Kevin Myers is a man I have read on and off for a number of years now. Reading him today I am increasingly of the belief that he is losing the run of himself. September 11 marked a turning point in his writing, he recently disagreed with Mark Steyn, and was accused of losing his right wing edge.
But his most recently article seems to stand out – I think it’s just total, unadulterated tripe. Why does he feel the constant need for attacks on groups “the reactionary, learn-nothing left” to support his argument? Is that the only way he can make argument? And can they even be defined as arguments?
Here he is at full bluster:
Marvellous, utterly marvellous, to see the present immigration debate – if you can dignify such a festival of mealy-mouthed evasions and vapid pieties with such a term – following the predictable lines of other European societies which experienced immigration a generation ago.
Once again, the reactionary, learn-nothing left has brandished the r-word at people who urge restrictions on immigration into Ireland; for within liberal culture, calling any opponents “racists” instantly wins every argument, regardless of what they are really saying.
Now, finally, life has been good to us. So what kind of Ireland do we want in 50 years? Go back half-a-century and ask the people in Britain what they envisaged for their country. Who in 1954 would have thought that by 2004 places such as Burnley, Bradford, Preston, Huddersfield, would be nearly 50 per cent Muslim, as they now are? No one; indeed, even to have suggested such a possibility then, or over the next 20 years, would have invited the wrath of the ideologically pro-immigration left, with righteous denunciations of scaremongering racism.
Now, this is not (a) funny, or (b) talked about – barely at all in Britain, and absolutely not in Ireland, where we are told to be bewitched by the imminent multicultural splendours ahead. So we don’t discuss the complexities and the consequences of immigration, but instead waffle on (in Irish Times-reading circles especially) about the glorious benefits of immigration.
Are we even on the same planet? Where is he getting this stuff from? Who would have thought these places would nearly 50% Muslim? Who cares? I’ve been to Yorkshire, and Huddersfield, and yes there many Muslims, but does it bother me? Of couse not. Does it bother the other percentage of residents? Not in my experience. What’s the big deal Kevin? Because no one envisaged it does not mean it’s a bad thing.
Yes it is talked about in Britain, and yes more so than it is here. Myers is bemoaning that we don’t discuss the “complexities and the consequences of immigration”. I don’t see Myers discussing it at all, he just seems to think “stop them coming in and we won’t have to think about it”.
So, more immigrants, more diversity, will make Ireland a more interesting place. Good. We agree on that. But steady there. Who actually wants Athlone or Portlaoise, 50 years hence, to be what Preston, Bradford, Huddersfield are now? What happens if the children of immigrants insist on retaining the cultural norms of their parents’ homeland? Where stands multiculturalism when an immigrant culture demands the right to slice off teenage girls’ vulvas? Or insists on arranged marriages in childhood? Or the honour-killing of daughters who do not do their fathers’ bidding? Racism! This will never happen here! Will it not?
Weakness, inertia, liberal smugness and abject political cowardice allowed an army of self-styled “asylum-seekers” to drive a coach and four through the dismal charade of our immigration controls. As it happens, most of those who bluffed their way in genuinely seem to want to work – so good luck to them; but such easy-going days must, emphatically, now be over.
For what about the Ireland we bequeath to the unborn? Have we the courage now to discuss the Islamic component in Ireland 2054? No doubt, most Muslims will be what most Muslims are today – hard-working and law-abiding, and will be a cultural and intellectual asset. But what of those jihadistas who in life and limb are loyal to holy war, and who seem to be present on the wilder shores of almost all Islamic societies, yearning for the martyrs’ paradise beyond? What value our liberal immigration policies today if the price for our grandchildren tomorrow is such fine fellows, Irishmen with Irish accents, preaching the virtues of the suicide bomber against the infidel, in a mosque which was once a Catholic church?
Not only is he on another planet, he’s just reached another galaxy. After complaining that some towns in the UK are nearly 50% Muslim (so what?), he asks if we want Athlone or Portlaoise to be akin to them? It wouldn’t bother me at all Kevin. And then he asks all the questions – scaremongering I would say. All of these issues have been fairly expertly handled across the water – where they have 50 years of experience of it, while we on the other hand, are just starting out.
The final paragraph is just balderdash, though I could use stronger words. Kevin, Muslims will be coming to Ireland. They will live, work and worship here. What’s the problem with that? What he doesn’t seem to realise is that he is using the very same language that was common in the UK 50 years ago, but hey, they got over it and moved on. We will have to too, and no amount of immigration policies will stop it – why? Because we aspire to be an open and democratic society. And that means it comes with the territory.
And what’s this about a mosque that was once a Catholic Church? Ohhh, scary! What an image! Please, Mr. Myers, think about it for a moment.