The Liberal Left is Lost on Immigration
Liberals should stop screaming and tell us their solution
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I know Suella Braverman. We’ve met several times and had dinner. I think she is interesting, intelligent, brave, and willing to take on the elite consensus. She will say what few others will say and, I suspect, still has her eyes on the top job.
Which is why I was not at all surprised by her speech, in which she railed against uncontrolled and illegal migration, described it as “an existential challenge for the political and cultural institutions of the West”, and called for a new approach.
She wants to reform the global asylum framework, which is rooted in the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, so that it better reflects the reality of today’s world, reducing the number of people who qualify for asylum and raising the threshold.
And she wants to reform, if not leave, the European Convention on Human Rights, which she argues is being gamed by young economic migrant men —often to the detriment of genuine refugees, including women and children.
Unsurprisingly, the speech was instantly met with a tsunami of hysteria and criticism on the liberal left, where various commentators derided the Home Secretary as ‘far right’, ‘fascist’, ‘extreme’, and ‘irresponsible’.
If you want an example of just how far to the cultural left many of these people have moved over the last decade then compare and contrast their reaction to Angela Merkel’s suggestion in 2010 multiculturalism has failed, which elicited not much of a reaction at all, to Braverman’s speech this week, which elicited a total breakdown.
There’s a lot that could be said about the reaction —including the way in which self-described ‘liberal progressives’ focus relentlessly on her own minority background, demonstrating the same bigotry they often associate with the right.
As Trevor Phillips pointed out in The Times this morning:
“The very phrasing of reporters’ questions — “How does this square with your being the child of immigrants?”— stinks of patronising bigotry, as though being a person of colour should imprison your mind as well your body”.
But the question I would like to ask people on the liberal left is different.
It’s simply this.
If you disagree so strongly with Suella Braverman then what is your solution? Seriously. What is your solution to the escalating immigration crisis?
Because I think it’s time they get real.
The migration that is now rapidly unfolding and accelerating across the West is only just the beginning, not the end, of a major crisis that looks set to profoundly and permanently alter our politics and our world.
There are some 82 million refugees in the world and tens of millions more people in developing states who are looking to move to the West. More than one in three people in the likes of Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria recently told the Pew Research Center they plan to migrate (Nigeria’s population is currently 214 million).
The pressure on a divided Europe is growing by the day. Last year, 330,000 illegal border crossings into Europe were detected, an increase of nearly 70% on 2021, while many many more were not detected at all. In Italy, 11,000 migrants just arrived in five days while 130,000 have arrived illegally this year alone.
And the numbers will now only spiral upwards. As Chris Caldwell points out, the population of Sub-Saharan Africa passed 1 billion in 2015 but will more than double to 2.12 billion by 2050. By then, the population will be ten times what it was in 1950.
As demographer Paul Morland notes, in Europe, today, we are witnessing the largest population shift since the great migration of people such as the Goths and the Anglo-Saxons, which followed the collapse of the Roman empire.
Which is why, as I predicted in 2018, national populists across Europe are now once again surging in the polls —drawing their support from voters who desperately want a solution to this crisis but can sense their leaders have none.
Marine Le Pen, the Alternative for Germany, Sweden Democrats, Viktor Orbán, Vox in Spain, Chega in Portugal, Law and Justice in Poland … these are all symbols of elite failure on immigration. And unless we change course in Britain then we too will soon have another populist revolt against an incompetent establishment.
As The Times points out, while the numbers are colossal in Europe some 40 million people across Africa and the Middle East favour Britain as their eventual destination —that’s more than half our current population.
In fact …
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