As a schoolboy, I had an eccentric teacher who steadfastly refused to own a television, believing such items to be innate sources of moral corruption for the young. One year, we asked him what he was getting his two children for Christmas. He revealed his boys had been begging him non-stop for a new Sega Saturn videogames console to such a point that, finally, he had given in. Wrapped up waiting for them beneath that year’s Christmas tree would be just such a brand new piece of advanced consumer electronics, and several much-desired games to go with it… but no TV set to actually play any of them on, thus rendering the whole purchase intentionally completely pointless. He could not wait, he said, to see the mixture of despair, confusion and anger on their little faces come December 25th, thereby “to teach them the true meaning of greed” at festive time.
Naturally, we began to call this strange man ‘Scrooge’. But is ‘being a total Scrooge’ really as bad a thing as it is usually made out to be? Not when it comes to the issue of mass immigration.
Every Christmas, our TV sets (should, unlike my old teacher, you actually own one) remind us endlessly of Ebenezer Scrooge’s status as one of Charles Dickens’s most famous fictional creations. From this, we get the distinct impression Dickens thought all misers to be Muppets, the great author being thus also logically in favour of all forms of charity. Not so. In my opinion, one Dickensian figure who should be much better known is the somewhat more obscure Mrs. Jellyby from his 1853 novel Bleak House, a deeply misguided practitioner of ‘Telescopic Philanthropy’ whose main chosen cause of charitable concern is actually her own self-trumpeted conscience.
Obsessed with a completely ineffective scheme for improving the benighted natives of the far-off African settlement of Borrioboola-Gha, visible only by aid of imaginative telescope, Mrs. Jellyby neglects not merely the teeming London poor who surround her, but also her own family, leaving her children unwashed, bankrupting her husband and sending him into such fits of suicidal depression he just sits there, bashing his head against the wall and hoping to die.
As Dickens aptly wrote of Mrs. J: “She was a pretty, very diminutive plump woman, of from 40 to 50, with handsome eyes, though they had a curious habit of seeming to look a long way off. As if… they could see nothing nearer than Africa!”
Although supposedly of boundless generosity, in fact Mrs Jellyby’s compassion is curiously narrow. She is incredibly, ostentatiously, concerned about the poor dusky waifs of Borrioboola-Gha, but couldn’t give a figgy pudding about those many thousands of other poverty-stricken white urchins wandering the London streets around her in tattered rags. Instead, she has settled upon maniacally championing a certain specific chosen designated victim-group above all others, even to her own kith and kin’s immense personal disadvantage and harm.
Seemingly, Dickens based Mrs. Jellyby upon certain self-sabotaging, foreigner-obsessed, white virtue-signallers of his day, like Mrs Caroline Chisholm. Had he been writing today, Dickens would surely have based his character instead upon similar morally blind public cheerleaders for disastrous open-door mass immigration and counterproductive yet highly expensive foreign aid like Gary Lineker.
You’ve Got To Be Cruella To Be Kind
Which public figure might Dickens have based Scrooge on were the writer himself still alive and nib-scrawling in the 21st century, though? If you listen to most mainstream commentators, it would surely have been Suella Braverman, whose ‘Cruella’ nickname, gained largely from her sadly unsuccessful efforts to prevent the continued invasion of countless thousands of fake asylum seekers onto Britain’s shores, is intended as a slur, but only endears her to me personally all the more.
According to one typically negative profile in the Guardian, “As the daughter of [legal, fully integrated, financially solvent, non-criminal] immigrants, the Home Secretary’s hostility to migrants can seem not only cruel but unfathomable”, making her into “The face of Cruel Britannia”.
Another columnist in the Evening Standard, noting how ‘Cruella’ wanted to make MPs sit over the festive period to push through emergency legislation enabling the actual deportation of small-boats invaders to Rwanda, unimaginatively called her “The Grinch” who wanted to “cancel Christmas”.
Tough Love, Actually
Another candidate for Scroogeness might be Braverman’s former Home Office sidekick Robert Jenrick, or “Robert Ebenezer Jenrick Scrooge” as one blogger dubbed him, due to his allegedly draconian decision back in April to order murals of anthropomorphic cartoon animals like Mickey Mouse and Baloo the Bear be whitewashed over in a Kent asylum centre for unaccompanied children on the grounds they projected too welcoming a message (although as the visual depiction of animals is considered haram in certain strains of Islam, maybe he was just being commendably culturally aware here?)
Staff were reportedly “horrified” by this “cruel order”, and initially tried to refuse doing as they were told, like typical civil servants these days, whilst a Private Eye cartoonist hyperbolically offered to repaint them, as “it’s all you can do about this kind of evil”. Outraged children’s author Philip Pullman lifted what sounded like a quote about Scrooge straight from A Christmas Carol, calling Jenrick’s action “Cold, cruel, the act of a soul that’s shrivelled and mean to its core”, whilst Michael Rosen, the professional Left-wing propagandist and former Children’s Laureate, furiously typed out a parody of Auden’s ‘Stop All the Clocks’, entitled ‘Paint Over Mickey Mouse’.
If these seemed like performative acts of moral outrage made for all the world to see and click ‘like’ to on Twitter, then Polly Toynbee in the Guardian preferred to call Jenrick’s action (which was actually revealed by a pro-refugee activist, rather than being intentionally announced by the man himself) nothing more than “performative politics for imagined Right-wing voters”. Was it really?
The Finish for Finland, or Finland for the Finnish?
It seems numerous pseudo-conservative MPs these days would agree with such an assessment. After Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch accurately compared transgenderism in schools to an “epidemic” disease, some were quoted as condemning such “nasty, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric”, or arguing that “if we want people to vote for us, we should stop being such a nasty party”. No, MP Jellyby, maybe you should start being a nasty party for once. Far from being purely “imagined voters”, as Polly Toynbee fantasises, there are plenty of people out there who want nothing but harsh policies on immigration and asylum.
A new opinion survey out in Finland last week, for example, asked Finns the following question:
Are you in favour of, or opposed to, the following idea: Finland ceases accepting asylum seekers and quota refugees and allocates the freed-up funds to help refugees in refugee camps outside of Finland.
Responses showed 46% agreed with the idea, 41% opposed it and 13% were either undecided or declined to comment (I would guess because they did actually agree with it, but had been systematically guilt-shamed not to publicly admit to saying so). Amongst those respondents who identified themselves as voters for the nationalist conservative Finns Party, 84% said “Yes, don’t let them in!”, whilst 59% and 55% of centre-Right party supporters concurred. Of centrist voters overall, around half agreed. Even 21-36% of voters for various Left-wing parties like the Greens agreed with keeping everyone non-European out: even genuine asylum seekers.
So, far from Right-wing European voters who want a harsh attitude towards refugees being wholly “imagined” within the dead, Scrooge-like mind of Robert Jenrick, as Polly Toynbee implied, this is in fact the majority opinion amongst conservative-minded Finnish voters, and perfectly mainstream amongst all others too. Surveys consistently show the very same pattern amongst voters in the U.K. too.
It’s Scrooge or Be Screwed
Please do note that, at least according to how the survey question was phrased, native Finns were actually quite happy for some of their tax money to go towards supporting genuine refugees fleeing for their actual lives in camps abroad: they just didn’t want them living over there in Finland. Why not?
Well, it might be because, by all accounts, figures demonstrate that migrants in Finland take more money out of social welfare systems than they put in, being a net drain on public resources. It might be to do with the way that Finnish schools are tumbling down world league tables, again partly due to the presence of large numbers of immigrant students who speak a different language, holding everyone else back. It might be due to rising rates of crime, sexual assault and gang violence in immigrant-populated areas. Or it might be due to the fact that, just in time for Christmas, a 13-year-old girl was recently raped by an older immigrant boy in broad daylight, in her own school, in a small town in Father Christmas’s traditional native residence of Lapland.
Why should the Lapps just keep on quietly Lapping up the “nightmare called multiculturalism” that the Africa-gazing Mrs. Jellybys of their political class have short-sightedly unleashed upon them with their defective moral telescopes? Christmas is indeed a time for giving, but surely not for giving away your entire country.
But don’t forget – Diversity is Our Strength, say the Mrs. Jellybys of this world. I would disagree. It’s not really ‘charity’ if you’re taking tax money from people and then openly and contemptuously spending it on policies those very same taxpayers overwhelmingly don’t want and which then only end up making their own lives far worse, from no greater motive than to make you feel good about yourself. That isn’t charity. It’s pure sadism.
Myself, I actively long for the option to vote for a genuinely ‘Nasty Party’ (even one officially called that) led by unsympathetic, flint-souled figures like Ebenezer Jenrick and Cruella Braverman, rather than the professionally #BeKind pseudo-conservatives who actually pull the strings in today’s utterly misnamed ‘Conservative’ Party.
I’d far rather vote for Mr. No-Heart Scrooge than Mrs Bleeding-Heart Jellyby any day of Christmas. In the end, Scrooge is just far kinder.
Steven Tucker is a journalist and the author of over 10 books, the latest being Hitler’s & Stalin’s Misuse of Science: When Science Fiction Was Turned Into Science Fact by the Nazis and the Soviets (Pen & Sword/Frontline), which is out now.