Pissed-off Toff recalls the first conversation he had about immigration into the EU, in the country that was first affected by it, and fast-forwards to the situation today.
“A great civilisation is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”
Will Durant (American writer, historian and thinker)
Some time in the early years of this century, when it was clear that mass immigration into Europe from poorer and less civilised countries was fast becoming an issue that could not be ignored, I was having supper in a restaurant in Rome with a group of expatriates. There were six of us at the table. Of the three men, all British, one was ex-SAS. Of the women, two were British and one was French, of Algerian descent.
Just as things were warming up, we were interrupted by a Bangladeshi flower-seller. Rome is full of them. Their trick is simple. They come up to your table offering roses for sale, and refuse to go away. Eager to avoid confrontation, the restaurant-owners let it happen, both inside their restaurants and outside; and although these immigrants are illegal, the nuisance they cause is of a low-level, non-violent sort, and the police can’t be bothered. So this man stood there, pushing his roses under our noses, and only went away after the former SAS officer, who could easily have dragged him outside by the scruff of his neck, bought a few buds off him.
Thus began a discussion about mass immigration. It is the first one I remember taking part in; and because five of the six people round the table were British, it turned into a conversation not about mass immigration into Europe, but into Britain, where Tony Blair’s government was actively encouraging it.
It was soon clear that all the girls were in favour of this; and it was also clear that their view was based on what they held to be ethical grounds. They are poor and their countries are torn apart by war, went the argument; we are rich and live in peace; so if they want to come to Britain, we have a duty to let them in; all of them, without exception.
I suppose I should have shrugged off this lunacy with a smile; and I knew that the other men were keen to get on with the business of enjoying the evening, as was I. But I was unable to let the matter go quite so easily.
“Wait a moment,” I said. “If you let everyone into Britain who wants to go there, from any place in the world that is poor or a warzone, and that’s to say most of the world, we’d be overrun in a matter of years. The country would collapse. It’s just not possible.”
“I think you should be aware,” said one of the British girls, whose surname was of Middle-European origin, “that I come from a family of immigrants.”
“So do I,” chipped in the silky-skinned girl of French-Algerian descent.
“What’s that got to do with it?” I asked, knowing, as the words came out of my mouth, that they were both claiming victim status, and therefore the moral high ground. And now it was the turn of the third girl, whose normal habitat was the better parts of Kensington and Chelsea, and who, as far as I knew, had rarely given a thought to any issue more serious than the whereabouts of the next drinks party.
“So are you saying,” she asked, with the air of someone who has hit on a clinching argument, “that just because you have a British passport, you have the right to live in England and others don’t? Even if they are dying of starvation, or being persecuted to death?”
“Yes, that is precisely what I’m saying,” I replied.
The two other girls shook their heads in mock-disbelief, like Labour MPs on Question Time when anyone has the temerity to say something that they don’t approve of.
“And isn’t that a bit … um … racist?” continued Kensington & Chelsea. “It’s not as though England belongs to you, is it?”
So there we had it. What was now being advocated was not only the universal freedom of movement from poor countries to rich ones, but also the abolition of the very concept of nationality and the nation-state. All because anything else would be ‘racist’, and we can’t have that, can we?
This was the stuff of utopian fantasy, and the episode might perhaps have been comic, but for the fact that the almost wilfully absurd political views of half the people at the table that evening were precisely those of the metropolitan liberal élite that runs not only Britain, but also the EU.
In any case, for stating an obvious and undeniable truth, I was now a racist, and perhaps a Nazi and a fascist too; whereas by deliberately ignoring it, the women kept their virtue intact and could go on to the next party with a clear conscience.
* * * * *
This was back in 2003; and at exactly the same time, still in Rome, the Bangladeshi driver of an acquaintance of mine gave me an unexpected insight into the mechanics of mass migration.
The Bangladeshis had friends all over Western Europe, he explained, who actively monitored the regulatory regimes of each country there, and who knew which country, at any given moment, was amenable or weak or vacillating or vulnerable where immigration was concerned. So, he continued, when the Bangladeshis saw an opportunity, they acted. Unsurprisingly, therefore, they were pouring into Italy, where the government, weak as always, lacked the will to take action. Or rather, it dealt with illegal immigration in the same way that it dealt with illegal construction – it ‘sanitised’ the situation (to use the Italian term) by offering amnesties; which, of course, merely exacerbated the problem.
Fast-forward to today, and those early days of free movement, with the first stirrings of mass migration, seem like a golden era of stability. If the post-2004 influx into Britain of workers from the former Communist Bloc was dramatic enough, the mass migration into Europe from sub-Saharan Africa is a phenomenon of biblical proportions, and one that threatens to overwhelm our whole continent. Furthermore, with the population of Africa set to double over the next 30-odd years, the pressure will only increase; so it won’t be 100,000 migrants landing on the shores of Italy every year, but … well, who can guess?
And yet today, more than ever, it is clear that the liberal mindset, hardwired into the governing élite of the West, cannot begin to address this problem, and lacks even the vocabulary to attempt to do so. Indeed, so completely does the liberal mind believe its own nonsense about ‘racism’ and ‘fraternity’ and ‘solidarity’ and ‘globalism’, that when faced with what is fast becoming an existential challenge, it goes first into denial, then into breakdown and collapse.
Take, for example, ‘Ed’ Miliband, the former leader of the Labour Party, being interviewed on television not so very long ago, at a time when he might well have been the next prime minister of the United Kingdom. When pressed as to whether he saw any upper limit to immigration into the UK, and as to whether there was any figure – any figure at all – at which he would say “enough” … when pressed repeatedly on this vital question, he had no answer.
Like the Bangladeshis whom we met earlier in Rome, the dispossessed hordes not far from our shores know this. They know that we are weak-willed and pusillanimous; so they come, armed not with weapons, but with our own weakness and our own absurd ‘human rights’ laws, which they use against us while we look on impotently; or worse, while we actively help and encourage them to take what is ours. I would guess that they despise us for this; and I wouldn’t blame them if they did.
What we now have, therefore, is a situation in which mass migration into the countries of the EU is taking on an increasingly ominous character. Nowhere was this more clear than in the so-called ‘Jungle’ outside Calais, where the assorted Afghans and Syrians and Africans became an armed force, terrorising the natives. But even then, did the liberal commentariat recognise the situation for what is so obviously was?
No. Instead, we were subjected to images of the pop-star-sleb Lily Allen blubbing in public over the plight of these poor ‘refugees’. In the end, and long after it had become impossible to ignore the aggressive – even military – nature of this encampment, the authorities moved in. Nevertheless, despite the best efforts of articulate figures such as Douglas Murray, author of The Strange Death of Europe, almost no-one is willing to recognise that this mass migration is no longer a gradual and peaceful movement of peoples, but an invasion.
* * * * *
Nor can we say that history has not warned us, loud and clear. The historical parallels are numerous and compelling. Indeed, the situation of Western Europe today is strikingly similar to that of the Roman Empire shortly before it collapsed.
The countless Africans swarming across the Mediterranean Sea today, many of them rescued from the water by our own ships, are, surely, the modern equivalent of the hordes of Goths whom the Emperor Valens misguidedly helped to cross the Danube and enter the Roman Empire in 376 AD. A generation later, in 410 AD, Rome was sacked … by the Goths. And shortly after that, the Roman Empire in the West no longer existed. Granted that history has speeded up since then, events will probably move more rapidly for us.
Another parallel, closer to home this time: the Roman province of Britannia. When the last of the Roman legionaries left the island province in the year 409 AD, the land-hungry Germanic tribes on the other side of the North Sea soon saw their opportunity and started arriving, first in small groups, and then – when they realised how easy it was – in ever greater numbers. In the end, the indigenous Romano-British were either killed, enslaved or subjugated, whilst those who could fled westwards to the mountains of Wales, or across the Channel in such numbers that the region in which they found refuge still bears their name: Bretagne, or Brittany.
Similarly, when, after an unopposed and gratifyingly remunerative raid on Lindisfarne Abbey on the eastern coast of England in 793 AD, seaborne adventurers of Scandinavian origin – Vikings, for short – realised that this island was once again up for grabs, they simply came and took half of it. Why not, when all that stood in their way were tame monks and peaceful farmers?
Time and time again, therefore, it is the same story, with small variations; the story of poor but determined peoples, driven by need or desperation, who see an opportunity in the weakness and lack of will of their richer neighbours over the waters … and who act accordingly.
And that is where we are now.
Blind to the lessons of history, deaf to the promptings of common sense, and corrupted beyond redemption by utopian delusions of every sort, our liberal civilisation is in terminal decline. Across the sea, the swelling masses of virile young aliens know it … and unless we confront the fact that what we now face is a fully-fledged invasion, the fall is merely a question of time.