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August 28th 2015 print

Peter Smith

Stay Calm, It’s Only Europe’s Death Knell

The Continent's leaders, most of them, apparently believe that more money must be provided to "refugees" countries of origin, thus lessening the incentive to leave. Surely, with a full-blown invasion well underway, only the simple-minded would deem this approach any kind of solution

refosI do my own casual surveys when I am away, as I have been these past few weeks in Britain. They are totally unscientific. Once in conversation I ask those around me — generally in pubs, I admit — what they think about this and that. For example, in the Labour heartland of working-class Liverpool there was little disquiet about nut-job Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. In fact, there was approval — the slight problem only that no-one had much knowledge of his policies. Printing money, leaving NATO, cozying up to Islamists and, the killer in current circumstances, of having a more lenient approach to admitting so-called refugees, were not top of my interlocutors’ minds or, in fact, anywhere in mind.

The ‘refugees’ crisis so far as I can tell is causing particular concern though not, I think, quite as much as the size of the problem warrants. Two exceptions were an ex-Royal Navy chap I met who wanted to herd them at the point of guns and ship them back, and a building-maintenance chap who thought that not only should Islam’s haters be deported but their whole families with them. On the edge, you might think, but a least they comprehended how great is the problem.

By the way, I put “refugees” in inverted commas because, as was the case of those who used to try making it to Australia before Messrs Abbott and Morrison hit their straps, most are clearly not escaping persecution. They are paying people smugglers to gain better economic prospects in Northern Europe.

To come back to the degree of national concern in the UK, one newspaper columnist in the Daily Express thought it amazing that a survey had found half the British people thought immigration is “one of the most important issues facing the country”. His amazement was that the other half didn’t, and that those that did regarded it as simply one issue among others. It is as though a survey in 1939 found that half the people thought Nazi Germany was one of the most important issues facing the country and the other half were more concerned about, say, shortages of bacon and butter. Is my analogy a complete stretch? Well, it might be a stretch but not, I would suggest, a complete one. However, the national mood will undoubtedly harden as the crisis unfolds.

In the other day’s morning’s paper – chose any recent morning – there was a story about Greece being overwhelmed by fleeing Syrians. A prospective figure of 160,000 heading for the Athens was quoted. Hungary is building a fence to prevent “refugees’’ coming through Serbia. This is public-spirited of them because the refugees don’t want to stay in Hungary. Once there, the EU’s Schengen Agreement allows them borderless travel to Northern Europe, which is where they want to go. Many want to go further, of course, and cross the Channel. No doubt many are succeeding. Reportedly, UK registered cars are being used to ferry refugees into the UK from France; apparently freight traffic is checked but tourist traffic not nearly so much.

In yesterday’s papers, the headlines were that over eight million migrants (those born overseas) live in Britain; and that doesn’t count what the Americans pointedly call “illegal aliens”. It is estimated 107,000 “refugees” arrived in Europe in July from Syria, Nigeria, Eritrea and Afghanistan, among other countries. And as one commentator ‘perceptively’ said, “it is only going to get worse with climate change.”

Television, and the BBC in particular, play down the crisis. This and the feeble political elite probably take the edge off the concern that would otherwise be reflected in the national mood. The TV news that I have seen tends to put emphasise on the UK’s “hard line” against the more generous approach of some other European countries, particularly Germany. The plight of “refugees” is emphasised, but no mention made of the plight of taxpayers who will have to feed, clothe and house them. And, perish the thought, no mention is made of the Muslim religious/cultural problem. There are plenty of close-ups of women (most in head scarfs) and children, when it is clear from crowd scenes that young men predominate – healthy and well-fed young men who ought to be trying to repair their own countries. If not them, who else?

Angela Merkel wants other European countries to do more; not surprisingly as Germany is being inundated. However, she has her priorities politically correct in criticising those of her countrymen who are loudly objecting to being invaded. What we are seeing is European suicide, with the political will that might otherwise exist to counter it having being effectively stymied. When national priorities should be foremost, the European Union brings palls of feckless indecision.

Germany’s answer is not to try to solve the problem; to stop the flow; to turn the boats around; to build high fences; to build offshore centres and make it clear that no illegal arrivals will ever settle in Germany. An Abbott-Morrison solution, in other words, is not on the cards. No, the answer appears to be to share the problem around. Well, there are plenty of refugees to go around so no European country need miss out – though those paying the more generous welfare benefits are likely to get larger shares.

At the UN, the Europeans apparently believe that more money must be provided to the “refugees’” countries of origin to lessen their incentive to leave. It is beyond belief that this kind of proposal is put forward with any seriousness. Surely, only the simple-minded would think it was any kind of solution.

Smoke is detected in the crowded theatre. It is nothing. No need to call the fire brigade yet.

Fire breaks out in the stalls. It will soon put itself out.

The fire spreads. Let’s form a committee to consider building safer theatres in future.

Keep calm, it will all turn out fine.

It won’t and I would expect that not even the BBC and Angela Merkel will be able to keep a lid for much longer on public outrage and electoral retribution.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [24]

  1. Jody says:

    I agree with you 100%. I wrote a much more extended response, based on my own experience, but this site said I had been “blocked”. This has happened lots of times before.

    • Jack Richards says:

      Getting “blocked” is a common event for anyone who challenges the Marxist narrative. Only yesterday I was denounced and then sin binned from Facebook for pointing out that the Green’s latest lie about being deported for damaging a wheelie bin under the new anti-terrorism laws is just that: a Lie. The Greens claim that the provision to revoke citizenship for “damaging Commonwealth property” means everything down to a wheelie bin or a plastic chair. According to them, you could also be deported and lose your citizenship for teaching someone how to use a computer and that person goes on to use said computer to give comfort to some organisation like IS.

  2. Bill Martin says:

    A couple of thoughts. First, a trite old but ever valid question: How many of the bleeding hearts – here, in Europe, anywhere – are offering to share their homes to provide lodging and board to the refugees they care so much about? Second, with most of the European governments being rather accommodating toward the increasing tide of humanity engulfing their countries, while their populations are more and more alarmed by the phenomenon, it would seem inevitable that sooner or later frustrated locals will become violent against the unwelcome newcomers. Ugly as that prospect sounds, it would be no more than people fighting to defend their culture, their livelihood and way of life, resorting to the only method left available to them.

  3. Jody says:

    I lived in Vienna for a year in 2011 and returned for 2 months this year. In that time things had declined; people were sleeping rough in Karlsplatz railway station; four years before the Polizei regularly patrolled the station. The looks on the faces of the Viennese this year told me all I needed to know!

    The Austrians do not want these people – very many told me that – but they’re afraid to speak “because of our history”. The younger people don’t care; they’re too busy with their iphones and dogs. Politics has been captured by fringe parties like the Greens and politicians see the immigrant vote as important for their re-election chances, PLUS there’s a lot of weakness and fear out their; Brendan O’Neill’s “Empire of Offense”.

    I cry buckets of tears when I think of Austria – it’s traditions and culture – and its Imperial city, rich with architecture, sophistication, high quality living and love of classical music. What is to become of it?

    And Merkel? She’s absolutely lost the plot. This is what she said just 5 years ago:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/17/angela-merkel-german-multiculturalism-failed

  4. Gogs says:

    I like this: “healthy and well-fed young men who ought to be trying to repair their own countries. If not them, who else?”
    Shouldn’t we be making some effort to encourage these economic migrants to spend their money on setting their own house in order, rather than spending it on people-smugglers to lead them to the land of milk and honey?
    The first step is to show them there is no honey on the table.

  5. Jody says:

    “No honey on the table”? Mass communications media show them there IS honey on the table, I would submit. And they see bleeding hearts welcoming them. What I find staggering is that each new week brings new figures showing the mass migration and people express surprise! It is beyond comprehension that naive “useful” idiots didn’t realize the numbers would grow and continue growing. Having participated in the problem, the bleeding hearts will soon start blaming the Right for all of this; anything to deflect their infantile understandings of the workings of the real world.

  6. Jack Richards says:

    All this hand-wringing over millions of “refugees” and yet I never hear anyone say anything about addressing the root cause of this tsunami. There are 3 million lined up to cross into Europe and probably another 100,000,000 packing their bags across the middle-east, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

    If you lived in a country like the Congo (formerly Zaire) or the Central African Republic or were a Bengali living in the slums of Dacca and earning around US$10/week (or less) why wouldn’t you take the chance and walk to Europe and head for Germany, Britain, Holland and Scandinavia where you can get $200/week or more plus free housing, medical, education, and so on for doing nothing at all other than getting there with your hand out and claim to be a persecuted minority?

    There is a lot of sugar on the European table while European leadership is paralysed with indecision and “philosophical” problems. The crunch is coming as the demonstration in Germany and elsewhere against this flood of free-loaders makes clear.

    It is worth noting that never in human history has a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-cultural country survived – they almost always explode in violence and bloodshed. Take a few recent examples: Rwanda where over a million Tutsi were exterminated by their Hutu neighbours in a matter on weeks; and Yugoslavia where the Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Bosnians, and Macedonians engaged in “ethnic cleansing” on an industrial scale.

    • Richard H says:

      Just a qualifier to that last sentiment: no multi etc has survived for any length of time – with a democratic government.

      I think the point was best expressed by author Jim Bennett: “Democracy, open borders, multiculturalism: pick any two.”

  7. Jody says:

    Political paralysis; apposite. However, I don’t believe the first world countries should have to solve the problems of the rest of the world to stop them flooding into Europe. Remember, all people are equal and if these countries haven’t advanced sufficiently it’s not because they are not equally intelligent, clever and creative like the rest of us but because it’s all our fault in the first world. Don’t you see the exquisite irony; we, the ‘infidels’ – the persecutors and users – are now the preferred destination!!!

    • Jack Richards says:

      The coloured folks always head straight for the worst possible racists and former slavers when in need. They never head for non-white countries and the thought never occurs to them to do something for themselves. But then, I have read what’s taught during “Black History Month” in the USA that is compulsory for all students. I was surprised to learn that Africans were involved in trans-atlantics trade with the Aztecs and Inca a thousand years before Columbus set sail; that William Shakespeare was an African as were the Pharaohs who built the Pyramids. Africans invented the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, and the jet engine and it was African physics that made the moon landings possible. The first powered flight took place in Africa at least 30 years before the Wright Brothers while the US Declaration of Independence was authored by a Black man. Indeed, the modern world was invented by Africans who, being peace-loving and non-aggressive, were over-run by war-mongering whites who stole all their inventions and never gave them any credit at all.

  8. Bran Dee says:

    The failure of Europe to ensure integrity of its borders is just the failure Australia had under the previous Labor Government. At the time border protection failure was ignored by the government funded media, and this ABC – SBS media continue to undermine the present successful outcome. So, the broadcast medium is the problem, and public broadcasters are a corrupting influence on commercial broadcasters.
    Most European countries have public broadcasters which appear, as does the ABC, to ignore charters to fairly canvass both sides of a problem. International media appears no different and CNN confirms its political learning by inviting Kevin Rudd to be guest host. Rudd and his party in government were, contrary to good sense, implacably opposed to temporary protection Visas.
    The Christian church has also acquiesced to Leftist pressure and will not, for instance, declare the baby Jesus and his family sought nothing more than temporary protection in the neighboring country of Egypt and then returned home as soon as it was safe to do so.

    • PT says:

      Except the family of “baby Jesus” went home when Herod died. They didn’t demand the Egyptans feed them, house them, take in their whole families; and, of course, they were both parts of the Roman Empire! There are plenty of other differences too.

      • Jody says:

        I’ve just seen a news item with an Islamic representative in Vienna, Austria, demanding that the country takes them!! So they have their own strident activists working in their interests, plus industrial-strength entitlement.

        I was in Bad Ischl, Austria, at the end of April and wanted to go up on a cable car. It was the first day of the season and we arrived at the pay booth. There was a crowd of about 50 ‘migrants’ and a person from Catholic care, Austria, ushering them about. We looked askance and turned to walk away. The manager of the cable car, Katrin of Bad Ischl, came over and whispered “go out the back and come in that door and we let you in first”. We did this and made our way to one of the little cars; a migrant woman with a pram and kids tried to push in front of us to get us out of the way. The manager came and put us in and set us on our way up to the top.

        When we got up there we asked what was going on and the manager of the restaurant said, “it’s a good of newly arrived migrants and they’re having a day out”. The beatific look on the chaperons was worth seeing!! Anyway, to cut a long story short, the restaurant had to provide all halal food that day for their guests, who walked about in good clothes sporting mobile phones. We left more or less straight away.

        I wondered under what circumstances my husband and I would arrive at a friend’s house unsolicited then demand vegan food from them when they offered to feed us!!!

  9. Jody says:

    What galls me the most is that those who welcome ‘asylum seekers’ see themselves as being on the side of the angels and those who do not are spoken about as being “right wing extremists”. Convenient how you can set yourself up for sainthood and put moral vanity on display. If not, watch out….

    • Jack Richards says:

      It is a curious fact that every shrill and screeching Marxist/Socialist I have ever met has been a failure in general society – they’ve failed in their careers (if they ever had one), failed in their relationships, failed in education, failed to achieve all the promise they never showed. Failure to ever make the “A” team in anything makes them think that they can achieve all the kudos and popular acclaim they deserve, but were denied in the bourgeois-capitalist system, by championing the cause of the “B” Team, the oppressed and downtrodden coloured folks. After all, they are white so should instantly and naturally be elevated to leadership of coloured causes. Next time there’s a demonstration for some cause related to Aborigines, have a look at the colour of those screaming loudest; have a look at the colour of those claiming to be the great friends of non-white illegal immigrants and Muslims. Have a look at the “anti-fascists” and “anti-racists” and the “refugee industry” spokespeople – they’re nearly all white failures looking for a cause to bolster their own egos. The likes of Mel Gregson and Steven Jolly and their “Socialist” gang are really the worst sort of racists as they don’t believe all these oppressed groups can manage their own causes without whites like them calling all the shots.

      • Jody says:

        Actually, I don’t think you’re right there. I know successful lawyers who are lefties and they were it as a badge of pride. (My own nephew has been head-hunted by Labor and he’s a partner in a successful international legal firm). They wouldn’t probably call themselves “marxist/socialists” but few would admit to that moniker anyway. No, I think they believe that if they belong to the ‘club’ – particularly the inner city lefties – they won’t be excluded from dinner parties and all that crowd. Many need impeccable socialist or left wing credentials to belong to that group, as I well know from my days in the ABC in the 1970s. Everybody spoke with one voice and the dinner parties I went to were beyond boring!!

        And I had to laugh about the “socialist alliance” on TV on Friday. They were all students, most teenagers, and most would not have earned a serious income themselves, YET they profess ‘socialism’. In short, they want YOU to pay because they don’t earn enough to do so on their own yet!! Not earning a full time wage and yet telling the electorate you support “socialism” – the cry of every welfare recipient!!

        It will be interesting to see how long the ‘generosity’ of Europeans remains intact; I mean, Germany is already paying for Greece – now it’s expected to support millions from Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan and other places. Yeah, right.

  10. Bran Dee says:

    You make a good point Jody and wide awake christians are not ‘right wing extremists.
    When will the church or the media even recognise a common aphorism from the time of Jesus and once quoted by him:
    John 10:1 ‘The man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a ****** and a ****’.

  11. gardner.peter.d says:

    ‘It won’t and I would expect that not even the BBC and Angela Merkel will be able to keep a lid for much longer on public outrage and electoral retribution.’ writes Peter Martin.

    Cameron is a step ahead of you, Peter. His Fixed term parliament Act makes it very difficult for a parliamentary vote of no confidence to succeed.

    I see Austria has just legislated that mosques must from now on conduct their services in German. John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English in 1382. It is extraordinary how quickly the institutions built up to ensure freedom in England over 800 years have been abandoned or corrupted by our new political elite. Cameron wants a Muslim Prime Minister of Britain. Looks like his wish may come true sooner than he expected.

  12. gardner.peter.d says:

    The EU is very much part of the problem Its Common Agricultural Policy, Common Fisheries policy, Customs union place great barriers to exports from African countries in particular to the EU, thus exacerbating poverty in those countries. The second problem is that unlike other governments it has announced and enacted into EU law the right of anyone fleeing ‘poverty’, which it has left to the discretion of the migrant to define, to take up residence in member states of the EU. The third problem is that the Schengen aquis and Dublin Agreement combine to make what can accurately described as the rules for a cynical game of ‘Pass the Migrant’.

    As a supra-national government (something not many in Australia understand) the EU is institutionally incapable of addressing the migration crisis effectively. It can only attempt rules to be applied equally to all countries regardless of the will of national electorates, regardless of the needs and abilities of individual countries and regardless of the compatibility of immigrant cultures. It is not allowed by human rights law to discriminate on ethnic or religious differences. The European Convention on Human Rights (designed after WW2 for protection of individuals against real persecution by the state) and all the case law of the ECHR have been written into EU law by the Lisbon Treaty, such that no national parliament of any member state can legally legislate otherwise.

    Clearly it is commonsense that since immigration is a very sensitive issue and impacts in many different ways on a country, it should be a matter for sovereign democratic parliaments to decide upon with due regard to the interests and obligations of their countries and their electorate. The EU cannot allow that without admitting that as a supra-national government it serves no useful purpose and would therefore lose its entire raison d’etre.

    As someone pointed out if the EU rule were that the immigrant quota should be based on the ratio of current immigrant to non-immigrant populations then to put Germany on the same quota as Britain would mean it would have to accept over 8 million migrants this year. The EU’s actual proposal is a quota based on overall population, which means the more migrants you already have the more will be thrust upon you. It also ignores population density presumably because ding so would raise Germany’s quota considerably and greatly reduce that of Britain as the most densely populated country in Europe (apart from a few small states like Malta).

    the only useful things the EU can do is first of all fully restore sovereignty to the member states and secondly start negotiations with safe Muslim countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Britain’s and America’s new friend, Iran, the Gulf states, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and others to take their share of the Muslim migrants and leave the Christians and other religions to seek asylum in Europe.

    It is one of the ironies of the situation that if a country has effective border controls and a selective immigration policy it can probably then afford to be generous and welcoming to genuine asylum seekers. What we are seeing in Europe is likely to bring out the worst in both governments and the people of Europe.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    There’s plenty of vacant land in sites in Poland and eastern parts of the old USSR on which camps could be built for refugees.

    They were once built by socialists so there is an example for the like minded European elites to follow. All they’d have too do is give them a choice. Here or home.

    • Jody says:

      That’s a tall order – given them a choice!! They don’t want any place except Germany (beats me!!) or the UK. What about the parents who’ve taken their 3 seriously ill children, by stealth, out of the Wiener Krankenhaus because they didn’t want to be ‘deported’.

      Those Caritas volunteers we’ve seen on the news overnight feeding and clothing illegal immigrants; I’ve got a story to tell. When in Vienna I experienced hand the consequences of generosity for the giver. The poor in Vienna (and they are not poor by international standards) are given a magazine “Augustin”, which is published by the Catholic church and which they sell on the street in order to get money. Generally these poor people are of colour, mostly extremely polite and seldom aggressive. One night, sitting out watching Wiener Staatsoper Live am Platz, a woman generously gave 20 Euro to a man selling his “Augustin”. Pretty soon 5 other sellers of “Augustin” arrived hassling the woman for money during the entire performance. She had to leave.

      This is what will happen to the misguided hippies who think there’s a unicorn; the illegals will hassle them for more and more and more. Want a bet?

  14. Jody says:

    My sister has just sent me this email regarding events unfolding in Europe and I wanted to share it:

    “What chaos in Europe as those fleeing are now being bused to the Austrian border. The dead boy on the beach now the face of the refugee crisis. The post war honeymoon giving 60 odd years of intense growth in aviation travel, of people freely roaming the world – a tourist mecca -is over. I made up my mind to give Europe a miss after the cruise in June, as a terrible foreboding came over me notwithstanding seeing the wrong side of risk to reward ratio – long flight; exotic viruses; terrorism ripping apart large chunks of the world.

    Beautiful Austria. What will become of that lovely land, and Germany and France!!? Cameron is now caving under pressure following the boy on the beach and Abbott is under the pump to reconsider taking refugees. How does the world get around this? And what will happen to the European tourism industry now with so many refugees in every corner? Who will risk travel to places undergoing massive turmoil and 360 degree changes against what they were but a short time ago? Shocking and sad.”

    I submit that in the cold light of day it will dawn on the people that this madness will be hugely costly.