Portrait of a nation bursting at the seams
00:18 GMT, 12 December 2012
In one extraordinary statistic after another, the results of the 2011 census spell out the most dramatic demographic upheaval in our country’s history.
Some 7.5million foreign-born residents in England and Wales, most arriving in the last ten years… four million fewer Christians, with the number of Muslims almost doubling to 2.7million…
Fewer than half London’s 8.2million residents describing themselves as white British… overall numbers up by 3.7million, the biggest surge in two centuries…
The number of people living in England and Wales who were born overseas has risen by nearly three million to 7.5m
Indeed, the make-up of many of our communities has been transformed, permanently and beyond recognition, since Labour threw open our borders at the beginning of the new millennium.
This paper takes pride in Britain’s long tradition of offering a haven to settlers from overseas. We acknowledge, once again, the exemplary virtues of many migrants, some of whom have risen to the very top while others are prepared to work long hours for low wages in jobs welfare-cushioned Britons won’t do.
Those nervous of Islam might also note that polls find Muslims from Bangladesh and Pakistan are more proud of being British than any other migrant group.
So race and religion are not the main issue – although it is a truism that nations with the fewest common bonds of culture and history tend to be hardest to govern.
No, what is so deeply disturbing is the sheer pressure of this influx – encouraged against the clear wishes of a majority of Britons – on our already-strained schools, housing, transport, health and welfare.
Did anyone so much as consider the difficulties and expense of absorbing such colossal numbers – including 2.8million households in which nobody speaks English Or was Labour too busy attacking opponents of mass immigration as ‘racists’
With the population officially projected to soar to 70million by 2027, the urgent priority is to regain control of our borders.
Or will the next 10-year census portray a nation that can no longer cope
A baffling proposal
Conflict: Maria Miller has infuriated both sides of the argument in outlining plans to legalise gay marriage
Outlining plans to legalise gay marriage, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has achieved the remarkable feat of infuriating both sides of the argument.
Traditionalists, straight and gay, remain as baffled and hurt as ever by the Coalition’s insistence on redefining an institution almost as old as mankind.
Meanwhile, militant gay rights campaigners feel insulted by the plan to uphold churches’ right to refuse to conduct same-sex marriages – including a law specifically banning it in the Church of England and the Church in Wales.
As for the Mail, we accept that if there must be a law permitting gay marriage, religious objections must be respected.
But with no significant public pressure for change, even from the gay community, why is it needed at all
Why stir up this hornets’ nest, for the sake of a measure so trivialised that civil partners will be able to ‘upgrade’ to marriage simply by handing over 100
With so much more important on their plates – not least an economic cataclysm – ministers deserve to be stung.
Big Brother at bay
Under pressure from the Lib Dems, David Cameron orders a radical re-write of draft laws that would have given police and security services access to information about our every email, phone call and internet click. Good.
The Mail holds no brief for terrorists and paedophiles, the bogeymen always cited to justify authoritarian powers.
But as presently drawn up, the legislation would have made a mockery of the Coalition’s pledge to end Labour’s insidious attack on British freedoms.