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- What the bien pensants don’t get about migration
What the bien pensants don’t get about migration
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Pakistan carried out airstrikes on what it said were “terrorist hideouts” in Iran this morning, in retaliation for the drone attacks on Pakistani territory on Tuesday. Iranian media said nine people, including four children, were killed in the missile strikes on the town of Saravan. Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda asylum bill was passed by MPs last night, after a backbench rebellion failed to materialise. Only 11 Tories voted against the legislation, which will now go to the House of Lords, after would-be rebels were persuaded that they risked “collapsing the government”, says The Guardian. A Welsh man has been given an award by the Met Office for 75 years of unpaid work. Tom Bown, 85, has measured rainfall every morning since he was 10 years old after taking on the tradition from his grandfather, who set up a weather station on their farm in 1890. He says he has “hardly missed a day” since 1948.
Brian Cox and Emma Thompson: part of the “Luxury Belief Class”? Getty
What the bien pensants don’t get about migration
Most Westminster elites view migration as a slightly grubby, “low-status issue” that they’d really rather not deal with, says Matthew Goodwin on Substack. They find talk of sending illegal arrivals to Rwanda “too tough”, and are roundly backed by other members of the “Luxury Belief Class” – those who espouse fashionable views on issues that have little impact on their own lives. Actors like Brian Cox (who lives in New York) and Emma Thompson (who is moving to Venice), denounce the Rwanda plan as “cruel”, “unkind”, and “racist”, while offering no serious alternatives to an all-too-real problem that is only getting worse.
What’s missing from the debate about the migration crisis, which is already costing British taxpayers £3.6bn a year and is projected to cost £11bn a year by 2026? Answer: “The British people.” What the bien pensants in SW1 don’t understand is that millions of voters care deeply about illegal migration and want it to stop. The National Crime Agency says some version of the Rwanda plan is “probably the only thing that will work”. When YouGov asked people whether they supported the policy, almost half said they did and just 35% opposed it. When pollsters ask Tory voters, support rockets to more than 70%, especially among those in the “Red Wall”, a third of whom say they are strongly considering not voting at all in the next election. That’s why Rwanda is so important for the Tories. With Keir Starmer pledging to repeal the plan, it would offer voters a genuine choice on the issue they really care about.
🤬👩⚖️ If you want a visceral example of why people worry about migration, says Iain Martin in The Times, consider the case of Khairi Saadallah. On 20 June 2020, people were “enjoying the early summer evening” in a park in Reading, when Saadallah approached “wielding a knife”. He stabbed six people in less than 30 seconds, killing three of them. Sadallah, who is now serving a whole-life sentence, should never have been here in the first place. He came to Britain in 2013 as a member of the “anti-western death cult” Ansar al-Sharia. The Home Office never got round to deporting him, despite years of “violent behaviour, drugs and convictions”. Three people lost their lives as a result. Little wonder so many people think the mainstream parties have “lost control”.
In order to make solar power a meaningful part of the world’s energy supply, says The Conversation, we would need to build vast solar farms across, for example, the Sahara Desert. But because the panels absorb far more heat than highly reflective sand, a super-sized solar plant would warm up the desert. New computer modelling shows that this could rearrange global climate patterns, leading to the desert becoming wetter and greener, much as it was around 5,000 years ago. Sadly, it would also make the UK cloudier, “particularly in summer”.
In April 2022, says Aris Roussinos in UnHerd, “it momentarily looked like the Ukraine war might be concluded as soon as it had begun”. When Volodymyr Zelensky’s former advisor Oleksiy Arestovych returned from the Istanbul peace negotiations with Russia, “his team cracked open the champagne to celebrate” – the talks had been “completely successful”, he said, with 90% of contentious issues resolved in a manner favourable to Ukraine. Then it all fell apart. Two theories exist for Zelensky’s subsequent decision to spurn negotiations and keep fighting: one is that he was outraged when Russia’s atrocities in the town of Bucha came to light; the other, “made much of by Russian propaganda”, is that Boris Johnson persuaded him not to settle. “Historians,” says Arestovych, “have to find the answer to what happened.”
America’s road signs are officially too funny, says The Wall Street Journal. The big electronic safety billboards above highways often display silly messages: over Christmas, signs in Utah pointed out that “Driving Basted is for Turkeys”, while Arizona went with “Use headlights like Rudolph uses his red nose”. Other highlights include: “Visiting in-laws? Slow down. Get there late” and, in Ohio, “O-H-I-WHOA! Watch your speed”. Sadly, the Federal Highway Administration has decided that these gags can distract drivers, and issued new guidance banning them.
Hiroshima’s Museum of Science and Technology after the city was hit by an American atomic bomb. Bettmann/Getty
It’s “obscene” to accuse Israel of genocide
In recent decades, says Bret Stephens in The New York Times, three million people perished in a government-induced famine in North Korea. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians were “gassed, bombed, starved or tortured to death” by the Assad regime, and around 14 million more were forced to flee their homes. China has put more than a million Uighurs into “gulag-like re-education camps”. But North Korea, Syria and China have never been charged with genocide at the International Court of Justice. Israel has. “How curious. And how obscene.”
The war between Hamas and Israel is terrible. But if this is genocide, what word do we have for the killing fields of Cambodia, or what the Hutus did to the Tutsis in Rwanda, or, for that matter, the Holocaust? Genocide has a simple, precise meaning: “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.” People may question the scale of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, but it’s absurd to call them genocidal – especially when it’s Hamas whose founding charter explicitly calls for the genocide of Jews. It’s also disingenuous. British and American bombers killed a “staggering” number of German and Japanese civilians to win World War Two. Yet, rightly, nobody holds Franklin Roosevelt to be on a moral par with Adolf Hitler. All that’s gained by falsely accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza is providing ammunition for future génocidaires, who want the world to think there’s no moral or legal difference between one kind of killing and another.
Moby: proud vegan, definitely an ick. Scott Dudelson/Getty
Vegan guys “give girls the ick”, says Vice. A new study published in the journal Sex Roles found that men on plant-based diets were widely perceived as “physically weaker, and less masculine”, by both men and women. In a “clear case of vegan-on-vegan prejudice”, the study even found that a number of female vegans thought their male counterparts were “unmanly or weak”. Sorry, herbivores. “If even vegan chicks think you’re a wimpy soy boy for spurning animal products, what hope is there?”
Late last year, “the US grew by a million square kilometres”, says Alaska Public Media. More than half of that is Arctic Ocean, with a little Atlantic and Pacific thrown in, and almost none of it is land. The Department of State “enlarged the country’s geography” by redefining how far out to sea the continental shelf extends. All countries have a right to the area up to 200 miles off their coast. The US has simply changed its mind about where the “coast” is.
It’s a miniature replica of a royal library in Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, parts of which are going on display to mark the 100th anniversary of its creation. The miniature mansion is said to be “the largest and most famous dolls’ house in the world”, says BBC News. It has “lavishly decorated” royal bedrooms, novels by the likes of Thomas Hardy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and a fully stocked wine cellar – as well as electricity and running water. The items going on show at Windsor Castle include miniature versions of the Crown Jewels and a tiny grand piano with fully functioning keys. See more pictures here.
“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”