Freedom of movement ought to be one of the cornerstones of an open, liberal society. The freedom, that is, not just to seek refuge, but to search for a better life elsewhere, to pursue one’s dreams and ambitions in territories far from one’s birthplace.More.
Yet if the commitment to free movement is to be more than a shallow, feelgood posture, we need to recognise, in the here and now of a 21st-century Britain, that immigration troubles and discomfits people. Indeed, it appears as a socially disorienting force, overturning the everyday rituals, customs and other unspoken components that make up a community’s way of life. ‘I feel we are losing our country’, ran the pre-referendum refrain.
So why does immigration appear as a profound threat to the way of life of so many? The answer is to be found not in immigration itself, but in the context in which immigration has assumed, almost inadvertently, a quasi-missionary role – the context, that is, of a Britain that no longer knows what it is, or what it is for.
This is not the cry of the everyman, who feels he is losing his cultural moorings; it is principally the angst of Britain’s ruling elite, which feels it has already lost its cultural moorings. The historical sources of British national identity – Empire, Unionism and, latterly, the Second World War and the Cold War – and the moral confidence that flowed from them, have long since dried up.
National traditions, canons, values are now experienced by Britain’s elite not as the substance of Britishness, but as dead weights around modern Britain’s neck – to be cast off, dumped. And the political elite’s wilful estrangement from its own traditions has transformed the role of immigration, and, crucially, diminished the significance and meaning of national borders...
Monday, July 4, 2016
At Blazing Cat Fur, "Using migrants to push multiculturalism has been a disaster":