Alex Mercouris has revealed himself as a soft racist in his video on ‘A New Europe ’ 1. I write this with some sorrow. I do not consider it on the basis of his saying something negative about immigrants (frankly who cares?) but on the basis of his deliberate distortion of the facts, and his inflammatory insinuations.
Lets start with the most simple statement. His statement that migration is causing increasing cultural stresses in Britain is an amazing statement. With Britain choosing a person of Indian descent (Rishi Sunak) as Prime Minister, a son of Pakistani immigrants, (Sadiq Khan), as Mayor of London, and children of immigrants holding many ministerial posts one would rather celebrate Britain as an exemplar of political integration. Ireland is not far behind with Leo Varadkar of Indian/Irish descent as Taoiseach, (Prime Minister), of Ireland. While immigration is a political football in Britain, most articulate politicians are now expressing the matter as not immigration as such but control over immigration.
Britain is desperately short of labour. There was a time when a few months prior to an election all applications for residency status were rejected. After the election, all appeals against the rejection of residency status were not defended so that all the appeals were accepted by the court. Basically, the government recognised that the British economy needed the immigrant labour. Today there is gross shortage of labour.
At 4.38 Alex states that this level of migration is unprecedented and not seen since the days of the collapse of the Roman empire. But he knows this is false, as from the Office for National Statistics:
- Total long-term immigration was estimated at around 1.2 million in 2022, and emigration was 557,000, which means migration continues to add to the population with net migration at 606,000; most people arriving to the UK in 2022 were non-EU nationals (925,000), followed by EU (151,000) and British (88,000).2
Most UK emigration was to the ‘old commonwealth’ i.e. Canada, New Zealand, Australia.
In Germany in 2022 there were 2.7m arrivals and 1.2 m departures. Of the 2.7m arrivals, 1.1m were from Ukraine. Net immigration in 2021 was only 329,000 with 1.0 m departures and and 1.3 arrivals.3 Mercouris states that 1.3m entering Germany is impossible to accept ( though he confuses net from gross immigration)but seems not to have no problem with 1m departures! Without the immigrants, Germany would have a net decline in population of 1m per year. It is this fact, together with the aging of the German population that led Angela Merkle to open the doors. Syrian immigrants were young and well educated. Turkey accepted several million Syrian refugees dwarfing the refugees coming into EU.4
In the 20th century the largest mass migration,18m, followed the partition of India in 1947. Then there are the Irish migrations to US:
‘Between 1820 and 1860, the Irish constituted over one third of all immigrants to the United States. In the 1840s, they comprised nearly half of all immigrants..’
Overall ‘It is estimated that as many as 4.5 million Irish arrived in America between 1820 and 1930.’5
There were the Huegenot migrations in Europe when 200, 000 fled France after 1685 many (approx 50,000) coming to England. 6 Even before then the Vikings were responsible through their slave trading activities for great migrations of persons across Europe. As Nell Painter explains:
‘The medieval slave trade exempted no one, as Viking, Italian, and Ottoman merchants moved their captives across long distances for sale. Wealthy Italy was well supplied with slaves, many from Asia. Lumped together as “Tartars ,” they might be of Russian, Circassian (Caucasian), Greek, Moorish, or Ethiopian descent. Viking slavers in league with Jewish and Syrian merchants from Asia Minor also shipped some of these Tartar slaves westward from Russia, and others from Poland and Germany for sale in Gaul and Italy. At the same time, Arab merchants sold North African slaves in the Iberian Peninsula…… Sugar came into medieval western Europe around the year 1000 in a linkage of sugar and colonialism. In a pattern familiar to Americans later on, Venice processed and sold the sugar that Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Turkish, and Tartar farm laborers (free, slave, and sharecropper) produced primarily in the Venetian colonies of Crete and Cyprus, where cane grew well. After the Black Death of the mid-1 300s created a labor shortage, Christian crusader kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean resorted increaSingly to enslavement. With increased enslavement of people from the Balkans near the crusader kingdoms of the eastern Adriatic-the European slave coast-the word “Slav” turned into the word “slave.” Faceless masses of slaves from Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, and the Black Sea region grew sugar for western tables until the Turkish conquest disrupted the chain of supply.’7
World migration data does not show Europe to be particularly high in the ranks of migration countries per head. (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/field/net-migration-rate/country-comparison/)
Then we come to the issue of culture. Here at 4.55 Mercouris does the amazing. After regularly in the past criticising MSM (mainstream media) for getting its facts all wrong he now quotes from an unidentified piece in UK MSM!!!! If this paper said anything about Ukraine he would either dismiss it or double check it. If it is about immigration in Germany he accepts it unquestioningly. Surprising?
He relies on this reference which cannot be checked as he fails to provide provenance to suggest that immigrants are molesting young German girls. Whether this is strictly true or not is not the main issue here. The core is that this is meant to be a cultural issue. It implies that harassing young women is a habit that is acceptable ‘where they come from’. This is inflammatory and is truly amazing. This reminds us of the US where stories of sexual impropriety by members of another race regularly formented lynch mob behaviour. The subtext here being ‘our women are at risk’. Moslem countries have extremely strict rules about the treatment of women and most of these young men would be severely punished just for touching a woman in public let alone acting in a sexually provocative manner.
‘though it is permissible for a man to look at a female stranger’s face or hands, it is not permissible for him to touch her except in an emergency such as for medical treatment or for rescuing her from drowning’. 8
On the other hand if we wish to talk culture these young men would not be used to women going about in near nakedness as they are wont to do in Europe. If one compares the decorum of women’s wear for a moslem woman the every day dress of women in Europe would appear like near nakedness. This is not to seek any justification for misbehaviour but rather to say the more likely influence of Moslem culture would be for women to dress more demurely and to be treated with greater care. Criminals and miscreants exists in all countries.
We attach photos of German women and a moslem women. They arrived under google searches of ‘hot German girls’ and ‘hot moslem girls’. Over-sexualisation of women is not a hall mark of muslim cultures.
So we have Mercouris disregard of European history of migrations and then his disregard of his skiil as a journalistic investigator passing off his offensive remarks about Moslem to an unnamed British MSM when he never before uses unnamed sources.
But the worst example of deliberate bias is Mercouris reference to riots in France. He suggests that these are evidence of failure to integrate, social stresses in society caused by permanent racial problems. But these protests came after years of ‘Yellow vests’ protests since 2018. If there is a cultural argument here it would be that the immigrant population is following in the French tradition of protest rather than behaving in an unFrench manner. If one sees mass possibly violent protests as a French tradition this is evidence of their integration rather than the opposite. No mention of the benefits France has received from migration. France could not have won the World Cup without migration and such wonderful narrative dramas from Alexandre Dumas would not be there, nor would Russia have Pushkin.
Mercouris then goes deeper down the rabbit hole by talking of ‘no go’ zones in Sweden. Any reflection would tell you that a ‘no-go’ zone is introduced by the police not the population concerned. In the US the greatest Black protests was against lack of fair policing. Studies in ‘redlining’ and other US racial practices show that one should look at the co ordinated effects. Once no-go areas are created crime and violence rise in that area. Property prices tumble, and residents cannot get jobs once they are known to come from that area. Standard businesses would not set up in that area so there is a structural lack of jobs. This creates a cycle of poverty and exclusion. There is no evidence that the residents sought for their area to become a ‘no go’ zone. There was a discussion of such in UK (that there were no go zones in London) at one time and eventually under political pressure the police stopped it. The idea that a bunch of teenagers predominantly armed with knives could terrorise a British police force is laughable. The State has a monopoly of organised violence. The idea that they can invade Libya but are frightened to deal with a couple of teenagers is beyond the credible. The idea the authorities can swoop down on suspected trained terrorists but cannot deal with poorly educated unorganised immigrant criminals is beyond belief. Organised crime does not want ‘no go’ areas because it is bad for business so we know these areas are not run by organised crime gangs. Organised crime is parasitical and requires a solvent host. For organised crime, the best a ‘no go ‘ area can offer is as a recruiting ground. To blame ‘no go’ areas on the victims/ residents is blatant prejudice. Citizens are entitled to be able to live in safety and in a law-abiding environment and not be deliberately abandoned by the state.
Finally, we have Mercouris longing for the Edwardian world of Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilisation’.9 Here we have an approach to culture by Clark that has been criticised by many for its ‘the identification with the male, Western, bourgeois concept of civilisation – no Africa, no Asia, no Islam and no South America’. Raymond Williams described it as ‘an Edwardian world view and an enacting of pieties learned very long and very hard …’. in fact Williams saw it as ‘old-dinner table style’ propaganda. Clark had worked in the Ministry of Propaganda during WW2 (officially the Ministry of Information). Rather than learning about the scholarly criticism of Kenneth Clark’s view Mercouris implies that it fell foul of ‘woke’ prejudices. It had fallen foul of serious academic scholarship since many years.
Mercouris states that Clark’s view of civilisation was inclusive. No evidence is presented. In fact it is totally Eurocentric. It is a worship/paean to ‘Western white man’ who has been responsible for all steps forward in civilisation. It glorifies the ‘vitality’ of the great man which has some dubious resonance with received interpretations of Nietzsche and Carlyle’s great man theory. Clark’s view of history is deeply embedded in soft Aryanism where all civilisation is the responsibility of great white Western males. This view which places Europe at the centre of all civilisation and Britain at the centre of Europe is best described as soft racism. It is a genteel version of that Aryanism that motivated both Nazism and much of inter-war European culture. Mercouris is steeped in European history so it is not credible to believe he does not know this. To produce a series called ‘Civilisation’ without any homage to the origins of civilisation in Africa/Middle East, to ignore the impact of Islamic culture and civilisation on Europe is deliberate and calculated soft racism. A few parenthetical sentences does not qualify as a reference. It was well received in Britain at a time when Britain’s place in the world appeared to be crumbling and the dominance of its culture disappearing, and ‘white males’ were becoming questionable authority figures. To seek a return to such an earlier age is problematic.
Contrary to his suggestion that it would not be available today the series is still available on Youtube. Also Mercouris states that the BBC would not dare to do something like that today when it has: ‘The BBC announced in 2015 that it was to make a ten-episode sequel to Clark’s series, to be called Civilisations (plural), with three presenters, Mary Beard, David Olusoga and Simon Schama‘ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilisation_(TV_series). In any case 7 years after ‘Civilisation’, Clark produced a program, ‘In The Beginning’, most likely under the weight of academic criticism, that goes a long way to correct the worst biases of the earlier work.
In all Mercouris’ past work there had been hints that he was entrapped within some highly dubious beliefs. They are now displayed.
1. (K, 2023)
2. (Long-Term International Migration, Provisional – Office for National Statistics, n.d.)
3. (Migration Flows (Germany), n.d.)
4. (Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Turkey, 2023)
5. (Irish-Catholic Immigration to America | Irish | Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress, n.d.)
6. (Huguenot Society :: Huguenot History, n.d.)
7. (Painter, 2010, Chapter 3)
8. (The Rules of Modesty, 2016)
9. (Civilisation (1969) Part 2 of 13 – The Great Thaw [HD], 2013)
Civilisation (1969) Part 2 of 13—The Great Thaw [HD]. (2013, December 23). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDm4Sl6CdYU
Huguenot Society: Huguenot History. (n.d.). Retrieved 25 July 2023, from https://www.huguenotsociety.org.uk/history.html
Irish-Catholic Immigration to America | Irish | Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History | Classroom Materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress. (n.d.). [Web page]. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 25 July 2023, from https://www.loc.gov/classroom-materials/immigration/irish/irish-catholic-immigration-to-america/
K, A. (Director). (2023, July 24). A NEW EUROPE, WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE? With the Duran. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRfneRwSCW4
Long-term international migration, provisional—Office for National Statistics. (n.d.). Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 25 July 2023, from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/longterminternationalmigrationprovisional/yearendingdecember2022
Migration flows (Germany). (n.d.). Federal Statistical Office. Retrieved 25 July 2023, from https://www.destatis.de/EN/Themes/Society-Environment/Population/Migration/_node.html
Painter, N. I. (2010). History Of White People. Norton.
Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Turkey. (2023, July 25). UNHCR Türkiye. https://www.unhcr.org/tr/en/refugees-and-asylum-seekers-in-turkey
The Rules of Modesty. (2016, September 6). https://www.al-islam.org/five-schools-islamic-law-muhammad-jawad-mughniyya/rules-modesty