The Corner

Re: Fuel for the fire

John, you’re right that the Steyn-Heinsohn theses on Europe’s demographic weakness are not part of the debate in Britain, in part because its politico-media culture is much more centralized and so, if something doesn’t seem important in a select few London postal districts, it doesn’t get much play. For example, the news that “the English” would soon be a minority in Birmingham and other provincial cities was greeted with a massive shrug because there is no way to frame that issue within received metropolitan discourse. Taken to its logical conclusion (as the British seem determined to), self-extinction is merely an opportunity for congratulation on a particularly gung ho demonstration of one’s multicultural bona fides.

On the other hand, I was on a TV show last week in Dublin discussing immigrant integration. Ireland has evolved from a famous exporter of people to a voracious importer thereof: the auld sod’s immigrant community has gone from nothing (save for a few English, Scots and tax-avoiding “artists”) to ten per cent of the population in little more than a decade. The “Integration Minister”, who was on the show, says he’s confident Ireland can avoid the mistakes of Britain and the Continent, but everyone says that when in they’re in the first flush of immigration romance.

Whatever the virtues of immigration per se, a dependence on mass immigration – especially mass immigration from one particular source (as in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia and Switzerland) – is always a sign of structural weakness in society and should be addressed as such. But the reality is that in Britain and Europe no-one even knows how to discuss the subject anymore. Sad.  

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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