The Swiss have always been keen on direct democracy, local taxation and possess a very federal mentality. A quick look at their history will see regular referendums since 1848, four official languages, 13 political parties, neutrality, the world’s smallest navy and the planets best standard of living. Not dumb, these Swiss – completely landlocked by the empire of the mighty European Union, they still manage to achieve the highest per capita wealth of any nation on Earth, along with best in class healthcare, education, low taxation and industry.
All in all then, a rare success as a nation – not plagued by celebrity seeking Politicians, or the perpetual swings from left to right that afflict our pseudo democracy. A people of four distinct ethnic backgrounds (French, German, Italian and Romansch) happily working together to bring about prosperity for all. Not quite a Libertarian paradise but a Swiss Passport is still a thing of great value and eagerly sought the world over. During the Balkan wars, the Swiss stepped in valiantly and took 10% of all refugees, and foreigners are now one in eight of all Swiss. I don’t think anyone could accuse the peace loving Swiss of racism.
Until this morning, that is. I awake to read the reports that the people of Switzerland have decided (via direct democracy) that a recent agreement with the EU to allow nationals of any EU state to claim residency for three months whilst looking for employment has not benefited them as expected and they’d like to withdraw the offer. Brussels is apoplectic. How dare these people decide what is good for them or their country? Don’t they realise how undemocratic this is?
Well, let’s settle a couple of points first: Our glorious government decided to open the borders to Eastern Europeans expecting a few thousand to turn up. A million Poles arrived, not because they see the UK as their natural second home, but because no other EU country bothered to open their borders. Germany, the natural destination of most Poles blocked their entry from the start. Now Germany is obliged to take any EU citizen, the second wave of Bulgarians and Romanians aren’t getting much past Bavaria before snapping up jobs the Germans don’t want, whilst France deports as many Romanians as it can find. Belgium just last week wrote to over 5,000 registered foreigners telling them to go home as they were a financial drain on the taxpayer.
Now, I’m a no borders Libertarian – the last thing I want to see is walls going up again around Europe, but I respect the wishes of the Swiss electorate to decide their own fate. They are not banning foreigners; they are merely insisting that they have suitable employment arranged before turning up in Zurich and melting into the very affluent and tolerant pot they have created for themselves. The exalted B Permit is still very much available to anyone who has a skill the Swiss require, their low taxation rates are still available to the hundreds of thousands of foreign companies registered in their competing cantons and their products are still available and sought after the world over. The Swiss have simply decided to retain some of their current personality. No new minarets (another direct democracy referendum) and a blunt refusal to import poverty from neighbouring EU states. Hence the hostility from the parasitical and unelected European Commission, who demand that equality of wealth be redistributed from those who have earned it to those who have not. An island of self made affluence smack in the middle of a declining EU empire will simply not do. Serbs, Moldovans and Macedonians are due to join the big EU party soon and places must be found for their melon farmers to earn what a Dane earns – take that away and the EU has little purpose.
Immigration of the talented and educated has made us all rich. Immigration of the feckless makes any countries’ citizens poorer. The talented come to realise ambition, the feckless come to feed from the successful via bloated welfare systems designed for entirely different native clients – to use the analogy once again, if you leave the lid off the jam, the wasps will come. If the Swiss wish to protect their low crime rates, their tolerant and diverse society and their fat wallets, who the hell are we to tell them they cannot? More power to the elbow of direct democracy and a people in charge of their own destiny, unfettered by unelected quangocrats riding the gravy train of political correctness and imposed Diktats from Central Office. Let Switzerland shine out as a beacon of how things could be done, if we just bothered to let people instead of political agendas decide. If the Swiss are happy and Brussels isn’t, I know whose side I’m on.