"There'll Always Be an England" - popular World War II song
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - Perhaps there will not always be an England. An exodus unprecedented in modern times, coupled with a record influx of foreigners, is threatening to erode the character of the land of William Shakespeare and overpowering monarchs, a land that served as the cradle for much of American thought, law and culture.
The figures, making headlines in London newspapers, tell only part of the story. Between June 2005 and June 2006 nearly 200,000 British citizens chose to leave the country for a new life elsewhere. During the same period, at least 574,000 immigrants came to Britain. This number does not include the people who broke the law to get there, or the thousands unknown to the government. Britain's Office of National Statistics reports that middle-class Britons are beginning to move out of towns in southern England that have become home to large numbers of immigrants, thereby altering the character of neighborhoods that have remained unchanged for generations.
Britons give many reasons for leaving, but their stories share one commonality: life in Britain has become unbearable for them. They fear lawlessness and the threat of more terrorism from a growing Muslim population and the loss of a sense of Britishness, exacerbated by the growing refusal of public schools to teach the history and culture of the nation to the next generation. What it means to be British has been watered down in a plague of political correctness that has swept the country faster than hoof-and-mouth disease. Officials say they do not wish to "offend" others.
Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers are about to be granted "amnesty" to stay in Britain. The government's approach is similar to that pursued by President Bush, who failed to win congressional approval for his amnesty plan. In Britain it appears likely to succeed. Migrants will be granted immediate access to many benefits, including top priority for council housing. Taxpayers will foot the bill.
The Shadow Home Secretary, David Davis, called the policy a "stealth amnesty." Again, in a comment reminiscent of the debate in America, Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "This is yet another example of the Alice in Wonderland world of human rights. If you break British law for long enough, you acquire rights not penalties."
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.