The Out of Touch President Down Under

November 18, 2014

In Australia this week, Barack Obama, attending the G20 Summit in Brisbane, made plain that he is an out of touch leader who not only fails to appreciate the importance of maintaining strategic alliances, but ignores fundamental realities about our world.

Speaking to a mostly student audience at the University of  Queensland, the President urged the younger members there to hold firm to the commitment to press the Australian government about climate change.

“Combating climate change cannot be the work of governments alone,” he said. “Citizens, especially the next generation, you have to keep raising your voices, because you deserve to live your lives in a world that is cleaner and that is healthier and that is sustainable.“But that is not going to happen unless you are heard.”

The remarks could not be disguised as anything but a venomous swipe at his host, set in the context of the Abbot government’s repeal of the Australian Carbon Tax in 2013.  

Why, exactly, the President of the United States would seek to humiliate an ally who has loyally stood by the U.S.’ efforts in its attacks on ISIS, worked closely with the Administration on Asia policy (particularly with regard to the disputed Senkaku/ Diaoyou Islands in the East China Sea) and on a multitude of trade issues is a quandry that many Australian politicians and commentators are now starting to question.  

Notwithstanding this, although Abbot engineered – as one of his first acts of office- the repeal of the ludicrous carbon tax (the first such legislation in the world and the first such repealed), his government has nevertheless maintained the Labor government’s goal of cutting carbon emissions by 5% over the next 15 years. Australia is highly placed among the developed nations who have worked methodically to cut emissions and compares favorably with anything achieved in this regard by the United States. 

The Australian people demonstrated in a loud voice last September that climate change is not one of their greatest priorities by dumping the  Rudd-Gillard Government .  It was an election where the survival of the hated carbon tax was a key issue.  The rejection of climate change as a fixation is evident throughout the West.  In the United States, a recent Gallup Poll  found that 66% of American citizens list climate change legislation and global warming as number 15 or lower on their list of priorities. 

But there is a real Australian issue that intersects directly with U.S.national security interests that the President might have mentioned.  

Just two months ago over 800 police officers in Australia arrested 15 people, allegedly connected to the terror group ISIS, who are believed to have planned to kidnap and behead people on camera. The counter-terrorism raids on houses and vehicles in both Sydney and Brisbane were the largest ever in the country’s history. At the time Commonwealth prosecutor, Michael Allnutt, told Sydney’s Central Local Court that the foiled plans were “clearly designed to shock, horrify and terrify the community.” Allnutt added there was “a plan to commit extremely serious offenses” that involved an “unusual level of fanaticism.”

Read that as ‘beheadings’ and ‘mutilations’ of Australian citizens.

And just today the Wall Street Journal reports how those Muslims in Sydney who support the crack down on their fanatical co-religionists, are suffering extensive condemnation and harassment from their own leaders. 

It must be remembered that Australia has a population approximately 1/8th the size of the United States. Proportionally, if such events had occurred in the U.S., it would have been as if a large scale pogrom had swept the country. 

Who can deny that if ISIS is alive and well in far distant Australia, it is not also flourishing and scheming its next atrocity right here in America?

And so we must ask:  A leader who seems so deeply concerned about the future and the  “next generation” (and indeed, almost everywhere he travels, he insists on speaking to students over the heads of government leaders), has nothing to say to that generation about the gravest physical threat faced by the West today in our own cities?

Barack Obama has always styled himself as something of visionary, capable of seeing and understanding the future as others can’t.  But the failure to grasp realities and grapple with them, will, with hindsight, render his visions of the future no more than fading props used to give a hackneyed background to a failed Presidency.

Greek Drama Has Lessons for the Western World

November 7, 2011

As Greek prime minister George Papendreou submitted his resignation to the president on Saturday, there were no cheers of exaltation rising from the streets of Greek cities.  Instead, there was only a palpable sense of dread, as the future looked  more grimly uncertain than ever. 

Papendreou, the scion of the country’s most prominent political family- whose father and grandfather had both served as prime ministers – became the latest victim of  the sentient notion that  Europe would be a harbinger of a new era for mankind – a place where conciliation would replace confrontation and where amity would replace division.

But the Greek political class on Saturday demonstrated that the new Europe would be a far more divided place than any European leader could have imagined sixteen years ago following the signing of the Maatricht Treaty.  One can only gasp in wonder as a country roiled by a one trillion euro debt and confronted with the snarling contempt of other major European countries, could not bring itself to recognize that without a unified voice which accepts the austerity plan imposed upon it by the European Union, the entire country could be engulfed in an economic cataclysm that would make German stagflation of the 1920s look like a Saturday afternoon game of Monopoly.

For what had collapsed by Saturday night in Athens was not only the prime minister’s center-right coalition but  the very idea of a unified Greek nation, one that believed that as a people and a country it possessed a common destiny and common purpose.  The failure of the two major parties to forge an alliance to stave off the worst financial crisis in the country’s history, is a telling sign of what will become of other European countries as they pass through exactly the same crisis in the coming twelve months. It is very difficult to fathom how a democratic country, faced with such unflinching and demanding partners – who control the very monetary lifelines necessary to keep their economy alive, could be so conflicted on what is the only possible course for it to take. 

But this is the face of the New Europe.  Given to years of lassitude, the Greeks, and most Europeans have no stomach for austerity.  Profligacy, social welfare, neoptism, corruption and a vibrant, fairly open black market, has produced a country where people don’t work much, retire young and take long vacations. 

The Greek model actually describes the bulk of Europe, where the work ethic has given way to the pleasure ethic and the lambent idea that government can always be counted on to bail out failed enterprises.  But what happens when the government has no money to bail out anybody and the source that it must rely on – namely foreign investment, remains skittish and uncertain about the country’s future?  What happens when no one – not the European Union, not the United States and not China – is prepared to say we believe in your future and we will continue to fund your debt?

What then happens is a complete collapse of confidence and a fatalism that grips everyone from the prime minister to the local fruit vendor.   That is what was on display in the streets of Athens on Saturday night.  No matter what happens with the dissolution of the government or new elections in the not-too-distant future, the crushing weight  of debt will be the overriding, ever present concern of whomever takes over the running of the Greek Republic.  

The Greeks have good reason to wonder who will ultimately control their fate.  Angeliki Martaki, a retiree quoted in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, summed up what many ordinary Europeans must be feeling about their future:  “All the Euro has bought us has been pain.  At least with the drachma, we were what we were: Greek.  Now, I don’t know what we are and who is in charge of our national destiny.”

I heard the same sentiments expressed to me in villages in England and coffee shops in Madrid.   A collapse of national purpose; the absence of great leaders who can rouse the population to work and save; the lack of a pervasive national sentiment boldly declaring” we are all in this together.”  Instead, as countries such as Italy, Spain and Portugal progressively unravel, the citizens of these once great, independent countries will find themselves having to fend for themselves, with no one but the Gods to hear their cries of pain.

That idea – that soon there actually may be no one willling or able to come to the rescue – is a lesson that every citizen in the West should take to heart.

It is Not Just Liberals Who Oppose Immigration Reform

March 7, 2011

When in November, 2010 the citizens of Arizona passed SB 1070 by an overwhelming majority in a state wide referendum, there were many who proclaimed it a turning point in the nation’s consciousness about illegal immigration.   After all, a measure which sought to crack down on rampant border crossings by forcing suspected illegal aliens to confirm their  status, would seem a natural reaction for any polity seeking to reinforce key concepts of citizenship.

And indeed the expectation that States would finally take action in the spirit of  SB 1070 was quickly reinforced with over 20 states vowing, in one way or another, to follow Arizona’s lead.  Most particularly, initiatives sprung forth in Utah, Indiana, Kentucky and Georgia.  The anti-illegal immigrant sentiment had gained momentum from a sense among ordinary citizens that their own taxes are being used to support those whose loyalties do not attach to this country and who saw the federal government as helpless in preventing the crime and dependency that has come with the flood of Central Americans streaming across our borders.

Yet the measures introduced by many of the conservatives who swept to power in state wide elections in 2010 are failing.  They have come up against not so much Federal opposition ( SB 1070 is headed for review  in the U.S. Supreme Court in the next few months) but against businesses, police and community activists who have banded together in an odd coalition to stymie reform of a broken system.

Why, one might ask, has Georgia’s House Bill 87, which seeks to crack down on illegal immigration and has squeaked through the state House of Representatives, failed to win the endorsement of the same Republican governor who promised his support for exactly such a measure during the 2010 election?  Why has Utah watered down its own anti-illegal immigration law which now only requires immigration checks of people arrested for felonies and serious misdemeanors and has passed a ” guest worker” ID program which looks suspiciously to many like amnesty?

The answer is that Americans, wherever, they live, have grown too comfortable and complacent with the cheap labor that comes from the ready supply from an illegal immigrant work force.  After decades of delegating the menial urban tasks of our society  – including house cleaning, gardening and handiwork- to outsiders and our rural jobs such as harvesting, many Americans, including our small business owners, have forgotten that if the bedrock of our labor force is not American but foreign, we run the risk of future civil unrest which might one day rival the slave revolts of Rome or the current welfare dilemmas of Europe where huge populations of  Muslim illegal immigrants demand the same rights of housing, health and education as their legal compatriots.

The problem is not simply America’s but one growing without control in almost every Western country.  White guilt at the the range of luxury we enjoy combines with greed and complacency to set up a terrifying problem for future generations.  It is a mark of potential societal collapse when a country’s citizens fail to attach any value to their own concept and view of that citizenship.

The failure of our political leadership at all levels of government in this country to stand behind a distinctive form of American identity poses as one of our most disquieting internal problems.  Let’s pray for candidates in the 2012 elections who offer a clear sighted view  of the immigration problems we have created for ourselves and a firm grasp of the draconian measures, such as the people of Arizona were forced to adopt,  that now need to be taken to address them.

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Rising Resentment in Europe

October 9, 2010

German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems to have developed a fitful case of the John-Howards this week.   Much like the former Australian prime-minister, she found herself being forced to publicly confront the reality that a large swathe of the Muslim minority in her country has no interest in assimilating into German society.

Germany has been roiled over the past month after the publication of former  Central Banker Thilo Sarazzin’s book Deutschland schafft sich ab “Germany Does Away With Itself” in which Mr. Sarazzin alleges that Germany’s immigrant Muslim population is reluctant to integrate and tends to rely more on social services than to contribute productively to their society.   Furthermore, he calculates that their population growth may well overwhelm the German population within a couple of generations at the current rate. He proposes stringent reforms for the welfare system to rectify the problems. The first edition of his book sold out within a few days.

The political uproar occurred when German president Christian Wullff responded to Sarazzin with a plea for greater tolerance of Muslim sensitivities. That pushed members of Merkel’s governing conservative coalition, the Christian Democratic Union, to call on the president to show her conservative muscle and counter Wulff’s apparent words of appeasement.

Increasingly, European leaders are being forced to state openly what isolated members of their conservative constituencies have been saying for nearly a  decade – that  Europe has a Muslim problem that is not going away any time soon.  Men and women who have  been brave enough to defy politically correct prohibitions have suffered for their convictions. Pik Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh were murdered;  Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Dutch legislator, was forced to flee and Geert Wilders, the leader of the second largest party in the Dutch parliament, is currently standing trial for incitement.

But the fact there is a movement afoot to confront the realities of a restive, unassimiable minority of Muslims in the midst of Europe, cannot now be denied.  Last December the Swiss voted to ban the construction of further minarets in their country; the French have been debated the banning of the burqa for nearly two years and the Italians, whose problems are not quite as severe, nevertheless have developed stringent judicial responses to honor killings and wife beating incidents in Muslim homes.

Now its Germany’s turn.  The German journalist Henryk Broder, who appeared at the first Collapse of Europe conference in June 2007, once explained to me that German passivity was a result of its disinclination to be regarded in any way as racist.  Its own history with racism has inoculated it, he said , against any notion that other groups should be coerced into accepting Western values.

Its not quite good enough any more.   Over the next five years European political leaders will come under increasing pressure from their constituencies to make bold statements, much as Ms. Merkel did this week.   They may not be quite as brave as John Howard, who, in 2005, faced down multicultural pressure to state assertively that Muslims who do not subscribe to Australian values or choose to place their religious convictions above the Australian constitution, will be stripped of their citizenship.

But that day might be coming to Europe sooner than anyone expects.

Do the U.C. Regents Really Know What is Going On?

July 14, 2010

Several weeks ago, my friends Tammi Rossman- Benjamin, a lecturer in Hebrew at U.C. Santa Cruz and Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus at UCLA,  contacted me about a letter which they wished to address to Mark Yudof, President of U.C. California – the largest college system in the United States.    They expressed their outrage with the failure of Yudof and the U. C. Regents to adequately address the rising tide of anti-Semitism on  California college campuses and the apparent ease with which Muslim groups and other left wing organizations are able to demonize Jews and Israel in the most vile and inciting language.

In the letter, to which they asked me to append  my name and the endorsement of the American Freedom Alliance, they outlined some of the outrageous attacks to which Jewish students have been subjected over the past several years.  To wit:

” Over the last several years, Jewish students have been subjected to –  swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti; acts of physical and verbal aggression; speakers, films and exhibits that use anti-Semitic imagery and discourse; speakers that praise and encourage support for terrorist organizations that openly advocate murder against Israel and the Jewish people; the organized disruption of events sponsored by Jewish student groups; and most recently, the promotion of student senate resolutions for divestment that seek to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish State.”

The crowning incident of these macabre developments occurred when grotesque gestures and obscene epithets were hurled at Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, when he attempted to deliver an address to students at U.C. Irvine on February 8.  Eleven students , most of them belonging to the college’s Muslim Student Union, were arrested for civil disturbance.

The incident not only shone a kleig light on the problematic campus but also pointed to intense problems of oversight within the U.C. system itself.   The failure of the Board of Regents to adequately discipline  a campus which has witnessed repeated instances of  anti- semitic outbursts from Muslim students and has paid little attention to the growing climate of intolerance, was a making a farce of  the Regents’ professed multicultural ethos.

President Yudof’s answer was to institute a series of  campus climate committees –  groups of academics, campus administrators and lay leaders who might represent a broad multicultural approach to resolving campus problems.

Tammi and Leila’s letter attacked the Yudof plan as being out of touch with reality since it does not expressly deal with the most egregious form of bigotry and hatred –  the attack on Jews and supporters of Israel.  In other words, their contention was that the campus climate committees have not been convened to specifically address anti-Semitism – which accounts for 80% of the threatened violence and racial slurs on campus, but have been given wide purview for an investigation embracing all forms of racism.   The letter composed by Rossman- Benjamin, Beckwith and U.C. Irvine lecturer Roberta Seid, gave explicit recommendations for the course the U.C. President ( himself an observant Jew) , should undertake.

They are too numerous to enumerate here but fall under the rubric of one basic directive : Call this intolerance and bigotry for what it is –  a resurgence of the same anti-Semitism which has  its roots planted deeply in Western history.

Yudof, disappointingly, has not risen to this challenge.  In a letter, dated July 2 and addressed to the fourteen named leaders of organizations who signed the original June 28 letter( myself included)  he ducks the demand that the Board of Regents  expressly name anti-Semtism as the number one cause of disturbances  on our campuses.   Instead he urges that the multicultural campus climate change committees be given the opportunity to do their work and provide their recommendations for dealing with outbreaks of racism.

Fair enough.   I can take Yudof at his word and wait for his committees to do their work.   But we are  all, nevertheless, absolutely correct to be skeptical.   For multicultural panels throughout the West , such as the ones he has convened, have proved themselves regularly inept in addressing outbreaks of anti-Semitism, particularly from within the Muslim community.  Read almost any British newspaper these days ( or the reports that we present weekly from that country in The Western Word) and you will find evidence of multicultural city councils, police boards and government agencies  surrendering to the cultural sensitivities of Muslim communities, abjectly bowing to their supposed ‘multicultural’ and rights of free speech to express anger about  Israeli policies and against any Jew who supports them.

I rather like Sharon Rappeport’s response to Yudof’s letter.    She states that sensible monarchs learned centuries ago that  there is never a  substitute for first hand experience and every now and then it is good for the King to wander amongst his subjects to see for himself what is really going on in the streets of his towns and villages.

”  May I suggest then that you dress as do many of your ( observant Jewish)  students:  with a beard, kippa, and tzitzit–the strings hanging on the outside. Then attend a free speech “talk” by Abdul Malek at U.C. Irvine or Santa Cruz and discover what it feels like to be pointed at and screamed at by him and intimidated by his menacing bodyguards. Hang out at “the wall” during “Israel Apartheid Week”–choose any of the U.C. campuses–and try entering a discussion with the organizers of that hate fest, surrounded by banners equating Jews with Nazis. They will tell you straight out that they believe you should be killed.”

It seems inevitable that while the climate change committees slowly deliberate over the nature of  violent rhetoric that has engulfed California campuses in recent years,  actual violence and murder may not be too far away.

At that point, with blood  spilled on our campuses, it may be too late for Mark Yudof and his Board of Regents to officially recognize that, yes, indeed, we have an antisemitic problem that cannot be met by subscription to the usual multicultural pieties or soft touch policies.  They can only be stamped out by resort to the most draconian methods  – either the dissolution of campus organizations, expulsion of the offending students or direct charges of criminal behavior.

Cinco de Mayo As Symbol of Hispanic Separatism

May 9, 2010

My organization, the American  Freedom Alliance, shares an executive suite with several other organizations, law firms and accountants. The residents of the suite all hail from different nationalities and observe different religious practices.    We all get along pretty well, and there is general acceptance of a range of  holidays and respect for individual traditions.  Therefore each late December both Christmas and Channukah will be respected, with  a Christmas tree sharing a wall along side the Channukiah, the traditional candelabrum that Jews light on each of the eight nights of their festival.   Other national events, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Thanksgiving are almost always marked by their own tokens of remembrance.

I was therefore not at all offended  when, on May 5, the office receptionists brought a dozen sombreros to the office and  went around the suite offering to take a photograph of anyone who chose to don one.  They generously supplied a large bowl of guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips in the luncheon room, displaying great pride in celebrating their Hispanic origins and culture.

That’s all fitting and well within the bounds of respectable multicultural sentiment.

But what happens when white Americans begin regarding Cinco de Mayo as a cultural icon that they insist all Americans must be forced to respect as a symbol of Mexican national pride?

That is exactly what happened this week at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hills, California when administrators at the high school sent five students home on Wednesday after they refused to remove their American flag T-shirts and bandannas — garments the school officials deemed “incendiary” on Cinco de Mayo.

The five teens were sitting at a table outside the school on Wednesday morning when Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez asked two of them to remove their American flag bandannas.  The boys complied, but were asked to accompany Rodriguez to the principal’s office.  There it was explained to the students that wearing such clothes might be considered offensive to students of Mexican extraction.  When the boys protested that to be forced  to turn their own t-shirts inside out would itself be offensive, they were given the option of going home. They chose to go home.

While the school’s dress code policy allows the school ” to request that any student dressing inappropriately for school will change into other clothes, be sent home to change, and/or be subject to disciplinary action,” one has to wonder how the expression of such patriotism attracts the ire of the school dress watchdogs, on a day when more than 100 students were spotted wearing the colors of the Mexican flag — red, white and green — as they left school, including some who had the flag painted on their faces or arms.

Not many today  realize how peculiarly an American event the celebration  Cinco De Mayo has become.  It has its origins  in a Mexican army  victory over the French on May 5, 1862, at the city of Puebla, Mexico.   The French, Spanish and English had invaded to enforce debt payments that the Mexican government had repudiated.   At that point in history, the French army had not been defeated anywhere for over 50 years.  No country in the Americas has been invaded since that date  by a European military force.

The victory, however, was only a minor setback for the French.  Within a few months its expeditionary force had recovered from its defeat and occupied Mexico City, where they installed Maximillien II as king.

Cinco de Mayo began to be celebrated in California in 1863 and, to a more limited extent, in Puebla itself.  But for the most part, it is ignored in Mexico – and in even in most of the United States.

The problem with the celebration today is that it often hoists Mexican nationalism above American patriotism and in recent years has seen immigrant riots, the veneration of  Mexican nationality and even flying the American flag upside down.   For instance, in response to proposed federal legislation regulating illegal immigration, students at Montebello High School on March 27, 2006  in California staged a protest at which the Mexican flag was raised , the American flag raised upside down beneath it and the California flag stolen. Other incidents, most particularly in California, once owned and ruled by Mexico, have indicated that there is a restive minority in the country’s largest state who do not subscribe to assimilationist ideals but cling tenaciously to their Mexican national identity.

The school system is particularly prone to this kind of inverted thinking.  Four years ago, a parent at a school in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles told me that she was shocked to arrive at a parent-teacher meeting which she found being conducted wholly in Spanish, with translations  made available to English speaking parents only through headphones.   Another parent told me of a high school in Florida where a giant mural celebrates true “American” heroes – Fidel Castro, Che Gueverra and Simon Bolivar.

As Victor Davis Hanson has argued in his powerful book Mexifornia:  A State of Becoming, ” if America once invaded Mexico and hurt its pride, Mexico has now quietly  invaded America – not with thousands, but with millions, and as an occupying force that plans to stay.”   The Republic of Mexico, according to Hanson, is secretly supportive of illegal immigration seeing that the yanquis and gringos once invaded their land, rigged the border to permanently harm the Mexican people and oppress their southern neighbors.  They therefore surrepetitiously  support their illegal brethren to the north in a covert attempt to “reclaim” California.

It is time we start recognizing that California is a society under siege  from those who insist on such ethnic chauvinism, bilingualism and Hispanic separatism.  This cultural assault  is being abetted by multiculturalists who use Cinco de Mayo, Mexican Independence Day ( September 16) and November’s Day of the Dead to reinforce the notion that the State of California is eternally Mexican, and will one day, inevitably, return to the fold.

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo may therefore be pleasant enough, but not if it gives a leg up to rampant disrespect for American nationalism and fealty to another nation.

The British Election in Red, Blue, Green and Yellow

May 5, 2010

As the British  national election entered its final days, it was interesting to watch the three candidates fall over themselves to prove to the British constituency their multicultural credentials.   Prime Minster Gordon Brown,  Conservative Party leader  David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg consistently pounded home the message  on the hustings that only they are capable of leading the nation to a safer, more environmentally friendly , culturally open future.   Each one insisted that only they will provide  strong leadership and statesmanship, worthy of an occupant of 10 Downing Street.

The whole thing is a bit of a laugh.  Britain’s greatest problems have little to do with the  floundering economy, environmental degradation nor the absence of charismatic leadership.   They are almost exclusively tied to the collapse of British identity.  The flood of immigrants pouring  into the country over the past two decades, particularly after Britain’s became a signatory to the 1999 Treaty of Rome, has opened the doors  to hundreds of thousands of foreign laborers, who, unlike in the United States, are in the country legally.

The foreign workers – a large percentage from Eastern European countries alone, take low paying jobs that British citizens no longer want themselves. Many are quite open about the perquisites of working in the U.K. – particularly the availability of free health services.  Not many wish to remain permanently in the country and become English citizens.

And so it is that  one can walk into an English pub, as I did two summers ago, in the heart of the British countryside and discover the waitresses to be Polish, the cook  Iranian and the owner Pakistani.   If you spend some time listening to the conversation of the patrons you will hear a veritable patois of foreign languages spoken.

The governing elites do not see this  as any real problem.  They fail to appreciate the urgency of upholding British identity and protecting against its erosion by immigrants seeking the benefits of  the English welfare system, without any intention of  permanently remaining in the country.

There should be very little surprise then that prime minister Gordon Brown, in an unguarded moment, could reflexively label a 66 -year-old woman, questioning him about immigration, as ” a bigot.”    For Brown and others in his government, the ideal of England as a heterogeneous nation which subscribes to common values and ideals is now passe and irrelevant.   He, much like  his opponents Cameron and Clegg, have bought into the notion of England as a country which should willingly absorb foreign influences and ideas in order to strengthen its new multicultural order.

Of course Britain is in a bit of a fix about the whole issue.  The Schengen Plan of the European Union, to which England is an enthusiastic signatory, mandates that borders to be opened to  the workforces of other European nations.  This was the final nail in the coffin for the Commonwealth, which once extended the same privilege to the citizens of the former British Empire.   But it has also seen, over the past decade, a death blow to British cultural identity, as  European immigrants, seeking better paying jobs and working conditions, enroll their children in schools without an ability to even speak English and take up hospital beds that were once reserved for those actually born in the country.

Many British politicians, among them the three who fought the election, now seem to accept that the right to free movement is as much a humanizing force in the world as the right to free speech or the principle of free trade.  This is the new Europe – where such universal freedoms and privileges trump national identity and cohesion.   And so it is natural that  Brown could view Gillian Duffy’s words as bigoted.  The hush- hush nature of the discussion casts all who doubt the necessity of open borders as outside the pale of discussion.

And its not just the governing classes who are gung-ho about immigration. In 2006, the Trade Union Congress, concluded in a report:

“Host countries gain from migration. It is possible to debate the size of these gains, but the important point for British debates is that immigration does not have a negative impact: overall levels of employment and wages are slightly higher as a result of immigration, and migrant workers pay more in taxes than the value of the public services they receive. When studied at the level of the country as a whole, the old accusations of the extreme right, that immigrants take native workers’ jobs or are a drain on the welfare state, are as false as they have ever been.”

It is  also perplexing  is that one  couldn’t slide a piece of paper between the three candidates’ environmental policies.  So  committed are these parties to combating global warming and saving the planet from human degradation that you did not hear a word from anybody that the end -is-nigh warning from environmentalists might be somewhat inflated.  Subscription to doomsday scenarios remained strong, for much like the insistence upon open borders among the British elites, no one dared challenge this hallowed trope.

As of this writing it looks as though the Tories in Red  have defeated  Labor in Blue – even if  the resulting  hung parliament may soon  necessitate new elections.   But for a contest painted in multicultural hues, overlaid with a patina of green and with the respective candidates terrified of confronting the real issues,  the whole mess seems  to have taken on a disturbing  shade of yellow.

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