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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

More Migrants Means More Support for Authoritarian Parties
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 @ 7:21 PM


Let’s talk about immigration. Not in the sense that some people might prefer to use this word over the out-of-fashion ‘expat’, but rather focus on those poor folk who make their way here in leaky cayucos from the coast of Africa, with an outboard motor and a larcenous captain wearing a life-saver.

Many drowning in the attempt.

People dream of moving to Spain. They come from Latin America (speaking Spanish and usually practicing Catholics). They come from the Orient to open a bazaar and make life cheaper, if more confusing, for the rest of us. They come from Africa, and work in the fields and the greenhouses, doing the jobs that no one else will do. Rate them for the Spanish as easy, middling and difficult (unless they’re good at football).

I don’t know where you stand on this subject – after all, there are one thousand five hundred million people living in Africa, and on a bad day, they might all decide to move to Spain, whether because there are no jobs there, or because of climate change, or civil war or rampant disease, or just a strong desire to see the Alhambra once in this lifetime (and anyway, granddaddy still has a key). And no, of course there’s not enough room for all of them – but there’s certainly room for some of them.

There aren’t many solutions to this – let’s call it a threat – and one of them, as proposed by the spokesperson for the Partido Popular last week, certainly isn’t the answer.

He says: send the Spanish navy to patrol the Mauritanian coast.

And then what – if they don’t stop (or politely wait until dark), then sink them with a judiciously placed artillery shell?

Admiral Teodoro López Calderón gave his answer to Pablo Casado back in 2020 on this very point: “If any Spanish warship encounters a boat in a situation where the lives of those on it are in danger, its obligation of all kinds, legal, moral... is to rescue them. And that's what would be done".   

I suppose we find those from Africa to be more of a threat to us, and this (with a little encouragement from the right-wing) will skewer us towards calling for protection from the nationalists. Whether Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Benjamin Netanyahu, Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, the AfD or (here in Spain), Vox, Alvise, Hazte Oir, Abogados Cristianos, Manos Limpias and a disturbing number of judges. So far, we have more or less dodged the bullet from these false prophets, but we can be sure that they will keep on banging that particular drum.

Somebody on Facebook says: ‘Let’s hope Le Pen wins. It’s about time Europe closes its borders and solves the migration crisis by moving millions of people out of Europe’. Maybe send them all to Ruanda – one place in Africa being much like another?

An editorial at says: ‘With few issues you can be more irresponsible and more incendiary, in exchange for a handful of votes, than with immigration. And the PP has decided that it does not want to give Vox even half an inch of advantage. Feijóo has launched his closest spokesperson to demand that we send the military to prevent migrants from reaching our shores by boat. Party spokesperson Miguel Tellado wants Navy ships, prepared for war and useless for small boat rescue, to be deployed off the African coast. It is unfeasible at many levels, even the head of the Navy says it, but it doesn't matter: what the PP wants is to match the xenophobic populism of both Vox and Alvise, in the hope of plugging the flight of young votes that are moving to even more radical options’.

The lure of the far-right perceived threat of the ausländer is a popular call. The more they come, the more we become angry or fearful, and the more we support the right-wingers. Whether the immigrants are going to both take our jobs (while going on benefits), move into five-star hotels paid for by our taxes and either disrespect our women, infect us with terrible diseases or perhaps blow us all up, the far-right will make gains. If the dreadful Madame Le Pen lost this time around, there’s always another chance somewhere.

Like 1


jeffers45 said:
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 @ 9:03 AM

Well said Lenox, as ever. Frightening times.

psperth said:
Sunday, July 14, 2024 @ 9:45 AM

Excellent article.

roberto123 said:
Sunday, July 14, 2024 @ 11:58 AM

One thing is certain our children in Europe will be in a minority in a 100 years time

lesleyfb said:
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 @ 4:20 PM

One illegal economic migrant is one too many

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