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Monday, August 05, 2019

Simon Reeve on why we should have completely open borders

Hopping channels, we got a few seconds of this: "Mediterranean", with Simon Reeve.

He's just been spending a bit of time with lads on the North African coast who are trying to get into Europe illegally. And here's what he says, now on board ship and looking over the Strait of Gibraltar at 17:30 minutes in:

"Across the Mediterranean, from Africa to Europe, from Morocco to Spain, it feels that under the watchful eye of those lads in the forest who look at these big ships carrying their hopes and their dreams across to southern Spain. And I just get to do it thanks to this (gets out his passport) little thing: my passport (chagrined grimace); an accident of birth."

Yes, indeed. It's hard not to feel sympathy with people who want a better life.

But if you're going to play on our emotions in this way, there should also be a cool head to go with that warm heart.

There are three options:

a.) Let anyone and everyone into Europe, anytime.
b.) Let nobody in, ever.
c.) Let some people in.

Since (a) and (b) are obviously lunatic, it must be (c). And if (c), then we need a system.

It really doesn't help the political discourse to have TV presenters and celebs indulge in obiter dicta without considering the implications of what they say.


Sackerson said...

I have emailed SR at United Agents as follows:

"You are very welcome to comment.

Yours faithfully

Rolf Norfolk

P.S. I am the foreign-born son of a war refugee, so please don't use that as a point of counter-attack."

Sackerson said...

JD comments:

I saw that programme last year. You say you saw a few seconds but not the whole thing, is that correct? What I took away from the programme was that those trying to get to Spain were doing it for money and for no other reason. Once they got to Spain they found it was not what they expected. They were mostly employed harvesting the fruit and veg and were paid minimal wages (probably less than the legal wage, I have forgotten the details) and were living in less than ideal accomodation. Problem was, as stated in the film, they could not return to their homeland without a 'loss of face' by returning as poor as they were when they left so they were in a sort of self imposed limbo.

Spanish newspapers last year were explaining the sudden rise in popularity of Vox, described as a right wing party or even 'far right' and this coincided with a 40% increase in burglaries along the south coast as well as an increase in knife crime. Links between cheap labour immigrants, crime and people voting for Vox? Possibly Vox politicians exploited those links or the fear that those things were connected?

Worth watching the whole thing for a perspective.

Sackerson said...


You're right, I didn't see the whole thing and should watch it. I simply assumed it was another case of TV people using their spot as a bully pulpit to snarl at Brexit.

Germany used to have a system of "Gastarbeiter" - 6-month visas for temporary work in the summer. Maybe we should have something like that.

Bruce Charlton said...

You need to stop being Reasonable and Fair-minded about TV presenters who are willing channels of purposive evil! Let's not waste our lives picking-apart the minutiae of motivation among those whose purpose is to sleepwalk us into a world of fear and despair!

Sackerson said...

Welcome, Bruce! Do you come here often?

I'm working on the principle that a cool forensic approach may be more difficult for such people to deal with - they're used to writing off those who splutter at their ignorant arrogance.

But maybe all the arguing is a trap - maybe we should flow past these boulders and focus on the message of love.

Wolfie said...

What no commentary on the impending economic doom? The time has arrived.

Sackerson said...

@Wolfie: in which case it's not impending. What's your plan?