DERB'S FEBRUARY DIARY [9 ITEMS!]: Immigration Patriot Triumphalism? Mass Deportations? Uhtceare? ETC. ETC!!!
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 Words of caution.     I think I’m detecting some faint stirrings of triumphalism among my fellow immigration restrictionists.

My boss Peter Brimelow is smiling over at X about an exit poll from the February 24th South Carolina primary. Immigration led as ”Most important issue” with 41 percent of those polled. Peter: ”VDARE has waited a long time for this.”

Numbers like that are good to see, I agree. As’s designated pessimist, though, I feel bound to offer some words of caution. With all proper respect to the boss, triumphalism may be premature.

The impulse to mass immigration among the elites of Western nations is a mighty and relentless force, never to be underestimated. For poll numbers like those South Carolina ones to translate into national policy, you need a Ruling Class that actually likes the people it rules, or at a minimum doesn’t hate them. We don’t currently have a Ruling Class like that.

I am sure Peter remembers, as I do, the great surge of popular support for British politician Enoch Powell following his ”Rivers of Blood” speech on April 20th, 1968. That was the speech in which Powell warned against the downsides of mass Third World immigration. There is a good account of the speech and its consequences in Chapter 11 of Simon Heffer’s biography of Powell.

Britain’s political Establishment was shocked by the widespread public support for Powell. Heffer gives us a quote from Richard Crossman, then leader of the Labour Party–controlled House of Commons, later to become editor of the Establishment-Leftist weekly New Statesman:

Crossman, summing up the whirlwind of the preceding week in his diary for 27 April, noted that Powell had ”stirred up the nearest thing to a mass movement since the 1930s … Enoch is stimulating the real revolt of the masses … he has changed the whole shape of politics overnight … it has been the real Labour core, the illiterate industrial proletariat who have turned up in strength and revolted against the literate.

(That diary entry of Crossman’s deserves pride of place in a catalog of educated progressives [Crossman was the son of a judge, educated at Winchester College] expressing their fear and disgust at the revealed preferences of filthy dimwitted gap-toothed Bible-thumping homophobic commoners, should anyone compile such a catalog.)

The polling on Powell’s great speech? From that same biography:

At the end of April, Gallup had undertaken a survey that showed beyond question that Powell had spoken for Britain. Of those questioned, 74 percent agreed with what he had said and only 15 percent disagreed … Before the Birmingham speech only 1 percent of those questioned had felt Powell would be the right man to replace [Tory Party leader Edward] Heath were there a vacancy … Now Powell, with 24 percent, was the clear favourite …

On May 9th, just three weeks after Powell’s speech, there were local elections. Heffer tells us that:

Officially, the main parties steered clear of immigration. Unofficially, it dominated the campaign. Conservative [Party] candidates and their helpers encountered mass support for Powell, and found it helping their cause.

Hoo-ee! With those great poll numbers and that ”mass support” for an immigration-restrictionist politician, immigration must have been dramatically cut back in following years, right? Today, 56 years on from Powell’s speech, the demography of Britain should be very little changed from what it was in 1968, right?

Wrong! and wrong! The net migration numbers (immigration minus emigration) actually crept up a bit in 1969, the year following Powell’s speech. Then they took off through the 1970s and soared like a rocket through the 1990s and 2000s.

They are still way higher than in 1968. The net rate for this year is running at two and a quarter per thousand of Britain’s population. The rate in 1968 was negative zero point three per thousand—that is, a net e-migration.

The number for illegal immigration in its most obvious form—I mean, crossing the English Channel in boats as opposed to just overstaying a visa—was thirty thousand last year, and it’s on the same track so far this year.

Meanwhile those 56 years of null-P—that is, of ignoring Enoch Powell’s logic and its huge base of public support—have worked their demographic magic. Politicians, educators, and opinion leaders in Britain today cower in their homes and offices fearing assaults by Islamic radicals, mainly immigrants or descendants thereof. 

One Member of Parliament has already been assassinated by a descendant of Somali immigrants; and that was before the passions unleashed by the Hamas attack on Israel and Israel’s response.

So: a smile and a chuckle over those South Carolina poll numbers? Sure, I’m smiling too. Triumphalism? Not yet.


 Mass deportations?     Chatting with like-minded friends, I think a further spur to optimism has been the frequency with which the phrase ”mass deportations” has been showing up lately in news reports from both here and Europe.

I’m fine with mass deportation as an idea, done humanely of course; but there are serious obstacles to it ever being done.

What if the country of origin won’t accept repatriated settlers? China is already ”uncooperative” about repatriations. Venezuela seems to be following China’s example. No doubt other countries are too, or soon will. I suppose we could bribe them; but once you start doing that it becomes a business model for the bribe recipient.

And what if nation of origin is not known? A major problem for Europe and Britain is that illegals dump their identity documents in the Mediterranean or the English Channel precisely to conceal their nationality and thus prevent deportation.

To judge from TV coverage at our southern border, illegals coming into the U.S.A. seem not to mind naming their home country to inquirers; but this could easily change on instructions from the smugglers.

Sure, Dwight Eisenhower carried out mass deportations in 1954. That was only of Mexicans, though; and Ike’s U.S.A. was much less lawyered up than we are today, its citizenry much less addled with pathological altruism.

As my colleague ”Former Agent” noted last November:

It has always been a calculation of the Left that once a person is here, it is very hard and expensive to deport them. Things get tied up in court. The aliens have kids in the United States, get married and so on. Plus, often their home countries don’t want them back, let alone the logistical problem of flying someone to Uganda, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, or some other armpit of the world.

I believe that if we persevere we can stop mass immigration; but I seriously doubt we shall ever deport the millions (tens of millions?) of illegal settler-colonists already here.


 Physical therapy    The broken ankle is mending OK, many thanks to readers who’ve asked.

As forecast in my February 2nd Radio Derb I had a date with the orthopedic surgeon February 5th. He gave me high marks and graduated me from two crutches to one, and from that huge surgical boot to a nifty ankle brace.

He also gave me a prescription for physical therapy that I can fill at any one of a number of local establishments. Three weeks later, I have not yet done so.

Part of that is a lifelong skepticism about anything with ”therapy” in its name. I don’t see the point. Psychotherapy? Been there, done that.

I have a home gym where I can do lifting and stretching exercises. Is a physical therapist going to tell me anything I can’t figure out for myself, or learn from YouTube?

My reluctance has generated domestic discord, though. My lady thinks I should sign up for physical therapy. She’s been nagging me relentlessly about it. I know from experience that she can, if she persists, eventually break my will.

Am I being foolishly stubborn? I’d appreciate readers’ opinions.


 Better than ”chocolate.”     Hate email isn’t much of a thing nowadays—not as much of a thing as it used to be when the internet was young.

I still occasionally get ’em, though. In my February 23rd podcast I passed some comments about a town hall meeting held by New York City Mayor Eric Adams in January. (The VDAREcom editors distilled them into a post at the website.) Extract:

The main point of the meeting was for Mayor Adams to blame his dismal showing in opinions polls on racism. In aid of that he asked five of his Deputy Mayors to stand and show themselves.

Every one was a female. One was a light-skinned Indian lady. The other four were light-skinned blacks—mulattos or quadroons, two bearing Hispanic names.

Mayor Adams’ punch line, received with much applause: ”Have you ever seen this much chocolate leading the city of New York?”

That got me the following short email blast.

Moron using words like quadroon. The only race is human. F*** vdare.

(My asterisks; the emailer’s orthography and grammar.)

The emailer is wrong, of course. ”Human” is the name of a species. Like every other species with populations long distant from each other, each population mostly inbreeding for thousands of generations, ours has developed races that differ statistically from each other in heritable traits. Pygmies short, Europeans tall—see?

That’s not good, or bad, or a justification for cruelty, or crazy or shameful to talk about: it’s just biology 101.

And if it’s not shameful to talk about race, we need a vocabulary to talk about it with. The mass neurosis about race that has fogged up the Western world this past few decades has badly depleted this vocabulary.

Take that ”light-skinned Indian lady,” for example. (Meera C. Joshi, right) Until the 1970s British people and English-speaking Indians would have referred to her as ”Eurasian,” a word left over from British India. I used to know an elderly Eurasian couple in London, both the issue of white-nonwhite unions in their native Ceylon. Londoners of their own generation routinely referred to them as ”Eurasian,” with no implied negativity that I can recall.

Probably the use of that term would raise eyebrows in London nowadays. In the USA I think people would be baffled by it.

Outside the West, in Singapore for example, the word ”Eurasian” is still used in that easygoing simply descriptive way.

That ”outside the West” actually needs some qualification. Brazil is in the West, isn’t it? Wikipedia:

Two … surveys made more than 20 years apart, the 1976 National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) and the July 1998 Monthly Employment Survey (PME), have been analyzed to assess how Brazilians think of themselves in racial terms … The 1976 PNAD found that people responded with a total of 136 different terms to the question about race; the July 1998 PME found 143. However, most of these terms are used by small numbers of people.

Small numbers, OK; but that’s still an impressive quantity of racial identities.

So having said ”light-skinned blacks” in reference to Eric Adams’ Deputy Mayors I thought I would add something clarifying for listeners who were wondering how light-skinned the ladies were, so I added ”mulattos or quadroons,” extending a vague expression to something a tad more precise. How is that wrong? Isn’t it what language is for?

My descriptors were at least more precise than Eric Adams’ ”chocolate.” None of the ladies he advertised had a skin color anything remotely like chocolate.

Caramel, perhaps …


 Natural selection for uhtceare?     The more words there are available in our language, the more precise can be our descriptions of reality. If you know the word ”quadroon” and can tolerate a stern caution from the Woke Police any time you use it, you are better equipped to describe the appearance of your fellow men and women.

On the other hand the more words there are available in our language, the more of our precious time we have to give up to learning words. That’s a chore; so while new words for new things are constantly being taken in, some corresponding number of old words fall out of use altogether.

Your go-to guy here is Anglicist Mark Forsyth. (And yes: ”Anglicist” with the meaning ”an expert in the English language” seems to be one of the casualties I just referred to, judging from the word frequency indicators in Collins English Dictionary.)

In 2013 Forsyth published a book titled Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language. In it he arranged a good selection of those lost words according to what hour of the day you might need them. That’s the ”Horo-,” see? From the Greek and Latin hora, ”the time of day.”

As a word lover myself, I wish I could tell you I bought Horologicon the day it came out in 2013 and read it right through at one sitting. Somehow, though, I missed it entirely. I’d never heard of Mark Forsyth until I followed a link in Ed West’s column (Be not idle…, Wrong Side Of History SubStack, January 30, 2024).

That link actually concerned one particular word from Forsyth’s book: uhtceare. It’s an Old English word that refers to anxiety experienced just before dawn. It describes that moment when you wake up too early and can’t get back to sleep, no matter how tired you are, because you’re worried about the day to come.

”Uhtceare” is pronounced either ”oot-chay-ah-ray” or ”oot-kay-ah-ray,” depending on whether you believe Wikipedia or YouTube. In either case there is a major stress on the first syllable, a minor stress on the third.

There is something to be said for either pronunciation. I favor the first, as academic readers of Old English most often render ”cea” as ”chay-ah” or ”cheh-ah,”

I suppose a claim can be made for the second on grounds of consonantal fidelity, as the ”ceare” part of ”uhtceare” eventually became the modern English word ”care.” Consonantal fidelity, however, is by no means a rule in language evolution. If it were, ”Jacob” would never have morphed into ”James.”

I took a liking to this word ”uhtceare” and wondered whether I could find some way to inflict it on my family. ”Sorry to keep yawning, Honey. I had uhtceare from thinking about today’s Zoom meeting …”

While I was pondering strategy, however, something else floated up from the depths of memory; something that got me speculating that perhaps uhtceare—the thing, not the word—might have deep origins in human prehistory.

What had floated up was the recollection of having read, years ago, some anthropologist’s account of warfare in primitive hunter-gatherer societies.

One of the commonest styles of warfare, the author had told me, was raiding; and the first light of day, when people of the enemy village were just stirring from their beds, was a popular time to attack.

A frequent manner of death for hunter-gatherer males was—and I suppose still is in the depths of the Amazon basin or the New Guinea highlands—to be speared while emerging from one’s hut to take the day’s first leak.

Where did I read that? Possibly in  Lawrence Keeley’s War Before Civilization. Keeley says in Chapter 10 that the Auyana of New Guinea  ”declared that life was much better after pacification because now they could go out to urinate in the morning without fear of ambush.” (That bit about getting offed when looking forward to the day’s first bladder relief is hard to forget, especially at my age when … never mind.)

Keeley writes:

The most common form of combat employed in primitive warfare but little used in formal civilized warfare has been small raids or ambushes. These have usually involved having a handful of men sneak into enemy territory to kill one or a few people on an encounter basis or by means of some more elaborate ambush. Women and children have commonly been killed in such raids …

One common raiding technique (favored by groups as diverse as the Bering Straits Eskimo and the Mae Enga of New Guinea) consisted of quietly surrounding enemy houses just before dawn and killing the occupants by thrusting spears through the flimsy walls, shooting arrows through doorways and smoke holes, or firing as the victims emerged after the structure had been set afire. 
War Before Civilization by Lawrence H. Keeley, Chapter 4

Who would be more likely to survive in such a dawn raid on his village? A possible answer: Villagers with a genetic predisposition (if there is one) to uhtceare. So perhaps natural selection is in play, making uhtceare steadily more common through prehistory.

One more question: Did the Hamas leaders who planned the October 7th raid know how prehistoric their strategy was?


 Generating power in El Salvador.     This month I attended a private talk given by Francis Menton, proprietor of the ”Manhattan Contrarian” blog. Menton’s topic was climate change, about which he is, like me, deeply skeptical.

He poured much scorn on the notion that wind- and sunlight-generated energy, with surplus capacity stored in batteries for sunless and windless conditions, could satisfy demand. He has studied the numbers and I found his arguments persuasive even discounting, as best one ever can in such situations, my predisposed inclination to agree with him.

It happened that I had that afternoon been browsing the achievements of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele. As I told listeners to my February 9th podcast:

This is the guy who, since taking office five years ago, has transformed El Salvador from the most violent state in the world to the safest in all of the Americas.

How did he do it? By massively expanding prison capacity then incarcerating anyone cops tagged as a gang member. Quote from the New York Times, February 8th:  ”Since March 2022, when Mr. Bukele declared a state of emergency that suspended basic civil liberties, security forces have locked up roughly 75,000 people. A staggering one in 45 adults is now in prison.”

In the course of my browsing I came across several pictures of those gangbangers squatting or kneeling in endless ranks and files, wearing nothing but shorts, hands secured behind their backs, heads bowed, in those tremendous new prisons Bukele has built.

Those pictures were still hovering at the edges of my mind as I listened to Francis Menton talk about energy generation. Suddenly I had an inspiration—a stroke of genius which I now offer to the world free of charge. You’re welcome!

My inspiration: Why not use those tens of thousands of convicts for energy generation? Working treadmills or pumps for twelve or fourteen hours a day, surely 75,000 fit young men could produce enough watts—kilowatts, megawatts, whatever—to make a serious dent in El Salvador’s energy requirements.

What would they be doing otherwise? Breaking rocks? Moping in their cells? Causing trouble for the corrections officers? Buggering each other? Under my plan they would at least be contributing positively to the general welfare.

And then we in the U.S.A., when we return at last to the practice of incarcerating criminals for long stretches of time—as we surely must, sooner or later (please let it be sooner!)—we shall be able to learn from El Salvador’s experience and have a whole new clean energy source ourselves!

An audience member who claimed expertise in the subject pooh-poohed my suggestion. One person working a treadmill, he said, could just barely produce enough energy to keep a single light bulb alight. I think he was just grandstanding, though.

Francis Menton smiled indulgently, then moved on to another topic.

There is no respect for genius nowadays in America. I rest my hopes with President Bukele. Does anyone know how I can get in touch with him?


 The ignorance of the Tutsis.     Our Tutsi elites, including their sub-elite of media professionals, are stunningly ignorant of how we Hutus—normal people living among normal people—think and converse. This was on unusually plain display February 16th.

The occasion here was Bill Maher’s HBO show Real Time. Ann Coulter was one of the guests.

A major news event of that week had been the Kansas City Super Bowl parade shooting on February 14th that left one woman dead and 22 other people injured, most of them children.

Maher observed that: ”I mean … we don’t know who did this shooting, by the way, the Super Bowl shooting.” Ann’s response generated much gasping and swooning among the Tutsis.

Coulter:  ”We have some idea.”

Maher:  ”What?”

Coulter:  ”If it were a white man shooting, we’d know.”

Maher:  ”Well, we don’t know. But …”

Coulter:  ”That’s how we know it’s not a white man, I can tell you that much”

Maher:  ”Do you think they were oppressing [sic] that reporting?”

Coulter:  ”They wouldn’t tell us about the transgender woman who shot up the Christian school for, what, like … a year? Oh, San Bernardino, out here. Remember the crazy terrorist Muslims? That’s when I first noticed: ’Hmm, they’re not telling us who it is. Not a white male!’ The longer they go without telling you, it’s not a white male.”

[Did Ann mis-speak there? I don’t know about other news outlets, but my New York Post identified the March 2023 Nashville shooter as transgender, with a photograph, the day after the shooting. Possibly Ann had a different event in mind.]

Maher:  ”OK … Well, we don’t … For this moment … for right now, as of Friday night February 16th … don’t …”

Coulter:  ”We know.”

Maher:  ”We don’t officially know. OK, you know: you have special powers.” [Laughter, applause.]

As many commenters have observed since, the reticence of the Regime Media here was in all-too-clear contrast with the speed with which we learned the names and races of Kyle Rittenhouse and Nick Sandmann.

In the Rittenhouse case it was even put about, falsely, that the people shot by this young white man were black, so desperately hungry are the media for news stories about whites committing violence against blacks. In fact white-on-black violence is extremely rare in 21st-century America; but hey, Emmett Till!

Down among the Hutus here the thing that Ann Coulter said has been common currency for at least thirty years, to my certain knowledge. I aired that fact in my 2009 book We Are Doomed.

Here I was in Chapter 6 writing about violence in schools and the reluctance of news outlets to report demographic factors in these and other criminal events.

Of course they very rarely do, believing these things best left unsaid. The assumption is, that if not told these things, the great slack-jawed, dimwitted, unwashed mass of Americans will make no assumptions of their own. Yet in fact every American can decode the subtext of reports like: ”The robber was described as a tall man in his thirties.” Reporters should get out more.

I came home from work on the Long Island Railroad one day in December 1993. My train was right behind the one in which Colin Ferguson went berserk and shot 25 people. We were held up for a long time, and there were no cell phones. My poor wife was at home, watching news of the shooting on TV. For all she knew, I might have been among the dead.

Kind neighbors came round to keep her company. Telling me about it afterwards, she remarked: ”They kept saying the same thing: ’It must be a black guy. If it was a white guy, they would have told us …’”)  [We Are Doomed, Chapter 6]


 Nostalgia Corner.     Wait: There’s still an ”allotment community”?

Apparently so. Headline from the London Daily Mail, February 14th: Inside the green-fingered fraternity that’s descended into mudslinging.  Subheading: ”How allotment community has been rocked by allegations of bullying, racism and URINATION among plot holders.”

For my American readers I should explain about allotments.

Here is a close-up from the Ordnance Survey, the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The width of the clip, east to west, is a mile and a half. It shows the place in the English East Midlands where I grew up from ages 3 to 18, as it was in 1950.

Around the center of the clip you can, if you peer closely, discern the word ”Allotments” with, just below it, a structure labeled ”Smallpox Hospital.”

Above the word ”Allotments,” angled down somewhat from west to east, is a long straight street. My family’s house was on the north side of that street about a quarter of the way down. If I crossed my street heading south and passed through houses on the south side, I was in ”Allotments.”

I actually did this many hundreds of times. There was no risk to my health, I hasten to add: the Smallpox Hospital had fallen out of use. In any case we kids were too scared to explore it. Our parents had issued stern warnings to stay well clear of the place as the smallpox germs were likely still lurking there.

The allotments were small patches of town-owned land that residents of the neighborhood could use for growing vegetables or fruit.

We lived in public housing, and I believe title to an allotment was included in the rent we paid to the town.

Actually our houses all had ample gardens, so I don’t know why we were also given allotments. Whatever the reason, the men of the neighborhood were glad to have them. This was baby-boom Britain: an allotment was a great place to get away for a couple of hours from a house full of kids—one of my neighbors had twelve (kids, not allotments).

Having explained all that, I am now sunk in nostalgia, in the sights and sounds of childhood, and don’t feel much inclined to follow up that Daily Mail story I linked to. It’s there at the link if you want to read it.

”Bullying, racism and URINATION”?

There was none of that in our allotments. The only delinquency I remember was occasional raids by gypsies stealing our produce and any tools we’d carelessly left lying around. Not enough uhtceare among our menfolk, perhaps.

I will, however, just add that if you look to the west side of that clip you will see Hunsbury Hill, an old Iron Age fort. The locals invariably referred to it as ”Danes’ Camp,” from a folk memory of the Vikings having parked there in their ninth-century razzia through eastern England. (Some uhtceare among the locals would really have come in handy back then.)

And on the east side of the clip there is Queen Eleanor’s Cross, erected by Edward Longshanks some time in the 1290s as a memorial to his Queen, Eleanor of Castile.

That’s how it was, growing up in England: structures a millennium or two old just a few hundred yards to your east and your west. And allotments. I remember, I remember.


 Math Corner.     The USA Junior Mathematical Olympiad (USAJMO) is held every year in March for high school students in grade 10 or below. Here’s a brainteaser from last year’s competition.

Brainteaser:  Find all triples of positive integers (xyz) that satisfy the equation

     2(x + y + z + 2xyz)² =  (2xy + 2yz + 2zx + 1)² + 2023


John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.

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