Saturday, 23 April 2011

Now where did we put those barriers?

The old sleeper train from the Hook of Holland to Saltzburg was always a childhood favourite of mine; not only the special mini-compartment to hold your watch in the bunk, but the joy of waking at intervals during the night as the train crossed the various European borders and the thrill of smartly uniformed border guards with pistols checking documents just inches from your bed. It was all very secure and reassuring; the world was safe and ordered. 


I saw a superb exhibition in the Stedelijk just after Schengen came in. Photographs of old border posts, the poles taken away, chickweed growing from the tarmac in front of the graffitied guards' huts. Hundreds of them. The exhibition struck an unusual note for the world of modern art - a note of something important lost, of a vague mourning, of a self-inflicted threat. Triumphal it was not. What had gone was the comfort of those big men with polished leather pistol-holsters keeping the baddies at bay. 


Now it seems the French are wondering what they did with all those border guards; a flood of migrants from the Maghreb are moving North to swell the banlieues. France's annual unofficial scrappage scheme, in which a few thousand autos are ceremonially torched, looks set to provide a bumper opportunity for new car sales this year as the Islamic ghettoes swelter under the dual burden of a Burqa ban and feeding their newly-arrived North African cousins from the household food pots. 


Do you think they're learning something?

6 comments:

Jeff Wood said...

Yeah, and here in Italy posters are appearing, protesting about the influx (whatever their origin, they are referred to as Moroccans).

If they don't drown landing on Lampedusa or at Ventimiglia, they are encouraged to head north to France or Germany, where many have family or friends from previous cultural enrichment migrations.

Now the French are chucking them back over the border, and the Colleagues are beginning to fall out, cos the Germans don't want them either. Dear Silvio has troubles enough without unwelcome immigration: Schengen be damned.

Of course, many will end up in Britain, arriving with social security and housing applications already filled out. I am so glad I recently went the other way - at least I seem to be welcome here.

Demetrius said...

It was inevitable. If you scroll down to the end of this one you will see what I said:

http://thecynicaltendency.blogspot.com/2011/01/scramble-for-africa-mark-five.html

There is a lot more to come.

JuliaM said...

"Of course, many will end up in Britain, arriving with social security and housing applications already filled out."

No, no, I'm sure that won't happen! Teresa May has insisted that Britain's borders will not be open to them and I'm sure she wouldn't just be impotently posturing for the tabloids.

Would she?

TheFatBigot said...

Comments don't seem to be allowed on your question about Mr Bonneville so I'll add one here. The answer is probably that he starred in a well-received televisual production aired by the commercial channel in 2010.

Blues in the Night said...

To add the TFB's note, I hear that Ryan Giggs is a scruffy left footer...

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I don't know what the French are worrying about, these people are only in transit, after all; there will be some temporary inconvenience for the burghers of Calais, but after that, one way or another, they'll all be gone.

Coming to a benefit queue near you, soon...