Ten days after Brexit, I try to take a calm look at the furore caused by Nigel Farage's Breaking Point poster and some thoughts on how the EU's mismanagement of the refugee crisis contributed to it.
As someone living outside the UK, EU immigration was never a reason for my tepid support for Leave. Let me stress once again, I erred towards Leave but was never a supporter or a campaigner and it is the post-Brexit debate that has provoked to start making videos on the subject.
In my last video, which asked whether 52% of UK citizens are racist, I made it clear that I think that Nigel Farage and UKIP are illiberal populists, who campaign on the key issues of immigration and euroscepticism. The Breaking Point poster was definitely a very cheap shot and the image was unacceptably inflammatory at that stage in the Brexit campaign because it callously provoked racial tension before the crucial referendum.
The statement he made was "I apologise for the timing but you can't hide the truth" so whilst condemning the underhand tactic, it does make sense to look at the so-called refugee crisis and examine the EU's mismanagement of it as this certainly was a valid point to make in the campaign.
When the refugee crisis broke a little over a year ago, we were all told that the migrants who were arriving to the Greek border and the Italian islands were refugees fleeing from the conflict centred around the Islamic State mainly in Syria and Iraq. Just like anybody else, I was extremely disturbed by this and was keen for EU countries to give as much help as possible.
However, whilst the conventional media ran stories on Hungary's brutal treatment of the poor refugees, for anyone who spends any time on YouTube, it soon became very clear that most of the new arrivals were not refugees at all but rather economic migrants. Most were young single men, which is rather odd as the people most affected by war would surely be families, including women and children and the old. In fact, the well-chosen photo in Farage's Breaking Point poster shows a stream of single men.
Furthermore, the majority of these so-called refugees don't come Syria and Iraq at all but are in fact economic migrants coming from North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as other parts of the Arab world and the Balkans. There are hundreds of shocking videos showing the migrants ransacking the local country side, refusing food because it's not good enough for them and admitting they were only interested in going to Germany and Sweden because these countries had the best welfare conditions.
Many people have known this from the beginning of the crisis but, like me, have been afraid to come out and say so for fear of being accused of racism by their politically correct virtue signalling friends. It came as something of a relief when EU Vice President Frans Timmermans finally admitted in January that as many as 6 out of 10 of the new arrivals were not refugees but in fact economic migrants.
You can find the link to an article in The Independent on this here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/six-out-of-10-migrants-to-europe-come-for-economic-reasons-and-are-not-refugees-eu-vice-president-a6836306.html
The problem, though, is that ordinary people, the non-politically correct ones that is, know they are being lied to so the Breaking Point poster was in fact a very effective example of campaign strategy.
The lies of the EU about the so-called refugee crisis also raise another set of very serious issues.
First and foremost, in my mind is that if you are helping economic migrants, you actually have fewer resources to help the legitimate refugees who really are running for their lives from the war zone. The pros and cons of accepting economic migrants aside, surely it is these people that should be they priority. They really are in need and desperately need our help.
Secondly, as became clear after the mass rapes in Cologne and other German cities at New Year, sex-related crimes are on the rise in both Sweden and Germany. I think most people accept that Islamic teachings do promote a rather retrograde view of women, which encourages rape culture, but even if that weren't the case importanting millions of single men who don't speak the local languages, don't have work and consequently find it difficult to get a girlfriend is quite clearly a time bomb.
Can you imagine what would happen if 2 million English football supporters suddenly arrived permanently in Germany and Sweden? There would be a massive rise in robberies, disorderly behaviour and sex crimes even if only a minority of the fans were wrongdoers.
Another claim by Chancellor Merkel was that the economic migrants would satisfy Germany's labour needs. It was even suggested that these people were Germany's future doctors and scientists, which was another obvious fabrication.
Even if Germany needed unskilled workers I don't understand why it didn't try to fill the labour shortage with unemployed Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese and Greeks. I live in Spain and there is nearly 50% youth unemployment here. Surely it would make sense to fill the labour shortage with people who are more culturally similar and have been through a similar education system. This would be better for Germany and also take some pressure of the the very beleaguered Mediterranean states, which incidentally have suffered precisely because of the austerity policies that have been imposed by the EU.
The truth is that Germany has admitted that it now has three quarters of a million migrants who shouldn't be there and Sweden says it has 80,000. I can't see that they will be deported so they will become EU citizens and then they will have the right to bring their families. This will mean that that the final number of migrants can be double or tripled at a conservative estimate.
Europe will have at least 3 million unintegrated migrants all of whom have freedom of movement and at the same time the legitimate refugees will not have been helped. This seems like madness to me and I'm sure it does to many other people so it really isn't surprising that immigration became a key issue in the Brexit campaign.
We really need to discuss the difference between refugees and economic migrants and legal and illegal immigrants in order to be able to prioritise the needs of different groups. However, the regressive left, as liberal Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz calls them, have shut debate down by calling everyone who tries to discuss the problem a racist.
This means that foreigners all tend to get put in the same sack and also causes? the divisions in society, which can be clearly seen in the Brexit result and also in the rise of right-wing parties across Europe. I repeat I really don't believe that most people are racist but if their politicians won't listen to their concerns they'll be pushed towards someone who will.
The upsurge of right wing parties is a symptom of this, which could have very nasty consequences for for Europe, and yes, Farage's Breaking Point poster cynically manipulated people's feelings but I'm not at all surprised it worked.