Camp of the Saints, Revisited

If you want to see the immigration crisis getting completely out of control, check out northern France, where several thousand “migrants”—as the press describes them—are trying to charge through the Channel Tunnel to Britain, where, they suppose, the welfare state will take care of them. It hasn’t been receiving much media coverage in the U.S., except for the Wall Street Journal, which notes today that the disruption at the Channel is bad for business.

As the Wall Street Journal quoted one aspiring client a few days ago:

“Here, no one looks after me,” the teenager said. “In the U.K., I can be a big man.”

No one looks after me. The Telos of the welfare state, in five words. More revealing is this passage:

“Stopping them is becoming very difficult since they’re just not afraid of the police anymore,” a French police officer said.

It looks more and more like Jean Raspail’s controversial 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints, come to life. Raspail’s novel imagined a flotilla of several million refugees from south Asia making its way to France, landing like an invading force, and . . . destroying the country. Raspail intended it as a mordant critique of western liberal guilt, since all right thinking people welcomed the invasion (welcoming banners read, “We’re all from the Ganges now”). As Raspail described the climax of the invasion:

The strangest conclusion one can draw from these five crucial minutes of that shortest day—though it would have been perfectly clear, had one bothered to read the signs—is the fact that the refugee horde seemed so blithely unaware that this land it was about to make its own could possibly belong to others already. It had, indeed, been drained of its human substance, and offered no resistance.

But perhaps even a few liberals can figure this out. Glenn Reynolds draws our attention to the second thoughts of the immigration minister in the last British Labour Party government, who admits that the Labour government was “too soft on immigration”:

Years of ‘soft-minded liberalism’ were yesterday blamed for the chaos at Calais by a former Labour immigration minister.

Phil Woolas made the blistering intervention as he demanded a British-run detention camp on French soil.

The former Home Office minister said the illegal immigrants ‘wouldn’t come’ if they knew they would be locked up.

He blamed an absence of ID cards in Britain and his own party’s Human Rights Act – which he said had made it harder to remove foreigners who had been effectively given equal rights to those of British citizens.

Mr Woolas, who was an immigration minister between 2008 and 2010, said: ‘The mess in Calais is down to years of soft-minded liberalism and utter naivety.’

But, but. . . “soft-minded liberalism and utter naivety” is the business model of left-leaning parties. Except, on immigration at least, for Bernie Sanders.

Glenn also directs us to this 2010 story from the Daily Telegraph which explained that the Labour Party’s expanded immigration policy was adopted explicitly for political and ideological purposes—gee, doesn’t that sound familiar:

The release of a previously unseen document suggested that Labour’s migration policy over the past decade had been aimed not just at meeting the country’s economic needs, but also the Government’s “social objectives”.

The paper said migration would “enhance economic growth” and made clear that trying to halt or reverse it could be “economically damaging”. But it also stated that immigration had general “benefits” and that a new policy framework was needed to “maximise” the contribution of migration to the Government’s wider social aims. . .

Voting trends indicate that migrants and their descendants are much more likely to vote Labour.

The existence of the draft policy paper, which was drawn up by a Cabinet Office think tank and a Home Office research unit, was disclosed last year by Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He alleged at the time that the sharp increase in immigration over the past 10 years was partly due to a “driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multi-cultural”.

So how’s that working out for ya, mate?