The #RefugeeCrisis – we need a history lesson

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A dark cloud which had nothing to do with Storm Gertrude swept across Europe last week, in what can only be described as having worrying overtones of right-wing xenophobia and fascism.

The anti-refugee rhetoric appeared to be systematically ratcheted up in nearly every country across the continent, without the smallest whiff of hypocrisy that the West’s agenda had largely contributed to this man-made crisis.

Denmark passed laws which will see them able to seize refugee’s assets; the Belgium Foreign Minister implied (then denied) that Greece should push its refugees back into the sea; race hate crime on the UK’s rail network was found to be up 37% in 5 years; Sweden announced it’s set to deport up to 80,000 failed asylum seekers; in Stockholm the far-right were leafletting and attacking children and at home we had the furores surrounding red doors, wristbands and the overcrowded conditions in Home Office-approved accommodation – culminating in clashes between anti-fascist protesters and far-right Neo-Nazi groups in Dover.

David Cameron in PMQ’s referred to Jeremy Corbyn’s visit to Calais as going to see a “bunch of migrants”, which immediately exploded into a scandal – with Owen Jones hitting the nail on the head when he asked Julia Hartley-Brewer if she could see the difference between saying “a bunch of Jews” and “a bunch of people coming to dinner”.

Two things with this. 1: It is probably a good reflection of the PM’s own viewpoint. 2: It was a nauseatingly cynical move, which had completely the desired outcome – a pre-planned, intentionally explosive comment, designed to immediately deflect from Google and Yemen. It worked.

We, as a society, need to learn some serious lessons from history and also some truths about the current situation. Quickly.

Western foreign policy is partly to blame for the situation in the Middle East, which is rapidly spiralling out of control. Decade after decade we have geopolitically been led by our unquenchable thirst for oil and gas, regardless of the consequences.

Allies such as Saddam Hussein turned into enemies; the “War on Terror” has become a by-word for failed installations of Western-approved Governments, and our continued support for perpetual terror-exporters and rapidly economically-floundering Saudi Arabia is now being openly questioned.

But there seems to be a failure to acknowledge the facts behind the statistics on the influx of nearly 1 million individuals to Europe last year. Contrary to popular belief, these people are not all Syrian – granted, they make up nearly 50% of refugees, but 20% are from Afghanistan (another Western failure), and 7% from Iraq. Some 10,000 refugee children have gone missing in the past two years, and nearly 4000 men, women and children died in 2015 trying to reach “Fortress Europe”.

However, the most horrific figure of all is that 12,360 unaccompanied children reached our continent by sea in 2015. If the tables were turned and they and the souls that have perished were British Nationals, I doubt we’d be so disdainful towards them.

Moreover, if (for example) we’re going to use the right-wing narrative (or lie, as I prefer to call it) that these refugees are mostly “Economic Migrants” we can’t afford – wrong. We can. We, as a nation, are forecast to have a 700,000 drop in the population aged 16-50 come 2022. The pension age is forecast to rocket to 77 for those currently doing their A-Levels. 75% of migrants come here to work or study. 7.7% of migrants claim benefits vs 15% of “natives”. Only 9.5% of the UK is built on for “urban” purposes.

People need to engage their brains and think about it. Ask yourselves what the basis for the argument against immigration that is being peddled by the Establishment actually is. We can’t afford it? Or less people in a country doing the same amount of work is more profitable (Note the average cost of a new employee to a company is £30,000), while the Government asset-strip us?

I’ll tell you what – all those with their back-of-a-fag-packet opinions on migration? Let them work until they’re 80, while those of us who disagree can retire at 60. Fair deal?

Actually, fuck it. Expatriate all the loathsome, lobotomised right-wing bigots and replace them with refugees.

Because I, for one, would rather we have a diverse, socially-rich, colourful society where the quality of life for everyone was far greater, than an insular, closeted, angry and scared country where the opinions of loathsome, vile bigots whose views belong in a 1970’s sitcom were the norm.

Oh – and the individuals screaming “Rapefugees!” and “Women and girls aren’t safe!” when discussing refugees after we have just observed Holocaust Memorial Day, may wish to Google “Collective Responsibility” – although I doubt their myopic brains would be able to cope with the resonance.

History invariably repeats itself – but this is one echo from the past we do not need.

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