It’s possible to wonder – it must be so for we do – whether there’s a competition going on at The Guardian to see who can make a claim of the utmost fatuity. Who can say something most mindgarglingly stupid in a column ans hope to get away with it? Assuming that this is so aids in explaining this zinger from Owen Jones:
With all the focus on the problems supposedly caused by immigration, it is striking how little scrutiny there is of the problems actually caused by opposition to immigration. It fuels bigotry towards anyone deemed to be “other”, from being screamed at to “go back to where you came from” in the street to being turned down for work. As we saw during the Windrush scandal, it leads to a country’s own citizens being kicked out of their homes, deprived of medical care and deported. It means that the wrong people are blamed for social injustices caused by the powerful – a lack of secure jobs or affordable housing, stagnating living standards, struggling public services. It causes staffing crises in essential services such as the NHS. It drives political phenomena ranging from Donald Trump in the US to Viktor Orbán in Hungary, who use xenophobia as a means to garner support. At its worst, the scapegoating of those deemed to be “foreign” paved the way for conflicts such as the second world war. Immigration has never destroyed a single nation; scapegoating has.
Immigration has never destroyed a single nation? Seriously?
There’s an old joke about Sitting Bull who meets the President of the US one day. And El Pres asks him whether he’s any advice to give to the ruler of the nation – chortle, chortle, for how could some ignorant native, reduced to penury on the reservation, possibly have anything useful to say?
“Take care of your immigration policy”.
And yes, obviously enough, that’s just too just so to be just.
Except, of course, immigration policies have been the ruin of more than one nation in the past. The Romans rather regretted allowing the Goths, plain-, Ostro- and Visi- over the borders. They did rather better at keeping the Picts out. India’s been whining for generations about how the Mughals should have secured that Bengal border a little better. China’s wall against the Mongols didn’t quite work all the generations leading to things like the Manchu dynasty. South Africa’s still very pissed about having let the Dutch land and if there were any fairness to any of this the Khoi San would still be up in arms about the Bantu arrival.
And if immigration’s never been the ruin of a nation then what the hall are the Abos and Maori vituperating about? And we can’t even ask the Maoriori as they all got eaten.
Seriously, immigration has never been the ruin of a nation is a statement of the utmost fatuity. So, now, who is going to manage to trump this? George M? Frances Ryan? Julie Bindel? Inquiring minds want to know.