calais-unaccompanied-children-2
Ethics & Morality

Calais unaccompanied refugee children: Welby grills and Government blathers

 

Question: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to speed up the reuniting of refugee children in the camps of Calais and Dunkirk with their families in the United Kingdom.”

It’s a reasonable question, isn’t it? Children can’t be economic migrants: they aren’t job-hunting, defrauding the authorities or seeking out the most generous welfare regime. They are innocent and vulnerable children, of whom Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven‘ (Mt 19:14). Yes, the primary responsibility for migrants and refugee children in Calais lies with France, but we aren’t talking about taking in all 88,000 child refugees currently estimated to be travelling through Europe, as Lord Dubbs advocates. This is about 200 unaccompanied refugee children with family members already in the UK. How are they not the moral obligation of Her Majesty’s Government? Why should they not find sanctuary on Britain’s shores? With aunts, brothers or grandparents in Coventry, why are these children trapped in the Calais squalor, crying alone, searching bins for food, sleeping in tents with strange men?

The Archbishop of Canterbury asked an incisive question in the House of Lords debate on this matter:

My Lords, the Question has been extremely specifically put about children who have families in this country; this is not about all unaccompanied children. My own diocese of Canterbury has taken on a staff member who is working in the Jungle, in co-ordination with a staff member taken on by the Catholic diocese of Arras. We are still having continual reports of delays for really quite young children who are not being brought across. Does the Minister not agree that where children—particularly young ones—have families in this country there is no reason why they should not be brought across within the day?

According to Hansard, the Minister of State for the Home Office, Baroness Williams of Trafford, responded:

My Lords, many of the children are coming here very quickly, but if any child has to stay over in the camp for any longer than it should that is one child too many. I commend the most reverend Primate on the work that Lambeth Palace is doing in taking its first family. We are clear that refugees in Calais should first of all claim asylum in France and then come over here through the Dublin process. The good news is that 120 children have come here this year under the Dublin regulations, 70 of them from France.

But this neat and succinct record isn’t quite what she said. Here’s a verbatim transcript (‘verbatim’ being rather loosely applied, since some of her utterances could scarcely be called words):

Well, My Lords, many of the children are coming here very quickly, but it is, it is one child too much if the, if the child has to stay over in the camp for any longer than it should, and could I commend, erm, the Right, er, the Right, um, the N.. – I’ve forgotten his name now – the Nob – I did this on my very first question (Lord Howe prompts her) – the most reverend Primate, erm, on, on the work that Lambeth, er, Palace is doing, er, in terms of, er, taking their first family. Um, we will, er, w-we are very clear, um, that refugees in Calais sh-should first of all claim, er, asylum in France and then through the Dublin, er, process, er, come over here. And, er, you know, on good news, 120 children have come here under the Duble (sic) regulation, and 70 of those are from France, er, into, in this year.

The exchange may be viewed on the Parliament TV website. One understands the need for Hansard to clean up and clarify wordage: there’s no need to record every stumble and stammer. But sometimes it helps to know that a minister is floundering, as Baroness Williams of Trafford here manifestly was. How is it “one child too much.. if the child has to stay over in the camp for any longer than it should”? How long should a child stay in squalor and destitution?

And why has Hansard expunged from recorded history the fact that the Minister forgot how to address the Archbishop of Canterbury, and, indeed, called him a ‘Nob’?

  • CliveM

    Called him a “nob”! Probably a friend of Martin.

    • The Explorer

      To be fair to her, she didn’t call him a nob. She called him a Nob.

      • CliveM

        How do we know? HG may have been charitable to her in his transcription.

        • Anton

          Give him a K, you mean?

          • CliveM

            So many options, how do we know which is the correct one?

        • The Explorer

          Because she started with ‘N’ and went on to ‘Nob’ as a prelude to saying ‘Noble’, but then became uncertain about the correct way to address an Archbish.

          • CliveM

            I was being facetious! Yes clearly she was meaning to say Noble Lord, but lost her way.

          • The Explorer

            Apologies. After encounters with sex worker Douglas Fox on the Vaz thread, I’m still in statement-of-the-obvious mode.

          • CliveM

            Ahh yes the ‘Tart with no heart’!

  • CliveM

    Hansard guidelines state:

    “The Official Report is a full report, in the first person, of all
    speakers alike, a full report being defined as one ‘which, though not
    strictly verbatim, is substantially the verbatim report, with repetitions
    and redundancies omitted and with obvious mistakes corrected, but which on
    the other hand leaves out nothing that adds to the meaning of the speech
    or illustrates the argument.’”

    I do wonder however how they ensure the original meaning, especially when the verbatim comments are unclear.

    • Pubcrawler

      Editorial acumen. (Also known as guesswork.)

      With reference to the speeches in this history, some were delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all cases difficult to carry them word for word in one’s memory, so my habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion demaded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said. (Thudydides)

  • Anton

    Justin Cantuar’s point is unanswerable and he is absolutely correct. DNA tests should be done as quickly as possible and the children reunified with their families. What concerns me about this man is rather his choice of priorities.

  • Orwell Ian

    Let’s not get too hung up on what one noble inadvertently called another or the coverage of Hansard. Both countries have a moral obligation to resolve this. A single day in that squalid Jungle is too long for any unaccompanied child but the fact that they are in there is down to the French. Have they no child social care system? It is astonishing that unaccompanied children with are left to languish instead of being temporarily fostered and helped with the asylum process. Perhaps the French have more or less given up in despair. After all, it was the EU’s inability to defend its southern border and its internal open borders madness that is Schengen that lumbered them with this migrant problem in the first place.

  • James Bolivar DiGriz

    But why are there unaccompanied children in the camp near Calais?

    Where are their parents? Why have the French social services left these children in the camp?

    And by parents I mean whoever was in loco parentis.
    Maybe someone who is (or claims to be) 14 years old has made it from
    Syria / Afghanistan / wherever, ‘on his own’ but surely no-one believes
    that is true of a three, five, seven or nine year old. Someone has brought that child to Calias and then abandoned them for some reason.

    Maybe the parent has died or maybe the parent left the child in Calais with relatives / friends / people from the same region whilst they sneaked into the UK.

    Is it possible that the relative in the UK with whom the child is to be reunited is actually the one that abandoned them in Calais?

    Obviously I want to alleviate the suffering of innocent children. But just treating the symptom and not the cause will do nothing to reduce that suffering and may well increase it.

    I read yesterday that from 2008 to 2013 there were 877 asylum seekers who drowned heading for Australia. Since then none have done so. This is because Australia dealt with the problem by taking away the lure.

  • David

    How can we be sure that this is not another example of the “grappling hook” scenario, with large extended families ready to attach themselves to the child once it is in the UK. Are we so sure of our facts ?

    So firstly. Are their parents or relatives in the UK economic migrants or genuine refugees ? We don’t know.

    Second. If their relatives are economic migrants, as many are, then it is these adults that should rejoin their children, by traveling southwards, not to the UK.

    Third. Many of these people have been proven to have very flexible definitions of what constitutes a child. The liberal anti-western media usually show pictures of very young vulnerable looking children, sometime drawn from their photo-libraries regardless of authenticity; however it was Sweden that first realised that many “children” were far, far older than they claimed to be, and that was then proven by medical methods. I suspect that this “flexible” definition applies to some of these claimed children.

    More facts are needed before we can be sure that we are not again generating policy on the hoof. Remember this great problem started by Mrs Merkel taking an instant decision, without consulting any other party, by issuing her irresponsible “all are welcome” come hither. So we need to reflect, learn and improve. Yes remember Christian compassion but we must not let emotions rule us – to govern wisely governments must use their heads as well as their hearts.

  • The Explorer

    The US is victim of the 14th Amendment, (anyone born in the US is a US citizen) and the ‘anchor baby’ phenomenon. So get in as a pregnant illegal, have the baby, and the baby can legally pull in a whole village-worth of relatives.

    Do we have a sort of reverse of that here? Get the family to France. Male adult gets across, and once he has refugee status he can pull the rest across too. Or gets across illegally, but once in can claim the right to a family life and can pull the rest across too?

    That last one used to be the case. Family life trumped being an illegal immigrant. Is it still the case? Anyone know?

    As David says below, the alternative for a reunited family is for the parents to rejoin their kids back in France.

    • CliveM

      We are talking children here and a small number of them, about 200. Dumped in Calais through no fault of their own. We’ve all read the conditions and threats faced in this Camp. Yes we can bitch about the French, but I would not want my moral compass to be determined by that countries actions.

      Bring them in and quickly.

      • The Explorer

        As someone said, an Englishman in a top hat on a beach in Fiji is fun. A hundred Englishmen in top hats on a beach in Fiji is a cultural impact.

        If the two hundred are the end of the story, absolutely. If the two hundred are the precursors of a new immigration method, then review is needed.

        • CliveM

          Yes a long term review is needed. However that shouldn’t justify a delay in responding to the needs of these children now.

      • Eustace

        Don’t know why you’re bitching about us. All these migrants want to be in England, not France. We can’t hold them here against their will. And it isn’t up to us to act as England’s gatekeeper.

        The thousands of migrants massing in Calais are turning the area into a no-go zone. The Jungle will have to be dispersed soon, and what do you think the migrants will do? Meekly go back home because you want them to?

        No, they’ve already started to melt into the surrounding countryside looking for other ways across the Channel. And they’ll find them. Many will die in the attempt. More will get through. Moaning at the French isn’t going to make your immigrant problem go away. Indeed it’s more likely to intensify it. Public opinion here is swinging behind Sarko’s hardline stance: open the gates at Calais and let them through. Let England deal with a problem of its own making. Your “flexible” work legislation, generous welfare system and international language means Britain is where they want to be. And as you’re no longer be a European partner, why should we jump through hoops for you?

        • Old Nick

          I thought you people took Calais away from us in the 1550s.

          • Eustace

            We didn’t take it away from you. We took it back. Just like Normandy and Aquitaine.

            We left you the Channel Islands though. Not worth bothering about. And you had to have somewhere to tidy away all your dirty money and dodgy financial dealings.

          • Old Nick

            France did not exist in anything like its present boundaries till the 16th century. But as Calais is yours and these people are on your land, I suggest that they are your responsibility.

          • Eustace

            If they want to leave, which would suit us perfectly, why would we stop them?

            To please you? And why would we want to do that? What possible reason could we have for pleasing a country that’s just sent a very clear message to us that it despises its former European partners and wants to go it alone?

            By all means, go it alone. And deal with your own problems.

          • Old Nick

            This has nothing to with your pleasure or ours (though it is typical of Gallic hedonism that you might think that it has). We are talking about the survival of vulnerable people. They are in your country (and in your Schengen Area) and by international agreement they should be seeking and receiving succour from the first safe country they arrive in. You should stop considering your pleasure and consider your objective responsibility.

          • Anton

            You mean try to protect it from tax-hungry profligate governments who want to use it as part of an electoral bribery scheme?

            You didn’t do a grand job of protecting Normandy, did you? The English-speaking world was nevertheless happy to hand it back to de Gaulle in 1945.

        • CliveM

          Did you actually read what I said? Because if you did I’m interested in why you believe what you wrote is relevant.

          • Eustace

            My comments are relevant because your casual Francophobia reveals an attitude of blame towards us for your immigrant problem.

            It’s not our fault if the foul stench of the trash heap of Europe that is England is attracting all sorts of interesting wildlife to feed on it.

            Agonise all you like over the fate of a few of their young. But don’t blame us for a problem you created for yourselves.

          • CliveM

            Interesting priorities. The blog is about the future and wellbeing of refugee children and you whine about ‘francophobia’.

            Get over yourself.

          • Eustace

            You use a blog post about child refugees as an excuse for some casual French bashing, and I’m the one with the interesting priorities???

            It’s all just virtue signalling anyway. Christians who cry “think of the children!” might as well be saying “look at me and how wonderful I am to think of the children!”

            If you were really thinking about the children you’d be doing something about their plight rather than sitting on your fat behind and pontificating about how something must be done.

            You don’t give a damn about those children. All you care about is that we should think you do. And if you can bash a few Frogs into the bargain, so much the better.

            That’s as far as your Christian goodwill stretches, I think.

          • CliveM

            “All you care about is that we should think that you do”

            Let me give you a promise Linus. There isn’t an opinion you have, that I give a damn about. Whether it’s about me or anything else. Although mostly I notice, your opinions seem to be about yourself.

          • Inspector General

            Marvellous idea here, ageing fruit…

            Why don’t you go to the camp and set up an LGBT group. You can fly your lovely flag all over, have weekly Pride marches, convince the inmates of the benefits of gender free ablutions, and of no male age of consent.

            Then, all the men can marry each other and adopt the little ones and have gay friendly families. The trannys could put on drag shows for entertainment and work as prostitutes at night.

            We’ll have a whip round at Cranmer’s and give you a fully equipped STD clinic in a tent, HIV testing, flavoured condoms and enough bum lube to sink a battleship.

            Tell you what, you’ll be building you own wall in no time at all to keep an envious world OUT!

            Cheery pip!

          • Eustace

            I have a better idea. Let’s send the British border police packing, fling the Eurotunnel gates open wide and let the migrant problem solve itself.

            They’ll soon be turning up on your doorstep, old bigot. Do with them what you will.

          • Inspector General

            You could be their ‘Queen’…

          • Merchantman

            Not sure His Grace would approve of a whip round- on this site. More likely Mrs Proudies Fete side show or whatever.

          • Inspector General

            Oh Lord! Just realised. Missed out 24 hour wall to wall queer porn at the camp cinema club…a must for the young ‘enthusiast’ choosing that way…

          • sarky

            Erm, think you’ll find open borders caused the problem and the fact that the Dublin agreement isn’t being enforced. It’s got feck all to do with us.

          • Eustace

            England is where they want to be so it’s got everything to do with you.

            France will deal with them if they remain in France, but they won’t stay here for long. Virtually none of them speak French. They almost all have some English.

            Get ready for the invasion. There’s nothing we can do to stop it.

          • DP111

            Just because they want to come to England doesnt mean they can. For instance, if they wanted to go to the USA, will France be demanding that America accept them?

          • It’s partly your fault for keeping them all there. You could put them all on planes back to the various African countries, and where ever else they’ve come from. How many special plane loads would it take 30 or 40 to the various destinations?

          • Eustace

            Repatriation of migrants in possession of no identity papers to countries that refuse to take them (because there’s no way of knowing whether they’re really citizens of that country) is a long and difficult process.

            Firstly identity must be established. A determined migrant can spin this out for months or even years by refusing to give his personal information. The French authorities may follow many false pistes before succeeding in identifying the individual, or they may not be able to identify him at all. The countries migrants come from have no DNA or fingerprint databases. Only the information provided by the migrant himself can identify him, and if he refuses to supply that information, he will never be identified.

            For those who can be identified, a passport then has to be obtained from their country of origin, which again can take months as the services that handle this kind of request are overwhelmed by the massive demand.

            But what about the migrants who just can’t be identified? Where would you then repatriate them to? Which country would take them? Do you expect France to fly planes full of people to countries they may or may not come from only to have to fly them back when that country refuses to admit them?

            The migrant problem is in large part intractable. These people don’t want to be sent back home and will fight deportation by every possible means. There is no easy solution for France in all of this. And at the end of the day, it isn’t out problem. They’re only here because they want to get to Britain.

            The best solution for France in all of this is to stop preventing migrants from trying to reach their destination. When Britain was a European partner we were bound by treaties that obliged us to deal with the migrants ourselves. Soon that will no longer be the case. And it’s likely that whoever wins the next presidential election will want to implement the simplest solution for France, which is opening the gates and washing our hands of the problem.

          • Line them up to see border control officers who can ask them their name and where they come from – they have got to come from somewhere, right. Going on what they say, finger print and iris record them then issue a document to deport them with and 100 Euro worth of that countries’ currency and escort them to the plane and off they go.

            If the country they say they are from rejects them then that’s not your responsibility. You’ve got to get some order there in Calais.

            Or you settle some in France, after all you are a lot bigger than the UK. You have plenty of run down empty villages and farms around the country. You need proper leadership.

          • DP111

            If the country they say they are from rejects them then that’s not your responsibility.

            Then take action and stop all EU aid to that country. As most of the EU aid ends up in the pockets of the dictators, they will soon open their borders.

          • Eustace

            And you need your head examined if you think we’re going to deal with your immigration problem for you.

            These migrants want to be in England, not France. In order for us to get rid of them, all we have to do is allow them through. We haven’t done so up till now because of an agreement negotiated with the British when they were still European partners and we had an obligation to help them protect their borders. That obligation will soon be a thing of the past.

            I’m with Sarko on this one. Boot the British border police off our soil, open the gates at Calais and let these people who do not want to be in France leave. Problem solved.

          • Merchantman

            ‘all we have to do is allow them through..’ Problem not solved Eustace because the Captain of the ship who lets them in wont be able to dock in Dover but will be sent back to Calais with his freeloading guests or left hanging about in the Channel.
            Ditto the train company that lets them board. Big fines too, this is how it works with airlines.
            You teach them French and they will make good citizens like the rest, I assure you.

          • And we’ll just refuse and send them back on the next ferry.

          • Malcolm Smith

            No doubt being an island has some advantages here in Australia, but we still know how to deal with illegal immigrants: we don’t let them loose on society and we don’t send them on their way. If you arrive in Australia illegally, you are immediately put into a prison, a holding camp, call it what you like, until we can get rid of you. If you have destroyed your passport and other identifying documents, and refuse to tell us where you come from, then you will remain inside until you do. If France were to round up all the occupants of the Jungle and do the same, you might find them more co-operative.

          • Eustace

            Immigrants who arrive in Australia want to be in Australia, so it’s up to Australia to deal with them.

            Many immigrants who arrive in France want to be in England. They don’t want to stay in France. All we care about is that they leave France, so whether they return home or go on to England is a matter of complete indifference to us. If they’re not here, they’re no longer our problem.

            So why would we round them up, spend millions trying to repatriate them, when if they leave of their own accord, we no longer have a problem and can concentrate on the migrants whose destination of choice is France? There are many thousands of them from the former French African possessions and we have our hands full trying to deal with them. Why should we also deal with Britain’s problems?

        • Merchantman

          ‘And as you’re no longer be (sic) a European partner…blah…’
          Because we are the gatekeeper of Europe from the Atlantic, so you should watch our back.

          • Eustace

            Go ahead, open the gate wide and let all those terrible American and Canadian refugees through. And let’s not forget those swarming Icelandic hordes.

            Quaking in my boots, I am. With laughter.

        • Anton

          You’re absolutely right. We should cut our Welfare State so that they prefer to stay in the French system. That would kill two birds with one stone.

          • Eustace

            If you weren’t such a magnet, they wouldn’t be drawn to your shores.

          • Anton

            Do stop polarising this debate.

          • DP111

            I don’t see why we should change any of our internal policies. France and the EU created this problem. We weren’t asked as we were never in Schengen,

        • Dreadnaught

          Meekly go back home because you want them to?

          Your borders system let them into your Country in the first place – you lot send them home if they are crapping all over you. The Muslims already with you are slaughtering your people and you fight back with the proverbial Gallic Shrug – boff.

          • Eustace

            Send them back, or send them on their way? Much easier for us just to stop trying to prevent them reaching the destination they’re trying to reach.

            If you don’t like it, too bad. You’re not a European partner any more and the current agreement we have regarding migrants is bilateral rather than Europe-wide, and can therefore be suspended at any time.

            I say suspend the Le Touquet agreement and let Britain deal with its own migrant problem rather than artificially maintaining it on French soil.

          • Dreadnaught

            So you ignore France’s abject failure to control its own borders. Meh!

        • Royinsouthwest

          Is France a safe country? If so any genuine refugees in Calais are a French problem. Obviously it would be reasonable for Britain to consider taking those who have close relations in this country but the rest should stay in France at least until it is safe for them to return home.

          If they are not genuine refugees they should be repatriated. If they refuse to say where they came from or falsely claim to be from Syria, say, when they are from some other country then they could be taken to refugee camps on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. If Nato forces set up a safe enclave in Libya and built camps and infrastructure there then our navies could tow boats full of migrants to those camps.

          Few if any people would then be drowned trying to cross into Europe and eventually the numbers would drop, as happened with the Vietnamese boat people many years ago. At present, European navies are simply encouraging more people to come by providing a ferry service thereby making the problems worse.

          Economic conditions in many African countries have been improving, at last, in recent years. We should encourage this by removing tariffs on African exports to us and by doing more to combat corruption so more Africans benefit from economic growth in their countries.

          • Dreadnaught

            Agree especially the last paragraph. The very essence of the EU programme is a trading embargo, keeping out competition from the poorest countries who for many years have been calling for Trade not Aid.
            The Al-Shebab gangs in Somalia would not have been so attractive to its supporters if the industrial European fleets that hoover up every living sea creature they trawl through, had left them with their traditional sustainable fishing grounds.

          • Eustace

            Refugees are thinking, breathing people who can make up their own minds where they want to be. If we do grant them asylum in France, it will just delay their arrival in the UK. That’s where they want to be. We can’t keep them here against their will.

            And as for this idea of setting up refugee camps on the southern shore of the Mediterranean, are you still living in the 19th century when Britain was an imperial power and could just walk into a country and steal bits of it at will? These are sovereign nations we’re talking about. Are you planning on annexing one of them? Which one? Libya? Good luck with that.

            Migrants are a fact of our time. Much of the current crisis has been sparked by war in the Middle East, so bringing that conflict to an end should stem the flow. But it wont stop it altogether. There are also many migrants who come from sub-Saharan Africa and are motivated not by war or even insupportable poverty, but rather by the fact that Western culture is now a globalized phenomenon and they want to be at the centre of things. Young French speaking Africans come to Paris and as a result there are many thousands of clandestine “sans papiers” who arrive here illegally. Short of erecting barbed wire fences along the entire length of the Mediterranean coast, there’s not much we can do to keep them out. The navy picks up many of them, but many more get through. That’s the reality of human migration. You cannot close a border hermetically unless you fence it off, and even then, some will still get through.

            For every French speaking African who arrives in France, there’s an English speaking African who wants to get to England. They come here first because it’s a step along the way. The Channel is no more of a protection than the Mediterranean, so unless you’re prepared to seal off the entire south coast with barbed wire and close the tunnel, they will get through. And you’ll have to deal with them as we have to deal with our immigrants.

            Rather than telling us it’s our problem to deal with, a more intelligent response would be to recognize your own responsibilities and deal with them. Migrants will get through whether you like it or not. It is not our responsibility to guard your borders. That’s the reality of the situation and if you continue to ignore it and just shout that the French should send all these people back, we’ll get so pissed off with your intransigence that we’ll simply stop cooperating altogether.

            But then the English no longer want to cooperate, do they? You voted for isolation, so now you’re going to have to deal with your problems on your own.

        • DP111

          Let England deal with a problem of its own making.

          The problem was not created by England but by the criminally irresponsible policy of the EU. The EU demanded that we give up the right to defend our borders, then failed to do so itself. Deliberately.

          Therefore, relocate the Calais jungle to Brussels. Its France’s responsibility to do so. They should have turned back the migrants at their southern borders, as that is the norm.

          • Merchantman

            All to do with weak minded people who run the EU. Sooo glad we are leaving. Not a moment too soon. Then we can have the Gurkhas guard the tunnel, Or fill it in might work just as well.

      • Dreadnaught

        Its the definition of ‘children’ that needs to be clarified. A ‘child’ in Danish hostel tried to rape a female member of staff one night and ended up murdering her. From his foto he was no more a child than I am and must have at least been 20+.
        The little cherubs above are not at all representative of unaccompanied children in Calais.
        Another contrick that illegal migrants resort to in duping gullible Westerners.
        Coming from unstable lands where child soldiers are the norm, even ISIS use them in executions, makes our under 18 years classification of ‘child’ a nonsense in these circumstances.

        • Mike Stallard

          I so agree!

        • dannybhoy

          I agree.
          Here’s the problem for me; if it is only from our Muslim communities that terrorists come, if even young people born and brought up here turn to terrorism, or go abroad to fight; why would we bring more in?
          I really don’t understand it.
          We have a serious problem in some of our jails where inmates are being radicalised. We have vicars now under possible threat of attack. and we have Muslim schools teaching radical ideas.
          Yet we want to bring more in!
          Why?
          Why would anybody in their right mind want to increase the likelihood of a major terror attack here in the United Kingdom.

          • Dreadnaught

            Dan; you can only be ‘radicalised’ if you want to; this is now in common parlance to avoid the truth coming out that Islam is truly radical in that it sets out what it demands in the immutable Koran.
            Britain has gone belly soft on crime and punishment so much so that prison is not regarded as a punishment, but a so called opportunity for the crim to turn away from crime.
            Did you read that Peter Sutcliffe discharged to prison is converting to Muslim because the food is so much better and his new found brothers will afford him protection seeing as how he battered to death women – specially prostitutes.
            I kid Ye not.

          • dannybhoy

            I suppose, -no, I was hoping, for a response from my fellow Christians. I know where you stand, and as a loyal citizen I agree with you.
            But as a Christian I find it hard to understand why my fellow Christians feel that they should welcome in people who might actually intend our destruction, whether now or in the future.

          • Dreadnaught

            There is stupidity… and wilful stupidity; the latter are they of whom you speak because they care for nothing in the real world, having convinced themselves they are bound for glory up in the Fairyland of their imagination.

          • Anton

            The entire human race has not been in its right mind since the events of Genesis 3.

          • Because doing the right thing by the vulnerable and needy brings its own reward.

          • dannybhoy

            As I have said before, the compassionate and humane thing to do would have been to set up as many secure camps in safe areas round about as necessary; supplied and protected by Western forces.
            As a Christian I can and do give to charities involved in helping refugees, but as a citizen I have a responsibility to act in a way that ensures the safety and security of my own country. If Christians living in Muslim nations continue to be targets for Muslim hostility and abuse, on what basis do you assume that given enough numbers they won’t do that here in the West?
            I do not see what benefits the Islamic religion brings to the West, I only know that globally Islam teaches (and practices) hatred and subjugation of Jews and Christians.

          • CliveM

            Regards your first paragraph, I would agree. But it didn’t happen and we have to deal with today’s reality.

          • dannybhoy

            So today’s reality must be that we seek to reunite them with family where they came from rather than here. Look, we know for a fact that extremists willingly use children to carry out attacks on their enemies. Of course most of these children probably won’t but some might.
            http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/03/26/documentary-exposes-hamas-indoctrination-training-of-child-soldiers/

            https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/12/children-suicide-attacks-boko-haram-unicef-nigeria

          • But we didn’t and haven’t and noble ideas will not help these children.

  • Martin

    Unaccompanied refugee children? How did they manage to cross a continent alone? Is it like hiding behind a bush wile your short skirted, attractive girlfriend thumbs a lift only to jump out when a car stops.

  • Martin

    Clive

    I report on what I’ve heard. 😉

  • Inspector General

    Yes. How one sympathises. To have wicked parents who’ve abandoned you to fate is the most awful of things.

    The moral responsibility for the children lies with the French, of course. Just as a whole crowd of them camped at Dover hoping to get to France would be the responsibility of the British. If you want to stop the world sending their unaccompanied little ones around the planet, make sure you thwart them that do. That will put a stop to it, you see.

    By the way, the Inspector hopes it’s not getting too much for Baroness Trafford, or any other noble whatever who sits in that house. On his single visit to the Lords, in the mid 70s, the then Junior Inspector was astounded to have a dozing Shinwell pointed out to him. Perhaps a simple test for intending attendees – putting wooden blocks in the right hole. That kind of thing. Just to prove they are still with us…

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    No Inspector, the moral responsibility for the children lies with the parents.

    • Inspector General

      If any of the mites make it to Barchester, Mrs Proudie, do let the Inspector know. He can arrange gainful employment for them, pouring phosphorous in Barchester’s Chemical Weapons Manufactory. The owner says he needs all the labour he can get, having won a contract to supply the Syrians…

  • dannybhoy

    Lol!

  • Mike Stallard

    I teach English to migrants and we have had no less than six “children” to our lessons. I call them lorry boys myself. I asked an expert (she is 14 years old) how many of them were 14 too. After careful appraisal, she told me that the youngest was well over 18.

    Let us not get tied up over the word children. These young men are highly skilled – you have to be to get here from Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Ethiopia and Afghanistan for heaven’s sake. In no way are the ones I have met (through Social Services) anything like the picture at the top. Der Spiegel agrees.

    Obviously several real children are out there and they need a lot of tlc. Nevertheless, let us not be sentimental – and virtue signalling at other people’s expense is disgusting.

  • Dreadnaught

    The simple fact is that many, many would-be immigrants are giving thousands of pounds to the people smugglers when for the same amount, they could have safely bought plane tickets in their homelands or nearest country. But that would have been tricky as they would have to present their passports on arrival and a free house and all the benefits not guaranteed… and we couldn’t have that now could we. Gatecrashing the party is cheaper than bringing a bottle.
    There is a saying in Kenya ‘take the honey off the table and the ants won’t bother you’ – and we are supposed to be the educated society.

  • The Explorer

    The picture creates an impression of vulnerability, and those in the picture may indeed be vulnerable, but several commentators have raised valid queries about the age/behaviour of those children who are not shown

    In this I am reminded of the Trayvon Martin case, which is significant in all sorts of ways. Martin was seventeen when he was killed (in self-defence) by George Zimmerman. Photos of him at seventeen suggest someone well capable of being as dangerous as he was. Those elements of the media on his side thus posted pictures of Martin at the age of ten, in which he looks like a choirboy.

    Perfectly genuine: that’s what he looked like when he was ten. But he wasn’t ten when he bashed George Zimmerman’s head on concrete. He was seventeen.

    • Dreadnaught

      That picture I bet, almost certainly wasn’t taken at Calais.

      • Orwell Ian

        It wasn’t. The picture is from Reuters and was taken in Jordan.

  • chefofsinners

    Any asylum seeker who deliberately leaves their child in France is not welcome in my country.
    The question Welby should be asking is “Why aren’t the parents being sent back immediately?”
    By the way. Anyone know why eunuchs have such a social conscience? Because nobless oblige.

  • The Explorer

    Photos of all 200 of the Calais children involved (who, as Orwell Ian points out, do not include the three shown) would be informative.

  • God, what a heartless crew this weblog is becoming when Europe of Muslims is the subject matter.

    The question posed:

    This is about 200 unaccompanied refugee children with family members already in the UK. How are they not the moral obligation of Her Majesty’s Government? Why should they not find sanctuary on Britain’s shores? With aunts, brothers or grandparents in Coventry, why are these children trapped in the Calais squalor, crying alone, searching bins for food, sleeping in tents with strange men?

    The only answer is that they are the moral obligation of Britain.

    • len

      I’m inclined to agree with you Jack even if it is only temporary until a proper investigation can be made.

      • IanCad

        Same here.

      • David

        Temporary ? Be realistic. Once they are on UK soil thanks to the dreadful “Human Rights” acts that criminals use against us, courtesy of the European bandwagon, they hardly ever leave. Moreover we also find ourselves supporting their vast families.

    • Where are the parents of these 200 unaccompanied ‘refugee’ children?

      These people use their children any way they can. That picture is not of children in Calais at all. It’s one that had been taken in Jordan some time ago.

      You’re a softie HJ and easily taken in where children are concerned, but all is not as it seems.

    • The Explorer

      If we are invoking God, it is worth pointing out to God that God has a lot to answer for in allowing Islam to flourish in the first place. That flourishing has generated the current conflict, and the consequent refugee crisis.

      I recall in ‘The Kite Runner’ kids being deliberately blinded by their parents so they could be used for begging. Is the situation highlighted in this thread a less extreme instance of the same parental principle?

      • Dreadnaught

        Look at any media portrayal of a stream of migrants or a boat and you will see that they bust a gut to either start or finish on a close-up of a child or adult carrying a child. What they don’t do is show how representatively proportionate that shot is, compared to the overall number of strapping, youthful young men that will form by far the majority.
        This is all part of the guilt tripping sensationalism because the media is so predominately manned by the left wing/liberal journalist cadres [obviously the good guys], who regard patriotism, realism and pragmatism, as typical extreme far-right fanaticism; or to put it another way – the general public [the bad guys].

      • You want to blame God for the degeneracy of the West that is inviting Islam in?

        • The Explorer

          No, I’m blaming God for allowing Islam to exist. In ‘Animal Farm’, Benjamin the donkey is told to be thankful for his tail so that he can brush away the flies. He says he’d rather the flies didn’t exist in the first place.

          Attila the Hun was “the scourge of God”. If you’re saying God is comparably using Islam to punish the degeneracy of the West, then you have a point. If I attempt a theodicy of Islam, it’s akin to the existence of Gollum in ‘The Lord of the Rings’: “he may have his part to play before the end”. And he does. Islam, comparably, may well be crucial to the End Times, whenever they may be.

          • Jack is saying degeneracy brings it own evils and Islam may be one amongst many. If you believe God’s laws are in place to bring individual and societal happiness, then breaches of His law will have consequences.

      • Merchantman

        Sad to say its the same. Plus I’m pretty sure Islam flourished, if that’s the right word, despite God. I say this because its hard to find a link between the Bible and Koran, except the Koran was written to nix out the former and Redemption through our Saviour Jesus Christ.

    • David

      Many of these claiming to be “children” are in fact adults.

      • CliveM

        Do you have numbers?

        • The Explorer

          Does anyone?

      • And many are children …..

    • The Explorer

      “This is about 200 unaccompanied refugee children.” Is it? How do we know?

    • Orwell Ian

      Should we really let our hearts rule our heads in a climate of widespread radicalisation, criminality and terrorist infiltration? If we are heartless then I trust we are not brainless.

      Moral obligation needs to be exercised with a great deal of shrewdness and common sense where Islam is concerned. The true ages, background and temperament of these children need to be established. Innocence is quickly lost in a war zone and they could be anything from helpless refugees to streetwise thugs or even child soldiers with combat experience. The alleged family link has to be proven by DNA testing. We also need to examine what we know about the families they would join, would they put the children at risk of radicalisation, exploitation or sexual abuse etc.

      • Dreadnaught

        The average British person is not heartless. One on one I suggest they would seriously help a fellow human in distress.
        What is stupid, is to think that charity and compassion is the preserve of tub-thumping Christians.
        What has made matters worse, is that successive Governments have made being on social security benefits so comfortable for our own feckless, lame and lazy that is has made this country an accessible Eldorado for migrants not prepared to apply for residency through the established channels, but opt to fake asylum. We compound this by not sending them back, through incompetence and the lack of the robust will to make it a priority.

      • Be prudent, of course – but get one’s finger out and get on with it. Was the Good Samaritan prudent?

    • Anton

      If they have family members legally in the UK then Yes – for these 200. But make clear that repeats will not be treated the same way, otherwise hundreds more children will be abandoned by their parents. And if these 200 have family members who are ILLEGALLY in the UK then kick those adults out to Calais to rejoin their children.

    • Anton

      Well Jack, now we have seen photos of these strapping young men, and we have read how “charity workers” are encouraging them to lie about their age:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3855322/Now-migrants-arriving-London-hide-faces-BLANKETS-rounded-Calais-charity-workers-megaphones-asking-children-want-UK.html

      Have you altered your views?

      • CliveM

        I haven’t changed my view but I am angry at the abuse of the system. There are genuine young children who should be being helped.

  • len

    As soon as the Calais Jungle is cleared it will fill up again …and again….More will die in the attempt to cross the Mediterranean….

    Those behind the removal of the dictators in Iraq Libya and other areas had no plan for when these dictators and their armies were defeated.The people displaced by these wars were left to the mercy of the murderous gangs that rose up to take advantage of the chaos left behind by coalition forces.It would have been quite simple to have set up protected areas where aid could have been given to refugees until some sort of resolution to various conflicts could have been found.

    What we have now is a mixture of different groups including genuine refugees and economic migrants who have jumped on the bandwagon and undoubtedly members of terrorist groups mixed in with the rest.

    It is a complex problem and a solution will have to be found and fast.

  • DP111

    How is it that these children ended up in Calais, thousands of miles from Syria or Afghanistan?

    What kind of parents would let their children go on a dangerous journey, on foot or dinghy? What do they hope to gain from such a decision. Dont they care?

    There is something fishy here. Are we being taken for suckers.

    There seems to be an impression among many, that Christians are suckers, fools or both. They can be made to cough up, by simply appealing to their Christian duty. Well if you give in to this type of exploitation, then it is not Christian charity that may do good, but actually encouraging evil.

    I can understand a Christian or Yazidi parents sending their children into the unknown, as they would be killed if they stayed in Syria. But thats unlikely, as they would have been killed on the journey, if they were.

    We have the likely answer. They are here to exploit our Christian charity, so they and their parents can be allowed to enter Britain. This only brings closer the time when Britain will be an Islamic country.

    • So a good moral act depends not on the intrinsic merit and or its biblical basis, but a weighting of possible consequences. It’s better to ignore Jesus – just in case. There is right and wrong – and leaving 200 children in a hell hole when we can do something, is wrong.

      • If you feel that strongly about them take them in yourself. Open an orphanage.

      • David

        Acting without understanding the context and circumstances is foolishness.
        We must ask, are we acting to bring about good, or risking encouraging bad outcomes, even evil ones, by failing to understand what is really happening here ?

        • So leave the Jew attacked by bandits on the side of the road because it might be a set-up …..

          • Merchantman

            There used to be a time during and just after the colonial era when there were permitted Christian Hospitals, orphanages, and charities that operated in these countries to take care of the lost and poorest. Few remain because of islamic bigotry or nationalist pride.

      • The Explorer

        Remember the conundrum posed by Socrates at the start of The Republic’. Should you return a knife that you have borrowed? Well of course you should; returning what you have borrowed is a moral principle. But suppose the returned knife will be used to stab someone?

        • If you know it will be used to stab a person unlawfully, then a moral dilemma arises. If not, there’s no culpability. These children are in this situation for political reasons and general suspicions about Islam. They might be this; they might be that; their parents have done this; or might have done that.

          • Merchantman

            You really dont have a clue do you? You dont want to know the reality of how the muslim street thinks do you?
            The reality is the weaker you are the more will come. The more that come the more will follow.

          • The Explorer

            You suspect it might be used to stab someone, and so a hierarchy of values arises. The simple moral principle that you should return what you have borrowed becomes less clear-cut than it seems. As I said on another post, photos of the kids would give some clue as to ages. And the fact that the three kids shown are not from Calais is not helpful.

          • Jack said a moral dilemma arises .

            “Never give money to a beggar. They’ll only spend it on drugs.”

            The problem with this maxim is its cleverness. I am a man of conflicting desires. On the one hand, I want to keep my money, because I like money. On the other hand, I want to give to the poor, because it is good to give to those in need, and I desire the good. On the other hand, I want to go about my day without the interruption of a beggar, because I am selfish. On the other hand, I — a Christian, and worse, a Catholic — know that Christ wants me to break the pitiful shell of selfishness that petrifies me from reaching out towards my neighbor — to help.

            Now the brilliance of the maxim is that it allows me to reconcile these conflicting desires — by doing nothing at all. I may keep my money, and more than that, keep it for the very reason I may have been inspired to give it away — for the benefit of the needy, who are benefited by my not supplying their potential drug addiction. I may walk past a beggar, and do it for the precise reason I may have stopped — I am called to help the poor, and it is no help to give money to a man who will “just spend it on drugs.” Miraculous! I may simulate the whole strength of moral feeling by doing nothing. I may walk past a beggar and say, “Thank you Lord, for helping me to show your love to the poor by aiding them in kicking their drug addictions by way of my generous not-giving.”

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/badcatholic/2013/09/giving-your-money-to-drug-addicts.html

            Don’t rescue refugee children they are a danger ….

          • The Explorer

            There’s a D J Enright poem about a Westerner giving money to a beggar in a communist country. The police intervene, since begging is a result of capitalism and does not exist under communism. The beggar is arrested and taken away for re-education, and the Westerner is reported to his embassy.

            Apparently based on a real episode.

          • The Explorer

            The Good Samaritan gives me more trouble than any other parable. Nicholas Monsarrat novella ‘Something to Hide’ sums up the difficulty. A compassionate motorist picks up a pregnant girl. She exploits him and moves in with him, and abandons the baby when it dies. In a panic he burns the corpse, is reported by a Jewish neighbour, and is arrested for murder. His compassion has been his ruin.

            That’s an extreme example, but I know several real-life examples where well-meaning attempts to be good Samaritans – most often financial – have backfired.

      • Anton

        You are very confident what Jesus would do.

        Leave the philosophy to philosophers and other time-wasters, and consider the specific situation.

        • You’re not a proportionalist, Anton? We’re all given reason and the teachings of scripture and there are absolute moral laws that apply in all circumstances. In addition, we also receive the gift of charity. If a child needs care and attention it should be provided.

          • Anton

            You rightly say that if a child needs care and attention then it should be provided, but you don’t say by whom, if their relatives have abandoned them. I take the humanitarian aspect of this seriously, but DNA tests to verify that they have relatives legally resident in the UK must be made as quickly as possible. Meanwhile France has a duty of care toward them, upon which we should insist. Please define “proportionalist” in this context.

  • John

    This is an appalling situation and absolutely heartbreaking. But if my children were stuck unaccompanied at a foreign border fence after I had emigrated to a new country, I wouldn’t wait for some shiftless government border agency to sort it out for them; I would swim shark infested waters and not sleep until I found them, hugged them tight and promised them I would protect them and never leave them.

    • The Explorer

      If you had never left them, the situation would not have arisen in the first place. Your sentiments are admirable. Are they universal?

  • Malcolm Smith

    Jesus said we should be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. So let us try the first option, and ask a few questions:
    Who are these children and how old are they?
    How have their identities and ages been authenticated?
    How did they get to Calais?
    Did they have any adult guardians en route to Calais? Are the guardians still available?
    What have the parents done in order to assist them in Calais?
    What are the parents doing in the UK in the first case, if their children were back in the home countries? What are the immigrant status of these parents?
    It may well be that there are perfectly reasonable answers to all these questions, which would require us to welcome these children with open arms. But it would be useful to see the answers first.

  • Can someone explain how all these “unaccompanied” children got to Calais by themselves. I believe they were accompanied by their parents as far as Calais and then left by themselves. Once the children get to Britain their parents will suddenly appear and be allowed to join them.
    And how many are actually children? A Swedish doctor examining under 18s claiming to be children considered many were well into their twenties and on to be as old as forty!

  • len

    Some of the children in Calais might actually be orphans?. Women might be widows?. Who knows the facts?.
    There are almost certainly economic migrants amongst the refugees who are exploiting the situation for their own benefit but should this rule out the genuine refugees?.

    • Anton

      How to tell who’s who?

      • len

        No idea.I suspect this will be a major sticking point?.

  • Busy Mum

    Why would the British govt ‘reunite’ children with the adults who abandoned them in the first place? Why would anybody sitting in the House of Lords suggest such a thing?
    If I were to leave my child sitting in a parked car alone for more than fifteen minutes, I’d be frowned upon – or worse – by government agents such as social workers and police.

    • Dreadnaught

      Because none of these people carry documents they can fabricate any amount of stories regarding ‘relatives’ in the UK. We don’t even know whether they have criminal backgrounds or clean health records.
      I can’t blame the people. I blame our Authorities for not cracking the whip to remedy the situation.

      • Busy Mum

        They are too busy cracking the whip at indigenous people who have too much common sense.

      • Anton

        They can’t fabricate their DNA…

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The situation seems very murky. First of all, who is claiming that some children have relatives in the UK? Who has this information? The children themselves? If so, then it shouldn’t be difficult to verify their claims. If a child has parents in the UK then that begs the question; what the hell are they doing there without their children? If they have abandoned their kids then they need to prosecuted for child cruelty; not re-united. To reunite children with such hard-hearted parent would probably put them at as much risk as being in the Jungle.

    It is claimed that around 10,000 refugee children have gone missing across Europe. Missed by whom exactly? Does missing mean dead or have they mingled with the population? What are other European governments, including the French, doing to help these children? We’d all agree that children, especially young ones need protection. If nobody else can provide that protection then the state has to step in. The problem is that because these children are heading for the UK (who told them to do that?) it is assumed that the UK alone is responsible for them.

    For those young children who have aunts and uncles here then there is a case for allowing them in. It is however, a small solution for a vulnerable few. It shouldn’t be a pre-cursor to relaxing border controls.

    • Merchantman

      Do they have relatives in their country of origin?
      I know its shocking but it used to be the case, that with some Muslim populations children were mutilated so they could beg better for the family. Whether this is still the case I don’t know.

  • DP111

    I remember some months back, in Greece, a scene of a strapping young
    man, holding a fairly young and distraught child, as high as he could,
    so the camera could see how upset the child was. The child was
    frightened, no doubt, with all the shouting and shoving going on. Any
    compassionate person would have removed the child to somewhere quiet,
    and consoled the poor child.

    But not the young man, and all the others
    around him. They wanted Europe to see. And whose fault was this of a distraught child? . Obviously
    Europe’s. There was no concern for the child. The child was merely a tool to open the gates to Europe. This is pure evil.

    There is another consideration. Even if we allowed tens of millions of
    Muslims into Europe, Muslims will not see this as evidence of Christian
    charity, and thus come to Christ. They will see this as further
    evidence of ” Allahu Ackbar”, ie Allah is greater, and has softened
    the Infidels mind, so that Islam can enter the citadel of the ancient
    enemy. They will thank Allah for it, and confirm their attitude that Allah is the true god, while the Christian God is false, and a wimp.

    In a strange way,
    Christianity and Islam are complements of each other. In the most
    dangerous category of this complementarity, is that Christian martyrs
    are people who are killed or die for the faith, while Muslims are
    martyrs who die while killing Christians.

    Further, if Islam is complementary to Christianity, then what we have here is a war on a battlefield that is not just physical.

  • The Explorer

    Peter Hitchens makes the point that if the entire Calais Jungle were emptied tonight and the whole contingent brought across to Britain, within three weeks it would be full again with the same numbers as at present.

    • Of course it will, he’s right. That would be encouraging even more to come to the UK. We’d end up in the same situation as Germany last year as each time the camp got emptied more would fill it up.

    • DP111

      In fact faster, as the migrants, from the shores southern Italy to Somalia, will know in less then 1 minute, that the gates to the UK are open.

    • CliveM

      But this post isn’t about letting all the refugees in, or even all the children in, but simply the circa 200 who are believed to have family already in the UK.

      I agree with HJ, they should be let in now.

      • The Explorer

        I think Hitchens’ point (in a Sunday discussion about letting in the kids) was that allow in this 200 and there will very soon be another 200, and another 200 after them, and another 200 ater them and another 200..

        • CliveM

          There is a risk in all that we do, but we are still called to do what is good and right.

          • The Explorer

            We are called to do what’s good and right. The difficulty is deciding what’s good and right.

          • CliveM

            Protecting the wellbeing of children is always a good.

          • The Explorer

            There’s an interesting short story by Roald Dahl. A mother has had miscarriages, and the doctors are fighting to save the life of the latest baby. The last line (I’m paraphrasing from memory) is, “I think this one will live, Mrs Schicklgruber.”

          • CliveM

            I’m not sure what I’m meant to take from this. All babies are to be killed just in case they father the next Hitler?

          • The Explorer

            You said, “Protecting the wellbeing of children is always a good.” Dahl disagrees. He points out that a humane action can have a malign result. The doctors save the life of a baby who grows up to prevent the lives of other babies.

            What the doctors did was right, but not good, but they could not do otherwise: they had no way of knowing how Hitler would turn out. However, although we cannot determine the future of an individual, we can, with reasonable accuracy, determine the future of the cohort of which an individual is a member.

          • CliveM

            A person can only act on the information he has. To save a child’s life is both moral and good. Where do we take this otherwise? How many generations have to pass, with no murderers, rapists etc before we can safely say that saving this child’s life was a good?

            Ronnie Barker was, as these things are measured, a good man. His son a paedophile. If he had had a serious childhood illness would not saving his life be a good? (He didn’t by the way!)

            Everyone, especially children, have a right to me judged on their own merits. To punish them for adults behaviour seems wrong to me.

          • The Explorer

            “A person can only act on the information he has.” You, Dahl and I are all agreed on that.

          • dannybhoy

            Very good!
            I think commonsense would dictate that to open one’s home or nation to a people of a religion which has historically been at war with Jews and Christians and anybody else is an act of foolishness not compassion.
            Had Hitler come up with the same idea of sending stormtroopers to England disguised as refugees or Anglophiles, would our forefathers have let them in?

          • Inspector General

            Hitler allowed Himmler to use muslims in the SS. That’s how much he hated Christianity…

          • Merchantman

            Of course we are called to do what is good and right. I just dont think its our problem. I would for instance though send food blankets and tents for these children and after a hot meal, bar of chocolate or two send them home care of Air France.
            What did the good Samaritan do? He crossed the road etc. He didn’t take the man who fell amongst thieves home. He saw him right though, and so should we.

      • Dreadnaught

        If they are indeed vulnerable, unaccompanied children like the ones in the picture, the French authorities would have taken them into their care long before now if only to a place of safety.
        But no; to refuse such an accommodation is not in the capacity or understanding of a child.

        • CliveM

          As I have said, I don’t believe we should hide behind French moral deficiencies.

          • Anton

            If we don’t point out to France its duties of care under its own constitution then logically we could soon end up paying much of the French social security bill !

          • CliveM

            I’m happy for France to be pilloried for its moral incompetence, but we should still help these 200.

          • Dreadnaught

            How can you say that to the exclusions of all the children in the world who are destitute and alone. Where do you draw the moral line of disengagement?

          • CliveM

            I say we don’t do nothing simply because we can’t do everything. One life saved is a victory.

      • sarky

        You let them in, then 200 more will trafficked, then 200 more, then more and more and more.
        You want to stop this, then we need to work with the French and take out the traffickers. Then we need to set up safe zones guarded by a joint military task force to allow these people to live safely in their own countries.
        The asylum system in this country then needs to be revised so only genuine refugees are taken in, with the rest being deported within 3 months.
        Then tackle the welfare system and the black economy, thus cutting off the snakes head.
        I grant none of this is easy, but with political will could be done.

        • CliveM

          Sarky, from your second paragraph onwards, why would letting these 200 in, stop what you propose? I don’t see this as either/or.

        • Inspector General

          Blimey! You’ll be voting Conservative next…

  • Inspector General

    More interesting comments today. Well done all who contributed.

    The whole business is full of ironies, but the biggest irony of all in the Inspector’s opinion is that these people are not escaping for any of the reasons that would grant them asylum. Includes the children too. They will disappear into their own communities in England, such has been the intensity of unwise immigration the Labour people saddled us with, and be hardly noticed.

    Makes you wonder why they bother…

    Ah! There is the colossal benefits they’ll be drawing, some of which will be ‘sent home’ and the chance to make more illicitly. And even if they do break the law, which is most likely as they will exhibit behaviour that may well be acceptable where they came from, like persecuting fellows who wish to leave Islam, and certainly won’t be in England, the worst they can fear is a few years at most in a cosy prison.

    That might be it…

  • Shadrach Fire

    “With aunts, brothers or grandparents in Coventry, why are these children trapped in the Calais squalor, crying alone,…”
    How is it that these children are in these camps on their own and how did they even manage to get there. It seems to me that there is a lot of manipulation going on by the refugees en-masse.
    Which countries have facilitated their onward travel across Europe and why are the relatives already in the Uk and the children left behind?

    • Inspector General

      When the Victoria Climbe case was around, it turned out that sending these children half way across the world alone was down to one of two reasons…

      First – to secure the parent(s) emigration to care for said child.

      Second – to be contacted again in the future, usually by the mother, who will write begging letters for money.

      That’s it. That’s stinking humanity for you…

      Now, if the airlines responsible for said passage were heavily fined for lone children being exploited thus, could we see less of it….

  • No girlfriend of Martin’s would dare wear a short skirt.

    • CliveM

      We don’t know, he may have an unexpected adolescence! Many examples in history. St. Francis springs to mind.

  • Eh …. where are all of Jack’s erudite and carefully considered comments?

    Better format, easier to navigate and it loads far more quickly.

    • We’re just waiting for the most recent comments to download again from Disqus. They should return later.

      • CliveM

        There’s no hurry, we can live without HJ’s comments!

        • dannybhoy

          I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms already
          (Got the sweats..)

          • CliveM

            Have a cold shower then!

            Where is Mrs Proudie!

          • dannybhoy

            Sent Mr Slope to fetch a loofah while she produces the hobnobs….

        • Grouchy Jack

          Grrrr …………….

    • dannybhoy

      Jack, re the children in Calais; the British government could negotiate with Jordan or Turkey (very pro Europe) and underwrite the costs of flying the children to safety and paying the costs of looking after them nearer home…?

      • … and their parents?

        • dannybhoy

          Them too, although I understood the children were unaccompanied.
          Another thought; would there be room in Dundrennan do you suppose? A whole new community could be established..

        • dannybhoy

          ps Jack, consider…
          “British-Iranian mother jailed for five years on ‘secret charges’ in Iran ”
          http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/british-iranian-mother-jailed-five-years-secret-charges-iran-1580608
          Maybe Iran would take them in?
          This is how they treat a British citizen and mother -by jailing her for five years.
          I have been signing petitions for her release for a few months now.. It has its own reward…

          • So we descend to the level o the Iranians? Is that what you’re suggesting?

          • dannybhoy

            I’m suggesting that people who despite all the evidence from all the Islamic nations where Christians are abused and attacked, still insist on risking their national security through more terrorist attacks out of a misguided sense of ‘compassion’ are both scatty and misguided.

    • Anton

      “where are all of Jack’s erudite and carefully considered comments?”

      I’ve been looking for those for a very long time!

      • Grouchy Jack

        No good looking if you’re blind.

        • Anton

          I’ve just looked if I’m blind, and I’m not.

  • Uncle Brian

    Congratulations, Your Grace, on the successful transubstantiation, metamorphosis, or reincarnation. We seem to have lost the portrait gallery, including an earlier Archbishop Cranmer and the present Queen Elizabeth, along with what I believe was the interior of Westminster Abbey, but there had been rumblings of discontent among some of the congregation about the long time it took for that banner to unfurl. We also seem to have lost the earlier comments on this thread, as Happy Jack has already noticed, but I imagine they’ll turn up sooner or later in the left luggage at Disqus.

    All those clickable ads for Amazon.co.uk will no doubt mean some small change dropping into Your Grace’s collection box, so that’s a step in the right direction.

    • Correct regarding the comments. Just waiting for Disqus.

    • dannybhoy

      Quite right. The trend is for websites to allow advertising to bring in revenue. If we don’t or can’t keep this site afloat financially, the Bishop must resort to other avenues…

    • Anton

      Yes, I wish, very strongly, not to complain at the loss of the pic that included Rowan Williams.

  • DP111

    Where have all the comments gone?

    I clicked on the rest of the comments, but its back to the five that are visible. I hope this is just a temporary teething problem.

    • CliveM

      Probably in the neck as this will be exposed, whereas the torso will be protected by a stab proof vest.

  • CliveM

    I am still getting disqus notifications that comments have been added (I set my a/c up so I get copy of comments by e-mail), but they are not appearing here.

    I use a smartphone and the layout is a little less user friendly but not a problem.

    • dannybhoy

      You may need to upgrade your smartphone too. They do battery powered models now.

      • CliveM

        You told me you don’t like smartphones, how would you know!!

        • dannybhoy

          I have one, I just don’t use the smart bits.
          I feel unworthy….

      • Anton

        He needs the exercise of keeping that dynamo turning!

  • Shadrach Fire

    Transubstantiation? Are we Roman Catholic now? Never satisfied with where we are, needs must that we set off for pastures new.