Bonkers (2)

This is Mr Philip Hammond, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, talking about the recent feared tragedy in the Mediterranean. A large number of would-be migrants are feared drowned after the ship they were sailing in capsized

We must target the traffickers who are responsible for so many people dying at sea and prevent their innocent victims from being tricked or forced into making these perilous journeys [1]

None of this is true. Far from “being tricked or forced” all the evidence is that people who make this journey do so entirely of their own free will. They are neither being tricked nor forced.

Why does this matter? Because you cannot make a sensible policy if your grasp of the problem is detached from reality. The causes of migration are the wealth disparity between parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East and Europe and the number of wars in the region. Both of these are political problems.

Mr Hammond’s comment reflects a true political class desire to present a political problem as something else. In this case all the responsibility is placed on the shoulders of the traffickers. A political problem is packaged up as a criminal one. No doubt many of the traffickers are dastardly and cold-hearted. No doubt many of the boats are unsafe; and leaving them to drift may be part of the method. But the underlying problem is political. The political response would mean that the West stops starting wars in Africa and the Middle-East and turns its attention instead to poverty reduction in Africa.

As always though with these gangsters, in place of political analysis and political solutions we get fake narratives which are designed to frustrate analysis and which are intended to support their underlying project of neo-colonialism and war.

We can also remember at this point that before he was assassinated with help from the SAS Colonel Gadaffi pointed out that one result of toppling his regime would precisely be this; a surge in numbers of migrants crossing from Libya to Europe. (The other predication was that Libya would be over-run by Islamist extremists. This also seems to be becoming true).



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