The revelation from the Office of National Statistics that nearly thirty percent of births in this country are to mothers born abroad is a sobering indication of just how rapidly mass immigration is altering the makeup of our society. It is a figure that has increased massively since information on the mother's country of origin began to be collected in 1969; even as late as 1990 the figure was well under half of what was come 2017. More details can be viewed here on the ONS website.
And yet this figure alone is in a way misleadingly low; at least in the sense that we might at first imagine the remaining seventy percent of births are to non-immigrant families who have lived here for many generations. But this is not the case; that seventy percent includes second and third generation immigrants whose mother's themselves would have been recorded in the opposite category in the records taken a generation previously. This year's report by the ONS notes that the birth rate amongst some of the major immigrant communities is significantly higher than average; notable are Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, which account for three of the five highest totals for births to foreign-born mothers.
That almost thirty percent of UK births in 2017 were to foreign-born mothers is quite astonishing, all the more so when one considers that second and third generation immigrants account for a notable portion of the remainder. This alone would, in a short period of time, transform any society beyond recognition. But of course it isn't happening in isolation; it is taking place alongside a process of record-breaking levels of direct mass immigration which is mostly from young, working-age men. Total immigration reached record levels of over 700,000 annually under the current Conservative government according to official government figures.
It is little wonder then that parts of the country seem to have changed so rapidly in such a short period of time. Those who identify as 'White British' are a minority in towns and cities such as Leicester, Luton and Slough, and of course London, not only our capital but by a significant margin our largest city. The self-identifying 'White British' population of Birmingham, Britain's second most populous city, are set to become a minority by 2021. And all that, of course, speaks only of the population present at the time. The 'White British' population is disproportionately old, the immigrant communities disproportionally young. It is classrooms that give the real indication of what the future will look like. When one considers that fact, it becomes evident that almost every city in the UK is headed in the same demographic direction as Birmingham or Leicester.
A CLASH OF VALUES
This raises enormous questions about what sort of society we want to be: the values we hold, the experiences we share and the ties which bind us together as a cohesive society. Very different answers are given by each side of the divide. Those who embrace the mass immigration transformation tend to fall into two camps: those who care passionately about it and those who don't. For those who care, the creation of a multicultural society is an almost utopian project, one which holds significant cultural diversity in great esteem as a virtue in its own right. They believe this should be pursued vigorously and with all the fervour of Bolshevik revolutionaries, creating a new order to stand the test of time; a great nation-building endeavour. The New Britain, they tell us, will be held together by new national narratives and new national values, in particular the concept of Britain as a 'mongrel nation', built on the mantras of equality and diversity. To witness the power of this propaganda, simply watch the evening news on Channel 4, if you can endure it. It often ends with the below featured clip of a giant robotic Channel 4 symbol apparently trafficking a couple of dozen immigrants across the sea and over the white cliffs of Dover into Britain.
Then there are those who don't care, and for whom the loss of nation states and our old way of life is a thing to be indifferent about; the sort of people who find the fervour of both the rabidly pro-immigration Left and the anti-immigration Right to be embarrassing, and who are entirely given over to the nihilism and materialism of our age. They aren't interested in the question about what sort of society we want to be, because they have no interest in society. Together with their more enthusiastic counterparts, these pro-mass immigration elements represent the broad alliance of groups that formed the bulk of the 48% who voted Remain: students, minorities, young upwardly-mobile professionals and the rich. What they share in common is their mobility and their lack of attachment to time and place, which is essential in understanding their support for mass immigration and indifference for the communities and the way of life which are replaced by it.
On the other side stand those who don't support mass immigration or the transition to a multicultural society. They represents the broad alliance which formed the bulk of the Leave vote: the silent majority of the British working-class and those elements of the middle-class which remain socially conservative. Unlike the socially and geographically mobile core demographics of the Remain vote, this unlikely alliance of working-class and middle-class patriots is held together by their attachment to time and place: to communities that they grew up in, that they will always be socially and economically tied to, and in which they are deeply invested, both practically and emotionally. They are the silent majority abandoned for so long by the political class; who have watched their communities change beyond recognition while their concerns were ignored, and who became strangers in their own land; in several cities they have even become minorities.
Their answer to what sort of society we want to be, is so be something recognisable to what we used to be; that is built upon it. They wish for a society founded upon certain core values and traditions which have stood the test of time; those values which are uniquely and historically British. This includes things such as Christianity, the monarchy, our ancient liberties, a limited state, our parliamentary constitution and such curiously British traits as our stiff upper lip, our love of the eccentric, a love for the local and the rooted, and what Max Weber dubbed the 'Protestant ethic', articulated so famously by thinkers like Adam Smith and John Locke. These are in many ways wider Western traits, but we have our own special blend of them. The forgotten majority wish to retain this way of life and to share a similar culture with their neighbours, to share the same cultural references and to feel that they live in a community and a country that is uniquely their own. To feel this way is a very basic and human instinct, and for centuries our country was built upon it.
THE FRAGMENTATION OF OUR SOCIETY
The significance of this clash of values over immigration struck this author not when thinking about those parts of Britain that have been very visibly changed beyond recognition by it, but rather by those which have not. There are parts of Britain that still look on the surface very much British: this is true of many a quaint village in Kent, or an old mining village in north Wales or Scotland's central belt. In East Belfast there are quiet, narrow lanes of red brick terraced houses which seem like a sort of relic of how many industrial British cities used to look. When they are colourfully festooned with Union Flags in the summer months, it is possible to feel like one has been transported back in time to a VE Day celebration.
Sadly, what truly strikes me when I consider these places is how superficial it is: it may look like the old Britain, but it's not really. Those quiet villages in Kent are mostly tourist traps or retirement homes for the urban rich; the old rural way of life: the local farmer, the local grocer, the village parson and all these things is largely gone. The mining towns of Wales and Scotland are deeply broken societies, plagued by a legacy of unemployment and social breakdown. These are not the old towns grounded in such things as industrial employment, tight-knit communities and Methodism as they used to be. The remnants of those generations are sadly fading. Meanwhile, those narrow lanes of East Belfast, proudly decorated with Union Flags are now administered by a Stormont assembly in which Sinn Fein/IRA, who terrorised those very streets, are coalition partners. The old Britain, which on the surface often seems present, was broken apart piecemeal from the late 60s, ravaged by decades of cultural revolution, social breakdown, de-industrialisation, the 'permissive society' and constitutional vandalism. If our grandparents were to live in these places today, they would find them cold and alien; the buildings might look the same, but the social fabric would be unrecognisable.
Rather like the city centres of Leicester or Birmingham, these places tell the same tale of a deeply broken society and a people who have been abandoned by those who were supposed to represent their interests. It is a story of atomisation, of the breaking down of an old order and an old way of life. It is defined by things such as isolated silo lives, debt, family breakdown and the disappearance of everything intimate, traditional or rooted. The same ONS study which reported the immigration figures mentioned at the beginning of this article also highlighted the extraordinary change in the family landscape; notably the huge numbers of children being raised without two parents.
This broad theme of atomisation is what connects these trends to the issue of mass immigration. The replacement of coherent, homogenous nation states with a multicultural patchwork of minority groups is an extreme form of atomisation. Just as social bonds are fragmenting at the family level (eg casual divorce; the drive to push mothers into the workplace) and the community level (eg the move away from old tight-knight towns and villages to commuter suburbs), mass immigration and multiculturalism is an example of this same process of fragmentation at the national level, driven by the unholy alliance between corporate consumerism and cultural Marxism.
It is this broad theme of atomisation, rather than immigration alone, which is essential to understanding the clash of values over mass immigration. On the one side there are those who embrace mass immigration and the atomised society, who relish a world where everything is new, unconnected and rootless. They have the means and the opportunities to be citizens of the world, and of nowhere in particular. On the other side are those who oppose mass immigration and atomisation, and who wish to return to a state of affairs where we cherish the local, the intimate, the traditional and the rooted; a society where time and place matter.
This is the clash of values at the heart of the debate over mass immigration. After decades of social fragmentation through the mass immigration project, which has seen many parts of the country changed beyond recognition, it is time for the silent majority; those who wish Britain to remain recognisably British; to be given a voice. If current levels of immigration are not very significantly reduced, then within two generations we will become strangers in our own country.