Friday, 4 September 2015

THE FEARS - MEL WRITES AGAIN

Syrian refugees in Turkey 2015.
The Fears

Mel writes again: 


"Hi Noel! I was walking in the Parks this morning and ran into people who were raving about the disasters that taking in immigrants will have upon poor, benighted UK communities. I bit my tongue and did not rant back! I guess I was just too surprised by the elderly couple who had clearly lived through World War II and all that followed and sounded more scared and confused than evil. However, I got home and opened by computer and found that the BBC news site was reporting that :

“ a little earlier, Hungary's parliament “passed a series of new laws as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants, meaning:
    It will be a criminal offence to cross or damage the fence being constructed along the border with Serbia
    Illegal border crossing will be punishable by up to three years in prison
    It will be possible to submit asylum requests at border crossing points”
Earlier, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told public radio:
"Now we talk about hundreds of thousands [of migrants] but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this. All of a sudden we will see that we are in a minority in our own continent."
(I am feeling like quoting my grandmother whenever I hear the name Viktor Orban. When I was a toddler, whenever she heard the name Stalin she would cry: Stalin! Stalin? I spit upon his name!)
So, Orban predicts we will be a minority in our own continent. What we is that? White people? Christians? Hungarians? Really???? We will be overrun?  Gawd, it sounds worse than the World Jewish Conspiracy, all these greedy Muslims besieging poor helpless Europe.

Syrian Refugees walking from
Hungary to Austria.
A member of UKIP named  Peter Bucklitsch, may this name too  -- more spitting required -- live in the books of infamy for all of his twenty minutes of fame, did today explain that the children who died in the Mediterranean recently were dead because of their parents being greedy for the good life of Europe instead of staying where they belonged in the war zone that was their home and Calvinistic fate and where they were probably deserving potential victims of genocidal fundamentalist co-religionists. And if you cannot credit it.

So should we fear being overrun by a hostile and Triffid-like wave of aliens, people whose skins and cultures and religions are Other? (And what happened to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, the separation of Church and State, and the rights of people to worship as they wished as long as there was a secular rule of law?)

What is the total population of Europe? What if the EU actually came up (about 3 years late) with a policy that offered homes to refugees (and migrants?) based on fair distribution throughout Europe? What if someone spoke to Putin about taking in a few people to populate some of the empty areas of Russia that could use a bit of settlement and exploitation? What if the UN finally persuaded its delegates to have a debate about giving homes to refugees according to a fair world-wide system and also that reflected all the fine words and resolutions that were passed after WWII?  What if Canada, or Australia, which have lots of open spaces that could use pioneers to settle them still, actually opened themselves up to helping out in a major way? What then? Would it really mean that all of a sudden everyone will be a minority in their own continent? (Like the Native American Indians after about 1600?)

World War Two - Undesirable Aliens
And do the natives of Europe (how many generations a native of the country you live in, I wonder?) really think that all that is going to happen is that there will be a huge influx of people living forever off the different national benefit systems? In the UK the right wing press is promoting the idea that the benefit cheats are destroying the fragile economy that was originally devastated by Labour incompetence. (More about who was responsible for the economic crisis of 2008 later from me and elsewhere from Noel Hodson! It’s really quite important to understand that and get it right.)

Actually, the statistics for how much benefit cheats cost the government of the UK is something in the range of 0.7% of the total money spent on benefits; and most of the money (maybe around 50%) is going to landlords of the private sector – David Cameron and George Osborne’s Holy Grail sector – whose tax fiddles and outrageously over-bloated rents are supposed to generate a trickle down effect to those whose benefits have recently been capped – no matter what the exceptional circumstances – or who are being penalized for having an extra room in their house.

One thing is sure, this is not the era of joined up thinking! So are we to assume that none of the refugees will be professional people, skilled people, trained people? That none will want to re-educate themselves, gain new qualifications, learn the language of the country they end up in or build a new life? That none will be able to take on jobs or might be computer literate and be helpful to companies that are trying to exploit the new economy IT has generated?

In other words, we cannot expect a refugee to take a job, earn money, pay taxes, pay rent, buy food, buy clothes or in any way contribute to the economy of his or her new homeland? Or that over, say, three generations, there will be some amount of culturisation and maybe also some romance and new families started?

Listen, guys, this will come as a shock to you but they have worked out the genome and it seems that Hitler and other racists were wrong and that the more remote the gene pools are that mix, the more it reinvigorates the local human stock! But it’s so much less scary to be inbred and deal with the consequences of that, clearly, I reckon.

And who now has a world wide platform for this nonsense? Victor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, that’s who. With no sense of history, and a leader who has all the hallmarks about him of hoping to be a successful a fascist, racist non-visionary thug running a police state, we have to wish the Hungarians good luck in waking up to what they are doing to themselves by voting this man into power, let alone what they are doing through him to the desperate refugees who have foolishly turned up because of geographic necessity to try to get across the Hungarian country and get the hell out of there as fast as they can to somewhere civilized like Germany. (At the moment, I like Angela Merkel.)

And what would the court of human rights in the Hague (or is it Brussels that should speak out?) have to say about what I assume is the illegality of selling someone a ticket to Germany from Budapest and then refusing to let the train take him or her to Berlin after they have bought the ticket with what is often their last bit of money? (Come to that, who is letting the thousands of refugees camped in or near the railway station use the toilets, for which you have to pay; or providing some food and water for the dehydrated and uncomfortable families?) Isn't the selling of the ticket a contract that the Hungarian government and police have now broken? I wonder if someone should sue them?!?!  just to make a point ...?

Finally, I doubt any arguments will convince the unconvinceable, prejudiced and ultimately truly frightened people who see the refugees as a threat to their culture and way of life and who should be kept out therefore. It was ever thus! It’s fear of the other. It’s also a shocking lack of optimism about the adaptability of the human being to changes of circumstance.

And it is, above all, a huge failure to recognize what is going on as a moral issue and a test of whether we really have learned that lesson: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. " 

Mel, Oxford, 4 SEPT 2015

Read More: 

BACK TO THE 1930's & VOLTAIRE


******

BEAN COUNTING NUMBERS:

The European Union has 550M people. In addition to the EU, Russia is the largest country on Earth with immense tracts of uninhabited land – with 9 people per sq km. The highest estimate I have heard of migrant/refugees heading for Europe is 1M or  1/550th of present populations. With Goodwill and good planning – the one million could easily be decently housed, fed and integrated.

HAVENS FOR REFUGEES


I may have told you our true story of Iceland after/during the Vietnam War? They gave welcome, homes, money, new business starts, school places etc to 20 Vietnamese refugee families. Within 3 years all 20 families had gone. The puzzled, kindly Icelanders told us this over tea in a Reykjavik cafĂ©, dark outside at 3pm, with horizontal freezing rain driving past the window; a nice breezy day for natives – a terrible cold, dismal, soul destroying day for Vietnamese. Not all migrants will stay in Europe – many prefer the Middle East.

It is time for some cool calm political thinking.

Noel


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