Hitchens comes SOOOOO close to naked candor — except for the bizarre anti-Enoch stuff (which contradicts Hitchens’ entire column…) and the cop out, unicorns-and-rainbows non-solution at the very end that I can’t believe he actually wrote:
It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.
Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people – usually in the poorest parts of Britain – who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’.
If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.
Revolutionary students didn’t come from such ‘vibrant’ areas (we came, as far as I could tell, mostly from Surrey and the nicer parts of London).
We might live in ‘vibrant’ places for a few (usually squalid) years, amid unmown lawns and overflowing dustbins.
But we did so as irresponsible, childless transients – not as homeowners, or as parents of school-age children, or as old people hoping for a bit of serenity at the ends of their lives.
When we graduated and began to earn serious money, we generally headed for expensive London enclaves and became extremely choosy about where our children went to school, a choice we happily denied the urban poor, the ones we sneered at as ‘racists’.