THE ROAD AHEAD

Enough and more has been said and written since June last year when by a slim majority we voted to leave the European Union.  Since then the differences between us and them have been raked over ad nauseam, and there are many more to come.

I voted to leave, not on a whim, but because I was fed up with the way the Union was being mismanaged by a battery of civil servants who cared little for the greater good, and more for their seat on the gravy train of pensions and perks.

There were, and remain, three areas of concern, and judging from Boris Johnson’s centrefold spread in the Sunday Times, I am not alone.  Immigration remains a major concern for many.  There are too many immigrants with little or no control over their numbers.  We are already overcrowded, with an infrastructure designed for a population of 10 million less than we have today, and it’s getting worse. Vast swathes of the green belt will be trampled afoot to build more and more houses that most prospective occupants cannot afford.  Vast swathes of green belt will be uprooted for more and more motorways, increasing congestion and pollution. And vast swathes of green belt will disappear under expensive and unaffordable rail links to get passengers from London to Leeds saving as much as 40 minutes on the journey!  Yippee Doo! It’s called progress.  These problems are exacerbated by the fact that we don’t have joined-up government. Too much grandstanding and not enough thought for the greater good.  It bodes ill.

I am also concerned about the competence of the European Courts which do not inspire confidence, either in their composition or in their delivery.  The Court of  Human Rights has made itself the object of ridicule with some of its judgments.  We all remember the case of the Jamaican Yardie who couldn’t be deported because he had a cat which had formed a close bond with him, and there are others too many to mention. In many cases, these judgments grate with the English Common Law, which has been around for centuries and tried and tested.  Europe has no common law, so their judgments are a miss-mash of the best and the worst of 27 countries seeking a common legal identity which they will never have.

The European Court of Justice, which the European Union wants to impose on us for ever and a day, has an equally patchy record and has little to commend it. Positively the worst that can be said about it is that it is self-regulating and so free from political control.  Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with the independence of the judiciary, I do not agree with a court that elects its own members (jobs for the boys) and sets its own remuneration rates with frequent and generous uplifts.

If access to the European Union is dependent, inter alia, on bowing the knee to their courts, then I echo the sentiments of a former President of France, the answer is Non.

NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE

Writing about race is all about “fools rushing in where angels fear to tread.” Whatever is written, somebody is bound to take exception, with the usual epithets bandied around, and the inevitable accusations of racism.

Here in Little Britain, we have had, and still have, our fair share of race as a political and socio-economic issue, going back to the fifties. It was a time of mass immigration from the Afro-Caribbean community, at that time part of the ‘New Commonwealth’ and attracted by offers of work that our own indigenous white population were too shiftless and lazy to perform. Then came mass immigration from the Ugandan Asians, persecuted as they were by the megalomaniac Idi Amin.

In the fullness of time, immigration has picked up apace from Africa, the Indian sub continent and the middle east, and thanks to our ‘open door’ policy, it’s a case of “come one, come all.” It’s not simply the benefits given generously from the public purse to the new immigrants, but it’s more our arcane and hopelessly inadequate system of immigration control, or lack of it, which means that ‘undesirables’ can stay almost indefinitely as they mount appeal after appeal against deportation.

I have no doubt that many of these immigrants have made a significant contribution to the quality of life here in Little Britain, but at a price. We are certainly not a melting pot society, more of a multi-cultural society, where different ethnic communities live in their own enclaves, clinging resolutely to their customs, language, religion and culture, with Little Britain coming a distant second. At times these ethnic communities jar uneasily with their indigenous neighbours, who have little or nothing in common with them on any level.

Most recently the spotlight has been turned on the sons and daughters of Islam, and especially the radical element who see their adopted country as the enemy within. They want all the benefits but none of the responsibilities that go with citizenship.

Enter stage right Binyam Mohamed, recently returned to our shores from Guantanamo Bay on a chartered plane costing the Little British taxpayer £100,000, and making much of his ill treatment at the hands of the British and American authorities. He and his bevy of lawyers will correct me if I am wrong, but is this the same Binyam Mohamed who came to Little Britain claiming asylum from his native Ethiopia, and who was subsequently ‘picked up’ in Afghanistan clutching a false passport?

There are calls for inquiries, and inquiries into inquiries, about the circumstances of his detention, enormous sums of money will be thrown into the pot, and no stone will be left unturned in the pursuit of truth and justice in the best traditions of Little Britain. A far cry from law and order in the Swat Valley, barely a stone’s throw from the border with Afghanistan where Binyam was picked up, where a man accused of burglary, which he denied, was shot dead by the Taleban. It’s called summary justice! And this is the same Taleban who run Sharia courts, ban women from marketplaces, outlaw music and stop girls older than 13 going to school.

I wonder if Binyam got to know another detainee during his time at Guantanamo Bay, I forget his name, but he too was released without charge and, according to reliable accounts, is now teaching the Taleban in Afghanistan how to make and plant sophisticated roadside bombs to injure or kill the ‘occupying’ forces from America and Little Britain.