Migration and democracy

Tensions over immigration have erupted on the streets of Chemnitz in eastern Germany this last week. They are a disturbing reminder of the dangers which exist when the democratic process fails to address real issues in a real way.

The media reports the presence of neo-Nazi groups in the protests, intending to exploit the situation. If that is the case, then it is deeply disturbing; it is  the last thing any democrat wants to see.

But the media is again calling neo-Nazis ‘far Right’ and ‘extreme Right’.

The Nazis like the Bolsheviks –  the Leninists, Stalinists – and later Pol Pot and Mao were fundamentally hostile to democracy. They systematically used violence as a legitimate means to achieve their Idealistic ends.

Each of these dictatorial and totalitarian regimes practised massacre and they all played on national identity to exploit people’s natural sense of identity.

Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao – were all advocates of  radical ideologies which conflicted with the status quo and which intended to fundamentally overturn the historic constitution and culture of those countries. If they qualify for any appellation it is Left, not Right. 

But the terms Right and Left wing come from a parliamentary context. And a Parliament is all about discussing and resolving issues to avoid the resort to violence.  It is anathema for anyone adhering to parliamentary government to see society engulfed in violence for any reason whatsoever. Be they of the Left or be they of the Right.

So how should we view immigration ?

Point one. See the situation for what it is.

The imposition of an Ideological perspective creates confusion and refuses to address reality. Simply opening the doors and allowing anyone to enter a country will inevitably lead to tensions. But that is the position of the ideological and idealistic Left. It accords with their internationalist world-view. Granted. But they smear any one who disagrees as a racist. Ergo end of debate; no chance of agreement or resolution; issue swept under the carpet to fester.

Point two. Immigration is a fact of life in history, certainly that of the British Isles.

Our identity as a nation has been forged from successive waves of immigration [note the constituent elements of our language] and from a union of Scots, Welsh, Irish and English. We have had a free flow of peoples for centuries and a welcome to incomers is characteristic of our nation.

Point Three. Race is not the real issue in this debate. The real issue giving rise to contention is culture. But race and culture are intertwined. Do immigrants and their descendants embrace the open and tolerant, respectful and trusting culture we cherish.  Do they put our culture ahead of their inherited culture ?

As one who lives as an immigrant I have first hand experience. I am aware of the culture in which I live, its history its values and all that goes with that. I am also aware that I have a responsibility as an immigrant to respect the host nation, and to comply with its norms and ways. I don’t have to live here, but choose to. Therefore certain Responsibilities apply.

Learning the language is a vital step, here. And it is evident that those who are born in a country far more readily see life in terms of that country’s culture.

Point Four. Immigration is usually due to economic factors, both for the host nation and the migrant. This was undoubtedly a critical factor in the increased levels of net immigration to the UK, for example,  from the mid 1990s.

The population of the UK is getting preponderantly older – undoubtedly connected with the high annual levels of abortion since 1968 …but that is another issue. The need for workers will still be there if the nation’s doors are shut against all incomers.

Point Five.  Most human beings just want a peaceful, healthy and materially successful life. They don’t want trouble or to cause trouble. There is no difference between the indigenous population and the immigrant in that regard.

Point Six. An acute problem arises with the sudden influx of large numbers of people with a different cultural background.

We are dealing with human beings here,  both indigenous and migrant. Stresses on health and education services; and sudden adaptation to a new situation – that again applies both ways.

This becomes particularly problematic when the indigenous population feels threatened. Concerns about loss of national identity are real. To call that racism is foolish and false. It is living in denial of a real issue which should be managed, not fuelled by ideological repression.

Protest in Chemnitz, Germany is a symptom of this denial and repression. People feel threatened, and that is on both sides. Threat generates fear, and fear can generate terrible reactions.

It is incumbent on responsible politicians to anticipate such issues and head them off. It is absolutely essential to manage such situations responsibly. But they have not been managed responsibly. And that is why Germany is witnessing a crisis right now.

How could the German government and the European Union have expected Germany to absorb a million people from other cultures overnight ?

This crisis of immigration into Europe is 20 years old yet unresolved. Why ?

Because the ideological dogma of the Left has stopped debate and fudged the issues by setting the terms of perception around ideology, instead of around the realities involved.

There are two sides to every issue, and there are at least two perspectives. It simply does not do to shut down rational, realistic and informed debate by adopting an ideological and holier-than-thou approach to very real problems for very real people.

It is the worst of politics. The propagandic manipulation of perception according to an impossible ideal, instead of according to a fundamentally realistic grasp of what human beings actually are. Imperfect.

The simplistic and idealistic view of the Left that immigrants are all good people who are being abused by the extreme Right in the host nation is manifest nonsense. It is a false dichotomy. The true dichotomy is that there are good and bad among all peoples.

In fact the Left’s false and propagandic narrative has created the conditions in which immigrants themselves are now threatened by lawlessness from criminals among them.

The story of Ashwaq a young Kurdish Yezidi girl is heart rending. [Links below].

Her plight arose because the German authorities failed to protect her and many like her. She has now fled Germany because Germany cannot protect her from her former IS captor who lives openly in Germany.

This is the outcome of a media and political culture dominated by the irresponsible and idealistic dogma of the internationalist Left.

Just open the doors, and let everyone in.

Ashwaq was a genuine refugee. Her former captor is no such thing; but he benefits from the blanket immunity granted by the Ideological mindset in which the Left sees every immigrant as a legitimate refugee.

Migration = Good; Question immigration = Evil.

This ideological distortion means that the fundamental issues are not resolved. Immigrants like Ashwaq,  and indeed our entire democratic system,  deserve better than this.

Both Ashwaq and democracy need adherence to truth, to law & order and to due process. But this is sadly lacking in a narrative which puts simplistic ideological platitude before reality.

Ray Catlin


and in German:

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