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“Farage is a snake, but if we were honest on migration he’d have no fangs”

I do not know the exact political views of Matthew Syed, but I assume he stands at some “sensible” position in the spectrum from Blairite to Cameronite. All the more credit to him, then, for naming their duplicity for what it is.

Farage is a snake, but if we were honest on migration he’d have no fangs

[…]

Hordes of journalists, camera crews and podcasters (including Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel from The News Agents) were there to witness Farage and analyse his appeal. For many in the centre ground the answer is obvious: he draws his success from the bigotry, racism and gullibility on the fringes of polite society. Alastair Campbell has called him a “dangerous demagogue”, and on the radio last week a former adviser to David Cameron contrasted the “superficial showman” with the statesmanship of his own former boss. In The Times Daniel Finkelstein said Farage promised “chaos”, unlike the sensible Sunak.

Permit me to offer a different interpretation of the man who has arguably exerted more influence on British politics than anyone else over the past two decades, despite not winning a seat, and who is set to be a protagonist in the fight for the soul of the Tory party after the election, regardless of whether he wins in Clacton. Farage draws his power not principally from racism (as the son of an immigrant, I can testify that Britain has made great strides on bigotry) or gullibility. Rather, he draws it from deceit.

I am not talking about his own deceit, mind you, although he is more than capable of it. I am talking about the duplicity of the very people who now castigate him: the acolytes and promoters of Tony Blair, Cameron and the others who have held power these past few decades. I say this having gone back to the main party manifestos during the period of Farage’s rise and what they said about the issue he has made his own: immigration. And, as you might expect, and as Farage has consistently claimed, I saw lie after lie.

Don’t, for the moment, consider whether mass immigration is a good or bad thing; instead focus on a point that I hope we can all — left, right, rich, poor, black, white — agree on: the importance of truth-telling. It was Aristotle, after all, who intimated that without some minimum level of candour a polity cannot survive.

Now, consider that Blair said in 1997 that he would ensure “firm control … properly enforced” — and then presided over an intake of 633,000 between 1998 and 2001. In 2005 he said that “only skilled workers will be allowed to settle long term” and promised “an end to chain migration” — and then net migration reached over quarter of a million despite a deep recession, not least because of movement from the new EU states. The government claimed this would be a trickle of 13,000 migrants a year; it turned out to be 1,500 per cent higher.

But if this was merely deceitful, it is difficult to locate the term for what followed. In 2010, 2015 and 2017 the Tories promised to cut immigration to the tens of thousands. In every manifesto. In ink. What happened? Immigration rose to an average of 300,000 a year over the period, totalling over 1.4 million for 2022-23 — a period in which free movement had ended and a high proportion of the intake were dependants of low-wage workers from non-European nations.

People often wave such figures away, saying: “Oh, Britain has always been a nation of immigrants”, which is perfectly true. But if you look at a graph of inflows over the past thousand years, let alone the past hundred, this represents a spike of an unprecedented kind, something that will echo decades — perhaps centuries — into the future. Again, whether or not you think this inflow is overall a good or bad thing, you can’t deny that it has altered the complexion of the UK in ways both subtle and profound.

Now consider another trend over roughly the same period: trust in politics has plummeted to lows that are, again, unprecedented. This may sound a minor issue but it is anything but. Advanced social science tells us trust was the secret to the rise of the West, the invisible forcefield that incubates a healthy, prosperous society. But now we in the UK are living through an age in which trust is slowly — almost imperceptibly — dissipating from public life.

There I must disagree with Mr Syed: the dissipation of trust is no longer slow. That loss of trust is one of the things that has made me much less pro-immigration than I once was. If that means the loss of my Libertarian purity certificate, so be it. I see a similar change in many others. We used to talk expansively about how we did not trust the state one inch, but I think in secret we did trust the bureaucrats and the politicians to be responsible gatekeepers. We no longer do. Inevitably, that means we want stronger gates.

If you feel my “we” above does not include you, feel free to explain why in the comments. My old self, the one that hovered on the edge of being an advocate for the abolition of borders, is still in there somewhere, pleading to be reconvinced.

42 comments to “Farage is a snake, but if we were honest on migration he’d have no fangs”

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Let’s put it this way, Natalie. Libertarians believe in the freedom of association, which implies the freedom to choose the opposite. Britain has become somewhere where that latter choice has been nuked from orbit.

  • That loss of trust is one of the things that has made me much less pro-immigration than I once was

    I have some nuanced views on that topic which I should express in an article here when I am a bit less busy.

  • llamas

    So, Mr Syed, let me see whether I have this right? Generations of elected UK politicians have systemically lied to their voters about immigration, about the numbers, about the sources, about the policies – but it’s Mr Farage who is the snake? He’s never lied to anybody about immigration (that I know of), in fact, he’s steadfastly repeated the absolute truth about immigration – and yet he’s the snake?

    I am no herpetologist, but Mr Syed’s own words seem to me to very-clearly define who are the lying, deceiving snakes in this particular dispute, and who is not. But it’s fine example of cognitive dissonance on his part.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Paul Marks

    Mr Farage is the leader of a political party that has put up a candidate against the candidate I support in my home town and that may cost us the seat – but he is not a “snake”, the other insulting remarks (claiming Mr Farage is deceitful and so on) are also uncalled for.

    But, as the post correctly points out, one of the central failures of the government (even the Prime Minister has admitted the failure in past years – although he promises to do better in future) has been the failure to end mass immigration – which the British people have repeatedly voted against.

    The argument of Mr Farage is “you promised to end mass immigration and you failed to do so” – and there is truth in that, where I think he is mistaken is in his failure to see just how much worse a Labour government will be.

    Liz Truss recently said, in her interview on the Lotus Easters podcast, that she was threatened by officials on immigration – that the officials said that if the government acted to end mass immigration they would issue damning economic forecasts of the supposedly terrible effects of ending mass immigration. Of course, the officials were not really worried about economic effects – they were angry that their precious “Diversity” (end of the English?) project was being questioned.

    Officials are not supposed to make policy – but they increasingly do, and this is not acceptable (if democracy is to have any meaning).

    Sadly even if Conservative ministers are finally starting to understand that the Civil Service and the “independent agencies” are totally political (establishment left political) and need to be cleared out – with the state of the opinion polls they are unlikely to have the chance.

    To which Mr Farage would, I suppose, say “you had 14 years to clear out the Civil Service and the independent agencies” – forgetting the years in coalition with the Lib Dems, then the struggle over Independence (I have never understood why the word “Brexit” is used – the word “Brexit” is meaningless, if you are talking about Independence say Independence), then Covid.

    In truth ministers such as Jacob Rees-Mogg did not have “14 years” to do what needs to be one – they did not have 14 months, or even really 14 weeks.

    “They should have grabbed hold of what time they had and made real changes as a matter of urgency!”

    Yes indeed they should have – and some people (including the then Member of Parliament for Kettering) said so, repeatedly.

    But there we are – left with the bitter ashes of “might-have-beens”.

  • Paul Marks

    As for “One Nation” (i.e. No Nation) types who made promises to the British people with no intention of even trying to keep those promises.

    Well such people are the real “snakes”. Most Conservatives are NOT like that – but have been horribly let down by the types who are. Such types have more in common with the officials and other establishment types than they have with most members of the Conservative Party (who they do not like – in fact they seem to have a deep contempt for us).

  • jgh

    Bare in mind that those are net numbers. Actual immigration has been in the multiple-millions. 1.2million in 2022 alone.

  • Roué le Jour

    What’s missing from the immigration debate is a rock solid explanation for why it is happening. As I see it there are two options. Either there is some compelling economic reason that I have failed to grasp, or it is the action of an enemy to destroy the Western civilization. Enlightenment very much appreciated.

  • Roué le Jour

    Jgh,
    A point well worth remembering. Reform promise zero net immigration, which could be cynically rendered as for every taxpayer that leaves, a welfare claimant arrives.

  • bobby b

    “What’s missing from the immigration debate is a rock solid explanation for why it is happening.”

    As far as I can tell, it’s the ultimate act of costless atonement by white-guilt-racked whites.

  • Fraser Orr

    I like Natalie have lost my libertarian purity when it comes to immigration. I should say, full disclosure, I am myself an immigrant to the USA, and I think immigration is often a good thing. It allows successful countries to attract the better population from others (he said with great humility 😀) to themselves. What is not good is uncontrolled immigration, illegal immigration, or immigration that does not consider whether that immigrant benefits the country.

    And why have I changed my mind? It is simply because of the realities that a country or a nation needs a population to support its basic vision. The recent article here on Singapore illustrated this perfectly, and our modern societies illustrate this in an “exception proves the rule” kind of a way. The west is falling apart, and it isn’t because of bad governance or lies in manifestos or lying politicians. These are all second order effects. The basic problem is that the people who live in these countries have entirely lost the set of values that made the west what it was. Values like hard work, self responsibility, private property, belief that anyone can rise from the bottom to the top if they work hard enough and get a decent education in something valuable and useful. Ideas like freedom of speech and association, honesty as a virtue, and honest dealings and honest debate as necessary. Ideas like lying as a disqualification from trust, and especially offices of trust. Ideas like violence, whether with milkshakes or burning down police stations is always unacceptable.

    All of these ideas and values have been tossed out on their ear. They are not at all commonly held by the peoples of the west, and the influx of immigrants from countries that never had these values have diluted them even more, though as I said, many immigrants are hugely valuable contributors, including one prominent african american: Elon Musk.

    So controlling immigration to maintain the cultural ideas and the core philosophical underpinnings that make a society great is one of the most important factors in deciding policy. But to even suggest that is racist, which tells you all you need to know.

    Franklin’s statement “A republic, if you can keep it” was wise indeed, and it turned out that we couldn’t.

  • bobby b

    Side note: I get pretty good results showing this vid to people who can’t make up their mind on immigration:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

  • Kirk

    Has there been a policy or program “sold” to the public on honest terms, ever? I’d be hard-pressed to come up with one.

    Nobody asked the public “Hey, should we give up sovereignty?” when “they” set about having Britain join the nascent EU. Nobody asked the public about “population replacement”, or got their consent to the idea. They just did it.

    Now that people see what their “leaders” and the “elites” have gotten up to, and the results are finally coming clear, they’re not happy. I predict generations of strife, and a bunch of politicians getting their comeuppance. The end state is not going to be the upland wonderland of amity and love that the various numpty types envisioned; it’ll be more like a self-inflicted latter-stage Yugoslavia, complete with ethnic cleansing and routine atrocity.

    Across all of Europe.

    You get the chance, remember to thank those visionaries that created this outcome for you. I know what I’ll do, should any of their North American counterparts fall under my hand, once the ball starts rolling towards its historical pocket.

    We’re in for some self-inflicted hard times. Very hard times. Do try to remember just what it was that they wrecked, in the name of acquiring power over you and yours… Because, that’s all this ever was: An attempt to replace the electorate with one more amenable to their goals and desires, acquiescent to their power and prerogatives.

  • Phil B

    JGH and Roué le Jour

    Yes – I keep repeating that only NET immigration figures are quoted. If 20 million well educated, hard working white British leave for other countries and 20,000,001 Sub Saharan Africans with zero skills, a totally incompatible outlook on life and attitudes and go immediately onto “benefits” while screaming about racism, then what have you got to worry about? Net immigration is only one per year.

    Personally, I believe that the situation is too far gone and as others have pointed out, a Yugoslavia style Civil War and its accompanying horrors are inevitable.

    I’m glad I never had children.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Phil B
    a Yugoslavia style Civil War and its accompanying horrors are inevitable.

    I agree with everything else you said, but not with this. The western population are too soft, too neotenized, too dependent on the state, too scared of their own shadow to do that. Moreover the state has so much power both in terms of surveillance and facilities/people, that it is almost impossible. Look at J6. I don’t agree with a lot of what went on on J6 but that tiny bug bite resulted in overwhelming, unrestrained force. And unarmed woman was shot to death for trespassing, on video, published on the internet. And the guy who did it got a promotion.

    There are two solutions that decent westerners can take. They can either move somewhere else where their skills, money and resources will be appreciated (and yes, there are places like that — none are perfect but many are hugely better), or you can do the work to form a bubble surrounding yourself to protect you from the worst of it, and accept that it is going to be really crap, but you can put in place systems to make it a bit better.

    Pick your poison.

  • Kirk

    J6, as it is known, was a put-up job by the Democrats in Congress. The whole thing was a con job from start to finish, and stage-managed by them in order to discredit Trump and his adherents.

    As such, I think you take dramatic risks in using anything that happened with that, and templating likely outcomes when “things get real”.

    The people you need to be worried about aren’t the feckless sorts that fell for the con; the ones you need to be worried about are all the quiet guys who’re just watching, for the moment, and who feel that things haven’t reached the point where they need to take action.

    The Army runs a program of training at the JFK Special Warfare Center, where they do simulated guerrilla movements up in the mountains of North Carolina. Thousands have graduated that course, or participated in it as “players” for the guys going through it. As of yet, none of these guys have been involved in anything like J6; they know better. Few of them are likely “regime supporters”, from my personal experience.

    You discover that some of the Robin Sage graduates are involved…? Start worrying, because that is how you’ll know that serious people are taking serious action. At the moment, few are really engaged in things, and likely do not think the time has come to transition from the ballot box to the cartridge box. When they do make that decision…? You’ll know.

    And, they won’t be raiding Congress for souvenirs, either.

    We’re still at that awkward stage of things, where it’s in transition between trying to vote our way out, and having to shoot our way out of the situation our “betters” have gotten themselves into. When that moment comes, you’ll know. January Sixth, 2021 was not it.

  • James Strong

    Well, this is probably the most depressing thread I’ve ever read on this site. In summary it says, more or less, the UK and Europe are ruined. Sadly I fully agree.

    Now, the lies from Blair, Cameron et.al. about controlling immigration.

    Blair certainly was a great political salesman, very highly skilled in persuasion. Cameron was pretty good as well.

    If Blair really believed that mass immigration was good for the UK then why didn’t he use his charisma and persuasive skills to sell that idea to the voters? (Cameron too.)

    Why did he lie, what was his motivation?

    On this site we’re not supposed to believe that Ernst Stavro Blofeld is stroking his cat in his mountain lair and issuing orders to his underlings in the governments of various countries to damage those countries from within.

    So, did Blair, Cameron et.al. really believe they were working in the interests of the people of their own countries?

    Can anyone suggest an explanation for their actions and associated lies?

  • Mark

    Those who made the west what it is are emigrating in increasing numbers- to the graveyard.

    I’ll be going there myself before too long, to blissful oblivion in my case. For others, whichever afterlife you imagine or choose to believe in.

    As a white male “boomer” I appear to be THE most poisonous, destructive cancer since the wakandans built stonehenge.

    If you believe that, just wait 15-20 years and we’ll all be gone.

    Then there’ll be no need to watch Hollywood or advertising to see nirvana, it’ll be all around you!

  • James Strong

    Farage has come under fire for an alleged ‘racist dog whistle’ when, after Sunak left the D Day ceremonies early, he said the Sunak does not understand ‘our’ culture.

    It’s clear from the reaction to Sunak’s early departure that he has offended a large number of people, that he does not, indeed, understand our culture.

    The MSM and various politicians arre claiming that Farage’s comments were prompted by his attitude to Sunak’s race.

    They are lying, they know that is not the case. They know that Farage does not believe that Suella Braverman, Priti Patel (both of Asian origin) and Kemi Badenoch (African origin) would have left those ceremonies early.

    It’s not a racial issue, it’s individual to Sunak. And our decitful media commentators and many politicians know that.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – as you know the FBI took the main role (via their agents and assets) in encouraging people to enter the Capitol building – but Democrats in Congress were certainly involved with the Secret Police operation.

    At this point the security and intelligence agencies (remember the lies of Clapper and others about the Hunter Biden laptop) are utterly corrupt – and vicious, those who resist “working with” them – they blackmail. Most people can be blackmailed – either because of something they have done (or something the FBI has just made up as there are endless “laws” – and they say “we will have you tried in a jurisdiction where people like you are hated – and the prisons are very bad now, you will be tortured and raped – or you can cooperate with us….”), or via a family member (“what a nice daughter you have – it would be so unfortunate if something bad happened to her….”).

    That is why friends can turn into de facto enemies and urge illegal acts – because they are being TOLD (by their FBI controllers) to do that. Illegal acts that will discredit “anti government” people.

    This whole corrupt system must go – the Deep State, the Administrative State, must be cleared out.

  • Martin

    When you press the enthusiasts for the mass immigration to Britain (and Europe wider) over the past 30 years or so hard enough, their justifications largely are reduced to racial revenge. Basically, several centuries ago Britain had built a large empire, so now the ex-colonised have a right to colonise us and make our lives miserable.

    The ‘positive’ arguments for the mass immigration are epic gaslighting. The ‘we have always been a nation of immigrants’ narrative is pretty spurious. That there were some relatively numerically small migrations of Normans, Huguenots, and Jews in centuries past doesn’t give any precedence to the unprecedented immigrant invasion since the 1990s. The Normans were hardly an unambiguous example of ‘good immigrants’ anyway, and the 19th century Jewish immigration and the Asian/Carribbean immigration in the 50s/60s were both very unpopular with much of the public anyway, despite being nowhere on the scale of contemporary immigration. The fact is that until relatively recently, most Brits could trace their ancestry to these islands going back thousands and thousands of years, so relatively few were the descendants of recent immigrants.

    The narrative that mass immigration is essential to the economy even seemed somewhat dubious in the pre-2007/8 era. While GDP growth in Britain was high by the dismal achievements since then, they weren’t especially high compared to previous decades when there had been net emigration rather than net immigration. So it was hardly a magic bullet even then. Since 2008 immigration had just escalated further, yet Britain has had a very stagnant, low growth economy. This may not be the fault of immigrants as Britain has numerous issues with it’s economy. Nonetheless if immigration was some sort of panacea, the huge immigration figures of recently should have turned us into a economic superpower. That this hasn’t happened exposes this argument. Given that we have had very low economic growth plus population growth driven by immigration, per capita Brits are poorer now in real terms than 15 years ago.

    As for libertarians supporting open borders, this is the triumph of ideology blinding someone’s eyes. While I’m not a libertarian now, I do respect a number of libertarians, but almost wholly these are ones who don’t spout Ellis island mythology open borders nonsense still. I don’t agree with everything Murray Rothbard said or did. Nonetheless I respect that he changed his views on immigration based on what he was seeing happening. He had been an open borders advocate. However, upon seeing how the mass immigration into the USA after the 1960s was driving statism and being used to undermine the liberties of Americans, he changed his mind rather than burying his head in the sand for the sake of protecting ideology. Likewise if anyone thinks the mass immigration into Britain over the past 30 years has made us a freer society, I have a bridge to sell you.

  • Martin

    David Conway’s ”A Nation of Immigrants? A Brief Demographic History of Britain”, if I recall correctly (I read it 15 years ago), is a short book that demolishes the nation of immigrants narrative used by proponents of mass immigration.

  • Paul Marks

    James Strong – the answer to your questions is one word “fashion”.

    There are intellectual fashions that dominate the education system and the media and the bureaucracy – and people such as Blair an Cameron never question these fashions, they follow the stuff they are told at conferences (told by other people following the same fashions – and they say the same things themselves).

    It is the same in most countries – if one watches television even from Africa or Asia the same buzzwords are used “stakeholders”, “sustainable development”, “equity”, all of it. Everyone goes to the same international conferences and listens to, and produces, the same nonsense.

    As for why there is MASS immigration now – the Welfare State that is why.

    When my great grandfather (the Jewish one rather than the Irish one – I also have some English ancestry, via the Draper family, but I know very little about them) came to this country the only “welfare” was the Workhouse (in 19th century France there was not even that – the state gave people NOTHING) – and if you slept on the street you were called a vagrant, and you were punished, you were not “one of the homeless”.

    Nor were there any “anti discrimination” laws – if people did not want to rent a room to a Jew, or employ one – no one made them do so.

    Some people still came to this country – if they really had to come, but masses of people did not choose to come. Contrary to the endless lies – Britain was not a “nation of immigrants”, people who choose to come to this cold wet island (and I was out in the rain and wind only yesterday – and this is June) were relatively few.

    People do not go through country after country, such as France, and come to Britain because they are in fear of persecution – in most European countries if you want government services, such as health care, you have to produce your social security card and prove you have paid into the system.

    Come to Britain and things are rather different.

    Although, yes, there is a massive immigrant crises in France and so on as well.

    The line was “the children or grandchildren of the new immigrants will assimilate” – and it is now obvious from the experience of many nations that this claim was not true – that the great experiment after World War Two – really from the 1960s onwards but going totally out of control after 1997 (“we will drown the right in Diversity” Blair – so, yes, there was some deliberate intent at least in his case, the desire to destroy local communities and their culture – the habits and traditions formed over centuries), on basic things (the core beliefs that hold a society together) assimilation has not taken place. Contrary to what some people claim – such things as pop music and Association Football can NOT hold a society together, that is not assimilation.

    So where do we go from here? Is the West dying?

    On the positive side some very diverse (diverse with a small d – not the big D of the Diversity of the left) places work rather well – for example Florida (which now has tens of millions of people) – held together by belief in certain core principles of liberty. Principles of liberty that the left utterly reject – and which are also rejected by one of the major religions of the world (one I will not name in this comment).

    Come to think of it – that mutual rejection of the principles of liberty (hatred of Freedom of Speech and so on) may help explain the otherwise bizarre alliance between the left (with its Marxist “Woke” doctrines on race, sex, “gender” and so on) and supporters of that religion – although I believe that alliance will break down.

  • John

    https://www.lboro.ac.uk/news-events/news/2019/june/new-report-roma-migration-benefits-to-britain/

    New report shows the benefits and challenges of Roma migration to Britain

    The report itself is noticeably coy as to precisely what the benefits to our country have been although in fairness it is now much easier to buy a copy of the Beeg Ishoo. Their contribution towards admittedly unwitting income and wealth redistribution, most noticeable in and around Oxford Street, might also be praiseworthy to the leftist mind although they would of course prefer such naked theft to be carried out by the government.

    I seem to recall being told around 10 years ago that, at most, one or two thousand Bulgarians and Romanians would be taking advantage of our newly relaxed immigration rules. Circling back to renowned former ping pong ace Matthew Syed, Farage was the man who called bullshit on this ludicrous claim at the time.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/771444/Nigel-Farage-apologises-UK-underestimating-Romania-Bulgaria-migration-figures

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    One thing I find bemusing about many on the Left about this subject is an inconsistent approach to rule-breaking. The other day, on the BBC, travel journalist Simon Reeve was walking around the US/Mexican border and voicing, as I expected, a general dislike of the border at all, sympathy for the illegal immigrants, etc.

    Of course, if the illegals were really interested in trying to get a job and better their lives financially, the libertarian in me has no issue with that.

    I also admire those who fled East Germany, North Korea, Cuba, and many other horrors, and not just for reasons of asylum, since political and economic liberty are in my view linked. The French Hugenots, Russian Jews, Indians from Uganda, etc, etc.

    But here’s a thing: the Left tends to be fiercely critical of “tax-dodgers”, and not just those who evade tax (which is a crime) but to many forms of avoidance and deferral (which is not illegal, and often deliberate policy). But those on the Left (and even other parts of the spectrum) seem quite okay with immigration rule dodgers, even in cases where persons aren’t coming from a place such as Cuba or N. Korea, but France (which last time I checked, is a broadly free country). They seem curiously blind to the fact that wholesale disregard for the rule of law is corrosive. There seems a complete disregard for the importance of process. Even a hardline open-borders guy such as Yaron Brook argues, for example, on the need for Israel to defend its borders. But a border is just a line on the map if it cannot be controlled.

    Also, the immigration debate mixes up disparate elements: the “it’s good for our culture” element, the “they are taking `our’ jobs” stuff (Lump of Labour fallacy), and the “it’s overwhelming this country’s infrastructure” element. Not all of these aspects of the argument overlap well, and they draw on different ways of viewing the world, ranging from zero-sum to optimistically expansionist.

    I guess a reason for this dissonance is that the Left thinks (wrongly) that imposing tax rules is not about hammering the “down-trodden” (try telling that to a self-employed person wrestling with the joys of the HMRC or IRS) but that enforcing immigration controls is.

    There are reasonable voices of a libertarian point of view who argue for open borders, such as Prof. Bryan Caplan, and they are also consistently minimalist on issues such as tax and the welfare state, but it continues to bemuse me how so much support for illegal immigration comes from those who are quite content with the coercive force of a modern Welfare State, and all the red tape that goes along with it.

    The explanation for this paradox that most convinces me is that on parts of the Left is a desire to use mass migration as a weapon against Western culture. Consider how relaxed such folk tend to be about an issue that tends to get drowned out in debate: large-scale emigration of young, often professional, entrepreneurial types, to foreign shores. As far as the Left is concerned, this sort of “Brain Drain” is a marvellous thing, because such folk tend to be motivated, hard working, and unlikely to be Left-wing as a result.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Martin: When you press the enthusiasts for the mass immigration to Britain (and Europe wider) over the past 30 years or so hard enough, their justifications largely are reduced to racial revenge. Basically, several centuries ago Britain had built a large empire, so now the ex-colonised have a right to colonise us and make our lives miserable.

    I have a gut sense that you are 100% correct, but I’d love to see a few sources to back that up, if only for handy reference.

    Douglas Murray does, in his various excellent books, more or less make the same point as this, that a lot of what we have seen in recent times (CRT, the whole DEI phenomenon, “woke”) is partly driven by vengeance: against white (often Christian) men, against white people generally and their “adjacent” groups (north Asians, many Indians from the sub-continent, etc), against exemplars of science, industry, competitive sports, excellence in all its forms, and last but not least – fun. They are even after classical music, for goodness sake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnfUOpwF-HY

    It is a form of nihilism, a terrible rage, that ironically has taken root and flourished in the richest societies on earth. Many reasons are given to explain it. For all that I am an unapologetic atheist, I think the decline of mainstream Protestantism in our culture, and forms of Catholicism, is a big explanation why.

  • John

    Jonathan,

    Yesterday’s Lotus Eaters podcast went through several of the “safe seat” conservatives who are likely to remain after July. Anglo Saxon names were at a premium. It’s not just Labour that is about to be taken over by the children of Empire.

    The Hindu/Muslim struggle most recently seen in Leicester may soon be played out across the floor of the HoC.

  • jgh

    Arguing for no border controls is arguing for the removal of doors from houses.

  • Martin

    I have a gut sense that you are 100% correct, but I’d love to see a few sources to back that up, if only for handy reference.

    Many such cases as this

  • The argument of Mr Farage is “you promised to end mass immigration and you failed to do so” – and there is truth in that, where I think he is mistaken is in his failure to see just how much worse a Labour government will be.

    I have yet to meet a Reform Party supporter who does not understand Labour will be worse.

    And I have yet to meet a Reform Party supporter who could not care less.

    The prevailing view (one that I share) is that the destruction of the Tory Party is an absolute prerequisite for a counterrevolution to even become a possibility. It means some actual small-c conservative Tory MPs will lose their seats, making them collateral damage, and like all collateral damage that is regrettable. But that’s what they are, collateral damage in a process that needs to happen & will happen.

  • Ferox

    Completely off topic, but

    And I have yet to meet a Reform Party supporter who could not care less.

    is a fun sentence. In context of course I know exactly what you mean, but if you break that sentence down algebraically it may mean something quite different. Hard to tell, really. 😉

  • Martin

    Even a hardline open-borders guy such as Yaron Brook argues, for example, on the need for Israel to defend its borders.

    Why does Israel get a pass to have restrictions but not America, Britain, France etc?

    There are reasonable voices of a libertarian point of view who argue for open borders, such as Prof. Bryan Caplan

    Open borders is an extremist view. Immigration control is sensible and common sense.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Martin: Why does Israel get a pass to have restrictions but not America, Britain, France etc?

    Because Israel’s neighbours, by and large, have a declared policy (Hamas, being the obvious example) of wanting to wipe Israel out. Therefore, open borders is akin to letting in enemy troops.

    I don’t think this is quite what the policy of Canada or Mexico is towards the US, although I suppose you occasionally get “reconquista” types claiming they are “taking back former Mexico” from the Yanquis, or whatever.

    I cannot fully answer for Dr Brook, but he has gone on record in saying that borders have to be enforced to stop known criminals, those carrying lethal ailments, and the like. So he is not quite as inconsistent as some claim he is.

    As for Prof. Caplan, he probably knows that his view is not widely shared, but he makes his case with so much evidence and data that I don’t put him down as a kook.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Paul Marks, Brexit is shorter than Independence, so Brexit will prevail.
    As for open borders, Libertarian is simply a movement away from centralism, and does not have a fixed program. Switzerland is more libertarian than many countries, but has a border policy, and a militia’ so stop trying to claim that libertarianism means no borders.

  • Stuart Noyes

    You cannot reward failures

  • Stuart Noyes

    It makes me rather angry when people describe the likes of Farage as populist or his policies as dog whistle. It implies the likes of Blair, Cameron etc., are the only ones with the gifts necessary to govern the uk or make decisions.

    But then we have Starkey who believes we should return parliament to pre Blair configuration when that configuration allowed all the Blair constitutional monstrosities in the first place and before that EEC membership.

    Lastly, I’m sick of people who can’t be honest and call themselves right wing without having the centre prefix.

  • Martin

    Lastly, I’m sick of people who can’t be honest and call themselves right wing without having the centre prefix

    I actually think the right should just call themselves centrists as our ideas are sensible and common sense while those of the people who called themselves centrists right now are extremists and dangerous.

    Lockdowns are extremist. Protecting our basic historical British liberties is sensible.

    Open borders is extremist.Controlled immigration is sensible.

    Net zero is extremist. Reindustrialisation, and energy and food independence are sensible.

    Internationalism is extremist. National sovereignty is sensible.

    LGBTQA whatever is extremist. Protecting and promoting families is sensible.

    Multiculturalism is extremist. Putting Brits first is sensible.

    Having the highest taxes since WW2 is extremist. Reducing them is sensible.

    And so on.

  • Martin

    I should add that while you have to be careful reading too much into European elections they do give me some hope that we can convince the public that we are actually the reasonable people and that the current establishment are whackjobs. In France, while I suppose the incoming parliamentary elections may tell another tail, my perception of the European election there is that many French now realise Le Pen is the only reasonable adult in the room, and that Macron is actually a psychopath, unpatriotic, and extremist.

  • Steven R

    A couple things I’d like to address.

    1) J6 was supposed to be the left’s Reichstag Fire. It wasn’t anything more than a couple dozen useful idiots running through the building. The left still got their show trials, but anyone paying attention realizes it was a nothing event that has been pushed as the biggest threat to “our democracy” since Benedict Arnold.

    2) The entire west has been under attack by our betters via immigration laws and policies since at least the mid-1960s. Covert or overt, the push to replace Whites with browns, blacks, and yellows for various reasons has been done since the Baby Boomers were in school has reached the point where demographics are permanently skewed against native populations, (short of millions dying, natch). I don’t know the reasons these policies were pushed or why or by whom, but here we are.

    3) bobby b posted a link to a video using gumballs to illustrate the effects of immigration. I rather like this one:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWHPJ8hO-ZM

    This is from a British tv police procedural show and the speaker is the villain in the show. He’s the villain because he actually wants to defend his home from the hordes of invaders who are invited in by the government that supposedly works for his best interests. He sums it up so very clearly by pointing out “we were never asked.” You could change the name of the countries and cities and towns to any in the West and it would be the exact same story. England, France, Germany, the US, Australia, Spain, Italy, it doesn’t matter.

    4) We aren’t going to be able to vote our ways out of this. Even if you get every seat in Parliament or Congress or what have you replaced with a Farage clone, then what? Even if we stop immigration, legal and illegal, we still have millions upon millions inside the gates who are outbreeding the natives and draining the coffers dry. Those clones are unlikely to vote for laws to start ejecting those millions. They will opt to enforce the laws on the books to arrest and imprison anyone calling for those non-natives to be ejected.

    We really need to start thinking about what to do next.

  • Martin

    I cannot fully answer for Dr Brook

    I looked up that Brook is Israeli.

    As per Robert Conquest’s first law:

    ”Generally speaking, everybody is reactionary on subjects he knows about.”

    Applying that, Brook is a reactionary (in other words, applies common sense) regarding immigration for his own country. He applies his ideological fanaticism (objectivism, which is basically just a cult to Ayn Rand) to everywhere else. Personally I think he should just abandon the cult ideology and just adopt a common sense approach like a normal person would.

  • Martin

    I have a gut sense that you are 100% correct, but I’d love to see a few sources to back that up, if only for handy reference.

    Many such cases as this

    More examples here, here, and here

    All motivated by some twisted wish for revenge against Europeans. Even if by some miracle these people doubled GDP I wouldn’t want these people in Britain, or any other country close to Britain to be honest.

  • Paul Marks

    I did not know that Dr Brook supported an open borders policy for the United States – even if the United States did not have many government benefits and public services (and it does – contrary to the media, who present the United States as if it was still as it was in 1924 – not 2024), that would make no sense.

    The populations who launched blood soaked Revolutions in Mexico and other Latin American nations in order to steal land (“land reform” means stealing land – and I am not “living in the past” see the Mexican election result only a few days ago) are likely to have the same “Social Justice” agenda of plundering and murder in the United States – and MS-13 and other (very large – and well armed) associations (“gangs” is not really the correct word) show that they do.

    Indeed this is precisely why the left in the United States support an open border – in order to destroy “capitalist” “reactionary” America (they are quite open about their Social Justice agenda of plundering and destruction – both by endless demands for benefits and public services, the “Cloward and Piven” road to destruction that the United States has been on for 60 years, and straight forward direct plundering – which is already starting to happen in California and elsewhere) – it is odd, to put it mildly, for libertarians to support this agenda.

    More generally….

    If Australia has open borders it will become part of Indonesia – which has ten times the population of Australia.

    If European nations have open borders – they will become part of Africa and the Middle East, they will cease to exist as cultural polities (nations). That may be a fairly peaceful process to start with – but as the demographic balance changes so the violence will increase (as Sweden and Germany and other countries have already found), and no one can honestly still argue that the new populations are assimilating over generations – they clearly are not (not in terms of what matters) and why should they? After all Western societies (cultures) are presented, by their own education systems and media, as evil – who would want to assimilate into them. Also it is considered evil to argue against the beliefs and culture of the new populations – so the existing nation is presented as evil (its history, culture and so on) and no one is allowed (and the risk of being denounced as an “ist” or “phobe”) to argue against the beliefs of the new populations. The conclusion is obvious.

    I do not see anything libertarian in wanting to destroy your own country – the forced ending of your nation (with, for example, what has already been done to many girls and young women in British towns and cities – which Mark Steyn, and others, have exposed) is a rather obvious violation of the Non Aggression Principle.

    Whether that country be Israel or any other country.

    To open the city gates to foes is NOT a libertarian act.

  • Paul Marks

    The 19th century limits on Chinese immigration to the United States are presented as racism – and, in part, they were racism, but that was not the only factor.

    What gets left out of most modern accounts is that China had just been through the most bloody Civil War in human history – tens of millions of people had died in that war, and it was populations from the losing side that tended to want to leave China (for obvious reasons).

    What had the losing side in the Chinese Civil War supported? They had supported communalism – the holding in common of all property (and women) by force.

    There were some weird features, for example one of the leaders of the losing side appears to have believed he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ – although that could have been meant in a metaphorical sense, but the core reason why most people joined the movement was communal property – plundering.

    A few such people coming to the United States might totally change their beliefs over time – and they did. But what if MILLIONS had been allowed in?

    That would NOT have been wise.

    As for today….

    I remember watching an interview with a Chinese farmer, and he seemed to be a decent and hard working man, who had bought a farm in Canada.

    He was asked what it was like leaving China – he replied that he had not left China, that he had bought the farm honestly (which he had – there was no question of force or fraud being involved, I do not want to libel the man) so it was now part of China. He owned the land, he was Chinese, so the land was part of China – that was his logic (and his logic would have been well understood by the citizens of Greek City States thousands of years ago – indeed by virtually everyone, everywhere, till a few decades ago).

    “The trade deficit does not matter” say some (Corporate backed) Americans – “they will just use the money to buy property here”.

    In which case the property, the land, is not part of “here” any more. You are selling your country (literally – the land itself) to fund your consumption of imported goods. That is certainly NOT what Adam Smith and the others meant by “Free Trade” – he (and the other Free Trade economists) meant importing some goods and exporting other goods, not borrowing money every year (and selling your nation itself) to fund consumption.

    The land will, eventually, no longer follow the culture, or the laws, of the nation that it used to be part of.

    Again this used to be well understood, by almost everyone, till only a few decades ago.

    Someone may change their allegiance – sincerely reject their old country (culture, religion, family and so on) and embrace another nation (what Norman Tebbit called the “Cricket Test” – the country you, or your parents or grandparents, came from is engaged in a contest with the country you now live in, which nation do you support?), but if they do not…

    The “Cricket Test” is a rather trivial name – a better name would be the “War Test”.

    The country, cultural polity, that you (or your parents or grandparents) came from is at war with the nation you now live in (and may have been born in) which nation (cultural-ethnic area) do you support it that war?

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