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Malcolm Hessier
We need to stop enabling corruption and warfare and start guiding, with a heavy hand

Damnit I didn’t want to comment on current politics at all. But it’s there, in our faces all the time now and it looks ugly. Making comment only gets you into trouble because one person’s hate figure is another’s pin-up and the truth about things seems to be locked up in some cell someplace and they’ve lost the key.

Let's talk about right-wing demagoguery. You might not like it when I say I can’t see much difference between Le Pen and Ariel Sharon or Pim Fontuyn. I know that I’ll get hate mail from pro-Israelis, hate mail from anti-homosexuals, and hate-mail from white downtrodden Frenchmen (all 5.6 million of them that voted for Le Pen last week). But what is the difference to one man (albeit a dead one now) saying close the borders we can’t let any more Muslims into our country to a man who bulldozes whole towns and kills hundreds of Muslims because they pose a problem in the future. Which came first suicide bombers or the Zionist occupation of Palestinian territory? Will demolishing Jenin stop the suicide bombers. Clearly not as the events of May 8th show. Force will not defeat Arafat, dialogue might.

Le Pen is articulating a fear that many French people have of their French culture being diluted or swamped by a never ending supply of Muslims that do not share their views, languages, culture, religions, food groups or hard won freedoms for women’s right over their bodies and minds. Le Pen is a horrible old goat but the fear is real.

Sharon articulates the fear the Israelis feel about Palestine and beyond their borders. It is absolutely true they live in a hostile world. In America, where the president leads the way, prompted by the Evangelical churches who see the Israelites as the chosen people, Israel can do no wrong. In Europe, when we see bulldozers and children shot and old people crushed to death we have more open minds and say this is grossly unfair. When it comes down to it - if anyone cares to recall; Sharon came to power exactly by desecrating holy sites because he wanted the peace agreement to fail. This is how right-wingers win power and how they maintain their power is by crushing women and children who get in their way. Study a little history please before you start getting excited. From Alexander to Hitler to every pot-bellied dictator since, you adopt a totally unreasonable position and escalate from there and kill as many people as you can. We caught the tyrant of Serbia, maybe one day we shall catch the others.

Pim Fortuyn is dead. He can’t do any damage now, but his political party might if they become the largest group in Holland. Le Pen is electorally dead, though his party may also rise again in June (Despite the massacre of Moroccans by a NF member on the 7th May). The spectre of doom they raise is not going to go away.

Why aren’t we aren’t talking about the problem? Because the Left have demonised discussion about race, religion, sex and politics. In the UK we have the BNP making ridiculous claims about driving the Muslims out of the UK. (Yes three local councillors were elected on that platform but count the votes, slim margins here.)

Hate is easy, solutions are hard. We are not only not talking about solutions we aren’t talking about the problems. We are scared to. But race is an issue.

Once we talked about a multi-cultural society, and eventually the abolition of race as an issue, but that sort of assumed we would all be Christians together and idealistically inter-racial marriage would blend and blur the colours and differences. That was the sixties. Now tensions are greater than ever. Radical Muslim communities are not necessarily assimilating into our liberal society and respecting our rights or customs or languages. They want to live in the West but do not want to adopt our ways. The single-religious schools play into this as we allow Christian schools we must also allow Muslim schools and right away we can see this is a problem for the next generation.

Tolerance is a fundamental foundation of our society’s fabric and yet, tolerance and equality of the sexes for example, is not a core element in fundamentalist religions. Do we just ignore this and let it fester? Let the next generation deal with it? September 11th was the wake-up call for both sides. Bin Laden’s views were about destroying the West. Well if you are with him and share his ideals, it is not reasonable to expect that you should also live in the west and enjoy the life the West has to offer. This is the source of the next conflict and either we go with moderation of these extreme views or we do the other thing and the other thing is in the ascendant. As Mr Bush said ‘ ‘You are either with us or against us’.

The rise of the right is not over. This may be a blip. It might settle down again after all the elections pass this year, but it won’t go away as a problem.
The problem is unemployment and rising birth rates in Africa and the Middle East and Far-Eastern Europe. They perceive Western Europe as a salvation for their problems and they are right. We will need them as our populations fall, but what will be the price? Where do you draw the line? How to stop a tidal wave of pent up desire?

Fools talk of building walls, sending them ‘back’, some would like no doubt to bulldoze them into oblivion but in fact we have but one choice. Dialogue and cash.

We can accept those who wish to come who will assimilate (Learn the language as they have to in Canada or the USA) but more importantly invest in the future of Africa or the Middle East.
Immediately you’ll cry Mugabe, Amin, Saddam…no leaders elected or self-imposed can be trusted. Well so be it. No aid without administration and accountability. Involve the Swiss more closely whether they like it or not. All refugees will be redirected to Switzerland unless they notify the UN immediately when a dictator or administrator starts salting away development funds there. Lets have a complete moratorium on selling weapons to any country in the Middle-East or Africa. ANY country. Our friends and enemies. Sure we’d lose weapons related jobs in the UK and other places in the West and Russia, but morally we would save lives, stop wars, stop injustice and enable prosperity.

Angola and Nigeria could be two of the richest countries in the world if it wasn’t for constant civil strife paid for by OUR guns and bullets. Mozambique doesn’t have to be poor; it has fertile soil, a well-educated population. Guns and fear keep it from developing. Zimbabwe is deliberately starving its people for the vanity of Dictator Mugabe. Ethiopia has been at war all my life, likewise Somalia.
If we understand anything about Christianity at all, then we need to stop Africa killing itself. We need to stop enabling corruption and warfare and start guiding, with a heavy hand towards training, planting, peacekeeping, smaller healthier families, removal of landmines. The list is endless.
If we don’t then expect more demagogues in in your backyard screaming for unreasonable solutions, sending in more bulldozers, closing channel tunnels, starting riots.
The problem is that we live in an unreasonable unfair world. Wealth is not only undistributed or is stolen, hoarded, wasted. Stop poverty in the undeveloped world and you’ll turn the human tide and halt the next tyrant in our own back-yard.
© MH May 2002

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