Against the envy of less happier lands

Shakespeare’s John of Gaunt gives the following speech in Richard the Second on the subject of Britain’s natural defences;

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

Consider then, the current UK Home Secretary’s strange assertion on the problem of illegal immigrants paddling across the 21 miles of sea from France;

Bill’s Opinion

Au contraire, Mr. Javid; there are several historically-proven easy answers;

1. Have the British Navy patrol the limit of the UK’s territorial water between England and France (12 nautical miles?).

2. Tow any vessels illegally entering the territorial waters back to the nearest French port.

3. If the French authorities complain, robustly suggest that they consider doing their damn job in future.

It would seem there are easy answers to the problem of maintaining national borders, after all.

Update; thanks Sam Vara for the correction to Javid’s job title.

2 Replies to “Against the envy of less happier lands”

  1. Just a tiny correction: the UK Defence Secretary is not Javid, but Gavin Williamson, who is widely thought of among serving defence staff to be about as much use as a chocolate howitzer.

    The home Secretary and the Defence Secretary really should be pooling brain cells and doing exactly as you suggest, though. There are three reasons who they won’t.

    1) Many voters are of the same ethnic and cultural backgrounds as the boat-paddlers, and the government don’t want to risk alienating them. There are lots of votes in cultivated identity politics.

    2) Powerful lobbies have managed to conflate the categories of “refugee” and “economic migrant”, such that most middle-class softies in the UK assume that every chancer who gets here alive is a victim of torture, and should be welcomed. Any Home Secretary who doesn’t talk as if he runs a charity will be labelled a fascist.

    3) They don’t want to piss the French off. Not only would that look bad in the context of Theresa May’s ongoing “negotiations”, but the French would probably actively work to send us even more migrants, on the grounds that they would prefer them to riot and burn cars in London, rather than Paris.

    Happy New Year, Bill!

    1. Yes, laziness on my part. Apologies.

      A year or so ago, I had a conversation with a family friend who is in semi-retirement working in a senior role for one of the charities helping the refugees in the UK.

      I asked why they don’t seek asylum in the first, second, third, fourth of fifth safe country they enter but, instead, camp out at Calais?

      His answer was a mixture of anger and irrelevant statistics (“do you know how many refugees we take in compared to other countries?”, “do you know what percentage are found to be not genuine?”).

      I repeated my question in various versions at least half a dozen times without ever receiving an answer.

      Oh, and yes, very middle class.

      Happy New Year to you too!

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