Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “migration”

Force of Numbers

Are we about to see an example of governments’ hands being forced by pure force of numbers?

Hungarian riot police have fired tear gas [into Serbia] and water cannon to force migrants back from the Serbia-Hungary border.

Hundreds of people have massed at a closed crossing point near the Serbian town of Horgos, and are involved in a tense stand-off with police on the other side of the border.

Some migrants threw missiles, including stones and water bottles.
BBC News Website, 16 September 2015 : Migrant crisis: Clashes at Hungary-Serbia border

We have seen tear gas and water cannon used, but these migrants (the type of migration and reason for migration is immaterial) have committed a lot of time and money to get this far, have endured numerous deprivations and believe that within the EU there lies a better life. They may also have a different attitude to the sanctity of borders – seeing them as artificial constructs imposed by others rather than our view of a border defining our land.

What happens when say a thousand Syrians rush a Serbian-Hungarian border post?

Are we prepared to see the use of bullets? Read more…

Is the country full?

Julian Ware-Lane’s blog often has some interesting data, sometimes enlightening, other times rather meaningless. The latest thought-provoking post questions whether the country is “full up”.

On the basis of the data he presents, he says no. But the data does not address what is meant by a country being “full up” in today’s global world. Read more…

A Game in Turmoil

The “Beautiful Game” is in turmoil today as one of the leading teams has announced that it wants to play the game according to ice hockey rules. The chairman of the team wants the ice hockey offside rule allowed – which prohibits opposition players from migrating into his team’s area unless they already have a “puck”, and the icing rule which prevents “pucks” from entering his territory from more distant parts of the rink.

The chairman claims to have the support of his supporters. At the moment it does not look as if it will attract the support of other members of the league.

Read more…

Migration and the Greater South East

An infographic about migration into the Greater South East republished on Julian’s Musings Blog claims:

Polls show that on average people think there are far more immigrants than there really are. – 31%

Meaning?
– 31% of people polled thought there were far more immigrants, or
– on average people thought there were 31% more immigrants than there really were?
Presumably the latter, but that probably says something about people’s willingness to assume that someone who speaks with a foreign accent or who is not white is an immigrant.

These sort of facts provoke so many other questions. Read more…

I’m thinking what he’s thinking!

Today I find myself agreeing with Lord Howard – the former Conservative Leader, Michael Howard – possibly best remembered for his election slogan “Are you thinking what we are thinking?” – which was met with a resounding “No”.

He has shot back at the mayor of Calais – who has been complaining about the lack of action by the UK to stem the numbers of migrants loitering around that town waiting for a chance to sneak into the UK.

For someone who dislikes the whole tone of the Conservatives’ attitude to foreigners, finding myself agreeing with a politician whose politics are drier than Tio Pepe, is a little disconcerting. Read more…

Big Problems need Big State Solutions

I am struck over and over again that some country’s governments take great delight in the concept of “Small Government”, whilst we face big problems requiring the sort of big solutions that only “Big Government” (and sometimes international cooperation) can solve.

For example:

Read more…

Scottish Independence

From “south of the border” (just) this issue seems to be becoming a bit of a mess. I don’t have a vote (despite Scottish roots) and do not envy those who do. The line between agreed facts and asserted aspirations seems to be very blurred. Perhaps this is inevitable as this is not an agreed “divorce” (c.f. the Velvet Divorce of the Czech Republic and Slovakia).

The vote is to leave the UK – “to be independent”, if the vote was that the UK be split, that would be different, but then everyone within the UK should have a vote.

There are implications – whatever the question – for the rest of the UK. Read more…

Language Battles

We have seen how the Conservatives have won a language battle over “Welfare” – with, for instance, use of statistics that has been condemned by the ONS and selective demonising of welfare recipients attempting to tar all welfare recipients with the label “welfare scrounger”. It has been suggested that they have set up the working poor (who do not think of themselves as “welfare recipients”) against the non-working poor.

This sort of use of propaganda is of course clever politics and we have seen it used elsewhere with similar success. At the beginning of this parliament they would not have got away with it. But by winning the language battle they have opened the opportunity for welfare cuts that will affect many to a small degree and a few to a very heavy degree. The debate now seems to be how can we solve the deficit problem by further welfare cuts (not by for instance ensuring that all pay their taxes). The deficit is “due” to excessive welfare, apparently – nothing to do with inadequate control of credit, poor regulation and massive government spending to prevent complete collapse of the world economy after the banking crisis. Osborne has said that he will not need to increase taxes in the next government – I can’t see him borrowing more, I can’t see massive growth, so presumably there are going to be further cuts. And which budget is not ring-fenced?

Given the success of this political ploy, we should ask: where is the current language battle and where will the Tories go when they have won the battle? Read more…

Damned Migrant from Earth

That wretched alien creature, Curiosity, that migrated (uninvited
and illegally) to our planet about 355 sols ago is claiming its
"anniversary". Read more…

Post Navigation