Add up all the spellings of Mohammed and you learn it’s now Britain’s no2 baby name. I did this for my News of the World column on Sunday, and The Times has followed it up today. It’ll be no 1 next year, on current trends. This is partly because Muslims tend to go for a narrower selection of names, while the rest of us choose from a ridiculous array (there were eight poor lads named ‘Conan’ last year – but sorry International Development Secretary, no one called Hilary). A more important point is that foreign-born Britons make up about 8% of the population but 20% of mothers – keeping up Britain’s flagging birth rates.
The most important point is that Britain is far more at ease with this than the Netherlands or Germany. The level of cohesion in Britain is striking: we have mass immigration, but no far-right party in mainstream politics. As John O’Sullivan has pointed out, we were the original multi-ethnic state with an empire bound by unifying culture of Britishness. And we’ve never needed a “British day” to prove the point.
UPDATE: Iain Murray at National Review Online critques this post here