Abraham Lincoln appealed to the better angels of our nature - attempting to persuade the South not to secede from the Union. It was in vain; though, perhaps even Lincoln could not foresee the four year nightmare that ensued.
Lincoln's response was, eventually, to free the slaves and seek to form that “more perfect union” as promised in the Preamble to the Constitution. Had he lived he may have succeeded. Without him, we got a century of discrimination and Jim Crow.
When we seek to imbue foreigners, other races, other religions and other creeds with demonic attributes, we are guilty of that most obvious of sins – the sin of self-righteousness.
Which brings me neatly to the UK Border Agency – an institution which would not have been out of place set up during the Spanish Inquisition or purposed by the state legislature of post-bellum Alabama.
A brief Wikipedia:
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) is the border control body of the United Kingdom (UK) government and part of the Home Office. It was formed on 1 April 2008 by a merger of the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA), UK visas and the Detection functions of HM Revenue and Customs. The decision to create a single border control organisation was taken following a Cabinet Office report. The agency is divided into three broad command structures, each under the management of a senior director:
* external controls including visa issue in overseas posts
* borders, including passport and customs controls
* internal immigration controls including asylum, management of applications for further stay and enforcement.
Its head office is 2 Marsham Street, London. In 2011, the Chief Executive is Rob Whiteman.
The agency has come under formal criticism from the Parliamentary Ombudsman for consistently poor service, a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases, and a large and increasing number of complaints. In the first nine months of 2009-10, 97% of investigations reported by the Ombudsman resulted in a complaint against the agency being upheld.
Whilst it is popular to blame the Border Agency for all sorts of problems it is important to remember that it is an organ of the government to whom all cock-ups are to be ultimately attributed.
Therein lies the real problem. The government is obsessed with and committed to pandering to the worst angels of our nature – not the best. Grab a Tory from the conference with any force, shake it and out will fall a True Blue Little Englander filled with True Brit. In other words, a bigoted fascist is semi-disguise.
Why should this be so? Simple, most Tories realise that the great British public are revolutionary fascists at heart and are petrified that they will desert en masse to the National Front. So, they ritually abuse immigration and wreak havoc with any rational discussion of the question.
Meanwhile, the neo-fascist voters are massaged with unattainable goals and half-truths in order to convince them that something is being done. Simples.
Without the better angles of our nature we are left to the sins of our fathers. Lincoln knew this and knew that the only sensible course was to confront ignorance and prejudice head on.
Would that the Tories had the same type of leader.
If wishes were horses ….