I just tweeted these thoughts:
I wrote this idea down quite a while ago now, some elsewhere place (another blog of fairly ancient existence); a very fond elsewhere but an elsewhere I no longer promote.
It was rather a self-indulgent blog; we don’t need self-indulgence these days.
The idea in question needs to be highlighted though; we need to be reminded of its bitter truth, and return to it over and over.
The West really does no longer value those who would leave their homelands. There is no utility in End of History times for a world of Realpolitik impulses; thus, the refugee metamorphoses into an awkward, out-of-place, irritant of a figure.
The reasons are pretty clear, I think – as far the rebranding exercise which has happened is concerned anyway: a refugee deserves refuge; a migrant, meanwhile, will only be ever granted a stay of execution. As long as you are still useful to us, you can remain. But once your utility is up, so must we also uproot the gingerly established roots you’ve planted.
In truth, we simply do not know how to handle coherently the implications of globalisation.
We cannot live without borders.
Now the Soviet Union is no longer breathing down our necks, and even latterday Russia can be controlled by financial mechanisms only the Lord may understand, we have the terribly irony that those we claimed in the 1950s onwards to defend with all sorts of honourable intentions are now revealed as simple pawns to be discarded as minions of the most swarming sort.
These people – who suffered Eastern-bloc surveillance and political & cultural oppressions of the worst kind; people who lived (barely survived, even – but survived all the same) in the light cast by Western beacons of hope, intellectual liberty and gritty integrity – no longer sustain the value they once allegedly had for us.
In part, perhaps, dare I say, because most are no longer from Europe; there is clearly a not-so-underlying racism operating here.
But the issue affects manifestly European citizens too: British parties with racist tendencies are happy to call such peoples to book – for their simple humanitarian desire to improve the existences of their families and loved ones.
The Berlin Wall has fallen.
Long live the Berlin Wall.