At last! Cameron finally gets something right. And – surprise, surprise – it’s on the migrant crisis!
On Monday, the British Refugee Counsel coordinated 27 charities to write an open letter to Cameron telling him that the UK response to the migrant crisis was ‘wholly inadequate’. I’d refute that. I’d say it was on the generous side. After all, we’ve agreed to take 20,000 from the camps in the middle east and that’s about 20,000 too many in my book.
At least he’s had the sense to take then from the camps which should ensure some degree of certainly as to whether they are genuine refugees or economic migrants.
The charities in question – which include Amnesty, Liberty and Oxfam – praise the commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years but say more needs to be done and that the UK should take a “proportionate” share of refugees. I disagree.
What should be happening is that the foreign aid budget should be used to help those driven outside the Syrian borders by the war rather than us bringing them to the UK. At the end of the day, it’s a cheaper option than giving them permanent settlement here. Better for them to be helped to rebuild their country than to be relocated to an alien environment.
The charities point to the fact that thousands have died trying to reach Europe in their Mediterranean crossings. Well, I say more fool them and what’s more to the point more fool us for fishing them out of the water and helping them complete their journeys. If they are stupid enough to put their lives at risks in these crossings, then they deserve to take the consequences. If we’re going to deploy boats, they should be blockading the North African coast not acting like passenger ferries and assisting the traffickers.
Does that make me a cruel, heartless unfeeling person? Maybe – but it also makes me a pragmatist who puts the interests of our own country first…