Written on: 7. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news

Irish people have shown themselves to be remarkably tolerant and wise towards migrants

‘Migrants have been assaulted, urinated on and forced to leave their homes, a study on racism has found”: thus ran the opening line of a newspaper report on an ‘investigation’ by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. One would assume that the Immigrant Council’s allegations were based on a careful and extensive study of Irish society.

Not true. The report was based on interviews with just 24 people, all of whom had presented themselves at the ICI Racist Incidents Support and Referral Service. This is like making an overall assessment of relations between men and women in Ireland by talking to just two dozen victims in the Rape Crisis Centre. So, careful reading of the ICI report shows that the allegation that “migrants have been … urinated on” actually means “one migrant”, and is based on a single disgusting attack on an African driver on Dublin Bus. Such conduct is utterly depraved: but was it racism? Because how many such attacks have happened to white Irish bus drivers?

One African complainant, whose family were subjected to racist taunts from teenagers in a Dublin housing estate, told ICI: “One can wonder why so far we have not made a statement to the police. We have so far taken a cautious approach and the support we have been receiving from our Irish friends and neighbours has been tremendous. It is also fair to say that since the people who have been abusing us were by and large young, we were hoping that they were going to change through the education system! This has not been the case, however. It is true that we did not make an effort to talk to their parents mainly because we felt that it could backfire on us.”

Therefore, the reality was the majority of the local Irish people were welcoming and protective of this African family (which, naturally, was not something that the ICI highlighted). So much so, indeed, that these clearly very nice and very trusting immigrants themselves did not complain to the Garda or the miscreant’s families, thinking that the trouble would cease if they did nothing. Alas, evil does not go away of its own accord anywhere, whether in Laos, Lagos or Laois. Moreover, immigrants cannot possibly understand that there are many Irish thugs, who come midnight, are looking for a fight. Any minor difference is sufficient to provoke it, race merely being one. As a Dublin Bus inspector told an African driver who complained about being abused: “We all get it.”

But ICI’s response to this self-evident truth was that we must now create a sensitivity that can determine the differences between “bullying” and “racist bullying”. Which is, of course, the kind of reflex, ideological gibberish that quangos utter as a substitute for thought.

Moreover, implicit in the ICI ideology is firstly that the host community is racist, and secondly, that only the ICI is prepared to speak out about it. That such generalisations might actually be a priori racist about the Irish is perhaps a subtlety beyond the dogmas driving our self-appointed race-relations industry.

Actually, I think Irish people have behaved with remarkable restraint at the amazing transformation of our society by mass-immigration. Quite as astonishing has been the almost complete absence of political or media commentary about these changes. Why the silence? Well, from the outset, the race-relations industry denounced any scepticism about large-scale immigration as “racism”. Even Leo Varadkar TD, himself the son of an immigrant, said he would never speak on the subject again, so bitter were the baseless allegations of racism that were thrown at him following his calls for immigration controls.

Remember: we took in over 400,000 immigrants, almost overnight, overwhelming many schools and creating such serious housing shortages that we then threw up what later turned into our “ghost housing estates”. To be sure, one reason for these was a Fianna Fail ploy to keep the economy primed. But no one actually thought these houses would be empty: they were genuinely built as homes for incomers. As recently as August 2005, the economist Jim Power forecast that Ireland would still need yet another 300,000 migrant workers to keep our economy growing. Had they come, with their dependents, maybe one in five of the Irish population would by now have been foreign. And that would have been a cultural, demographic and social madness, of a kind that no country anywhere has ever freely inflicted upon itself.

Racism is stupid, ruinous and evil — it is the creed of idiots. But the history of mankind shows that a distrust of “the other” is a commonplace, especially at times of economic hardship. The acceptance of unfettered immigration by the Fianna-Fail-PD government was a folly that was socially provocative, morally cowardly and intellectually lazy. Fortunately, the Irish people, on the whole, have shown themselves to be remarkably tolerant and wise. So if anything, we are to be congratulated by the ICI. But that would probably put it out of work: and, of course, the primary and over-riding duty of any quango is to issue reports which, regardless of reality, will justify its continued existence.