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Peter Hitchens and emigration

Updated: Jan 1

Peter Hitchens is a journalist, so everything he writes is nonsense. What’s really going on here? For some time, Hitchens has had a position that people should emigrate from Britain—it’s not sincere, nothing journalists say is. The time when people emigrated from Britain was 40 years ago—usually they went to Australia. You still meet people today who say, “Australia is like Britain was about 30 years ago.” Metacommunication: <<It has the same racial demographics as Britain in the 1980s, and that’s very pleasant>>.

However, 20 years ago it would be unacceptable for the media to say, “Emigrate. It’s your only chance.” That would have been pooh-poohed by men like Hitchens—who presents himself as a reasonable conservative—as some hysterical overreaction; it would also be unacceptable to say because it would seem “racist”.

It was not permissible to be that overt about emigration because to do so would be read, at the metacommunication level, as an attack on the system itself; and journalists are never so explicit or dissident. You had to say, “I like Australia because it’s like how Britain was 30 years ago.” You can play dumb in multiple ways with that statement. “Yes, there weren’t so many cars on the road then. It’s less crowded.”

The reason it is acceptable to say “emigrate” today is that emigration makes no difference now—the same policies are in effect in Australia as Britain, so Australia is now like Britain in the 2000s; and will catch up very fast. It is precisely because there is nowhere to go that it is acceptable to say “you can go somewhere else”. The unacceptable truth would be to say: there’s nowhere to run now, you have to stand and fight.

It’s also connected to the fact that journalism is a lying trade. It offers, to the conservative temperament in this case, an “acceptable moan” or, really, an “I’ll buy that” means to hold reality at bay; it’s reaction formation—“You can always emigrate, I guess,” you can mumble to yourself (gets you through the day, if you stumble over another Muslim ghetto). It’s actually resentful. It’s the typical conservative weeping into his pint, “This used to be a country, a proper country.” “Well, why don’t you do something about it?” “Oh nothing doing, only chance is to emigrate I suppose.” <<Doesn’t do that either>>.

The only real emigration going on here is an “internal migration” where you watch sitcoms from the 1970s and replays of Midsomer Murders to reduce the constant stress induced by walking in streets where everyone is alien to you and you have no connection to anything around you. At least there’s the colourful screen.

In fact, Hitchens offers that very “internal migration” with his worldview—it’s what some dissidents did in the USSR, just read your Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky in private and have as little to do with the public world as possible; just draw the curtains to hide the big Communist posters, put on Tchaikovsky, and pretend it’s 1909. You mean, become a schizoid recluse and talk in code to everyone you meet? Gotcha.

If emigration was once the prohibited position, yet it is permissible now, what is the prohibited position today? And can, contra Hitchens, “anything be done”? The prohibited position is to say “it’ll be like the 2011 riots, except every five years”, “it’ll be like South Africa is today”, and “there’s nowhere to run”. That is where we’re going within the next ten years.

Can anything be done? Yes—a military coup would be one possibility (although unlikely because there is no tradition in the British army, unlike in France—it has never happened in Britain, so it’s not likely to start now); another option is a domestic insurgency from the British population (again, unlikely but not impossible). As I often say, rebirth is possible but most people are not prepared to do what is necessary—the first step is to face reality. Peter Hitchens is half Jewish.

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