Last year, 626,000 individuals sought ‘refuge’ in Europe, and that is just the number who registered their arrival in one manner or another.
We are told, and I believe, that they are fleeing from the horrors of war, starvation, famine, disease, and persecution of giddying varieties. Whilst many would argue that these people deserve our sympathy, there are those who would cheerfully send them back to meet their fate. I am taking neither stance in this piece – I would like you to look at a different side of the equation.
I would like to look at what they are leaving behind. It cannot have escaped your attention that as you look at yet another boat full of ‘terrified refugees’, or watch ‘desperate men’ attempt to board trucks at Calais, that what you are looking at is principally fit, agile, young men. The official EU figures bear that out – over 75% of the 2014 figures are young men between 18 – 34.
Leaving aside the argument promoted by some – that these are all potential jihadis, and we should be quaking in our beds, there is something else we should be looking at. These are all young men at the peak of their sexual prowess. In other words, it is highly likely that barring a minority they have been in a sexual relationship, and possibly already have several children to prove it.
Think about that for a moment. We hear about the women and children refugees, and the allegedly terrible time they have at the hands of the British government. When did you hear anything of the women and children that have been left behind in war torn, diseased, famine ridden countries that are too dangerous and terrible for a fit, agile, young man to survive in?
What has happened to the elderly mother who used to rely on that young man to bring wood for the fire? Who is tending the goat that provided milk for his children? Who is protecting his pregnant wife or girlfriend from these terrifying soldiers and acts of war? Who is farming the land to feed his village? How is his family surviving now that he has raided the family piggybank and mortgaged the family soul to pay the people traffickers? Who is digging the graves for those not able to flee the death he is escaping from?
Much is made of how these young men, so desperate that they carry knives and iron bars to threaten lorry drivers, should be resettled in European countries, and that eventually they will become useful tax payers, send for their families and live happily ever after in social housing once we have built it. What happens to their families whilst that process takes place?
It seems to me that we are watching a curious social mobility, whereby we import young men of working age, but with little education or language skills who have correspondingly little chance of genuine employment – and have proved themselves prepared to break the law and use violence to get their own way – and in turn, are denuding other countries where famine, death and war stalk the womenfolk, the elderly and the children of the very men they might have been able to rely upon to protect and nurture them.
The women folk and the elderly and infirm of Britain suffered great hardship during world war two – they coped and were proud to do so because they knew their menfolk had left these shores for a noble cause. Try to imagine how they would have felt if their menfolk had given the family savings to a people trafficker and left them to fend for themselves in the name of a ‘better life’ or because they were frightened that they might starve.
Is our sympathy for ‘the boat people’ misplaced? Should it not be going to those they left behind in their bid for a better life?