Monday, April 23, 2007

[immigration] a response on the issue

To my admittedly gung-ho [until you read it] looking post on Immigration, Tiberius Gracchus has posted a reply. I'd like to address this now.

Tiberius is a learned and erudite historian. Personally, I don't know that I've ever met a kinder and more supportive chap and he's also a Blogpowerer. I can say he's a most important person in my life and if his blog ever disappeared, there are so many people who'd agree the blogosphere would be so much the poorer for it.

Having said that, Tiberius' easy learned-ness, if I could put it that way, does lead him into an accepting, tolerant, refined and urbane world view. Therefore, a 'gung-ho' post such as my Immigration manifesto would certainly offend his sensibilities.

And yet that outlook does not serve in all situations. My former military and my headmaster experiences have shown that there are situations where the only response is the 'brick wall'. We were trained to follow the maxim:

Fair, firm and friendly.
... and this has served well all my working life. This is what I'm advocating - not a frenzy of race hatred, not extreme reactions. Just fair, firm and friendly, on a case by case scenario.

It was John Arbuthnot Fisher, in a lecture around 1899, who wrote:

The essence of war is violence. Moderation in war is imbecility.

In an amusing episode of Ripping Yarns, the natives were attacking the British compound and the colonel said to his wife something along the lines of:

'I'm going out to offer them a cup of tea. We need to be kind to them.'

Of course the result was a foregone conclusion.

Retaliation is not what I'm writing of here. Nor punishment. Nor incarceration. And yet, those very nasty specimens who preach violence and are trying to overthrow our society cannot be dealt with by a hug and a kiss. Their agenda is otherwise.

Tiberius and I cannot agree on this because we have differing experiences of people and I have seen some most unreasonable ones in my time.

To Tiberius' comments:

The official religion? James that's Anglicanism- do you advocate that catholic Irishmen and Orthodox Russians should abandon their faiths and convert to Anglicanism in order to live in the country.

This is an officially Christian country which tolerates denominations other than Anglicans. It is a measure of the British that we do. So extreme scenarios don't wash here.

Should we be able to close down this blog unless you profess your allegiance to the Christian sovereign of the British isles and the Archbishop fo Canterbury?

Again, extreme scenarios are not what were being discussed.

Why should people be thrown out for demonstrating? It isn't illegal, say if they demonstrated about a road going through a place of natural beauty should they really be thrown out of the country.

If they were joining with other Brits to protest this, fine. It would be a local issue. But if they were protesting as a group of a different nation or culture - yes. They should go.

Second generation should be thrown out? If they later behave badly say ten years after never speaking to thier families before should everyone be thrown out. Furthermore where should they go- particularly if they don't have citizenship elsewhere and can't speak another language.

They should realize in this situation they are an immigrant family. Their decision to leave it is no consideration if they are involved in violence on the grounds of their former culture. You've answered your own question here. If they're estranged, then there IS no other family to throw out with them.

The purpose of saying 'with their families' was so that the family takes responsibility for the ne'er-do-well. Family pressure is going to work a thousand times better than official pressure.

Last question- we wouldn't torture and would discard people but what about sending people to places where we know that they would suffer barbaric tortures or even death.

If they knew the score and the rules by which they're in this country, then the thought of deportation back to such a situation is a very strong deterrent. But in all your assumptions here, we're not speaking of the average person with average life issues but with malcontented ne'er-do-wells and these people need to know the consequences quite clearly.

Sorry James I don't buy this post at all. I think there are all sorts of unresolved issues at the centre of it.

Of course there are. It's a first manifesto, which I stated at the end is modifiable to changed circumstances. Thanks, Tiberius, for your patience.


Gracchi said...

James one of the pleasant things about arguing about things with you is arguing with a tolerant and thoughtful friend. We disagree but I have to say in an atmosphere of collegiality.

I have to hurry off in a minute so can't post a considered response yet- I would argue that Britain has been tolerant of atheists for a long time- Dilke was allowed into Parliament in 1886- only sixty years after Catholics and non-conformists were allowed into Parliament. When the great institutions like Oxford allowed in Catholics they allowed in atheists and non-conformists too. So if Britain isn't an Anglican country, it never has allowed other Christians superior terms above others like atheists. But I'll be back with more.

Can I check one thing though? Essentially this is a debate about sedition is it not and treason- I just wanted to clarify that.

Thanks for the econium- I'm going to meet some academics this afternoon about researchy things and now feel a great deal more confident old fellow.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

James, please don't think I am ignoring this post, or your previous one. I have read both, and the comments, at least twice today and I have been pondering it all. I am really tired tonight so forgive me if I don't comment properly until tomorrow. [Oh, just realised it's 12.10 am here, so I mean later today.] Auguri.

CalumCarr said...


You won't be surprised that I disagree markedly with you.

I'm largely with Tiberius and Paul.

There are so many points I want to take issue with that I don't have time now (approaching midnight. Probably by the time I do reply you'll have moved on.

I needed to register by negative response tonight.

Also, thank you for visitng my blog. I hesitate to tell you what percentage of my traffic you are! Therefore you are important - despite this immigration post!!!

james higham said...

Calum, the immigration post was kite flying. I stated that it was ongoing and would change to changing circumstances. All the replies are changing circumstances.

I'm reading them with interest.

CalumCarr said...


I think I’ll make two separate comments. This one being my general thoughts and a second more detailed (to come later).

When I first read your post, I thought, “This is a wind-up. His views may veer towards those posted but he’s making extreme suggestions either to stimulate debate or to wind people up.”

Then when I read your responses to Paul, eg “It was carefully thought out and I stand by all points” I thought that you might be serious.

Later you wrote, “ I thought long and hard and modified many times before posting. Readers know I think through my material.” Must be a wind-up. I’ve read a few of your posts but this post didn’t ring true; didn’t seem as though it had gone through a period of gestation..

Perhaps I’ve “read” you incorrectly but my guess is that your post contains more extreme views on immigration than you actually hold. I might be wrong but I’m working on the assumption that I am correct. Therefore, I’m not going to over-react. Even if you tell me that you do hold these views I’m not going to over-react because that’s what you’re looking for.

PS Just noticed your immigration footnote which stated:

“The only points this blogger felt strongly about in the whole thing is that extremism shouldn't be preached from pulpits and that when we go to another country to live, we should respect that country's institutions.”

Well you certainly used a lot of gung-ho words to say what you have just said in two lines.

Be succinct. Be precise.

But it wouldn’t have been half as much fun, would it?

edmund said...

Gracchi i don't see how anglicanism can be said to be the official religion of this country. THis country is the United Kingdom-that is the state (and that is what immigrnats immigrate to there are no Scottish english border controls) - the Church of England/ "Anglcanism established only in ENgland- hot anymore in Ireland or Wales and not since before the creation of the United Kingdom. In Scotland the Church of Scotland-which is Presbyterian is established.

it is true the monarch of the Uk swears "to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? "

So ther'es a case the relgion of the country as a whole is Reformed Protestantism - with two varints of it establoished in parts of the domains.

Also givne Catholics were allowed into parlin nearly 60 years before atheists that would sound like a singicnat period of time they were preferred

Also i'ts reason to say generic christinatiy is also part of hte country's state hence from the coronation service

Receive this Orb set under the Cross,
and remember that the whole world
is subject to the Power and Empire
of Christ our Redeemer.


james higham said...

Thanks, Edmund, for that.