This article was originally published on October 2021.
On the 15th of October 2021, at around midday, police were called to Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, where a man had reportedly been stabbed 17 times. That man was Conservative MP Sir David Amess, who died roughly 2 hours later. The second assassination of a parliamentarian in 5 years, Sir David Amess MP was murdered whilst carrying out his duty as a representative, attending his weekly constituency surgery.
As with similar tragedies, the conversation surrounding the event is entirely comprised of people fighting over which conversation “we should be having” instead. For instance, people of certain political dispositions were more aggravated by the press reporting that the assassin was of Somali origin, rather than the actual murder itself; wanting to talk about “muh racist Daily Mail” than anything of importance or substance. As disorienting as tragedies are, they can be a good source of sobriety, putting on full display the true nature of peoples’ character and allegiance.
Whilst this should be a wakeup call for Britain to radically reform its asylum and immigration policy, mere policy reform will be a job half-done and therefore a lesson only half-learned.
To summarise what has happened: a man from Somalia immigrated to the United Kingdom, acquired British citizenship, and assassinated a sitting MP in broad daylight. Leaving aside the fact that it shouldn’t be so absurdly easy for someone outside of Britain to enter the country and kill one of its elected representatives, it must be noted that there are two possibilities given this information: either the killer held his extremist views before entering the UK, or he was radicalized here.
If the former, it would simply be a case of reducing or shutting off immigration from designated “high-risk” countries. However, given the prevailing ideology of the political and media establishment, such a solution would undoubtedly be resisted at every turn. If the latter, the need for policy reform doesn’t change (it shouldn’t be so easy to enter the United Kingdom from a country like Somalia, acquire British citizenship, kill an MP, etc.).
However, what does change is the focus of the problem. If the assassin adopted his extremist views after he arrived in Britain, it means that Britain is producing, at the very least permitting, people to exist within its own borders that actively want to destroy it. In short: our policy problems stem from a deeper, ideological, and existential problem. Britain is indifferent to its own survival.
Some may argue that this problem has been diagnosed before, and they would be right. If so, why diagnose the problem again? What good is there repeating what people know? Whilst Chesterton correctly notes that ‘obvious’ things cease to be so overtime, courtesy of people not wanting to remind themselves of what is ‘obvious’, that is not the point being made here. The point is that the remedies proscribed in recent years to this problem have been ineffective.
Ever since 9/11, the hegemonic counter-Islamist rhetoric has been “We’re the West. We’re more liberal than you, we’re more diverse than you, we’re more inclusive than you, we’re more tolerant than you, and if you cross us there will be hell to pay!”. As with discussions surrounding the need to create cohesion between native and immigrant populations, “integration” is touted as the solution to mitigating Islamism at home. By demanding allegiance to a common liberal culture, espousing fundamental values of tolerance, inclusivity, diversity, and other vaguely defined terms, we can create a stable society.
When the shared identity of a society is liberty, is tolerance, is inclusion, is diversity, it will tear itself, both ideologically and in practice, apart by its own contradictions. Liberty produces chaos, leading to surveillance and bureaucracy not necessary in high-trust, homogenous societies. Tolerance produces indifference to forces bent on destroying society and the Tolerance which it provides. Inclusion can only produce puritanical exclusion, for no amount of Inclusion will ever be inclusive enough. Diversity produces social fragmentation, which can only be overcome by producing a new monoculture; a watered-down culture, portioned by diversity officers, that nobody can identify with. Ultimately, the attempt to encompass all, necessarily alienates all. This is the doctrine of modern political liberalism.
The logical conclusion of this ideological farce is what sensible people have known all along: order is a prerequisite to liberty, unanimity is a prerequisite to tolerance, exclusion is a prerequisite to inclusion, homogeneity is a prerequisite to diversity; all provided until they threaten the basis of their existence. These are courtesies, not identities; they are courtesies only possible when rooted in something more fundamental. As a result of this project, we have become a nation of identikits, slogans churned out by committees, and cohesion which relies on debilitating consumerism, ever-complicating bureaucracy and tyrannical officialdom; a society held together by paper instead of blood, and a nation that cannot inspire loyalty in its inhabitants. On the whole, not a sustainable state of affairs.
At bottom level, our problem is a near flat out denial of the British in-group. Liberal technocracy has gutted Britishness and been prancing around in its skin. Over 1000 years – roughly 300 years of them in monarchical union – the United Kingdom, a bounty of organically developing culture, has amounted to Gogglebox, PG Tips, and twee jokes about the rain. It’s about politely asking if “the queue starts here” for the polling station. Remember: STRONG BRITAIN, GREAT NATION, STRONG BRITAIN, GREAT NAAAAATION.
Perhaps because we are an island, relatively untouched and untroubled throughout our history, especially when compared to the geographical basket case of continental Europe, that we have never had to think about the nature of our identity in as much depth, making it suspectable to cynical exploitation by our current elites. See, the obvious isn’t so obvious!
Given the repellent artificiality of our culture, is it any surprise that it spits out extremists of all shapes and sizes? Our inability, often refusal, to define ourselves, opting instead to abstract our identity away, leaves us vulnerable to evildoers that yearn to see the vacuum filled. Habri Ali was not only a naturalised British citizen, but he was also known to the police courtesy of his referral to Prevent. This man had every form of “education” about our “values” that could be provided, and it changed nothing.
As much as liberal democrats – and even reactionary nationalists – might not like to accept it, nationalism and democracy are conjoined twins, the will of the people is wrapped up in the idea of “a people” of common identity rooted to a particular place, making the acceptance of democratic decisions possible. Bleating about the dangers of identity politics doesn’t change the fact that British identity politics must necessarily be treated as an exception.
When the future of Britain hangs in the balance, it is more that right to ask: “who are the British people?”. If we are serious about making amends, the “conversation” we need to be having is this: what is Britishness? In my mind, one thing is for certain: a foreign-born Islamist that stabs a representative of the British nation to death isn’t British, and if he is considered British, then he shouldn’t be. I don’t care if he knows where St. Paul’s Cathedral is.