Untimely Observations

Sarkozy: Too Many Foreigners

The BBC reports that Nicolas Sarkozy was filmed in a televised debate stating that France has too many foreigners and that the system for integrating them is not working.

And the stunning declarations did not end there. Apparently, Sarkozy’s solution to the problem is equally radical: he has promised that if he is elected next month he will cut the number of new arrivals in half.

Right. So on the one hand there are too many foreigners, but on the other the solution is to bring more in.

This reminds me of the logic Western democratic politicians have employed in their efforts to understand the still unfolding economic crisis—a logic that sees the incurring of more debt as the solution to a problem that was caused by too much debt.

And of course this emerges in the context of an election campaign afflicted by voter apathy, where opinion polls give Sarkozy’s socialist opponent a clear lead.

Consider also that Sarkozy has been president of France for five years, and that before that he was—twice—Minister of Interior. If he now thinks France has too many foreigners, what is he telling us about his record of achievements in political office?

Sarkozy was one of three European politicians who some time ago declaimed that multiculturalism had failed.

David Cameron was another of them, Cameron being also a conservative politician who promised his voters drastically to cut the number of new arrivals in the United Kingdom.

Cameron’s record so far: net immigration at record high since he took office two years ago, and a call for ‘muscular’ liberalism.