A woman member of the UK parliament, Jo Cox, was shot and stabbed on June 16 by an assailant, who allegedly shouted "Britain first!" as he murdered the 42-year-old mother of two young children. Britain is coming into the final week of campaigning before a referendum on its continued membership of the European Union (EU), a contest that has increasingly narrowed into a single-issue election on the matter of immigration.
Cox herself was an outspoken supporter of Britain remaining in Europe. On the morning of her death, Nigel Farage - one of leaders of the British exit (Brexit) campaign - unveiled an inflammatory poster depicting a seemingly endless march of bedraggled dark-skinned refugees coming into Europe, and thus the UK too.
Later that day, social media was abuzz with footage of drunken English football fans, attending the European Championships in France, crowded around tiny and bewildered refugee children whom they noisily jeered and tossed coins at.
All three incidents - the poster, the MP's murder and the taunting racist mob - point to a dumb inherent nastiness that has always been an element of the native British character. There will always be a significant component of this society that craves to feel unique and superior in the world - even if that can only be achieved by killing an unarmed woman or bullying innocent children.
But the foul atmosphere prevalent in Britain that has surfaced with the Brexit campaign is merely the last stinking exhalation of a long-dead corpse. Britain died a long time ago, yet it still walks as though it had life and purpose. The economic and political collapse that would accompany its secession from Europe might be the shock this zombie needs to make it finally lie down forever.
|The foul atmosphere prevalent in Britain that has surfaced with the Brexit (Britain's exit fron EU) campaign is merely the last stinking exhalation of a long-dead corpse.|
The polls have, in recent days, given the Brexit campaign a strong lead. I have written here before on the lunacy of the Brexiters' claims, and of my belief that the British are not stupid enough to believe them. But I may be proved wrong: the British could well be far stupider than I ever suspected.
The history of Britain after the loss of its empire has simply been the exposure of the British as a mediocre people of limited spirit and abilities. Without their colonies, they have proven themselves to be nothing remotely special as they rapidly declined in status and power in the world. Indeed, those they once openly scorned as inferiors - the people of India and the Far East - are now the future of mankind, while the British will only be a footnote.
The one thing that slowed their descent into irrelevance was the UK's membership of the EU. Having massively privileged access to the wealthiest market in human history while being protected from rapacious Asian competition by the EU's iron tariff-wall gave the British a stature and standard of living that is impossible for them on their own merits.
But now they might actually flush that good fortune, as well as themselves, down the toilet simply to maintain their delusion that they are a chosen people with a unique destiny. It is that same toxic self-destroying narcissism that propelled a fanatical nativist to kill Jo Cox.
Throughout my life here, immigration has been an incendiary issue. The majority of Britons have always been against it - though the political class has wisely ignored them - claiming that immigrants have depressed their wages, polluted their culture and placed a strain on public resources.
But the real excruciating truth about why they don't like immigrants is one that nobody here has the guts to admit: immigrants show the British up, humiliating them with their success. Immigrant achievements here contrast starkly with the general mediocrity of the British and their paucity of accomplishment.
The offspring of migrants from Africa and the Caribbean dominate Britain's sports and pop-culture, while the children of those who came from India and China routinely outshine the British intellectually and entrepreneurially - and by a quite astonishing margin.
And the new arrivals from Europe and their children are now doing the same thing: massively out-competing the British in their own backyard. These people have provided an injection of energy, talent and dynamism that is largely non-existent in the British as a whole, and helped to keep this country from sinking entirely.
But to be so routinely outshone by those whom they, for centuries, regarded as lesser races induces an anguished and murderous shame in a great many Britons. And rather than look at themselves and their own naked deficiencies - in character, intelligence and application - they blame immigrants for somehow stealing from them a success they could never have achieved for themselves in the first place.
I am actually now in favour of a British exit from Europe. I want the conceited fantasists of this country to know what real competition feels like: to face the raw jungle reality of the world without the protection of the EU. They think they will negotiate favourable trade agreements with the rest of the world, but Britain will simply be taken to the cleaners.
The Indians, Chinese, Americans and people from rest of Europe will be merciless on the British. The result of a Brexit will not be a resurgence but the relegation of the British into utter servility, as they are ground underfoot by those far bigger, gutsier and smarter than them.
I have no fear of this competition. I am the son of Punjabi pindus who carved out their lives here from nothing. Those from immigrant backgrounds will thrive in an unprotected, post-EU Britain, because we have been competing against the odds every day of our lives. We know how to hustle and win from a position of weakness and disadvantage.
The British, however, don't - and they're fools if they think they do. It is a challenge they are not remotely up to. But I, for one, now want them to take that chance and finally show us all what they're really made of.