»  National Review Online

January 30th, 2001

  When Irish Cops Are Ethnic

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I am old enough to remember when we Brits used to snigger at you Yanks about your obsession with race. The brains of white Americans, we used to murmur smugly to each other over buttered pikelets and a cup of Ty-phoo, had been addled with guilt. You just couldn't get over the fact that some white people in some parts of your country had once owned black slaves, whose descendants were still living amongst you!

It preyed on your minds to such a degree that you had lost touch with reality. American publishers turned out cartloads of unreadable novels about white folk being beastly to black folk in small southern towns. No American movie or TV show was complete without some super-dignified black character proving that whatever the white folk were doing (solving crimes, fighting wars, inventing the telescope, being a teacher or a parent), black people could do just as well.

Well, we'd say, after all they are only Americans (finger tapping on temple). A naive people, if not a simple-minded one. Think they won the war all by themselves. Never had an uncle who was District Officer in southern Nyasaland, or a grandad who surveyed the Punjab, or a great-grandad who sailed up the Bogue under the Manchu cannons. What can you expect? No conception of history, nor of geography either, for that matter.

We of the mother country (the conceit went on) were equipped by our long history and our former imperial responsibilites to take a larger, more balanced view of the human race.

Slavery? Why, every English child used to be taught the story of Pope Gregory the Great, before he became Pope (this was in the years a.d. 585-590), strolling around the slave market at Rome when he saw two beautiful fair-haired children for sale. "What kind of people are you?" he asked them. "Angli," they replied in impeccable Latin (hey, I'm just telling it the way I heard it), which means "English." To which the soon-to-be-Pontiff replied: "Non Angli sed angeli." ("Not English but angels.") Then, when he got to be Pope, he sent Augustine over to convert us, and England became a Christian country.

See, slavery's just one of those things that can happen to anybody when History turns her back on your people for a century or so. A hundred and fifty years before Gregory, in fact, when the fortunes of the British (the English had not yet arrived) were at a particularly low ebb, the Scots (who at that point were living in Ireland — medieval British history can be really hard to follow) used to conduct slave raids across the Irish Channel, with such success that "British Slave Girl" was a unit of currency in Ireland, the cumal, equivalent to three cows. So it goes. What's the fuss about?

That was then, and this is 2001. The British educational system collapsed at some point when I was out of the country, and you will now walk a long mile on British streets before you meet anyone under 30 who could place Gregory the Great in the correct millennium. The British Empire — the greatest civilizing enterprise the world has ever seen — is nowadays regarded by Britons, on the extremely rare occasions they think about it at all, with a mixture of guilt and embarrassment.

Our mental horizons have dwindled to the point at which they can encompass very little more than the latest health scare and the latest pop group. Far from being in any position to scoff at Americans, we have embraced the very worst thing your nation ever produced: Political Correctness, the greatest barbarizing force the world has ever seen, just possibly excepting Attila's horde. In the matter of race, the entire Anglo-Saxon world has now taken leave of its senses.

The evidences of this dismal truth are abundant. I could fill a book with them. (Peter Hitchens has in fact done so: the book is titled The Aboliton of Britain.)

Just to give you a flavor of what is going on over there in the sceptered isle, I offer the following. It helps if you know that in BritPC mentality, the Irish play much the same role that black people do in the U.S. version: downtrodden, historically wronged, suffered nobly, etc. etc., we are GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY.

OK, here you go, and I swear I haven't made this up. I have, in fact, copied it verbatim from the London Daily Telegraph of January 17th, only omitting some localisms I can't be bothered to explain. Anglophile conservatives, read it and weep. ("Irish-American" bores, who want to tranquillize me with a 3,000-word lecture on the Saxon Yoke and the wickedness of Oliver Cromwell … go fake a flying shillelagh.)

A rise of 218 in the number of ethnic minority officers in the Metropolitan Police consisted of 214 of Irish and other Caucasian origins and only four from other races, it was disclosed yesterday. Sir John Stevens, the Met Commissioner, was said last night to be "furious" over the release of inaccurate figures. He ordered an urgent inquiry into what was described as a "cock-up."

Ethnic minority representation is a highly sensitive issue in the Met … At the end of September figures were released showing that ethnic minority numbers had risen by 218 in the previous six months. But Paul Wiles, director of research, development, and statistics for the Home Office, said yesterday that the Met had included in that figure 214 officers described as "white Irish" and "other white," including nationalities such as Australians.

Those 214 should never have been included and the true increase was four, from 1,009 to 1,013. This reduced the overall national increase from an apparent 11.4 per cent to 3.6 per cent. Mr Wiles added: "I am deeply concerned about these errors."