Since data from last year’s census was made available recently, a frightening discovery has been made by the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre and his motley band of hacks and pundits: the number of white and upstandingly Christian citizens of the United Kingdom is decreasing over time. This is clearly A Very Bad Thing, especially as that is also the target demographic for the Daily Mail.
They're not coming to take him away. Yet
So over at the Dacre Bunker, an operation to frighten those readers into buying yet more papers was indicated. This has taken the form of two doomsayers engaging maximum why-oh-why mode, the first being A N Wilson, whining that “I no longer recognise the Britain I grew up in”, not realising that this might be because the Britain he grew up in is not the UK in 2012.
Wilson is not prejudiced, you understand, but takes clear exception to finding that there are Asian taxi drivers in Stoke-on-Trent, and that the city looks rather different to what it did 30 years ago. He’s even less prejudiced against Albanians, who are by definition criminals. And recent immigrants, it is suggested, are generally in receipt of state benefits, in accordance with the mindset of his editor.
But this is only the warm-up act for the perpetually miserable Peter Hitchens, who has taken time out from trying to convince anyone that smoking one spliff causes permanent mental derangement to whine apocalyptically “Alien nation: The new census reveals a Britain that would be unrecognisable even to our grandparents”. Yes, and my grandparents would have revelled in it.
For starters, they would not have had to suffer appalling workplace safety standards, frequently dodgy food quality, having to pay to see the doctor, not being able to refrigerate (far less freeze) food to keep it fresh, not having access to up to date and factual information except through newspapers whose agendas were driven by cranks like Max Beaverbrook and the Rothermeres, and much more.
That generation still had to suffer relatively low wages, coupled with many having to remain at home and dedicate significant time to domestic toil: many homes still had no inside toilet, vacuum cleaners were a luxury item for many, and as for automatic washing machines – you must be joking. Most houses had no telephone, nor television. Nor did they have access to a car.
But all of this is ignored by Hitchens, who instead carps about same-sex marriage, immigration, and of course the EU, while trying to frighten readers by suggesting that Islam will take us over because the followers of The Prophet have larger families (Hitch has clearly not met many Roman Catholics of late). And all the time there is talk of the “indigenous British”, this in a country that is the product of immigration.
Hitchens wants a Britain that never existed. But the rest of the world has moved on.