There is perhaps a subtle irony in the fact, that a country, which is supposedly so valued by so many outsiders, will almost inevitably be destroyed by them, such is their determination and desire to become part of it.
I well remember a friend who lived in a beautiful little Victorian Spa town in Mid Wales telling me about the hundreds of visitors who regularly visited his hometown every year to marvel at the architecture of a bygone age, set in the tranquillity of the Welsh countryside; and the many who wished that they too could live in this same rural idyll away from the noise, crime and pollution of the various English towns and cities that lay just across the other side of the border. And some of these same people actually did go on to make the move, from urban conurbation to rural community, selling off their extremely expensive city homes; and purchasing properties and land, where they hoped to create their own little piece of heaven on earth, just as they'd imagined when they first visited the area a few years earlier.
In fact, before long, so many of these city dwelling visitors had relocated themselves into the small Victorian Spa town that virtually all of the existing housing stocks had been exhausted; and in order to accommodate even more of these largely English settlers, increasing amounts of farming land, the very same pastures that had helped create the rural idyll in the first place, was sold to housing developers, who very quickly began to build new housing estates to accommodate all of the new residents. These same new properties all required new utilities, new roads and new shops, all built to cater for the growing population, that within a decade or so, had fundamentally destroyed the rural idyll that every one of the visitors and foreign incomers had been so desperate to be a part of in the first place.
In a similar manner, but on a much larger scale, one could so easily make a comparison between what happened to that small Mid Wales Spa town and what is currently happening to Britain. Ask the economic migrant or the political refugee from almost anywhere in the world where their preferred destination would be and there's a fair chance that a significant proportion, if given that choice, would choose to come and settle in Britain, often for the widest variety of reasons. It might be because they've heard that our native people are highly amiable, because we have beautiful countryside, because we're a democracy, because we don't stigmatise or persecute minorities, because there are lots of employment opportunities, because we offer generous welfare benefits to the poor, or because we offer the disenfranchised and the dispossessed the chance of a new start in life regardless of their past. In fact, name your reason for people to choose to leave their homelands and no doubt some or other migrant or refugee has used it as a reason to come to Britain.
Putting aside the basic fact, that per kilometre, the United Kingdom is the third most populated country in all of Western Europe, were it simply a case of actual physical "space", then in all likelihood our country could doubtless accommodate millions more than it does at present. In truth however, the matter of physical space, or actual room, is not quite that simple, as one also needs to consider the farmland, the rivers, the buildings, the transport links, the airports, the houses, the business parks, the forests, the parks, the cities and the towns that make a modern country what they are and what they need to provide to their indigenous peoples. Were we simply able to live shoulder to shoulder, with no basic need for heat, light, shelter, food, healthcare, transport, entertainment or education, then quite obviously we could quite probably fit tens of millions of extra people onto our little island home, only knowing that our limits were reached when the people on the outer edges of our communities began falling off our coastline and into the seas that surround us.
In the real world though, people do not live like that and neither would we expect to, or indeed like to. Even the most generous, the most naive amongst us, must recognise that limits on our population are necessary, if only to ensure that we can adequately feed, house, educate, transport, warm, defend, entertain and employ ourselves. Even though it might be argued that we have plenty of spare room in Britain, in order to easily accommodate the extra 200,000 migrants and refugees who come into our country each and every year, it's perhaps worth bearing in mind that each and every one of these newcomers has to be fed, housed, employed, cared for, transported around and in some cases educated, from the very limited resources we have, but that were never intended to cope with such huge additional numbers of users.
Obviously we can build new homes, schools, hospitals, motorways, railways, airports, shops and offices; just as we can employ more doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, teachers, classroom assistants, nursery nurses and policemen, but at what additional cost to our existing citizens, as well as our national exchequer and our native environment? Just how long would it be before large parts of Britain would start to resemble that Victorian Spa town in Mid Wales, with its rapidly diminishing natural environment being slowly but surely replaced by busy commuter routes; and growing suburban sprawl, complete with its associated accoutrements, like the schools, supermarkets and health centres that commonly attach themselves to such growing population centres. It's not so much a rural idyll anymore!
Other changes that often accompany such large scale migrations by outsiders to a particular area, or indeed country, is the almost instinctive desire for these strangers to surround themselves with familiar things from their previous lives. Consider the number of "urbanites" who initially proclaimed the raw beauty of the rural life in Mid Wales, who very quickly came to complain about the lack of facilities that they had become used to in the former city homes. No restaurants, no cinema, no big department stores, no high end brand stores, no burger bar, no fun pubs, no nightclubs; all of the sorts of things that one would never expect to see in the sort of rural idyll that they claimed to want for themselves, but that inevitably established themselves in the Welsh countryside in pursuit of their custom.
Likewise, most foreign refugees and migrants who come to Britain simply seem to pay lip service to the very same things that they claim drew them here in the first place. Instead of adopting the values of their new homeland and integrating themselves into British society, significant numbers of these same foreign incomers tend to isolate themselves within their own ethnic or national communities, becoming part of the disparate foreign ghettoes that regularly establish themselves within our bigger towns and cities. Rather than support and use British based businesses, they often choose to establish their own, complete with foreign language signs, as a means of further segregating themselves from the surrounding British based community. They instil their own cultural histories and traditional values into their children, most of whom were born here in the UK, rather than those of their adopted British homeland, thereby undermining the cultural heritage of our own country, yet would still deliberately and dishonestly claim to "love" everything about Britain, when in fact their actions and behaviour suggest otherwise.
Some migrants and refugees who reside here, not only actively dislike Britain and anything British, but can also occasionally bring with them their own inbred intolerances from their native homelands, be they cultural or religious, which are fundamentally alien to the British way of life, Sometimes these same natural prejudices can become engrained into the various foreign communities that exist within our national borders; and can sometimes cause even British-born nationals to commit criminal or otherwise intolerant acts, ostensibly on the basis of injustices, beliefs or teachings that have absolutely no place within British society; and yet we allow them to continue!
Clearly, it is absurd to expect that a Pole, a Romanian, a Frenchman, a German, an Indian, or a Chinese citizen, who wasn't actually born in Britain, to want to safeguard our historical or cultural heritage. Why would they? After all, that would be like expecting a Briton to protect theirs! And why would we do that? We have no ties or allegiances to their histories, or their cultures; and neither do they to ours! Migrants from our European neighbours are not here for any other reason, than it pays for them to be so. If it best suited or paid for them to leave tomorrow, they would be gone tomorrow; and on that basis alone, we should expect nothing more from them; and we certainly shouldn't expect them to protect or even respect our hard earned history and culture.
Like it or not, the British public appear to be facing a series of hard choices in the coming years. Do we choose to continue as we are, with an open door policy for anyone with an EU passport, a Commonwealth link or a personal hard luck story; or do we decide to say enough is enough, we're full for the next few years, until such time that we can bring some sort of order to our country's immigration policies? A break with our previous open door migration policies might also allow time for the various foreign communities within Britain to make a choice of their own, either to try and integrate more fully into the British way of life, or maybe, just maybe, to find a new home elsewhere, in a country that best suits their particular linguistic, cultural or religious needs.
In reality Britain is and never has been a promised land for everyone. We are and always have been a country and a people who have been shaped by our past. Our national awkwardness, though damned by some of our nearest European neighbours, might be thought to be based on our own national reluctance to change, which may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your own personal point of view. However, large scale unfettered and unregulated migration from elsewhere in the world will simply cause change to be imposed on us all, whether we want it or not. If Britain is any sort of promised land, then it was only ever meant to be so for the generations that came after those who paid the price of building it for us, not for the millions of international waifs and strays who would come to our country and rob us of the historical, cultural and religious inheritance that we were gifted by our forefathers.