There seems to be a fairly large disconnect between what we think has been happening in Marrakech this week, and what really happened in Marrakech this week.

The United Nations Migration Pact has created in this country what is clearly a well-orchestrated campaign designed to put people off signing it. It has done this by peddling what are clearly meant to be alarming scenarios.

And in painting said scenarios, the populace who under normal circumstances would not ordinarily be aware or exercised, get energised by the campaign to put pressure on politicians to avoid getting caught in the trap.


Red Cross: Migrant policy mustn't add suffering
Bulgaria won't sign global migration pact

Now for the record, I wouldn't sign it, mainly because I am no fan of the United Nations. They are by and large an inefficient, ideologically driven behemoth who cause more trouble than good, remain largely ineffective, and wander round the world as a result of their various pacts and programmes trying to tell people what to do.

I also wouldn't sign it based on the fact that we do immigration and migration in this country pretty well, in the grand scheme of things we don't have migrant problems. And we don't, based on the fact we are at the bottom of the world with too much water between us and the issues.

But having said that, the sort of commentary we have seen whipped up this week lacks a logic that is a telltale sign of alarmists, if not extremists.

The giveaway is always the sudden appearance of emails and texts in unusually large numbers that come out of nowhere.

"When are you going to raise the migration pact and the danger it poses to this country," they ask. "Are you aware of the danger this country is in?" And so it goes.

The wording itself gives them away. It's one of the advantages of having been in this game a while, I've seen it all before.

My favourite bit was the part where by signing it means media organisations are silenced, in terms of criticism and free speech on areas like migration. That, of course, means I am silenced.


And it's at that point I stop and ask myself, in 36 years in this business have I ever been silenced on anything? Have any of the warnings ever come to pass? Has the slippery slope portrayed ever turned out to be as slippery as they made it out to be?

No, of course it hasn't. And nor will it be in this case, if in fact we actually put pen to paper.

The migration debate globally is, of course, of serious concern. There are millions displaced and on the move, but they're not on the move here, and nor will they ever be because we have tangible borders.

The political consequences are there to be seen in places where the borders are geographically porous - Angela Merkel is on her way out because of it. Donald Trump, in part, got his way in because of it. Brexit was voted for because of it.

Uncontrolled migration is a political danger and because of that, that's what dictates a country's views and policy. The United Nations, you will note, has nothing to do with it. The United Nations doesn't run countries. Never has, never will.

And that, ironically, is why its reputation is so tattered - because it has so little power it's so ineffective. If you're afraid of the UN, you're afraid of ghosts.

Both fears are irrational.