11 December 2016

Immigrant oaths can’t work when integration already looks doomed

.... For anyone who has followed Britain and western Europe’s attempts to deal with the mass migration that started in the 1950s, all this is familiar. Just as the same stories go round in each of our countries, so the same solutions rear up year after year. And nothing happens.

In recent years I have seen at first-hand the bifurcated societies identified by Cantle and Casey — not just in the north of England but across our continent. The phenomenon Casey describes is at least as evident in Sweden, Germany and France.

When I read her careful description of the effects of mass immigration on vast swathes of our country, I thought of the school in Malmo where even before the mass movement of 2015 no child had had Swedish as a first language for 14 years.

.... Were government to absorb rather than flick through reports such as Casey’s it would see that the obvious conclusion is to stop or dramatically slow the flow of people. What is the purpose of continuing to bring hundreds of thousands of people each year into a country that is so self-confessedly bad at integrating people? Even if Britain installed a citizenship oath, what would we do with those who refused to take it, took it with fingers crossed or took it and then broke it?

Reviews such as Casey’s may be little read today. But they will be pored over by future historians who will ponder the greatest question of all: how could countries so aware of their challenges have done so little to address them? [The Sunday Times] Read more