Sunday, October 18, 2015

...Most depressingly of all, the new narrative is explicitly about evading public engagement on this issue. A democratic discussion is the last thing Euro-officials want. But if Europe is to be turned into the new home for dispersed humanity, with hundreds of thousands coming here, surely publics should get to discuss it first? Seems not. After all, ‘public attitudes’ are bad. And so we have Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and EU officials devising quotas for each EU nation, effectively instructing us on how many refugees we must take. This highly undemocratic solution to the refugee crisis shows how utterly distrusted European publics are. Indeed, through the refugee crisis EU officials are seeking to recover their moral authority, which was called into question during the Greek financial crisis of recent months, particularly their authority to impose on nations, and their publics, preordained political set-ups. The pseudo ‘open borders’ approach among European officials is not a genuinely liberal sentiment; it is the latest expression of the EU’s long-term project of weakening national and popular sovereignty and concentrating decision-making on important political matters in the hands of elites, far from ‘public attitudes’.

spiked is about as open borders as you can get. But in Europe right now, there is a bigger problem than border control, and that is the cynical weakening of national borders, and of the popular sovereignty within those national borders, by an EU oligarchy not remotely interested in freedom and autonomy but rather determined to water down democracy itself in the name of allowing small cliques to set quotas, write regulations and determine national destinies. Here is the great tragedy of the refugee crisis: it’s being used to dilute democracy further. And we need democracy so that we might make a real case for freedom of movement, to the public, and win the argument in a meaningful, lasting, liberty-boosting way....