JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Welsh Don’t Want To Repeat Open Borders Mistake
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Earlier: The Fulford File | ”Actually, There Has Always Been Migration”—But In Those Days They Called It Invading!

Here’s a cheering story from across the pond, actually from Wales.

We don’t say much about Wales here at They are a quiet people—well, except when they’re singing

and keep mostly to themselves.

The Welsh really should, however, be more alert than the average ethny to the dangers of uncontrolled mass immigration. They weren’t always confined to that mountainous little western fragment of Great Britain. Prior to the first century A.D. they owned all the southern part of the island.

Then the Romans showed up and made Britain part of their empire; but the native British seem not to have been heavily Latinized. When, four hundred years later, the Romans left, the Brits went back to being just British and speaking their own ancestral language, Brythonic.

Without the Roman legions to protect them, though, the Brits suffered from raiding by the wild Scots, who lived in Ireland, and by the Picts, who lived in Scotland. To help fend off these assaults, the Brits hired in fighting men from Europe: Angles from what is today Denmark, and Saxons from what is now northern Germany—regions that had never been Romanized.

So these rough, warlike young men from a lower level of civilization found themselves in what had recently been a Roman colony with all mod. cons., filled with people who knew how to dress with style but had forgotten how to fight.

The Angles and Saxons looked around at the lush fields and pastures, the brick-built houses and bridges, the paved Roman roads, the well-groomed delicate women, and said to each other: ”Hey…”

Then they sent messengers back to their places of origin to spread the good news.

The inevitable followed. Within a hundred years the Angles and Saxons owned what is today England. (The 1096th anniversary of the unification of England under King Athelstan (right) in A.D. 927 was celebrated—actually, not celebrated—last week, on July 12th).

The native Brits had been driven off to the mountains of the west along with their Brythonic language, which over the centuries evolved into today’s Welsh.

So, as I said, you’d expect the Welsh to be particularly skeptical about the benefits of mass immigration. Here in this week’s news is a little tiny sliver of evidence that maybe they are.

The venue for this story is Llanelli, a small town in southern Wales, population 26,000. Llanelli has a fine old Edwardian hotel, the Stradey Park Hotel.

The owners of the hotel cut a deal with the U.K. government. In return presumably for some large sum of taxpayers’ money that hasn’t been made known to the public, the hotel’s owners gave notice to leave to all occupants, took no further bookings, fired all of its staff—50 full time workers and another 45 part-time—and hired in some security men to look after the place while necessary changes were made.

What was the point of all this? Well, you probably know that people-smugglers, with the aid of the French authorities, are shipping illegal aliens … sorry: ”asylum seekers” north across the Channel to England at the rate, in good weather, of many hundreds per day [Migrant crossings hit new daily record for the year: 616 people made journey across English Channel in 12 small boats on Sunday - as 2023 total hits 8,380, Daily Mail, July 12, 2023]. The total for last year was nearly 46,000—getting on for twice the population of Llanelli.

As is the case here in the U.S., there is a problem of where to put them all. For a while it looked as though the British government might take up my suggestion of hulks, like the 19th-century prison hulks—old unseaworthy ships moored offshore.

This is proving to be a bust, however. There have been protests from both right and left. Local people have protested that the hulks are unsightly, which they certainly are, and that the wetbacks … sorry! sorry! ”asylum seekers” would be free to come and go, bringing mischief and crime to local towns. Social Justice agitators, meanwhile, have criticized the hulks as ”inhumane” [Protesters march against plan for barge for more than 500 migrant men off the Dorset coast as demo forces cruise ship to cancel scheduled stop, by Olivia Jones, Daily Mail, July 8, 2023].

So what to do? Where to put this year’s inflow of forty, fifty, sixty thousand invaders … sorry! sorry! ”asylum seekers.”

Well, how about a nice four-star hotel like … oh, the Stradey Park in Llanelli.

That’s what the deal with the owners was about. The hotel expels its guests, cancels all wedding fixtures and such, fires all its workers, replacing them with a skeleton staff of ex-military security men, refits itself in a less luxurious style, and brings in 241 Albanian gangsters … sorry! sorry again! ”asylum seekers.”

The new guests were supposed to be moved in July 3rd. When word of the deal got around, though, local people rose up in protest.

So far they have been able to prevent the foreign scofflaws … oh, you know what I mean, from being moved in [Council orders Welsh luxury hotel which sacked staff to house migrants to STOP conversion works—as video shows moment protesters camping outside cheer when security leave premises, by Tom Bedford and Rory Tingle, July 13, 2023].

Latest news I have is that the protestors are holding steady, although not without some sad flashes of pathological altruism, such as this protestor quoted in the Daily Mail story:

I’m not a racist, I feel some sympathy with asylum seekers but the best hotel for miles around is not the place for them.
[EXCLUSIVEProtesters camping outside Welsh hotel which sacked staff to house migrants vow to stage demo ’for as long as it takes’as they compare themselves to Thatcher-era anti-nuclear Greenham Common activists, by Tom Bedford and John James, Daily Mail, July 11, 2023]

I can’t help but wonder whether, back in A.D. four hundred and something, there were Brits near the Channel shore watching boatloads of tough young military-age males arriving from Anglia and Saxony, the Brits murmuring to each other: ”I’m not a racist, but …”

How will it all work out at last? Let’s just hope it works out better for Brits than that previous Open Borders policy sixteen hundred years ago.

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

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