On Saturday, Swindon town centre played host to a refugee solidarity march which called for borders to be opened to refugees fleeing the war in Syria. Here’s what I think.
All in about ninety protesters turned up, and the protesters represented groups such as The Green Party, The Labour Party, Swindon Trades Council, Swindon Anarchists and Berkshire Anti-Fascists.
By all accounts much noise was made. With the march being declared a success by the predominantly left wing crowd. Despite the fact that it was clearly anything but.
To my mind, a success would be a march which drew interest from the whole political spectrum. But in this instance it wasn’t to be; and there are good reasons for this.
High levels of immigration, high unemployment, a monumental housing shortage and a level of austerity necessitated by the Blair/Brown governments overspending. All of these things have somewhat understandably left many Swindon residents questioning whether Britain is really up to meeting the protesters demands that we remove borders and turn a blind eye as millions head for soft touch Britain. Especially given the number of safe countries these refugees-cum-economic migrants have passed through in order to get here.
But let’s take a moment to look at the groups involved in this march.
Somewhat surprisingly Swindon Trades Council made an appearance. Which is surprising precisely because you would think that there would be some interest on their part in helping alleviate the effect that high levels of immigration have had on the housing and job markets. More people does after all mean increased demand in the housing and job markets. Which negatively impacts local workers.
This is because as competition increases; house prices rise and wages fall as we move from a buyers/employees market, to a sellers/employers market. Further widening the gap between rich and poor. But I digress.
At one point the protesters installed some art work with a dummy representing the Syrian boy who drowned at sea when his father tried to leave Turkey.
Yes, that is right, because what the protesters wouldn’t have said is that the child and his father weren’t fleeing war as they had already moved into an apartment in Turkey. With the father deciding to turn economic migrant and make the dangerous trip to Europe regardless of the fact that they were safe, in good health and having their Turkish rent paid by family members in Canada. But of course, emotional blackmail is always effective, if not accurate.
Not so surprising was the presence of Berkshire Anti Fascists. Of course, they weren’t from Swindon (unlike Swindon Anarchists). But given how the extreme left and their gaggle of career protesters love nothing better than to jump on a bandwagon it is perhaps not too surprising that they thought to hijack this event as they do so many other causes. Including the environmental and anti war movements which are rigidly policed by their career activists.
This is something I know a thing or two about given I was attacked by a thirty strong mob of Anti-Fascists at Balcombe anti-fracking site for committing nothing more than what amounted to a thought crime.
Of course, I still have the knife scar. But what this does do is leave me laughing at slogans such as “respect existence or expect resistance” given that the behaviour of such groups is usually anything but tolerant and respectful of those who think differently. Myself included who would have died in the middle of the road at Balcombe but for the timely arrival of two police officers.
But let’s look a bit more at the issue itself. After all, issues of violent left wing fundamentalists hobnobbing with Labour Councillors and Green Party members aside. It is worth remembering that Europe is currently engaged in trying to manage a refugee crisis which it seems has enabled what is one of the biggest security concerns in modern times.
Hundreds have died so far in Paris and Mali. With various ISIS affiliated individuals being found to have hidden themselves in amongst refugees fleeing war in Syria. And with many of those swarming through Europe being single men with no accompanying women or children. As one might expect with a large column of genuine refugees.
Added to economic concerns regarding our ability to support such numbers, especially given that you would expect a genuine refugee to stop at the first safe port; I’m left thinking that anything less than a thorough assessment of the risks involved in allowing such numbers to enter the UK amounts to well intentioned naivety at best. With the worst case scenario being that it is true what they say about the extreme left in that they really are the enemy within and that they couldn’t care less about issues of security or whether we’re even capable of absorbing such large numbers of culturally unassimilable individuals.
But rather only in rigidly pursuing their own fundamentalist left wing agenda regardless of alternative viewpoints; and regardless of security concerns or economic impact.