When you gonna wake up?
Note: I have deleted the original blog entry that was posted here last night (while leaving the subsequent comments in place) because one of its factual premises was incorrect and it was not possible to fix the entry without completely re-writing it, though I will attempt to do so later. Contrary to what I wrote, Britain apparently does have the authority under EU law to set limits to the number of Eastern European immigrants it accepts, but it hasn’t done so, as explained in this article from August 2006. By way of explanation for my mistake, in the eight or ten articles I had read on the issue, there had been no reference to any proposal to lower the numbers, notwithstanding the unhappiness so many people expressed about the situation. This created the impression that this was an EU thing over which the British had no control. I also did what I thought was adequate fact-checking before writing the entry, in the form of a question to someone who knows the issue well, but there was a miscommunication. The responsibility for the error is entirely mine.
Oddly, however, my take on the situation was still essentially correct, because, though Britain has the legal right to set limits, it acts as if it doesn’t. Last August, Home Secretary John Reid announced his intention to set up a committee to limit the number of immigrants, yet this committee will not even start functioning until April 2007. Eight months to set up a committee, even as the newspapers are crying every day about the unprecedented social crisis brought about by the wholly unexpected inrush of immigrants? And that’s three years into this problem. At the time the Eastern Europeans were admitted to the EU in 2004, Britain expected 13,000 to come per year, but instead over 200,000 a year began coming, so it would have been a simple matter to lower the numbers at any point over the last three years, right? But nothing was done. Not only was nothing done, but nobody seriously proposed that anything be done. As the linked article explains, it has been the British government’s position that to advocate ANY limit on immigration is “racist.”
The upshot is that although the British do still have the legal sovereign right to control who enters and works in their country, they do not exercise it, because in their own minds they don’t have the moral right to do so. Which means that my comparison of Britain to a man who has committed suicide but who, like a ghost, does not realize he is dead and so complains that people are treating him as though he didn’t exist, was correct as a portrait of the British mindset. The British have given up a fundamental aspect of national existence, while pretending to themselves that they haven’t. They keep agonizing about the unexpectedly vast number of immigrants and the resulting crushing social costs, but none of them ever actually says: “Let’s set the limit at X,” because, as far as the British are concerned, they lack the sovereign right of nationhood to say who comes into their own country.
(3-18-07: A revised version of the original article has now been posted.)
In response to the correction of the original blog entry, a reader writes:
Even when you err it is in your favor——so the Brits are worse than you thought—good.LA replies:
Yes, right on. Fixing the problem does not require the drastic step of withdrawing from the EU, which was what I had previously said. It just requires using the legal powers the British already have. But they are such weenies they won’t use those powers, and spend years wringing their hands instead. So they’re even worse than I thought.The reader writes back
1) This is a war—mishaps do happen. You are onto the right direction and you know who the enemy is—you have ‘em in your sights just keep firing.Barbara V. writes in response to the correction:
Agreed. Their right to limit has not changed the egregious facts….LA replies:
I’m happy as Larry that you see this.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 27, 2007 09:04 PM | Send