JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Sentimentality, Dishonesty, Idiocy, Cuckery—Britain’s Immigration Debate As Bad As Ours
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

There was a tragic sinking last week off the coast of Greece, with many drowned. The boat in the story here was traveling from the coast of Libya to Italy when it capsized off Greece [Greek migrant boat wreck may be Mediterranean’s ‘worst ever tragedy’ with hundreds still missing, CNN, June 19, 2023].

The context here is the ongoing flood of Third Worlders heading northwards across the Mediterranean looking for a better life in Europe than the one they’re enduring in Africa or the Middle East.

Sad for all concerned, but useful material for those propagandizing on behalf of unlimited mass immigration. One of them: Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.

Last Tuesday, June 20th, has been designated by the United Nations as World Refugee Day. (The whole week was in fact Refugee Week, although that—the Week, not the Day—seems to be just a British thing.)

Using one or other of those as a hook, the Mayor delivered a speech:

Just a few days ago we saw the consequences of immoral and dangerous immigration policies across Europe where we discovered dozens of people who had died as a consequence of the Greek ship that we know about, that floundered [sic] a few days ago. And we also discovered that many asylum seekers, refugees and migrants were stowed below the deck. They had no chance to escape, no chance to survive.

And the reason why asylum-seekers, refugees, and others are risking their lives, their childrens’ lives to find a safe haven is because our country and other countries in Europe, in the global north—wealthy countries, who prospered from these countries where people are coming from over centuries—there’s no safe passages.

The most successful Olympian this country’s ever had—a double Olympic gold medalist—Mohamed Farah, was an asylum-seeker and refugee. Many of us were asking the question: ”What is the most British shop on the High Street?” Who knows that Marks from Marks and Spencer, was a refugee, somebody who first was seeking asylum. One of the most famous musicians, artists, in the world at the moment, a British North Londoner, Dua Lipa—her parents fled Kosovo twenty or so years ago.

All I want to say to you is this. Look, I won the golden ticket, I won the lottery, because I was born in London. My grandparents were refugees. They left India to go into Pakistan when the British Empire decided to carve up India. If you were a Muslim and you were living in India you had to seek asylum to Pakistan, where people were more Muslims than they were Hindus. My parents were migrants who came to this country. I always had the humility to realize that you could have been … that I could have been born somewhere else.

We’ve got to educate people about why this country is great, why this city’s the greatest city in the world, and the history of immigration, asylum seekers and refugees.

Have a great refugee week. As long as I’m there, London is open and you are welcome. [Links added]

I shall leave aside His Honor’s not knowing that ”foundered” and ”floundered” are two different words. (I’ll tackle that when I’ve finally persuaded the English-speaking world that the expression ”to lay down” is ungrammatical unless you are covering something with goose feathers)

I shall mention in passing that there seems to be a definite bias in Mayor Khan’s choice of immigrant heroes for our admiration: Mohamed Farah and Dua Lipa are both from Muslim families, as is Mr Mayor himself. (The Michael Marks in ”Marks & Spencer” was, I’ll allow, not from a Muslim family, and might, if he were still among us, object to being placed in such company.)

Just look at the mentality on view there in the Mayor’s speech. The immigration policies of European nations are, he tells us, ”immoral and dangerous.”

Why? Because ”there’s no safe passage.”

The underlying idea there, if you unpack that, is that all the billions of Africa and the Middle East have every right to migrate safely to Europe, so the European countries are immoral for not enabling safe transit for them.

Also that Europeans ”prospered … over centuries” from exploiting those countries. As we can see from places that never had European overlords—Ethiopia, say, or Afghanistan—they would have done so much better if left alone.

Oh, yes, and, ”the British Empire decided to carve up India.” In the absence of that heartless carving-up, majority-Hindu India and majority-Muslim Pakistan would have cohabited harmoniously in a single nation.


Sadiq Khan was born in Britain, but his family were originally Indian Muslims. They lived in the city of Lucknow, in present-day India.

When the Brits “decided to carve up India,” a.k.a. leave in 1947, however, Indian Muslims decided to have a country of their own—Pakistan—and Mayor Khan’s parents fled there. It was from there, from Pakistan, that they immigrated to Britain.

(The new country came in two disconnected parts, one in the East, one in the Northwest. The Eastern part seceded in 1971 after a brief but nasty civil war to become present-day Bangladesh.)

Did you know that London has a Mayor of Indian-Muslim origins? You very likely did know that the U.K. has a Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, of Hindu-Indian family; although like Mayor Khan, he was born in Britain.

On the other hand you may not have known that the lead politician in Scotland—formally the First Minister of that not-quite-country—is a fellow named Humza Haroon Yousaf, Scottish-born to a Muslim family from Pakistan.

To complete the suite there is of course the Taoiseachwhich is to say Prime Minister—of the Republic of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, son of an Indian father from Bombay and an Irish mother from County Waterford.

So the politics of the British Isles has been pretty thoroughly Indiacized. You might object that I should be saying ”Indiacized and Pakistanified.” Remember, however, that today’s India and Pakistan—along with today’s Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma, and some other bits and pieces—were all part of British India.

Pakistanis? To paraphrase my friend Jared Taylor in a different context: They look Indian to me.

So recent decades have seen a quite comprehensive Indiacization of the Anglosphere, or at any rate of its northern components. We haven’t yet had a U.S. President of Indian ancestry, although Vivek Ramaswamy is reaching for the brass ring.

In the commercial sphere, though, Indian-origin CEOs are definitely a thing, with mixed results for free speech, as we at have been documenting.

Another item on immigration into the U.K.: Yesterday, Thursday the 22nd of June, was the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush in London’s Tilbury Dock, bringing five hundred black immigrants from Jamaica. This was the beginning of large-scale black immigration into Britain. Britain’s Royal Mint has released a coin to commemorate the anniversary.

The blacks were not universally welcomed back then in 1948. Eleven Labour Party Members of Parliament wrote to the Labour Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, that

An influx of coloured people domiciled here is likely to impair the harmony, strength and cohesion of our public and social life.

Letter to the Prime Minister, 22 June, 1948

What bigoted, narrow-minded attitudes—from Labour Party members, indeed—which is to say, socialists. Good grief!

Oh wait, what’s this?

Black men make up six percent of London (thirteen percent if you include women) but commit almost fifty percent of the city’s murders.

[Black murder victims and suspects: London v UK, Sky News, July 25, 2018]

That’s as much as I can bear to say about Britain’s immigration issues. As you can see, they come garbed in just as much sentimentality, dishonesty, idiocy, and cuckery as our own.

For very full coverage of the Empire Windrush anniversary and all the nonsense it has generated, I strongly recommend the June 22nd piece by the wise, witty, and infallible Ed West at his Substack account.

The title of Ed’s piece is: You Called … and We Came,” which is in turn the title of a sappy poem much favored by Open-Borders zealots over there.

The subhead is ”Windrush as the new national origin story,” which is absurd when you think that most ordinary Britons would trace Britain’s origins to Hengist and Horsa [449 AD], if not before.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

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