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Ignored: Gordon Brown's attitude to Mrs Gillian Duffy represented the political class's attitude to voter's reasonable concerns

Imagine yourself back in 2002. The census for England and Wales, compiled the previous year, has just come out, showing the extent to which the country has changed. You decide to extrapolate from the findings and speculate about what the next decade might bring.

"The Muslim population of Britain will double in the next ten years," you conclude. "White Britons will become a minority in their own capital city by the end of this decade."

How would those statements by your younger self have been greeted? The terms "alarmist" and "scaremongering" would certainly have been used, as most likely would "racist" and (though the coinage was in its infancy) "Islamophobe". Safe to say, your extrapolations would not have been greeted warmly. Readers inclined to doubt this might recall that when the then Times journalist Anthony Browne made far less startling comments in 2002, they were denounced by then Home Secretary David Blunkett — using parliamentary privilege — as "bordering on fascism".

Yet that widely abused younger self of 2002 would be proved utterly right. The 2011 census, published at the end of last year, revealed the following facts and more. It showed that the number of people living in England and Wales who were born overseas rose by nearly three million in the last decade alone. Only 44.9 per cent of London residents are now white British. And nearly three million people in England and Wales live in households where not one adult speaks English as their main language.

The religious make-up of Britain has altered as well. Almost every belief other than Christianity is on the rise. Only Britain's historic national religion is in freefall. Since the previous census in 2001, the number of people identifying themselves as Christian dropped by 13 per cent, from 72 to 59 per cent. The number of Christians in England and Wales dropped by more than four million, and the number of Christians overall fell from 37 million to 33 million.

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Petter H
May 18th, 2013
12:05 AM
I see this article is a little dated, but anyway. I read nonsense in the comments about what the british did to their colonial subjects 200 or so years ago, and as is insinuated makes current day immigration to Britain morally right. It is obviously a fallacy, a fallacy that this very article tries to address, the commenters in question either didn't read the article, didn't get it, or just ignored it. As the case of Canada, I don't think Canadians today mind new british immigrants. Obviously for the reason of culture being near identical due to common historical roots. The fact that the immigrating briton is most certainly educated(no threat to canadian wealth) and civilised(no threat to security), then the ruling Canadian culture is not threatened in any way, in fact the briton will in all probability easily assimilate entirely into a canadian, even on his own volition. This also means that the status quo remains entirely unchanged, unthreatened. For Britain and the immigrating foreigner the situation is different. The typical immigrant comes from a different cultural background, has different values, has poor education and on top of that looks different(makes symbolising the conflict easy). The immigrant is not interested in assimilating(he does not take a new local name, take on british customs, or take on british values or even learn the language in some cases). In short he, unlike the briton in Canada, DOES represent a threat to the standing british cultural status quo. He will force a change in britain whether he or the britons like it or not. The point is that for such demographic, cultural, political and economical changes to be morally sound, then the native british population would have to welcome it, preferably by consensus. If not, then it is by democratic definition, immoral(due to Britain supposedly being a democracy). That's the "problem" isn't it? Europeans not only in britain, but all of europe, do not want "multiculturalism", here meaning distinctly different peoples from across the globe. The politicians disagree with this "plebian" majority, and decide to ignore public opinion and hastily import foreign cultures, and in so doing, ignore democracy itself.

Verona
May 15th, 2013
9:05 AM
England is the size of a small American state, eg Indiana, whose population is some 20 million. Mandelson has confirmed that New Labour opened the flood gates of migration for their own political reasons, and this trashed their blue collar people in terms of jobs and cultural chill factor, indeed ghettoisation. This was a way of digging up the stubbornly conservative culture of middle England, since socialism had become unelectable. Mrs Duffyist smears, recently repeated by Vince Cable, show that politicians of the left still try to smear any who question this scale of migration as racists and bigots. The BBC even ran a topic on last Sunday's Radio 4 'Broadcasting House' " Are all UKIP voters closet racists"? Now the issue is playing into the EU debate and so has gained traction as Labour is also bleeding support to UKIP. And now the issue of cultural norms of some large migrant groups is becoming an issue also. It's a problem now, New Labour is wholly responsible for its reckless politicisation of migration as a party political tool.

Paddy
May 15th, 2013
2:05 AM
Until people realise that we are "reaping the whirlwind" of the sexual revolution which has been used to destroy the morality of the nations and enslave people to their desires, the slow motion suicide of Britain and the entire west will continue. If someone wrote a book about a people who killed and abused their own children born and unborn, destroyed their families, promoted and tolerated every kind of perversion and addiction all the while claiming they are the most enlightened people ever to exist, any fairminded person would be horrified at their lies and arrogance. And yet that is what our society has become.

Zak Alaoui
May 11th, 2013
12:05 PM
it looks like your worries are about people moving in and taking over the country? you shpuld be more worried about multinationals companies taken over Britain.

Tim
May 4th, 2013
8:05 PM
Truely troubling the rise of xenophobia in this county. I am ethnically South East Asian, born, educated and raised in this country now studying medicine in Scotland. I intend to work in the NHS indefinitely until retirement. To have an article identify me as foreign because I am not White British seems absolutely ridiculous.

Steffan John
May 4th, 2013
12:05 PM
So there's never been any significant immigration to Britain? Falch clywed hynny; oeddwn ni wedi tybio fod y mwyafrif llethol o Prydeinwyr yn siarad Eingl-Sacsonaidd yn hytrach na Celtaidd. Da, er rhyfedd, clywed nad yw hyn yn wir. What, you mean you don't understand British, only Anglo-Saxon?

ldm
May 4th, 2013
11:05 AM
Your language stats are a complete farce. Half a million of these three millions would be welsh. I will salute the day when England is back to ending at the Severn and the Tweed.

alfric
March 30th, 2013
12:03 PM
Thanks to Douglas Murray for this clear and honest analysis. It is significant that nothing of a similar standard appears in the DT, or elsewhere in the British media.

Indigenous European
March 29th, 2013
1:03 AM
Why shall indigenous Europeans of today suffer because indigenous Canadians did 200 years ago? We can do nothing about the past, except learn from it, and make sure not to do same mistakes once again today. To compare Europe with Canada you must include that the native Canadians, the Indians and Inuits, now have got the worlds most generous i indigenous rights. Native folks in Northern America have the rights to property of their pre-immigration culture, their infrastructure, their natural resourses, the legal securance of their indigenous way of living (google kennewick-man for exemplification of natives property rights to their culture). And Northern Canada has even an autonomeus indigenous state, Nunavut. When Europeans who proclaim their native rights, automatically get the same right to ownership of our European art and culture, our European infrastructure, our European natural resources, as the indigenous Canadians already have, you can start comparing Canada and Europe in this matter.

Ram
March 28th, 2013
12:03 AM
Does this article mean Europeans themselves should lose the right to emigrate? I live in Canada. Most people here are immigrants from Europe. Under Murray's rule, would the native peoples have the right to ask them to go back to Europe? Much is made of how white Britons were not asked before coloured immigrnats were let in - well, Britons never asked the natives of a whole host of nations if they wanted to be transformed by colonial rule and British immigration. No people has emigrated in such numbers as white Britons, and they are continuing to emigrate today. You cannot take full advantage of a process and suddenly declare it sinful for others just when it suits you. If white Britons emigrated in vast numbers in the past and do so today it must be permissible for others too. That is all I am saying. The presence of large immigrant communities is a fact of life for very many nations today, and not only in Europe or North America or Australasia. A large migrant population of Afghans has changed the demographic character of several provinces of Pakistan. This is in large part because of the fuelling and intensification of deadly warfare in Afghanistan by the British and the US for their own strategic purpose of hitting the Soviet Union. Large communities of people from India and Pakistan are found in the Gulf Arab states. Indian Assam has been settled by a huge number of Bangladeshi Muslims. Kenya hosts a large migrant Somali population. Many other Black African nations have large immigrant communities and so do many Latin American ones. So this is a global phenomenon and singling Britain or Europe out as the host of immigration is absurd. Especially so when the white British and Europeans themselves have taken advantage of the possibility of emigration more than any other people. This is about fair play. No people has emigrated in such numbers as white Britons, and they are continuing to emigrate today. You cannot take full advantage of a process and suddenly declare it sinful for others just when it suits you. If white Britons emigrated in vast numbers in the past and do so today it must be permissible for others too. That is all I am saying. The presence of large immigrant communities is a fact of life for very many nations today, and not only in Europe or North America or Australasia. A large migrant population of Afghans has changed the demographic character of several provinces of Pakistan. This is in large part because of the fuelling and intensification of deadly warfare in Afghanistan by the British and the US for their own strategic purpose of hitting the Soviet Union. Large communities of people from India and Pakistan are found in the Gulf Arab states. Indian Assam has been settled by a huge number of Bangladeshi Muslims. Kenya hosts a large migrant Somali population. Many other Black African nations have large immigrant communities and so do many Latin American ones. So this is a global phenomenon and singling Britain or Europe out as the host of immigration is absurd. Especially so when the white British and Europeans themselves have taken advantage of the possiblity of emigration more than any other people.

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