This week the 2021 England and Wales Census figures revealed that our three biggest cities contain fewer white British residents than they used to.
Our Nigel Farage took to Twitter to comment on the new census data and got this response from our former Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
That’s an acceptable response in the pub with your mate, but from a former cabinet minister and sitting MP it’s not ok at all.
Because stating “so what?” in public discourse utterly fails to allow the debates that we must have about the costs and benefits of a rapidly changing British demographic.
“So what?” is flippant and aggressive. It reduces the issue to one of melanin – skin pigmentation alone – and it needs to be more than that for everyone’s sake. Javid fails to recognise that some people are concerned about the erosion of a national British identity and stifling debate is the best way to cause more resentment and division.
Human beings are tribal. To be cast out from one’s tribe signalled certain death a few thousand years ago. Luckily, we need no longer fear being eaten by a woolly mammoth if we aren’t allowed back in the cave, but our primal instincts will still drive us to gravitate towards familiarity. It doesn’t matter if you’re a white Yorkshireman moving to the costa del sol to live amongst people who also like having fish and chips on a Friday or a Bangladeshi settling in Tower Hamlets and working with family members in social care…language, food, jobs…shared cultural landmarks bring people together, and that’s ok.
All humans need to belong - to feel appreciated, respected, and cared for as a member of a group – whether that is family, friends, a congregation or a battalion. When we belong we share values, rituals and attitudes, we experience feelings of warmth and welcome and our lives are enriched.
This doesn’t mean that cross-cultural integration is undesirable – far from it – I expect many of these new statistics reflect inter-racial marriages and births which occurred here in second and third generation migrant families melding happily into major cities.
But if Sajid Javid’s off the cuff response suggests that we now live in a post-racial Utopia, he’s wrong.
Riots on the streets of Leicester between rival Asian gangs; the banning of a movie which upset some Muslims so much that they formed threatening mobs against the blokes who normally serve the popcorn.
As of Feb 2021 there were no black executives in the top three roles at Britain’s 100 biggest companies. Black people are three times more likely to be killed on the streets of London than any other ethnic groups. White British boys who qualify for free school meals do significantly worse in educational attainment than any other group at all. However you cut this racial cake, someone has an axe to grind.
When a family of Indian descent and a Chancellor with a Chinese born wife moved into Downing Street this year nobody really batted an eyelid. It was the starkest indication yet that Martin Luther King’s dream in which he famously wished that one day his children would be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character might actually have come to pass in politics at least.
Most of us just want these people in power to carry out their roles with the interests of British tax-payers at the heart of their decisions. We don’t care about their gene-pool.
But where does it all leave Britishness? An elusive quality that slips through our fingers. Too easily we descend into romantic Lists – the sound of a cricket bat on a summer’s day, a pot of tea with scones, haggis and whiskey, union jack tea towels and sandy picnics on a windy day. But Britishness is slippery as it’s different in almost every town. A Londoner looks defensive if you talk to them on the bus. A Mancunian is offended if you don’t talk to them on the bus.
So we try to sum up British values – democracy, the rule of law, respect and tolerance, individual liberty. All formerly summed up in the Identity Card debate that would roll around every ten years or so. Dissenting British chaps in suits would say, ‘I am not a number.’ But now? The mood has changed. Too many tired, underpaid workers ready to accept that we will all become a QR code with conditions attached as long as it stops illegal immigration and cuts down on daily inconvenience. Those in power are dancing to a globalist tune and old-fashioned Britishness which prized the individual does not seem to matter.
Most people, whether British-born or not, only want to live in harmony and empathy, not conflict and animosity. Somehow, we must lay that path against a rapidly changing landscape. But that journey does not start with a callous ‘so what?’ It starts with a purposeful so what now?....