An article of Voix du Nord mentions the setting up of new detection equipment on the Calais harbor:
For Sir Charles Montgomery, head of the Border Force, this new scanner marks “the UK’s commitment to provide the most high-tech technology: it allows you to search for illegal immigrants whilst maintaining the fluidity of circulation.” In total, five scanners will be set up, at the french border, by the British for a total cost of 3 million euros: after that of the harbor, four others will be set up in the North department, one at the entrance of the Channel Tunnel.”
You read that right. The british state, whose economy is in recession and whose people is under hardship even more than ours, takes 3 million euros out of the taxpayers pockets, and out of the real economy, to stop people from accessing the island where their family resides, the island where they think they will find a job and a house, the island where they think they have a chance to get a decent life. One wonders by what right the british government forbids them the possibility to reunite with their family, or to try to get a better life for themselves.
It is too early still to know what the consequences of this scanner will be. A lot of measures are bypassed by crossing elsewhere, or by taking even greater risks. Doubtless more people will die. (But who cares, those people are not electoral majorities with the ability to defend their rights in our dear “democracies.”)
If nevertheless we imagine the british state manages to block the border more efficiently, we see the immediate consequence will be that more people find themselves blocked in France and along the coast. These people will take a longer time to cross, or will not cross. Once their dream is destroyed, part of them will take their hopes elsewhere.
Thus, the border closure game consists simply in placing human beings elsewhere than they initially wanted. Economically, and in a large perspective, it’s an enormous waste of time and money; it costs a lot of money to the population and to the migrants, and the basic result is the same, new people entering the labor market, maybe french rather than british, when it is already bleeding from capitalism, the one as much as the other, if not more.
If we move to what would happen under a regime of free movement, we immediately see a great number of costs would be taken out of the equation: people do not spend years on the streets or in the asylum system’s administrative limbo, a time during which they are sustained by the state and the associations; they do not lose their economies to smugglers and corrupt police; they can make themselves useful, learn the language, do trainings; police forces dedicated to the dirty work are reduced or reassigned; security measures are lessened, equipment resold or recycled; there are no more deaths at the border; there is less tension, less hatred, less injuries; etc. As always liberty is the best “system,” precisely because it isn’t a system; it fits perfectly with the rights and interests of all.
The simplicity of freedom of movement is such that even Madame Bouchart, right-wing mayor of Calais, and anti-migrants par excellence, cannot help mentioning open borders in a (sham) “migrants council” (without migrants) — even though as a “solution” to the “problem” of the presence of migrants in Calais, and not as an ethical demand. True justice makes things right, but on a wider perspective only. One does not do justice for personal convenience or to be rid of people of color. One does justice by moral obligation.
Speaking of the injustice of national border controls, you cannot stress enough how much of a sham nationalism is, a new mandatory religion that dictates your identity, your values and your loyalties, that arbitrarily takes control of a territory and pretends to govern the population in the name of a mythical people. A people that in reality never agreed to do anything whatsoever, and does not agree to do anything to this very day. In fact, the reality of this divided “people” is admitted, and a trick is found with the rule of the majority, for lying politicians scamming their electorate, on top of oppressing the opposition and the minorities. The best thing is, this “republic” has today more powers than the monarchy that preceded it, on the sole pretext of “representation.” (Politicians lie everyday, they represent and can represent no one but themselves. Democracy is a sham. See Spooner here and there.)
This nation therefore is an idea that does not exist and yet serves as a pretext to the very real and destructive power of the capitalist state. And the national borders — also delineated in the minds of nationalists — have no justification either. One day, nationalists fought among themselves to know up to what imaginary line they could project their forces and submit the populations. When the battles and massacres ended, they sat at a negotiating table and drew lines. They didn’t know no nation existed, and that this dominating power was inherently illegitimate. They said deserters and pacifists were traitors, but actually, they were the people who saw things correctly, and they are the people we celebrate today, not the barking, raging patriots.
This is where we are today with this border. Stuck between myths that won’t die and liberties that won’t bend.