Is the sensitive and humane nature of Mr David Cameron, our prime minister, taking a battering?
He may well remember what happened when the Berlin wall fell. The easterners were beside themselves with joy to start with. Many flooded to the west, and stayed, placing strain on the resources of the country, particularly the former west Berlin. But soon, the refugees wanted jobs, they wanted social security money. In short the dismay of the former west Germans rose to match the ingratitude of the former easterners.
I would imagine (and hope) that Cameron would foresee a similar situation in the UK were he to open the floodgates. Very soon, the migrants would start moaning and the enthusiasm of those natives who had protested how much they would welcome these new neighbours would rapidly drop from lukewarm to frozen solid.
So, I have a radical proposal which will radically solve the problem. It is this. Only nice people will be allowed to live in the UK.
There would be no need of special checks on entry. All that would happen would be that, if a migrant were caught not being nice to someone, whether another migrant or a real citizen, they would be hauled off to the local nick by their peers (who would, indeed, have a civic duty to do this) where their niceness record (online, natch) would be given a black mark.
An “un-nice” offence need not be criminal; it just has to be not very nice.
Three black marks and the offender is out on his or her ear. They will be “offlanded” in the new jargon that I would introduce and invited to contemplate their personality on Barra, or the Sahara or central Australia.
A fundamental principle of the new policy would be fairness to all, so all citizens, however much they can trace their ancestry to migrant Normans, Angles or Saxons, would have to play the game.
Offenders could appeal to one of a number of tribunals I would set up. These would be staffed, obviously, by very nice people, thereby ensuring that offenders always got a fair hearing. In the unlikely event that an offender was stitched up by a tribunal member, that member would have to appear before a tribunal in his/her own right, since stitching up people is not at all a nice thing to do.
In exceptional cases, tribunals could grant a period of probation to the offender, on the condition that they wear a tag, such as the Tag-o-Mate which one of my companies is developing, which would monitor just how nice they were being.
The process would be self policing since (a) everyone knows whether or not someone is being nice to them, (b) the person accusing the offender of not being nice would have to do it quite nicely.
I would be available, for a consultancy fee, to arbitrate in difficult cases; for example, in yer classic “cruel to be kind” scenarios. In fact, I am considering publishing the “Book of Nice” in which I address the many thorny problems that will arise. For example, it isn’t very nice to try and get half a million quid for a broom cupboard in Hampstead, but then misappropriating the property and squatting in it isn’t very nice either.
You might argue that there is a downside in that large swathes of some professions would have to be offlanded pretty quickly. But, who need politicians if we can all work things out together nicely? Who needs so many police officers when the hard working man and woman in the street is empowered to decide what to do with someone who is not being nice to them? Who needs hacks on the gutter press when the Guardian can shine brightly as a beacon of truth and knowledge? There wouldn’t be many comments from Joe Public on its website, of course, but that wouldn’t be a loss—indeed it demonstrates one of the many ways this scheme just makes everything nicer.
The money saved would be colossal. Instead of having to “clean for the queen”, people would just naturally pick up litter and wipe down surfaces. It’s what nice people do. The cost of the civil service would be decimated. Not because civil servants aren’t all nice, but they would just not be needed. On the other hand, those providing a public good, who are currently paid a pittance, such as nurses, could receive a decent income. (All nurses are, axiomatically, nice people.)
And, the best thing of all would be that other countries would rush to follow suit. My only worry would be, do we have the space for our un-nice in Barra or even Australia? And, what would the rest of us do in the vast acres of land suddenly available to us?
© Jeremy Marchant 2016 . image: Free images