The avalanche of African immigrants into the Canary Islands reached a new peak at the weekend, with over 1500 arriving on the beaches there. Nearing its wits’ end [and not getting much sympathy from its EU partners], the Spanish government has said it will soon initiate mass expulsions back to the Dark Continent. I rather had the impression most illegals were already being sent back but I guess this will now be more public. And perhaps more brutal. I wonder what will happen when the immigrants start claiming they’re political refugees and so - under the European Charter of Human Rights - can’t be returned to where they’ll be persecuted. Will Spain take a more relaxed view of this troublesome statute than the UK and its legions of ‘caring’ lawyers?
The President of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands has said this problem is surely a matter for the state and for all the regions, not just his. “If the state can’t deal with this sort of thing,” he asked “why does it exist? Well, quite. But it’s interesting to see how much more relevant the state becomes – as in the case of the Galician fires – when a region can’t cope with a disaster.
Pressure for independence from Spain comes from within the regions, most particularly from Catalunia and the Basque Country. In the case of the UK, such pressure has traditionally been rather muted in both Scotland and Wales. Indeed, they’ve each got their own parliament/assembly and greater devolved powers only very recently. But they’re now beginning to use these to effect different policies from England. The Scots in particular have decided to give their citizens much wider and less expensive health care and tertiary education. Trouble is, the costs of all this are heavily subsidised by the English. This is beginning to stick in the English craw – especially since Scottish MP’s at Westminster vote on purely English matters – and there’s growing pressure to put an end to this largesse. Who knows, perhaps the small band of Scottish Nationalists may one day achieve their goal of independence. Not because the majority of Scots demand it [they don’t] but because the tight-fisted English thrust it on them. This, of course, is a nightmare scenario for the ambitious, thrusting Scots [Blair, Brown, Reid, Darling, etc.] who currently dominate British politics. And it at least partly explains why the Prime-Minister-in-waiting, Mr Brown, has been spouting about ‘Britishness’ for some time now. He doesn’t want to be thrown out at the next general election just because he’s a ‘bloody Scot”.
I very much doubt that independence would be welcome to the vast majority of Scots, who’d then have to be more heavily taxed. And I’ve previously compared this situation with that of Galicia. This drives the Galician independistas into paroxysms of rage, as nothing will convince them Galicia won’t become a mighty and prosperous nation once it’s liberated from the yoke of Spanish colonial oppression. So I’m happy to mention it again and now await the wave of insults from ‘independent’ adolescents sitting at their computers in a bedroom in their parents’ house.