The World is heating up. This is a disaster for all of us.

Not only will sea levels rise flooding most of our big cities which are at sea level it will also flood much of our fertile farmland.

The high temperatures will make large areas of the world uninhabitable. There will be a mass migration of billions of people.

Biodiversity is being hit hard. We are causing mass extinctions and this will rebound on us. We are part of this great food web.

The weather will be greatly affected leading to droughts, floods, fires, storms and hurricanes.

The social tensions and massive disruption, shortages of water and food, are going to cause enormous social tensions.

Unless we tackle this on a global scale we are going to be in huge trouble.

Why Osama Bin Laden has won.

A terrorist attack is just that – it spreads terror. It is no real threat to the State. It cannot kill that many people. Even the terrible attacks on the twin towers was minor damage and loss of life compared to the devastation of wars – such as in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Terrorism is intended to create fear and panic out of all proportion to its actual threat and that’s precisely what it did.

The objectives of the terror attacks was to undermine the West, split up alliances and weaken their power.

That is what it succeeded in doing. It threw the West into a panic and created knee-jerk responses.

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were painted as attacks on Islam.

It generated a fear of Islam and immigrants in general among the American and British people and empowered racists and xenophobes.

It spread fear and created a siege mentality.

The result was a rise in right-wing populism resulting in inept government and protective, isolationist policies against the threats from outsiders.

This resulted in the election of Trump, the absurdity of Brexit and the election of Johnson.

Around the world other far-right populist leaders were elected – Modi, Erdogan, Orban and Bolsonaro. They all fed off racism, the fear of Muslim terrorism, outsiders and threats from outside. They all provided simplistic black and white answers that were mere tokens doomed to fail. They fed off slogans – Build that Wall, Make America Great Again, World-Beating and Oven-Ready, slogans that seemed full of promise but with not the slightest chance of delivering solutions to complex problems.

The whole world swung to the right with barriers, splintering of alliances and walls.

The EU was weakened.

NATO was weakened.

The UN was weakened.

America and the UK were greatly weakened and ignobly kicked out of Afghanistan.

The Taliban and Al Qaeda were rampant.

The Arab Spring was crushed.

The whole western alliance and all it stands for was dealt a hefty blow and has not recovered.

The wars in the Middle East have proved a great recruiting ground for terrorists and extreme, fanatical Islam.

The West is considerably weakened and an extreme version of Islam is much stronger.

As far as Osama Bin Laden would have been concerned – job done!

Poetry – The Caravan of Fear

This poem harks back to the time when a caravan of immigrants fleeing poverty and violence were heading for the US/Mexican border.

The populist response, by Trump and other right-wingers, was to paint them as evil terrorists, rapists, drug dealers and murderers. To build a wall and keep them out. To separate families and put them in cages.

Populists use fear, racism and simplistic answers to stir up hate and bolster their support.

The sensible response would be to look at the underlying reasons for this migration and coordinate a global response to deal with it.

Mass migration is going to get worse with global warming and global inequality. People love their children. They’ll do anything to put food on the table and give them a future – even walk across a continent.

The Caravan of Fear

The toxic caravan of fear is drawing near

Loaded with rapists, murderers and drugs.

An invasion force with gangs and bangs

Made up of vicious, dirty thugs.

Hiding behind the Babies prams and scams

Funded by some shady men

Fearless Trump with bite and might

Will drive them back again.

Opher 7.11.2018

It was amazing to see how Trump manipulated the caravan of refugees into an invading army of gangs and terrorists. He had barbed wire erected and thousands of troops deployed to resist the ‘invasion’.

Trump insinuated that Muslim terrorists, drug gangs and criminals had inserted themselves into the caravan of Central American refugees and were using the women and babies as a shield. There is no evidence of this at all. It was all manufactured to play on the imagination and fears of the electorate.

This is precisely where the hatred, fear and division stems from.

Every single day 325,000 people fly into the USA. A number of them stay illegally.

It makes the whole Trump fantasy around the Central American refugees look a bit daft, doesn’t it? 325,000 a day – 7000 in total.

The truth is that they 7000 merely needed processing, like any others, when they eventually reach the US border. They need to follow the rules. There is no invasion or drama. Some may be given refugee status some might be returned.

It was just an excuse, with racist overtones, used by Trump to drum up fear in order to generate votes.

Of course there can’t be unlimited immigration. There has to be a way of dealing with it. This isn’t it!

Mass Migration and Immigration – Some Thoughts.

In recent times Britain, like many countries in Europe, has received a great number of immigrants. This has created many strains in society and was one of the main reasons for Brexit.

In that sense it was a disaster as Brexit is a disaster.

Immigration appears to be made up of two main groups:

a. We have refugees fleeing wars and extreme poverty in the Middle East and Africa

b. The economic migrants from Eastern Europe who were moving from the poorer Eastern European countries and Middle Eastern countries to work in the more prosperous West.

We have had a long proud history of providing refuge for refugees from religious persecution, political persecution or war.

The problem is that repeated wars in the Middle East and Africa have resulted in hundreds of millions of people in desperate need. They have looked to the security of Europe to provide sanctuary.

On top of that we have economic migrants from these regions. A high birth rate coupled with a poor economy has produced a situation where there is not enough work for young people. Families look to move to the prosperous West.

The result of this was that the population of the UK, standing at 59 Million in 2007, has added an extra six million to stand at 65 Million.

This has presented Britain with a number of benefits and problems:

Benefits

a. It is good for the economy

b. We have brought in cheap labour to do the work that the British do not want to do (agriculture, hotels, restaurants)

c. The immigrants have filled the shortages that we have had in the NHS (surgeons, doctors and nurses), care homes, construction)

d. It has brought in cultural diversity and dynamism

Problems

a. The sudden increase in numbers has put pressure on our infrastructure – health, schools, housing, roads

b. There has been an increase in religions foreign to this country – mainly Islam

c. There has been a ghettoization – instead on integrating we find communities gathering into areas

d. There is concern about terrorism

e. Traditionally immigrants have higher fertility rates and we are already overpopulated

The right-wing populist press has done its best to demonise these immigrants for political purposes. They have exaggerated the problems and played down the benefits.

In the past we have taken in large numbers of people – The Huguenots, Jews, Jamaicans, Pakistanis, Sikhs, Cypriots, Indians and many others – and been all the better for it. These people have integrated into our society and contributed greatly. They have enriched our culture. I think the new immigrants, given time, will do the same.

Presently I believe we have had too many too quickly. We need to:

a. Integrate these people so that they acquire the ethos of our country quickly

b. Take steps to do away with religious schools and institutions that separate communities

c. Educate immigrant communities to speak English and adopt our culture (while respecting their own)

d. Eradicate fundamentalism

e. Make immigrants feel welcome and valued

Mass Migration – The reasons explained and the terrible reality.

world-in-our-hands

The reasons are threefold:

  • Inequality – creating starvation and extreme poverty – 3 billion earn less than $2 a day
  • Overpopulation – creating unemployment and terrible living conditions
  • War – displacing millions of people and causing misery

The solutions are simple:

  • Education – educated people do not multiply at such high rates
  • Equality – address the grotesque systems that create trillionaires and paupers
  • Overpopulation policies – that actively reduce numbers – taxation, education, incentives, unemployment benefit, sickness benefit, old age pensions
  • Peace – It may be novel but how about diplomacy, sanctions and putting an end to political power posturing, nationalism and religious superstition? Global government with the enforcement of the UN charter of Human Rights would be good for a start.

It can be done if there’s a way. On this blog I’ve got friends all over the world. We may argue, we may disagree but we are all basically friendly, caring human beings with the same empathy and compassion.

Build a positive zeitgeist – Change the World!