In the sixth of a series of short posts on immigration, our branch member Ian Cooper looks to the future, where there the white population will be a minority in the UK. The views of the author are his and not necessarily representative of the branch.
Up until now we have looked at some of the problems of immigration as it has happened so far. But it is also essential to view the future impact of immigration and it’s likely to be far greater than we think. An excellent guide to this is a book called, White Shift
, published in 2018, with a subtitle, ‘Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities.’ It’s by Eric Kaufmann who is a politics professor at London University. He is especially concerned that Western societies manage their immigration well and thus prevent a white nationalist backlash and angry populist politics.
Now Kaufmann is interesting. He’s from multi-ethnic Canada and is himself mixed race, half Jewish and a quarter Chinese and a quarter Latino and has no problem with the Britain becoming multi-ethnic. But he wants people to understand what is involved.
It’s a lot - by way of demographic change. He explains how, assuming current birth and death rates and immigration at an unbelievable 250,000 per annum then the current indigenous proportion of the population of about 85%, will be 70% by 2050, and in 2120 about 32%. What will really change will be the growth of those of mixed-race through increasing intermarriage. They will be 90% of the population by 2170. So, the white British will essentially disappear over the next 150 years. It is this transition that Kaufmann is concerned about. He’s a liberal but a fair one and a realist.
He argues that the diminishing ethnic majority have an identity and interests like any other ethnic group and it’s not racist for them to speak about it. Their concerns on immigration must be listened to and it should be slowed down if necessary. They should be assured that their culture is still British and people should be encouraged to see they have a common British identity even if they see it in different ways. He calls this a multivocal or plural approach to a common British identity and prefers it to a divisive multiculturalism, where differences are entrenched.
He’s particularly concerned about the bias he sees in the liberal elites against the concerns and anxieties of the white majority – and we will look at this further in the next post. In addition, he recognises that racial self-awareness is a product of evolution, where everyone prefers people like themselves. He also points out that many people are not wired for radical change psychologically, and so both these factors need to be worked around carefully.
Now Kaufmann hasn’t exactly been hailed by the liberal elite as he has told people what is going to happen, something the elite takes the trouble to avoid. It also feels he helps the populist and white nationalists. But all he says is: talk about the issue and be fair to everyone. However, what about a mixed-race – beige - Britain?
The liberal view, which he supports, is that immigration is fair for post imperial Britain and that we are a tolerant people who can absorb differences into a strong liberal culture, if done in the right way, and that when we are all beige ethnic differences will end in a new harmonious society. The more conservative and more cautious view is, that we have no special responsibilities to our imperial past, that immigration is a de-stabilising short cut to provide the work force we should be producing ourselves, that it is driven by a foolish rainbow multi-ethnic ideal and that we are an increasingly unstable society which may well see real conflict as we transition to ‘beige’ Britain. This latter view, which I tend to, also bears in mind that we are facing massive challenges in the future.
There is the new Artificial Intelligence which may well destroy jobs by the thousands – just as we import people, there are environmental challenges, there is rise of China and other possible pandemics. It seems unwise, therefore, to engage in the massive social engineering that immigration involves and absolutely right for UKIP to want to see it substantially reduced.
Read Part 7 - Liberal Bias and ‘Ordinary People’