The streets around Acton, which has been my home since 1996, have taken on a new identity. Most of the shops are now owned by Muslims and even the fish and chip shop and Indian takeaway are Halal. It seems that almost overnight it’s changed from Acton Vale into Acton Veil.
Of the 8.17 million people in London, one million are Muslim, with the majority of them young families. That is not, in reality, a great number. But because so many Muslims increasingly insist on emphasising their separateness, it feels as if they have taken over; my female neighbours flap past in full niqab, some so heavily veiled that I can’t see their eyes. I’ve made an effort to communicate by smiling deliberately at the ones I thought I was seeing out and about regularly, but this didn’t lead to conversation because they never look me in the face.
I recently went to the plainly named “Curtain Shop” and asked if they would put some up for me. Inside were a lot of elderly Muslim men. I was told that they don’t do that kind of work, and was back on the pavement within a few moments. I felt sure I had suffered discrimination and was bewildered as I had been there previously when the Muslim owners had been very friendly. Things have changed. I am living in a place where I am a stranger.
Since the start of the year there have been several reports from around London of a more aggressive approach. Television news footage last week showed incidents filmed on a mobile phone on a Saturday night, in the borough of Waltham Forest, of men shouting “This is a Muslim area” at white Britons.
The video commentary stated: “From women walking the street dressed like complete naked animals with no self-respect, to drunk people carrying alcohol, we try our best to capture and forbid it all.”
Another scene showed hooded youths forcing a man to drop his can of lager, telling him they were the “Muslim patrol” and that alcohol is a “forbidden evil”. The gang then approached a group of white girls enjoying a good night out, telling them to “forbid themselves from dressing like this and exposing themselves outside the mosque”.
Worse, though, is film footage from last week, thought to have been taken in Commercial Street, Whitechapel, which showed members of a group who also called themselves a “Muslim patrol” harassing a man who appeared to be wearing make‑up, calling him a “bloody fag”. In the video posted on YouTube last week, the passer-by is told he is “walking through a Muslim area dressed like a fag” and ordered to get out. Last Thursday, police were reported to have arrested five “vigilantes” suspected of homophobic abuse.
The scale of immigration over recent years has created communities throughout London that never need to – or want to – interact with outsiders.
It wasn’t always the case: since the 1890s thousands of Jewish, Irish, Afro-Caribbean, Asian and Chinese workers, among others, have arrived in the capital, often displacing the indigenous population. Yes, there was hateful overt racism and discrimination, I’m not denying that. But, over time, I believe we settled down into a happy mix of incorporation and shared aspiration, with disparate peoples walking the same pavements but returning to very different homes – something the Americans call “sundown segregation”.
But now, despite the wishful thinking of multiculturalists, wilful segregation by immigrants is increasingly echoed by the white population – the rate of white flight from our cities is soaring.
She’s leaving too. Can’t stand being a stranger in her own country, living in a community that’s hostile to her and ruled not by neighborliness, but by religious and cultural thuggishness. Read the whole thing.
The problem is not necessarily immigration, per se. It’s who is allowed to immigrate, and in what numbers. Are they willing to live peaceably with their neighbors? Are they assimilating, by which I mean, do they maintain their own traditions, but adjust them to the general prevailing norms of the liberal democratic society into which they have chosen to move? If they’re not doing this, what kind of crackpot liberal democratic society accepts large numbers of immigrants from cultures radically opposed to the ideals it cherishes?
The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.
Peter Sutherland told peers the future prosperity of many EU states depended on them becoming multicultural.
He also suggested the UK government’s immigration policy had no basis in international law.
He was being quizzed by the Lords EU home affairs sub-committee which is investigating global migration.
Mr Sutherland, who is non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International and a former chairman of oil giant BP, heads the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which brings together representatives of 160 nations to share policy ideas.
He told the House of Lords committee migration was a “crucial dynamic for economic growth” in some EU nations “however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states”.
An ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the “key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states”, he added.
“It’s impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them. Just as the United Kingdom has demonstrated.”
Note that Sutherland is not some tenured radical or multicultural media pamphleteer. He is an uber-capitalist, the former head of British Petroleum and a former senior figure at Goldman Sachs. He is also the former Attorney General of Ireland, director of the World Trade Organization, head of the Trilateral Commission, among other things. Note especially that he says the UK has no legal right to determine whom it will let into its own country.
Of course, Peter Sutherland and his ilk will never have to live in Acton Vale, which used to be home to Jane Kelly and neighborly working-class Britons, but which is now part of Londonistan.
[Thanks to reader Gerard, who posted a link to the Kelly column in another thread.]