This post may be disagreed by some and others may be surprised I hold these views. So let me first of all say that I have total sympathy and empathy from a humanitarian standpoint, for all those who have undertaken long and sometimes perilous journeys to reach Europe’s borders. No-one blames anyone for wanting a better life. And sustainable migration is a positive thing.
But…. This is far from sustainable and no matter how much pressure and campaigning from naïve charities and television media for us to ‘do something’, no country or countries can withstand mass migration on a scale we are seeing today in Europe. We have become totally lost in defining what is a refugee versus a migrant. There have been nearly 100 wars in the Middle East, Africa or Europe since WWII, numerous brutal dictators, despots, genocide and suchlike, but none have caused anything like we are now witnessing.
The reasons are plenty – including Bush and Blair’s dangerous meddling in the Middle East and Cameron’s misguided interference in Libya. But once started and spurred on by social media, fault lies primarily with the EU’s total failure to deal with this crisis in its early stages; its putting ideology, in this case the flawed Schengen accord, above common sense and the stupid statement by Angela Merkal of ‘migrants welcome’.
Migrants are leaving countries in the Middle East and Africa for Europe mainly because they now believe Europe will accept them. As plain as that. If that wasn’t the case we would have seen the mass movement of people numerous times in the past 20 years from all of the equally terrible instability in the region. We haven’t. Only by removing that belief – as Australia did with its boat people a few years ago – can anyone hope to stem the tide. And prevent the tragedies that are occurring weekly.
As with many forms of overseas aid short term ‘sticking plaster’ solutions may help solve an immediate issue but, in the medium and long term, usually cause even greater problems than were there in the first place. Yes, we need to help those genuine refugees and those in desperate need. But, in this social media age, allowing all who arrive on Europe’s borders to settle will simply send a signal that could cause millions from all over the Middle East and N Africa to attempt the journey. And the repercussions – long term squalid camps, lack of employment, poverty, rise of racism and closing off borders to name just five - will not help anyone, least of all those hoping for a glamorous new life.
Europe, unfortunately and against all its founding principles, needs to re-establish border controls. As the beleaguered Hungarian Prime Minister. Victor Orban, has said, none of the unfortunate peoples arriving in Eastern Europe want to settle in Hungary, nor in other safe countries, such as Turkey, where many have transited – bringing into question the whole ‘refugee’ status attributed The vast majority want to head to Germany or the UK. The Gulf states – who need many hundreds of thousands of manual workers – can and should take many genuine refugees. Britain and the rest of Europe can and should take many from processing camps in Syria. But in the longer term the Middle East and Islam need to take responsibility for the carnage being unleashed throughout the region in its name.
I have been writing, blogging and speaking on sustainability for eight years now. And what I have always said is that, whether it’s from climate change, water and food security, draught, famine or other instability, with a population of 7.3 billion people, the greatest potential problem the world faced was the mass migrations of people. That is where would people go and who would pay for it. I didn’t quite envisage it to be happening so soon………… And that is the real ‘inconvenient truth’. #sustainability #migration #EU #Europe