Friday, 25 September 2015

Refugee Crisis: Yanis Varoufakis On Question Time

Just read a report in the Huffington Post about Yanis Varoufakis attempted attack on UKIP on BBC Question Time on 24 September 2015, the parties attitude towards the immigration crisis and our responsibilities as an economically stable nation.

 Small flaw in Yanis's thinking however.

Yanis, the Ex Greek finance minister said that borders were "an absurdity when looked at from space".

I wonder if the Nazis/Italians thought that in May 1941. I am sure the Greek people were happy with borders before that invasion and equally as happy with their borders when the Nazis and Italians were swiftly kicked out.
Now we have the refugee/migrant crisis, we see the impact on the Greek people:

The fact of the matter is Angela Merkel opened Greece's doors without their say so, the EU inviting people to put their lives on the line risking travelling across the Mediterranean. They took the sensible camp selected process off the table. Which has cost many people their lives, and left numerous countries including Greece struggling to pick up the pieces.
Yanis went on to say "Let me begin by saying my answer to that question is completely the opposite," "Let me remind you ladies and gentlemen that we are all migrants. And we’re all economic migrants."

I have no doubt that we are mostly immigrant descendants to the locals we currently reside. But the reality is we have all made homes for ourselves, we have worked and in many instances fought to preserve our cultures, our freedom and our national way of life in the face of much peril. Not many more so than Greece and the United Kingdom in World War 2 for instance.

Why does this distant fact make the decimation of our way of life, and our right to choose what we do less valuable?

"If I believe my anthropologist friends we are all Africans, actually. We came to these parts of the world."
As Suzanne Evans, UKIP panelist on the program rightly interjected: "But it was a long time ago."
This much is true, but I again reaffirm the point that this attempt at conflating thousands of years of history and migratory shift into a single subject to quantify the acceptance of a huge number of people we neither have the resources to take care of, or should be the single nation to welcome is a point that Yanis overlooks and the very left wing BBC audience were more than happy to not consider.

Varoufakis went on: "A long long time ago but the notion that at the time when there are tens of thousands of desperate refugees being washed up on the shores of Greece and Italy, when there are 3.1 million refugees from that particular conflict in Jordan, in Turkey, in Lebanon and these poor countries have opened their doors to these refugees and they’ve welcomed them, they’ve sheltered them, they’ve fed them, they’ve made sure that they have water to drink."

Has Yanis taken into account the hundreds of millions we continue to pump out in foreign aid? More so since this crisis started.

What Yanis should have said, and what all people should be saying regardless of political leaning is; that the International community should be coming together in the form of a conference, either led by the UN, or the combined sources of Europe and the Middle-East and America/Canada etc to work out how many people can be taken by each nation, and what we can do to remove i) the problem of ISIS/IS/ISIL and ii) how we can stop Assad from terrorising his own people in the manner which he has done in the past.

He didn't bring up any of these matters. He just did as many populist people like to do in this crisis, which is to wave the checkbook, swing the door open and not think of the repercussions.

"To have this discussion in Cambridge today on whether there will be ten or twenty thousand people who are let in, to have this moral panic because of a few wretched souls on the other side of the channel in Calais?"
"This is not putting in good stead this country."
Really Mr Varoufakis? An estimated "5%" of those in Calais are thought to be from Syria. What are we talking about now? Are we talking about the refugee crisis in Syria, where people are fleeing for their lives, or are we speaking about migration as a whole?

This is where you lose the argument as far as I am concerned. You have done as the media frequently do, you conflate economic immigration with refugees.

This is disingenuous to say the least.
A few more facts that might have slipped the former Greek Finance Ministers thinking;
Greece is 131,951km in size and 11,030,000 in population.

The UK is 242,495km in size and 64,511,000 in terms of population.

From the years 2000 until 2013, the UK's population has exploded from 58.9 million in the year 2000 to 64.1 million in 2013 (64.51m estimated in 2014), partly as a result of mass-migration, open borders to the country from Europe and the Rest of the World. (fig's gained from World Bank).

During the same period of time, 2000 to 2013, Greece's population has only increased by 100,000 (a difference of 5.1 million from the UK), from 10.92 million to 11.03 million (again World Bank fig's).

Greece's net immigration has never been more than 50,000 previous to the year 2013 whilst the UK's has been between 250,000-350,000 net per year.

With all due respect to Mr Varoufakis, I would rather not take advice on how to run the UK, and how many migrants to take in considering nobody wants to stay in Greece due to abysmal conditions which have been caused, in a large part, by dodgy politicians.

Now you might bemoan the financial crisis that impacted banks and crashed the economies of countries across Europe.

But when you consider that Greece has defaulted on its debt (a massive thing in a countries history) 5 times in 1824, 1843, 1860, 1890, and 1932 you might start to ask yourself the question. Whos fault the financial status of Greece really is?

You might further like to remind yourself that the last time Greece were in a financial Union, the Rand, 1932, they were chucked out for "manipulating the national books" and borrowing more money then it was ever possible for Greece to pay back.

Sound familiar?

So no Yanis. We have accepted in over 5 million people more than Greece and our services are stretched as it is.

Regain control of borders and give ourselves a system where by we don't need to build a new house every 7 minutes to keep up with demand, not to mention urgently need to build more schools, hospitals, develop transport network to hold up the with the strain, create new power stations so we don't have to be dependent on Labour Governments declaring war on countries because of "weapons of mass destruction" that also happen to be in countries which have vast oil-fields. Then maybe we can talk about helping many of the worlds in need people brought to the UK.

Until then... I suggest you worry a little bit more about your own country, its finances and its ability to take care of its own starving population before you start attempting to play the moral trump card on the UK!

So I would very much appreciate it if Yanis didn't talk down to the political representatives of this country from what is quite frankly, the economic, social and humanitarian disaster which is known as Greece.

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