I’m sorry, that’s all I can say. I have just read the headlines in the newspaper today, Tuesday 1st September 2015, which predict “UK population to soar to 85m by 2080; migrants fuel rise in Britain double that of the whole EU …. England’s green and pleasant land will be a thing of the past if this does happen.”
Born in Britain in 2015, you are now 65 years old, and I can’t imagine what life is like for you in 2080. I’m just glad that I won’t be around to see it. I’ll be long gone by then, having been born in 1947. Yes, I’m just a few years older than you are – I’ll be 68 next month. The population now is around 65 million (8 million of them foreign-born) and that is already more than enough for a country of this size. The majority of people here think so, but our governments don’t listen to us.
I think my generation has had the best of it you know, and the last of it; by that I mean the Britain I was born into, which was battered and bruised after the Second World War but still ruled itself as an independent nation with a very strong sense of history, identity and pride. It wasn’t easy in the post-war years with rationing and privations. However, every kid in my working-class school knew exactly the calibre of the country to which they belonged, and which unquestionably belonged to THEM; and they knew what it had achieved. “We won the war in nineteen forty four!” was a favourite skipping-rope chant (historical accuracy being sacrificed a little in the cause of rhyme). We were unaware that the country our fathers, grandfathers and uncles had fought to save from enemy invasion was going to be invaded anyway.
On the horizon loomed the long-term consequences of the post-war mass immigration from the Commonwealth that had already begun, followed by our ill-advised membership of the European Union and the right it gave to 500 million people in the EU to come here in the name of the ‘free movement of people’.
The Commonwealth immigrants were a curiosity at first, especially their colourful clothes and houses. In drab 1950’s Britain, we had never seen the outside of a house painted pink or orange until people from the Indian sub-continent arrived. We thought curry smelt awful; they thought boiled cabbage smelt worse. But conflict and unease was on a small scale for a couple of decades. The incomers seemed to work hard, mind their own business and not meddle in ours. We had no feelings one way or another about their religion being Islam; we knew little about it.
However, by the 1980s we were hearing of Christian churches turned into mosques, the demand for halal meat in school dinners, the insistence on Multicultural curriculums, and lessons taught in Punjabi and Urdu. Hang on a minute, the natives thought – they did choose to come to Britain, and they did know we do things differently here, didn’t they, so why are they trying to turn our country into a little Pakistan? But if you asked reasonable questions like this, people of the political left came down on you like a ton of bricks, called you a racist and accused you of a terrible crime: Political Incorrectness. A primary school headmaster, Ray Honeywell, who dared to say that it was better for the children of immigrants to learn good English at school so they could integrate effectively in our society was berated, carpeted and forced out of his job. Mr Honeywell became a pariah in the world of education and was out of work for good.
Well, we went on for another couple of decades with no one daring to say anything much because Multiculturalism was like a religion that you couldn’t question. It only tailed off when unintegrated British-born Muslims started supporting anti-British terrorist organisations, blowing up people on public transport or beheading victims in London. Although the first-generation immigrants had come to live in this country voluntarily and seemed happy to stay here, some of their children or grandchildren hated us and sided with our enemies. Plot after plot to kill British people was uncovered, but no one in charge said that if they didn’t like it here, the terrorists and their supporters should go somewhere else. Maybe those Islamist terrorists won in the end and are running the UK by now as they threatened to. I do hope not, for your sake.
In 1973 I was 26 and had been living in a free, sovereign nation all my life. All that changed when a horrible PM called Heath signed us up to the European Economic Community without even asking us if we wanted to be in it. He promised that our freedom to make our own laws and decisions for Britain’s good would not be compromised. But he was lying and so were all the other politicians who kept insisting that our way of life wouldn’t alter. Nothing much did seem to happen at first – well, except for having to change all our money and our measurements, and let foreigners steal fish from seas that used to be ours, and we had to eat what the EEC told us we could eat because they didn’t like certain shapes of bananas, cucumbers, apples or other fruit. So everyone in Europe had to eat the same-shaped fruit and vegetables, and any shopkeeper in the UK who tried to sell it in pounds and ounces instead of kilos was fined or sent to prison.
More and more people began to wish that we could come out of the EEC. But even though we had different political parties with different policies, they all agreed with each other about the EEC: that it was a very good thing and we had to stay in, however bossy and annoying it became. They kept signing treaties named after foreign places, such as Maastricht and Lisbon which changed its name to the European Union and created a European Constitution. Every time a treaty was signed, the EU became stronger, more binding and harder to question. Now its goal was to bring about “ever closer political union” with every country using the same money that the EU had invented and all of them obeying the same laws that had been decided in the EU headquarters in Brussels and every national government passing those laws even if the people in the different countries didn’t like them or want them. The next step planned was to create a United States of Europe.
The law that we in Britain especially disliked was the one about free movement of people. This was because more migrants wanted to come to the UK than any other country in Europe and the government, led by a terrible PM called Blair, even encouraged more to come, just to infuriate those who were worried about it. The EU allowed several quite poor countries to join, which meant that hundreds of thousands more economic migrants could come here year after year until it became millions. There aren’t enough jobs, houses or places in schools or hospitals for our own people. More migrants have arrived in ten years than had previously come in hundreds of years of our history and there is nothing we can do to stop them because we have to obey the treaties our Prime Ministers signed. They are still flocking in legally and illegally every day. There are even people from outside Europe squatting on the French coast trying to break into our country, angry that we won’t let them in. We are under siege.
Next year or the year after, there will be a referendum that allows us to vote on whether we want to stay in the EU or leave. We have an awful PM called Cameron who is doing everything he can to make us stay in the EU even though it’s destroying our country. I’m going to vote to leave the EU for your sake. I hope that most British people do the same. If they do, it might preserve the British birthright for you and your generation. If they don’t, I’m sorry.