I had an idea for a cartoon (right) that showed two faces of Europe. On the top, a stream of Syrian refugees/immigrants – some wearing burqas, with jihadis and suicide bombers mixed in – are stepping off a boat and being welcomed and invited inside the house of Europe. And below European smokers are being told to go away – get out -, and one can be seen falling into a ditch.
It might have been better if the two pictures had been combined into a single image, with a stream of people entering from the left, and departing to the right. Either way, a little cartoon like this might make the point of who’s welcome and who isn’t, for the political class at least.
Anyway it seemed to capture a couple of truths about Europe, one highly topical and the subject of intense discussion, the other completely ignored and invisible – but both, I think, equally divisive, and equally mad.
For it is madness to invite tens of millions of Syrian refugees into Europe, while exiling many more tens of millions of native Europeans to the outdoors.
For the effect of both is socially and culturally shattering.
Do they know what they’re doing? Sometimes I wonder if they do, and it’s all perfectly deliberate, because Merkel and Hollande and Cameron are all secret converts to Islam or something, as well as being agents of Tobacco Control. But mostly I don’t think they have the first clue what they’re doing, given reports like this:
EU could go UNDER in 6 WEEKS, Dutch PM claims as France admits ‘we weren’t built for this’
THE Dutch prime minister said the future of the European Union could be decided in just six weeks if the bloc doesn’t get a handle on the migrant crisis, as panicking France begs Britain to stay in the union.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave the EU the deadline to get a handle on the influx of refugees from conflict zones in the Middle East and elsewhere – or face the bloc breaking up.
He told a panel on Europe at the World Economic Forum in Davos: “We have six to eight weeks.”
Meanwhile French prime minister Manuel Valls admitted the EU “could very well break up in a very short time”.
And I can well believe it. It may well be that the EU disintegrates before Britain votes on whether or not to stay inside it.
I sometimes think that I am a refugee too. I am, after all, one of the European smokers who have been exiled to the outdoors. And if Spain hadn’t introduced its own smoking ban in 2011, I might well have been living in Spain right now, as a refugee from totalitarian, antismoking Britain. In the end I decided it was better to be a refugee in totalitarian, antismoking Britain than in totalitarian, antismoking Spain – if only because I can speak one language much better than the other.
For I am also a refugee within Britain. I am a refugee within my own country. I used to live in a ‘progressive’ metropolitan city, and I had lots of friends. But since my ‘progressive’ friends started banning smoking in their own homes, and the government imposed a country-wide smoking ban as well, I’ve moved out into the depths of the conservative English countryside. Round here, as far as I can make out, everybody is ex-army or ex-navy. Which is probably a good thing: they’ll all know how to use rifles.
P.S. RIP Lysistrata.