The waves of refugees threatening to engulf Britain amount to a crisis. Like all crises, this one begets debates, debates beget rhetoric and rhetoric begets oversimplification.
As any veteran of verbal jousts will tell you, a debate is no place for rational, nuanced arguments. It’s a place for fiery slogans and endlessly repeated mantras.
Both sides to the present debate give ample proof of this observation. One side, reduced to the absurd by Yvette Cooper, issues a blank invitation in the shape of the poster ‘Refugees welcome’. The other side screams NIMBY, citing the fiscal and demographic ramifications of accepting thousands of migrants.
The first position is as meaningless as befits Yvette Cooper. For, if left unqualified, ‘Refugees welcome’ may be tantamount to national suicide.
How many and what kind of refugees are welcome? In a pre-election interview Ed Miliband put no limit on either, which partly explains why Yvette now sits on the back benches. Does she share Ed’s view?
Since most refugees in question are Muslim, are we prepared to increase our Islamic population even further – in the knowledge that most Muslims are hostile to our civilisation and all are alien to it?
Our population is already five per cent Muslim, and some sources cite numbers closer to 10 per cent. The aforementioned waves of migrants approach 400,000, and before long they’ll reach the typhoon power of millions. Does Yvette feel we should welcome, say, a million or so?
If she does, she remains loyal to the political memory of her guru Blair. Now safe in his coupon-clipping retirement, Tony cynically admits that he imported millions of Muslims on purpose, to smash the traditional voting base of the Tories.
In other words, he was prepared to destroy Britain, debauch her whole history and rip the traditional social and cultural fabric to tatters to improve Labour’s electoral chances. If achieving that worthy goal meant turning a great, formerly Christian country into a giant kasbah, then so be it.
It’s good to see that Yvette is willing to continue her mentor’s fine tradition of demographic sabotage. Those of us who detest Blair and reject his legacy ought to transfer some of the rancour to his politically surviving acolytes.
But does that mean we should amend Yvette’s slogan to ‘No refugees are welcome’? Our answer to this question should be leavened with mercy and some sense of guilt.
There’s no doubt that many of the refugees aren’t really refugees but economic migrants. There’s even little doubt that some of them are ISIS infiltrators. But equally clear is that many of them were made homeless, stateless and hopeless by – well, us.
This is another part of Blair’s subversive legacy that ought to make us withhold snap decisions. Because, but for the criminal stupidity of Anglo-American ‘nation building’ in the Middle East, we’d have a trickle of Muslim immigrants, not a tidal wave.
It was American and British bombs followed by ‘boots on the ground’ that turned the region into a murderous chaos unfit for human habitation. Since we made that blood-filled bed, to what moral extent can we refuse to lie in it?
The dictators that our democracy-obsessed nation-builders deposed kept some sort of lid on the bubbling Islamic passions. The passions have now splashed out, scorching the region and sending a human spray over to Europe.
Hence the slogan ‘No refugees welcome’ is as bad as its opposite. We can’t just say ‘let them drown in the Mediterranean or starve to death, see if we care’.
This kind of obtuse, merciless resolve would in the long run compromise Britishness more than a generous but limited welcome would, for Christian mercy has always softened the British proclivity for rational, actuarial calculations.
Such is the principle, and it’s so easy to establish that one is amazed so few parties to the debate have managed to do so. The logistics are much harder.
To invite people to our home we must have a home left to invite them to. So how generous and how limited a welcome should we extend? How do we separate the refugee wheat from the economic (or terrorist) chaff? Let’s be absolutely clear about this: without such vetting we’re back to Yvetting, an accelerated national suicide.
The answer is, I don’t know. However, it’s obvious that some order and patience must be brought into the proceedings. There has to be one centre for all refugees to wait their turn, and no traditional DP camp would be big enough.
My earlier suggestion of using a Greek island for this purpose still holds, and this project must be financed either wholly or at least greatly by the rich Muslim states. It’s clearly within the capacity of the EU to exert pressure both on them and on the Greek government – in fact extortion is about the only thing the EU is good at.
Then each case must be considered individually, which will take months if not years. In the end we’ll accept a few thousand people in genuine need – and reject many more. And, to make sure that no further waves reach our shores, we must do all we can to repair the damage we caused to the region.
This is the price of our geopolitical folly, and we have to pay it out of decency. But we mustn’t kill ourselves out of decency – or to please wicked dunces like Yvette Cooper.