… but not as we know it from the history books. The slavery that exists today is a thoroughly modern variety, in the form of economic migrants flooding across the Mediterranean into Europe.
Let’s look at this modern-day slavery, which again is coming out of Africa, but in today’s modern guise of ‘rescuing refugees’ in the Mediterranean. This sea rescue is undertaken not just by the EU (“Frontex”) and our own Royal Navy, but also by a whole flotilla of ships run by NGOs picking up ‘poor refugees’ outside Libyan waters.
Libya’s government has been making complaints to the EU, saying that these operations encourage more and more migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa to come to Libya, waiting to be picked up. Just look at the photo at the top of that report: are these impoverished, starving refugees – or does it look like a modern-day operation, ferrying well-fed males in brand-new rubber dinghies to the Promised Land of their dreams, the EU?
There is sufficient information available documenting that NGOs with their ships are running a veritable ferry service across the Mediterranean. Of course they deny it – they’re only ‘saving lives’ and are in no way in contact with people smugglers, the idea! But even the dozy EU has now taken notice, sort of:
“The European Union’s Frontex border control agency said in its 2017 risk assessment report that the huge increase in NGOs working the Mediterranean was having the “unintended consequences” of fueling smugglers’ business.”
Most of the information is on twitter, see for example here. There’s now even ‘guidance’ for all those rescuers, see here, and the cry is that now it’s even more necessary to rescue all those poor people – what with summer coming and thus more ‘refugees’ to be expected. It is indeed an operation on an industrial scale: landing up to 1,000 ‘refugees’ in Italy per day: great, isn’t it?
If you ask who pays for the operational costs of all those ships picking up ‘refugees’ – well, generally all good-hearted people who stick their money into the collecting boxes of those ‘charities’, and of course the usual, global ‘philanthropists’ who hide in the shadows and whose names are never spoken. [See my articles here and especially here.]
I came across a very interesting report which I urge you all to read carefully, there are some rather remarkable bits of information in it. The author reports from Italy. He describes for example how local businessmen refurbished a run-down hotel and made it available to the local authorities, for exclusive use for African ‘refugees’. After all, all those thousands of them need to be housed somewhere …
A nice little earner for those clever businessmen – they won’t urge their government to stop this modern-day form of people trafficking. Moreover, they won’t be accosted in the streets of that near-by tourist magnet, Florence, which according to the author now feels like visiting a souk in Africa rather than the place we know either from visits or at least from films, videos or postcards:
“If you talk to them, they will all tell you the same thing: they did not know that it was going to be “this bad”. They “were told” back in Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and the list could continue, that “once here they had it made”. How? I asked, again, who told them these fairy-tales?”
Turns out that this is the other monetary strand of this traffic: those poor Africans pay around 2,000 to 4,000 Euros per ‘trip’ to ‘get into Europe’. They are being sold ‘a dream’. They are told it’s an investment into their future. Once they’ve arrived, they have to pay back the smugglers and traffickers. There’s no work though. They can either beg, or go and sell drugs – or they can go for black-market jobs with minimal pay:
“The only real possibility of work is “low paid” farm labor, and the average pay ranges between 2 to 4 EUR/hr, especially in the south. Young Italians, even if unemployed, are not interested in hard and tedious farm labour, or washing dishes in a restaurant [Ed: sounds familiar, doesn’t it?]. So the “migrants” come in handy and useful for many potential employers who have at their disposal a virtual endless supply of next to slave labour.”
Surprise: it’s only about money, about paying the lowest possible wage, because ‘the natives’, be they Italians or Brits, “don’t want to work” – not for £1 or €2 per hour. Would you?
But there’s more. Sicily, for example, with the largest facility for ‘immigrants’, gets huge sums of money from the EU for their efforts – we do know by now, boys and girls, whose money that actually is, don’t we! – so there’s no urgency for government to do something to stop this migration: they’d lose precious EU money!
This, then, is what modern-day slavery looks like: on the one hand, a ‘dream’ is sold to young African men, to ‘invest’ in their future and come to Europe. They actually pay to become modern-day slaves! On the other hand, there are the mugs who graciously donate their own hard-earned money to ‘save lives’, not knowing that certain billionaires are keeping this ‘enterprise’ going. And finally there are all those in Brussels and here in Whitehall who use our money to keep businesspeople and local government people in Italy ‘in the money’ – looking good and humane, making ‘bella figura’.
Meanwhile – ask questions, ask why people smugglers cannot be hauled before our courts, ask why we are paying for something we never wanted, but be prepared to be called a horrible xenophobic racist if you do.
Don’t you dare say that this is modern-day slavery, where the slaves are actually paying for the privilege of becoming slaves! But do ask how come that those who show such kindness to those migrants show none at all to those ‘natives’ who have to bear the brunt of of that ‘kindness’ in their daily lives.
“We must be mad, literally mad …” said the best PM we never had, nearly fifty years ago. Today? Draw your own conclusions …