If you feel more emotion looking at a picture of queuing lorries than a picture of desperate humans living in a lay-by, you need to check your bedtime routine for someone beating you round the head with a meat tenderiser. Only the British could experience great pain at the thought of a traffic jam – a place where you can sit alone with your radio on without being expected to do any work. Aren’t traffic jams unbearable? By the time you get home, you need to sit alone in a comfy chair with your favourite music on just to calm down.
Can you think how desperate these refugees must be?I appeal to women to understand this – not because they are more compassionate, but they’ll understand that getting into a van driven by a bloke from Kent is something you’d never do by choice. Can you imagine stowing away in the back of a van? To survive cholera, genocide and starvation, only to be killed by a sleeping bag covered in chlamydia. Migrants are desperately fighting to get into the backs of vans that drowsy nightclub goers are desperately fighting to get out of.
David Cameron has offered France dogs, fences, and car parks – dealing with a humanitarian crisis like a primary school kid emptying his pockets for the bullies.I’ve mused before about whether he might be a psychopath and it’s worth noting that he has left reassessing the processing and treatment of genuine asylum applications until after his three-week holiday in Portugal. Cameron used the phrase “promiscuous swarm of foreign peoples”. Oops, my mistake, that was Hitler – but you get the general idea. Cameron’s use of the word “swarm” was carefully thought out; he avoided the word “plague” in case it implied God had sent them.
The Daily Mail (catchphrase circa 1938: “German Jews Pouring Into This Country”) has revelled in the kind of reporting that can only be the sign of a decadent society in freefall. No doubt Rome, in its later days, was also full of people who held very firm opinions based on little evidence, I simply can’t be bothered to find out. One headline reported on terrible food shortages. You might think: “How wonderful to see the Mail reporting on one of the driving forces for people leaving their countries,” but, of course, they meant no frankfurters for Hampshire. At least Calais has replaced the Mail’s hideous stories about how drowning migrants are ruining British people’s holidays, presumably because it’s now impossible for Brits to lay their bloated, burnt bodies down on the beach without locals trying to give them the kiss of life.
Of course, these poor migrants are being used as a distraction by a media and political class (I now use this term instead of government, because the government and opposition seem to be in consensus) that know Calais is an insignificant element of illegal immigration, and suspect that many of the refugees have a good claim to asylum. It’s silly season and they want to spin out a story that is essentially about aggressive hitch-hiking until the bread and circuses of the new football season and The Great British Bake Off get into their stride.
That’s not to say it isn’t hellish for the people living it. We invade their countries and justify it by saying that our way of life is better, then boggle at the idea they might think living here is great. We pay no attention to how our actions in other countries have precipitated this situation. There has to be something wrong with a world where the best employment option for a farmer in sub-Saharan Africa isn’t being a farmer in sub-Saharan Africa, but crossing the Mediterranean on a punctured lilo, only to spend days dangling under a lorry so that he can end up selling lollipops in a nightclub toilet. Our indifference is staggering. For a lot of these people, their best chance of survival may be to dress up as a leopard and hope to get Twitter onside.
Of course, the true existential threat to us might come from ourselves. If we can look at another human being and categorise them as “illegal”, or that chilling American word “alien”, then what has become of our own humanity? To support policies that dehumanise others is to dehumanise yourself. I think most people resist that, but are pressed towards it by an increasingly sadistic elite. If you’re worried about threats to your way of life, look to the people who are selling your public services out from under you. The people who will destroy this society are already here: printing their own money, printing their own newspapers, and responding to undesirables at the gates by releasing the hounds.