The Windrush generation. Up until recently, a largely forgotten name for a group of people arriving in Britain to help with the post war clean up; recently, yet another political buzzword, used by tired politicians to push tired rhetoric.
In 1948, the country had just gone through quite a turbulent world war. There was a lot of loss, in terms of men and infrastructure. It was a mission to rebuild, and a daunting one at that. Cue the Empire Windrush and what would become known as ‘the Windrush generation’; thousands of colonial citizens invited over to Britain to help rebuild our country with the promise that, should they wish, they can permanently stay here as residents once their efforts have proved sufficient. Fair enough, the country needed workers and after all, they were subjects of the British crown anyway.
The ‘scandal’ facing them is being sorely mispronounced in the media, and yet again the Conservative Party is refusing to stand their ground, refusing to show a backbone and refusing to justify their actions. The Windrush generation is a testament to the heritage of Empire, a testament to the British ability to embrace people and accommodate them. It is also a moniker that applies to around 500 thousand migrants. Consider those numbers, and keep them in mind.
See, these people and their rights to citizenship are being questioned because of a huge failure by every government since 1997 to address and control immigration. Huge failure. Unfortunately, the Windrush generation is a casualty of ideological war, a casualty of lacking foresight and a casualty of grotesque political mismanagement. These questions of citizenship are justifiable- if despicably so- because of the colossal mess that migration has become in the face of Blairite immigration policy and flawed neo-liberal social politics.
The Windrush generation, the half a million people from colonies that came to this country, to work and rebuild, over the course of around 22 years, are a welcome addition to British society. They were/are subjects under the British crown and its right that they were offered such an arrangement. They also, when interviewed, often consider themselves proudly and quintessentially British, and rightly so!
Modern immigration, however, has taken a nasty and desperately detrimental turn. Remember, net migration has been positive since 1994, and immigration has been at or above 500,000 – half a million – per year since the year 2000. Half a million. Per year. We were sold all sorts of political spin, as to the necessity of immigrants to our infrastructure and skilled industries, and also told, conveniently, that we are dirty, dirty racists should we oppose it.
Immigrants, it would seem, are the be all and end all of our economy. Apparently, without them, we would crumble into nothingness.
This angle is an easy one to defend – look at most figures, and you’ll see a net contribution by ‘immigrants’ (I wonder how much of that contribution is by wealthy migrant businessmen and sports stars), you will hear stories of the NHS collapsing without them (and perhaps being less strained without the masses of migrant patients), stories of our public services being nothing without immigrant workers. Story after story of quantitative and as such obviously irrefutable evidence, and statistics, that immigrants and immigration is nothing but beneficial.
Unskilled, poorly vetted, culturally disparate immigrants, who find sanctuary in this broken idea of ‘multiculturalism’, we are told, are to be nothing but beneficial. More than that, any challenge to this dogma, any conflicting opinion, is met with absolute disgrace, cries of racism and just like that, completely shut down.
And yet, more and more evidence – and I’m talking tangible, quantitative evidence of which the powers that be so lust after – keeps mounting to suggest that not only is mass immigration to be accepted with caution, but that it is actively bad for a nation, and will in fact prove to be fatal for a continent should it be allowed to continue. The pursuit of ‘multiculturalism’ without the consent of the electorate is, by all means and measures, grossly irresponsible and misguided.
London is a perfect domestic example of this, being reduced to all but a ghetto in the face of immigration. Every single measure of crime is up by double digit percentage points, and whilst the cost cutting measures at Scotland Yard are obviously not going to help, people have turned an ignorant blind eye to the huge elephant in the room, namely immigrants.
Importing millions of people that come from cultures we left behind in the middle ages, who disagree with British values and exploit the British way of life, completely dissolve the shape of British communities and create insular, segregated communities – as they observably do – is not only stupid and dangerous, its down right ignorant.
It is insulting to give other cultures precedence over centuries-established British ways of life. It is insulting to implement a sketchily understood policy, as multiculturalism indeed is, to the point of communal frictions. Multiculturalism does not work, we cannot live separate lives under the blanket of one rule of law, established with our Anglo Christian culture. If it is continued as a practice, and perpetually sold to us as an idea, it will simply magnify frictions and conflicts, as those who assimilate with British culture and the British nationality increasingly feel squeezed and almost unwelcome in their multiculturally evolving country.
Concessions should not be made for any culture or religion that finds itself mass migrating to another country. Other cultures and practices, so long as they coincide with the home nations’ morality and ethical principles, should be allowed in the sanctuary of privacy to practice life how they wish, but under no circumstance should it be thrust upon us as though the importance of other cultures supersedes the preservation of our own; our culture, and our history, as a united kingdom and the individual nations which constitute it, are amongst the most unique, brilliant and extensive the world over. We have a rich history of philosophical, religious, technical, societal development, we have scores and scores of pages to our own history, and the myth of multiculturalism actively and viciously undermines that for a few reasons.
Firstly, the fact that there is simply no such scenario where cultures so disparate as Anglo Christian liberal democracies and conservative Muslims can live in unison exists. Cultures- groups of people sharing heritage, values and social norms- are always abrasive where they conflict. Fairy tale situations of ‘good in all’ simply do not exist. Where cultures clash, and are told there is no precedent, they will fight for supremacy. It is human, it is observable, it is happening. It is also, interestingly or otherwise, the very principle that renders our involvement in middle eastern socio-political issues completely unwarranted and magnificently short sighted.
Secondly, because multiculturalism was never really asked for, never really defined and only pseudo implemented into government policy i.e imposed upon us top down, we were rendered nothing but complacent and complicit in it as an agenda. In that sense, other cultures started to gain a political superiority, and prominence over the wrongly assumed as safe and well established existing British culture, a measure sold to us as an antidote to racism and a way of assuring ‘integration’.
Except, multiculturalism was never about integration. It was never about assimilating different cultures with British culture, it was by definition about establishing them on their own merits, separate, individual. British culture is a monoculture, a single way of doing things and going about life, or at least a single list of nuances of which we, as British people, tend to follow, adhere to and practice different to those of say a Frenchman or a Spaniard. Multiculturalism seeks to insist that we accept we live with other monocultures, and make concessions for their ways of life, their nuances.
In a lot of ways, it is an arrogant self-realisation by particularly the British and the Germans, but really most of the west, that we have had the best way of life ever enjoyed by humanity and that we almost feel bad limiting it to ourselves; that other cultures don’t have the capacity, without utilising the springboard of western civilisation, to enjoy a life of paradise, high employment, low crime and equality, ignorant to the fact that actually, western customs and western life isn’t just unwanted by some, but doesn’t work for them. Our way is the best way, for us. Not for everyone. Allowing mass Immigration and lustfully revering multiculturalism so irresponsibly as most western leaders do is nothing but a recipe for universally diminishing our quality of life as a society, encouraging social frictions and, eventually, more conflict.
It’s a shame that the immigration debate has been reduced to that of simply ‘pro-immigration or racist’. It’s a shame that we seem to lack the ability to have this debate because of institutional and structural biases towards the obvious liberal stance within this argument. A disdain for alien cultures and massive demographic shift, aswell as a forced acceptance of political motivations and this Orwellian idea that if we repeat ‘immigration is good’ often enough it will miraculously become the case, isn’t a racist principle. It isn’t even close- peoples desperation to get this fact known and this principle at least discussed often manifests itself in rhetoric that is easy to tarnish as racist and thus easy for those multiculturalists amongst us to shut down.
It is something we need to address, and a barrier we need to break down, because whichever way it is sold cultural displacement is exceptionally volatile. The precedence shouldn’t be given to the offensiveness of words within the discourse, as it so often and so wrongly is, and we cannot allow ‘moral outrage’ to be the foundation of an argument or position in the face of reasonable concerns and issues. All this does is render the anti-mass immigration arguer dancing on eggshells, worrying about how his argument is interpreted and concerned with the subtleties of his choice of language. An honest, raw and open debate urgently needs to find itself atop the political agenda, and people need to know that their concerns don’t qualify them as racists as soon as they mention the words “cut” and “immigration” in the same breath.