Mel, an Oxford man of letters, writes or rants, on today's topical, critical issues.
To date my Ranting Society has been limited to just two members, an irate American and myself. I think this article, from Mel, has earned him an Honorary Membership of The Ranting Society. As another friend is fond of saying "Next - He'll be stopping people in the street..." Of course, everything that Mel says ought to be seriously considered by all western policy makers. Of course, no politician is intelligent enough to engage with it. - Noel - 3 SEP 2015
|Are we repeating the 1930's?|
Mel writes: "Should we not be delighted and feel a sense of comfortable deja-vu to see that an Eastern European nation like Hungary remains consistent and loyal to its bigoted roots? And that so many people do not consider that something new is happening which needs to be thought through and dealt with in ways that differ from 1930's isolationism?
I always felt that I could not believe how stupid and blind some people were in the 1930s and in appeasing Hitler, keeping out refugees, and thinking you could solve economic problems in a nation by cutting spending and insisting that there should be less and less government intervention. Now I can witness it all and see that they really were that dumb; and that those who do not pay attention to their history really are condemned to repeat it (Voltaire), only not so exactly as to make them see.
I am also waiting for some Christian leaders in these nominally Christian countries actually to speak out forcefully about the Good Samaritan and such parables as that; and that old one about Do Unto Others? Does no one watch the old newsreels any more to see millions of people roaming the highways of Europe after WWII or remember how things were dealt with in Displaced Persons camps? And, of course, all this would cost money, so we had better not go there! Imagine if we had to postpone or slow down some of the replacement of our own weapons of Mass Destruction like Trident!!! Or not build a fast train to Birmingham for an extra few years?
So the failure of the EU and multi-national projects looks much more likely, these days, not because of political wrangling per se or questions about economic subsidies and the courts, etc; but because 27 countries seem unable to sit down and work out a sane, logical policy for dealing with millions of people who are displaced.
And why are they displaced? Personally, I think we should go back beyond Tony Blair and George W Bush to the first Iraq War when not only did Colin Powell insist that that was the time to pursue Saddam and finish his regime, but when the USA in particular encouraged revolts and revolutions against Saddam in Iraq itself with promises of help should the people rise up, and then when people rose up they simply reneged on their promises. And they wonder why no one trusts them? Saddam had a wonderful time murdering his opposition and destroying whole sections of his country where they were hiding throughout the 1990s once the USA made it clear they would not pursue him any further. he didn't need weapons of mass destruction; he was able to achieve all he wanted with a combination of quite ordinary weapons, secret policing, a sycophantic military and the non-interference of the West, especially the USA.
The whole thing is a mess that we had a lot to do with making; and now we will not even help those who are fleeing or approach the problem that has been staring everyone in the face for about five years in any concerted, sane way.
But apart from the whole European approach, what about the UN? What about countries like Canada, which has plenty of room and plenty of wealth and a tradition of helping refugees if they are white and European?
There was a guy on TV this morning explaining that the UK had no requirement in international law to do a damned thing; and if they did, then think of the money it would cost and how it would squeeze our benefits system (as if it was not already squeezed)! And then there was our beloved Prime Minister explaining that really we should be ignoring the refugees because we had to go to the root of the problem, which was to sort out the mess in Syria. I see -- so he thinks it will be cheaper and easier to escalate another war in the Middle East than to take in, educate, acclimatise and find hope for some refugees.
Freud was right. Civilization is a very thin veneer on deep rooted barbarity and solipsism and it takes remarkably little to crack it and have it fall away. And you would think that people might make a connection to WWII and its aftermath and to all those newsreels and movies dealing with the subject that we see on TV virtually every day. But they won't.
So what is Jeremy Corbyn saying about all this? And where is the Archbishop of Canterbury or even the Chief Rabbi?
I am for watching a Judy Garland musical when I get back from Canada. Or even Betty Grable. It has to be better than watching the news! - Mel