The European Union Commissioners (or one or two Foreign Secretaries) have had the bright idea in the last few days that, instead of being brutal by blockading north African ports in order to prevent migrants setting out in rubber dinghies across the Mediterranean . . . for Italy, they’re going to offer aid to African countries in order to “step up cooperation” with them for help with interception of migrants before they start out or taking people back after they’ve made the trip to Italy.
Qute apart from the difficulty of estbalishing the country of origin of many immigrants, the suggested policy won’t work on two counts. Firstly, those countries which have governments along the north African coast — fairly stable governments, that is — Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco already help. So the second count only has tlo be considered. Almost all the African migrants — or, rather, their organisers — avoid these countries and funnel their charges into Libya, which hasn’t a stable government. It has a notional government through which some sembance of international diplomacy can operate on minor matters, but it doesn’t have a government that’s in control of its 1,000 mile seashore.
Libya, in any sensible language, is an anarchy. It’s so anarchic that even ISIL can’t establish sympathisers there — which it certanly can do in some of the other countries of north Africa, such as Tunisia. Libya’s various warring tribesmen — with Bedouin epigenes still in their DNA — don’t tolerate the ingress of foreign religious trouble-makers. Their basic culture is even older than Islam.
The only outsiders who can operate with ease in Libya — and even then only under the patronage of a (well-bribed) tribal chief in one area or another — are the well-organised migrant traffickers or snakeheads as they used to be called, named afer those quite brilliant organisers of migrant routes that stretched from China, through Russia and the outer European countries of Europe and thence into the heartland of the EU, dealing with multiple corruptible sentries and customs and railway officials on the way. Until stopped by the Chinese government. So we’ve lost the more colourful description of traffickers. But the present plain vanilla ones are just as clever as they supervise recruitment lines running into the depths of Africa through into Libya.
Returning to the first count, if Libya did, in fact, have a stable government that could undertake what the EU would like, then you can be sure that Libya and all the other north African countries would be able to raise the ante from year to year because the population pressure from Africa is truly staggering — and will be even more so in future years and decades. The present population is already 1 billion. At present birth rates, it is estimated to rise to 4 billion in as many years — 50 — as the EU has already existed. With only one third of a billion indigenous inhabitants, Europe could easily be topped up with as many immigrants as themselves.
Like the Peter Principle, in which “the work of bureaucrats expands to fill the time available” the demands for increased payments by the north African countries would grow to empty the Treasuries of all the European countries. Morocco, for example, already has a barbed wire concentration camp containing potential immigrants. Fortunately for Morocco, its camp is now containable because traffickers are now avoiding any routes through Morocco. But if all the other north African countries had such camps then you can be sure that they would be growing to enormous sizes until, finally, even the traffickers would call it a day and the African population would, perforce, have to stay in their counries of birth.
But, of course, this will never happen because, long before then, the present indigenous populations of Europe would rise up in anger and replace their governments. And the early signs of this potential are already happening. Quite besides the relatively genteel Ukip in Britain, there are some quite vicious right-wing movements in several countries of Europe — Germany, France, Denmark, etc. Political commentators are already treating the danger of Marine le Pen gaining the Presidency of France in 2017 as being a serious possibility.
It will all come down to blockading of all parts of the north African seashores whence rubber dinghies may be launched. Following Francois Hollande’s suggestion at the emergency session of Foreign Ministers two weeks ago, the Security Council of the UN is already considering such a policy. This is most unlikely ever to take place under the aegis of the UN. So, by default, it will probably be up to the gun-boats of the EU countries to carry it out.