JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Lessons From Britain’s National Extinction—Its Deep State Is As Bad As Ours
Print Friendly and PDF

[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

I'm going to speak at length here about recent lessons from Britain, not because of lingering affection for the land of my birth, nor because I think it's of world-shaking importance in itself, but because of the parallel tracks that recent British and American history seem to run on.

We Americans can learn something from watching Britain's descent into the pit of national extinction, which has proceeded much further than ours. Britain's present is our future … if we don't make a serious course change.

Britain, like the USA, has a wide-open southern border. It's called the English Channel. Pay a sum of money to some coyote in France or Belgium and he'll put you in a boat and ship you north across the channel. On arrival you'll be perfunctorily checked in, then awarded three hots and a cot in a pleasant hotel, courtesy of British taxpayers, with lifetime settlement rights and welfare benefits.

See, it's just like our system; only that the invaders swarming into the USA have to cross a few miles of desert, while over there it's a few miles of sea.

There are other key similarities with wider scope. Since WW2 the Brits, like us, have spawned a class of metropolitan Globalist Progressives who manifest a quite open dislike of their country's legacy white population.

They've got the race bug and have taken it even further than we have: a recent TV miniseries about 16th-century English Queen Anne Boleyn had a full-blood negress playing the part.

Britain, like us, has a two-party political system in which the two parties have essentially no difference of opinion on anything relating to the continuity and preservation of nationhood.

Is Britain a ”polyglot boarding house”—in Theodore Roosevelt’s famous warning words about the U.S.?

British elites are fine with that, so long as the loudest voices in the boarding-house speak some language other than English and practice some religion other than Christianity, with extra credit if they are some color other than white.

Last week's news from across the Pond concerned Britain's Home Secretary. That's a high-level cabinet position in Britain's Executive, more or less like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security chief.

Until Monday last week, the Home Secretary was Suella Braverman. On that day the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, fired her. She'd been more and more openly critical of the boss, culminating last week in a blistering newspaper op-ed published without the Prime Minister's approval [Suella Braverman’s article: Police must be even-handed with protests, The Times of London, November 8, 2023].

Mrs. Braverman's portfolio included immigration. (There is a flunky named Robert Jenrick with the title Minister for Immigration, but he reports to the Home Secretary. Not one Brit in a thousand could name him.)

Mrs. Braverman is a strong immigration restrictionist. She has been frustrated, as all British patriots have, by the utter impotence of Britain's government in the matter of those boat people flooding in across the English Channel. Last year nearly forty thousand of these settlers arrived [The number of migrants crossing the Channel falls by a third compared with last year, figures show, Daily Mail, October 31, 2023]. The total at the end of October this year was a bit less than 27 thousand.

It's been going on for years. To add insult to injury, for the last thirteen of those years Britain's government has been in the hands of the Conservative Party.

Just as with our own Republican Party, it's hard to name anything of importance that the Conservative Party has striven to conserve.

Legacy Brits thought that Brexit would solve the problem, or at least open the way to a solution. Resistance to mass immigration was a deciding factor in the 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Still nothing was done.

In the 2019 election, Conservative Party leader Boris Johnson faced off against Globalist-Progressive Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Voters thought Johnson was the better disposed to stop the invasion. They gave him a landslide victory. Even districts that had voted Labour for decades went Conservative—the so-called Red Wall [Red wall Brexiters will be the ‘hero voters’ of the next election. The rest of us are just walk-on players, by Rafael Behr, Guardian, March 29, 2023].

Still nothing was done.

Well, not quite nothing. These Conservative governments wagged their finger at France, which was obviously helping the Channel smugglers. Large sums of British money went to the French government to encourage them to do something. Nothing was done, though: the French are too keen to get rid of the aliens, a high proportion of whom are young male trouble-makers from the Third World.

And then, the Rwanda scheme [What Britain’s Deal With Rwanda Means for the U.K. Asylum System, NYT, April 15, 2022]. This was cooked up a year and a half ago by Boris Johnson, the last Prime Minister but three or four … I've lost count.

The idea: Illegal aliens should be shipped to Rwanda in Central Africa to have their asylum claims processed. Rwanda would be paid to cooperate. And there was an implicit assumption that detention conditions down there would be unpleasant enough to deter the illegals.

There was always something of Gesture Politics about the scheme. I mentioned the forty thousand invaders who landed in Britain just last year—in one year. Nobody believed that Rwanda would take illegals on that scale; a few hundred, perhaps, but not tens of thousands.

Boris Johnson's Rwanda scheme wasn't serious. He's not a serious person. He just wanted to give the impression of doing something.

In any case the Rwanda scheme hit a rock and foundered. There were actually three rocks in its path:

  • The 1951 U.N. Refugee Convention
  • The European Convention of Human Rights
  • Britain's 1998 Human Rights Act.

So those rocks bear the flags of, respectively, the United Nations, the European Union, and Britain herself.

That offers endless opportunities for Globalists to litigate against the scheme.

And they have been vigorously doing so. Just this week, on Wednesday, Britain's Supreme Court struck down the latest attempt to implement the Rwanda plan. (Having a “Supreme Court” that strikes down Acts of Parliament is a fairly recent development in Britain.)

There's no fallback plan; the working-class legacy-British voters who turned the Red Wall red four years ago have returned to the Labour Party in disgust at the Conservative government's impotence; the Conservatives are polling at record lows; and there's an election coming up [Labour takes astonishing lead over Tories in devastating new poll as Reform surges ahead, by Christian Calgie, Daily Express, November 14, 2023].

Questions arise.

First: Why hasn't the British government withdrawn from the U.N. and E.U. treaties that prohibit Britain from securing its borders? Why don't they tell Parliament to repeal the 1998 Act?

Answer in both cases: Whoa! What are you, some kind of racist?

Second: And then, those Red Wall voters returning to Labour: Won't they just be trading in a covert gang of Globalist progressives for an overt one?

Yes they will. Hate is a stronger emotion than love, though. The opportunity to humiliate those who repaid their trust with lies and pretense will trump any fear of Lefty domination, which their fathers and grandfathers all favored anyway.

I should point out, however, that there is a new party, the Reform Party, in direct line of descent from Nigel Farage's Brexit Party. They're offering a patriotic alternative and they're polling well.

This next U.K. election may, with luck, be interesting.

A footnote on the same general theme: parallels between Britain and America. What's running in parallel here is the two countries' Deep States.

Last week, the London Daily Telegraph printed a very interesting document. It's an op-ed by an anonymous worker at the Home Office. Remember that the Home Office is presided over by the Home Secretary, until this week Mrs. Suella Braverman, and has immigration as part of its portfolio.

What does this anonymous Home Office worker bee have to tell us? The op-ed is nearly eight hundred words, but I'll give you the first two paragraphs:

Despite our change in boss, when it comes to controlling Britain's borders nothing will change. I know this because I have worked for some time as a civil servant on immigration policy, and—in my experience—no priority is further from the Home Office in 2023 than stopping the boats or cutting net migration.

For all her strident bearing, Suella was cringingly apologetic in speeches to Home Office staff. Instead of instilling much needed discipline, she would tell us what a great job we were doing, not that this got her any kind of loyalty. She was mocked and insulted by London-based staff furious at the refusal to extend safe routes to an ever growing number of countries.

Why my Civil Service colleagues are celebrating the Rwanda ruling: An anonymous civil servant writes that any suggestion migration be reduced is met with horror among staff at the Home Office,  Anonymous Comment, November 15, 2023

The Op-Ed as printed in the Daily Telegraph is behind a paywall, but you can read the whole thing on Twitter or on  

Just a couple more brief quotes.

When the Rwanda scheme seemed a millimetre closer to happening, staff message boards were filled with comments vowing they will not work on such an evil project.

And then this one, actually the closing paragraph. It refers to James Cleverly, Suella Braverman's replacement.

For my colleagues, I suspect James Cleverly's ascension is merely an opportunity to run rings around an inexperienced minister in a new department. And for Britain, our borders will remain uncontrolled.

It is of course shamefully racist of me, but I'm going to do it anyway, to point out that James Cleverly is a mulatto: legacy-British father, mother from Sierra Leone.

And of the other two main players here, Suella Braverman's parents are both Indian, although of different confessions: Father Christian, mother Hindu. She herself is a Buddhist; her husband is Jewish. Faith-wise, Mrs. Braverman has boxed the compass.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is a Hindu with Indian Hindu parents.

That aside, this Op-Ed sheds light on the dark recesses of the Deep State—ours, I am sure, as well as Britain's. These functionaries the anonymous write is telling us about have their own agenda. They see themselves as the courageous resistance to a government of the radical Right.

Final quote:

This culture of defiance is so widespread that any suggestion of border controls is sneered at or ignored.

Tell me, if you can, that this ”culture of defiance” isn't as active in Washington, D.C. as it is in London.


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.

Print Friendly and PDF