Only something like a religious revival can begin to solve England’s deep, deep problems

Britain, Dalrymple notes,

has enormous cultural problems, perhaps only to be expected in a country in which more than 50% of children are born out of wedlock and 20% do not eat a meal with another member of their household more than once every two weeks. A dangerously high and perhaps unsustainable proportion of the population is unfitted for productive life in a modern economy, having attained an abysmally low educational level despite (or because of?) considerable state expenditure. This section of the population is not merely indifferent to refinement of any kind – intellectual, æsthetic or of manners – but actively hostile to it. Similarly, it is not merely not anxious to learn, it is anxious not to learn.

This explains why Britain has persistently imported labour from Eastern Europe

to perform tasks in its service industries that ordinarily one might have expected its large fund of indigenous non-employed people to perform. Although these tasks require no special skills, they require certain personal qualities such as reliability, politeness, and willingness to adapt: and these the eligible local population lack entirely. No hotel-keeper, for example, would consider using British labour if he could get foreign.

Perhaps nothing, says Dalrymple, captures the levels of personal incompetence and lack of self-respect in Britain

than the fact that young men of the lowest social class are about half as likely to die in prison as they are if left at liberty. In prison, though adult, they are looked after, at least in a basic way, and told what to do. They are no longer free to pursue their dangerous and crudely self-indulgent lifestyle, in which distraction is the main occupation. In prison they receive the healthcare that, though it is free to them under the NHS, they are not responsible enough to seek when at liberty.

In short, Dalrymple observes,

they do not know, because they have never been taught, how to live in a minimally constructive fashion, though they were certainly not born ineducable.

Other comparable countries have similar problems, but none

has them to anything like the same extent.

He points out that these problems do not originate from Britain’s membership of the European Union,

nor will they be solved by exit from the Union. They can be solved only by something more resembling a religious revival than by any likely government action.

But

expecting a population to bethink itself while simultaneously being offered political solutions that require no effortful cultural change is unreasonably optimistic. And politicians are unlikely to be frank about the problem for two reasons: first because alluding to the deficiencies of their electorate is probably not the best way to get elected, and second because it downgrades the providential role of politics, which politicians are understandably reluctant to do.

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Comments

  • tpkatsa  On December 20, 2017 at 20:36

    To think this nation once ruled a quarter of the earth’s surface! To think that there was a time when the sun never set on the British Empire! The decline of Britain brought about by unchecked mass immigration, Leftism, and the wholesale acceptance of and kowtowing to political correctness is, without a doubt, one of the saddest human stories of the 21st century.

  • Brett_McS  On December 27, 2017 at 06:44

    I don’t imagine that moral revivals come out of thin air. A moral sense is required to navigate cruel reality, but the state has stepped in – with our permission – to guard us from reality. We can pretend that the welfare system has made old fashioned notions such as “he who does not work shall not eat” redundant. But they aren’t redundant; we’ve just been keeping them at bay by eating the seed corn and the reckoning will come, as Kipling predicted. With the state nanny removed the old virtues will revive – of necessity – although many people will not survive.

    The possibility of Nanny State bowing out seemed highly unlikely – the swamp would rather everyone die than lose its power – but with things such as crypto currency coming onto the scene perhaps the swamp will lose its power to create money out of thin air, and if that were to happen it would have to *gasp* provide value for money like everyone else. That would be the end of Nanny.

  • Nick Hunt  On August 22, 2018 at 19:27

    After hearing Dalrymple’s incomparable voice of reason, I can’t unhear it or listen to listen to virtue-signalling fools ever again. His commentators usually impress too! Thanks

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