Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Racism, Nationalism, And Why Britain Has Too Few Immigrants


Last night on BBC3 there was a programme called Is Britain Racist? It had all the predictable exhibitions of prejudiced behaviour, plus the reiteration of already quite well know facts about how we harbour subliminal racism based on an evolutionary legacy of groupism (the tendency to think and act as members of a group, and conform to group patterns).

Clearly, although we are evolutionarily primed for groupism, the best way to diminish human prejudices is to integrate, be kind and accepting, and look to mutually understand one another. Mobs that are overtly nationalistic have their priorities the wrong way around - they supplant ordinary acceptance of others in favour of prioritising country, when they should be supplanting passion for country in favour of acceptance of others. I'm talking here not of the divisive topic of immigration, about which I've blogged before and probably will again, but about how to treat people who are in this country.

Those that are overly-natavistic should give up this insidious nationalism: it is an unworthy demi-god that seductively calls for our allegiance by playing on our worst fears and insecurities. It is using 'nation' as a projection of the many ways humans can feel marginalised and hostile towards past issues they've never dealt with - most notably their inferiority complexes. Because you know really, what we attack is that which we hate, and what we hate is that which we fear - it is what Evelyn Waugh eloquently called 'The concealed malice of the underdog'.

One often sees Internet videos of EDL-types bemoaning that the 'great' has been lost in Great Britain, due largely to multiculturalism, and their infantile ideas of the UK as some kind of idealised white person's island of provenance. To me, it's no coincidence that past notions of the so-called 'great' Great Britain have begun to diminish among the majority at about the same rate as Britain has become more and more enriched by its diversity.

And in actual fact, all around us we see the United Kingdom becoming less united by the year. We have a Scotland whose citizens are getting more and more enchanted with independence, and surely will soon be breaking away. We have Wales, whose assembly is not independent, but many of whose citizens are enjoying the devolution of powers that will likely grow and grow into eventual independence too (unlike Scotland, however, the majority of people in Wales do not currently want independence, as they know they rely too much on money from central government, and are fully aware that they would be hopelessly poor without it). And lastly, we mustn't forget Northern Ireland - which, while much more peaceful in this present period, is still a hotbed of division and dissension, and is very hard to govern. Even England is experiencing a stratification between north and south, with London and the South East enjoying far more growth than other regions in the country.

To top it all, in this rather Disunited Kingdom, at least in terms of nation states, the speech today from Home Secretary Theresa May hasn't gone down too well due to her stirring up various divisive sentiments in terms of immigration. The reality is something you'll not hear a Tory say, but there is an awful lot of pressure on this country in terms of immigration, not because we have too many immigrants, but because we actually have too few, coupled with an over-regulated economy that fails to enable market supply infrastructure to keep up with market demand infrastructure.  

The reason we have too few immigrants is because we are going to keep needing a high immigration of low-skill workers to cope with the supply-side needs of the growth of large businesses, and also because the civil service desperately needs as many people as possible paying taxes in order to sustain the welfare payments to the rapidly increasing number of elderly folk and the welfare payments to the steadily increasing number of young people without the requisite education, literacy and numeracy skills to compete in the current labour market - people who are, I'm sad to say, likely to remain marginalised and forgotten in a subterranean subculture of welfare-dependency to which the government has no realistic antidote, and may never have.
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