Silly con Khan, eh?

Back in March I wrote about what Lauren Southern said when she appeared on James Delingpole’s podcast:

What she learned was there are professional people trafficking operations selling a dream of an idyllic life in Europe, and charge hopefuls several thousand dollars to make the trip. They have all the logistics worked out, they know the crossing points and which techniques to use at each (which includes charging fences en masse), and coach people to pass the refugee assessment process. They tell migrants they will be welcomed on arrival, given every means of support, and presented with opportunities for work. They get away with such lies because half the west – including politicians and national newspapers – publicly declare that refugees are welcome and citizens have an obligation to accept them. Every time a politician gives a speech about how tolerant their country is and how migrants have always been welcomed there, it is used by ruthless gangsters to sell their people-trafficking services. Only when the migrants arrive they find themselves sleeping rough having blown $5k to get there, and spend years bouncing from one country to another on rumours of better opportunities.

Yesterday the mayor of London posted this tweet:

This is bordering on criminal. Sadiq Khan knows full well that messages like this will be used to persuade people from sub-Saharan Africa to come to London, where they will not be welcomed but instead find themselves with nowhere to live, without any means of support, and thousands of miles from their friends and family. Yes, the government might help a handful but most will end up drifting around the country sleeping rough. This is how thousands of African migrants end up living in Paris, with nowhere to go and a government too scared to send them back home. In London they’ll just end up in squats, under bridges, or in slum housing. Sadiq Khan knows that by declaring that “London is open” he is making a bad situation worse, but he does so anyway so he can look good in the eyes of the dim and deceitful. A serious country would never even have let this man become mayor of its capital city, let alone behave as he does.


27 thoughts on “Silly con Khan, eh?

  1. Here, when one of the AfD hotheads suggested shooting refugees on sight at the border, it was Die Linke that went most berserk at the suggestion.

    As repugnant as the AfD suggestion obviously was, I found that reaction rather odd as Die Linke are the direct successor of the party that ruled the DDR, so had for some decades actually enforced a policy of shooting refugees on sight at the border.

  2. As repugnant as the AfD suggestion obviously was

    That’s what it will eventually come to. The idea that unchecked numbers of foreigners can just wander into another country, charging fences if they have to, is something very, very modern and restricted to a handful of countries. If we were serious we’d put in place dissuasive measures which didn’t go as far as shooting people, but in their absence that’s where it will end up, eventually. People like Sadiq Khan might not be around to see it, but if they are I hope they’re put on trial.

  3. It was Blair and his immigration Czar Straw that opened up the floodgates back in their era and they have been rapidly building up in number ever since. The floodgates wont be closed either.

  4. @BiG

    Did you follow that Afd sting job in Ibiza recently, top shelf scandal live on video, reminded me of the types of stings that the Sun used to do back in the day. The fake Sheikh in the Hilton type or Frank Bough picture in a gimp mask leaving a brothel door in the morning type of thing.


    Austria’s ‘Ibiza scandal’: what happened and why does it matter?

    On Friday night, two German media outlets published a video that shows the Austrian deputy chancellor and leader of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, talking to an unidentified woman purporting to be the niece of a Russian oligarch at a luxury resort in Ibiza. When the woman expresses an interest in gaining control of the country’s largest-circulation tabloid, Kronen Zeitung, Strache suggests he could offer lucrative public contracts in exchange for campaign support.

    Strache and his parliamentary leader, Johann Gudenus, who had initiated the meeting, resigned on Saturday, saying their behaviour was “stupid, irresponsible and a mistake”. Shortly after their resignations, the chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, of the centre-right Austrian People’s party (ÖVP), called snap elections, likely to be held in September.

  5. Refuge should mean refuge. If you are a refugee anywhere outside the west you will probably be living in a tent or a prefab, on a very basic ration, maybe with a bucket for a toilet and access to a shower once a month. We seem to think that refugees should have a standard of living equivalent to that of someone who has to work at a low-paid job.

    I think it’s reasonable and humane to provide refugees with conditions that provide for basic survival, and people genuinely in fear of their lives will be happy for that. The more attractive the option is, and that means providing a better life as a refugee than you would have back home in the absence of war and persecution, the more you make that a rational economic decision for people to take.

    I also don’t think we should be providing language classes, integration into German society lessons, subsidised employment and so on. Some small minority of refugees will achieve the language, integration, and employment on their own efforts. They are the ones we want to keep, as opposed to send back home once the hostilities are over, as they seem to be at present. I am pretty sure that if that had been the deal in 2015, refugees go home once it’s over, and all sign contracts to that effect, you could have sold many times the number of refugees to the Germans without collapsing the prevailing political order and ceding so much ground to a far-right party.

    So there’s no need to start shooting people, or dropping bombs on rubber dinghies, provided you make the option sufficiently unattractive to those who aren’t actually in fear of their lives.

  6. Bardon,

    FPO aren’t AfD, they are much longer established, but were for a long time too toxic for any other Austrian party to make a coalition with.

    AfD are dangerous because we really don’t know where they will end up. It’s a broad church and I don’t for a minute think all AfD voters are nazis (the left needs to learn that cheaply labelling them, and everyone to the right of Blair as such actually makes it more likely they will accept the label and vote that way).

    They actually started life as the euroskeptic wing of the FDP, but quickly got entried by an anti-migration, nationalistic lobby, and since they looked like a far-right party without the insanitary connection to the past, attracted more than their fair share of nutters, including ones who glorify the good old days, or at least make excuses for the crimes of that regime.

    History shows us that these things can go wrong very quickly, and you really don’t want authoritarian, economically left-wing, racialist nationalists in charge of your country. Been there, done that, bought the cemeteries. And there are enough of those types in AfD, at least shouting louder than their more moderate voices, which also damages by association more moderate and humane expressions of “refugees not welcome”. Maybe they will grow up, let’s hope they don’t get any power before then.

  7. @BiG

    I didn’t mean to refer to them as AfD but on its impact on far right political alliances and overall fascist momentum, including with the AfD in the Fatherland. I was in Austria when this scandal was breaking.

    I do think though that with him resigning his post and having the balls to admit that he shagged her rotten in Ibiza that he has now fully repaid his debt to society. The poor bastard should now be left out of the spotlight so that he can try somehow to rebuild his life again from here.

    Whoah! We’re going to Ibiza


    Whoah! Back to the island


    Whoah! We’re gonna have a party


    Whoah! In the Mediterranean Sea

    We are going to Ibiza (Austrian Remix)

  8. In that they’ve proven they are unfit for power, yes. Maybe everyone else is just as bad, but if you are going to voice unpopular views you have to be extra careful to refrain from giving your enemies ammunition.

  9. “They actually started life as the euroskeptic wing of the FDP, but quickly got entried by an anti-migration, nationalistic lobby, and since they looked like a far-right party without the insanitary connection to the past, attracted more than their fair share of nutters, including ones who glorify the good old days, or at least make excuses for the crimes of that regime.”

    Who’d have thought that if you consistently paint the democratic Right as Nazis, then some actual Nazi types might think ‘Hey this must be the party for me!’? And given you’ve called everyone to the right of Jeremy Corbyn a Nazi that its then a lot harder to spot who the real ones are?

  10. Yes what is it with the heightened comparison to and mentioning of Nazi’s on here of late, am I missing something?

  11. Khan’s tweet is also intended to signal to his co-religionists in Pakistan & Bangladesh that London is open to swelling the Muslim block vote.

  12. A strong factor is “family reunion”.
    Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the UN Human Right to family life includes a choice of host nation. So if they were told “Sorry pal, you can reunite your family, but back where you came from” the attraction, and especially the collective funding, would decrease.

  13. Wouldn’t it be most cost-effective, and hence be able to help more people, to pay for refugees to live in cheaper parts of the world rather than spend a load of cash bringing them here (the UK) and housing them in one of the more expensive parts of the world.

    Though of course I’m not a headline grabbing politician trying to look good.

  14. I can’t ever see it coming to European nations bombing dinghies and shooting people on the beaches, there is simply too much moral infrastructure against that (societal/ethical and legal/constitutional).

    However, it has often struck me as ridiculous and morally shaming that we have implemented a set of policies that kills more migrants than a policy of bombing the ships ever would. The deaths by drowning in the Med are on a terrible scale and few seem to want to acknowledge our own role in it.

    A fable. Old Mother Europa sits in her comfy old chair on the north side of a busy highway, facing the dilapidated elementary school on the southern side. She used to run that place, long ago. She listens to the playground screams and shouts and reminisces about the vibrancy of her youth. The years have wearied her now but she loves the little children oh so much.

    She beckons to attract their attention as they traipse out of their miserable school gates onto the dusty sidewalk. “Free sweets! Free sweets for all! And the grass this side is much more verdant to play on too!” The noise of the traffic hurtling in both directions drowns her out, so she shouts louder: “you poor dears, free sweets for you all!”

    And so it was that the children ventured to cross that road in their hundreds – one little body smashed by a car here (“how ghastly, you simply must all take care!” said Mother Europa), another splattered by a truck there (“quite dreadful, you all need to dodge out of their way!”), but still they come – one just a stride or two away before being struck fatally by a motorcycle and splashing blood all over Mother Europa’s blouse. “All so terrible, the poor poor dears, whatever can I do to help them? Perhaps I can fetch my sons to grab the children as soon as they reach the closest lane of the highway?” She turned her head again to the gathering on the far side – the looks of eagerness and desperation blending into anxiety and hesitation. “Free sweets!”

    Of the children who did make it across and crowded around her, many didn’t even like the taste of her sweets, and there was less to go round than they’d expected – for all the effort it had taken, some wondered if they would have done better just to bake their own sweets instead. They looked out mournfully at their brothers and sisters and cousins, torn into little bloody pieces all over the highway, or their family standing far away on the other side.

    “Old Mother Europa, why did so many of our friends have to die?”

    She looked back gravely and the pity flowed from her voice, but whom the pity was directed at was not so clear.

    “We all face risks and take risks in the course of our lives, and when I was younger I took many I now regret myself, though I do not think I can be held personally responsible for the risks which other people choose to take. Especially when I so carefully implore them not to do so! But it speaks volumes about me and my generosity and the comfort I provide here, that so many are so desperate to come to me. You know I am getting old now, and miss the vibrancy of my youth, and I love all the little children so very much.”

    She had been playing uneasily with a Buchtel as she spoke, tossing it between her palms, but as she finished speaking, and as if to demonstrate the depth of her professed love, she held it aloft and waved it at hungry eyes.

  15. @njc

    This is to be fair something where David Cameron put his money where his mouth was. Instead of saying millions of Syrians must come to Europe, paying for better conditions for them in places like Lebanon and Turkey (where a pound of aid goes much further) but bringing over those most in need, eg of more advanced medical care or who belong to particularly vulnerable minority groups.

    The conflating of “refugee” with “economic migrant” is particularly unhelpful, and you can see it even in places where a writer is trying to be helpful, eg when they propose that we should take in refugees because of everything they can contribute to our society. The problem with this argument is it applies also, maybe even more so, to people who want to move here to work – and there are untold millions of people who would want to do so. The reason to take refugees specifically is the moral imperative to aid those in need, but in many cases there may be alternative and more cost-effective ways to aid them.

    Similarly, while it is probably good utilitarian ethics, “they will have a better life here than there, so it maximises human happiness the more we take in” applies to migrants of any form, not just refugees, and realistically there are a couple of billion of people who would benefit from living here and we clearly can’t take everyone. Taking in those who are first to get here in dinghies or the back of lorries is really just prioritising those with the sharpest elbows, aside from the risk encouragement aspect of my fable above, so cannot be the most moral way to apportion our assistance.

    More specifically on-topic, I don’t honestly believe there are millions of people South of the Sahara checking their twitter updates to see whether London is open or closed this week. But if you want to project an image that the only way to get here is through safe, legal migration channels and to counter the smugglers’ messages to the contrary, then it would help not to contradict that either by Merkel-style words (and it does seem millions of people were listening to her, though it seems many misunderstood her intended meaning) or by giving strong anecdotal evidence to communities that the dinghy method works (if they see several people from their town actually have made it through that way, they’re going to ignore Western-funded radio ads denying it).

  16. The conflating of “refugee” with “economic migrant” is particularly unhelpful

    Well, yes. Traditionally a refugee is a civilian fleeing war or a natural disaster, but these days it’s used to refer to people who are fleeing a violent dump which has 1) always been a violent dump and 2) is populated by people cut from the same bolt of cloth as them. There is no moral imperative to rescue people from bad governments of their own kind, although I’d not object in some cases (e.g. Vietnamese boat people).

    More specifically on-topic, I don’t honestly believe there are millions of people South of the Sahara checking their twitter updates to see whether London is open or closed this week.

    True, but you can be sure the people traffickers are, and are using them as marketing material.

  17. “True, but you can be sure the people traffickers are, and are using them as marketing material.”

    Are they really?

    I’m not denying that they could, but I don’t know if that’s their style. From what I’ve heard the pitch is usually more like “Fred got through with our help, now he’s sending money back to his family, here is a photo of him and his new home, why don’t you want to help your family like that? You’ll soon make enough money to repay the investment.”

    There are ultimately political solutions to this stuff, but I don’t think the people at the sharp end are listening much to the politicians directly. People listen to politicians far less than politicians think, and rather less than people interested in politics think.

  18. Are they really?

    Yes. It’s a sophisticated, multi-million dollar industry nowadays. They have schools set up to train migrants how to pass as refugees.

  19. Mbe is right, there is nothing new im the MO. Read grapes of wrath.

  20. Maybe the solution is to marry the European soft spot for “refugees” with the French idea of reinstituting National Service. Arriving “refugees” should get compulsory National Service training on how to reform their OWN nations, and then get sent back to improve the country they came from. No exceptions for pregnant teenagers or young children — everyone must learn how to fight!

    Say, arrive at the Euro border. 6 weeks in a camp doing serious physical training and receiving native language indoctrination on the duties of citizenship (including watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots), and then getting dropped back in their country of origin with 1 week’s supplies and advice on how to steal what they need from their own corrupt government.

    It would certainly give the oligarchs in the “refugees” countries of origin a good incentive to stop the outward flow of their own citizenry.

  21. @Tim N

    Any evidence of that assertion? Advertising brochure for nefarious people smugglers with the Mayor of London’s twitter platitudes being used as a pull quote would be politically explosive stuff.

    Yes they’re sophisticated, yes people who use these services are often very well informed and not, as the media sometimes paints them, complete mug punters being conned by the smugglers and with no idea what’s going on (interesting case in point – age distribution of asylum seekers in Sweden has a peak around 17, and almost none claiming to be 18, 19, 20… If you know there are special dispensations for children and you know you can pass for one, you’d be an idiot not to do so). And yes, when hundreds of thousands of people were queuing up in the Balkans waiting to see if the path to Western Europe would open up, they really were listening out for the Word of Mutti – and when it came, took that as a kind of official authorisation.

    But whether someone living in a Nigerian slum or Afghan hamlet gives a monkey’s about the witterings of Sadiq Khan, and whether that’s in the sales pitch, I’m far from convinced.

    The thing that annoys me about his platitudes isn’t so much the dishonesty or disingenuity, nor that it’s being used to con desperate people into thinking a life of riches awaits if only they subject themselves to a perilous journey (I’m sceptical that this is the case but would be outraged if it were proven to be true and particularly if he knew) but that these bleatings are so assuredly full of their speaker’s virtue. All while politicians across Europe are collectively engaging in a policy failure that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. That’s aside from the way it has hardened attitudes to genuine refugees and undermined community cohesion. Feeling good about yourself for not addressing the problem, even for denying the problem and attacking those who point it out, is not a good look as far as I’m concerned – but for the many of his constituents who define themselves as “pro-migrant”, I’m sure it’s a great look. Even though it is migrants that this whole SNAFU is killing by the thousand.

  22. Ken
    Your ONS figures may be right. But they seem fishy to me. A 40% fall in foreign students between 2010 and 2016 and then a 30% rise between 2016 and 2017. Seems off to me.
    Also decline in immigration for jobs seems implausible.True, the referendum may have been discouraging, but we have a jobs boom and they don’t.
    OK, 100K family reunions a year doesn’t sound much. It’s only a million per decade, right? Wrong. There must be a compound interest rate to it (less than Euler’s number) I suspect but still significant. Could we decently accept, educate, care for 2 million extras per decade? A challenging target.

  23. Any evidence of that assertion?

    Other than Lauren Southern’s documentary where she explicitly says the people smugglers use such remarks as marketing material to persuade would-be migrants to part with their cash? Well, we could look at the number of Afghans showing up on boats in Australia against the prevailing government policies at the time.

    Now I’m not saying someone who has no intention of migrating will suddenly see a tweet from Sadiq Khan and decide to up sticks. Even implying that’s what I’m saying is frankly moronic. Instead, the tweet adds to the already large volume of pro-migrant sentiment which gets used by existing people smugglers to convince those at the margin – the waverers – that they should try to reach Europe.

    But whether someone living in a Nigerian slum or Afghan hamlet gives a monkey’s about the witterings of Sadiq Khan, and whether that’s in the sales pitch, I’m far from convinced.

    Yes, because Nigerians living in slums are shut off from the world and rarely try to run scams on people in the UK.

  24. BiG said:
    Some small minority of refugees will achieve the language, integration, and employment on their own efforts. They are the ones we want to keep, as opposed to send back home once the hostilities are over, as they seem to be at present.

    In the 1980s, a Libyan couple arrived in Britain as refugees. They met your criteria for being desirable citizens, and yet they gave birth to a son who detonated a bomb at the Manchester Arena. No, we don’t want to keep any of them.

    Your ‘moderate’ way of thinking is literally killing us, as well as creating endless social problems which are only going to get worse. There is nothing that the AfD (or any equivalent party) could do that is more dangerous than what is currently being done. A more ‘moderate’ approach would mean the same unacceptable fate, just arrived upon at a slightly later date.

    If people fail to accept this reality, then we’re in big trouble.

  25. No more refugees, not one! and I don’t care what we do to stop them, sooner they suffer now than us later.

  26. They should enrol in med school or nursing training in their country of origin ( if economic migrant ) or adjacent safe country ( if refugee ), then can come to UK on a skills visa when qualified.
    Heck, it won’t be long before a Level 3 NVQ in Health and Social Care from Bulawayo college gets you a skills visa to come to the UK and work in a care home.
    If people in the UK want to sponsor people to get the qualifications there’s nothing to stop them creating or funding organisations that do this schooling in the origin or neighbouring country of the migrant.
    For what it’s worth the DfID budget should be devolved to local authorities, then let them decide what sort of people they want to help and how. Londoners might briefly want to sponsor Sunnis getting qualifications until they see the stats for this sect, Birmingham might prefer Ahmadis getting some help, Newcastle might want to support the brewing industry in Tanzania. Who knows, at least Local Authorities wouldn’t give the money to the Carter and Clinton Foundations.
    And if a genuine refugee wants to get in to the UK – the Local Authority has to pay for the education, health insurance, housing and ends up taking the hit on their budget. And their voters next time they are up for re-election.
    Imv, of course.

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