September 23, 2011 | 60 comments
Can Europe be the same place with different people in it?
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To those of us living here, it doesn’t feel as if crime in the UK is now low enough for the police to justify fancy-dress days. These types of stories would be harmless absurdities were it not precisely this type of thing that has contributed to the rise in support for white extremist groups. Paid arms of thstate try to find out how the minority of a minority feels while steadfastly refusing to acknowledge that the rest of the nation feels as if it is not being listened to at all.
Any meaningful discussion of immigration remains completely off the table. In 1955 Winston Churchill called it “the most important subject facing this country, but I cannot get any of my ministers to take any notice.” Little has changed. The Conservative Party, which is certain to win office next year, is so fearful of the issue that it will barely mention it in public, fearful of being regarded as “racist” or “prejudiced” by a left-wing press more intent on smearing its opponents than admitting its considerable role in what has come to pass. The demographic shift, a time-bomb that could potentially change Europe entirely, was a “subterranean conversation,” according to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. It always has been. And that is part of the problem.
Fascist groups are now capitalizing on European concerns over precisely these types of issues because their own governments have refused to act. Politicians continue to stick their head in the nearest sandbox, perhaps aware that a problem created by a generation could not be solved overnight. Rather than beginning to rethink the policies that have resulted in so many Europeans turning to extremist groups, they seem to have reconciled themselves to the idea that they govern a continent of several million closet racists. If this attitude persists, we are in deeper trouble than we previously thought.
Seventy years ago, Europe had statesmen who achieved greatness by facing down fascism. It is time for this generation to take up the mantle. Islamism needs to be defeated. European politicians also need to face up to issues important to the majority, rather than cowardly elites or grudge-laden minorities. Do that — even try to do that — and support for white extremist groups will drain. Ignore it, and it is hard to be optimistic about Europe’s future.
Caldwell wonders if Europe can be the same with different people in it. The answer he clearly comes to is “No.” The question now is how long it takes Europeans to reach the same conclusion. And what they will do when they come to it.