A lesson from Primrose Hill
I was walking down Regents Park Road in Primrose Hill in the heart of London recently when I was struck by a curious thing: the street had a distinctly old fashioned air. There were no supermarkets, chain stores, no MacDonald’s, not even a Starbucks or a Coffee Republic. Instead there were a string of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. None was of mega-size , most were small, none sold the tat which is the staple fare of nearby Camden Town. There was even that great modern rarity a bona fide fishmongers. The telephone boxes were the old iconic red ones. There was a blissful shortage of street furniture and signage. The traffic was light and the pavements well inhabited but not painfully crowded. There was not a tramp or drunk to be seen, nor gangs of young men loitering. It might have been a market town high street from the 1950s.
Other things were striking. Although Primrose Hill is in central London there was barely a non-white face to be seen. Even more remarkably for these days, the voices I heard about me in the street were almost all English. The staff in the shops were overwhelmingly white, and in the couple of shops I went into they also turned out to be English. Away from the shops a similar unusual cultural scene obtained, with the large houses and the streets being overwhelmingly inhabited by white faces and English accents. No council or housing association properties stand amongst the urban villas . The place has the unmistakable stench of wealth.
The interesting thing about Primrose Hill is that it is one of the favoured residences of the denizens of the media and allied trades. If you talked to them or encountered them broadcasting or writing , to a man and a woman they would effusively tell you of the benefits of multiculturalism, how marvellous it has been for the country, how dreadful it would be if England was the England of old, that marvellously homogenous place so recklessly and traitorously thrown away over the past fifty years. Yet these are the people who choose to live in a place which comes closest in modern London to precisely the England they ostensibly decry.
These days most of the Primrose Hill fraternity would also happily parrot the globalist creed as well, for they converted to it when the Labour Party became NuLabour and embraced the Thatcherite economic faith. Yet they do not choose to live in an area touched by the economic fruits of globalism . Instead, they opt for a locality which is miraculously protected from the chain stores and their ruthless drive to destroy the private shop and impose uniformity. Not for the Primrose Hill set the vulgar traipse round the supermarket, even a Waitrose, but the old-fashioned and civilised shopping which involves personal service from people who understand their products and display a civility which is dignified rather than chummy.
That most of the inhabitants of Primrose Hill are card-carrying members of the “right-on” brigade is unsurprising , because the only people who can afford to be relaxed about the effects of globalism are those who can avoid its consequences, or at least its most immediate and obnoxious effects.
Not for them the “joy of diversity” of living in a tower block on a council estate where they are the only white resident. Not for them the sending of their children to schools which boast “179 languages spoken here” and where their child is the only white child in his form, children such as 15-year old working-class boy Richard Everitt murdered by a Bangladeshi gang in the 1990s who attacked him simply because they had decided to harm a white boy. . Not for them gangs of young men in the streets. Not for them street dealers operating openly before the police. . Not for them an area shorn of shops except those run by ethnic minorities, where the only meat available is halal and if English is spoken at all it is spoken as a second language. Not for them the feeling that they are a stranger in their own land.
The very white, very English, very old-fashioned world that is found in Primrose Hill is mirrored wherever the better-off congregate, whether that be inner city enclaves such as Primrose Hill and Hampstead or villages in leafy Surrey or Cheshire. The less well off – the large majority – must take pot luck .for they cannot move where they choose. . Those born and raised in an area which is still largely untouched by immigration still have the luxury of living in an English environment, although they will not have the further luxury of living in a world with the other goods which those in places like Primrose Hill enjoy such as independently owned shops with polite, knowledgeable and attentive staff. But even those born and raised in such places are vulnerable to being forced out as house prices rocket, east European immigrants flood the local labour market taking jobs and lowering wages, more and more second homes are bought by well-off outsiders and by the refugees of middle-class “white flight” from the immigration- infested towns and cities to those parts of England which are still England.
For the poor born and raised in paces with large immigrant populations – first, second, third generation immigrants and so on – there is no choice. They have to live cheek-by-jowl with the immigrants, send their children to immigrant dominated schools, shop in local stores owned by immigrants. The older amongst them will have seen their previously homogeneous community transformed by mass immigration, often at a bewildering speed., but always within their lifetime.
But it is not only those who are unmistakably poor who are vulnerable. Increasingly those who are solidly middle-class by background and occupation are finding that they are being priced out of a means to escape the effects of mass immigration. Our elite have made living in an English environment , whether in an enclave in urban areas with a large ethnic contingent or in an area as yet not subject to mass immigration, an expensive business . Many of the white, English middle-class are finding to their horror that they cannot engage in “white flight” to areas where they can enjoy a society devoid of all that wonderful diversity they are supposed to adore. House prices are too high, suitable jobs too few. Most disturbingly, even if they do manage to escape they cannot be sure that where they have gone will not fall to the immigrant wave or the local economy be demolished by the relentless march of the chain store. To have the best of all worlds – the secure world of Primrose Hill – is very expensive indeed.
What lesson can we draw from all this? It is a very simple one: this is the way people normally choose to live when they have the choice. They wish to be in an area where they are ethnically dominant because that makes them feel secure. They choose to avoid the de-personalised uniformity of life which is the lot of the vast majority who are left only with supermarkets and chain stores within reach. They want people to serve them who are polite and competent. Of course, not every person will want exactly the same environment but the will want the same basic things of an ethnically secure territory, better quality products and reliable service.