Monday, 11 April 2016

True European integration: thanks to Angela Merkel, Germans and Britons agree about migrants

"UK and Germany have very different attitudes towards immigration" announced The Guardian in November 2014, basing its views on an "exclusive" Ipsos Mori poll suggesting that 53% of Germans believed that immigration was necessary for their labour market, compared to a mere 27% ten years earlier.

At the time, a similar 54% of Germans thought their government was doing a good job on immigration, compared with a dismal 25% approval rating for our coalition government here in the UK. The Guardian article was fair to racist Brits, by the way, pointing out that (a) immigrants were restricted from applying for many types of jobs in Germany, meaning the natives felt less threatened, and (b) Germany has less population density, so immigrants are generally less visible. So, it was all going fine until last year, when Frau Merkel - despite having admitted in 2010 that attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany had "utterly failed" - went batshit crazy and invited every Muslim refugee, asylum seeker, economic migrant and would-be terrorist to The Fatherland in order to make up for her own people's reluctance to do their patriotic duty between the sheets and reverse Germany's negative birthrate. 

By last September, The Guardian was allowing writers to express doubts about the wisdom of Mutti Multikulti's open-door policy. In a prescient article entitled "Germany’s response to the refugee crisis is admirable. But I fear it cannot last", Doris Akrap, the daughter of guest workers, who grew up in Germany in the 1990s, had this to say:
"...when I listen to the “good Germans”, I often ask myself: what is going to happen, when the new refugees demand more than a tent, a bottle of water and a slice of bread? How will German society deal with this next turning point? What if it turns out that not every refugee has the skills to equip them for the “made in Germany” brand? Will Willkommenskultur end, when it involves not just singing Hallelujah together, but helping people to become autonomous and articulate their own wishes? Will the liberal segment of German society that is drawing so much praise right now have the determination to fight their own government and abolish Dublin III and Schengen? Or will “Willkommen” be just a slogan on the doormat again?"
Well, I think Ms. Akrap's fears are being realised. As recently as July 2015, only 42% of Germans thought there were too many asylum seekers in Germany. By January of this year, according to a YouGov poll, that figure had risen to 62%, with a mere 18% expressing the view that the number of asylum seekers "could be higher".  The New Year's Eve sexual attacks by immigrants on German women in Cologne (and elsewhere), and the authorities' desperate attempts to cover up the outrages evidently didn't go down too well:

I can't find more recent polls of German attitudes to their government's handling of immigration, but Frau Merkel's CDU party got a right old kicking in last month's state elections. Anyway, all I really meant to do was post some of the trenchant cartoons Frau Merkel's invitation to migrants to invade her country - presumably based on those formerly high approval ratings for the government's immigration policy - had resulted in. Here are some more of them:

If nothing else, though, she has managed to convince the majority of Europeans to unite behind one very simple immigration policy - i.e. that's enough. Perhaps some future historian will eventually be able to answer the perplexing question, what was she thinking?

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