Africans: Their entitlement is: zero
October 09, 2005, 05:22 AM
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I remember all too well reading The Camp of the Saints on a sultry summer weekend in central London, thirty or ( aaaargh!) even thirty one years ago. I was responding to orders from my brother, possibly, if memory serves, because of the enthusiasm of Paul Craig Roberts,whom we had met at Stanford.

Raspail's novel considers the consequences of large volumes of unviable people (he posited Indians - France does not know much about India) simply dumping themselves on the shores of Europe. He intuited that the European elite would fail to defend its people from this inundation.

Good debating stratagem, I thought - ludicrous exaggeration has satirical value. Perhaps a bit too far fetched though...

Reification cannot get more direct than what has occurred in the last few days in Melilla and Ceuta - small ports on the coast of North Africa held by Spain for the past twenty generations. Human waves of, it appears, African blacks, rather than local people, have been trying to storm the border defenses.

This bears thinking about. Even if they succeed, they still have to cross the Mediterranean to get to the promised land. Can they believe the authorities will let them do this? Apparently, yes. After all, the Italians have wavered at Lampedusa.

Time for Spanish patriots to put romanticism aside and get rid of Ceuta and Melilla. The Morroccans can hardly refuse to accept them.

Clearly, in the modern world, the gap between what benighted counties can supply to their own populations and what better-run societies can provide is known to be so huge and so irreversable, and travel costs are so low, that relatively enterprising individuals will try to move. No one who values the target cultures can approve of what is in reality a crude act of theft. The style gap is just too wide. To approve simply reveals hatred for the recipient societies.

Traditionally, the BBC's "From Our Own Correspondent" series permits scope for personal expression. So the Service should not be blamed too harshly for the inanities of Chris Morris's essay "Dying to get to the promised land" [October 8 2005]. Particularly since he defines the key problem:

So many Europeans take what they have for granted. So many Africans are dying to get their share.

The problem is, the share to which they are entitled to is zero.