When Trump attempted to control migrant flows on the basis of national origins that raise obvious security concerns, he was denounced. These problems will not be solved if we cannot discuss them truthfully and openly. And I write this with the suspicion that my comment will probably get placed in a moderation holding pattern for engaging in wrongspeak.
Great comment. And I write that happily willing to join you in a moderation holding pattern for speaking common sense.
It’s the madness of our times. The blue checks in my Twitter feed can gleefully call for military escalation and nuclear brinksmanship, but somehow it is beyond the pale to suggest that some migrants are less threatening than others.
In response to a recent article by Maya Forstater one of my comments disappeared for a while and then mysteriously reappeared and another obliterated but found acceptable when I reposted similar sentiments but referencing Andrew Doyle.
I do favour moderation to remove purely abusive comment to ensure that the site remains civilised, but moderation seems to have become something more than that. It might help if Unherd could publish guidelines as to what is likely to be caught up in a moderation trawl as it is irritating to spend time posting something for it to be vaporised for no apparent reason.
****,***** ** *** *** /////
See what the moderators make of that
I note Galeti has disappeared over recent days. I’m not sure it’s the post content that’s driving the moderation system.
I had a reply from Uhd suggesting that there were updates underway on the site that could explain some random moderation activity. Or maybe Galeti is undergoing another Dr Who style regeneration?
Maybe Sanford will return!
I wrote two letters to Unherd yesterday (with screen shots) and I had replies to both. They have a problem with their moderation (automatic and the flagging mischief) and management are apparently looking into it as a matter of urgency.
Some things have been going to moderation for no reason at all and other posts are being constantly flagged by certain people. I have suggested that they look at the people doing the flagging to see if there is a trend there. I am convinced there is.
I have been emailed by one other poster who has had his account terminated without explanation. My own posts have been placed in moderation and in some cases removed altogether.
I have been told that Freddie Sayers is The Editor of Unherd. I will email him to see if he has an explanation.
I recall some years ago that a forum, I think that it was The Spectator but my memory may be faulty, fell into the hands of a rogue moderator who was posting her own comments and was blocking comments that she objected to seeing in print.
The problem is widespread. I was emailed by one poster who reports that his account was terminated without explanation.
Maybe he is keeping his head below the parapet after telling us that the Russian army was a fearsome and terrible enemy and that we should be afraid to face it. He certainly didn’t see the Ukrain holding out for more than 2 days or the formation of a “Home Guard” and 2 “International Brigades” The other ‘missing person’ is James – I wonder what he’s up to.
I think they flag certain names
They didn’t like “[email protected]” in a previous post of mine – where i used the letter a instead of @
I mentioned that in UK+EU that Muslims represent the elephant in the room. Deletion or moderation for me. Why does anyone bother with this?
I don’t think I’ll renew my subscription here. I’ve had innocuous posts deleted. Nothing offensive. No reason given.
Looks like you aren’t being moderated any longer!
Have often wondered, though have never pursued the thought to even have an opinion about it, whether in fact fleeing war as a crucial ‘qualifyer’ for refugee status has not in somewhat like manner been weaponised by encouraging civil wars. For as reports suggests, whether ‘freedom fighters’ and/or
‘oppressive govts’ having to administer whatever population falls or remains under control must hamper the ‘war effort’. And heartless as it sounds, there is a point to something often voiced that the bulk of the refugees fleeing such wars seem to be young men of fighting age whom one might think their country needs to make a stand either way. Of course one wishes this was not so.
The statement about young men is uncomfortable but true.
I completely agree with you. For example, changing demographics in Syria meant that Assad needed to offload a large number of Sunnis on other countries in order to stay on control.
In this case the vast bulk of refugees are women, old people and children which undermines the analysis.
The bulk of refugee camps are indeed filled mainly by women and children. Again an administrative nightmare shoved into another nearby country to deal with, leaving plenty of open space to progress battle plans more directly and speedily.
Global geopolitical players too are reputed to find and fund civil wars beneficial to their purposes
How’s that for an argument?
Why do journalists during this Ukrainian exodus keep conflating refugees from other continents with European refugees?
This writer’s analysis fails yet again to properly acknowledge that we would benefit hugely from educated and skilled refugees from Ukraine, with similar cultural values (compared to North Africans and Middle East) who will integrate with the U.K. culture.
Yes we need appropriate policies and processes to absorb such European refugees efficiently – and it may be racist to say it, as some journalists claim – but these should be different for refugees from completely alien cultures, many of whom will never accept U.K. values.
And Putin may think this is a weapon to destabilise the west – but only in the short term. Educated and skilled refugees with similar values have historically shown they integrate and contribute very quickly to an economy. Meanwhile the destroyed infrastructure of Ukraine will require huge investment to recover – from Russia? – whilst dealing with a massive reduction in people resources. That’s a long term disaster for Putin, especially now with sanctions that the Russian middle classes, having lost all their investment wealth, will seek to leave Russia and further accelerate its decline in population.
I’d go one step further and suggest than many of the Ukrainians (like the Poles, Slovaks, etc) will prove to have “better cultural values” rather than merely “similar” ones. i.e. they respect the need to work for a living and have strong family values and take education seriously. In some – not all – respects this can improve UK culture and remind us of our own values.
I’ve never forgotten this gem (quoted below) from the Guardian comments (09-Nov-16). This absolutely nails how badly we’ve lost our way over the past 20 years. This is what our politicians were worrying about 2 weeks ago. If the Ukraine war does nothing else, it should be a useful reality check and “great reset” of our values.
“When the history is written about the failure of progressive politics in 2015 and 2016 I hope that somebody writes a chapter on the trans / transgender toilets issue.
All it shows is a group fighting for perfection for the hundreds when all around them are the millions fighting — and failing — to survive.
For the avoidance of doubt the Grauniad is one of the biggest culprits in this.
The gap between the lives of the journalists and the opinion formers and the people at the bottom gap rows bigger everyday and the issues that they push become ever more niche and self indulgent.”
At some point, this latest iteration of the Russian empire will collapse under the incompetence and corruption of its rulers. Let’s hope that the Ukrainians can then return home and rebuild it better.
I read a similar comment in a German-language newspaper which said that the transgender toilets brigade were basically trying to put the finishing touches to their progressive house of cards and were completely oblivious to the band of autocrats/anti-democrats/demagogues coming at them in a bulldozer.
Ms. Ayaan’s write up is more broader than your point.
“Europe needs immigrants and immigrants need Europe” writes Ayaan Hirsi AliFor a start, please understand that EU is not Europe and Europe in not EU. A fact which seems to be ignored by the writer.
EU except Germany can absorb non Muslim migrants purely from population requirements. UK is currently accepting HK Chinese without problems and has massive oversupply of well qualified applicants as potential immigrants..
The issue is that millions of Muslims want to migrate to the UK and EU but voters are not content with this. Simply because Muslims usually do not integrate into the native population, preferring to live together in segregated communities.
This is the elephant in the room. We need a solution without following the Trump doctrine.
This article is nonsense. In recent years, it has been mainly young men who have come to Europe from war zones to seek welfare benefits in Germany or Britain. But only women and children are coming from Ukraine because the men are defending their country. And Ukrainian women and children are likely to stay in Central Europe – close to Ukraine and in countries whose language they understand. There are already large numbers of people from Ukraine there, and many Ukrainian men are returning from these countries at this time to resist the Russian invasion.
Your’s is a non-sequitur response.
One of the implications of Putin gaining control over Ukraine which occurred to me at the weekend was to do with grain exports. Ukraine exports an awful lot of grain to countries in North Africa and the Middle East – which are tinder boxes anyway. Food prices are already rising due to inflation, pushing ever more people into food insecurity and posing a threat to political stability in those countries.
Having leverage over how much grain can be exported from the Ukraine – and therefore at least short- to medium term influence over how much grain reaches North Africa/Middle East (while supply chains adjust) would also feed into migratory dynamics.
Immigration has become a topical theme in European politics and will continue to be so. There is broad brush talk about Europeans being opposed to immigration and in the case of the Brexit debate, in opposition to the free movement of labour. I would suggest however that if you dig a bit deeper there are distinct attitudes in response to immigration from muslim countries as opposed to immigration from European Christian countries, a subtlety that tends to be overlooked by correspondents. The elephant in the room so to speak.
The author got in just in time then and won’t ever be drafted to be in harm’s way. Comforting. That said, the insights are good ones. Spare a thought for the 5000+ Russians picked up and often beaten by the paramilitary Rosgvardiya- and other forces of goons suppressing anyone who dissents in that benighted country, particularly those born after the wretched USSR collapse. My kids work in international tech and see younger global Russians in despair and tears. Old gits who live in Perm and believe Russian news won’t be changed though.
and you are the authority on how native Russians still living and loving their homeland will ultimately respond?
Of course not- there’s a clue in the term ‘comment’? I’ve read widely for the past 50 years and it’s self evident that very many younger travelled Russians think differently than an older generation brought up under the Soviets outside Moscow and St Petersburg. Anecdote I know but the global Russians who work with international companies or Russians I’ve spoken to here in Singapore are aghast. I’ve no intention of going to Perm.
That was a really fascinating read. Love Unherd.
WTF???? My comment has been moderated. I said nothing in it:
1) I didn’t know about Russia’s involvement in L|bya.
2) I wish the author had explained better how the immigration laws should be changed, especially because Italy won’t benefit from [email protected] and f&ences.
Off to complain now.
And here is their reply:
Thank you for your email.
I will be sure to pass your feedback onto the management team.
A number of improvements are currently being made to our commenting platform which is why you may be experiencing a lag in the moderation of comments and general ongoing moderation. I do apologise for any disappointment caused.
Should you have any other queries please do not hesitate to get in touch and I will be more than happy to help.
The situation, though has made it quite clear, that our migrants ( not fugitives, they end up as ..) isn’t really part of our society, they are part of their own ‘world’ and religion. The feel victimized because we are talking about taking fugitives from Ukraine in a positive way. They don’t feel part of a war. They don’t share our history. They don’t understand that we feel it easier to take christian fugitives, than muslims. They have totally forgot their own countries intolerance.
No mention of Macron and the Channel?
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” are the moving words of Emma Lazarus’ that are engraved on the Statue Of Liberty.
These noble words are as meaningful today as they were in early 1900s America. The problem with them is that they don’t state the offer exactly. And in the context of “the West”, in part depending on geography, and in part depending on immigration policy, the weak, the hungry, the persecuted and the downtrodden face different obstacles in finding a new life, in a new country in the West. So Canada, as I think I once read, selected very carefully which refugees from Syria could be given residence and then citizenship.
What America had really wanted in the early part of the 20th century was Europe’s strong and willing arms. To help build coastal America up from the ground, and then to move across America building it up. The Europeans who came, Italians, Germans, Swedes, Polish, Irish, Russian Jews, did not to a large degree hate or even despair of the society, the country, from which they originated. But they had been unhappy with their own place in it. In America, they saw a land of opportunity.
The tired, the fearful, with little money to hand, streaming in from Ukraine into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania are the epitome of the huddled masses as imagined by Emma Lazarus. Much has been done to provide for them. The EU has led on this, to its credit – because it will be necessary to move the Ukrainians around the bloc as well as elsewhere in Europe outside the EU where they are welcome.
They are conflict refugees, war refugees. They need a helping hand, desperately. But what of economic refugees? Are they as deserving of asylum? Well, they too may well fall into the huddled-masses category. Perhaps not persecuted, but they may well be weak, hungry, downtrodden – and not enamoured by their country of birth. They too huddle for protection, like the prisoners milling about in the prisoner-of-war camp in the WW2 movie, The Great Escape. And it is an escape they have performed. An escape to a good place where they can indeed begin to breathe. It’s human to.
It must seem a little strange for the world to watch on TV so many Europeans on the move. On that scale, it has not happened since at least WW2. Now they protect their own! On the other hand, there’s no such thing as white privilege. They have lost their home which they had built up. They may, in sufficient numbers, well make some European cities more interestingly diverse. If Ukraine and Russia have in the recent past seen each other as good and dear neighbours, in familial and cultural terms anyway, then the war has disabused them as well as their continental near-neighbouring countries of that. Neighbours do indeed go to war. France and Germany did, a lot. And neighbours go to war with each other, as in the Spanish Civil War. But the kind and vigorous outreach by Ukraine’s neighbours directly to its west and further on westwards, shows how much more civilised Western Civilisation is than any other parts of the world, especially when it comes to providing for the needs of displaced peoples. For example, Latin America and Africa are constantly in flux. South Africa is always on a precipice. Without the USA, Canada would have a harsh time of it if it bumped right up next to Mexico. But the sanctuary for everyone is north of the Rio Grande. Never anywhere below, seemingly. Never for the huddled masses, especially! Perhaps well-educated Venezuelans had the wherewithal to move further afield than Colombia next door (after the collapse into nation-wide penury and lawlessness that was hastened by their socialist government). South Africa, in the dire straits it is in, is a cold house for Africa’s refugees there. There has been much xenophobia there, almost always among the unfortunate poorest. The target of their resentment is also poor.
The noble words of Emma Lazarus, do they ring true in the smartphone age, in the world’s second-richest, second-most-powerful country? America’s chief rival? Do they ring true in the world’s biggest country in terms of the mass of the land, Russia? A mere plaque, inscribed, in a public place could mean so much to do many. But in the 2020s some big countries are very sensitive.
They still ring true in America, the biggest free surface across the face of the earth. I believe that, in spite of the ridiculous veer that great nation has taken towards making a great sin of, and song and dance out of, its few warts and few chipped teeth. Compared with China and Russia, America still has all the merits. The world gravitates towards America. So do the huddled masses. But Europe gets a look-in, too.
The world may well be your oyster – if you are lucky or an adaptable Russian oligarch (who usually flits about the world so easily). The huddled masses, on the other hand, must fight or push harder for their case. Good neighbourliness anywhere in the world would considerably ease THEIR burdens. But in my following of world events, good neighbourliness seems for many to only really exist in a faraway country of which the huddled masses know so little, but where it’s still clear to them that the country in question is democratic and free, with justice for all and not subject to a dictator’s whim ever. So for example, will Syrian names eventually feature on the team sheet of Turkey’s national football side? Turkey has looked after Syrians, its neighbours, but what do Syrians think? Is Turkey a cold house, ultimately? Spanish names are very common among French cultural, artistic, sporting and political figures. Hundreds of thousands of Spanish refugees found safety in France in early 1939, when Franco established himself as dictator of Spain. Some later joined the wartime French Resistance. But Turkey is not France and France is not Turkey and in 2022 the world is genuinely a mixed-up world, all at sea.
At the EU gathering a couple of days ago, in which President Zelensky of Ukraine spoke via video, the mere mention of Western values or Western civilisation was not hinted at, as far as I could tell. The EU leaders are in thrall to Europe and European values and the family of Europe. Talk like that (they seem to say “Oorop”)is not possible without the comfort of security that America provides. What would the huddled masses of ordinary Russians in the 2020s like to hear? I imagine that they, being so far to the east, would like to hear about and engage more directly with …. Western Civilisation. The West defeated Communism. The West defeated the Soviet Union. It was not European values that defeated the Eastern Bloc, whatever values they are. Shall we just as well say Judeo-Christian values? Why not? After all, President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II had a very warm and friendly relationship; both men knew that with their respective efforts, they could and should defeat “the evil empire” (as Reagan had once put it). A very secularised message and outlook from the ever-evolving EU would not appeal to Russians who have for so long been spiritually bereft. Indeed, the Russians could still be the greatest Europeans – if they could be free of their various shackles.
And in terms of immigration to Europe from around the world, the emphasis on Western values rather than European ones would be much better for creating a more harmonious and agreeable continent. In Germany, Turks could never be full citizens. (And in Turkey, Syrians, according to a single news report I recall watching a few years ago, cannot become Turkish citizens). How can the fostering of European values, when Europeans are so reticent on so many topics, be enticing enough for non-Europeans? They could be if those European values are reframed as Western or Christian values. If Europe acknowledges the contribution of America to the European cause in WW2, and its security afterwards, then Europe might just tap into what makes the West, including Europe, really tick. But it’s not through the expression of warm and fluffy words about “our European family of nations” where you might detect it.
The Russian people had a sneaking regard for Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. After the British victory in the Falklands War, some of the members of the Politburo, I have read, began to admire the lady. Perhaps she represented well a more European, or less American, dimension of Western civilisation. A kind of representation that satisfied better the burgeoning curiosity Russians were feeling about the world. In the 1980s.
The Russian equivalent trenchantly is the arch of despair all exiles such as the Decembrists passed passed through as they were marched to prison camps in Siberia.
“Europe needs immigrants and immigrants need Europe.”
In the absence of detailed, long-term, population and infrastructure plans implemented by quality governments, the writers statement will face stiff opposition.
The systems that install governments and make them accountable is where the focus needs to be. Electoral systems and Constitutions no longer produce the level of leadership required to deal with 21st century issues and beyond: people like Putin being a prime example.
The greatest issue facing the planet, is the issue of government leadership: not so much the leaders themselves, but the systems that install them and make them accountable.
The author is one of Unherd’s finest. But if a piece is tagged “Analysis” and the author makes the bald statement “Europe needs immigrants” without any supporting argument, then Unherd should expect some reaction from readers. It is clear that the Unherd team have gone in for some “moderation” that would even cause Putin’s censors to blush.
Or to put it very simply, ‘talk softly but carry a big stick’.
Ms. Ayaan, to being another point into view, common sense, which is your overall summarized abstract objective, was never the point of a particular immigration policy.
Immigration policies, more broadly, and worldwide, have always been about political expediency, which you do touch upon, however I think the utter idiocy of falling into the trap of retail politicking should be driven home much much more.
Thank you for what you are doing.
The most depressing thing about the Ukraine crisis is that the Left’s main contribution is to demand that we open the floodgates and allow Ukrainian refugees (or those claiming to be Ukrainian refugees) to enter the country in unlimited numbers.
It isn’t. People being physically blown apart by missiles etc might be a teensy weensy bit more depressing?
“It may once have been unthinkable to overhaul international and European treaties to address this. But a new and harsh reality dictates otherwise.”
It still won’t happen though. At the moment there is a lot of lip service, but as soon as the crisis ends we will revert to the old normal -because we have political leaders who are weak and cowardly.