Colin Brazier: What would our borders look like if they were administered by hard men from a tough neighbourhood?
I hate to say it, but the Lukashenko’s of this world know how this world works
Armistice Day recalls the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. It was last Thursday. Armistice marked the end of the first of two global conflicts - what military historians call Total War. In other words, a type of war which involves every aspect of a state being bent towards the destruction of an enemy.
It’s very different from what we’re seeing right now in Poland, where migrants are being encouraged westwards. Not total war, but hybrid warfare. Not a type of warfare that will destroy a country, but will leave it unsteady and weakened.
Not all-out conflict, but the sort of psychological operation that sees women and children turned into ammunition in a propaganda wa
It’s not just on the Polish border, that migrants are being used to wear down a rival state. It increasingly feels like the French are waving migrants through without any meaningful attempt at stopping their progress to Britain.
It’s worth noting that Armistice Day, on Thursday, which marked end of the First Total War, was also a milestone in the emerging story of hybrid warfare. It was the date when the number of illegal migrants crossing the channel to Britain in a single day passed the thousand mark.
Of course, I’m not making a direct parallel between Emmanuel Macron of France and Alexander Lukashenko of Belorussia. Macron hasn’t encouraged migrants into his country solely to use them against a hostile neighbour. But it does increasingly look like he’s relaxed about making life for Britain difficult when it comes to migrants. He’s certainly doing very little to help. Punishment for Brexit? Who knows.
But there’s a question that is begged by that phrase we keep hearing - weaponising migrants. And it’s this.
If the movement of migrants is such an unequivocal gift to Britain, why do our enemies see it as something to be inflicted upon us.
Let me put the question another way. When you look at this man, Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, what do you see? Do you see a man who is moved by the sight of suffering? Or do you see a ruthless, unsentimental manipulator?
What he’s done in recent weeks is repugnant, but it doesn’t alter the fact that - when it comes to understanding the realities of illegal migration - I have a feeling that Alexander Lukashenko has a better idea than the people in Britain who insist we are cruel to bar the way of anyone who wants to come here, whether we want them to or not.
People like the Loose Women panellist, Linda Robson, who this summer said she would welcome migrants into her home, just as soon as her children move out.
“Everywhere you go in Islington, there are signs saying, ‘migrants welcome’, and that’s what I’d like to say.”
Well, when it comes to judging whether illegal migration is good or bad for a country, who are you more likely to trust. The inhabitants of the La-La-Land which is the Jeremy Corbyn stronghold of Islington, or a man who clings to power by any means necessary.
Who has got the clearer-eyed vision of how life really is — of whether illegal migration helps or hinders a nation — an actress who once starred in Birds of a Feather, or a man who the UN says presides over a program of state torture.
I hate to say it, but the Lukashenko’s of this world know how this world works. Not the world of Islington luvvies, but the world that the vast majority of people actually live in. A complicated world, which does not submit itself to the quixotic belief that just because someone wants to get into your country, means they mean it well. Many will, but a minority may want to be here to commit acts of crime or terror.
Sadly, it’s not just the fruit loops in Islington who think borders are over-rated. The outgoing head of the UK Border Force gave a speech last month to mark his departure. He described borders as a pain in the a**e.
So here’a a little thought experiment for you. What would our borders look like if they were administered by hard men from a tough neighbourhood, like Alexander Lukashenko. Politicians who see illegal migrants, not as charity cases, but as potential agents of chaos. Well, for one thing I don’t think he’d have a lot of time for a border force boss who sounded defeatist about our frontiers.
Nor do I don’t think he’d have a lot of time for the president of a neighbouring state who thinks it’s okay to allow 24,000 illegal migrants to disembark from his beaches bound for Britain this year alone.