MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Nation of Immigrants?

Laban pointed out this article from the Telegraph, which talks about a new publication from CIVITAS, demolishing the 'nation of immigrants' argument:

Between 1066 and 1945 Britain actually had very few waves of immigration. By far the largest was the Irish during the 19th century and, technically, they were not immigrants, since Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Irish "immigrants" never amounted to more than 3 per cent of the British population.

Numerically, the next largest group is the Jews. Official statistics record that 155,811 Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe arrived over 25 years from 1880. Their contribution to the intellectual, political and economic life of Britain has of course been enormous. But even adding the 70,000 who fled to Britain from Nazi Germany, the number of Jewish arrivals was, compared to the 50 million Britons already resident here, minute. They are certainly not enough to make Britain "a nation of immigrants".

Almost all immigrant groups never managed to reach 1 per cent of the population. The Normans, though they seized land and power, were a tiny elite. The Dutch who arrived in the 16th century were, in proportion to the whole population, a much smaller group. Even the 50,000 Huguenots from France only ever amounted to a hundredth of Britain's total population. And they arrived over a period of 50 years.

It's obvious that this myth has been propagated for one reason alone: to assuage fears about the comparatively massive scale of modern immigration. After all, what better way to answer people like myself who claim that assimilation takes considerable time and will always involve pain on both sides, than to point out the past successes. The truth, laid bare here by Conway, is that there is no numerical precedent for the modern waves of immigration.

I cannot help thinking that those who are implementing such a policy concurrent with the weakening of the sovereign nation state, are the authors of an experiment that is likely to lead us into a fragmented abyss. One day, they'll be seen as the traitors they truly are.

Gloomy thoughts aside - I'd like to wish a Happy St George's day to all.

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