Friday, November 16, 2007

A revolving turnstile in the UK
Emigration and immigration are both heavy. As I’ve written before, and I never would have guessed it living there 20 years ago when Poland was mysteriously behind the Iron Curtain FDR and Churchill helped build around it at Yalta (and indeed in World War II), the RC Church there is turning Polish as the younger Irish no longer practise. As there are generations of English with no religion (not Chreasters nor hatch, match and despatch, no religion — the lower classes have been irreligious since the Industrial Revolution and the upper since the ‘Enlightenment’) perhaps the last Catholic tolerant-conservative Englishman will make and enjoy gołąbki and pierogi as well as enjoy sausage rolls, pasties, Newcastle Brown, cold buildings, ‘Corrie’, ‘EastEnders’ and ironic humour.

There’s what an old friend described as a creepy self-awareness among uppers — the university man who knows what the name of his mediæval college means and says non serviam.

Between 1853 and 1913, more than 13 million British citizens left, mainly for North America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.

Some came back; but cumulative net emigration was equivalent to 13 per cent of the population, mostly those aged between 18 and 45.

However, there was little immigration then: the population grew because of a high birth rate.
Back when the Anglican and Free Churches agreed with the big Catholic churches, then Eastern as well as Western (the Pope has held the fort on this so 21st-century people think it’s peculiarly RC), that contraception is out of the question.

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