Polemics & Exchanges

On Moral Britain

My thanks to Derek Turner for his generous and insightful review (“The Decivilizing Century”) of my book The Strange Death of Moral Britain in the June 2007 issue of Chronicles.  There are, however, two minor points that need to be corrected.

First, Mr. Turner suggests that I avoided ascribing the extremely large rise in crime, illegitimacy, and drink and drug abuse in Britain between 1955 and 1995 to immigration because of a squeamishness about mentioning race.  The reason I did not do so was because any such effect was far less important than the factors I do discuss—namely, the decline of a Protestant-based moral culture and the creation of a centralized welfare state.  As I document in the text, the rise and subsequent fall of “moral Britain” followed essentially the same trajectory in Wales and in the northeast of England, which have received very few new immigrants, as it did in the rest of England, where they have settled in large numbers.  In any case, although some groups among the new immigrants, such as the Jamaicans, do have very high crime rates, other substantial groups, such as the Hindus and Sikhs, are far more law-abiding, have greater family stability, and are far less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol than the indigenous Anglo-Celtic population.

The second point relates to male homosexuals, the family, and demography.  Before the 1980’s, many arguments...

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