hms iron duke

hms iron duke

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Honourable Gentleman

Alphen, Netherlands. 4 February.  Socrates once wrote, “The unexamined life is not worth living”.  Last week in Washington I met the usual coterie of impressive, high-level men and women some of whom I have the honour to call friends.  However, the one truly inspirational figure was a humble cab driver who drove me from my central DC hotel back to Dulles Airport.
 
This honourable gentleman is a Somali-American who left his native Somalia amidst chaos and carnage twenty-three years ago.  He spoke no other language than his local dialect and was faced with a fearful choice – stay and die, or leave in fear.  As he escaped he had no idea when or where he would see his family again, if at all.  Many died, some made it out. 
He is a proud man.  He went first to Germany and then the Netherlands, Britain and finally to the US.  Today this honourable gentleman does not only himself great credit but also reminds one that the US still has the capacity to take the huddled masses that built a great country; something too many Americans too easily forget in these days of decadent decline and faux failure.
My short but inspirational trip came against the background of more suppressed reality emerging from the twilight of failed government.  In London last week a leaked Home Office report (interior ministry) highlighted the massive fraud being committed by EU migrants against the British people with criminal gangs systematically trafficking people into the country and then fraudulently claiming benefits. 
In one case more than 1000 children were trafficked into Britain by a Romanian gang and forced to steal, beg, and commit benefit fraud.  In another case 230 Polish drug addicts and people suffering from mental health problems were “lured” to Britain and tricked into opening bank accounts to fraudulently claim benefits.  The leaked report concludes, “It is clear that criminal gangs exploit the free movement rights of EU citizens in order to facilitate fraud against the UK benefits system”. 
The Romanian Prime Minister recently accused concerned Britons of racism.  Sir, it is not the Romanian or Bulgarian people that concern thinking British people but Romanian and Bulgarian criminals who represent a clear and present danger to an already teetering British society.
This week launching a new report the European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstroem described the level of fraud in the EU as “breathtaking”.  The EU Anti-Corruption Report says fraud costs me the law-abiding European taxpayer some €120bn per annum or twice the annual British defence budget.  As a freelancer struggling to find work I find that figure and the people that steal from me obscene.  However, as the fate of the British report testified rather than deal with the problem governments prefer to hide the fact in plain sight.  It is no wonder the EU and politicians are today held in such contempt.
Eleanor Roosevelt once wrote, “Do one thing every day that scares you”.  As an analyst it would be easy for me to steer clear of the Big I – immigration.  However, it is a matter of the utmost strategic gravity – changing, reinforcing and undermining societies at one and the same time.  As such the consequences of hyper-immigration must be examined analytically. 
Equally, analysis must also be informed by humanity as no-one is any better or worse than anyone else.  We are all the victims and the beneficiaries of circumstance.  Yes, many of our countries have been changed beyond belief in the past twenty years and without our permission.  Yes, we have the right to hold governments and the EU to account for their appalling refusal to recognise the very real social and cultural impacts that hyper-immigration has generated.  Equally, we all of us have a duty to treat each individual with the respect they deserve irrespective of from whence they come.
Today, this honourable gentleman owns his own car and company in DC which he uses to ferry people like me around Washington. With great pride he told me that in his twenty-one years in the US he had never taken a benefit check.  He had done whatever it took to find work and build a life so that he, his family and his community can contribute to modern America. 
The balance all western governments must strike between social cohesion and openness is a devilishly difficult one.  Behind the justified headlines about the negative impact of immigration are many honourable people who come to our respective countries and do indeed enrich our societies and economies.  All and any of us who are rightly concerned about the dark side of hyper-immigration must do so always with that reality in mind.
Socrates might also have written that all lives are worthy of examination in order to make one’s own worth living. 
Thank you, sir. It was an honour and privilege to meet you. 
Julian Lindley-French

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