Rule Britannia! John Derbyshire On Brexit, The Immigrant And Geezer Votes, And…Donald J. Trump
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I always thought Rule Britannia should have been Britain's national anthem. It's way more fun to sing than God Save the Queen and I love that bumptious 18th-century nationalism:
The Muses, still with freedom found,

      Shall to thy happy coast repair:

Blest isle with matchless beauty crowned,

      And manly hearts to guard the fair.


Rule, Britannia, rule the Waves!

      For Britons never will be slaves.

Here's a linguistic oddity: to an Englishman's ear, “For Britons never will be slaves” sounds wrong. Not the general sentiment, which of course is fine and sound, but the word "will." An English person much more naturally says "shall" in that context.

In fact, when English people sing "Rule Britannia" (which they don't do anything like often enough), they instinctively sing: "Britons never, never, never shall be slaves." I venture to say, although I don't have time to run the experiment, that if you go to YouTube and bring up several recorded versions of the song, some—possibly even a majority—of them will substitute "shall" for "will."

What's that all about? Just this: James Thomson, the chap who wrote the lyrics to Rule Britannia, was a Scot, not an Englishman. Scots usage prefers "will" over "shall" for a plain future tense. It's just one of those things that the English and the Scots differ about.

Which is by way of introducing the amazing fact that Brexit won. This is a victory for the fundamental principles of nationalism: for national sovereignty, secure borders, rational immigration rules, and demographic stability. (More on the Scots later).

As a temperamental nationalist myself, I am of course delighted. As an ex-Brit, I'm double delighted. For the moment, as Winston Churchill said on V-E Day, "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing."

pirroObviously, this is also a boost for the Trump campaign. It's clear that some of the motives for Americans to go to the polls and vote for Trump in this primary season are the same as those that drove Brits to turn out and vote for Brexit in such numbers. As Trump supporter Judge Jeanine Pirro expressed it very pithily Friday morning on Fox and Friends: "People want a nation-state … they want borders." [Judge Jeanine on Brexit: 'People Want Borders, Identity as a Country', oxNewsInsider, June 24, 2016]

Here at we've been telling you for years that the great ideological divide in today's world is not capitalism versus socialism. That is so twentieth century.

The major ideological divide today is over the role of the nation-state. Who gets to live in Britain, or the U.S.A., or Europe? Should anybody be able to? Are national borders obsolete? There are powerful voices that say so: a big slice of the Economics profession, the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, the German Chancellor …

And then the complementary question: What is the proper scope and role of supranational organizations? For example, major decisions about the numbers and origins of people granted settlement rights in the U.S.A. are made by bureaucrats at the United Nations. Are Americans OK with that? Did anyone ever ask them?

That's today's ideological divide: nationalism versus globalism. Donald Trump has made it clear he's on the nationalist side.

Nationalism got a bad rap in the twentieth century because of the rise of despotic nationalism in Germany, Japan, and Italy. Yes, despotic nationalism was a very bad thing, but not because nationalism is a bad thing, because despotism is a bad thing. Despotic monarchy is a bad thing, too: think of John Lackland or Ivan the Terrible. Constitutional monarchy, however, is just fine. It works very well in modern Scandinavia, Britain, Japan.

That people look askance at nationalism and feel embarrassed to describe themselves as nationalists is just the after-shadow of mid-20th-century despotic nationalism—"Hitler's revenge," Editor Peter Brimelow calls it.

But there is nothing wrong with constitutional nationalism, any more than with constitutional monarchy. The Brexit vote helps to reinstate nationalism as a reasonable and healthy attitude to politics and society. That can only be good, for the U.S.A. and elsewhere.

Donald Trump himself was in Scotland when the result of the Brexit referendum was announced. He was there for business reasons—to cut the ribbon at his new luxury resort and golf course at Turnberry in Ayrshire. But he was in good form at an open-air presser on Friday morning.


We've been hearing a lot of stuff about how Trump should resist the impulse to speak impromptu, how he should read his speeches off a teleprompter like a real politician, how much better he sounds when he does use a teleprompter, and so on. Well, I must say, I watched the whole thing, more than 40 minutes of Trump speaking impromptu and fielding provocative questions from the press. I thought he did well.

I'll grant that he's not a genius at this. I mean, it wasn't the Gettysburg address. But he was clear and good-humored, said sensible things, and hit all the right notes on the main issue at hand. Sample:

They want to take their country back …you're going to let people that you want into your country, and people that you don't want, or people that you don't think are going to be appropriate for your country, or good for your country, you're not going to have to take.
To the listening ears of a committed Cultural Marxist, that is of course Hitler talk. Here's one such: Chris Cillizza of the feverishly anti-Trump Washington Post posted a partial transcript with annotations by himself. This is his annotation for the clip I just quoted:
Can there be a collective "you" in a country as diverse as Britain or the U.S.? And who gets to be the person who claims to be the one who channels the collective sentiments of the country?

[ Donald Trump’s Brexit Press Conference Was Beyond Bizarre, Washington Post, June 24, 2016]

I've read that comment three or four times, and it still looks to me like an argument against representative government.

This, according to Cillizza, is the fruit of diversity: that there is no longer a collective "us" to express collective sentiments or arrive at collective decisions about anything.

The horrible thing is, he may be right.

There is the national model, where people of common ancestry, common culture, common language, and common understandings can arrive at collective decisions and implement them through elected representatives.

Then there is the imperial model, where an almighty executive power maintains itself by divide-and-rule over a population of diverse groups who have little in common and can't agree on anything much.

I favor the national model, and so does Donald Trump. Chris Cillizza and his bosses at the Washington Post, along with all the rest of the cosmopolitan elites in the media, the academy, the churches, and the big corporations, prefer the imperial model.

Well, the imperialists just took it in the teeth, and I'm smiling.

The United Kingdom as a whole—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—voted 52 to 48 for Brexit. In Scotland, however, the vote went 62 to 38 for Remain.

There are a couple of things going on here. One of them is the resentment that small, weak nations naturally feel towards domination by bigger, more powerful neighbors.

Ireland is the poster child for this. Although the Brexit referendum of course wasn't conducted in the Republic of Ireland, the Irish at large are much more Europhile than the English.

northernirelandNorthern Ireland as a whole voted against Brexit, 56 percent to 44. Since Protestants are still a majority in the province, that 56 percent means that this was at least not a vote on strictly sectarian lines, for which I guess we should be thankful. It is none the less the case that the most heavily Protestant areas, with the exception of the upper-income Protestant suburbs of Belfast, wanted Brexit.

walesYou see the same thing in Wales. The Principality as a whole went for Brexit, rather to my surprise: 52½ percent to 47½, only a bit less enthusiastically than England. However, the most distinctively Welsh parts of Wales—Cardigan, Caernarvon, and Merioneth—wanted to stay in the EU.

I did a lot of hiking in that region in my youth. Let me tell you, in the little mountain villages up there around Cader Idris, you sometimes couldn't find one person willing to speak English to you.

But what happens now, when Britain has left the EU? Will the Scots and Northern Irish leave with them? Or will they declare their own independence from Britain and stay with the EU?

The Scots are making noises about independence. They actually had a referendum on it two years ago, but the independence faction lost, 45 percent to 55. Now Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's most powerful politician, is calling for another referendum.

Whether that will happen, and how Scotland will vote if it does, depends on how choppy the waters get as Britain takes her actual exit from the EU. My guess is that the exit will not be very painful, and that the Scots will swallow their frustrations and stay with Britain again. Scotland's a small nation that doesn't have much going for it. What it mainly has going for it, in fact, is North Sea oil, now trading at half the price it was at when the last independence referendum was held.

Some skillful diplomacy by the Brits, an appeal to economic interests, and perhaps a bribe or two, should keep Scotland in the Union.

Plus there are upsides even if Scotland does leave. The center of gravity of Scottish politics is well to the left of Britain's as a whole. Nicola Sturgeon herself would, if she were American, be a staffer on Bernie Sanders' campaign. A Scottish exit from the U.K.—a Scexit, I guess—would leave Britain more conservative. What's not to like?

It certainly wouldn't be a disaster. Norway left its union with Sweden in 1905, and the sky didn't fall. Both have been solid, happy nations ever since.

So I don't believe this is something we should lose sleep over, one way or another.

Ireland is trickier. Ireland always is. I've been watching the Irish Troubles for most of my life, and I've always thought that ethnic cleansing would be the best solution for the place. Let the Republic have the western three of Northern Ireland's six counties, and establish the eastern three as a Unionist state, with an oath of loyalty to the Queen as a condition of citizenship.

Is that going to happen? Not soon. But we may have taken the first step to it on Thursday last.

Third World immigration has had an impact all over the U.K. and played a major role in the Brexit vote. If you add up Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, that's five percent of the population of the U.K. overall—much more in lower age groups. Five percent overall: the corresponding figure for Scotland is 1.6 percent.

It's the same with blacks: three percent of the U.K. population overall: in Scotland, only 0.7 percent.

Some Alt-Right types—Richard Spencer, for example—have argued against Brexit on the grounds that should stick together and unite against the hordes from the south.

It’s true that mass Third World immigration into the U.K. has been happening independent of the country's relations with Europe. It was already a big issue in 1968, when Enoch Powell made his "Rivers of Blood" speech—five years before Britain entered the European community. It only really got going big-time under the Blair government of the late 1990s. But that too was all under Britain's control—or, to describe the process more accurately, lack of control—nothing to do with Europe.

So Britain's immigration catastrophe was nobody's fault but Britain's. Post-imperial sentimentality; Hitler's revenge as described previously; a feudal readiness to be told what's good for them by their social betters; the softening effects of prosperity leading to a loss of native turbulence; and a tradition of easygoing Christian decency that too easily slopped over into pathological altruism; these have been the causes leading to a state of affairs in which, for example, the name "Mohammed" in its various spellings is now the most popular name for male babies in England and Wales.

But cast your mind back a couple of years to the first great surges of African and Middle Eastern flash mobs across the Mediterranean into Greece and Italy; and then to Angela Merkel's throwing the door wide open to the mobs last summer. It was suddenly and dramatically clear that for all its grand buildings, its innumerable bureaucrats, and its pompous ukases, the European Union would not lift a finger to protect Europe's borders against an invasion from the Third World.

At that point, or shortly after, Third World immigration and European membership merged into a single issue in British minds.

To frame it as a question: Would the Brits have voted for Brexit if this referendum had been held before the trans-Mediterranean flash mobs started up?

I seriously doubt it.

But when Britain is at last out of the EU, will her leaders finally get control over Third World immigration? It's by no means certain.

Following the announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron that he will resign, there is speculation that he'll be replaced by Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London, who campaigned for Brexit.

Well, it's nice that Johnson helped to make Brexit happen. But on immigration in general, he apparently favors open borders. When Mayor of London he made gushing speeches about what a gorgeous ethnic tapestry the city has become. [Boris Johnson's acceptance speech after being declared mayor of London, The Guardian, May 3, 2008]

And the factors I listed above, that brought Britain to her present multicultural state, are all still in play—fortified now by the coming to age of the great immigration surge of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years.

In this respect, the most depressing figures to come out of the Brexit exit polling so far: from the website of veteran British pollster Lord Ashcroft. His Lordship surveyed more than 12,000 people after they'd voted. Sample result:

White voters voted to leave the EU by 53 percent to 47. Two thirds of those describing themselves as Asian voted to remain, as did three quarters of black voters. Nearly six in ten of those describing themselves as Christian voted to leave; seven out of ten Muslims voted to remain.
Thus it’s possible things have gone too far already: that the sheer numbers have reached some kind of tipping point, and that those numbers, together with the squealing terror that white British people feel at the thought that anyone might call them racist, will together work to destroy traditional Britain over the next generation or two.

Arguably this already is the case in London, where you can walk through entire districts without seeing a white British face, or a woman's face at all, and where the police know that to tackle nonwhite crime is to risk wrecking their careers on the reefs of racism.

The Brexit vote was also a Geezer Vote. Well, that's somewhat of an exaggeration; but according to exit polls there was a big difference of opinion between different age groups. [Britain’s youth voted Remain | Three quarters of British voters aged 24 and under voted against Brexit. By Hortense Goulard,, June 24,  2016]

The youngest cohort of voters, ages 18 to 24, voted 75 percent against Brexit. The oldest cohort, 65 plus, went 61 percent for Brexit. Intermediate age groups followed the trend, with 50 percent support at around age 50.

Pessimistic interpretation, to which I am naturally inclined: this shows how thorough the indoctrination into Cultural Marxism now is over there, in schools and colleges.

But it may continue to be the case that human beings learn from experience as they grow older—learn to have more respect for reality. As the old quip goes: If you're not liberal at twenty, you have no heart. If you're still liberal at fifty, you have no brain. I myself was left-liberal when I was in that 18-to-24 cohort.

As Tim Stanley noted in the Daily Telegraph, referring to Britain's previous referendum on continuing EU membership 41 years ago:

The young may have overwhelmingly voted Remain … but, hey, they will grow older someday. The young who voted Remain in 1975 overwhelmingly voted Leave in 2016.This was the day the British people defied their jailers, June 24, 2016
It's a good working principle of political commentary that you can never be cynical enough. I believe still that the Euro elites, which include most of the British political class, all parties, might do an Andy Jackson on their people: "The voters have made their decision, now let them enforce it." I wouldn't put anything past these people.

So my advice to the Brits at this juncture would be: Eternal vigilance!

And for heavens' sake do something about your borders.

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's had two books published by FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and From the Dissident Right II: Essays 2013. His writings are archived at

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