Avoiding the Unpleasant Questions

Below is an interview with the Dutch author Leon de Winter from the Swiss German-language newspaper Tagesanzeiger. Many thanks to JLH for the translation.

First, a bio of the interview subject:

Leon de Winter, a bestselling author, grew up as the son of Orthodox Jews in Holland. He studied at film schools in Munich and Amsterdam, but became known as a novelist. His latest work, “A Good Heart,” was published by Diogenes in 2013. He takes part regularly in political debate and has often dealt critically with Islam. He lives near Amsterdam.

The interview:

Tagesanzeiger Series: What will 2014 bring?

Interview with Leon de Winter

Corine Mauch and Simon Amman

Mr. de Winter, Switzerland will be voting in February on whether to take the direction of immigration into its own hands again and institute quotas. It would be de facto the end of the free movement of people with the EU. What do you think of that?

I have never liked the idea of limiting the autonomy of nations. We have not yet reached that point. After many centuries of bloody conflict, we are still getting used to each other. Borders are not superfluous. They have a function. If you travel from Switzerland to France, Holland to Belgium or Germany to Poland, you notice right away that you are entering another world. The houses look different. The people shop differently Believing that these differences could be encompassed in a bureaucratic framework is an illusion.

Just three years ago, you wrote: “Europe is much too heterogeneous for a union.” Does that mean that Europe is also too heterogeneous for free travel of persons?

Yes, because there is no European unity. Perhaps we are on the way to it. But we are not there yet. And unity cannot be commanded. Europe need far more time for getting used to one another. The union could have been developed slowly and organically. But the time was not allowed.

The next referendum on this subject may follow as early as this Fall — on whether free movement of persons should be extended to include the new EU member, Croatia. The EU would take a No as a provocation. As a citizen of an EU state, what would you advise? Is it wise to tangle with the EU?

In the short term, of course, it is easier to go along and not be contentious. On the other hand, imagine if the EU disciplined Switzerland out of consideration for Croatia. That would be stupid. And on top of that, if the bureaucrats of the EU took a good look, they would see the problems that free travel of persons causes. Holland is one of the preferred immigration countries for Romanians. What I am saying is naturally not politically correct, but it is the reality. There is more criminality; there are more beggars. There is one of them playing an accordion on every street corner in Amsterdam. He learns one tune by heart and plays it all day long. Is this European progress? Naturally we should support the Romanians. But I do not believe we are integrating them into Western European society by allowing them to play the accordion in Amsterdam.

For a long time, criticism of immigration was the playing field of the political Right. But now this subject has moved into the political and social Middle. What has happened?

Reality has happened. And that is always a problem for politicians. There are such things as ordinary facts. And these are not invisible to the people. Many generations have worked very hard to build the basis of our present state. The welfare state is a lovely model, but it is not compatible with the model of an immigration state. The immigration state that wants to simultaneously be a welfare state will have problems. We have them in West Europe, because we have been making mistakes since the 1960s. We thought we could combine the two models. Naturally we needed workers — people who waded right in. But we don’t like to talk about the results — that these workers then made demands on the welfare state.

It is understandable that immigrants who work by our side want to profit from our social accomplishments.

Of course, and it is human and understandable that people want to profit as much as possible and will try to get the maximum of social welfare with a minimum of effort. But it is also human and understandable that indigenous populations are not happy that more and more people — who have done comparatively little to finance it — are attached to the umbilical of the welfare state.

That sounds as if immigrants are driven exclusively by an attraction to the welfare state.

I am not saying that, I am just saying that the immigration state and the welfare state, by their natures, are not compatible. In addition, there is an aspect that diverts us a bit from the movement of persons in Europe, i.e., a considerable number of immigrants to Holland are from Morocco. Educationally, most of them may have some training in farming or small retail, but nothing more. Whereas, they have a strong cultural imprint.

What is so bad about that?

Why are the freest societies found in North America, Europe and Australia? Why do poverty and illiteracy predominate in the countries the immigrants come from — North Africa, parts of Turkey? Why does the entire array of countries from Egypt to Pakistan constitute an uninterrupted chain of bondage? That is no coincidence. We should talk about that. It has nothing to do with race. Any discussion of race is nonsense. It is about cultural and religious aspects. We in Europe could only develop after we had freed ourselves from oppression by the Church. This liberation must also happen in the Islamic world. We must support our Muslim fellow citizens. But we can only do that if we speak clearly and unmistakably about this subject.

Text in box:

Let us at Last Talk About the True Risks and Side Effects of Immigration

Leon de Winter is a successful contemporary author. His orientation is to the right. What seems impossible here at home is no longer a surprise to anyone in Holland. The immigration debate has been so intense for years that the political coordinates have been displaced. And in the meantime, the Left too has encountered the consequences of immigration with skepticism.

Switzerland is presently experiencing a similar displacement. Recent years have been shaped by an unrestricted opening policy. After the 1992 shock of saying No to the EEA (European Economic Area), all of the referenda led to bi-lateral treaties. The Federal Council and the economy promised abundance and prosperity — and masked the side effects.

In fact, however, the attraction of the Swiss job market is greater than expected. Far more people are coming, and not only qualified workers. There are also poorly trained individuals who work for below-par wages. When Leon de Winter says: “For a long time, we have avoided the unpleasant questions,” that is also true of Switzerland.

Right now, nationalistic, ecological and trades union reservations against immigration are accumulating. That bodes no good in the upcoming referendum on restricting immigration. No one knows how Brussels will react if Switzerland ceases to abide by the bi-lateral treaties. It is playing with fire.

The referendum can only be won if the Federal Council and the center-left majority in the parliament cease to whitewash the side effects of immigration… and come up with ideas for a long-term immigration policy. A net immigration of 80,000 persons per year will not be permanently acceptable to the majority of people. So 2014 will be a fateful year for Switzerland. Either it will succeed in uniting a basically free immigration model with the justifiable demands of a long-term immigration strategy. Or great adversity looms. There is not much time.

15 thoughts on “Avoiding the Unpleasant Questions

  1. “Reality has happened. And that is always a problem for politicians.”

    I am reminded of the quote from John Adams’ Argument in Defense of the [British] Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials: “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

  2. Quote:
    I am not saying that, I am just saying that the immigration state and the welfare state, by their natures, are not compatible.

    And this is the reality multiculturalists deny.
    What is wrong with wanting a better 3rd world?
    There’s no getting it through allowing the poorest people in the world to simply move to the richest communities in the world.
    Whatever happened to community loyalty that is thoroughly grounded in place and history?
    Without these things, the world becomes a post-modern, opportunist chaos.
    And crass opportunism is the enemy of enlightened self-interest.
    But crass opportunism is all I see in the third world moving into the first.

    • Brilliant set of observations, very well expressed. Thank you, goethechosemercy.

  3. Mass invasion not requested.
    Population not consulted.
    Strong objections left unheeded.
    Local people quite outnumbered,
    Left beleaguered and betrayed.

    • … Neighbourhoods transformed and left unprotected.
      Children robbed and intimidated.
      Women raped and molested.
      Taxpayers burdened and neglected.
      Believers mocked and marginalised.
      Homos bashed and hated.
      Critics silenced and persecuted.
      Culture perverted and distended.
      Proud history upended.

      • “Homos bashed and hated.”

        This SHOULD read “heteros bashed and hated.”

        Islam is the MOST homosexual religion in the history of man.

        Using the EXPLICIT example of Mohammed recorded by multiple Muslim religious texts, Islam supports and condones homosexual activities – most especially homosexual pedophilia which serves to create more homosexuals (or at least temporary homosexual partners) from sexually abused and confused boys.

        Islam and Muslims persecute 1) effeminate behavior (which indicates weakness in men – and associates effeminate men with the powerlessness of Muslim women), 2) romantic love (which indicates independent thought – and associates a man with the individual instead of the family, culture, and religion), and 3) indiscreet public displays of affection in the West (which indicate romantic love).

        Evidently, Muslims find public homosexual pedophilic gang rapes to be acceptable as a show of strength against weakness. I read the testimony of one man who walked by a group of older boys lined up on the street to rape one younger boy in Palestine.

        Also, I read another testimony that Saudi Arabia is more overtly gay than San Francisco. Evidently, Saudi Arabia (which is the ground zero of Islam) permits men to openly kiss and hold hands on the street. Perhaps these public displays of affection are permitted because the men know the boundaries – that men will NOT marry men for romantic love under Sharia Law – but only use them for homosexual pleasure.

        Then, there are the Dancing Boys of Afghanistan who are bought or kidnapped from their families and forced to dress as little girls and perform for men who are homosexual pedophiles.

        To sum, Islam and Muslims are 100% compatible with homosexual behavior – even homosexual pedophilia – as long as that homosexual behavior is performed using the example of Mohammed under the strictures of Sharia Law.

        To say that Islam is homophobic to is misunderstand Islam.

  4. Destroy the mind numbing, poverty inducing, and intolerance to others that is the ideology of Islam and the third world will have a far better chance of climbing up out of the 7th Century way of doing things than it currently has.

  5. Thank you, Gates of Vienna, for this very helpful article. Others have already quoted two important statements by Leon de Winter. I’d like to note also his observation, ” So 2014 will be a fateful year for Switzerland.” It’s very helpful to gain more insight into that situation. He sounds less hopeful than I have been to date about that Swiss referendum on immigration. I’m going to be praying hard. I hope Switzerland can turn back the tide– or at least begin to stem it– with this referendum.

  6. The European union has no benefits as far as I can see as a British person, what is see is a de-industrialised Britain with an open border to some of the poorest countries in the West who’s citizens arrive here at will and claim benefits, housing, NHS, workand all else.

    The E.U wants to Islamize and Europeanize places like the UK against the citizens will, yet our treacherous politicians (puppets in the pockets of Brussels, acting on behalf of the EU) don’t want to listen to our people.

    We have increasing 3rd world immigration from Africa, the Indian sub continent + the Middle East.

    We have an open door to the European continent, in 2004 the UK government estimated that 13.000 A8 Eastern European migrants would come to the UK per year and this would soon tale off as these poverty stricken nations increased their wealth.

    The reality has been the largest peace time movement of people to the UK in its history and the largest migration inward in the history of the UK.

    Offer someone the opportunity to live and work in a country that has a better economy and standard of living than you, then they will take it, offering whole countries of poverty stricken and in most case unskilled people this chance and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Come to the UK from Eastern Europe and living on UK benefits is a better option than full time work in your home country, as you say immigration and a welfare state do not bode well. Currently we have 600.000 Eastern Europeans on UK welfare on one type or another.

    On the 1st of January 2014 we , were forced to allow the latest wave of EU migrants from Romania & Bulgaria, this wave of immigration is even poorer than the last wave of A8 migrants from the former Eastern Bloc, before Jan 2014 it was reported that London is in the throes of a crime wave committed by Roma pickpockets and beggars unseen in the Capital previously, throw this into the mix with all other EU migration and then to allow the 3rd world to converge on our Islands in such numbers to my mind is a crime punishable by death.

    We pay £50.000.000 per day in the UK for the dubious honour of being part of a European Union, a European union that is usurping our laws, our industry, our economy and brainwashing our young with multicultural indoctrination to ensure the smooth transition from monolithic society to one populated by the 3rd world.

    Pakistani Muslim migrants are taking an estimated 13 billion in tax revenues from the UK annually, I am not sure of the estimation for Africans, but it would be around the same if not more.

    The European Union seeks the destruction of the nation states of Europe, it shall achieve this via Soviet style propaganda and mass immigration.

    American president Barak Obama seemed to offer UK prime minister a warning, when there was talk of the UK leaving the EU, he wants us in. Britain is still in the top 10 of wealthy nations worldwide, we do our trade with the rest of the World (and its a big world) such as the up and coming BRIC countries or re-engage ties with our old Commonwealth etc.

    Once out of the EU we could return all 3rd world and EU migrants to their respective countries and re-negotiate a trade deal with Brussels and Berlin.

    Then we could set about tackling the problems Islam has brought to our beloved Dar Al Harb, starting with banning Halal slaughter and meat and products and implementing a death penalty for terrorism or treason.

    The UK doe not need the EU, the EU needs places like the UK more than they need this Evil Empire.

    • Agreed – but how do we go about it? We here in the USA have our hands full trying to bring down “the one” and the evil agenda of his party. This is, as the late, great Brietbart said, #WAR.

  7. I expect EU bureaucrats will try to work out a closed-doors deal with the Swiss to avoid the impression of anti-immigration policies taking hold.

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