A Modest Proposal – With an acknowledgement to Jonathan Swift

I just came across this fascinating news item in The Guardian:

Child survivors of Nepal earthquake ‘being sold’ in the UK

Theresa May urges police investigation after the Sun reports that Nepalese and Indian children are being sold to British families as domestic slaves


Nepalese children en route to a better life in Europe

The home secretary Theresa May has urged police to investigate claims that child survivors of the Nepal earthquake and other vulnerable children are being sold to British families to work as domestic slaves.

An investigation by the Sun newspaper suggests that boys and girls as young as 10 are being sold for just £5,300 by black market gangs operating in India’s state of Punjab.

The paper says the gangs are preying on the children of Nepalese refugees, as well as destitute Indian families.

May called child trafficking a “truly abhorrent crime” and urged the National Crime Agency to investigate the newspaper’s findings. She said the paper should “share its disturbing findings” with the agency, “so that appropriate action can be taken against the vile criminals who profit from this trade”.

According to the Sun’s report, which appears on the front of Monday’s print edition, the desperate children are being sold to wealthy British families to be used as unpaid domestic servants.

It reports that a trader it names as Makkhan Singh lined up children for its undercover reporter to pick from and said: “We have supplied lads who have gone on to the UK.

“Most of the ones who are taken to England are Nepalese.

“For the supply of a boy, minimum 500,000 rupees [£5,300]. Then you will have other costs associated with taking him to the UK, but that’s your responsibility extra to what you pay us.

“Take a Nepalese to England. They are good people. They are good at doing all the housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April last year, killing almost 9,000 people and leaving millions in need of aid.

In the light of this report, it may be that Turkey is going about dealing with its refugee crisis in entirely the wrong way. Clearly appealing to the better nature of Europeans is not working. The fact is, they are not interested in sharing their wealth with displaced persons from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. In fact European Union authorities have begun sending back to Turkey asylum-seekers who had already managed to reach Greece.

It does seem, however, that there is a ready demand in wealthy European homes for unpaid servants to do work that their own citizens expect a living wage for. And they are prepared to pay at least £5,000 per head.

Well, Turkey is currently suffering economically on a number of fronts, and prospects are not good, with another tourist season approaching. On the other hand, there are now reportedly 2.6 million Syrian refugees severely stretching the country’s resources.

Obviously they would need to be careful not to flood the market, which would have a depressing effect on prices – but a government-sponsored programme to provide a regulated flow of Syrian servants to the United Kingdom’s moneyed classes could be just what Turkey needs to make up a shortfall in its current account deficit. 200 Syrians at £5,000 each means an income of £1,000,000 – not to be sneezed at! And who’s to say that wealthy Germans, Scandinavians, Luxemburgians and whatnot wouldn’t follow the English lead?

I expect President Erdoğan will be looking into it as soon as he gets back from his American trip.


12 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal – With an acknowledgement to Jonathan Swift

  1. Shocking. Yet not. And indeed, the Turks would do well to take your Swift advice.

    And what a sales pitch, eh: “Take a Nepalese to England. They are good people. They are good at doing all the housework and they’re very good cooks. No one is going to come after you.”

    I say, why take only one? Why not two? Male and female. You could allow them to breed and in time have an entire stable. Who doesn’t need a hobby?

    (I’ll have to Reblog this, too, as soon as the other post I’ve pilfered from you has sufficiently marinated. Glad I found your site. Information on what is really happening in Turkey is difficult to come by.)

    • Thanks for the feedback – and thanks for the Karl Marx recommendation. I need to plug that serious gap in my reading. I would have commented on your blog page, but comments were closed.

      • Hi Alan,

        I don’t permit comments merely because I’m too lazy to moderate . . . Perhaps I should, and at some point may, reconsider the matter . . .

        About Marx: of course, the primary sources are best.

        On the other hand, as primers, I wrote a couple of reasonably short pieces that I imagine (I may be wrong) are reasonably faithful to what I take to be the gist of Marx’s analysis of what he characterizes as the capitalist dynamic as such.

        The first title that I recommend, which you can search for by title, is: “Reading Marx: Where Does Profit Come From? (And Why The ‘Rate of Profit’ Must Fall)”

        The second that you might want to read is: “A Synopsis of Marx’s Concept of “Value” and how “Abstract Labour” Determines the Magnitude of all “Exchange-Values” in a Non-arbitrary Way – at least according to Norm” – yes, I know, a mouthful of a title, and a piece a bit (or a lot) dryer than the first I’ve recommended, but then style isn’t my forte although hopefully I managed an exposition that is reasonably accessible.

        Also, another post that you may want to search for and read before you really dive into either Marx or Engels — an excerpt beautifully written since it was penned by Marx — because it highlights what Marx takes to be the principle and essential elements that make for capitalist exploitation, is the following: “Capitalism: Then as Now?”

        Of course, if you do a search for “Karl Marx,” other things that I deemed worthwhile will come up. Hope that helps as a start.

        Best regards,


  2. I have an on line Turkish friend (https://unnecessarynewsfromearth.wordpress.com/), and he writes about this quite often.

    As you know, this criticism of Turkey is all part of the western powers’ agenda at the moment: first, they create a problem with a country, and use the media to pander their position on it, day and night, in order to get a reaction from the sheep, and then they come up with the solution (the Hegelian dialectic), which is almost always more turmoil and war.

    And it appears, to me anyway, that Turkey is now being used for this purpose, not that I completely understand what the overall plan is this time.

    But I can’t help but believe it has a great deal to do with what is happening with Syria and Russia?

    By the way, thanks to Norman, I am not as uninformed about Marx as I once was.

    • I think the West has a long-standing resentment against Turkey, stemming from their original fear of the Ottoman Empire when it was threatening to overrun Europe. Subsequently their plans to partition the empire and pretty much wipe Turkey off the face of the earth were stymied by Atatürk and his nationalists – and I think Turkey has never been forgiven for that. Further, I believe that the present AK Party government’s refusal to be a puppet to the USA in particular, and their ability to survive in spite of all attempts to undermine and remove them is a constant discomfort to Western meddling in the Middle East. What’s happening with Syria and Russia is a part of this. I’ve written on all this in previous posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s