A global culture war

Western liberals seem incapable of defending liberalism.

Frank Furedi

Topics Politics USA World

As far as the mainstream Western media are concerned, Vladimir Putin’s interview during the recent G20 summit with the Financial Times was nothing short of a provocation.

The Russian president declared liberalism ‘obsolete’. He criticised Western liberalism as a tired old ideology that has ‘outlived its purpose’. He said it conflicted with ‘the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population’. One of his targets was multiculturalism, which he said was ‘no longer tenable’. He took great delight in condemning Angela Merkel for imposing mass migration on the peoples of Europe.

He also took a swing at identity politics. He took exception to the fashionable dogma of genderfluidity, which allows children to ‘play five or six gender roles’, he said. He insisted that he has no problem with people flaunting their identity, ‘but this must not be allowed to overshadow the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population’.

To indicate that he was not merely directing his comments to the elites assembled at the G20 summit, he signalled his support for the rise of populism in Europe and America. He seems to see Western populists as allies in a global culture war between traditional conservative ideals and the social-engineering ethos that is most closely associated with the cultural elites of the United States in particular.

The reaction of the Western media has been, if anything, more interesting than the bold claims made by Putin himself. Though most commentators dismiss Putin’s claim about the erosion of Western global hegemony, they also concede that he has a point. After outlining why Putin’s statement is flawed, a leader in the FT conceded that ‘plainly’ there is ‘disenchantment among Western voters with liberalism’. The piece finished with a call to arms against populism, arguing that ‘renewing and revitalising liberalism is the best way to expose the barrenness of the worldview of Mr Putin and his ilk’. This is an indirect way of conceding that Western liberalism is in need of emergency treatment.

A commentator for the Independent made a similar point. He said Putin enjoys considerable legitimacy because ‘most Russians embrace conservative values’, and ‘Western liberals will find it hard to dispel the signs of the decline of liberalism obsessively presented by the Russian leadership and media’. ‘[S]ymptoms of decay and disorder… are difficult to overlook’, he said, highlighting ‘the rise of nationalism and right-wing or left-wing populism, Europe’s response to the migrant crisis, or Britain’s messy exit from the EU’.

A commentator in the pro-Western Moscow Times explained that most of the values associated with contemporary liberalism have little traction in Russia: ‘I see very little evidence that Russians yearn for contemporary liberal values. A majority of Russian public opinion expresses reservations about feminism or multiculturalism, for example. They remain suspicious of openness and praise the regime’s assertive foreign policy. They are happy with how safe Russian cities have become – Moscow now feels much safer than Brussels – even if poverty is all too apparent.’

Even Robert Samuelson, a columnist for the Washington Post, felt obliged to concede that Putin had a point. Writing of a backlash to liberal ‘high-mindedness’, he argued that ‘open borders, unwanted immigration, globalisation and multiculturalism’ have made large sections of the Western electorate feel alienated.

This defensive reaction to Putin’s critique of liberalism is very different to the far more confident stance that the Western political establishment adopted towards Russia just five or six years ago. Take the case of President Barack Obama’s high-profile ‘Address to European Youth’ in March 2014. Obama criticised Russia’s behaviour in the Crimea and denounced its ‘older, more traditional view of power’. He boasted that ‘instead of targeting our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters, we can use our laws to protect their rights’.

It is also worth recalling the aggressive propaganda campaign mounted by the West against Russia in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. Western commentators condemned Russia as traditionalist, outdated, mysogynistic, homophobic, patriarchal and xenophobic. Even last summer, during the football World Cup in Russia, Russia was constantly derided for its alleged tolerance of racism. The Russian football team was ridiculed for being ‘too Russian’. And the Russian public was lectured by Western observers about the superiority of multicultural football teams.

A year after the World Cup, it seems that many Western culture warriors have lost confidence in their own cause. They appear to be going through the motions when they take up arms against the illiberalism of Putin. It is as if they have mislaid their own cultural script. Robert Samuelson’s article is interesting in this respect. He writes that ‘people value their national identities’ and ‘fear policies and practices that would erode these identities’. He concludes: ‘The daunting task is to salvage the best of postwar liberalism while, at the same time, acknowledging the importance of national identities and sovereignty.’ That’s another way of saying that liberalism in its present form has lost its ability to resonate with people.

The defensive response of the Western media to Putin’s interview indicates that they no longer enjoy the cultural authority of old. For that is what once empowered them to patronise and lecture the rest of the world about the superiority of their supposedly enlightened values. At a time when this impoverished version of liberalism enjoys the support of a relatively small section of Western society itself, the Western media lack the legitimacy to attack nations who prefer their own traditions and values.

Within the EU, the crisis of legitimacy of the Brussels technocracy is apparent to all. The pesky populists refuse to go away. Italy and the governments of the Visegrád Group – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – refuse to sing from the same hymn sheet as the Merkel-Macron oligarchy. Viktor Orbán’s defiance of EU federalists shows that the days in which neocolonial masters could dictate to people how to live their lives are numbered. Then there is Brexit and Trump. Suddenly, the global culture war has lost its formerly one-sided character.

But where we are at in the global culture war is far from clear. At present, Putin’s ability to defy American cultural hegemony is limited by the restricted cultural and intellectual resources at his disposal. The reaction against globalism around the world, which Putin wants to appeal to, lacks coherence and unity. The defensive response from Western media to his FT interview is not so much a result of Putin’s strength as it is a sign of the weakening of the moral authority of his opponents. Their crisis of confidence will not fundamentally alter the global balance of cultural power – but it is nonetheless good news for those of us who care about national sovereignty and the future of open, democratic debate.

Frank Furedi’s How Fear Works: the Culture of Fear in the 21st Century is published by Bloomsbury Press.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


John Arthur

13th July 2019 at 3:55 pm

Give over Furedi. You are perverse. Liberalism and conservatism are two sides of the same coin, two ways of managing capitalism. Choose something different – I believe you know the alternative.

Tinfoil Hat

11th July 2019 at 8:41 pm

I have no idea what Putin means when he talks about Liberalism. We’ve seen from the Brexit Referendum that folk who describe themselves as liberals are unwilling to accept the vote of the majority to leave the EU in any real sense. Anti-democratic sentiment doesn’t feature in any definition of liberalism that I can find.

What I think has happened is that any reference to first principles has been lost and liberalism has simply become a tag for folk who claim to be reasonable, and with caring, freedom loving values, but with a complete detachment between their self image and actual behaviour or expression.

Quentin Vole

14th July 2019 at 12:11 pm

We’re in the strange (or perhaps not so strange) position that most of the major UK parties now represent the inverse of their original positions. Labour detests working people, while the Liberal Democrats are neither liberal nor democratic. And I’m not too sure about the Conservatives …

James Knight

11th July 2019 at 7:07 pm

Since the Cold War ended there is less need for Western leaders to grandstand the importance of freedom and liberal democratic values, just pay them lip service now and again.

Christopher Tyson

11th July 2019 at 5:45 pm

Liberalism is built on conflict. The liberalism of John Locke was largely about reconciling the differences between Catholics and Protestants. It’s difficult to separate liberalism from the progressive bourgeoisie. Liberalism cannot incorporate everyone, although a sizeable progressive middle class might feel like everyone. Liberalism was about managing conflict, religious conflict and then class conflict. A progressive middle class could co-opt and incorporate the aspirational working class but it could not end class conflict. Liberalism has tried to manage racial conflict. Today we have a celebration of diversity and multiculturalism. In reality the progressive middle class was unable to resolve racial conflict. As with class conflict the liberal middle class absorbed leaders and potential leaders of ethnic minorities, as they had done with the working classes. Multiculturalism does not admit to being a state mechanism for managing conflict, it denies that there is any conflict. Liberalism could work with a confident and expansive middle class, when the middle class begins to fear for its own existence, liberal values such as free speech and free association become less relevant, survival matters more. The liberal classes feel besieged and threatened, by populism or whatever, but they always did harbour a fear of the masses. If liberalism could incorporate everyone, that would be the end of liberalism, there would be no conflict to contain. If the middle class became universal it would cease to exist as a class, liberals have been in danger of theorising themselves out of existence. These are the contradictions of liberalism, they have always been there.

James Chilton

11th July 2019 at 4:49 pm

The “liberalism” that Putin is talking about is now defined, in America and the UK, by the attitude taken towards homosexuality and its associated minority cults.

This obsession reveals the frivolous and unprincipled nature of politics now.

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 4:32 pm

“He took great delight in condemning Angela Merkel for imposing mass migration on the peoples of Europe. ”

I look forward to Owen Jones calling him a far right t**g…. Of course you know I’m being satirical.

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 4:33 pm

Would people like to know why this comment is STILL being modded? Because you can’t use the word th*g. Well done.

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 3:37 pm

“He took great delight in condemning Angela Merkel for imposing mass migration on the peoples of Europe. ”

I look forward to Owen Jones calling him a far right thug…. Of course you know I’m being satirical.

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 4:30 pm

“He took great delight in condemning Angela Merkel for imposing mass migration on the peoples of Europe. ”

I look forward to Owen Jones calling him a far right t**g…. Of course you know I’m being satirical.

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 4:31 pm

Spiked your mods are donkey dong slurpin’ dinlos. You modded my comment for the most fuckwitted reason. Please mod this.

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 1:00 pm

What a breath of fresh air this article is , one of the best I have read for a while.
Bang on the money.

Shirley Versace

11th July 2019 at 10:46 am

Liberalism is a misnomer – it is a “marketing” term. It would more accurately be called Statism, for that is what it is.

The Greco-Christian heritage of the West is anti-totalitarian – Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars. In this dictum is contained a specific and explicit rejection of theocracy (totalitarianism). The idea being that the Church is not the state, has no ambition to become the state and does not demand that the state align itself fully with the Church’s teachings.

The principle is that there is a free space – a free space outside of the state and outside of religion – civil society – where people can think there own thoughts and offer their own opinions. This is a foundational tenet of Christianity and a defining characteristic of Christendom. Liberalism, like Judaism and Islam, is theocratic in nature. Liberalism has PC, hate speech laws and diversity quotas etc. Judaism responds to every development with the injuction ‘is it kosher?’. Islam demands that everything be ‘halal’. PC, Kosher, Halal – from an archtioectural point of view, these are all the same thing. What they signify is a society totally under the control of a caste “priesthood”, who prescribe and proscribe, who legislate for every single aspect and detail of life – who will tell you what to think. This is the total abnegation of Christianity.

That is why Christianity is the prime target of the other two religions. Their objective is to shrink-wrap society within their laws. Liberalism and PC are merely a proxy and a stepping stone to full (((Communism))) under the banks. Christianity’s objective to allow a free space – like a much more loosely fitting garment.

We hear all the time about the Judeo-Christian West. This is patent nonsense. They are a contradiction in terms, like saying the Capitalist-Communist West. The other two hyphenate quite naturally however ie. the Judeo-Islamic East is devouring the Greco-Christian West. And we see this with the alliance between the Saudi and the State of Israel. (The Saudi Royal families are actually the descendants of the Sabateans – 17th Century Easter European Jewish converts to Islam).

The crypto Saudi Wahabbist power is thus financing the re-instatement of the Spanish Caliphate all over Europe and is being aided and abetted by the (((Globalist-Communist))) banks and their puppet politicians.

Hana Jinks

13th July 2019 at 8:56 am


Simon Giora

11th July 2019 at 10:06 am

To say Putin was condeming all Liberal values is debateable. The full text of the interview is here http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/60836

James Knight

11th July 2019 at 7:00 pm

Woke students and politicians in the West probably make Putin look like a Liberal.

Neil McCaughan

11th July 2019 at 10:05 am

I rather like Vladimir Vladimirovich.

I loathe and detest “liberals” – disgusting creatures.

Jane 70

11th July 2019 at 11:17 am

So do I; having visited the then USSR, I was struck by the intense patriotism and sense of duty of so many Russians.

The sufferings inflicted on them for much of the last century seem to have strengthened their loyalty to the nation in a way which we cannot really appreciate, not having experienced the privations ,repression and terrors which prevailed for so long.

Russia is ruled by a wealthy white bloke with some decidedly challenging opinions about democracy; no wonder the liberal/woke contingents are so sneery: all the right boxes are ticked for outrage and sabre rattling.

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 2:45 pm

“Russia is ruled by a wealthy white bloke with some decidedly challenging opinions about democracy”

And that’s all it takes for some types to fall head over heels in love with Russia.

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 3:31 pm

Jane 70
Invent some more bogey men !

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 1:00 pm

The alleged Trump / Putin conspiracy… if only !

Jane 70

11th July 2019 at 1:45 pm

And it’s now being bandied about again; witness the media’s contortions in the wake of Darrochgate……
What would C4 and the Graun do without the 2 bogeymen?

gershwin gentile

11th July 2019 at 5:06 pm

The conspiracy that Russia “meddled” with the US election by FORCING Hillary “So I married a rapist” Clinton NOT to campaign in the areas where she lost?

Jane 70

12th July 2019 at 8:14 am

Bogeymen: for the liberal media: Farage ,Salvini, Orban, Wilders ,BoJo, and of course Mme le Pen-bogeywoman.

For the conservative media: Jezza, Chief Puppeteer Milne, Maduro, Owen Jones,

Others ;MBS, al Assad.

Gone, but not forgotten : Saddam Hussein, Khomeini, Jihadi John

Philip Humphrey

11th July 2019 at 7:20 am

The problem is that Western liberals (or more accurately a specific band of people who call themselves liberals) don’t believe in liberal values such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion and belief, and freedom of association anymore. They don’t even believe in multiculturalism in any meaningful way, when the Birmingham school protesters wanted the school to respect their culture, “liberals” came down on them like a ton of bricks. It often seem that the only thing Western “liberals” believe in any more is “equality”, but this is largely in the form of divisive identity politics, defining people by their skin colour and origins and playing one group off against another. No wonder they can’t or won’t defend true liberal values.

James Hamilton

11th July 2019 at 8:57 am

Spot on. Another useful example is the Scottish smacking ban, which is being foisted upon an unwilling population by a minority of activists, politicians, and motivated academics who share the same ideology and sense of moral superiority. The legalistic and scientific window dressing belies the underlying purpose of demonstrating their moral superiority and supposed impunity from having to listen to the common people whom they do not trust to look after their own kids.


Jane 70

11th July 2019 at 4:52 am

Much of what Putin had to say resonates with many of us: open borders, mass migration, multiculturalism have been imposed by increasingly dogmatic, illiberal liberals.

Globalisation, the onward march of identity politics, the policing of even private opinions and beliefs, the steady encroachment of ‘no-platforming, safe spaces’ and twitter pile ons.

Liberal lecturing and pompous self righteousness is alienating increasing numbers of ordinary folk, who are made to feel like odious heretics if they dare to widen the Overton Window.

Vlad the liberal slayer has thrown a spanner in the works.

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 4:34 am

Diversity-communism has come to full maturity, and it’s meant that these selfish perverts need to block the speecj of it’s opponents to perpetuate it. It’s meant that it is all over the press and propagated as a positive for our societies, even as it destroys them. We have insane satanists killing God’s unborn. We have allowed homosexuals to normalise their perversion to our children, to the point where our people can’t judge between right and wrong on this issue. We are being invaded by hordes of third-world barbarians that rape our daughters, even as we’re flat-lied to about the climate changing.

It’s selfish humanism, and is in direct conflict with truth. The devil doesn’t care what we fight over, as long as we are fighting and harming each other, and you selfish humanists are going to do it again; you’re gonna make a world war out of it.

Winston Stanley

11th July 2019 at 6:30 am

Those trends are all associated with capitalist societies like ours. Liberalism is a Western capitalist value system.

Communist states, and often parties in the West, were hostile to homosexuality. Stalin outlawed homosexuality in 1933 and it remained illegal until 1993 after the USSR was dissolved. Several hundred were charged per year. Cuba used labour camps among other measures. North Korea still prosecutes it through decency and obscenity laws. It was illegal in China until 1997.

It was usual for the ideologies to associate each other with homosexuality. Anti-communists associated homosexuality with communism. The communists associated it with anti-communists. Western communists associated it with capitalism and with the aristocracy. Fascists associated it with the communists and the communists with fascism.

Religions also tended to associate each other, and atheism, with homosexuality. It is not that unusual for people who wish to discredit each other to accuse each other of homosexuality.

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 6:58 am

I’m hostile towards homosexuality, but not homosexuals. A close friend of mine for over thirty years is homosexual, and it isn’t something that comes up, any more than heterosexual matters do with my hetero friends.

I’m totslly against people being punished for this perversion, as much as l am the promotion of it and the damage that it’s causing. These bolshie homo’s are brainwashing our kids to chop their parts off now, and my homosexual friend is equally as horrified.

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 2:42 pm

What is the “right and wrong” that people are struggling to judge between then?

Whether it is wrong to persecute gays, or right?

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 3:01 pm

That’s not what l meant, and you know it. I’ll talk to you if you ask serious questions, but no one’s persecuting homosexuals.

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 4:45 pm

What did you mean then? Go on, don’t dodge the question.

Let us know which moral absolutes people no longer know. It shouldn’t be difficult.

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 4:47 pm

Also, I think you’ll find lots of places are persecuting homosexuals.

Notable ultra socially conservative ones like Saudi Arabia, where What a considered to be “right” and “wrong” when it comes to sexuality is rigidly enforced.

So tell us what you meant or you’ll come off all Saudi esque.

Hana Jinks

11th July 2019 at 5:14 pm

I’m prepared to risk that.

What I’m not prepared to do is to be goaded into anything by you.

Winston Stanley

11th July 2019 at 3:21 am

Putin may boast of the traditional “family values” of Russians, and dis the West for its liberalism and immigration inflow, but the situation in Russia is not that simple.

Russia had a totally fertility rate of 1.61 kids per woman in 2018, which is 76% of the replacement rate of 2.1. At that present rate, Russian births decline to 56% of the present number over two generations, to 31% over 4 generations, and to just 17% of the present number over 6 generations.

Moreover, that figure of 1.61 per woman is for the Russian Federation as a whole, stretching all the way to the Pacific. The birth rate for ethnic Russians is lower than that; indeed low birth rates correlate with concentrations of ethnic Russians throughout the Federation, especially in historical Russia proper, in the far West. Chechnya, Tuva, Ingushetia have much higher birth rates.

Russians have around a million abortions per year. More Russians died in 2018 of old age than were born, and the population is already in decline. Clearly there is more to “traditional family values” than Putin mouthing off about the West.

Rosstat, the state body responsible for statistical data, estimates that Russia needs 500,000 immigrants per year to counter-balance demographic loss. Russia currently takes around 150,000 “permanent” immigrants per year; Russia realistically needs 4 times that. However, around 10,000,000 “temporary” migrants enter Russia per year, some of whom will stay longer, and many of whom simply leave Russia before reapplying for temporary immigration.

So, Russia is already in demographic crisis, and it is massively dependent on inward migration. Its native population is in slow motion collapse, especially among ethnic Russians and Russia needs massive inward migration to counter-balance the decline. It currently relies heavily on “temporary” migration, but it would be odd were it to not begin to openly build its “permanent” body of migrants.

Gerard Barry

11th July 2019 at 10:41 am

If the Russian government wants to combat popualtion decline, it should encourage the natives to have more children, not encourage mass immigration, especially not from “alien” cultures. They could also enact stricter laws against abortion. This idea that societies need immigration to counteract population decline is a dubious one for many reasons. For one thing: what’s wrong with fewer people? If we’re to believe the hype about climate change, fewer people would be good for the planet, right? And simply encouraging people to move en masse from the parts of the world with high birth rates (e.g. Africa) to those with lower birth rates (e.g. Europe) is a terrible idea as it would mean the destruction of European society and culture as we know it.

Jane 70

11th July 2019 at 1:02 pm


This is worth reading. Concerns Sweden’s open door policies.

Winston Stanley

11th July 2019 at 2:00 pm

Business does not see it like that. Capitalism is a profit based economic system that must always expand in order to survive. Businesses want more migrant workers and the Tory Party is always going to do what business wants. Migrant workers offer a massive boost to the economy, they are as productive as other workers. Business is gearing up to make sure that it continues to get the migrant workers that it needs after Brexit, and all the signs are that Boris will oblige them.

> More than half of UK firms fear hit from post-Brexit immigration plan – survey https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-migration/more-than-half-of-uk-firms-fear-hit-from-post-brexit-immigration-plan-survey-idUKKCN1U32M3

Fifty-three percent of 380 businesses polled by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and job site Indeed said they would be negatively affected by an expansion of Britain’s existing minimum salary threshold for skilled workers from outside the European Union to include all migrant workers after Brexit.
Fifty-seven percent said they would be hurt by plans for a 12-month work and residency limit on lower skilled immigrants.

> A new era of UK immigration policy beckons after Theresa May steps down https://www.ft.com/content/816431a0-9e73-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb

The prime minister’s focus on reducing numbers is not shared by the British public

With the Conservative leadership contest dominated by Brexit, less attention has been paid to a remarkable summer of glasnost on immigration. Candidates from different wings of the party all signalled the need to move the immigration debate on after the outgoing prime minister, Theresa May.

Frontrunner Boris Johnson proposes a points-based system, combining control with openness to skilled migration. His rival Jeremy Hunt wants to review the proposed £30,000 salary threshold for skilled migrants. After Brexit, he says: “We’re not going to be a country that changes from Great Britain into Little England and pulls down the shutters.” Mr Hunt also argues that the “tens of thousands” net migration target, which dates from David Cameron’s 2010 manifesto, should go.

So the language has already changed. But this glasnost (open debate) requires perestroika (restructuring) too. Turning a new tone into a substantive agenda for change will require reform of the home office’s systems and culture. There have been pockets of good practice — resettling Syrian refugees and efforts to get the EU settlement scheme right. The next government can build on these.

Changing public attitudes on immigration offer an opportunity. The salience of immigration has dropped and attitudes have become warmer. Most people are balancers, seeing both pressures and gains from immigration. Our research shows a broad majority, including most Conservatives, most of those who voted to leave the EU and most 2019 Brexit party voters, would drop the net migration target for a system that sets different targets for different flows of migration.

The next Tory leader could pursue a less one-size-fits-all approach. One that reflects the broad social and political consensus in favour of student and skilled migration. One that builds pragmatic support for striking the right balances on low and semi-skilled migration, ensuring it is better managed, controlled and integrated with the training and skills strategies the UK needs.

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 2:40 pm

You’ll find that most countries which embrace “traditional family values” have a decline in their native ethnic population, whilst the same is not true for most of the supposedly uber liberal, open border nations.

Gerard Barry

11th July 2019 at 3:31 pm

That may be so bit it still doesn’t legitimise mass immigration. Russia has a population of over 144 million so, even if the population declines, it’s not like the country is going to be empty anytime soon. By the way, the article suggested above by Jane 70 on immigration in Sweden is very interesting.

Winston Stanley

11th July 2019 at 3:31 pm

It is certainly ironic for Putin to boast about “traditional family values”. The primary purpose of the traditional family is to raise kids, as well as company for the couple, s/x etc.

Birth rates are very low across Europe. It is a result of the modern lifestyle. BRs are falling across the world as countries get richer. Immigration is the future, Russia is no exception to that. People may as well get over it. 40% of kids born in UK are now of an immigrant background.

Jerry Owen

11th July 2019 at 3:37 pm

Little Jonnie
Check your facts before you make a fool of yourself yet again. Virtually all European countries are not at stable replacement numbers they are declining , Italy among the worst.
Hence the use of open borders as explained clearly by Merkel.
Do you not listen to the news ?

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 4:44 pm

Jerry perhaps you should check your facts.

Countries across Europe are far closer to replacement levels than places like Russia. Or Japan.

You need to educate yourself!

Charles Stuart

12th July 2019 at 1:25 am

No, Jonny
Uber liberal countries also have a low birth rate amongst their native populations. It’s the immigrants who tend to have more children.

Jerry Owen

12th July 2019 at 8:56 am

Little Jonnie
You yourself mentioned Europe I corrected you. Yes I know Japan is in a worse situation, but we weren’t talking about Japan.
My previous post is thus still valid and you are still wrong.

Gloria Britanniæ

12th July 2019 at 12:02 am

Winston Stanley: ‘Immigration is the future … People may as well get over it.
That’s right, Winston: ‘people may as well get over it’—being conquered, losing their home, losing their ethnic and cultural legacy. So what if the majority of the inhabitants of our isles can trace their ancestry back millennia—we ‘may as well get over it’; so what if many of us can point to generations of service in the uniform of our country—we ‘may as well get over it’. It’s their land now, and we should just hand it over without either fight or complaint because Winston says so, and Winston wants us gone.

Winston’s relation with the truth is somewhat elastic. He states, ‘40% of kids born in UK are now of an immigrant background.’ That might be more or less true(ish) of England, but not Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, and thus not UK. The ONS recorded for England & Wales that ‘28.4% of live births in 2017 were to mothers born outside the UK, following a gradual rise from 11.6% in 1990’; in contrast, Scotland recorded 82.6% of births to British mothers and 79.8% to British fathers. Births only tell part of the story of course; and England in 2018 recorded 33% of pupils in state schools as not being ‘White British’, while Scotland recorded 15.3%, and Wales 11.5%. The future is certainly bleak for the native British but Winston’s statistic is incorrect; it is erroneous; mistaken, untrue, false, miscalculated, inaccurate, fallacious, specious, in error; it is wrong—but whether through ineptitude or mendacity, ‘I could not possibly comment’.

Gerard Barry

12th July 2019 at 9:00 am

Excellent post. And yet when the British government makes any attempt – however feeble – to curb immigration, there are howls of protestation.

Winston Stanley

12th July 2019 at 2:08 pm

Gloria, you are too adversarial, people “may as well get over it”, not b/c I say so but b/c that is the situation. I live in the real world, which is not one in which I imagine that the country takes its fate from my word, rather I take my word from what I see. Let us be honest, if the country took its fate from your word, then around 40% of kids born in UK would not be of an immigrant background. You may be trying, and failing, to dictate the future, but I am simply being realistic. Do not imagine that I too am playing a pseudo-magical game of wishing the future with my words. You can cite “uniforms”, Horatio Nelson, or any words that you like but it makes as little difference to the reality of the situation as if you waved a wand while pronouncing them.

You seek to contradict my statistic that 40% of kids born in the UK are now of an immigrant background, and you speculate, in a not particularly flattering manner, on why I said that. So, why not just ask me, “what is your source?” That is the normal thing to do.

I take my figure from here: https://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefing-paper/452
You will notice that the figure that you gave for 2017 is for kids born “to mothers born outside the UK”. However, your source does not include kids born to fathers, kids born to parents “one of whom was born outside of the UK. For 2016, 28.4% of kids were born to mothers outside of the UK, while 34.4% of kids were born to parents at least of whom was born outside of the UK. Accordingly the figure for parents, both of whom were born in the UK is 65.6%. That is kids born to first generation immigrants; and then we can add on kids born to second and third generation immigrants, and an overall 40% in UK is easily a conservative figure. It is entirely congruent, if around 30% of kids in UK schools (under age 19) are not “white British”, that 40% of kids aged three or younger (from 2016) should also be “not white British”.

If you want a source next time, then just ask. And do not try to misrepresent what I have said and go off on a rant. Speak like a normal person next time.

Jane 70

12th July 2019 at 5:10 pm

And of course, what’s lacking is the informed consent of the general public: neither sought, nor given, by successive governments.

As Gerrard Barry rightly commented, any attempts to curb inflows are met by noisy protests, and yet : public anxiety is widespread, and no matter the demands of the CBI and the open borders lobby, we do not need a constant supply of new arrivals.

The UK’s population is large, is growing rapidly and many many people of working age are either under- employed, stuck on zero hours contracts, or poorly paid, or all three.

Pressure on social services and infrastructure cannot be ignored, nor the rise of parallel societies and social fragmentation, and sheer pressure of numbers.


I’ll recommend this site again; it has answers to many of the topics discussed here.

As a former immigration officer, I’ve had direct experience and have spent many years subsequently wondering whether the prevailing orthodoxy will ever be challenged, as it should be.

Charles Stuart

11th July 2019 at 2:50 am

The problem is that ”liberalism” has become a rigid, evil orthodoxy. We have exchanged King Stork for King Log.
If we must have a form of illberlism, then it is best that it favours the majority of the people and not the interests of the few outliers in the LGBTQWERTY ranks.

Jane 70

11th July 2019 at 1:43 pm

And it’s now being bandied about again; witness the media’s contortions in the wake of Darrochgate……
What would C4 and the Graun do without the 2 bogeymen?

Jonnie Henly

11th July 2019 at 2:37 pm

I swear some people think “The media” consists solely of the Guardian and Channel 4.

Gloria Britanniæ

11th July 2019 at 8:29 pm

Notre Dame professor Patrick J. Deneen recently published to wide acclaim Why Liberalism Failed, a critique of both modern (l/w) liberalism and of ‘classical’ (r/w) liberalism and thus drawing qualified praise from both Left and Right, l/w reviewers relishing his criticisms of ‘classical’ liberalism but taking issue with his criticisms of modern liberalism, and r/w reviewers vice-versa.

Note that Patrick Deneen is no radical but a whitebread conservative; nonetheless he argues that the entire liberal project, going back to Locke and before, is intrinsically flawed; and conservatism and progressivism are not diametrically opposite but simply two wings of the same liberal ideology—classical liberals or conservatives he terms ‘first-wave liberals’ and modern liberals or progressives, ‘second-wave liberals’.

Liberalism has failed—not because it fell short, but because it was true to itself. It has failed because it has succeeded. As liberalism has “become more fully itself,” as its inner logic has become more evident and its self-contradictions manifest, it has generated pathologies that are at once deformations of its claims yet realizations of liberal ideology. A political philosophy that was launched to foster greater equity, defend a pluralist tapestry of different cultures and beliefs, protect human dignity, and, of course, expand liberty, in practice generates titanic inequality, enforces uniformity and homogeneity, fosters material and spiritual degradation, and undermines freedom. Its success can be measured by its achievement of the opposite of what we have believed it would achieve. Rather than seeing the accumulating catastrophe as evidence of our failure to live up to liberalism’s ideals, we need rather to see clearly that the ruins it has produced are the signs of its very success.
(Why Liberalism Failed. Yale University Press, 2018. 3–4.)

And has it not failed? It delivers not small government but large and ever-expanding government; it has delivered burgeoning crime, while disarming us in the face of those criminal threats; it has delivered not freedom but increasing tyranny—Nineteen Eighty-Four itself. It even failed in freeing us from an inherited political class born into privilege, as it creates an inherited liberal class of its own (a ‘liberalocracy’ in Deneen’s words)—seen in such examples as America’s quasi-royal families like the Kennedys (one POTUS and a plethora of political offices since the first entered Congress in 1884), Bushes (two POTUSes and nearly a third, and assorted other political offices), and Bill Clinton (42) succeeded by his wife Hillary as Democratic POTUS candidate; while in Britain there are currently 49 MPs with current or past family connections—which only reveals a glimpse of the true picture, as one should consider how many MPs are getting their relatives into council seats, quango positions or hired as other MPs’ staffers.

(You can find the first 3 pages or so of Deneen’s introduction on the Yale University Press blog, and a number of his articles and interviews with him are online.)

Jane 70

12th July 2019 at 4:47 pm


This is well worth reading ; John Gray is a truly original thinker and author.

My feeling is that liberalism’s overweening focus on human rights has skewed public discourse and policy.

Human responsibilities seem to have been overlooked, while ‘heretical’ opinions are shut down, dismissed and sanctioned.

This inevitably leads to the pressure cooker effect: anger , frustration, resentment and fear build until they are released.

So we see the rise of ‘populism’- cue much sneering, denunciation and lecturing from our liberal overseers.

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