How brave, wonderful and brilliant of the Dalai Lama to have admitted in a newspaper interview that Europe has too many refugees.
It’s even better, almost, than the Queen emerging as a closet Brexit fan.
If Donald Trump had said something like that (as of course he does all the time) half the world would have dismissed him as a malevolent, heartless, rabble-rousing troll.
But it’s much harder to do that with the Dalai Lama. The thing he’s famous for more than anything is really, really caring about stuff – the world’s poor and oppressed especially.
If you were to ask Benedict Cumberbatch or Juliet Stevenson or Kate Moss’s nearly-father-in-law Richard Curtis or any of the other numerous members of the Wankerati who want to welcome more refugees into Europe what they thought of the Dalai Lama I can guarantee they’d have nothing but kind words to say.
In fact, it’s quite hard to find anyone who doesn’t like him:
The Dalai Lama, however, was recently named the most popular world leader, with over three-quarters of adults (78%) on average having a good opinion of him.
So when an all round caring nice guy [I went to his 80th birthday party at Glastonbury last year. Can confirm: he’s great. We sang Happy Birthday to him. Patti Smith gave him a cake. And he blessed us all] like the Dalai Lama says that Europe has a refugee problem it’s probably a sign that he has thought through the issue carefully and that he’s right, rather than a sign that he’s a secret Nazi.
Sure, as he makes clear, he cares about refugees:
“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,”
But unlike the Wankerati and all the other politicians and bleeding hearts so busy signalling their virtue by demanding an open door refugees policy, what the Dalai Lama gets is that refugees are not like fluffy kittens of which every home should have at least one.
On the contrary, he recognises, they have the potential to do enormous, permanent harm to their host cultures.
“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” he added with a laugh, the daily reported. “Germany is Germany.
And besides, they have no business being permanent refugees (I wonder if UNRWA – housing Palestinian ‘refugees’ and their descendants since 1949 – will get the memo?) because their job is to rebuild their own countries not run away and live in someone else’s.
The Dalai Lama added that “from a moral point of view too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily”.
“The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”
This is strong stuff. What the Dalai Lama is explicitly stating is that large numbers of refugees do NOT have an enriching effect on the host culture that houses them and that, furthermore, it is these refugees’ MORAL DUTY to return sooner rather than later to their homelands.
None of this ought to be controversial but it is, hugely, because it goes so very much against the grain of global human rights victim culture.
I wonder if the Dalai Lama has been reading the work of Sir Paul Collier, the Oxford university professor who has made himself very unpopular with the wankerati by arguing that if you really want to help refugees the last thing you should be doing is giving them homes and citizenship in the West.
He published an excellent piece on the subject last year in the Spectator, which makes it perfectly clear why the Dalai Lama is right to say what he has, and why current policy is a disaster not just for host nations but also for the refugees themselves.