It isn't every day that the interior minister of a mature western democracy publicly announces that his policies are leading to the collapse of social order and uncontrollable widespread communal violence, things more usually associated with places like Gujarat (and northern Nigeria.)
But last week David Blunkett, Britain's Home Secretary, warned that society is "like a coiled spring" where the tensions and frustrations could spill over into "the disintegration of community relations and social cohesion," with such widespread vigilantism that Britain could "tip into a situation we could not control."
He made the statement the same day that the far-right British National Party, which wants to repatriate ethnic minorities from Britain to their land of ethnic origin, won a local by-election, beating the government's Labour party into second place. The BNP now has five local seats across Britain, up from zero this time last year, the highest position it has ever held in a country normally very wary of fascism.
Mr Blunkett's warning shows just how dangerous it is to ignore the clear democratic will and impose mass immigration on a people that really don't want it. He in effect admitted that his policies of promoting legal mass Third World immigration while refusing to take action necessary to stem illegal mass Third World immigration are bringing Britain, normally one of the most stable democracies in the world, to the verge of anarchy.
No other policy–not health, not education, not defence–could have this terrifying effect on the fabric of society.
His dramatic admission that he has almost made Britain ungovernable follows a week when startling events that showed just how much the government had lost control of the borders tipped public frustration with illegal immigration, which had been mounting for years, into seething anger.
Just in case people felt they shouldn't get angry about what the Daily Mail newspaper described as a "slow motion invasion," Britain's best selling newspaper, the Sun, told its 4 million readers to "read this and get angry."
The turning point was the murder of a policeman during a raid on a North African Islamic "asylum seeker." Asylum is the favoured means of illegal immigration to Britain, because once you just say "asylum" you get a whole range of benefits, housing, full health care (including free plastic surgery) and free immigration lawyers who will string your claim out for years, and then when eventually your claim to be escaping persecution is rejected (as happens in 90 per cent of cases) you can just stay in Britain anyway because the government finds it too hard to make anyone leave who doesn't want to.
The courts have declared that, in almost all cases, forced deportation is against people's human rights. Even convicted murderers and terrorists are allowed to stay because they might face the death penalty if deported. Last year, more than a hundred thousand people from the Third World entered Britain this way, three times the level of five years ago. Now, about one in twenty people in London, or 400,000, are asylum seekers–and that's on top of a significant number of illegal immigrants who didn't bother claiming asylum.
The stabbing to death of the policeman was the first death on British soil in the "war on terror," which has revealed that probably hundreds of suspected Islamic terrorists had entered the country claiming asylum, some hatching chemical warfare in London flats while living off welfare benefits. People were not abusing the asylum system not to live off the British, but to kill them.
More news about the effect of asylum exploded out. An 88 year old widow was told by her doctor that he could no longer look after her because he kept being given more asylum seekers to deal with. The government, running out of places to house asylum seekers, started buying up country hotels. It secretly bought the only hotel in a small town in Kent in order to house asylum seekers, forcing dozens of couples to cancel their weddings. Locals told the media they would burn the hotel down rather than let asylum seekers there.
The government launched several raids to crack down on the organised criminal gangs of Third World immigrants who are taking over the drug industry in British cities and occasionally indulging in murderous open gang warfare.
The government admitted that Third World immigration was bringing in such high levels of the lethal liver disease hepatitis B that it was considering vaccinating every child in the country to protect them. As I wrote in the London Spectator magazine (January 25 2002), Third World immigration is doubling the rates of HIV, tripling the rates of tuberculosis and increasing twentyfold the rates of hepatitis.
The police raided a North London mosque where the imams regularly order their followers to murder all British people, particularly Jews. The police discovered several asylum seekers, hundreds of false passports, stolen credit cards, a biological warfare protection suit and a small arsenal of weapons.
But the event that tipped the public mood right over the edge was the discovery that several Taliban fighters, who until recently were supporting Osama bin Laden in his quest to destroy the West and trying to kill British troops in Afghanistan, had successfully claimed asylum in Britain claiming persecution by the Western backed, democratic government.
If you put these events in a film, no one would believe it. But in Britain, with a government obsessed with not offending anyone, anything has become possible. However, a government rides roughshod over its people at its peril.
The newspapers, until then practising some restraint, stopped pulling any punches. The Sun launched a "crusade against asylum madness," getting 200,000 signatures in a few days to send to Tony Blair. The Express, which has been repeatedly denounced as racist for criticizing the lack of action on asylum, reprinted twenty of its front pages with the headline "we told you so." More respectable newspapers, such as the Daily Telegraph, called for the government to immediately withdraw from the international human rights conventions that made it almost impossible to crack down on asylum abuse–something they have never dared demand before. One of the Labour government's own MPs called for an immediate two year moratorium on asylum.
Even mass legal immigration, which I criticized in my recent book "Do we need mass immigration?", is coming under fire from the left, not just the right. Quoting extensively from my book, John Lloyd, the former editor of Britain's main left-wing political magazine, the New Statesman, wrote a long article in that magazine pretty much agreeing with everything I have been arguing. Britain's most intellectual magazine, Prospect, ran a cover story (February 2003) by a former Marxist Cambridge University economics professor entitled "In Defence of Fortress Europe." For Prospect to run a piece like this from a right-winger would have been unthinkable just six months ago; that even such unimpeachable left-wingers are coming out against mass immigration, legal or illegal, shows just how far attitudes have changed in Britain.
The repeated inability of the government to control illegal immigration has made things ugly in Britain. But the sad fact is that things are almost certain to get far, far uglier before they get better. Such is the incredible entrenchment of the human rights and immigration lobbies that the rule of law will have to collapse–or the British National Party become a frighteningly potent force–before the government will discover the political will to act.
This is what happened in Holland, with the rise of flamboyant homosexual anti-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn, who was so badly pilloried by the press an animal rights campaigner felt compelled to assassinate him. His political party has collapsed, but his ideas have been adopted by all mainstream politicians. Six years ago, a Dutchman was fined for saying "Holland is full;" now left-winger political leaders are saying just that. But the political earthquake that forced politicians to listen to public opinion has ruined race relations in that once tolerant country.
This political earthquake is rumbling in Britain (the "coming storm" as the left-wing Observer newspaper put it) but it will explode once Islamic terrorist illegal immigrants claim the first life of an innocent civilian–not just a policeman–on British soil. The fear that will rip through the country when that happens will force the government to act, but the tragedy is that it will have set back race relations in Britain decades.
In the battle between the British public and the human rights lobby, it is Britain's five million ethnic minorities, and two million innocent Muslims who will be the real losers.
[Anthony Browne is the Environment Editor of the London Times.]
January 28, 2003