Will the Union be a victim of multiculturalism?

7 May 2014

11:39 AM

7 May 2014

11:39 AM

One of the more striking statistics in yesterday’s Policy Exchange report on multi-ethnic Britain is the revelation that only 25 per cent of white Britons identify as British. This low figure may reflect people not wishing to fill out two boxes (that’s what Alex Massie says, anyway), but it certainly follows a noticeable trend of recent years – the decline of British identity in England. In contrast 64 per cent of white Britons in this report called themselves ‘English only’.

With the arrival of post-war migrants a great deal of effort was made to make the British identity less racial, more welcoming, and rightly so. But one of the unintended, although not very surprising, consequences of this is that white Britons have sought out an identity for themselves (understandably, as ‘white’ isn’t a particularly nice way of describing oneself, loaded as it is with baggage, and anyway I’m more the colour of a sunburned pig). Once you turn a national identity from something defined by ancestry (even if it was an understated familial category into which people could be adopted) into a proposition nation, then that identity is going to weaken somewhat. That’s not necessarily a terrible thing for people’s everyday lives, if identity isn’t important to them; but if only a quarter of the country’s largest ethnic group identify with that country, then that country’s got a problem.

Identifying as English rather than British is probably a good indicator of hostility or scepticism to multiculturalism, so that nowadays Britishness is largely confined to minorities and wealthy London liberals (I wouldn’t be surprised if, despite their name, a large number of Ukip supporters favour English independence).


And as well as watering down the sense of Britishness among the majority south of the border, multiculturalism has also weakened the Union because England and Scotland have had very, very different post-war experiences. Ukip is a response to multiculturalism, and is relatively tiny in the northern kingdom, but would it be so if Scotland had received the same number of post-war immigrants as the post-industrial North and Midlands? It seems unlikely, as demography tends to be destiny in these matters.

Scotland has sustained sectarianism because the proportion of Irish Catholic immigrants, at up to 15 per cent, was far higher than in England, where it never topped 5 per cent. Being of mixed Catholic/Protestant heritage myself, I’m glad it never got larger down here. England now has a sort of very mild form of nativism, and perhaps to Scots this is as incomprehensible as the politics of the Old Firm derby are to us.

Yet yesterday’s report was largely hailed by the commentariat as proof that people rub along in England. But what did they expect? If 100 Africans move into my area, do they think I’m going to organise a pogrom or burn a cross on their lawn? Diversity causes conflict only in extreme forms; in most cases it leads to apathy and alienation, not just towards one’s neighbours but to the political system and the nation itself.

And if so few people south of the border regard themselves as British, is it any wonder they’re so unconcerned about a very successful 300-year-old union slipping away?

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Show comments
  • White Dragon

    WHY ARE ONLY WHITE NATIONS BEING TARGETED FOR DIVERSITY? (Diversity = ethnic cleansing of Whites).

    1. Would a White majority Britain be more united, wealthy, safer, trusting, democratic and happier than a White minority Britain? YES

    2. What are the advantages for Whites of NOT embracing multiculturalism? Less racial division, less poverty, lower crime, less distrust, more freedom and less misery.

    3. Why are Whites the only race funding and celebrating diversity as they become minorities in their own nations? LUNACY

    4. Why are Whites tolerating themselves becoming a minority in a nation founded and built by Whites? WHITE GUILT

    5. Will non-Whites treat Whites with equal compassion if or when Whites become a minority? NO

    6. Every race fights to prevent itself becoming a minority in its own nation except Whites. Why? Overly COMPASSIONATE and TOLERANT

    7. Why are many Whites willingly giving up their money and power to other races? LUNACY. Would other races do the same? NO

    8. Why are non-Whites allowed to take advantage of White compassion and tolerance? WHITE GUILT

    9. Your race is your nation. Non-Whites understand this. Whites (especially Liberals) are still playing catch-up. Why? WHITE GUILT

    10. If ‘racist’ means preventing Whites becoming a British minority, then shouldn’t racist mean being a hero? YES!

    11. Do non-Whites flock to White majority nations because Whites build the most desirable societies? YES

    12. Are non-Whites privileged to live in White societies? YES!

    13. Is every race capable of building/maintaining a 1st world nation? NO! Why? Different races have different average IQ levels. (e.g. Blacks 75-80, Whites 100, Jews 112)

    14.But isn’t my ideology like Hitler’s? Lest we forget, “NAZI’s” build racially united, 1st world, wealthy nations. Liberals (neo-Communists) build racially divided, crime-ridden, impoverished nations. (Britain today)


  • Nick

    I recently moved to Warsaw, Poland, from Northern California. Multiculturalism is at an advanced stage in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being a “Californian” has no meaning. Thus most people identify with their ethnicity/race “black” “asian” “hispanic” or more specifically “filipino” “mexican” “indian” “chinese” etc. Being “American” is becoming diluted as well. I see more people in the U.S. identifying with their race, or perhaps their state if they are white “Texan” “Alabaman”… It’s not surprising the English aren’t interested in identifying as British. London is an interesting place but I think it’s hard to call it an English city, it’s like calling San Francisco an American city, technically true, but it has nothing to do with the history or values the nations were built on.

  • Picquet

    My father always labelled himself as a ‘Brit/Scot’ on any official form, while my mother was a ‘Brit/Eng’. Of course, that was when we had pride in denoting ourselves as such.

  • Daviejohn

    Yep,I am White and English first,British second. There should be an extra category New British for anyone other than above.

  • Tommy Hass

    “With the arrival of post-war migrants a great deal of effort was made to make the British identity less racial, more welcoming, and rightly so.”

    “understandably, as ‘white’ isn’t a particularly nice way of describing oneself, loaded as it is with baggage,”

    With this kind of attitude, your country DOES deserve to be overrun by 3rd wordlers.

  • Bonkim

    Sound analysis.

    • Picquet

      True. “Diversity causes conflict only in extreme forms; in most cases it leads to apathy and alienation, not just towards one’s neighbours but to the political system and the nation itself” is probably the core of it.

      • Bonkim

        You only try if you can change the system.

  • NotYouNotSure

    “If 100 Africans move into my area, do they think I’m going to organise a pogrom or burn a cross on their lawn ?”

    No, like most white liberals you will pontificate how tolerant you are about the newcomers but will then move to a whiter area.

    • Bonkim

      That is conflict dilution – who would want to socialise with a tribe of 100 Africans with little common culture, and language in any case – and the British are staunch idividuals – not used to congregating in tribal assemblies. Live and let live has been useful for centuries.

  • Cole Younger

    Mass non-white immigration is pushed into all white countries and only white countries. It was never about the economy or human rights. It was and is first and foremost making whites a minority in their own countries so that with no homelands, they can be blended out of existence. This is simply a sly and purposeful program of gen no cide perpetrated by the hostile elites running the West. They may look European but they have no loyalty to Europeans and in fact want European stock assimilated into oblivion.

    • Bonkim

      Load of rubbish in your brain – economic potential difference, political stability, and rule of law key factors in migration – nothing to do with trying to dilute racial groups via a diabolic international conspiracy.

      • White Dragon

        A lot of ignorance about ethnic conflict throughout history and lack of understanding about racial differences in your brain.

        • Bonkim

          Low life has no role to play in this.

    • Ingenious Cognomen

      And for “hostile elites” read “Jews”.

  • Motobu

    Could it not simply be the case that some of those selecting the ‘English’ option, were simply being more specific in their answer, as being English automatically makes one British by default?

    • Wessex Man

      no never not now.

  • Raw England

    Ed, important information:

    This ‘policy report’ was carried out, and written, by two immigrants; that is, non-Whites. Look at the names of the authors.

    Its another case of immigrants seizing the narrative, and manipulating it.

    And their ‘prediction’ that Britain will be one third non-White by 2050 is intentionally inaccurate and deceptive: England, which is the actual nation being colonised, will be FAR worse than that. By 2050, native English will be the minority in England.

    • Donafugata

      Exactly, the last time I looked it was predicted that whites will be in a minority by 2060, presumably that means us plus Poles, Russians etc.

      Sorry I can’t quote source but it is an official statistic.

  • slonytattery

    It seems unlikely, as demography tends to be destiny in these matters.

    Quite so! Quite so! Demography *is* destiny, Ed. I’m *very* glad you *dared* to write this…but be careful 😉

  • Wessex Man

    How dare you say “that English rather than British is probably a good indicator of hostility or scepticiism to muliticulturalism.”

    This is so typical of you and yours where for some reason we the English must never in your view be proud of anything English. We the English have much to be proud of. You never say this of the Scots, Irish or Welsh, no it’s all self hatred with you lefties. Do grow up!

  • Raw England

    You will find that every single problem currently destroying us all stem from multiculturalism and immigration:

    Our collapsed economy, Scotland breaking away, our deadly housing shortage, the collapse of community, collapse of national unity, poverty, inequality, collapse of democracy, terrorism, crime, suicides, loss of our national pride, loss of our personal pride, the total collapse of living standards, hatred, anger, rage, confusion, suffering and the mass deep depression amongst the native population.

    All stem from multiculturalism and immigration.

    • GraveDave

      If only half that list is true Raw, you can understand why most of the natives would rather go fingers in the ear and sing lah-lah. Certainly scary enough to make you think.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    The Times (Scotland) has suggested that enough Polish immigrants favour Scottish independence to swing the referendum result. It is hard to see what they would gain, given that an independent Scotland’s continued membership of the EU is not guaranteed.

    • Kevin T

      Why are Polish immigrants entitled to vote on the issue? Surely that’s a matter for the Scots? (If I was a retired Brit in Catalonia, I don’t see why whether it secedes from Spain would be my business.) This is one of the traps of the Tory-promised EU referendum too. By 2017 we could easily have enough Europeans here to swing that, and it’s unlikely many would be inclined to vote Out.

      • Jambo25

        If those Poles have lived in Scotland long enough they will have voting rights. Simple.

        • Wessex Man

          Just as any Brit living in Spain has the very same rights.

          • Jambo25

            I have no idea. I just know what has been the case up here.

            • Wessex Man

              oh yes and I was told last time around that the turnout in Southern Spain being only 8% it possibly swung the vote there.

              • Jambo25

                Thanks for that information.

    • GraveDave

      Why have they even got a say?

  • Kevin T

    The growth in people giving English as their identity has more to do with the attempt to suppress it under Labour (and associate the George cross with extremism), and with the Welsh and Scottish increasingly asserting their own national identities. Tell people they can’t do something and they’ll be more likely to do it. That it upsets the London liberal set is a bonus.

  • Keith D

    Very possibly it will Ed.
    Why would Scots, when presented with the opportunity to rid themselves of the troughing treacherous Westminster elite, not take it up?
    Salmonds big plus is that his Government delivers on promises made and seems to care about the electorate. When was the last time we saw a Westminster Govt pay the slightest heed to the wishes of the British people?. Quite the reverse as they continue this ghastly social engineering project designed to marginalise and cow the indigenous population. And there’s no end in sight.

    I think its touch and go with the Independence referendum, and I for one would be sad to see the Union go. But if it must go, so be it.

    My main worry for Scotland is that in a much smaller demographic, old bigotries may get more oxygen. My worry for us here is the obvious demographic one where, multiculturalism having failed, as anyone with one brain cell could have predicted, a burgeoning and aggressive sub culture is heading for a head on clash with the rest of us not of a medieval mindset.

    • HJ777

      For all its faults, Westminster is one of the least corrupt – and most respected – parliaments in the world.

      Salmond’s ‘government’ cares so little for its electorate that he made claims about receiving legal advice that are totally untrue and then spent £20k of taxpayer’s money trying to cover up his lie. And it is making promises galore about an independent Scotland (currency union, for example) which are not in his gift to deliver and which are mainly uncosted. Where, for example, in the 700-page white paper is any assessment given of the transition costs of secession and their impact on GDP?

      • Keith D

        I couldn’t agree more, but thats not the general public perception in Scotland. i think its astonishing that the uncosted “nuts and bolts” of separation have been conveniently sidestepped by the Yes campaign. They’re still not winning although the margin gets tighter.

        Westminster may be one of the most respected parliaments in the world, but we know a darn sight more about it than the rest of the world. It no longer represents our interests. Hasn’t done since the 90’s.

        Hence UKIP.

        • AtMyDeskToday

          “Salmond’s ‘government’ cares so little for its electorate”…
          “thats not the general public perception in Scotland”

          Could not agree more to the latter. Me a convinced conservative have voted SNP all my life because they indeed are the only party that has represented Scotland well and their policies over the past 7 years of government have been nothing but good for Scotland’s people.
          So it’s a YES from me and then vote for whatever flavour of conservatism emerges after independence.

      • Jambo25

        And Westminster delivered Royal Mail to its pals for a billion or so less than its worth. One of the main beneficiary firms employs Osborne’s bestest mate from Oxford and best man.

        • HJ777

          Now you are being sillier than ever.

          There is general agreement that the government took best advice on the sale. The UK has actually been rather slow to privatise its postal service compared to other countries.

          All sorts of people and firms bought Royal Mail shares – someone somewhere would inevitably know a member of the government.

          • Jambo25

            There is no general agreement on that at all.

          • SaveTubeTicketOffices

            Utter madness, it was sold off at a fraction of its true value!

  • Donafugata

    Forgot to say, another excellent article from the ever reasonable Ed West, thanks Ed, you should be ed.

  • sadmaninagame

    “English rather than British is probably a good indicator of hostility or scepticism to multiculturalism”

    I think it’s indicative of someone who probably has white skin pigment and English ancestry, usually male, who’s sick of everyone telling him what a nasty piece of crap he is for various reasons including but not exclusively (a) having a penis, (b) being white, (c) having an opinion.

    Everyone’s a victim these days Ed and now I understand why.

  • Donafugata

    Who wants to identify themselves as British these days when it has been so devalued? Any bugger can be British now, just turn up and claim a passport.

    Funny though, neither of the two interviewees on C4 News last night thought themselves British. The young woman from UKIP said she was Indian because her mum, dad and grandparents came from there.
    The man was Eritrean and said he was a Muslim and clearly loathes the British and is here to make us pay.

    Scots, Irish and Welsh are all proud of their ancestry and so it’s time we dropped this British thing and start to distinguish ourselves as English.

    • fundamentallyflawed

      The more we are encouraged to engage in other cultures and to accept their differences as “multi-cultural Britain” the more the native English majority will want to reaffirm their identity…

      • FrenchNewsonlin

        Indeed and one of the reasons the nationalist Right is on the rise on the continent. The European Parliamentary election may turn out to be an interesting measure of how strong national vs multikulti feelings are.

      • Toms18

        ‘Native English majority’

        For now, in 50 years time we will not be the majority. That is the problem. The English are literally being replaced in their own nation.

      • Ben Waymark

        Can a black person or an Asian person be English or do you have to be born to English parents?

        • Raddiy

          Don’t be silly, what has it got to do with race. To be English is a cultural identifier based on our history and culture. They are a set of common values that identify our distinctiveness, from Magna Carta to the suffragettes, and the succession of conflicts that have forged our independence and our sense of who we are in between.

          The last 50 years have been a deliberate attempt to impose the abstract Britishness on us, with a co-ordinated attempt to destroy Englishness. Our campaign in UKIP embraces both a return of our democracy from the EU, and a parliament for England in a federal system.

          You can be as English as you want to be, if you are black or asian, or you can also be British if your so choose.

          If you are born in England then by definition you are English, if you choose because of a cultural preference to be Afro Carribean, Black British, or British Pakistani, then that is your choice to stand aside from the majority population.
          Ultimately you can be what you want, but the majority of the English are now speaking, and speaking loud. We are going to re- establish our cultural and social pre-eminence in our own country. To put it in a nutshell, if you don’t feel English, then don’t be English, that’s your problem, not ours.

          • White Dragon

            Your race is your nation. Non-Whites understand this. Whites are still playing catch up.

    • Blindsideflanker

      The Eritrean man was pretty ignorant of his country’s history. He made all sorts of wild claims about us loathsome British/English people, though happy to live in the country he so despises. But as to Eritrea’s history, they were an Italian colony, it was only in 1941 that we ended up administering the place, and that was under a UN mandate to take it to independence.

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