First published on FrontPage Magazine.
By Enza Ferreri
What we insist on calling “immigration” from the Third World to Western European countries like Britain is a historically new phenomenon, for which a case can be made that other, more appropriate terms should be used — like “colonization” and “invasion.”
The definition of “colony,” from which the word “colonization” is derived, is: a) a body of people living in a new territory but maintaining ties with their homeland or b) a number of people coming from the same country, sharing the same ethnic origin or speaking the same language, who reside in a foreign country or city, or a particular section of it.
Either could apply to the people coming to live in Europe from Asia and Africa.
In reference to colonization, dictionaries add “relating to the developing world,” but this is only because colonization primarily occurred there in the past. Word meanings have to change to adapt to the new historic realities.
Similarly, the expressions “native” and “indigenous” previously referred to the original inhabitants of non-European continents, whereas now they are used to describe Germans, French, British, Swedes, Dutch and so on.
“Invasion” has three main meanings: a) the act of invading, especially the entrance of an armed force into a territory to conquer; b) a large-scale onset of something injurious or harmful, such as a disease; c) an intrusion or encroachment, an incursion by a large number of people or things into a place or sphere of activity.
The latter is a perfectly apt description of what is happening in Western Europe.
Even “ethnic cleansing” could be used, since local populations are being replaced by different ethnic groups. London, for instance, is no longer a white-British-majority city, although mainstream media like the BBC and London’s own paper, the Evening Standard, barely mention it, to say nothing of the city mayor Boris Johnson.
The official United Nations definition of ethnic cleansing is “rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove from a given area persons of another ethnic or religious group.”
Terry Martin has defined ethnic cleansing as “the forcible removal of an ethnically defined population from a given territory” and as “occupying the central part of a continuum between genocide on one end and nonviolent pressured ethnic emigration on the other end.”
European native populations are being replaced because many locals, tired of being colonized, flee their countries, cities or neighborhoods.
The proportion of white British Londoners fell drastically from 60 percent in 2001 to 44.9 per cent in 2011, partly due to the arrival of so many foreign nationals and partly to a mass exodus of white Britons. David Goodhart, director of Demos, writes in The Financial Times:
Over the decade between the 2001 and 2011 censuses, the number of white British Londoners fell by more than 600,000 (17 per cent). That is about three times the fall over the previous census period, 1991 to 2001.
“Most of the leading academic geographers did not expect London to become a majority minority city for another 20 or 30 years – they underestimated the extent to which white British people have opted to leave an increasingly diverse London,” says Eric Kaufmann, an academic at Birkbeck College who is leading a project on “white flight” at Demos, the think-tank I lead.
Six hundred thousand is a big city disappearing in just 10 years.
Are we sure that Londoners have abandoned their city because of this “cultural enrichment”? Looking at the areas where white flight mostly occurs provides reasonable evidence that they do: the most multi-racial districts tend to experience high levels of it.
What the large-scale influx of foreigners to Europe can no longer be called is “immigration.” Immigration is what you have when, for example, small groups of French go to live in Britain or the British in Spain.
What distinguishes invasion from immigration are three things: the volume of people involved in the movement, the span of time and frequency of these movements — the same number of people moving to live in a country over 4 years as opposed to 400 years — and the kind of people, in particular how similar or alien to the natives they are, and how easily or improbably they’ll integrate.
The sheer numbers of people who have come to live in the UK in the last few decades have negatively affected the indigenous population’s quality of life in a serious, profound way, even assuming that those people were all law-abiding, upright citizens, which they are not.
There are many areas where this is occurring, including jobs, social services, education and public health – with tuberculosis constantly rising largely due to immigration.
A classic example is the current housing shortage. The UK is suffering its worst housing crisis in modern history. Two or more household units cram into one dwelling, and young people, not being able to afford to move out, live with their parents.
It would be trivializing the issue to say that all housing problems are created by immigration, but it’s impossible to deny the obvious fact they are exacerbating it.
There are other factors contributing to the housing crisis, including the very low interest rates, which result in fewer forced sellers, and the welfare system that, by underwriting sometimes exorbitant rent bills for people who’ve never worked, indirectly encourage landlords to charge more, thus driving up both rental and purchase prices for those who do work.
But one of the main causes is the high number of immigrants increasing the demand for dwellings, while the supply remains low, therefore pushing up house buying and renting prices.
Liberal commentators say that there is no evidence for that, but the evidence is in the most self-explanatory statistics: the more people are in the country, the more properties are needed.
Most immigrants rent, rather than buy, a property in the first 5-10 years since their arrival, which inevitably increases rental prices for everyone, including the indigenous people.
Social housing is also in limited supply. Therefore, the immigrant population that takes a share of it deprives the natives. The percentages are roughly the same: 17 percent of British live in council-rented accommodations, 18 percent of foreigners do.
Leftists and charities would want the government to “build more affordable housing” and “enough homes to meet demand” rather than limit immigration, although it’s difficult to see why the government should act like a construction company in preference to a body that protects and defends the country’s borders.