Actually we can’t do what we like with this country. We inherited it from our parents and grandparents and we have a duty to hand it on to our children and grandchildren, preferably improved and certainly undamaged.
It is one of the heaviest responsibilities we will ever have. We cannot just give it away to complete strangers on an impulse because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
Every one of the posturing notables simpering ‘refugees welcome’ should be asked if he or she will take a refugee family into his or her home for an indefinite period, and pay for their food, medical treatment and education.
If so, they mean it. If not, they are merely demanding that others pay and make room so that they can experience a self-righteous glow. No doubt the same people are also sentimental enthusiasts for the ‘living wage’, and ‘social housing’, when in fact open borders are steadily pushing wages down and housing costs up.
As William Blake rightly said: ‘He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars. General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite and flatterer.’
Britain is a desirable place to live mainly because it is an island, which most people can’t get to. Most of the really successful civilisations survived because they were protected from invasion by mountains, sea, deserts or a combination of these things. Ask the Russians or the Poles what it’s like to live without the shield of the sea. There is no positive word for ‘safety’ in Russian. Their word for security is ‘bezopasnost’ – ‘without danger’.
Thanks to a thousand years of uninvaded peace, we have developed astonishing levels of trust, safety and freedom. I have visited nearly 60 countries and lived in the USSR, Russia and the USA, and I have never experienced anything as good as what we have. Only in the Anglosphere countries – the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – is there anything comparable. I am amazed at how relaxed we are about giving this away.
Our advantages depend very much on our shared past, our inherited traditions, habits and memories. Newcomers can learn them, but only if they come in small enough numbers. Mass immigration means we adapt to them, when they should be adapting to us.
So now, on the basis of an emotional spasm, dressed up as civilisation and generosity, are we going to say that we abandon this legacy and decline our obligation to pass it on, like the enfeebled, wastrel heirs of an ancient inheritance letting the great house and the estate go to ruin?
Having seen more than my share of real corpses, and watched children starving to death in a Somali famine, I am not unmoved by pictures of a dead child on a Turkish beach. But I am not going to pretend to be more upset than anyone else. Nor am I going to suddenly stop thinking, as so many people in the media and politics appear to have done.
The child is not dead because advanced countries have immigration laws. The child is dead because criminal traffickers cynically risked the lives of their victims in pursuit of money.
I’ll go further. The use of words such as ‘desperate’ is quite wrong in this case. The child’s family were safe in Turkey. Turkey (for all its many faults) is a member of Nato, officially classified as free and democratic. Many British people actually pay good money to go on holiday to the very beach where the child’s body was washed up.
It may not be ideal, but the definition of a refugee is that he is fleeing from danger, not fleeing towards a higher standard of living.
Goodness knows I have done what I could on this page to oppose the stupid interventions by this country in Iraq, Libya and Syria, which have turned so many innocent people into refugees or corpses.
But I can see neither sense nor justice in allowing these things to become a pretext for an unstoppable demographic revolution in which Europe (including, alas, our islands) merges its culture and its economy with North Africa and the Middle East. If we let this happen, Europe would lose almost all the things that make others want to live there.
You really think these crowds of tough young men chanting ‘Germany!’ in the heart of Budapest are ‘asylum-seekers’ or ‘refugees’?
Refugees don’t confront the police of the countries in which they seek sanctuary. They don’t chant orchestrated slogans or lie across the train tracks.
And why, by the way, do they use the English name for Germany when they chant? In Arabic and Turkish, that country is called ‘Almanya’, in Kurdish something similar. The Germans themselves call it ‘Deutschland’. In Hungarian, it’s ‘Nemetorszag’.
Did someone hope that British and American TV would be there? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: spontaneous demonstrations take a lot of organising.
Refugees don’t demand or choose their refuge. They ask and they hope. When we become refugees one day (as we may well do), we will discover this.
As to what those angry, confident and forceful young men actually are, I’ll leave you to work it out, as I am too afraid of the Thought Police to use what I think is the correct word.
But it is interesting that this week sees the publication in English of a rather dangerous book, which came out in France just before the Charlie Hebdo murders.
Submission, by Michel Houellebecq, prophesies a Muslim-dominated government in France about seven years from now, ushered into power by the French Tory and Labour parties.
What they want, says one of the cleverer characters in the book, ‘is for France to disappear – to be integrated into a European federation’. This means they’d much rather do a deal with a Muslim party than with the National Front, France’s Ukip equivalent.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s amazing how likely and simple the author makes this Islamic revolution sound.
Can we stop this transformation of all we have and are? I doubt it. To do so would involve the grim-faced determination of Australia, making it plain in every way that our doors are open only to limited numbers of people, chosen by us, enduring the righteous scorn of the supposedly enlightened.
As we lack the survival instinct and the determination necessary, and as so many of our most influential people are set on committing a sentimental national suicide, I suspect we won’t.
To those who condemn reasonable calls for national self-defence as bigotry, hatred and intolerance (which they are not), I make only this request: just don’t pretend you’re doing a good and generous thing, when you’re really cowardly and weak.
For further elucidation:
I awakened to dryness and the ferns were dead,
the potted plants yellow as corn;
my woman was gone
and the empty bottles like bled corpses
surrounded me with their uselessness;
the sun was still good, though,
and my landlady’s note cracked in fine and
undemanding yellowness; what was needed now
was a good comedian, ancient style, a jester
with jokes upon absurd pain; pain is absurd
because it exists, nothing more;
I shaved carefully with an old razor
the man who had once been young and
said to have genius; but
that’s the tragedy of the leaves,
the dead ferns, the dead plants;
and I walked into a dark hall
where the landlady stood
execrating and final,
sending me to hell,
waving her fat, sweaty arms
screaming for rent
because the world had failed us
Happens all the time, been going on forever. At every level of govt from municipal to federal.
Legislators not following the law? Well, Americans do have a poor reputation around the globe for misunderstanding irony.
Want more irony? Malik Nadal Hasan specialized in traumatic stress.