I wish to live as a free man in a free country.
I wish to live under the rule of laws created by elected politicians, who I can hold to account and vote for, or against, as is my right, without fear or intimidation.
I wish to live free to practice my religion, or no religion, without fear of retribution.
I wish to be free to eat the foods which I choose to eat, and alcohol or smoke cigarettes if I so wish.
I wish to be free to choose who I might ask to take my hand in matrimony, and for that person to be free to accept or decline that offer as they in turn shall choose.
I wish to enjoy music and dance, if I should wish to.
I wish to live in a country which promotes literature, art and science.
I wish to live in a country in which people are free to express their sexuality whether, gay straight or however, without being tortured or executed.
I wish to live in a country which is, as far as possible, free from sectarianism and sectarian violence.
I wish to live in an open society where people are free to imagine, write, think, question and debate.
I have listened, read and watched all the various forms of news media over the past week. I have come to one clear, and actually rather startling conclusion. I will vote to leave the European Union. I say that this is startling as I have always been a great believer in the benefits that European Union has clearly had in some ways. I would love to have spent some time, like our landlady, living in France. I would rather break bread with a Frenchman or a German than fight them, as my ancestors had to do. I regard it as a positive good that London is now the fourth largest âFrenchâ city in terms of population. This brings culture, versatility, skill, style and ideas.
However, the Europe Unionâs feeble response to the mass migration of peoples from Africa and the Middle East has convinced me. I believe that mass migration â for that is what it is â threatens all of the values I have set out above. Note that I referred to values. I did not mention housing, services, or standard of living. Those things are important, they are good, but these values are more important, and without them society cannot prosper anyway.
I am very sad that little boy and his mother and brother drowned. Indeed, if someone from this country wants to adopt and care for an orphan from a refugee camp and bring them up as their own and pay for their care and keep â I say, congratulations, you are a good soul. But if people seriously imagine that the present lax system which Germany is adopting and which others suggests we should adopt here is going to end in anything but woeful calamity, they are at best deluded.
Very large numbers, I would say the majority, of those migrating, travelling, seeking asylum, call it what you will, are not women and children. They are young men. They are young men from Islamic societies, and I do not regard the prevailing political culture of those countries as being compatible with the values I have set out above. They are the provinces of religious intolerance, cruel theocracy, sectarianism, cruelty, and hysteria. Did you see that bloke in Hungary hurling himself â and wife his child â onto railway tracks and screaming that he would rather a train ran them over than go to a reception camp? That isnât seeking refugee status; itâs hysteria over a lifestyle choice.
And as Dominic Lawson argued in a thoughtful and balanced article in the Sunday Times, if you really want to help Syria, one of the best things to do would be to build and finance a sort of proxy Syria, a Syria-in-waiting which will be ready to help resurrect the country if and when the civil war is over. Britain has indeed rightly given very large amounts in aid to establish camps with safe and healthy conditions, and I have no problem with Britain doing more or, if any individual citizen wishes to donate their own, personal time and money and resources â good on them. Thatâs super.
But is it a proper response to adopt a guilt-ridden, holier-than-thou, self-destructive policy which is neither practical nor moral. Lawson quotes the economist Sir Paul Collier in his book âExodus: Immigration and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century.â He says that Germanyâs stance âis not just foolish, it is also deeply immoral. Europe has a duty to fish refugees out of the sea because it is morally responsible for tempting them into the sea. So, whatever else Europe does, it must stop this policy of temptation. Paying a crook thousands of dollars for a place on a boat should not entitle a Syrian refugee to a more privileged entry into Europe. It is profoundly unfair to the other suffering refugees.â
The final straw came when I pondered the quota system which Germany wants the EU to adopt. Who, it occurred to me, is the German Chancellor to tell me who I must agree to live in my country, and how many? Germany can bring itself to its own destruction with its own mad catharsis of collective guilt for the sins of its grandparents. I do not want this country to go with it.
So, I am afraid, itâs goodbye. I will vote for an exit, and for any political party which promises and delivers on control of Britainâs borders. This is more important now than a temporary dip in GDP, or a recession. It is about the survival of the values that make Britain a good place.
Germany can go to its collective hell in a handcart, although given its past history there may be some twists and turns along the way. I, however, do not wish Britain to follow suit.