Britain is a desirable place to live mainly because it is an island, which most people can’t get to. Most of the really successful civilisations survived because they were protected from invasion by mountains, sea, deserts or a combination of these things. Ask the Russians or the Poles what it’s like to live without the shield of the sea. There is no positive word for ‘safety’ in Russian. Their word for security is ‘bezopasnost’ – ‘without danger’.
Thanks to a thousand years of uninvaded peace, we have developed astonishing levels of trust, safety and freedom. I have visited nearly 60 countries and lived in the USSR, Russia and the USA, and I have never experienced anything as good as what we have. Only in the Anglosphere countries – the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – is there anything comparable. I am amazed at how relaxed we are about giving this away.
Our advantages depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories. Newcomers can learn them, but only if they come in small enough numbers. Mass immigration means we adapt to them, when they should be adapting to us.
So now, on the basis of an emotional spasm, dressed up as civilisation and generosity, are we going to say that we abandon this legacy and decline our obligation to pass it on, like the enfeebled, wastrel heirs of an ancient inheritance letting the great house and the estate go to ruin?