Thursday, 9 July 2009

Gunboat Deplomacy?

Oh dear, il Duce Nick Griffin, in what appears to be a fit of pique after the Northern League had rebuffed his approaches on forming an EU parliamentary bloc, turned his ire and obvious ignorance of what is actually going on in the region on migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

"If there's measures to set up some kind of force or to help, say the Italians, set up a force which actually blocks the Mediterranean then we'd support that," Griffin told a BBC interviewer. Yet this is exactly what the Italians are doing. Having given Libya 3 patrol boats in May, pushed the Libyan navy in to conduct joint naval patrols as well as intercepting and returning around 400 migrants to Libya in last 3 months, it hardly looks as if the Italians aren't trying to block clandestine immigrants.

Maybe it's just jealousy on Griffin's part. After all Italy is fast becoming the sort of fascist wonderland that he and his neo-nazi acolytes have been dreaming of ever since they bought their first copy of Mein Kampf.

He then added, "But the only measure, sooner or later, which is going to stop immigration and stop large numbers of sub-Saharan Africans dying*... Frankly, they need to sink several of those boats." Then, after the interviewer suggested that the RU wasn't in the business of murdering people he tried to backtrack, "I didn't say anyone should be murdered at sea – I say boats should be sunk, they can throw them a life raft and they can go back to Libya".

But that is exactly what he did mean. After all, most of these boats are detected near to Lampedusa, which is 160 miles off the Libyan coast, so a life raft is hardly going to be of much use. If you can see Lampedusa 10 miles away you are hardly going to swim of paddle the 150 miles back to Africa and it's hardly likely that the Italian navy, even in the current rampantly xenophobic atmosphere, will go back to the days of letting migrants drown as was alleged to happen in the early part of this decade.

And how is he going to sink the migrants' boats other than by shelling them?

* This is a feature of the new media-savvy BNP, false concern and crocodile tears for their targets such as 'British theft of African workers leaves health care and nurses close to collapse' and "We intend to impose punitive taxation on those companies, individuals and corporations in Britain who have profited from the theft of the most skilled and essential people from the Developing World." [check out the BNP's response to the '85 Questions']

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