PETER HITCHENS: Only strong borders and pride in our civilisation can save us now

Every educated and intelligent person glories in the freedom of women in Western societies to exercise their talents to the full, and their freedom to walk safely in the streets of our great cities.

So what are the enlightened minds of the Left to do when news comes of revolting assaults on women in front of Cologne Cathedral, one of the jewels of European Christian culture in one of Germany’s proudest cities? And how are they to react when growing evidence suggests that at least some of the culprits are newly arrived migrants from the Muslim world?

With mumbled embarrassment and nasty jibes against those who have long opposed uncontrolled mass migration, that’s how.

Police drive back right-wing demonstrators with a water cannon in Cologne in the wake of the sexual assaults around Cologne's main station on New Year's Eve

 As an illustration, I had a radio clash with the Guardian writer Gaby Hinsliff on Friday after she admitted that ‘liberals like me are reluctant to talk about it’. While rightly chiding her own side, she couldn’t resist dismissing opponents of mass migration as dinosaurs and their views as ‘frothing rage’. Here is the news, Ms Hinsliff. Those who for many years warned against non-selective mass immigration (and were dismissed as bigoted dinosaurs by people like her) were concerned about just this sort of problem.

 If migrants from other cultures arrive too fast and in numbers too great for society to absorb and integrate them, they begin to impose those cultures on the host country. Germany is witnessing this now, and so are we.

The louder our governments shout about their dedication to fighting Islamist extremism, the readier they are to Islamise our own society. The sheer size of the Muslim population compels them to do so.

Police used water cannon and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse some of the more aggressive protester

 Protests in Cologne over sexual assaults on women

 That is why exams in England are to be moved to accommodate Muslim pupils taking part in the Ramadan fast. And it is why the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, reacted to the first reports of women being molested in her city by advising them: ‘It is always possible to keep a certain distance that is longer than an arm’s length.’

Of course she has now been mocked so much that she has backtracked. But the point is that it was her first instinct, and what she really felt.

Radical multicultural types will in the end destroy the things they claim to like, because they don’t understand that liberty and reasonable equality are features of stable, free, conservative societies based on Christian ideas, which guard their borders and are proud of their civilisation.

The people who really want to defend our enlightened society, in the end, are dinosaurs like me.

 Where’s the fury about these beheadings?

I have endured endless pious lectures about the wickedness of Vladimir Putin and Syria’s President Assad from supporters of the Government’s wild and ignorant foreign policy.

So how startling it was to see the same people mute themselves when Saudi Arabia, now seemingly Britain’s closest ally, beheaded 47 people on one day.

Some of these victims were no doubt real criminals, though the expression ‘Saudi justice system’ is a grim and bloodstained joke, so we cannot be sure of the guilt of the condemned. But some were political dissenters.

Yet a government that squawks mightily over every Islamic State death video was strangely measured over these very similar events, which incidentally menace the peace of the Middle East.

I took a careful look at Government statements. They all had the same odd, weak theme. We condemn the death penalty, whoever carries it out.

David Cameron said: ‘We condemn and do not support the death penalty in any circumstances and that includes Saudi Arabia.’

The Foreign Office said: ‘The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country.’

So, as far as Mr Cameron and the Foreign Office are concerned, the beheading of a political opponent after a jury-less, unfair trial in a country with no free press is just the same as the execution in Texas of a bloody murderer convicted after due process by an independent jury of free men and women under the scrutiny of a free press. And we condemn them both equally. And that’s all we’re going to say. Now, would you like to buy some aeroplanes?

Well, they don’t speak for me. I’d much rather hang convicted heinous killers than bomb foreign countries (there’s less chance of killing innocent people).

I have used the word ‘feeble’ so many times to describe this Government that the poor thing is quite exhausted and I have had to send it on holiday.

Dave and the invisible Tory disaster

Both our big political parties are badly divided, but somehow or other David Cameron’s splitting pains get much less attention than Jeremy Corbyn’s.

For instance, a BBC News programme last week arranged for some Blairite nobody to resign from his non-job, live on air. This event, plainly aimed at damaging Mr Corbyn, hardly fits in with the Corporation’s duty to be impartial.

The fact that most Labour MPs can’t stand Mr Corbyn isn’t news. Next they’ll be revealing to us that Ted Heath couldn’t abide Margaret Thatcher. We know.

The fact that most Labour MPs can't stand Mr Corbyn isn't news. Next they'll be revealing to us that Ted Heath couldn't abide Margaret Thatcher The fact that most Labour MPs can't stand Mr Corbyn isn't news. Next they'll be revealing to us that Ted Heath couldn't abide Margaret Thatcher

 Mr Cameron is an EU-loving, pro-immigration, anti-grammar-school, politically correct social and economic liberal

 What seemed like a century of speculation on whether Dave Who had been sacked to make way for Fred Whatsit wasn’t really justified. But of course the BBC isn’t impartial and its idea of what is news is tinged with pink. It’s crammed with shameless Leftists from cellar to chimney. So if the BBC is actively helping the Tories, which it does these days, then that must mean the Tories are now the main party of the Left.

And that’s Mr Cameron’s problem. He’s an EU-loving, pro-immigration, anti-grammar-school, politically correct social and economic liberal.

His MPs are mostly the same, though they do a bit of pseudo-conservative braying at elections. But his voters and his remaining party members are patriotic real conservatives. He hoped to bandage this rupture by promising the EU referendum. But now he has actually been forced to keep this promise, it isn’t helping much.

If he does let Ministers campaign on both sides, it will quickly be clear that hardly any of the Tory top brass, and not many of the bottom brass, genuinely want to leave the EU. They don’t mind criticising it a bit, but they won’t quit, and they won’t fight to do so.

Most of them would rather be gagged, so they can pretend to be straining against the leash. How long can the Tory Party stay in one piece, when its leadership and its core vote are so utterly divided?

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