The Pope condemns wall building

The Pope this year has made clear his dislike of border walls and fences. He has urged politicians to build bridges, not walls. He has never named individual countries or politicians that he has in mind.

Looking at what is going on, this has been a big past year for new wall and fence building. The main centre of this activity has been the European Union, along with Turkey acting with EU encouragement and money.

The EU has substantial border fences and walls. There are the fences around Melilla and Ceuta to prevent people entering Spain. There are now long fortifications of the Austrian borders with Slovenia and Hungary. There are fences and walls between Bulgaria and Turkey, Hungary and Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia, and Slovenia and Croatia. There is the large construction along the Macedonia/Greek border.

The EU as a whole is helping fund a huge border protection between Turkey and Syria. Along the 70 km stretch from Kilis to Karkamis a ten foot high wall is being added to the existing razor wire, and watch towers built. The West is helping with cash, surveillance balloons and anti tunnelling equipment. When the EU signed the Turkey/EU Association Agreement giving Turkish people more rights of movement into the Schengen area, one of the conditions was better border defences for Turkey along its Middle Eastern southern border.

It is difficult to escape the conclusion that the Pope must have in mind the EU and those member states busily adding to their walls and fences, and assisting Turkey with its massive construction. If Mr Trump goes ahead with adding to the border fence the US already has along parts of its Mexican frontier, he will be adopting an EU policy which has been actively pursued over the last year.

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142 Comments

  1. Brigham
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the pope could take a few thousand immigrants into Vatican city. The churches seem to have enough money to do that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      It is usually “do as I say rather than with these people in the Prince Charles greencrap manner.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        “Do as I say rather than as I do”

      • Hope
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Guido published a piece on Bill Clinton’s address to congress in 1995 about immigration, borders etc. there is not much difference betweenClinton and Trump. I suspect Trump will deliver whereas Clinton failed or made no attempt to enact what he said. It has been claimed for years how the public are told immigration will be curbed but in reality the politicos want cheap Labour for business and the economy. It is back door approach to side step unions and the public anger over the inequality it brings i.e. People who have not paid in queue jump to the front for our services.

        • Hope
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

          It is simply not possible to have record amounts of immigration each year, year on year as an island without the will or connivance of the political parties at rotten Westminster.

          Blaire silenced the public outrage under the guise of equality, it was in fact suppression of free speech. Anyone who mentioned immigration is/was given a label or smeared. Gillian Duffy and UKIP being exhibit A and B.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

            Indeed and as they are mainly in low paid work they pay less far less in taxes than is needed to pay for their schools, housing, medical care, police, defence and all the rest of the bloated UK government.

            The government line was always that “they pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits”. But this just says they are slight net tax payers. It may well be true, but it completely misses out most of the costs of government. You need to earn about £50K to be paying more in than all the cost of government.

          • rose
            Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

            “in reality the politicos want cheap Labour for business and the economy.”

            Like the Clintons, New Labour also wanted extra voters. Corbyn will continue with this policy.

          • Anonymous
            Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

            Overuse of the word ‘xenophobia’, which Brexiters have finally rebelled against.

          • Timaction
            Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Indeed.It was no coincidence that mass migration from everywhere was encouraged at the same time as a huge wave of equality legislation, process and liberal left selection processes in all our public services, Government and establishments. Soviet style practices continue under the Tories with Corporations going to have to have a certain number of minorities on their boards. Meritocracy and state education has been destroyed by the legacies which is why we need an alternative opposition to them!

    • vera
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree more. I’ll take notice of what the Pope has to say when I can see them using their massive wealth to help the poor and destitute. Easy to pontificate from afar, we can all do that but I don’t see them physically helping, not even spending any of their money.

  2. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Brilliant, John. You really are quite witty!

    • hefner
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      That’s one way to look at it. There is another one but I will stay polite and keep my thoughts for myself.

      • Hope
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        JR, I note newspapers reports how Blaire has met Osborne and is meeting May! Why? This fanatic ought to be kept well away from govt altogether, a vile man who cannot accept responsibility for his wrong doing.

        Hammond publicly keeping project fear alive today. Is he going to be chastised for talking our country down? Better still sack him, he convinced me that he is not up to the job.

  3. Mark B
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Another individual who has never lived in the real world and will never suffer the consequences of his belief, sees fit to tell us what is and is not good for us.

    We need no lectures from the Bishop of Rome and his ilk.

    • acorn
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I take it you are saying bye bye, to the Brexit Catholic wing then JR!

      • libertarian
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        acorn

        “I take it you are saying bye bye, to the Brexit Catholic wing then JR!”

        Really? Why ? I would have thought Brexit Catholics would be very happy as we in Great Britain have indeed followed the Pope’s advice and not built any walls or fences

        • acorn
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          You appear unaware of the implications of using the phrase “Bishop of Rome”

      • Mark B
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Belief’s as in MASS immigration and walls, not religion.

        Context dear boy, context.

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        The Orthodox wing marches on!

        It was the Pope-sanctioned Fourth Crusade which sacked and looted Byzantine Constantinople in 13th century, fatally weakening a bulwark against Islam that had kept Western Europe safe for centuries.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      In agreement. This is his proper title as referred to by our liege, Lord Henry, the eighth of that name. I wouldn’t want to attack his office particularly, as most of his opinions and actions are symbolic (as was the case recently when he took refugee families into the Vatican?)

  4. Prigger
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Greg Hands, Trade minister should not bury his talents in a London office. He should be sent to sell all kinds of fencing and other stuf to the USA. He was born there, worked there. Can speak American or at least hear what they say, maybe. Also he’s worked in Berlin so he’s seen how effective a wall is.They’ll need more bricks in America than they can produce quickly. We should be figuring out temporary fencing structures too until we find out what’s going on.

  5. Pragmatist
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Hadrians Wall provided much work for French and German mercenaries soldiering for Rome to keep them out of mischief.
    The wall on the Mexican border will employ hundreds of thousands if not millions of Latinos in America and in Mexico. Perhaps the Pope can see the good in the bad, now.Good food to eat, filling empty stomachs. The first shall be last and the last shall be first

    • JJE
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      I expect the Mexicans will be able to build all the new tunnels at the same time as they build the wall, thereby increasing efficiency.

    • Gringo
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      So this is a civilised way to justify an American-style Berlin wall? Most of southern USA was peopled by what now are Mexicans. Just think what would have happened if the Texas oilfields belonged to Mexico and the Clinton administration had not been on a par with Russian corporate gansterism!

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Perhaps when religions build some “religion bridges” between the many different, very often warring religions (and the many branches of them) then we could take these vacuous words rather more seriously.

    Nothing of substance from Hammond in his article today, true the roads need investment but in the short term it makes them even worse. Nothing on a move to cheap energy. How on earth is the UK going to increase productivity using very expensive & intermittent energy and wood chips from America Hammond? Get real for a change.

    Yet more back door tax increases are reported too.

    Let us hope is speech does rather more than this indicates.

  7. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    What a pity that the Pope also dislikes contraception and family planning, while African population may double in the decades ahead.
    I suspect though that the Pope especially dislikes the walls people build between themselves, between them and the “foreigner”, whether Poles or Mexicans, or of different race or religion. What will Mr Redwood do about post Brexit xenofobia in his own country?

    • Hope
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Ah, another label, typical PvL. Do not worry about our country worry about your own. Unfortunately for you the jeany is out of its bottle. People here are not going to be silenced by smears and labels by people like you and the EU.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        PvL. Who’s that Wilders chap.
        I like the cut of his jib.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        @Hope: with regard to xenophobia, has the genie ever been inside the bottle? I just observe the post-Brexit upsurge of xenophobia in the UK, and yes, this may also happen in the Netherlands. Maybe xenophobes don’t want to be silenced, but is it really what your country should “Hope” for?

        • Hope
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Quite wrong. Liberal media keeping project fear alive. Your smears will not work. Worry about your country and leVe us alone to sort out our own future.

        • APL
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Peter van Leeuwen: “I just observe the post-Brexit upsurge of xenophobia in the UK, ..”

          Very good Peter, now put some *actual* figures around your claim.

          So we know, when you claim a 100% rise in xenophobia what you are referring to is an increase from 150 incidents in 60 million population to 300 cases in 60 million of UK population.

          • APL
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

            APL: “to 300 cases in 60 million of UK population.”

            And while you are at it Peter, break out the number of Xenophobic or Racist incidents that have been perpetrated by newly arrived East Europeans, and where the blame has been laid at the door of the indigenous British.

        • APL
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          PvL: “I just observe the post-Brexit upsurge of xenophobia in the UK, .. ”

          Because of your dishonesty Peter, I’ve done your homework for you.

          You can find the British governments figures on ‘hate’ including ‘race’ crime, here.

          The outstanding feature of the report is what a minority sport racism, xenophobia and other hate crimes are, in England & Wales.

          The figures for 2015/16 show 62,518 so called hate crimes in the E&W. With a population of 59 million, that’s roughly 0.105% of the population.

          In other words about one tenth of one percent of the population of the England & Wales engage in race or hate crime.

          The other interesting fact which doesn’t seem to be obvious from the home office figures, what is the race of perpetrator of the crime?

          You are of course Peter, implying that racially motivated and/or hate crimes are *always* instigated by white British people.

          I can’t determine the race of the perpetrator from the government figures, maybe it’s in there, perhaps you’d like to do some research for a change Peter?

    • libertarian
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Dear PvL

      Do leave off being pompous and self righteous especially when you’re so ignorant. The UK is NOT xenophobic thats another lazy neo liberal leftie smear chucked about by people like you who have no arguments or facts to back up your position. The UK is far more multiracial and ethnically diverse that the Netherlands. The greatest cosmopolitan city on earth, London is in the UK. There is very little racial tension in this country and we have a long history of assimilating people from all over the world ( not just White Europeans as the racist EU espouse).

      There is NO pre, post or planned xenophobia, only a pragmatic desire to manage who can settle here and to be able to plan for the infrastructure needs and costs on a realistic basis. As a libertarian I’m in favour of the free movement of people but you can’t have free movement AND a welfare state in a small island state . Get over yourself

    • rose
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      You realize what is happening to the African population though you don’t mention the Asian one. I doubt whether a pope can have much influence on reproduction, just as he can’t prevent the spread of AIDS. People will do what people will do in that part of their lives, regardless of what he preaches. They always have.
      As to the point about borders, does he – do you – think people should not have front doors, with locks? Does he think everyone should be able to run in and out of each other’s houses and help themselves to everything? We have a saying and I am sure you have something similar: good fences make good neighbours.

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Sometimes I think this pope has grudge against Europe and wants to turn it into a giant favella. His saintly predecessor had a deep love of European civilization and would not have carried on like this.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      PvL – Would you call a drowning man a hydrophobic ?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: No, I would not. But if you feel that your country is “drowning in foreigners” why criticize the temporary walls between some countries in the EU? The Netherlands (although suffering from some xenophobia as most western countries) still has open Schengen borders, so the restrictions are not everywhere in Europe and hopefully they will not be permanent.

        • Martyn G
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

          Not sure that John was criticising as such but simply observing that the walls are very much out of context with the free movement of peoples across EU borders i.e. a contradiction of stated intent with the real world.

          Turkey alone being the odd one out, not yet being a member…..

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            @Martyn G: Point taken, but if it was only an innocent observation by a long-time politician, he might have added that the current fences in very few of the Schengen countries are meant to be a temporary measure and that the Schengen agreement provides for various restrictive of measures in exceptional cases. In short, I disagree with you on the intent. In September I freely traveled by car through the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany, as if it were all one country (I usually consider these countries just part of the Netherlands: no borders, one currency 🙂 ).
            Nobody here expects Turkey to be allowed membership in the next 25 years if ever, apart from the British jester, who first scares the British people pre-referendum, that 70 million Turks are coming to live in Britain and then post-referendum, assures his Turkish counterpart that he will fight for Turkish EU-membership! Suffering from too much prosecco intake? 🙂

        • Anonymous
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

          PvL

          I resent your use of the ‘x’ word.

          Stop being sly.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      Leaving the EU and wanting to be a self governing nation again has nothing to do with xenophobia, bigotry or racism.

      Sheesh !

    • Timaction
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      You do really need to focus on your own Country PVL. Your recent referendum on the free movement of people from the Ukraine has been ignored by your EU masters. Democracy is lost on the EU and its members. That’s the prime reason we are leaving!

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        @Timaction: Over here, democracy is alive and kicking. Our countries are co-masters of the EU and so far no proposal to deal with the Ukraine referendum in the Netherlands has been sent to the European Council.

        • Timaction
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          They just ignored you as they always do with other Countries referendums. We on the contrary are leaving your EU masters!
          Democracy where un-elected bureaucrats rule is NO democracy at all Mr EU!

    • Antisthenes
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I have started reading your comments as I find them so easy to ridicule. I understand you are Dutch which surprises me that as having met many Dutch people I have found them intelligent, clever and resourceful. Not saying that you are not except perhaps you lack the ability for logical and rational thinking which clouds your perceptions that makes you mistake legitimate concerns as some kind of phobia or ism. When all they are are solutions being sort or given to address those concerns.

      Your approach to the comments is to see them only from the perspective of progressive dogma. Fine if they were incontrovertible but they are not. Just as conservative beliefs are not but do stand up better to examination. When ridiculing us as I am ridiculing you you should make sure you are standing on firm ground. As from where I am standing you are standing on the high moral ground but with impractical foundations holding it up.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        @Antisthenes: Interesting that you seem to suggest that conservative beliefs lend themselves better to xenophobia and that you seem not to have noticed this upsurge in xenophobia in your own country at all.
        You may attempt to ridicule, but I don’t find you very successful in your trials. What may be sligthly ridiculous however, is another anti-EU blogpost – mentioning the EU 8 times – from a country surrounded by water! Why bother as you are all leaving the EU?

        • Antisthenes
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          Impressive progressive reply. Ignore what I said and rant on about us being xenophobic instead. So in fact confirming our evaluation of the debate shutting down tactics of the left.

        • APL
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          Peter Van Leeuwen: “you seem not to have noticed this upsurge in xenophobia in your own country at all.”

          Put some hard figures around this claim or shut up.

    • Brigham
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Revel in it!!

    • stred
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Facts4eu has unearthed a fact about all this hate and phobia. It went up during the campaign, after reporting and media drew attention to it, then went down to our normal level. Every country has its share of dimwits and the UK is more welcoming than most. We even like Dutchmen and Poles.

      http://facts4eu.org/news_nov_2016.shtml#no_brexit_hate_crime_wave

  8. Jerry
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Not quite sure what your point is John, walls come in all types, shapes and sizes, and Vote Leave (along with many other Brexit groups) made a campaign point out of their wish to build better virtual walls around the UK and points of entry to “control migration”, immigration control is just as much a wall to a would-be immigrant as barbed wire and concrete is.

    Also as border walls and fences pre-date the EU, if anything EU policy (and now US policy by way of the election of Mr Trump) has stepped back into line with the RotW.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I never knew you were an open borders no nations political radical Jerry.
      You surprise me once again.

      • Jerry
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        @Edward2; Once again you show that you either do not read what I write or you are just trolling (yet again), or more than likely both! 🙁

        Where did I say what you suggest?

        • Edward2
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Your usual defence Jerry.

          You said:-
          “Immigration control is just as much a wall to a would be immigrant as barbed wire and concrete is”
          That is what you said.
          That is what I read.
          You need to reflect on what your statements actually mean.
          You thetefore say immigration controls are wrong.

  9. Gardener
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    You can have an open plan cottage garden, flowers running into one another. Good unless you get the mix wrong then its chaos and ugly. Or you can have patches of this and that. But they creep one into another, some growing over the slower growing. Or you can have little walls, terraces and platforms with particular soils suited to each set of plants. Its a question of good management. Of creating suitable conditions so all can thrive. Maybe the Pope has never had time to garden what with standing on that raised terraced balcony and talking alot.

    • rose
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Very good.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      Good analogy.

    • Patrick
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:45 am | Permalink

      Excellent point

  10. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The Pope takes a balanced view. Recently in Sweden he said it was not always selfish to restrict immigration.
    I think the Pope is more concerned by metaphorical walls and bridges. Although, I’m sure he’s concerned about literal wall-building where there is a whiff of xenophobia or insensitivity involved.
    The Pope is a good and holy man although imperfect (except, if you’re a Catholic, on doctrine – and wall-building is not part of Catholic doctrine!).

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      “where there is a whiff of xenophobia or insensitivity involved.”

      People are scared of overwhelming numbers and a rapid change in their own culture.

      Can you not understand this ?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        I agree. We need strong restriction on immigration in the UK (both from the EU and outside the EU).
        Regards

    • Rebel
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the Pope can shout his balanced view more loudly about Sweden

  11. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    We were in Cueta a couple of weeks ago. There was a noisy demonstration by North Africans against deportation.
    Clearly the wall isn’t high enough.
    Despite being an island we seem completely unable to secure our borders.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg; “There was a noisy demonstration by North Africans against deportation.”

      How can North Africans be deported from , err, North Africa? Surely, to fit with your narrow views on migrants, should it not be the Spanish who get departed back to the European continent…

      “Despite being an island [the UK] seem completely unable to secure our borders.”

      Tell us something our great great great great great-grandfathers did not know or understand, or something Winston Churchill did not understand 1939! Being an island is both our best defence and our weakest point. If you disagree please do tell us all just how you think 2,000 miles of coast can be effectively secured, 24/7/365, something that was not even possible in time of war.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Check the map Jerry. I think you’ll find Cueta is in Morocco.
        Then again as you never leave your bedroom how would you be expected.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Jerry, that’s the splendidly arrogant Spanish hypocrisy: Britain has no right to Gibraltar nor the Falklands but Spain has every right to Ceuta and Melilla and therefore to deport North Africans from both.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          Other than the fact the vast majority of Gibtatarians want to remain UK citizens.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

            This is odd
            I don’tthink this is my post.

      • zorro
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Educate yourself Jerry – Ceuta and Mejilla are small Spanish enclaves in North Africa.

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Melilla

      • bratwurst
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: Cueta is Spanish territory.

      • rose
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        People break into Ceuta because it is a Spanish enclave. If it weren’t, they wouldn’t. They would cross to Spain instead.

        • APL
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          rose: “People break into Ceuta because it is a Spanish enclave.”

          And the question, ‘Why aren’t Europeans breaking into Zimbabwe or South Africa in search of work?” – is never asked.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        The difference was that our ruling elites wanted secure borders then.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Time to buy a geographical atlas Jerry
        Lol

  12. Fred
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The Catholic Church is in no position to be the moral arbiter of anything. Perhaps the Pope should concentrate on cleaning his own house before voicing opinions.

    • Richard
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      I am in full agreement. By the way how about tearing down the wall around Vatican city? Think of the Bilderberg Group and the New World Order – Clinton, Soros and the big banks plus……..- The Pope is part of this.
      Conspiracy? I do not think so. Check it out.

      • Patrick
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:52 am | Permalink

        How come the elites are building security around their property…what do they know we don’t? (Rhetorical)

  13. tarred
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Francis is consistent and a good man. Justin is inconsistent…

    • tarred
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Vanitas. having a pop at a good man on a Sunday to make a witty (?) point.

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Just an update on our precarious power situation. With todays wind being as good as it gets it looks like it may just about reach 6% of peak demand.
    Interestingly the French are net importers through the interconnecter so they won’t be helping us out when we get a prolonged cold spell.
    I really do believe we are in for power cuts this winter and the government will rightly be blamed.

    • Jerry
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; Actually the wind is not “as good as it gets”, at least here in the south, if anything the (storm-force) winds have probably been the worst it can get for wind turbines!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        Exactly.

        They switch them off when it is too windy. Also they tend to get damaged. Often costing more than several years energy production to repair them.

        They are a nonsense, especially with gas and coal being so very cheap.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        You really are demented Jerry. The places where there are the most turbines they are on full capacity.
        Just check the grid loadings.
        The point is on average all the turbines we have on average only generate about 19% of the nameplate rating. I repeat…… today is probably as good as it gets.

      • graham1946
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        If they don’t work when it’s windy, what is the point?

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      No. Brexit will be blamed.

  15. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Also, if you’re going to bring up the Pope, let’s have a debate about the role of the Christian religion in Conservative / Republican politics. Whether it has one or not? And why / why not?

    (And if there’s no god, how do we ensure politicians don’t become despots, and if God does exist, how belief in God and the Christian religion in general should influence politics?)

    • David Murfin
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Romans 13 v1. Next question?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        Yes, and has to be read in conjunction with the 10 Commandments (where a good moral law can become a bad one if it violates the 10 Commandments). Sir Thomas More sums this up perfectly with:

        ‘I am the King’s good servant – but God’s first.’

  16. Kenneth
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    We are social animals and need to belong to a tribe. That sense of belonging is undermined when we have high rates of immigration.

    IMHO for the good of society – and throughout human history – there has always been a need to have demarcation from one ‘tribe’ to another. That is how we maintain peace, happiness and ultimately mutual respect.

    The borderless world is 6th form dreamer stuff that does not recognise human nature nor the terrible damage such policies could do to our social fabric leading to much unhappiness.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      It also does not include the need for queues in all public services, health provision and housing on our once beautiful countryside!

    • Jagman 84
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Socialism, in all it’s forms, does not recognise human nature. That is why it always fails to deliver, however noble it’s intentions.

      • Kenneth
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Exactly.

        Socialism always suffers from the disease of unintended consequences as its artificial constructs fight (human) nature

    • Patrick
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      Excellent point Kenneth!

  17. Sarah
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I believe there is a large wall around the Vatican – both literal and metaphorical.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed I see that it is a tax haven too:

      There are no taxes, no restrictions on the import or export of funds, and no customs or excise duties payable in the Vatican City. Employees of the Vatican pay no income tax and no customs duty on gasoline or goods that they buy in the Vatican.

      etc ed

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      The Pope is not saying that all walls are bad (he’s not a Christian fundamentalist with a dualistic way of seeing everything!). And even if he were saying something black and white (which he isn’t), even Catholics aren’t obliged to agree with him (only on doctrine).

      It was thanks to this wall around the Vatican during WW2, that the priest Father Hugh ‘O Flaherty (portrayed by Gregory Peck in The Scarlet and the Black) was able to hide after saving thousands of Jews from Nazi gas chambers. (And awarded Righteous Amongst Nations for it).

    • zorro
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed, a very high wall. The irony is not lost on us…..

      zorro

  18. APL
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    “The EU has substantial border fences and walls. There are the fences around Melilla and Ceuta to prevent people entering Spain. There are now long fortifications of the Austrian borders with Slovenia and Hungary. There are fences and walls between Bulgaria and Turkey, Hungary and Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia, and Slovenia and Croatia. There is the large construction along the Macedonia/Greek border.”

    There is a wall around the Vatican city, manned by Armed Swiss guards Perhaps the Pope ought to take the beam out of his own eye, before he looks at the mote in the eye of another.

    In other words, shut up.

    • Mike
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Quite right APL.
      Pope Leo IV built walls to keep out… oh! Saracens
      Somebody should remind the present incumbant of the facts.

  19. margaret
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    ” Good fences make good neighbours” used in Robert Frost’s ‘ Mending Wall’ still makes good sense as does Benjamin Franklin’s comment ” Love thy neighbour, but don’t pull down your hedge ” . Free movement is untidy and mixes the very bad with the moderately good and very good .It has an impact which brings standards down and spends too much time and money trying to correct problems where we have already built more or less satisfactory standards. It is one step forward and two steps back .

  20. A different Simon
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    There is already a wall along some stretches of the border between the U.S. and Mexico .

    Sections of fence were replaced by wall during the Obama administration .

    What got me is that no member of the media called Mr Trump out by stating that the wall already exists .

    Here in the UK we’ve got a very divided country and the doctrines of the advocates for nation states and advocates for supranational states/global government are mutually incompatible .

    How about a scheme to incentivise/persuade EU enthusiasts who are resident in the UK to move to their beloved European mainland on condition they don’t come back ?

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    A very good question from May and Hammond.

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/trump-is-dumping-the-climate-fetish-what-about-you-mrs-may-t23cc6p09

    I see that Hammond has confirmed the bonkers compulsory workers on boards agenda. What lefty plonkers May and Hammond are. Why on earth do they think they know how to run businesses better than the owners and directors? Governments cannot even run a sensible energy policy, roads, education or the NHS remotely competently. Yet they have the temerity to tell others how to run their businesses and how much they have to pay too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      “for” not from sorry!

  22. Church/pubgoer/
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The Pope is right. Every asylum seeker, poor person and potential migrant should from all the world and without limits both in time and number be allowed to cross the borders and stay in countries which describe themselves as …..Catholic.

    The rest of us will just watch Sunday Politics and the Marr Show ( suffer lousy taste in music ) with a sometimes a weird programme betwixt the two or go and meet our neighbours once a week either down the pub or in a cold uninviting musty smelling old building down the road. Its what we like.

  23. KhanDo
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    The Khan of London has just been on telly.Says he prefers building bridges between people.
    He must be referring to London bridge in which the Saxon knights kept William the Conqueror at bay for a while until he took his invaders up river and crossed at a ford, subsequently killing all of the 22,000 inhabitants of London except the ones escaping Up North to Yorkshire and Sunderland.
    Yeah the Khan is right. Building a bridge can be a defensive structure against uninvited mobs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Well London needs a new Bridge especially in the East for cars and trucks, not very expensive foot bridges or garden bridges.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      And England is still suffering from the effect of the Norman invaders. They stole all our land and it has still not been fully restored. Some aristo families take pride in tracing themselves back to him. They should not.

      William was a cold blooded killer as he admitted on his death-bed and his legacy is all around. We have still not broken all our chains. Let Brexit be a spur to rebuild our Anglo-Saxon identity.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I’ve just been reading this article in the Observer:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/19/europes-leaders-force-uk-hard-brexit-farage-le-pen

    “Europe’s leaders to force Britain into hard Brexit”

    and I was amused by the most recent comment from a reader, “the thoughtful one”, according to whom the 60 Tory MPs who have arrived at a similar conclusion even though approaching the matter from the opposite angle:

    “… weild extraodinary power through their establishment, their clubs, their liaison with the wealthy elite, enormous power behind the scenes and in parliament that 60 votes can overturn the PM at every turn, they are extreme and their world that we would have to live in would be extreme – Oliver Twist world remember that …”

    That would include you, JR, wielding extraordinary power behind the scenes …

  25. Maureen Turner
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    One of the many unintended consequences of the EU’s thinking. Pres. Juncker told us only a few months ago national borders were the worst thing ever invented but it looks as though many disagree and would prefer to be responsible for their own security.

    Any day now EU funding will be reduced for fence or wall builders. This rotten Project always resorts to financial punishment for their perceived idea of miscreants. We in the UK should be fortunate with our wrap around moat but unfortunately our drawbridge is too often on the wrong setting.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The Pope lives in a different world ; he sees mankind as one . Many substantial issues exist – religious and moral , that cannot be ignored ; we have traditional and respected values in this country and all who live here are expected to live by our rules and ethics . Those who dislike or disagree with these values should not live here – they should reside where they properly fit in .

    Border protection is the only realistic means of self-preservation ; fences and all methods of control are in the best interests of all . The result of the referendum – and the more recent YouGov survey ( 68%) , show that the public want to preserve our values ; the Pope was not asked to intervene .

  27. Bob
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Will the Pope be taking a sledghammer to the perimeters of the walled enclave known as Vatican City?

  28. PapaDon'tPreach
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    The Pope is speaking in Absolute terms. In religious and spiritual terms. Why on Earth…would a bridge be desired or needed unless there were a real gulf or chasm separating quite naturally one land of thought from another?
    It is quite reasonable a bridge be built with appropriate custom posts at both ends, a toll imposed for the maintenance of the bridge and armed police guarding against evildoers. Good the Pope believes in Mr Trump’s vision and the vision of Brexit.

  29. Antisthenes
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    When you hear Christian clerics talking on social matters it makes it obvious that socialism is only secular thinking based on the same dogmas. While those dogmas were the sole responsibility of the church they were an influence that shaped our society and culture for the better. By secularising them they are now being used for more nefarious purposes.

    Church and socialism are in competition for the hearts and minds of the people. Socialism is winning so the church are trying to out socialise them. Therefore we have a Pontiff spouting this kind of rhetoric. Based not on the practical but on the ethical. Where before they would balance the two.

    Ethically free movement of people is the right choice but it becomes unethical when the harm it can inflict outweighs the benefits. Uncontrolled immigration is one of those situations. Hence the need to erect barriers. The church is treading a dangerous path it should be attempting to expose and temper socialism not join it. Go back to it’s roots and preach moral practices and to use them to guide our lives but not to control them.

  30. StonedAlive
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    If the Pope is encouraging the Left and Liberals to oppose what people want, that is , walls, then good for him. As a by-product of his devine intervention into the loaves and fishes of politics without in his case of increasing their volume or logistical possibilities, he creates an added problem for the Left and Liberals. More and more people favour a wall.

  31. ian
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Is this the man who said, all religions should be one.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Reading the Observer article mentioned above:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/19/europes-leaders-force-uk-hard-brexit-farage-le-pen

    “Europe’s leaders to force Britain into hard Brexit”

    and also this one:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/nov/19/brexit-eu-theresa-may-angela-merkel

    “Why Europe will drive a hard Brexit”

    and assuming that there is at least some reliable substance to them, it seems to me that this is both good news and bad news for us.

    Good news insofar as it should render nugatory tiresome domestic debate about whether the UK government should seek a “soft Brexit” or a “hard Brexit”; the governments of the 27 other EU countries have already agreed that it shall be a “hard Brexit”, so even if that choice ever existed for the UK government it has now been removed.

    Exposing even further the inherent nonsense of the suggestion that the government should lay out its exit plan, its negotiating position, and get that approved by another referendum before triggering Article 50 so that the negotiations can actually start, when despite having repeatedly ruled out any negotiations before then the other governments have already unanimously decided and publicly stated that for them what they think of as “internal” freedom of movement of persons is non-negotiable.

    And good news for us also insofar as by committing themselves to an intransigent and unreasonable attitude towards the UK expressly in order to frighten their own peoples into accepting continued EU membership even if they would really prefer to follow us out of the EU, supposedly a voluntary union of nations but now looking like a prison, and openly resolving to inflict arbitrary and arguably illegal economic sanctions on the UK for that purpose, they have given up any possible claim to the moral highground.

    So I hope not only that the scales will finally drop off the eyes of some in this country, but also that our diplomats will point out this reality to governments around the world.

    But bad news for us, of course, and for them, insofar as they are deliberately setting out to create what a Dutch politician has despairingly called a “lose-lose” outcome. However as the economic effects of EU membership have been marginal, one way or another, there is nowhere near as much to fear in that as our pro-EU faction always likes to pretend.

  33. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Corbynistas say if it were not for migrants the NHS would fall apart
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38032959

  34. DaveM
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    The Pope seems to be part of the current crop of European leaders who have resigned themselves and are currently facilitating the invasion of their own homes and giving up their lands, which are the birthright of their own children and grandchildren.

    Or maybe the Pope is naïve enough to believe that a smiley face and generosity will persuade these people to convert to Christianity.

  35. NoMoreEU
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Without walls…the roof collapses on our heads…

  36. James Neill
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    There is a lot of talk now about the building of walls etc. take for instance the Italian naval ships rescuing so many people from the sea off Libya- well from what I know Italy is not keeping many of these people in Italy but just feeding them up through Italy until they are eventually push them over the border into France and Germany. Italy has been doing this for centuries which is why you won’t see too many (African migrants ed) around Milan and Rome.

    In fact most of the people rescued from the seal off Libya are not from north Africa at all but from west Africa- if you look at the TV news closely enough- so what we have from this direction is for economic reasons mostly- why Nigerians don’t just emigrate to Ghana or the ivory coast doesn’t figure- no! They are all looking for to get to Europe. And if Europe gives in and allows all of these people in then what? where are they going to live?? In high rise apartment blocks? And then what? What are they going to work at?
    It’s all nonsense! – if the pope wants them in he should first allow them to camp out in Vatican city- now that would be a start

    The problem for the poor Syrians is a totally different matter- and my heart goes out to those people- I believe we should help them in any way we can and the Iraqi refugees as much as possible.

  37. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, well worth watching the Sunday Politics this morning:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0827tfz/sunday-politics-london-20112016

    Especially the segment starting at just after 11 minutes in, which culminates with Andrew Neil telling some Remoaner:

    “… many people would now conclude that you are now the biggest liars.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I enjoyed seeing that skewering tremendously!

      Do I need to say three hail Marys or something?!

  38. mickc
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    The Pope is playing to his audience. The Catholic church has long survived; it is adept at politics.

    • Footy
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      They lost 1-0 to Henry VIII

  39. Acrid
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Who are they talking to?When Ms Eagle.. the Eagle who fought and totally, utterly, absolutely completely failed against Corbyn says “The nation is divided” ( her moan about also losing, failing in the Referendum ) just who is she addressing?
    British people are not divided at all. Except into men, women, children, . But not divided , just different..
    It seems the Labour Party wish we all hate rich people. That we all hate one another because we may have voted opposite to the other in the Referendum vote, We don’t. The Labour Party is just a hateful Party who hatefully hate the result of the Referendum and hatefully hate the result of their leadership election. If they stand in a bath full of water their acidity could lead to their dissolvement.

  40. Norman
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    How muddy the waters! Even the beggars are no longer genuine. In exercising Christian charity, we need great wisdom. Humanity finds it very difficult not to go from one extreme (total hardness) to the other (being taken for a ride). Question the existence of God if you wish; but siphon true Christianity out of our history and culture, and see what you are left with. I don’t think it will be worth fighting for. By the way, Brexit is a fight!

  41. acorn
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Don’t hold out any hopes for the UK economy, in or out of the EU. Chancellor Hammond is displaying the fact that he has no more idea how a fiat currency economy works than Osborne had; or, how to use it to maximise the output of our domestic private sector for public good.

    The Chancellor has warned that an unprecedented level of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, has led to forecasts which predict slower growth for the UK and an “eye-wateringly” large debt.

    There is no such thing as an “eye-wateringly” large debt, in a nation that issues and operates its domestic economy with its own fiat currency. If you are daft enough to use a foreign currency, like members of the Eurozone, then you only have yourselves to blame.

    • Jack
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      They still don’t get that the national debt is just the total net financial assets of the private sector. It’s actually too small – but imagine trying to say that to them, they’re so committed to austerity that I’m not sure they can admit they were wrong the whole time.

      At least the Brexit vote has shaken up the whole show. Maybe JR will realise that if he doesn’t start fighting for huge payroll tax cuts and extra govt spending, specifically to get the deficit up, Brexit will get the blame for the inevitable slowdown in economic growth due to overly tight fiscal policy? Perhaps the GBP devaluation might hide this slowdown due to a boost in foreign demand, but the underlying issue will still be there.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      More to the point, the debt was already “eye-watering large”, and the Treasury had already planned that it would carry on rising for years, before we voted to leave the EU. It is not a problem which has suddenly appeared after the referendum, and at worst we will have to wait an extra year or two before it stops rising.

  42. john byrne
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Well we British are not minded to build walls (except in France) at this moment; we have the English Channel, much better than any wall.

    But one day we may need one similar to that which the Romans built, to keep the English from escaping into Scotland.

  43. NA
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    The Pope condemns wall building

    >
    For he says: “‘By the strength of my hand I have done this, and by my wisdom, because I have understanding. I removed the boundaries of nations, I plundered their treasures; like a mighty one I subdued their kings. – Isaiah 10:3

  44. Brigham
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t we tell this foreign cult leader to mind his own business.

  45. Christopher Hudson
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t the current 6 billion population set to double over the next half century? There has to be some control or it’s gonna descend into a chaotic mess

  46. StableGermany
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    The lady broadcaster on Sky News gulped as she read out that Ms Le Pen is so popular she is likely to face-off against just one person in the French Elections. She read it out again one hour later and there was a look of terror in her eyes. Good actress. But why? Why is democracy, and why are democratic elections in Europe and America seen as something awful: scary by our media?

    The elites of the UK, Europe and USA acting like irresponsible and stupid farmers jam-pack our nations to overflowing with migrants and asylum seekers.
    The so-called “movement to the right” in the world is not something to histrionically gulp at.
    Wow, don’t we feel kinship as never before with American coal and steel workers, with French people, with Germans inundated with people who may be wonderful and good but have totally different value systems to their host.

    And, counter-intuitively, almost, the Germans accept it all..as they did in their history over the past century…they dwell in a state of Normalcy-Bias, then explode as we have seen before. So we can expect Merkel to be re-elected as though all is well while the rest of us “move to the right”…then a social explosion in Germany and they will react like teenagers suddenly, as if inventing sex.
    Germany will sink industrially. But not before causing intense harm to all around her.

  47. Tarred
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Pope Francis was step 1, Brexit 2, Trump 3.
    People who criticize any of those 3 haven’t read enough.

  48. Iain Moore
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I see Justin Welby has dusted off the C of E leadership handbook, that of finding out which way their flock is marching and put themselves at the front of it. For the C of E leadership having got the EU referendum horribly wrong, in being EU supporters while a majority of their congregation voted to leave, has sought to repair some of the damage done by giving an EUsceptic speech at the Catholic Institute in Paris .

  49. Juliet
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I visited Vatican City it has border walls and fences, vast amount of security protecting the inner city from rest of Rome. We do not live in a world without border walls and fences.

  50. Richard
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    And your point is….?

    The EU walls have failed as many feel there are still too many non-EU expats coming to the UK. So you you agree with the Pope that walls don’t work?

    I guess not as you want to build a political wall between the UK and the EU.

    So I’ve read your blog and I’m none the wiser. But that often happens when I read your blogs, articles or listen to you on the radio or TV.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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