Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rome, Anarchism and John Redwood

Rome invited or allowed barbarians into their territory – with their religions. In the early days when it was more important to be Roman than religious that worked well enough, but when the population of Rome fell and that of the barbarians rose, Rome’s fall was not long delayed. Do Europeans think they can engage in this same behavior and remain unscathed? Romans at first took comfort in the superiority of their culture. Surely everyone wanted to be Roman. Why not let them? But as time went on and Rome became more and more decadent, no one wanted to be Roman – not even the Romans. There were no colossal battles at the end. Desiccated Rome became chaff to be blown away and ignored.
I am reminded of Roger Shattuck’s The Banquet Years:
“The most turbulent force of all is almost forgotten. Anarchism had been seething for many years in the south, principally in the industrial city of Lyon. Its way was prepared by the surge of antimilitarism after the war of 1871 and by the fresh memory of the Commune. Traveling inexorably northward, the libertarian movement finally shook Paris in a series of bomb explosions and controversial trials.
“’Anarchists came from the most varied backgrounds. But a specific mentality links them – the spirit of revolt and its derivatives, the spirit of examination and criticism, of opposition and innovation, which leads to scorn and hate of every commitment and hierarchy in society, and ends up in the exaggeration of individualism. Decadent literature furnished the party with a strong contingent; in recent years there has been, especially among young writers, an upsurge of anarchism. (Maurice Boisson, Les attentats anarchists.)
We read about the immigration into Britain, but as many people are leaving as arriving – half of them, perhaps, Brits whose ancestors were British for many generations. Why are they leaving? Here is a rant the Rt Honorable John Redwood engaged in in 2007 -- :
“. . . We are told by the government that our lifestyles are wrong. As the Health Service grapples with its inability to keep hospitals clean and infection free the government blames us for being ill in the first place. People are told they are too fat, they eat the wrong foods, and they drink too much. The government encourages a debate criticising "middle class" lifestyles. Maybe it’s a prelude to a crisps tax or a further increase in alcohol duty.
“If we dare to drive our cars we are treated like criminals. The government has put through so many new laws and rules that most drivers I see on the roads daily are breaking one or other law. Motorists do not accept the government’s demonization of speed in all circumstances and want to see instead proper policing operating against the minority who are driving stolen vehicles and uninsured cars, and those who are driving dangerously for the conditions. Motorists feel picked on when they are just trying to get to work or to the shops to buy the family food.
“If we are foolish enough to make some honest money then the tax collectors descend. The government only wants to know us when they are out to take our cash. The Revenue and Customs have become much more aggressive and in some cases unfair, as this greedy government raids us time and again to pay for their army of helpers and advisers, to swell their drinks cabinets and pay their first class airline tickets as they fly round the world lecturing the rest of us on the need to travel less.
“We are not allowed to make comments on immigration for fear of a false accusation of racism. We are discouraged from criticisng the EU for fear of being called xenophobes. We are told if we want fairer and lower taxes it means we are nasty people wishing to worsen the few health and social services we all do want to be better financed and conducted. Our government snarls about success and privilege, disliking good grammar and independent schools and the best universities. It tells us the two big issues of the day are obesity and climate change. . . .”
However, Redwood has been at work on the immigration problem: This article is dated September 5, 2011: :
“I am writing with a further update on the Government’s radical changes to immigration policy and on the action we are taking to bring down levels of net migration back to the sustainable rates we saw in the 1980s and 1990s. Under the previous Government, immigration rates broke all previous records and net migration reached 2.2 million – twice the population of Birmingham. A recent survey found that nearly three quarters of those polled supported bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands a year or less.
“To control immigration all the main routes of entry – work, family and education – must be addressed, and the automatic link between temporary routes and permanent settlement broken. And that’s just what we are working to do. But the previous Government did not just leave the visa system in a mess. As recent reports have revealed, they spent a fortune on an asylum system that simply failed to deliver. They also failed to address illegal immigration. We are taking action to clear up their legacy in these areas too.
“Immediately after coming to power this Government started work to control immigration. The first route we dealt with was work visas. Within weeks we had a temporary cap in place on non-EU economic migrants, and by April of this year the permanent cap came into effect. This is the first ever annual limit on work visas. The cap is working effectively and the limit has not been reached in any month since the permanent cap came into effect. We expect economic migration to fall by a fifth compared with 2009. . . .”
This and some of his other articles make it sound as though the Rt Honorable John Redwood is on the right track.

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