this mess – and mess it is. He gives the historical background. In another one of Tony Blair’s well meaning but devastating mistakes (aka Iraq) he deliberately eased the immigration rules because he wanted to rub the Right’s nose in equality and diversity and to create an electorate which would be loyal to the Labour party.
According to Labour speech writer Andrew Neather.
“In 2014 women who were born overseas accounted for 27% of all live births in England and Wales, and 33% of newborn babies had at least one immigrant parent, a figure that had doubled since the 1990s.” Page 34
The facts that Murray lists are astounding – facts incidentally that you will rarely hear discussed on the BBC, or in parliament, or in academia or in ‘civic Scotland’ or most of the mainstream media
“David Coleman, a professor of demography at Oxford University, has shown that on current trends people who identified themselves as a ‘white British’ in the 2011 census will cease to be a majority in the United Kingdom in the 2060s. However, he stresses, if current levels of immigration to Britain continue, let alone rise, that number will move closer to the present. It would be a time when, as Prof Coleman says, Britain would become “unrecognisable to its present inhabitants”. (Page 34)
The UK needs to build a city the size of Liverpool every year to house all the new people who come to Britain each year – let alone the primary school places and the strains on the National Health Service.
Whilst many immigrants work hard and overall provide a benefit to the economy – the fact is that according to a report from University College London in 2013 entitled “the fiscal effects of immigration to the UK” the overall cost to the UK economy of immigration between 1995 and 2011 was at least £114 billion.
“During Britain’s EU debate one millionaire pro-EU entrepreneur insisted that migration into Britain was necessary because he didn’t want his daughter to become a “potato picker” (page 50)
There are two aspects to the current difficulties with immigration. One – as has already been indicated is what is termed ‘freedom of movement’ or ‘open borders’ within the EU. This in particular has created a problem for the UK which is much more accessible because of the English language (now the linga franca of Europe) and a growing economy. In other words jobs and money are available – if not adequate housing, schools and health care. Blair argued that only a few thousand Poles, Bulgarians, Rumanians etc. would come to the UK – over one million did. Again we need to be careful here – personally I think the 5,000 or so Poles who came to Dundee, Angus and Perthshire have been great for the area and a much-needed boost. As an area with a declining population we could easily assimilate them. But that is not true for every area of the UK. However the problem of over population and immigration has been multiplied by Merkels great mistake in 2015, when she announced Europe was open for anyone.
In August 2015 Angela Merkel announced that Europe was open to refugees and she declared, “We can do this”. Much of the media, like the Economist, backed her and said that her move was brave, decisive and right. And yet in 2010 in Potsdam she had made a speech in which she admitted that “the approach to build a multicultural society and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other has failed, utterly failed”. (Page 96)
She meant well. And in many terms what she said and did was admirable – but because it was not thought out it has become a disaster. The floodgates opened. In one astonishing statistic Murray demonstrates the problem. In 2015 after Merkel’s announcement, 400,000 migrants moved through Hungary. They didn’t stay – or at least only 20 of them did. They don’t want to go to the poorer EU countries – they want to come to Germany and the UK especially.
Now if all the migrants were genuine refugees then although it would be difficult, to desire to accommodate and keep them all would be understandable. But it is clear that they are not. Why are 80% of immigrants coming across the Mediterranean young men? Why do the majority of ‘young men’ from Afghanistan coming to Sweden claim to be aged 16 to 17 (and one third of them born on the 1st of January!)? Because in Swedish law they are classed as children and therefore entitled to bring their whole families. Remember the fuss when a British politician suggested examining the teeth of ‘children’. Apparently Sweden is now doing this. In fact what has been little noticed is that both Sweden and Germany (the most receptive countries) are now deporting tens of thousands of ‘refugees’. The great experiment has failed. And as a result genuine refugees will suffer. For example Iranian .Christian actress Aideen Strandsson is about to be deported from Sweden, even though she faces torture, death and imprisonment in her own country because becoming a Christian was ‘her own decision’!
Should we not accept refugees? Indeed. But there is a question as to why Europe should be the dumping ground. Of course Turkey and Jordan in particular have taken far more refugees in temporary camps. But what about other Muslim countries – especially those who have been funding and promoting the different factions in Syria?
The six Gulf cooperation countries comprising Kuwait, Iran, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman had granted asylum to a grand total of zero Syrian refugees by 2016.
“Not only has Saudi Arabia not made one Syrian into a Saudi citizen, it has also refused to allow the use of 100,000 air-conditioned tents there are erected for only five days a year by pilgrims and the Hajj. At the height of the 2015 crisis the single offer the Saudis did make as to build 200 new mosques in Germany for the benefit of the country’s new arrivals” page 316
But it’s not just the Saudis who struggle to take refuges.
“When the 2015 crisis was at its height many individuals in Britain from the leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party to the Labour Party Shadow Home Secretary, with numerous actors and rock stars in between, had said they would take in a refugee family. More than a year later not one of these people had actually done so. As with the generosity and benevolence throughout the crisis, it was easy to expect others to be benevolent on your own behalf once you had signaled that you are on the side of the Earth’s poor and oppressed. The consequences of your benevolence could be left to others.” (Page 285)
Meanwhile there are those who think that an open borders policy is at least ideologically the best that we can hope for. “Borders, proclaimed the European commission president, Jean Claude-Juncker, in August 2016, are the worst invention ever made by politicians” (page 178) Mr. Juncker who is of course able to overcome borders at will, (this weekend we have heard of his latest junket – hiring a private jet at £23,000 to fly from Brussels to Rome), does not have to face the effects of his own policies. That is left to those who don’t have the means to escape.
The big problem that Murray identifies is that the assumption that millions of people would just assimilate and accept ‘European’ values is proving to be demonstrably false. We are ending up with a clash of cultures and our liberal elites just haven’t a clue what to do with that. As a result they are creating a vacuum which is most likely to be filled by populists of right and left. It is astonishing that in Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany and France, the far right are making great progress. In Austria an extreme right-winger was almost elected President. And yet lemming like the liberal elites still think that they are so right that ‘everything will just be ok’. After all they have the media, Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Richard Branson, George Soros and Lady GaGa to reassure them that of course they are right!
“What is the effect of people coming into Europe in very large numbers who have not inherited the doubts and intuitions of Europeans? Nobody knows now, and nobody ever did. All we can be certain of is that it will have an effect. Putting tens of millions of people with their own sets of ideas and contradictions into a continent with its own set of ideas and contradictions is bound to have consequences. The presumption of those who believed in integration is that in time everybody who arrives will become like Europeans, a presumption made less likely by the fact that so many Europeans are unsure whether they want to be Europeans. A culture of self-doubt and self-distrust is uniquely unlikely to persuade others to adopt its stance. Meantime it is possible that many – at least – of the incomers will either hold fast to their own certainties or even, quite plausibly, attract Europeans in the generations to come with these certainties. It is also plausible that many of those who come will enjoy the lifestyle, will take part in the aspirations and the fruits of the economic uplift so long as it continues, and yet despise or disdain the culture into which they have come. They may use it – as President Erdogan memorably said of democracy – like a bus, and get off whenever it has taken them to their desired destination. “Page 225
Again Murray hits on a key point. Whilst our political leaders talk of European or British or indeed Scottish values – they don’t seem to be able to identify what those are. The best that can be said is that that they have a general belief that human beings are progressing and that the most progressive are Europeans (and possibly a few West Coast Americans and New Yorkers) and that everyone will either want to, or should want to, be like them. Meanwhile there is a crisis of confidence in much of Europe about what it actually means to be European – is it more than Ode to Joy, Italian lattes and Belgian beer? The EU leadership has already decided that it has nothing to do with Christianity (refusing to recognize Europe’s Christian roots), but still can’t tell us what it does have to do with. The one thing they do seem to have accepted as facts are the doctrines of cultural Marxism – aka Gramsci. This involves deconstructing the previous values on which European culture was built and indeed trashing that culture.
“At the same time the only culture that couldn’t be celebrated was the culture that had allowed all these other cultures to be celebrated in the first place. In order to become multicultural, countries found that they had to do themselves down, particularly focusing on the negatives. Thus the states that had been so open and liberal that they had allowed and encouraged large-scale migration were portrayed as countries which were uniquely racist. And while any and all other cultures in the world could be celebrated within Europe, to celebrate even the good things about Europe within Europe became suspect.” (Page 101)
The politicians for the sake of their ideology (and their careers) have just been myopic. They do not see because they do not want to see. But others do.
“The first arrivals benefited Europe by bringing a different culture, their vibrancy and their cuisine. But what did the 10 millionth bring that was different from all those before? The European public was far ahead of the politicians in recognising that the benefits were not endless. Long before the politicians notice, the public already knew that a continent which imports the world’s people also import the world’s problems. And contrary to the race relations industry, it turned out that the immigrants into Europe often exhibited far more differences than similarities to the resident populations and towards each other, and that the larger the numbers the greater the dissimilarities.” (Page 302)
When Cultures Clash
The problem is that the mix of cultures does not always work. Much of what Murray relates is considered unsayable by most of those who govern – less they are accused of racism. But if true these are astonishing facts.
“In 2009 police in Norway revealed that immigrants and non-Western backgrounds responsible for all reported rapes in Oslo.” (Page 56)
Even as I write I am listening to BBC Radio 4 who are reporting on the Newcastle gang rapes and abuse by ‘Asian men’. I think this is somewhat unfair to the Chinese and Japanese. It is also unfair to the Indians and Pakistanis who are not Muslim – and to many who are. Here is the elephant in the room that is not being discussed. It is now permissible to say that there are aspects of ‘South Asian’ culture which are a problem – one judge was quoted as saying that the attacks in Newcastle on white girls were racist. But is it true that it is solely to do with race? Does religion not have anything to do with it? At least to the extent that the religion impacts and shapes the culture? If it were white ‘Christian’ supremacists from Alabama or something similar do you think the media would be so reticent?
The lead detective from the Rochdale case was on the BBC saying that she personally knows of white teenage girls who reported abuse and were themselves then charged for racially activated crime! The social workers, police and authorities were so scared of being accused of being racists that they allowed rapists to get away with it, because of their race/religion. Again we have to be really careful here – this is not saying that everyone from South Asia is a rapist, or that all are to be tarred with the same brush. However the fact that, as the detective pointed out, some men from South Asia felt immune because of their race meant that 1500 girls in Rochdale ended up being abused. There is a price to be paid for the fear and political correctness engendered by too much ‘equality and diversity’ training. It’s a price that far too often gets paid by the poor and the vulnerable.
Europe Committing Suicide
To pile on the agony Murray then indicates how he considers Europe is committing suicide –
“Moreover, Europe remains the world leader in not only allowing people to stay but in assisting them to fight the state even when they are there illegally. By 2016 Britain had still not even managed to deport a man wanted in India for two bombings in 1993. The Bolton greengrocer Tiger Hanif arrived in Britain illegally in 1996 and had managed to receive more than £200,000 in legal aid from British taxpayers to avoid repatriation. And nor does the continent’s madness stop there. When Belgian investigators looked at the perpetrators of the numerous terrorist plots carried out by Belgian nationals, they discovered that a great many of them had plotted their attacks whilst being supported by the state. Indeed, Salah Abdeslam, lead surviving suspect of the November 2015 Paris attacks, had collected unemployment benefit to the tune of €19,000 in the period preceding the attacks. He had collected his last benefits only weeks before, making European societies among the first in history to pay people to attack them.” (Page 204)
Others have also recognized this – and again it is not just the anti-immigrant right wing.
“I feel that we in the EU are now committing ritual suicide and were just looking on” – the Left Wing Slovakian Prime Minister, Robert Fico. (Page 228)
Murray’s forecasts for the future are pretty gloomy.
“For the time being most politicians will continue to find the short-term benefits of taking the ‘compassionate’, ‘generous’ and ‘open’ course of action to be personally preferable even if it leads to long-term national problems. They will continue to believe, as they have done for decades, that it is better to put these difficult matters of so that their successors have to deal with the consequences instead. So they will continue to ensure that Europe is the only place in the world that belongs to the world. It is already clear what type of society will result. By the middle of this century, while China will properly still look like China, India will probably still look like India, Russia like Russia, and Eastern Europe like Eastern Europe, Western Europe will at best resemble a large scale version of the United Nations. Many people will welcome this, and it will have its pleasures of course. Certainly not everything about it would be a catastrophe. Many people enjoy living in such Europe. It will continue to enjoy cheap services, at least for a time, as incomers compete with those already here to do work for less and less money. There will be an endless influx of new neighbours and staff, and there will be many interesting conversations to be had. This place were international cities develop into something resembling international countries will be many things. But it will not be Europe any more.
Perhaps the European lifestyle, culture and outlook will survive in small pockets. A pattern that is already underway will mean that there will be some rural areas where immigrant communities choose not to live and towards which non-immigrants retreat. Those who have the resources will – as is already the case – be able to sustain a recognisably similar lifestyle for a while longer. The less well off will have to accept they do not live in a place that is their home but in one that is a home for the world. And whilst incomers will be encouraged to pursue their traditions and lifestyles, Europeans whose families have been here for generations will most likely continue to be told that there is an oppressive, outdated tradition, even as they constitute a smaller and smaller minority of the population. This is not science fiction. It is simply what the current situation looks like in much of Western Europe and what the demographic projections show the conscience future to be.”
A Christian Alternative
I don’t want to leave it there. I think Murray’s analysis is correct – but as we will see in a future part of this series – he does not really grasp what Christianity is. So just before I finish let me offer an alternative vision. I think the EU is fundamentally corrupt and undemocratic and that, because it is geared for the corporate elites and posited entirely on the gods of free market capitalism and the ideology of cultural Marxism, it cannot and will not deal with the coming crisis. Indeed it is far more likely that an economic collapse will further fuel the disillusionment with mainstream parties and drive many people to the political extremes. A Weimar style collapse may well lead to a Nazi type solution.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,”
But with the UK leaving the EU there is a real opportunity for us to have an open and radical immigration policy. Yes we should adopt the philosophy ‘give me your poor’….As well as refugees we should encourage people to come here to work. And we should recognize our debt to former colonies and Commonwealth countries, which we exploited and surely owe a historical debt to? Perhaps also we should recognize our debt to the Christians of the Middle East – we bombed their countries and as a result they have been increasingly persecuted. Should we not offer them refuge? Brexit need not mean that Britain pulls up the bridges. In fact the EU is much more likely to be a closed protected market driven environment. What if Brexit meant that Britain became a country more open to the world- rather than less. But this time on our terms – not Junckers.
There is another Christian aspect to this. Secular Humanism has no answer to Islam and cannot assimilate it – because Islam is a political system that cannot share the values of secular humanism. But Christianity can deal with Islam. Why? Because we recognize with Muslims that there is one God, the Creator of heaven and earth; because we recognize that we are more than just ‘blobs of carbon floating from one meaningless existence to another’; because we share an emphasis on the importance of families and social justice; because we too recognize the importance of being right with God, we can speak to Muslims at a level which the secular humanist cannot. But whereas the Muslim hopes that God in the end will have mercy on them – the Christian is able to offer full and free forgiveness because of Christ. Christians have no ISIS, but we do have the new birth. What if God was permitting millions of Muslims to come to Europe so that they could hear about Christ?
We will return to the question of what Murray says about Islam next week in part three but meanwhile I leave you with this chilling quote:
“One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere on this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst into conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women.” Algerian President Houari Boumedienne in 1974 speaking to the Gen assembly of the United Nations (Page 310).
Douglas Murray – The Strange Death of Europe – Part One – Meaningless Shallowness