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Matt Carr @MattCarr55
, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Yet another reminder why politicians like Hilary Clinton are not the antidote to the far-right/populist wave.…
The EU could not be much 'tougher' on immigration than it already is. Thousands drowning in the Med or dying in the Sahara every year. Thousands more sent back to Libya or trapped there to a country where migrants are actually enslaved.
Militarised border controls that reach deep into Africa. Unlimited detention. Forced ghettoisation of migrants in sub-human conditions inside Europe. Quota-driven deportations. Hostile environments. Poor housing & denial of work or study to refugees who access the asylum system
All these and other policies developed by the EU, by conservative, 'populist' & centre-left govs across the continent. Sure, there are variants & openings such as Merkel's in 2015. But the general drift is toward physical & bureaucratic exclusion in pursuit of 'deterrence'.
In practice, if not in principle, deterrence accepts death and human suffering as the 'collateral damage' of border control. Which raises the question: how tough would Clinton like Europe to be? Should govs shoot migrant boats, as the 'populist' Bossi once advocated?
Should they intern migrants in camps (already happening btw), maybe in the Sahara or somewhere far away so we don't see them? Oh that's already happening too. If we did that, would the 'populists' calm down? Would popular 'concerns' be assuaged?
I doubt you would get a 'yes' for any of these questions - leaving aside the morality of liberal democracies behaving in such a way. All this centre-left 'toughness' would merely demonstrate that the 'populists' - and let's be clear here, the fascists, were right all along.
New Labour played this game - on one hand presiding over soaring migration from the Accession 8 countries, while detaining more non-EU migrants & bragging about its toughness on illegal migration - all aimed at promoting 'social cohesion' & addressing those famous 'concerns'.
So what would happen if govs had the courage to really address these 'concerns' instead of always pandering to them? Supposed they separated myth from fiction?. Made the positive case for immigration? Provided adequate funds to help areas where levels of migration are rapid?
Suppose they recognised migration as a natural form of human behaviour and an inevitable consequence of the unequal and wartorn world we live in? Suppose migrant-receiving & migrant-producing countries worked together, not in order to externalise our border controls
but in order to maximise the mutual benefits of migration? Suppose we stopped waging wars or colluding in the wars that have produced so many refugees over the last few decades - wars that centre-left politicians like Clinton & Blair always supported, btw?
Suppose centre-left politicians made the argument that national and cultural identity does not disappear because a minority of the population comes from outside the country? Suppose they addressed the fact that fears about identity are easily manipulated in unequal societies
where a few people have a lot, and growing numbers of the population - both Europeans and migrants have increasingly little? Suppose we stopped blaming migrants for 'taking away our stuff' and for fears, prejudices and phobias that are rooted in our own societies?
Suppose the centre-left did these things? Suppose it had ever done them? Then we might not be in the mess we're in. And we might not have to listen to 'solutions' from politicians like Clinton, who in a way, are part of the problem.
Because one thing is clear, we've had quite enough 'toughness' these last years. All it does is kill people and make them suffer - even as it degrades the societies that engage in it and paves the way for even greater 'toughness' in the future.
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