The Scottish Mail on Sunday - 2021-11-21


Border chief had one job – and he didn’t believe in it

Peter Hitchens

Peter Hitchens Read Peter’s blog at and follow him on Twitter @clarkemicah

ILIKE borders and I have always been glad to live on an island guarded by deep salt water. In the end it is the sea, and the Navy we used to have, which have kept us safe all these centuries from tyrants and conquerors. I have visited 57 countries, and also lived with my family in two nations apart from this one, my home. I am absolutely not afraid of the world abroad and I think we have much to learn from other peoples. But in the end, I like it here. People are different in different places. They choose to live differently. Borders, reinforced by seas, mountains and deserts, enable them to do so. Even in North America the US-Canadian frontier marks out two very different ideas of how to live in freedom. So I cannot say I agree with the recently retired head of the UK Border Force, Mr Paul Lincoln, that ‘bloody borders’ are ‘just such a pain in the bloody a***’. But at least we now know that the man who was for some years in charge of enforcing the borders of this country, and took a chunky salary for this duty, didn’t actually believe in borders. It comes as no surprise. We already have police chiefs who plainly don’t believe in the punishment of crime, teachers who don’t much like education and bishops who don’t believe in God. But this is a bit more specific. Mr Lincoln had one job, and he didn’t believe in it. This is not the first revelation of this kind from our new ruling class. As long ago as 2009, the New Labour apparatchik Andrew Neather let slip that his movement had ‘a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the UK Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural’. He recalled coming away from high-level meetings ‘with a clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date’. I think we can say that this worked. Old-fashioned conservative patriotic politics has been rusting in the junkyard ever since the late 1990s. So now we know one reason why an apparently simple job, keeping people out of a sea-girt country, unless they arrive legally, has proved so difficult for so many years. And why, even as the weather worsens and the sea gets rough, more than 1,000 illegal migrants are arriving in this country on some days. Those in charge of implementing the policy don’t believe in it. But Mr Lincoln was only recorded saying what most of our elite think. If you have attended a university in this country in the past 50 years, you will have been taught to believe that borders are bad, that unhindered free movement of people is a high ideal, that objections to this are contemptible, and driven by racial bigotry and stupidity. Since the graduates from those universities fanned out into the schools, the BBC, the police and the courts, the same idea has been spread even wider. A large part of the Tory Party, for instance, has been captured by it, especially since the Blairite takeover of the Tories by David Cameron. BUT they know it is not popular. So they lie. They announce targets to reduce illegal immigration, which they never meet. They announce other targets, for the deportation of illegal arrivals, which they never fulfil. They send stupid vans round the suburbs, adorned with slogans falsely pretending that illegal migrants face a realistic risk of being caught and returned. A few token victims are actually sent home but they must be incredibly unlucky people. And this is typical of all our politics. Our elite says it will be tough on crime, and stops even bothering to prosecute it. It says it will sort out state education, but doggedly persists with the comprehensive schools which have wrecked it. Unless at some point the real concerns of normal people find a peaceful, rational and responsible political outlet in countries such as ours, there will be serious trouble thanks to this chasm between what is promised and what actually happens. The ugly rise of Donald Trump in the USA is a rather mild and restrained warning of what lies ahead.


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