Friday, September 04, 2015

You do not get to be a professional in Syria unless you are at least a supporter of the Ba'ath Party

On Channel 4 News this evening Matt Frei was interviewing Syrian refugees in Budapest:

He talked to professionals - a teacher, someone who wanted to be a doctor, in the past he has talked to other professionals.

Syria was a totalitarian state that openly and unapologetically modelled itself on Nazi Germany.

You do not get to be a professional in Syria unless you are at least a supporter of the Ba'ath Party, and preferably a party member (estimates vary but it is thought that ten years ago up to 18% of the population of Syria were party members).

Perhaps Mr Frei could probe a little more into the political background of these refugees  - who seem to include (from the broadcast reports) a disproportionate number of young men, exactly of an age to have been active in the Syrian Mukhabarat or secret police.

Are the EU authorities happy that large numbers of fascist national-socialists may be entering the Schengen area?

And is it not ironic that they are headed to Germany, which they must consider to be their spiritual home.

The Best Store in Houston

Sorry to see the Best Store in Houston has gone:

Surely America has some form of listing for buildings?

It should have been moved into an open-air museum of architecture.

Be careful about the surges of Syrian refugees into the EU

Everyone knows David Cameron is a nice bloke.

In fact he is rather a softie - hugging hoodies, fussing huskies, hanging out with shoeless new age political gurus exploring a softer, kinder Conservatism (and to be fair, a version of Conservatism that has kept us in power since 2010 and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future).

However, it is not good practice to allow emotional surges in social and broadcast media to change national policy:

There will be electoral repercussions as a result of this change of policy.

And in real terms it will do nothing to solve the crisis - far better to have stuck to the policy of everyone being helped fairly in the regional refugee centres (and if the budget for this has to be increased then so be it, in an emergency the United Kingdom has a total foreign aid budget of £11 billion much of which can be allocated to helping ALL Syrian refugees). 

But returning to the lucky few who are going to be given entry to our country, can we have a cast-iron assurance (assuming cast-iron guarantees are worth anything) that no members of the Syrian Ba'ath Party will be allowed access to the United Kingdom.

Let us remind ourselves that Syria pre-civil war was a totalitarian state in which political terror was routinely used to enforce complete control of every area of life.  To get anywhere in that society you had to be connected to the Ba'ath Party.  It can be accurately compared to Nazi Germany

And as with the collapse of Nazi Germany, the collapse of Ba'athist Syria has led to panic among those implicated in the crimes of the Ba'ath Party.

Estimates vary, but in the mid-2000s membership of the party and its subsidiaries was estimated to be 18% of the Syrian population.

That is a lot of people.

What has happened to these Ba'athists? 

Some are still in Syria, enjoying the protection of the Syrian regime within the decreasing enclave that can still be described as Ba'athist Syria.  Some have been captured by rebel forces and their fate is unknown (but perhaps can be guessed at).  Some have fled the country, first to refugee camps in neighbouring countries but ultimately and with increasing desperation and urgency plan to get to the West (since remaining in the camps means eventual return to a democratic Syria with all that that implies in terms of trial and punishment and, let's not be naive, revenge by those who suffered under Ba'athist rule).

Therefore I think we should be careful about the surges of Syrian refugees into the EU.  These are, it seems, people with reserves of money which indicates they are Ba'athists (since you did not make money in Ba'athist Syria unless you were connected to the Ba'athist Party).  They are also people desperate to get out of the refugee camps and out of Turkey, even though the UN camps and Turkey are safe havens - this indicates that they are afraid of being recognised and apprehended for crimes committed under the Ba'athist regime (terrible crimes let us not forget, comparable with the very worst of totalitarian regimes).

One of the more puzzling aspects of the refugee surges across the seas towards the EU has been the willingness of parents to risk the lives of their children in rickety boats at the hands of criminal people smugglers.  How can loving parents do this, when going to the UN refugee camps will ensure protection and basic welfare for their families?  We are told the parents are "desperate" but the origin of this desperation is not questioned.

At the end of the Second World War many German parents killed themselves and their children rather than allow them to fall into the hands of the advancing Russians.  In Berlin in April 1945 Frau Magda Goebbels killed her six children and then herself rather than allow them to fall into the hands of the liberating Russians.  Perhaps she thought that death was preferable since the crimes of the regime were so dreadful that her family would be killed anyway in the reprisals that would follow the fall of the regime

All children are innocent, but not all adults are.  

Let us have careful screening of all Syrian adults claiming to be refugees.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Are we to assume that Turkey is not a place where refugees feel safe?

Rather shoddy Channel 4 News this evening - no explanation why refugees are so desperate to leave Turkey.

This is a country that aspires to join the European Union.

Are we to assume that Turkey is not a place where refugees feel safe?

If that is the case can we have it clearly established that Turkey forfeits for some considerable time any possibility of joining the EU.

And are we only to take the rich refugees that have the money to get out?

What about all the millions who are left behind and are unable to pay people smugglers.

One suspects that the outpouring of "compassion" we see displayed by media commentators has got nothing to do with providing real help where it is needed by the most people - it is all to do with public emoting and the desire to feel good and holier-than-thou, with evil politicians such as Yvette Cooper using the deaths of children to make political points.

Ten thousand or twenty-five thousand or forty thousand - all these numbers imply some form of selection, and selection is an obscene moral compromise.

We need to hold firm to the original policy - everyone gets helped, via our overseas aid programme, not just the rich or the photogenic.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I would disagree with his point "not to your disadvantage"

On the World At One the German Ambassador Peter Ammon lectured the United Kingdom about taking in more refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers:

"Britain has taken in refugees for centuries, and not to your disadvantage" the Ambassador told us.

I think I would disagree with his point "not to your disadvantage".

Anyone who has seen Yasmin Alibhai-Brown shooting her mouth off on Dateline London is going to have serious second thoughts about whether we really want any more refugees coming here.

Yes, the refugees when first arrive will be mostly grateful.  But as we saw with the Ralph Miliband letter, after a little while they become ungrateful and want changes to OUR society so that it suits them.  And by the second and third generations (I'm thinking Daniel Trilling and David Aaronovitch here) they are so obnoxious you start thinking don't care how tragic the situation is, I don't want anymore of those ingrates in the country.

And don't forget the ecstatic crowings of Sunder Katwala and his ilk, pleased as punch that the rising numbers of migrant people will eventually tip the political balance so the Tories are permanently out of office.

So you see Herr Ambassador, not everyone is keen on more refugees arriving here (as opposed to the very generous support we give in settlements close to their countries of origin).  Not because one does not sympathise with their plight.  But because the left has historically used them as voting fodder to win inner city constituencies and push through changes in society that would never have got through otherwise.

One more thing Herr Ammon.  Can you ask the German Chancellor to apologise for those Germans who went to Syria after the Second World War and helped set up the terror apparatus of the Ba'ath Party.  The mess that Syria is currently in is partly a German responsibility.

And let me ask a general question aimed at the Islamic world.  What is wrong with the way Syrian refugees are being treated in Turkey that makes them so desperate to leave the country?  They are Islamic brothers and sisters of the Turkish people, and yet they risk their lives to get out of Turkey - can we have some journalists looking at what is going on there please.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Ms Cooper's odious "we'll take ten thousand..."

How has Yvette Cooper arrived at the number of 10,000 refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers to be given access to the United Kingdom? :

Is it not immoral and cowardly for her to pretend that we can choose between the deserving and the undeserving refugees?

Especially as the ones who fight their way into Europe are the rich, connected, pushy refugees.

The poor and destitute have been left behind.

The government's policy is one of very generous aid to refugees in settlements close to their country of origin so that everyone is helped in a fair and equitable way.

This is by far preferable to Ms Cooper's odious "we'll take ten thousand and the rest can go fuck themselves".

Monday, August 31, 2015

"...what I thought of at that moment as the abominable conditions of some modern English hospitals - the noise, the cruelty, the indifference, the uneatable food, the petty tyranny.  If this was enlightenment and reform, what must eighteenth-century Bedlam have been like?  Of course, my pen was running away with me..."

The banners are a publicity stunt

Public emoting employed by London Mayor candidate Sadiq Khan MP.  Of course he does not put forward any suggestions of his own.  Merely states that other politicians should pay attention.

Let us pay attention to the images he broadcasts.

They are banners on display at football grounds in Germany "welcoming" refugees.

Germany is a German-speaking country, and yet the banners are in English.  Many Germans understand English of course.  But if these banners were genuine we would expect them to be in German would we not?

They cannot be intended for the actual refugees themselves as they are penniless refugees unable to afford the price of entry to expensive football games.

Therefore we must assume that the banners are a publicity stunt by the Germans aimed at the international media and not a spontaneous reflection of popular German opinion.

Ah, but the Germans are "taking in" 800,000 refugees the left will tell you.

Can we see some assessment as to which country, Germany or the United Kingdom, is doing more to help refugees from troubled countries around the world.

Not just the banner waving and the politicians emoting.

But whether Germany is meeting its commitment to foreign aid as a proportion of their national budget.

And can we have a commitment that the 800,000 "taken in" by Germany are going to remain in Germany and be supported by Germany and not given documents that allow them to travel around the EU.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I am listening to Katherine Jenkins singing Laudate Dominum from Mozart's Vespers:

Demand positions

One must commend the wisdom and courage of the Home Secretary Theresa May in thinking the unthinkable (free movement is not practical) and saying the unsayable (Schengen must be dropped):

It is an old saying, but the difference between England and Continental Europe is that they believe in philosophy whereas we believe in common sense.

On The Papers on BBC News Channel this morning Alice Arnold ("broadcaster") said that Theresa May was "being tougher than Cameron".

On the same programme Mihir Bose (London Evening Standard) said "these could be demand positions on Europe".

They could also be demand positions on the Conservative leadership contest.

We know Dave is gone by end of 2019 latest.

We know that behaviour by potential candidates during the European Referendum is going to determine, largely, who wins the leadership (no open Europhile is ever going to get the top job - I would rather the party destroyed itself than fall into the hands of a Ken Clarke).

We know that if Labour opts for Corbyn they are out of it for ten years or so and our candidate will sail through the 2020 general election, whoever we choose.

So who better to back than Theresa May?  We have not yet seen the full range of choices, but she is early into the race and by claiming the Eurosceptic ground is thus establishing a proprietary advantage.  And for all of Dave's witterings about working time directives and the like, the EU referendum will be enthused by arguments about movement of people and the way in which Labour saddled us with EU agreements where we have destabilising amounts of immigrants arriving here.

Corbynmania is Alice In Wonderland politics

I am quite prepared to believe that Corbynmania is Alice In Wonderland politics:

But if we are living in an Alice In Wonderland world, who is Tweedledum and who is Tweedledee?

Step forward Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Why can Spain control its borders and Italy and Greece cannot?

Very interesting graph by the New York Times about the European "migrant" (by which they mean refugees, displaced persons and asylum seekers) crisis:

Note, the United Kingdom is shown as flat-lining, which is not accurate - in the last 12 months the United Kingdom took in 330,000 economic refugees, economic displaced persons and economic asylum seekers.

But notice that Spain is also flat-lining.  And yet Spain is a front-line Mediterranean country.  Why can Spain control its borders and Italy and Greece cannot?

More about the United Kingdom figures:

"Not one of them has mentioned immigration yet. Its the elephant in the room"

Fascinating Newsnight yesterday with James O'Brien and the Labour leadership:

Two focus groups gave their opinions on the candidates.

But as one participant said:  "Not one of them has mentioned immigration yet. Its the elephant in the room".

The Labour leadership contenders are pretending that the number one issue that concerns the voters is of no importance.
This is of course a serious issue, but it is amusing nonetheless:

Is there no limit to the stupidity of the left? (Sinn Fein or Páirtí na nOibrithe is a Marxist party).

The refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers of the world

Osmosis is the the movement of a weak solution to a strong solution through a semi-permiable membrane.

It is an elegant formula - the weak solution continues to flow through the membrane until the strong solution has been dilated to such an extent that there is no difference between the two.

We can adapt this principle to explain what is happening in terms of population movement between Europe and Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The refugees / displaced people / asylum seekers from Asia, Africa and the Middle East will continue to flow through the semi-permeable borders of the EU until living conditions (in terms of food, safety, housing, education opportunities, employment opportunities etc) are equal.

It is not a case of "good" Germany taking 800,000 or 8 million or 80 million in one year then saying that's it, we've done our bit, now be grateful and stop mentioning the Second World War.

While there is a marginal difference between Asia / Africa / Middle East on the one hand and the EU on the other the flow will continue - indeed must continue, and continue at an escalating rate.

Therefore unless the movement is checked we can expect ALL the populations of Asia, Africa and the Middle East to attempt to enter the EU until either living conditions in Asia, Africa and the Middle East have been massively increased or living conditions in the EU have been massively reduced so that there is no difference between the two.

Given the current state of Syria is there any reason to believe that all the 22 million people of that country would not seek to enter the EU if they could?  And all the 30 million people in Afghanistan, 6 million people in Libya and 6 million people in Eritrea?  And all the populations of war-torn countries next year, and the year after, and the year after that?

That is why those commentators who are using emotional arguments about refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers are profoundly dishonest and, in the true sense of the word, abusive people.

They need to say at what point the borders should be closed and the flow stopped.  Or if they do not believe the borders should ever be closed and the flow ever stopped they need to be honest enough to say that also.  What we cannot have is the vague implication that the flow will stop of its own accord, because it will not.

And those commentators who believe in completely open borders need to be honest enough to explain what that will mean in terms of increased competition for finite resources (medical care, education places, housing) and the impact it is going to have on everyone's way of life in terms of social cohestion, commitment to democracy, respect for western society etc.

Because the inevitability of unchecked global osmosis means that our society is not going to stay the way it is now - we will be forced to share everything (everything note) we have with the refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers of the world, all of them, until either they become like us or we become like them.

This may well be a right and honourable path to follow, but can we please have the electorate informed of what is happening so that they can make a proper democratic choice without the emotional blackmail that is being peddled on programmes such as Dateline London.

She could have been talking about Dateline London itself

"It's totally corrupt" wailed Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Dateline London this morning.

She could have been talking about Dateline London itself, since the discussion on migration was completely one-sided and promulgated an extreme "everyone must be given access, Western people are all guilty" view.

No mention that the United Kingdom has already taken a record amount of economic migrants over the last 12 months.

No attempt to present any other side to the issue.

You NEVER see a journalist sympathetic to UKIP featured on the programme and yet UKIP won the United Kingdom EU elections and in terms of EU representation Nigel Farage is the British Prime Minister.

I think my patience with the BBC is running out.

The bad things (especially political bias, but also Andrew Marr's luvvie sofa and, less seriously, the endless exposure of the smug and odious Stephen Fry) outweigh the good things.

Certainly I want to see Dateline London taken off the air.

And I want to see the government move forward with serious reforms of the BBC - after Dateline London this morning I would be happy to see the BBC reformed out of existence.