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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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HomeCulture WarShock tactics are all that’s left in the immigration crisis

Shock tactics are all that’s left in the immigration crisis

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AS tomorrow’s Swiss Federal Council elections have drawn closer, the promotional flyers keep on dropping into our postbox. On Monday, another glossy A4 sheet arrived, promoting Esther Friedli, a candidate for the SVP (Swiss People’s Party) in our canton.

It carries a now familiar slogan: ‘Stop the Swiss Population reaching 10million – NOW!’ If you disregard the headline, the bullet points on the disadvantages of mass immigration could have come straight from the Home Secretary’s address in Washington, and then at the Tory Party Conference:

·       Hardly any more affordable homes

·       Classrooms with local children in the minority

·       Building sites and concrete everywhere

·       More traffic jams

·       Rocketing medical costs

·       Violent outbreaks between rival foreign gangs

It’s all very familiar, and increasingly perceived as a major problem throughout Europe and the West. Even left-leaning voters have started demanding solutions. But it was the two photographs at the top of the flyer that took my breath away.

On the right, with a big green tick across it, was a Swiss meadow landscape, with an idealised Swiss family – mother, father, two daughters and a son – enjoying a hike through the mountains. On the left, with a big X across it, was a huddled group of African-looking men, presumably would-be immigrants.

This induced a deeply uneasy feeling, even an involuntary stab of guilt, stemming from years of being told that such blatant contrasts are inexcusably racist, fascist, right-wing extremist, grossly unacceptable in a democratic society which upholds human rights, and almost certainly the criminal offence of a racist hate crime, leading to possible arrest, fines or even imprisonment.

We know all this, since Nigel Farage used an ‘inflammatory’ poster during his election campaign for UKIP seven years ago. The poster showed, according to the Guardian, ‘a queue of mostly non-white migrants and refugees with the slogan “Breaking Point: The EU has failed us all”,’ It was reported to the Metropolitan Police by Dave Prentis of the Unison union as ‘a blatant attempt to incite racial hatred’ and stirred up a storm on Twitter, with comparison to Nazi propaganda footage of migrants. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, condemned it as giving legitimisation to racism, accentuating people’s fears for political gain.

Switzerland is no stranger to immigration and applications for asylum. According to the Federal Statistical Office (latest figures are for 2021), out of a total population of just under seven and a half million, 40 per cent were either first generation (31 per cent) or second generation (9 per cent) immigrants.

Although the largest immigrant groups in Switzerland are not from Africa but Europe (mainly Germany, Italy, France, the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Portugal and Turkey) the contrasting photographs on the flyer still shock, in the same way as a previous SVP campaign which carried an illustration of heavy boots storming across the border.

This is the point. The posters are designed to shock, to act as a wake-up call, to urge voters to action. This flyer is 100 per cent legal, acceptable, freely promoted and delivered to all households in the canton. People may disagree with the content and the images, even denounce them as racist, but the SVP are free to voice their opinion and even make it a foundation of their election campaign. They are serious about warning the voter that mass, uncontrolled immigration from all over the world poses a cultural and economic threat to the country’s prosperity and wellbeing.

Fast forward seven years from Farage’s poster, and we now have the Home Secretary raising the subject in terms described by the Guardian as ‘incendiary comments and dubious statistics’. In her Washington speech, Suella Braverman described the 1951 Refugee Convention as ‘outdated’ and unfit for our modern age’, creating ‘huge incentives for illegal migration’. 

By party conference time a week later, she hit out harder at the ‘squeamish’ politicians who have failed to take action on immigration. Perhaps not ‘rivers of blood’, but she foresees a ‘hurricane’ of migration coming to the UK. Her forthright language drew criticism not just from the outraged left, but from her own party. Robert Buckland considered the language to be ‘alarmist’, while Alice Kearns warned against ‘demonising minorities and the vulnerable’. 

Commentator Matt Goodwin’s challenge to the left-leaning liberals is: ‘What is your solution to the escalating immigration crisis?’ He says that already 82million people are refugees with tens of millions more from developing countries looking to move to the West. He refers to statistics produced by Pew Research which found that one in three in Senegal, Ghana, and Nigeria plan to migrate (Nigerian population = 214 million).

People desperately want a solution to the problem. It’s not just in Britain. This comment below the line in the Wolf Street blog suggests it’s even more dire in Germany: There is a huge wave of subsidised illegal immigration. The green German government in Berlin supports the “rescue”-ships in the Mediterranean sea financially, hundreds of thousands of Arabs (mostly young men) come to Germany plus Ukrainians (many women, children and elderly). The local German communities are responsible to get these people a place to sleep. So German communities rent as much as they can, which pushes up rents. Young German family fathers work their asses off to pay for higher rents while wondering if their daughters are safe as hordes of Arabs, mostly unemployable, some entering the drug trade, are wandering through the streets during the day. Taxes and social security: all is going up. German industry is leaving the country, starting with the chemical industry, automobile might follow soon, due to rising energy costs, now 50 per cent higher than competitors. Value added in Germany shrinking, dividend stable, that is a suicidal combination. PS: birth rate of German indigenous people plummets, death rates increase.’

The left-wing pre-occupation with multi-culturalism has created chaos. All that is left is shock tactics. The issue has long since demanded serious exposure and debate. Criminalising those who raise objections will never solve the problem, and only a full and representative discussion can lead to an acceptably democratic solution, and a free and fair vote.

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Janice Davis
Janice Davis
Janice Davis is a grandmother and former girls’ grammar school teacher

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