Sunday, October 2, 2016

Karl du Fresne: The backlash against immigration

Internationally, the anti-immigration Right is on the rise, and the only surprise is that anyone should be surprised.

Donald Trump in the United States, Pauline Hanson in Australia, the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) Party in Germany, the triumph of the Brexiteers in Britain’s EU referendum … all point to a backlash against the liberal multicultural consensus that has dominated Western politics for decades.
It’s happened with a speed that has left the political establishment reeling and blindsided the predominantly liberal opinion-shapers in the media.

Consider the following:

● The British government is being forced to back-pedal on EU immigration policies that allowed freedom of movement within Europe. In the EU referendum, the United Kingdom Independence Party very effectively exploited a growing feeling that the British had lost control of their own country.

● In Germany, Angela Merkel is paying a high political price for throwing the doors open to one million migrants from the Middle East. Merkel not only played into the hands of despicable human traffickers in the Mediterranean but has given oxygen to the right-wing AfD, which recently defeated her Christian Democratic Union in her home state and now looks likely to become the third-largest party in the German federal parliament.

● In the US, Trump – a classic demagogue and political outsider – has confounded seasoned pundits by coming heart-stoppingly close to winning the presidency on a platform of anti-immigration and protectionist rhetoric.

● In Australia, the woman liberal Australians most love to hate, Queenslander Pauline Hanson, is back in Parliament, where she used her maiden speech in the Senate to tell Muslims who are unwilling to adapt to the Australian way of life to “go back where you came from”.

All over the democratic world (France, Austria and Italy too) politics is in a state of turbulence and uncertainty as the old political order unravels. Former British prime minister David Cameron is the most conspicuous casualty of the disruption, but he may not be the last.

The common denominator is immigration. While it might be the natural inclination of compassionate Western European countries to shelter millions of desperate refugees fleeing instability and turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, it was only a matter of time before Islamist terrorism provoked a backlash.

After all, what sort of person repays his hosts’ hospitality by trying to kill them?

The ideal of multiculturalism, long an article of faith in liberal western democracies, is now under intense pressure. But if the mood has turned against refugees, it’s largely because having risked their lives fleeing from corrupt and tyrannical Muslim regimes, some of those refugees then perversely and illogically set out to destroy the civilised and tolerant societies that have given them sanctuary.

Small wonder that attitudes against immigration from Islamic countries are hardening. Europe has experienced the worst of it so far, but America hasn’t escaped and even Australia isn’t immune, as Hanson’s comeback attests.

The liberal Australian media can barely disguise their horror that Hanson, whom they thought had been seen off after her last foray into federal politics in the 1990s, is back – and totally unrepentant.

Hanson tests liberal Australians’ tolerance of free speech to the limit. Green Party senators staged a theatrical walkout rather than listen to her.

But here’s the thing: Hanson is in the Senate because a substantial number of Queenslanders like what she says and voted for her. They are just as entitled to a voice in Parliament as the inner-city Sydney and Melbourne progressives who vote for Labor or the Greens. It’s called democracy.

All of this prompts an obvious question. Who will be the political beneficiary if the anti-immigration mood spreads to New Zealand? It can only be Winston Peters.

It hasn’t happened yet, but that’s not to say it won’t.

New Zealand has been spared the terrorist outrages experienced in Europe and the US. Any anti-immigration sentiment here arises not because of terrorism fears, but from anxiety about the impact on the cost of housing and – increasingly – competition for jobs.

Otherwise, most New Zealanders seem relaxed about multiculturalism. Many (I, for one) welcome the demographic transformation of recent decades as providing vibrancy and diversity that was lacking in Anglo-Saxon New Zealand.

Will we remain cosily insulated from the pressures that are building over immigration in other countries? The government's inclination, as in all things, is to assure us that everything's sweet; no cause for alarm. But only a fool or an incurable optimist would ignore the lessons from overseas.

Karl du Fresne blogs at published in The Dominion Post.


bernie said...

Immigration in it'sself is not the problem, it is the uncontrolled, mass migration that is taking place. NO ONE wants their town or village over run with people who are not similar. The mass migration of the muslims to Europe and the U.K. has created enormous problems.These people bring their incompatible attitudes and customs and feign surprise that they cannot treat women the opposite to us and will not take on the values and customs of the host country.
This is aggravated by the left calling anyone who objects as racist. They use this put down because they are too stupid to realise what is happening and back up what they want and so it is used to make people feel bad about their attitude and it has caused such things as the police not investigating child sex rings because of a fear of being called racist.
Immigrants have to be vetted as to how they will fit in, what they have to offer, etc.

paul scott said...

Selective Immigration.
New Zealanders can expect that our Government will enable our wishes generally on Immigration.
New Zealand people have sovereignty over our own country, and we may select people from other parts who wish to emigrate here.
This assumption of sovereignty of existing citizen’s wishes is not accepted by some libertarians and many progressives. These people think that any and all persons have 'natural' rights to come to New Zealand.
Karl du Fresne should apparently find the means to support that immigrant as necessary because ..well because its the decent thing to do. If he refuses he is redneck/racist/ Islamophobe/ white/ misogynist/ sexist / white / uneducated/ educated badly/ old / too young and so on.
The same people who deny National sovereignty often believe ferociously in personal property rights

Citizens can reasonably expect that Immigration will be designed so that our own needs and purpose are met, first and foremost
This expectation is not being currently met, and our Immigration policy is not easily transparent as to how selection occurs.
Current immigration figures can be shown to
1/ Strain social and public resources
2/ Place further pressure on the housing situation
4/ Allow immigrants who do not have a work position or who are not qualified in needed skills
5/ Fail the regional development policy
6/ Allows Immigration paperwork to substitute for quality assessment
7/ Allows patently illegitimate entries.
8/ Works to raise the low value nationwide GDP figure

The Immigration system can be improved in straight forward ways

1/ Have a defined preferential criteria for acceptable Immigrants .
There is no question that Immigrants should have attributes, which will allow them to become part of our society, rather than inflict another society on us.
It is easier to make a preferential list, rather than a negative list.
Nevertheless it is insane after the Europe and UK experience to allow Muslim immigration at all.
It is further not positive for New Zealand to shelter in numbers so called refugees from active war zones. The sons will grow up and find purpose for anger.
2/ Have a defined number of Immigrants per month and year who fulfil positive selective criteria.
3/ Follow up the selected immigrants to verify fulfilment of conditions which are applied.
This is that an Immigrant on the qualifying basis of rural farm work, is not fulfilling conditions in a central Auckland flat.
3/ Have a high level of training for Immigration Officers, and
4/ Applicant to pay expenses for the assessment.
5/ Social welfare benefits would be applicable only after the lapse of a defined period. .
6/ Applications would be assessed by New Zealand personal, and not the country of emigration, as is now often the case.
At the time of my enquiry there were no New Zealanders in the Bangkok Visa office.

The political implications of all this are obvious as Karl has pointed out.
The fifth National Government has had three Ministers of Immigration, Nathan Guy, Jonathon Coleman, Michael Woodhouse, and without any sign of reality recognition.
Expect a fourth Minister soon, and look for big changes about this time next year.

paul scott

Brian said...

Agree with Paul,
There is another large factor in this vexed equation of immigration. That is, why have the U.N. been so inactive in these countries whose citizens are fleeing from? They are, as per usual, using the easy option of forcing Western Nations to accept these illegal’s under the guise of being political refugees
We should demand that the United Nations put in force sanctions upon those countries whose activities force the mass exit of people. They were quick enough with sanctions in the case of Ian Smith in Rhodesia, but perhaps that might be an indigenous step too far!!!
That word refugee conjures up a welter of sympathy, such a desire in our liberal humanitarian left wing activists that they will, like our weak but image seeking politicians, grasp at a chance to feature in the world media. With our politicians they will go along with an eye on a possible Nobel Peace Prize; together with a position at the United Nations being the ultimate reward?
The only way to reverse this situation is for countries to reject the UN decree of acceptance and to immediately return refugees back to their country of origin. The cost is small in comparison to the long term effect of continuing mass migration upon Western Civilization, especially so in the case of Muslim refugees.
With our present position at the Security Council and Helen Clark’s costly bid for the top position, it is doubtful that sanity will prevail; and that our tea and sympathy policy will only signal an open door to future illegal immigration.
Australia has shut the gate in her domain, ours lies wide open and boatloads of illegal refugees are waiting for the opportunity to flood this country. Immigration has happened throughout history, but this NOT the 18th century of wide open spaces waiting to be populated clamming “Give me your huddled masses”. This is an invasion with a very frightening outcome.
A Reference needed? How about France!

mitch morgan said...

I had the pleasure of meeting Pauline Hanson on two occasions and was impressed by her honesty and openness. Her philosophy is that immigration should be curbed until all Australians who wanted to work had jobs, and that equal rights must apply to all citizens regardless of race.
For her immigration stance she was labelled a xenophobe and accused of being a racist for wanting equal rights for everyone.
She is something that NZ lacks - a politician who has the guts to speak out against political correctness and demanding a return to democracy.
Apart from Winston Peters, what a pathetic grovelling lot of politicians we have here.

jh said...

It isn't just Muslim immigration. It is clear that foreigners are being given an advantage to buy property and lifestyle and cumulatively this has a noticeable effect as cities and towns are based on factors which are limited. You have crowded and smoky migrating to "clean green" and not so crowded.

The other aspect is what sort of trade is involved at a territorial level. Libertarians think if A from NZ wants to trade property with B from China that is no one's but their own business, but while people own individual property the nation is owned by the people and the cumulative effect of individual transactions affects the choices of the members of the nation to it's land and lifestyle.

A preference for Europeans was logical for people of European ancestry as they can move more freely in those countries. In the case of the UK it was for a large majority a Grandparent country. Even so if there was a not too crowded Shangrila with very different people. New Zealanders would trade movement of peoples for territory. In practice, however, such countries have zillions of people.

Unknown said...

Bottom line. Population is the biggest environmental problem on the planet. Simple equation, more people equals more problems with everything from pollution, over use of resources , housing, water and other resource depletion,energy and you can add your own list. It is foolish to say to other countries that it is OK to let your population outstrip their ability to feed and house themselves and then expect other countries to feed and house them. If you want to help go to those countries and convince them of what is obviously their problem and how to solve it. We are already seeing the problems related to more population in Auckland or am I deluded as I sit in a crawl on the Southern motorway and all other roads in the city.One of the reason tourists come to our country is that it is underpopulated and they don't have to stand in line to visit the attractions. Keep up this policy over immigration and one of our biggest industries will be destroyed. For instance, Europeans can see pretty much anything we have in this country within a few hours flying but when they get there it is covered in people. They are not going to sit on a plane for 26 hours if the same is happening here.

paulineh said...

I know jolly well what would happen if I walked down the main street in a Muslim city in jeans and a T-shirt.
I wouldn't do it, because, other than for safety reasons, if I had migrated there I would accept a price for that immigration would be to adopt the laws of my newly-adopted land and "live as a "Roman"".
So it is particularly grating to see a Pakistani man allowed to have two wives, the second obtained from a "religious ceremony" (well, hello, wasn't the first?), the first of whom he hits with a hammer after making her sit for some time beside him on the couch awaiting her punishment...
This was not an act of national terrorism, but it was certainly local.
I don't know how many of his children are sons (it looks like three at least from the photo in the Herald). These boys are going to grow up thinking it is fine to have more than one wife, and that it is also OK to discipline one if she steps out of line.
I think whoever let him in should lose their job, and, sorry kids, but I won't lose an iota of sleep if they are all sent back, but any sympathy I have is for the first wife.

Lesley Munro

mitch morgan said...

Is bigamy no longer a criminal act in this country?
If it is, then why is the Immigration Department letting in refugees who become instant criminals as soon as they set foot on our soil?
Careful now, must not say anything that may upset our Muslim "friends".

Mark said...


I'm not sure you have engaged much "libertarian" theory and I agree it can be confusing as the term has been used by groups that have fundamentally different philosophies. I speak from the "anarcho-capitalist" libertarian perspective.

"Libertarians think if A from NZ wants to trade property with B from China that is no one's but their own business" - correct,
"but while people own individual property..." - correct, "the nation is owned by the people..." - this is fallacious and cannot be adequately defined. If it is owned by the people how do we sell our shares? Or as an individual have any realistic say in what the state does?
"and the cumulative effect of individual transactions affects the choices of the members of the nation to it's land and lifestyle." - correct, this can be said of any transactions, the vast majority of which you will never know about and have no way of knowing the exact impact. If you have concerns about this you may need to find your own planet to live on? Or do you propose that you or a group you approve of dictate to the rest of us which private transactions are permitted?

As libertarians we believe that the problem starts not in the control of government borders. It is rooted in the existence of "public" property, state welfare programmes, and refugee settlement through taxes coerced from the existing citizens. If public property and state welfare programmes were abolished then we'd be content to have open borders. However while they exist most libertarians take the next least damaging option of some restrictions on immigration.

jh said...

"the nation is owned by the people..." - this is fallacious and cannot be adequately defined.
Nevertheless territorial animals have a sense of them and us and ours. The definition will be found in evolution and molecular biology. Not everyone accepts this however (John Key, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama ?) and that is what all the fuss is about. Elites are making step-families of nations, by stealth.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a smear to paint everyone against uncontrolled immigration as right wing. Labour parties in places like New Zealand and Australia were strongly opposed, for years, to employers bringing in third world labour. Where such parties didn't have the power, you ended up with situations like Fiji or some of the West Indies. New Zealand would never have become the egalitarian country it used to be,without restrictions on immigration.

Peter said...

Why are there such mass migrations to the West?
We see pictures of these refugees arriving complete with their cell phones and other technology. They also wear their cloaks and veils. They want the best of two worlds. If they truly want to come to the 'west' they must be prepared to embrace our ideals. They seem to be economic refugees. Unlike refugees from Germany and Poland during World War II; we do not hear of the menfolk (sexist I know) wanting to train to return to their homeland to oppose the enemy.
In the Netherlands you could tell where refugees had settled. They lacked the decency to take care of the homes provided. These properties stood out from the immaculately kept homes to the Dutch. Such disregard adds distain to a nation whose hard working citizens are being deprived of welfare benefits.
Instead refugees are expecting a daily living allowance and making no effort to integrate.
We see that in New Zealand too. Immigrants want economic benefits ; but have no intention of assimilating into society.
It is not migration: it is invasion!

jh said...

Interesting the way Maori issues and immigration are joined at the hip, in so far as a post on Kiwiblog about the non-recognition of the Maori and female co spokesperson for Hobson's Choice brings out the usual suspects who support immigration and globalisation, [infact Maori are more opposed to immigration than any other group]. On a Green Party blog when discussing the operationalization of tinorangitiratanga I was directed to a book Recalling Aotearoa Indigenous Politics and Ethnic Relations in New Zealand.
Edited by Augie Fleras and Paul Spoonley.
A reviewer states Furthermore, because the authors acknowledge their intellectual heritage only insufficiently, chapter 3 seems to be marked by a curious contradiction. In a chapter entitled 'The Cultural Politics of PostColonialism: Being Pakeha',it is rather surprising to read that "[w]ith regard to Aotearoa/New Zealand, the interest in post-colonialism is largely a product of the evolving politics of Maori" (97). The contradiction is apparent, rather than real, but could have easily been avoided if implicit correlations had been spelled out. Though this indebtedness remains unacknowledged, chapter 3 emerges out of a larger discussion around constructions of subjectivity which means (I think) that our Marxists professors have been undermining the state over the years.

Wayne said...

I think Left and Right has little to do with immigration policy. Want to discuss Red versus Blue then discuss it, but please don't pretend one is right and the other is wrong about anything (especially immigration) just because of the colour their politics apparently represents. People vote blue because it is apparently the only side led by wealthy people and they think having the wealthy side in charge will make them wealthy. They fail to resognise that wealth accumulation is not the same policy as wealth division. Reds are equally dellusional from the opposite end of the spectrum (that is, wealth division does not equate to wealth accumulation). Neither manages to resognise that the money behind politics profits either way and always at their expense. Personally, I do not think there is a left and right like we used to believe there was. That went out the moment we started paying more to politicians to "attract the best people" into politics. I think it's all a clever divide and conquer technique. Well, not so clever really because, as the local body elections show us, less than 50% of NZ's population are stupid enough to buy into it any more. Which is encouraging... There, you have your Left and Right commentary from me.

When a debate becomes more about the colour of your team (red or blue, like your basic youth-gang member approach to judging someone's worthiness) than about what is more helpful, then labels such as left and right seem like a silly (even ignorant) measure of credibility to employ. So, leaving team colours out of it, let's talk about a useful approach to this topic of immigration. Unlike the NZ Herald tried to assert recently, the majority of NZ's do not support more immigration. This conclusion is based on the NZ Herald's own figures which were misrepresented to try and say that the majority of NZ's support more immigration when in fact their own reported numbers in their little poll show that somewhere near 87% oppose it. Ahh, our globally-politicised manipulative propaganda powered deceptive press mechanism is alive and well and their nonense is still gobbled up in a ravenous fashion.

At the end of the day, whilst we all appreciate a healthy spattering of variety, the final decisions made have to be about "fit". If you go for a job and you get an interview along with 4 others it means that 5 people "could" do the job. Now the employer wants to know which of the 5 is the best fit for the team they have painstakingly selected and grown to the level of success it currently enjoys. The employer is not going to pick someone who is so different they will only end up breaking the team. Now, it is important to note that the "employer" in the immigration question is not the Government and it is not the opposition. It is (or at least it should be) the people. I think immigration approvals should be made more on the basis of fit and less on criteria arrived at through the PC based multi-culturalism brainwashing and propaganda guilt-edged speeches and campaigns that seem to be the mainstay of false logic argument these days.

jh said...

Maybe this was the plan [link between the recognition of tinorangitiratanga and preparing for "diversity"]
Political parties need to embrace ‘super-diversity’
While divisions and conflict between majority host populations and newly arriving migrant groups has plagued Britain and some European nations, as well as Canada and Australia, Professor Spoonley says New Zealand is better prepared. Since the 1970s, New Zealanders – and our institutions – have sought to recognise Māori protocols, values, culture, perspectives and language as inherent to our national identity.

The notion that national identity is something elites can manipulate is contentious when you dig into the "typology" of theories of nationalism. Nationalism and national identity are joined at the hip.

Spoonley claims New Zealand exceptionalism but where would that be without a[n arguably] complicit media [borderline propaganda], an army of liberal-left academics and a public service which cannot deviate from a set narrative and the backing of business interests. Basically the exclusion of dissenting opinion. We imagined Big Brother we didn't imagine a mutating beast made of many parts. I should add the wealth effect of high house prices, except that "asset inflation isn't wealth creation; it simply adds a charge elsewhere in the economy"?

Anonymous said...

The greatest argument for you is that you are all immigrants that came from somewhere else and now want to shut the door to anyone but your own kind. The biggest source of immigration into this country by far is the UK and then Australia. Most of these people are white and blend in with the rest of the white population of New Zealand. NZ has 1M people living here that were born in the UK that's nearly a quarter of the population.
Now that we have significant immigration from mainland China people are starting to panic as these people have cheap money and are steadily buying up this country. Soon white New Zealanders will know what its been like for Maori since the 1860s as they watch their country being sold off and Chinese immigration starts to ramp up and white New Zealanders become a significant minority. We will all be banned from speaking English and forced to speak Chinese, our laws and way of life will change to benefit those new ones that are in power in this country. Have no fear though White New Zealanders will still get 20 seats in parliament and might the new Pakeha party What do you think?