Calais migrants 2
Ethics & Morality

Swarm, flock or multitude, Christ walks among the Calais migrants

 

“This is very testing,” admitted David Cameron. “I accept that, because you have got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs, it’s got a growing economy, it’s an incredible place to live,” the Prime Minister told ITV. “But we need to protect our borders by working hand-in-glove with our neighbours, the French, and that is exactly what we are doing,” he added, making absolutely sure that the Élysée Palace was left in no doubt about Anglo neighbourliness and Franco obligation.

And, behold, a certain politician / journalist / charity worker / human-rights advocate tempted him, saying, Prime Minister, who are these “swarms” of migrants? Is that not irresponsible, dehumanising language? Is it not extremely inflammatory, not to say deeply insensitive, to deride desperate migrants as flying ants, to be swatted aside or crushed underfoot? These are people – men, women and children, fleeing hardship, conflict, persecution and suffering. They come from Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria, risking their lives and gambling all they have in a desperate attempt to make a better life in the UK.

“Working hand in glove with our neighbours” are we? And who is our neighbour?

The Calais migrants may be a swarm to the Prime Minister, playing a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse as the vermin gnaw through barbed-wire fences and storm the Channel Tunnel, clinging for dear life to high-speed freight trains or squeezed into the undercarriage of a lorry heading for Birmingham. But they are a precious flock to Jesus; a multitude who hunger for daily bread and thirst for the water of life, just like we English and our neighbours, the French. He walks among them, past their stinking toilets to their homespun tents. And on Sundays He sits beside them as they worship in the plastic pews of their cardboard churches, listening to their prayers of hope and cries of misery.

A certain Sudanese migrant went up from Darfur to Calais, and on the way he fell among Libyan thieves, who stripped him of his coat and stabbed him, leaving him half dead.
And by chance there came down a certain Italian immigration officer: and when he saw him, he ordered him to leave Sicily. They gave him a free boat ride, and departed, leaving him to drown.
And likewise a French police officer, when he saw him, he looked in contempt and told him to leave the country. They gave him free train rides, and waved him through security.
But a certain Englishman, as he journeyed, came where he was sleeping on the streets: and when he saw him in his torn jeans, worn-out pumps and filthy T-shirt, he had compassion on him,
And went to him, and fed him, and gave him temporary accommodation in Birmingham, and handed him an 11-page document from the Home Office so he could apply to remain in Britain.
And on the next day, they asked him who saved him. And he said: “The British saved me.”

Which now of these three, do you think, was neighbour to the swarm of Calais migrants?

  • Albert

    Here’s an idea. Perhaps we could stop mucking up their countries and instead support them, and then maybe these people would want to stay in their homes.

    • The Explorer

      When the last boat sank in the Mediterranean, one of the survivors was a Ghanaian footballer who had heard he could earn more in Europe. Among the asylum seekers in Calais are East Africans (Ugandans and Kenyans, I assume).
      Are we still mucking up Ghana, Uganda and Kenya? If not, do they have a right because we once did? How far back into the past does entitlement go?

      • Albert

        It was Syria and Afghanistan, both mentioned in the OP that I had mind.

        • bluedog

          Wasn’t it the Taliban that mucked up Afghanistan? And before that the Soviet Union? As for Syria, it’s all their own work. We haven’t been there since 1916 (Sykes-Picot). No need for the rush to assume guilt on those two situations.

          • The Explorer

            Thank God that Cameron didn’t manage to take us into Syria.

          • bluedog

            He’s still keen. But after the debacle in Libya, now the point of departure for the swarms, even Cameron has lost some of his swagger. It’s ironic that while both Saddam and Gaddafi were tyrants, the power vacuum caused by their departure poses greater risks than they ever did.

          • Anton

            Yes indeed, as wiser men than Bush and Blair understood at the time.

          • Anton

            Yes, he’s still keen – but he’s changed sides!

          • Albert

            Perhaps Afghanistan you may be right, but the whole region has been destablized by Western policy over the last 15 years or so and longer, if you look at the long term causes.

          • Anton

            By Western policy you mean the USA? Let Obama take them then; he probably would like to.

    • This is the blow back from us and the French bombing Libya and getting rid of Gaddafi.I think the US should be doing more it’s their mess too.

    • Inspector General

      Nice idea, but wrong. You see, the world wide communications explosion has meant that the grass is not only greener in the northern countries of the world, but they can actually see the greenness on their screens…

      • Phil R

        Not that many years ago I worked in Africa for an extended period.

        The total wages bill for all 5 servants was less than £1 per day. 8 hours or more work.

        For all 5!

        I used to sit and have a beer with them after work. One day I realised that I spent more on this evening round of beer than on wages.

        But only slightly more.

  • The Explorer

    I was reading a report about sacked ferry workers burning tyres in Calais to block roads. Within it, there were details about a Syrian asylum seeker named Adam who said, “The English government has to accept the people who has a war in his country.” Adam needed a safe place.

    Fair enough, but is the English (he must be prophetic) government the only one that has to accept people who has a war, and is England the only safe place? Adam had arrived in Europe via Italy, and is planning to reach England via France. So why not a) Italy? b) France?

    If we re-write the story of the Good Samaritan, it is the victim who refuses help. He rejects the first two offers of assistance, and waits for the Englishman.

    • Gordon Tough

      Sweden takes in more asylum seekers than the UK, as does Germany. We need to be careful not to swallow the tabloid lies about the whole of the Middle East and Africa being on the move with “soft touch Britain” as their destination.

      • The Explorer

        My question related to Italy and France. In France, the asylum seekers have a safe place already. Why not settle there? I’m not talking hypotheticals; I’m talking the ones who are actually in Calais.

        • Gordon Tough

          My understanding is that if a person has a link to a country then they are entitled to claim asylum there. Why else would they leave a country which has a more liberal attitude to asylum seekers to come here?

          • Anton

            Because our benefits are more generous? And what link to Britain did you have in mind?

          • The Explorer

            What does a link to a country mean? Do Afghans have a link to Britain because of British military intervention, for example? And how far back does the link go? Britain had a link with Syria back in 1916. Does that still count? What was the historic link of current immigrants to Sweden?

            As I understand it, EU policy applies across EU nations. (May be exceptions if you didn’t sign up to the Schengen Agreement, but that makes Britain less accessible, not more.) So if you’re eligible in one country, you’re eligible in another. So if you’re eligible for asylum in Britain, you’re eligible for asylum in Italy and France. So if you choose Britain instead, despite a longer journey, what’s your motive? That’s the question I’m asking.

          • Dave Smith

            The problem with current European rules is that they are highly discriminatory. The Dublin 2 (or 3 – not sure if there’s another one) convention states that asylum seekers must seek asylum in the first country they come to. Sounds reasonable, until you realise that most asylum seekers come across the Med or in a lorry through Turkey. That means that the first EU countries will usually be Italy, Greece and Malta.
            That’s why David Cameron loves the Dublin Convention – it means we can send back anyone who has been fingerprinted to the country that fingerprinted them. We stick to the rules, we get hardly any asylum seekers, and we can chastise other countries for letting them pass through.
            So, what do the Italians now do? Face by thousands of new arrivals almost daily, they put them on trains heading North without fingerprinting them. Most will end up in Germany, France or Sweden, and some will be stuck in Calais trying to get over to the UK. Part of the solution would be to share out the numbers equitably, but that’s unlikely to happen because most countries are putting their own national interests first.
            Personally, my sympathies are with the Italians. We just happen to be the other side of a bit of water that’s easier to stop people crossing.

    • Sam

      This debate isn’t helped by the giant left wing propaganda machine that is the BBC: last week it was something attacking Israel on the panorama show , today just been watching the review of newspapers and both BBC guests are spouting a centre left view about this topic and others : the moderator doesn’t challenge, but accepts this as gospel . There’s no longer even the official pretence of balance. I don’t care about it being a left wing institution to the core, which it is . I just don’t think everyone should be paying for it via a de facto tax and pretend they’re balanced or neutral or you should be criminalized for not paying the license fee.

  • Anton

    Trouble is that the tale of the good samaritan was between individuals, not a government and an indefinitely large group of persons. I don’t believe the analogy is particularly accurate.

    Moreover there is a mix of people at Calais: some undoubted refugees, others who are essentially queue-jumpers in the due process of seeking immigration. If we can’t tell who’s who, are we morally obliged to take the lot?

  • Inspector General

    It seemed a good idea. The family would all chip in and send one of their own to England to be ‘given’ a house. It would be pricey, around three thousand in US dollars, but that would get you transport to the final coast, and bribes for French and English immigration officials. That must be how it works over there as in their own place, bribery will get you what you want.

    Once there, the lucky fellow would be showered with wealth. The British government would fill his pockets with pound notes, and lo, he would never have to work again. But he will, on the black, and get a wage of sorts to send back home. And then the day will come when, as an Englishman with papers to prove it, he can send over for the family. It would be a new start for them.

    And Christ walks amongst these chancers? Does he now? One would expect the devil himself there, but not Christ…

  • Stig

    Absolutely. The answer is to spread Christian charity to the countries they are fleeing. Don’t Christ command us to spread the Good News throughout the world? There are still places that need that Good News very badly.

  • bluedog

    It’s seems that as these sub-Saharan African migrants are mainly young single males they are probably homosexuals drawn to the UK by Cameron’s policy of SSM. Accordingly, if the SSM legislation is repealed, the problem should solve itself. In the meantime, Cameron only has himself to blame for the whole fiasco.

    • Inspector General

      There is no way a family would send over a homosexual, blue. Not at the family’s expense. Such an individual would fly in and claim asylum at his or her own expense. Which would be refused, as engaging in homosexual conduct is a lifestyle choice.

      • bluedog

        It’s too early to say, Inspector. The Muslims abhor homosexuality so one can well imagine that their gays are voting with their feet. Anyway, Linus will probably be along soon with some bon mots about the situation in Calais. He’ll know.

        • Inspector General

          One notes that commentators on PN are bemoaning the fact that London has become the most intolerant city in the UK for them, and attacks by brown people on the white so afflicted are now commonplace. You now queer in and around Tower Hamlets at your own risk, for example. Vigilante patrols by our newer citizens in the East End are also acknowledged. Lord knows what the unreported brown on brown situation is like…

          • The Explorer

            Interesting. More so than Birmingham, Leicester, Bradford, Dewsbury…? But maybe gays have fled those places already, the way they’ve fled Malmo and Amsterdam.

          • Inspector General

            They are an exclusive crowd, Explorer. Despite all this talk of equality they want to maintain their own lifestyles and privileges and bunch together. They have a similar outlook as have alien minorities who have (unofficially) rejected integration and wish to do their own thing, if they can get away with it. And why not, it is the way of man.

    • The Explorer

      France had SSm before we did. And they reach France before they reach Britain.

      • bluedog

        Whoops. So much for that theory. One gets the impression that the French are not trying terribly hard to help. After all, each migrant that crosses the Channel is one less to burden France.

        • Inspector General

          On the nail, blue. You have it exactly in as much as the problem from the French perspective is their inability to wave the unwanted through into the tunnel…

  • The Explorer

    We talk about the Houses of Parliament. We also talk about a parliament of owls. We do not mean thereby that politicians are owls. (Owls, after all, are symbolic of wisdom.)
    Graham Greene wrote about swarms of trippers to Brighton. (He meant there were a lot of them.) We also talk about a swarm of locusts. We need not thereby equate locusts and trippers. Locusts are destructive, but the trippers were welcomed because they spent a lot of money. Brighton, indeed, depended on them.
    To talk about “a swarm of people” seems to me to be a recognised term with a respectable pedigree. It need not mean that people are insects. It might simply mean that there are a lot of them. Which is true.

  • preacher

    IMO there is no ‘easy’ answer. The problem is that we are such a small country with our own employment & financial issues to resolve when compared with our European neighbours. As individuals I know that we have compassion for these homeless, lost ones, but we are limited in the capacity with which we can help them.
    The U.K has been sold to them as the land flowing with milk & honey, or rather peace & money, but if they knew how many of our own people live below the poverty line or are sleeping rough on our streets & in night shelters, the pressure on our NHS service & those that run it then perhaps they might see the ‘promised’ land in a different light.

    The nearest thing I can liken this to is the Exodus from Egypt, but this escape was undertaken after many signs from God & He proceeded to lead them by a pillar of cloud Or a pillar of fire – none of which is noted by any media coverage at present.
    Also of note is that the Egyptian Nation didn’t go with them & those that tried to stop them met with disaster & death in the in the Red Sea. Only the Israelites, & one assumes those adopted into their faith were allowed to go grumbling & moaning to seek the promised land.

    From it’s birth to the present day, the true followers of Christ have faced death, rejection, hardship & persecution. Perhaps as we look at our persecuted brothers & sisters it will wake up the slumbering army of Western ‘Christianity’ to the real battle that is now engaged in the spiritual realms. A conflict that we should prepare for in prayer & supplication.
    We cannot & must not ignore their suffering, perhaps supplying food water, tents & other essentials would be a good beginning in a practical sense, at least their present desperate plight & suffering would be met. until a better solution can be found.

    • The Explorer

      Without wishing to be flippant, if this is the Exodus, then we in Europe are the Canaanite nations. And look what happened to the Canaanite nations.

      • preacher

        Give the man a Cigar!!! I don’t think it will be the Christians that we need fear, that’s why I stipulated that the Egyptians were barred from following at the Red sea & of course currently, we have not seen any Divine signs to suggest that this is an Exodus of Biblical example.
        But let’s be honest, in most cases, the Western Church is not fit for war in the Spirit. I don’t want to be unkind but often it could be viewed as a plump, corpulent, Falstafian noble, with rather more bluster than action, instead of a lean mean spiritual fighting machine.
        The danger I perceive is that we are not ready or fit for the tsunami of spiritual warfare that could easily engulf us.

        Bless you brother for your perception. P.

  • Johnny Rottenborough

    Your Good Samaritan analogy would hold if the Samaritan had taken the victim into his own home for an indefinite period and then welcomed the victim’s extended family. Instead, he lumbered the innkeeper with the job of looking after the victim, leaving the Samaritan free to return home to non-diverse, socially cohesive Samaria. All it cost the Samaritan was a few pennies. If we continue to take the world’s chancers, it will cost us our country.

    • Anton

      The innkeeper was paid his going rate, part in advance, part later – not unusual and he was probably glad of the custom.

      The very existence of the Samaritan people was due to an excess of “diversity”. They were halfbreeds, between gentiles, and Jews who had failed to keep the Mosaic Law about marrying within Israel.

      • Christ didn’t regard him as a heretical ‘halfbreed’ but as the one showing love to his neighbour, a Jew, in need.

        Jesus asked: “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

        He received the reply: “The one who had mercy on him.”

        Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

        • The Explorer

          Christ didn’t but the Jews presumably did. That was why the example used in the parable was so controversial.

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes. Compare John 4.9 (and the rest of that incident).

        • Anton

          No disagreement between us Jack; I was making a different point. It is the Jews who begat the Samaritans who were heretics.

      • The Explorer

        Am I right that the Samaritan problem (from Samaria, the capital) arose from the collapse of the Northern Kingdom? I read somewhere that the Assyrians who conquered them had a deliberate policy of interbreeding their captive nations. (Same sort of policy as was used on slave ships when members of different tribes speaking different languages were placed next to one another to hinder communication and possible rebellion.)

      • Johnny Rottenborough

        @ Anton—Glad? When the victim recovered, he raped the innkeeper’s children, beheaded the guard and stole the till. Meanwhile, in his leafy suburb in Samaria, the do-gooder basked in his high opinion of himself. Astonishing how much harm is inflicted by do-gooders.

        Samaritans claim to be of purer descent than you suggest but I suppose they would say that.

        • Anton

          I know what point you are making and I don’t disagree with it, but I was making a point of information about the tale of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. We who start from the Bible must be careful to quote it accurately.

        • Inspector General

          At times, you can be a wag, sir.

  • Yes of course, there should be a reception to some degree of people whose lives are in genuine and immediate danger and who have nowhere else to go. There are, however, limitations to the asylum principle, limitations which Christians must face up to.

    To control a nation’s borders, and to respect the borders of other nations, is righteous behaviour in the sight of God. This is clearly taught in Numbers 20 and 21, where Moses respected the boundaries of the Edomites and Amorites. Nor is there anything immoral about a nation deporting those who are not entitled to be there. Scripture exhorts men to honour the laws of the land.

    If a man is fleeing for his life, then he will run to the nearest safe place, but asylum seekers reaching the UK will generally have passed through or over many other safe countries in order to reach here. So the destination of the UK is by no means the obvious direction of flight. This suggests that there may be other motives for choosing the UK.

    We as a nation have to exert whatever pressure we can to prevent oppressive regimes from mistreating their populations. But it must also be said, that if we have a moral duty to accept just one person being abused by an oppressive regime, then why not a moral obligation to accept 100,000 or half a million? They are all living under that oppressive regime. Where does the obligation end? If say 20 million people live under a persecuting government, how many of those 20 million should be allowed to take up residence in the UK? Does the compassion argument demand all 20 million?

    Surely, before God, it cannot be right to enter into a foreign country with the intention of staying there, unless one knows beforehand that one has a legal permission to do so.

    At present around the world there are some 200 million Christians under some kind of oppression or persecution. Add to that the many being persecuted for political, ethnic and other reasons, and the numbers of people who might wish to leave their present countries becomes even greater. Then add on top of that those who simply desire a better standard of living, because they live in relatively poor societies, and we have unimaginably large numbers desiring to migrate. Are we saying that these countless millions should all have a potential right of asylum in Britain on the grounds of Christian compassion?

    We have to face up to the fact that the political, economic and religious problems of the world cannot be solved by permitting vast numbers of people to come and live in Britain. What the countries desperately need which produce so many desiring to flee them is the Christian Gospel.

    • Anton

      Well said. Easily the wisest comment on this thread if you ask me.

    • These are considerations that should inform prudential judgements by individual governments. However, as Christians, we should ensure the processes are just and honest that determine and uphold: “a reception of people whose lives are in genuine and immediate danger and who have nowhere else to go.”

  • Inspector General

    One wonders if those migrant muslims who drowned a dozen Christians in the Med after ‘a coming together of the faiths’ are at Calais. What delights have they in store for us infidel dogs should they get over…

  • A plague of Locusts would have been a better description.

  • Orwell Ian

    Cameron clearly mentioned a swarm of people who were coming here to seek a better life. To seize on that and twist it as dehumanizing, is to deliberately manufacture offence where none was intended. A default tactic of the political left and one which says more about the certain politician / journalist / charity worker / human-rights advocate than it does the PM. They champion mass immigration. They want more of it, to progress their multiculti socially engineered, EU compliant, dystopia. Migrants are fanning out from Italy and Greece all over Europe because the EU has no desire to defend its borders.

    The Good Samaritan analogy doesn’t really work. The Samaritan fell among robbers who beat him up. The Somalian who fell among people traffickers was relieved of his possessions in return for a smuggled ride to England in a car with British number plates. We see a lot of fence climbing, hole cutting, and lorry clinging on TV but very little about the so-called British trafficking gangs operating out of the London area. Perhaps it would be detrimental to community cohesion.

    This is where meddling in Iraq and muddling in Libya have got us. The West has sown destruction and Europe now reaps a harvest of terrorism and refugees. Misery all round. Migrants risking life and limb, mass trespass and criminal damage, police exhausted, lorry drivers in fear of attack, disruption in Kent, chaos in Calais, grenade chucking in Sweden, lockdown in a German town and social breakdown in parts of Italy. This is not going to get better anytime soon. It may just be the end of the beginning.

  • carl jacobs

    It needs to be said over and over and over again. Nations cannot be successfully anthropomorphized into individuals who thereby possess the moral responsibilities of individuals. The Parable of the Good Samaritan cannot be turned into a treatise on political interaction between states.

    • Anton

      Agreed – as below!

    • Yes, maybe, but shouldn’t Christians seek to influence governments to adopt Christian approaches to the governance of nations? After all, democratic governments are intended to represent the collective will of individual people.

      • carl jacobs

        What is a “Christian approach” to the governance of nations? I have no desire to embark on a road of virtuous colonization, which is where the kind of reasoning will lead. There is neither blood, nor treasure, nor will sufficient to achieve what you are suggesting.

        • Obviously, the approaches would be based on the prudential use of resources available.

          Don’t you believe aspiring to Christian virtues and the expression of Christian morals by statesmen, would be effective in governing nations and the relationships between nations? Heck, that’s why the West is in such a mess. We’ve abandoned objective morality as a basis for governance.

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t you believe aspiring to Christian virtues and the expression of Christian morals by statesmen, would be effective in governing nations and the relationships between nations?

            What, you mean like “Turn the other cheek?” No, I don’t. But this is simply another way of restating the problem I have already identified. I don’t know how to extend Christian morality to the international arena. You keep saying it should be done. And I keep asking you to tell me what that ‘it’ actually is. But you don’t have a coherent answer.

          • No Jack was thinking more along the lines of: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind. and “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

          • carl jacobs

            That’s great, Jack. What does that mean in terms of policy?

          • Internally, one hopes the answer is obvious. Externally, regarding other nations as neighbours and doing whatever possible to promote peace and justice in the world.

          • carl jacobs

            Like sending the Army to Rwanda in April 1994?

          • Jack isn’t so sure about that, Carl. It would have to be a prudential judgement weighing many factors and Jack isn’t sufficiently knowledgeable to say.
            Jack’s thinking is along the lines that the rulers of individual nations hold responsibility for the common good of their citizens. If they are defaulting on that and actually killing those they are charged with protecting, then they have no legitimacy. The question then is do Christian nations stand by and watch genocide or do all that we can to prevent it?

          • carl jacobs

            This is why the subject is so frustrating, Jack. 800,000 people died in Rwanda. There is no question in my mind that genocide could have been stopped. There is no question that it was properly categorized as genocide. The Western powers had the capability to stop at least part of it. It was never a question of “all that that can.” It was always a question of “At what cost?”

            England sacrificed 5% of its population in WWI. Could it sacrifice 50,000 for Rwanda? Yes. Would it? Not on a bet. Hiw about 5000? 500? Do you see what is happening? We are implicitly valuing the relative worth of our citizens over their citizens. That’s what national leaders are supposed to do. The President of the US has an obligation to the soldiers who are under his command. He has absolutely no obligation to the citizens of Rwanda. So to properly fulfill his role as CinC he must take account of the very criteria that Christian morality would reject. He must be a respector of persons because it is his job.

            The problem in Rwanda was not genocide but “Then what?” What do you do with the place? How do you fix it? How do you rule it? How do you leave if you know the killing will start once you are gone? How many people will you lose in the inevitable low-level conflict that follows? Those are all very self-interest motives that don’t sound like much when set against 800,000 dead. But that is what national leaders are supposed to do – pay attention to those questions.

            They aren’t responsible for 800,000 dead Rwandans. They are responsible for 1000 dead GIs. It is the lives of the latter they are sworn to protect. There is nothing of Christian sacrifice involved.

          • Jack sees your point in terms of ‘realpolitik’ but in a nation where Christian values do predominate, assuming a positive outcome, then self sacrifice for the weak, vulnerable and innocent surely must come into play? So the real world isn’t like that but Isn’t that what the Gospel actually points to?

            A recent poll revealed that only 27% of British people would be willing to fight for their country; Spain 21%; Italy 20%; and Germany 18%. Americans came in at 44%. Japan trailed in at 11%. What’s more, the average across North Africa and the Middle East (Muslim nations) was 83%; Pakistan stands at 89%; China was 71% and Russia 59%.

            It seems that self sacrifice for a cause, even one’s own country, is in marked decline across the Western liberal democracies and most especially Western Europe. “Of the variety of religious denominations covered in the survey we see those Muslims (78%) are most willing to fight for their country.”

            http://gallup.com.pk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/1803151.pdf

          • carl jacobs

            Those polls mean nothing, and reflect more of politics and a sense of security than will. They would change given an actual threat.

          • That’s the point – an actual threat to self-interest.

          • carl jacobs

            But you aren’t talking about self sacrifice. You are talking about leaders choosing to sacrifice others. The “collective we” doesn’t work in warfare. “We” aren’t doing anything.

          • In a liberal democracy leaders follow the will of the citizens, don’t they?

          • carl jacobs

            The “will of the citizens” doesn’t fight. There is no nobility in a bunch of (say) college students sitting around a table carping about how terrible it was that the US wouldn’t risk one soldier for Rwanda. Not one of those students has worn, is currently wearing, or ever will wear the Uniform. They are making abstract trades about other peoples’ lives in the absence of any direct personal attachment. They justify the argument with “we” but they all mean “them.” It comes down to “I think it would be good for you to die for him because that would make me feel vicariously virtuous.”

            I despise this tendency to see the lives of soldiers as expendable chits on the gameboard of humanitarian intervention.

          • The will of the citizen, not just “students”, is expressed by the leader making the decision to commit to war. And don’t tell me it isn’t taken into account. Public opinion is a major factor. Who knows what goes through a person’s mind when supporting what they consider to be a just war where there own soldiers will die? One doubts it is quite so self serving.

          • carl jacobs

            Citizens make their will known at elections. They choose people to lead them, and expect leaders to lead. This is the responsibility of a leader – to lead, and not cower behind opinion polls. Those same citizens who shout “Send in the Marines!” will be shouting “Bring them home!” in as little as twelve months. Things will get hard, and the bodies will mount, and the requirements of force protection will demand actions that civilian observers will not understand. Observers want zero casualties, but they don’t want force protection measures that allow for such outcomes. This is what always happens. The support for the operation is a five miles wide and one inch deep. It dries up at the first sign of trouble, and who gets left holding the bag?

            That’s why you don’t send men to war for selfless motives. The national interest is what sustains the population in the fight. There is no willingness to bear the cost over time. You will get a bunch of GIs killed to no good purpose. Just like Mogadishu. Leaders have to account for that reality as well.

          • Jack won’t argue against the fickleness and selfishness of man and understands and accepts the point you’re making. That’s why he framed his comments in terms of a Christian vision and morality. Perhaps that’s what’s absent from the population. It probably always has been to some extent. There was a time though when leaders were Christian and had authority to sustain the fight. And that’s why Jack isn’t a fan of a secular and increasingly Godless democracy when it comes to achieving justice in national and international affairs.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            You seem to be arguing for leaders and followers to be united in some Global Crusade for Goodness. Failing public approval, you seem to want leaders to force the issue on the public – against their will if necessary. Or perhaps you want followers to force leadership to address the issue. And yet when I offer you the opportunity to support intervention in the clearest example of justified humanitarian intervention this side of the Holocaust, you defer. You immediately start talking about prudential judgments – which judgments btw will all involve self-interest. Every last one of them. Your Global Crusade has fallen at the first jump. The horse refused, and the rider fell.

          • Jack is saying the only force that will unite people is outside of themselves, some higher cause beyond self interest or even national interest. Do the countries of the West have a sense of nationhood anymore? It seems to Jack they do not. We are collections of individuals with competing interests all seeking to promote self.

            There was a time when belief in God, His justice and truth united us and the concept of self sacrifice had real meaning. People don’t offer and lay down their lives for self interest – it’s self contradictory. They offer their lives for those people they love or a nation or a cause beyond themselves they believe in.

            As for Rwanda, Jack has now read a little background information. The prudential issues are the feasibility of making a difference and whether the minority people being murdered could be protected and how best to do it. If, as you imply, earlier events in Somalia would have constrained action because Americans would baulk at the deaths of their soldiers, then it seems clear the nation wouldn’t have been behind the intervention because they were not committed to protecting the innocent from slaughter. And politicians want to be re-elected. In other words, there was no sense of Christian virtue and in seeing the people being killed as “neighbours”, or having a duty before God to intervene. And there’s the rub with democracy, instant mass media coverage and politicians who react to the fickleness of the public.

            “The horse refused, and the rider fell,” because the West has forgotten God. A Muslim will die for his country because he believes his nation is serving Allah. An American and a Western European will shy away from dying for his nation because he believes the nation is there to serve him.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            the only force that will unite people is outside of themselves, some higher cause beyond self interest or even national interest.

            So define what you mean by “higher cause.” This statement seems historically false to me. The Germans fought well to the very end in 1945. What higher cause did they serve that wasn’t summarized with Greater Germania? People will fight for something greater than themselves. But that something does not have to be a divine crusade sanctioned by the church.

            There was a time when belief in God, His justice and truth united us and the concept of self sacrifice had real meaning.

            Is that what Europe was doing as it spread its Empires across the globe – seeking truth and justice? Or was it just trying to get rich and powerful? I can’t locate this period of time to which you refer. And I don’t see the justice or truth of it. But I do see an Empire and a King for which many sacrificed themselves.

            The prudential issues are the feasibility of making a difference and whether the minority people being murdered could be protected and how best to do it.

            I don’t know how long it would have taken to get disciplined capable soldiers to Rwanda with the ability to operate on the offensive. People talk about how fast European troops arrived to evacuate European citizens. It’s one thing to secure an airport for a few days. It’s another to move inland. But I believe that a contingent backed by the threat of reinforcements and the certain promise of “We will come and kill you” would have reduced it – assuming there was follow-through. Can you paralyze the killers now with fear by promising retribution in a few weeks? Many of them, yes.

            If, as you imply, earlier events in Somalia would have constrained action because Americans would baulk at the deaths of their soldiers

            The reaction to Somalia was so severe, the President issued a directive (PDD-25) establishing guidelines for US participation in humanitarian missions. Those guidelines made it almost impossible for the US to participate. That directive was issued in May 94 but was the basis for the US decision about Rwanda. There were some who said the directive was intended to save humanitarian intervention from itself because another fiasco like Somalia would have killed the concept dead.

            it seems clear the nation wouldn’t have been behind the intervention because they were not committed to protecting the innocent from slaughter.

            There was at the time no advocate for intervention in Rwanda in the whole of the US. Not from the public. Not from the media. Not from the Congress. Not from the White House. And most especially not from the Pentagon, which did not want to be hung out to dry again like it had been in Mogadishu. The Pentagon wanted no UN mission to Rwanda because it feared that a short UN mission would go badly and lead to a long American mission – just like in Mogadishu. That’s why the US pushed to get the Peacekeepers out. No UN peacekeepers meant no UN mission for the US to rescue.

            it seems clear the nation wouldn’t have been behind the intervention because they were not committed to protecting the innocent from slaughter.

            And there is the rub. Where emerges this responsibility to save the world from itself? You haven’t explained why the US should have intervened other than to say the Rwandans needed it. But that isn’t good enough. US soldiers aren’t objects to be used to create an abstract vision of the good. You can’t just say that 1000 dead soldiers is an adequate price to pay for saving Rwanda. This isn’t a ledger sheet with accounts payable and accounts receivable. The responsibilities of leadership don’t work like that.

          • “Where emerges this responsibility to save the world from itself? You haven’t explained why the US should have intervened other than to say the Rwandans needed it.”
            Jack believes that nations should be governed by the same fundamental Christian principles that apply to individuals. If the Rwandan’s needed help and that help could be provided (and this is where the leadership comes in) then, just like the Samaritan, there’s a moral duty to assist.

          • carl jacobs

            there’s a moral duty to assist.

            Passive voice. Who holds that duty? The collective “we.” The Good Samaritan was a unified actor. He both possessed and exercised the responsibility. Who then is the analogous unified actor? It is not the body politic, because “we” aren’t going to Rwanda. You are at best saying that that the soldier fulfills the responsibility that you feel you possess. That is not even close to the same thing.

            There is in your mind a moral responsibility to:

            1. Assemble an army of soldiers sufficient to control the whole country – an army of soldiers none of whom volunteered to defend Rwanda.

            2. Send them to Rwanda.

            3. Seize the entire country by force.

            4. Monopolize the use of violence within the border.

            5. Establish what amounts to colonial structures of government.

            6. Virtuously rule the place for how long? Say twenty years.

            7. Attempt to rebuild civil society in your own image.

            8. Just accept the fact that people are going to start killing your soldiers because they don’t want you doing one through 7.

            9. Do all of this without force protection measures sufficient to prevent 8.

            10. Ignore the inevitable public reaction in your own country.

          • Are you arguing against the principle or the feasibility of implementing it?

          • carl jacobs

            I am arguing that the situation in Rwanda is not encapsulated n the parable because the moral relationships and responsibilities between the actors are not comparable. I have never said it was unfeasible. I have said the parable was not analogous.

          • … so, you don’t accept the principle?

          • carl jacobs

            You haven’t asked the question with enough specificity to answer.

            Do I think the abstract entity called the US has any obligation for the abstract entity called Rwanda? No, I do not.

            Do I think the office holders in the US Gov’t have any obligation by virtue of their office have any obligation to act like n behalf of the Life, property, or welfare of the people of Rwanda. No, I do not. The powers of the office are specified n the Constitution. That document gives the US Gov’t no charge over foreign lands. It does however give the Gov’t charge over that men it places in service. To those men they do have a real tangible definable obligation, and they are responsible to fulfill it.

            Do I think bad things happening in Rwanda generates an obligation in the Gov’t of the US to act. No, I do not. You would have to show me the source of that obligation in the Constitution. If it isn’t there, then you cannot demand the office holders and exercise powers he dies not possess.

            Even if I granted such an obligation, would I accept that it could overwhelm the real tangible responsibility that exists to gurad the lives of US servicemen? No, I damn well do not. They are not expendable bandages to be applied and thrown away. That prior responsibility takes precedent.

          • Anton

            So do I – well said! And ultimately it doesn’t work – the League of Nations did so much to prevent the rise of that awful man with the moustache in Germany…

          • IanCad

            Jack, you of all people should know that man is fickle and can change his mind almost as quickly as a woman.
            Didn’t the Oxford Union, in 1993, resolve that this house will not fight for King and Country?

          • Anton

            Gentlemen, my own view is that you arm people whom you wish to support but you don’t send in your own troops because then you gain responsibilities you didn’t have before and you have, from the locals’ point of view, simply sided with one faction in a civil war.

          • carl jacobs

            That would not have worked in Rwanda.

          • Anton

            Even so I would not have sent troops, for the reasons I gave and also because it is unfair to ask men pledged to defend Queen and country to defend one bunch of cutthroats against another in a place where the Queen has no strategic interest. Of course, the job of diplomats is to see these things coming, and had they done a better job then the situation might not have reached genocide, or might only have reached a point at which we could arm the side we chose and a difference would be made. Am I talking your language?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes. I essentially agree.

          • carl jacobs

            I should add however that Rwanda was not properly described as one bunch of cutt throats against another. It was 85% of the population determined to kill 15%.

          • Inspector General

            Who will save the black man from, well, his fellow. It will be us, in about 50 to a 100 years, of course, who else. It will be through imperialism, what ever could it be otherwise. That’s why it’s going to take as long as that. To find a way of sweetening such imperialism for the common taste.

            Unfortunately, while we dawdle, other such massacres will be taking place, but we won’t care. How we go about it is what matters, not the lives lost in the meantime…

          • carl jacobs

            Sigh.

            You are just tryng to spin me up, aren’t you. And you did so well with “Je suis Cecil.”

          • Inspector General

            It’s all about you Carl, it seems. Anyway, we can all turn our back on Rwanda again, as we did 20 years ago.

          • carl jacobs

            It’s all about you Carl

            Well … you replied to me, and you have form. So, yeah. It was a natural inference.

            One wonders if the Imperialism if which you speak is for the good of Africa or the Glory of Britain. It’s a theoretical question because it will never actually happen. Not in 50 or 100 years. Europe is not going to again pick up what it once discreetly called “The White Man’s burden.” In 50 or 100 years it likely won’t have either the power or the wealth to do so.

          • Anton

            China will. It’s already bought up most of Africa’s natural resources.

          • Inspector General

            It’s so very odd. When the Romans came to Britain, they found a heavily forested land where the inhabitants lived on hill top forts. Make note of the word fort. Suggests they too like the Rwandans were at each others throats when it suited. When the Romans left, the Britons lived in towns on the level and as far as this man has knowledge, no one has complained of the Roman occupation since, save for a famous disgruntle queen.

            Can you not see the benefits of taking over a failed country (continent) to save its retard people from themselves?

            You really have to abandon the premise that all men are the same and born equal, when empirical evidence shoved in your face shows they are not…

          • Anton

            Another 100 years of secularism and our culture will be as bad as… Oops, that’s not politically correct.

          • On what basis do you decide who to support – self interest? Besides, that wouldn’t have worked for the Jews in Nazi Germany. What’s the appropriate Christian response in such a situation?

          • Anton

            Humanitarian is an OK criterion provided you do not send your own flesh and blood. As I’ve just said to Carl lower down, it is unfair to ask men pledged to defend Queen and country to defend one bunch of cutthroats against another in a place where the Queen has no strategic interest.

            What’s right differs from situation to situation. Regarding the Jews in the late 1930s, the Evian conference of July 1938 the USA, which had convened the thing in the hope of helping desperate Jews find somewhere, failed to put its immigration policy where its mouth was, while in Britain the MacDonald White Paper of May 1939 slamming the gates of Palestine in the Jews’ faces at their moment of greatest need was a disgrace. The Permanent Mandates Commission of the League of Nations itself stated that “The policy set out in the White Paper is not in accordance with the interpretation which, in agreement with the Mandatory Power and the Council, the Commission has placed upon the Palestine Mandate.” Churchill spoke ardently against the White Paper in the resulting parliamentary debate on May 23rd but it was still passed. The reason was clear: the desire for Arab support in the war that was obviously coming.

          • bluedog

            Arming people you wish to support frequently condemns them to death. Not to be done lightly, as it may worsen their predicament however just their cause.

          • Anton

            They know the risks and they can always decline the offer.

  • carl jacobs

    A couple of nights ago, I was watching a panel discussion on the Rwandan genocide and the refusal of the western powers to intervene. The panel was put on by a Catholic organization at Berkeley University (that sound you just heard was Jack’s head exploding), and one of the speakers was asked about the consequences of not intervening. The speaker quoted Leviticus 19:16 “Thou shalt not stand against the blood of thy neighbour.” (DRA) Leaving aside the speaker’s exegesis of the verse, the speaker’s application perfectly illustrates the problem. The laws in Leviticus are individual laws. It is not possible for a state to fulfill the quoted law because the state is not an individual. It would be like commanding a corporation to not commit adultery. The requisite capacity does not exist. The speaker was trying to cover his preferred policy choice for national action with the mantle of divine imperative.

    States have different imperatives. The principle obligation of a state is to protect the people under its authority. There is no open-ended moral obligation to protect those who may be afflicted but who do not fall under its authority. That’s a hard truth. It may be rational for individuals living in Sudan to want to come to Europe for a better life. It certainly is understandable. And yet it is the moral responsibility of the states of Europe to send them back if doing so is necessary to protect citizens already under their charge.

    • “… a Catholic organization at Berkeley University.”
      Hmm …

      • carl jacobs

        You would probably have approved. They sounded just like you. One of the speakers was some kind of adviser to the USCCB. I didn’t hear anything unorthodox but I suspect that was only because of the subject at hand.

        • USCCB … an anathema on them; although occasionally they may be right on some issues.

          • Anton

            United States County Cricket Board??

          • carl jacobs

            Cricket? In the US?

            BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

          • James60498 .

            Having won the last three matches of the qualifying tournament the USA narrowly missed out on qualifying for the World Twenty 20 Cricket tournament to be held next year in India.

            The team made up of many Asian names and a number of “European” sounding names performed creditably and will no doubt be back next time for another go.

            The first cricket team ever to leave England to go on tour went, not as most people believe to Australia, but to Philadelphia. Clearly cricket did not catch on at the time. I guess too much danger of being beaten by foreigners, but perhaps the current team will help to grow the game.

            Incidentally next month I will be watching the USA Rugby team play in the World Cup against Scotland.

          • carl jacobs

            “What are we watching, Dad?”

            “It’s called Cricket, son.”

            “Oh. … ”

            “Does anything ever happen?”

            “Well, about 4:00 they’ll break for tea.”

          • … might as well be.

    • Anton

      It might be time for some robust action against all fishing vessels based on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. I know that that would be tough on fishermen but let us not forget that these nations kidnapped into slavery some 2 million Europeans from the northern shore in the 15th – 18th centuries; much less than the transatlantic slave trade but at least our culture no longer thinks it’s OK.

  • The Explorer

    The preference of the Calais migrants for Britain over France remains a puzzle to me. Sky News has a comparative study of what the two countries offer migrants.

    UK: Free accommodation. From £36.95 allowance a week for a single adult – £72.52 (depending on age and family situation). Free healthcare, prescriptions dental care and eye tests.

    France. Free accommodation. Allowance of €80.15 (£56.08) a week. Access to universal health care.

    Not that much in it, I’d say, to make the difference. Two factors might be that long-term prospects for being allowed to stay are much higher in Britain than in France (something like 30% versus 5%), and the populations seeking asylum in the two destinations are from different sources. (Syria the only one in common: currently leading the world for refugees.)

    • sarky

      It’s work on the black market and no Id cards that is the difference. Plus our asylum system processes claims in about half the time.
      The majority are economic migrants, so access to benefits and work without the need
      To produce identification is what draws them.
      The problem is that the influx of cheap labour forces down wages here.
      Cameron should be ashamed, we are an island and should be able to manage our borders. Cuts after cuts, with more to come of border staff have left our borders like a sieve.

      • The Explorer

        Yes, I can see the ID issue would make a big difference. Thank you.

      • bluedog

        ‘The problem is that the influx of cheap labour forces down wages here.’

        That’s been the underlying proposition behind third-world immigration all the time. A steady trickle of illegals is simply part of the same labour market policy position. Both political parties are in on the racket.

  • The Explorer

    The EU etiquette is that asylum seekers should claim asylum in the first safe EU country they come to.

    In the case of, say, Greece and Italy this could be confusing. Given language difficulties, and absence of travel documents, there could be uncertainty over which country you used to arrive in Europe.. But if you’ve got to Calais and are trying to get to Britain, there’s no question that you got to France first. And since France is a safe country, asylum seekers ought to be claiming asylum there.

    • As Jack understands it, many have and it has been declined. Hence the attempts to get to the UK.

      • The Explorer

        Right. Presumably, to be accepted by one EU country is to be accepted everywhere in the EU. By the same token, to be refused by one EU country should mean to be refused everywhere in the EU. Perhaps that will come in the future.

        • Anton

          The obvious solution is to reduce benefits until these people prefer to head for some other country. Saves us money and deals with the Calais problem in one go.

          • CliveM

            It’s the sense of entitlement that gets me. House, job, benefits, asylum. Seem to feel they have more right to come, the then the UK citizen has to say no.

            Irritates a bit.

  • Inspector General

    There’s only one way to stop these people making The Journey. A British Army presence at the tunnels end. The Royal Engineers can be trusted to put up effective barriers, including electric fences if necessary. It would soon get back to Africa, and P.D.Q. at that. You see, such is the reputation of the institution we know as the army in these far off places that those who would travel would know they haven’t a chance of getting through. Even ‘desperate’ economic migrants won’t give people smugglers money unless there is at least some chance of success.

    Ideally, all those who migrate would be taken back to Libya, and then given transport to return to their wretched country of origin where they belong. And that would be an end to it. The cost? Met from the overseas aid budget, naturally…

    • Anton

      As of Good Queen Bess’ time we have needed French permission to station troops at Calais.

      • Inspector General

        Will be forthcoming, Anton. The French want rid of that unpleasant rabble as much as we do…

        • CliveM

          Yes they want rid of them to the UK.

          • Linus

            We don’t care where they go, as long as they go.

            They want to go too, so it’s not as if we even have to persuade them to go. They don’t want to stay in France because our bureaucracy makes life difficult for them. It makes life difficult for us too, but we’re willing to put up with that if it means that migrants are discouraged from stopping here.

            Britain has always been proud of its flexible system and the global reach of its language. But now you’re seeing the downside of those “advantages”.

            A migrant in England knows that he can melt into the background and easily find work, and never have to produce identity papers to justify his presence. He also speaks enough English to “hit the ground running” in terms of work.

            A migrant in France knows that he sticks out like a sore thumb and will find it almost impossible to find work. He can be stopped on the street and asked for papers at any time, and if he can’t produce any then he’s in trouble. Trouble that’s only made worse by his inability to speak the language.

            There are some exceptions of course, Africans from Francophone countries being the most obvious. This is why our immigrant problems tend to be limited to nationals of our former colonies. Everyone else speaks English, so they don’t want to live here. They want to live in England.

            Why should we stop them? The sooner they leave France, the better off we are.

          • cacheton

            ‘It makes life difficult for us too, but we’re willing to put up with that..’

            When I first went arrived in France (where I lived for many years) and learned that I had to be able to provide ID if stopped in the street, I experienced what could only be cultural shock – ‘What! I am a human being and I may not have the right to be in the street etc’. But I got used to it. Even though I recognise that in an ideal world ID should not be needed, because we should all have the right to exist without having to prove it, the reality is that with the current situation the world is in generally it would be a useful tool which I would be willing to put up with too over the Manche here in the UK, if it meant that I could be sure that fairness prevails.

      • Pubcrawler

        Longer than that: it was Bloody Mary who gave it up.

    • bluedog

      Well said, Inspector. Electrified barbed wire is a most effective deterrent, almost certainly illegal, and probably proscribed by the Geneva Convention. Now a minefield on the other hand…

      • Inspector General

        One was thinking of 3 lines of fencing. The middle one electrified with say 300V. And plenty of skull and crossbones signs to illustrate. As for legality, did you know that you can still cement broken glass on the top of your wall so long as it is at least 8 feet high. The wall that is, not the broken glass…

        What’s the problem? There is a large army base next to Gloucester. The men guarding are armed with the latest and it’s real bullets in their weapons…

  • dannybhoy

    Two things.

    • “Two things”.

      Well yes, one hopes so.

      • dannybhoy

        Very helpful Jack.

        • Always pleased to assist, Danny. One rather thought you were counting your assets.

  • Albert Ross

    The young men attempting to invade us via Calais have not been robbed, as was the subject of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. They have walked away from their own country and lives. They need to stay at home and put their efforts to improving their own countries. We should provide assistance with this. I’m afraid your analogy is false.

  • Linus

    I’ve never understood why British border controls take place in France.

    Moving border controls back where they belong, i.e. in the port of arrival, would solve the problem as far as we’re concerned.

    Migrants who want to leave France are more than welcome to do so. Our membership of the Schengen area means we can’t control their arrival, so why should we be forced to stop them getting into another country? It really is not our problem.

    Britain wants control over its borders, which is fine by me. But instead of bellyaching about the fact that we’re not doing your job for you, start doing it yourselves. You want border controls, you impose them. In your own country. Not in ours.

    You don’t want identity cards? Then live with the consequences, one of which is the ease with which illegal immigrants can gain access to the jobs market and state benefits.

    • Inspector General

      The border effectively is in France because the French aren’t up to maintaining borders. Seems to be a historical problem they have…

      • Shadrach Fire

        You are right inspector but fortunately an agreement was reached for us to have border controls on their side of the channel for the benefit of the Eurotunnel. Thank God for it for if they get to our side, thats it, we are doomed.

      • Linus

        Border controls take place in France because we grant permission for your immigration officials to operate here. As our Interior Minister indicated a few days ago, that privilege can easily be withdrawn. If I’m not mistaken, it’s already under review. Perhaps this is why your prime minister is taking such a conciliatory stance.

        We should be encouraging illegals to leave. Where they decide to go is no business of ours. Your immigrants are your problem, so we should let your border police deal with them on your side of the Manche. Once they disappear into the tunnel, they aren’t our problem any more.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what will happen soon enough. Your officials should not have any jurisdiction on French soil. We liberated Calais from the English yoke 500 years ago. So get ye back to your muddy isle and sort your own problems out.

        • Inspector General

          Do have some respect when talking about liberating French soil. You owe, and that is that…

          • Linus

            France owes Britain precisely nothing. We’re a sovereign state with the right to rescind the right of your border police to intervene on our soil whenever we choose. Influential members of our government are lobbying for just such action to be taken right now.

            If they carry the day, expect LONG queues at immigration in Folkestone, or Dover, or wherever it is in the Kentish mud that the tunnel emerges above ground…

          • bluedog

            One can envisage a downward spiral in which the Tunnel is closed at the English end, Linus. Eurostar no more.

          • Linus

            Seal the tunnel? Go ahead! If they don’t walk through, they’ll just get on the nearest boat. From our point of view it simply means painting the arrow on the “This Way To England” signs to point to the ferry port rather than the tunnel entrance.

            You can close the tunnel, but you have no drawbridge to raise, and if you impose a blockade on yourselves, it’s your own economy that will wither and die. Cut yourselves off from Europe and you have no markets for your exports. America isn’t interested and your Commonwealth has long since made other arrangements.

            Good luck with an isolationism. Hope you’ve laid in lots of supplies. The siege could last for a long time.

            EDIT: of course impoverishing yourselves would certainly cut the flow of migrants. But somehow I can’t see the moneygrubbing English cutting off their noses to spite their faces (both of them) in any way that hurts their bank balance.

          • bluedog

            It seems that M/s May and M Cazeneuve have looked into each other eyes and found something special – agreement. Those members of your government who sought to evict us may be disappointed. A Franco-British accord on resolution of the migrant problem is at hand.

          • Linus

            Two tracker dogs and a couple of reels of razor wire?

            That’ll solve the problem!

          • dannybhoy

            You can close the tunnel, but you have no drawbridge to raise, and if you impose a blockade on yourselves, it’s your own economy that will wither and die.

            One wonders how this country managed to be the dominant nation near Europe for so long Linus. I am NOT a European, I am proudly English/British, and my ancestors came over with the Commonwealth nations and the Yanks to rescue you and the rest of Europe twice in the last 100 years..

          • Linus

            Britain and the US fought to preserve their own interests. Nothing more, nothing less. Demanding gratitude from us for the rest of time is no more than blatant political manipulation. You defeated the Germans because they were threatening your political and economic power. And then you tried to convince us you did it all for us? What a load of manipulative nonsense.

            In any case, that was 60 years ago. No nation can go on being grateful to another for the rest of time, especially considering the favour we did you when we allowed you to join the EEC (as it was then) when your economy was at rock bottom and Britain was the economic basket case of Europe. In the real world of today, we owe Britain nothing. We certainly have no responsibility to save you from an immigrant problem you’ve brought on yourselves.

          • dannybhoy

            I didn’t say you should be grateful to us Linus, although truth be told it was us rescuing Europe, not the other way around, and that is what I was pointing out.
            Also of course Britain and all the Allies were fighting to protect their own interests. How could it possibly be otherwise? No one wanted to live under the Kaiser, or Hitler’s evil regime. That he murdered six million Jews and gypsies and people with learning difficulties and, erm homosexuals is no real recommendation. That France and Germany now rule Europe is obvious, but everyone knows who wears the trousers in that relationship….

          • Sam

            I agree Britain owes France precisely nothing.

          • carl jacobs

            I dunno, Sam. Think about all those concrete installations at Normandy. The British just … blew them up. Without so much as a “By your leave.” Those were concrete structures built on French soil by French labor to protect France from invasion, and look what the British did to them.

            Someone should pay.

          • dannybhoy

            The EU says ‘fugees and migrants from outside the EU should claim asylum in the first country they come to in La La Land..
            France wants to pass them on to Britain, even if that means the good French citizens of Calais must suffer inconvenience in the process..

          • Linus

            The migrants in Calais have mostly come via Greece and Italy. But they want to get to Britain. We could load them into buses and ship them back over the Italian border, but they’d just come back. They’re human beings you see, with free will, and they make their own decisions about where they want to be.

            If they keep coming back, which they will, and if they want to get to Britain, which they do, why is it our responsibility to stop them? If they don’t want to claim asylum here, or in Italy, we can’t force them.

            Britain needs to deal with its immigration crisis itself. We can’t do it for you. Our role is not that of guardian of your borders. That’s a job you have to do for yourselves.

          • dannybhoy

            The problem has to be dealt with not in Europe, but in Africa and parts of the Middle East.
            We in the West have to accept our part in interfering in the affairs of others, and that we have in large part caused this mess. But also with the availability of hi tech communication people can indeed see how the other half live in a way they couldn’t say thirty years ago.
            You really can’t blame people for wanting a better safer life, but the problem is (and this is why to my mind Western leaders are stupid), that those folk want to live here, but don’t necessarily want our way of life or our values.

            So sooner or later they start to recreate what they left behind them. They or their children grow up resenting our ways, our religion or lack of it, our hedonistic attitudes. They start to attack us and change us.
            We already know this from our own communities, so why exacerbate our problems by accepting more?

          • Linus

            Whether you want to let them in or not, migrants are waiting on your doorstep and will force their way in if you try to bolt the door. They won’t just give up and go home because you tell them to.

            If this “keep them out” mentality prevails, you’re going to find yourselves living in a prison camp with a coastline surrounded by barbed wire and mined beaches, and still they’ll get in. You have to trade to survive, and where there’s trade, there’s a constant flow of people and goods across the border. You can’t check every single car, every single shipment. You don’t have the means to do so.

            You’d be better off learning to live with illegal immigration and dealing with the consequences of it rather than demanding that your government does something no government can do by reducing the flow to zero.

            But realism isn’t the hallmark of Ukip voters, is it? One only has to examine your fantasist plans to round up all illegals and deport them so see that reality plays no role in your vision for a snowy white United Kingdom of Cloud Cuckoo Land.

          • dannybhoy

            UKIP is being realistic Linus. Countries have been trading with each other for centuries, and the movement of peoples and was pretty limited and manageable.
            The concern is that we simply cannot cope with ever increasing numbers of migrants, so the answer has to be to improve the situation for them in their own countries.

            Setting up safe, secure and supplied camps is a better way forward.

          • The Explorer

            In other words, the EU directive that asylum seekers should claim asylum in the first country they come to is meaningless. Asylum seekers and first host country both buck the system.

          • Linus

            So Britain wants to hide behind France and Italy’s skirts, does it?

            I’ve got a better solution. Cruise ships could be moored off the coast of North Africa and then our navies could escort them through the straits of Gibraltar and point them in the direction of British territorial waters. Then you can deal with them as you see fit.

          • The Explorer

            I’m just saying the EU shouldn’t make silly rules and regulations it won’t/can’t enforce.

            But your point about using navies is a good one: direct asylum vessels back to where they came from.

          • Linus

            Most migrants destroy their papers for the very reason you describe. If they can’t be identified, they can’t be forced to return home when there’s no proof of where that home is. Horribly dishonest of them of course. But there you go…

            As ever I’m struck by how everything you say on this subject, indeed on almost every subject, always seems to relate back your refusal to accept reality, and your determination to make the world turn according to the dictates of your arbitrary morality.

            You make absolutely no allowance for the equal determination of others to do as they see fit, and their undoubted ingenuity in achieving those aims. A migrant sitting in the Calais Jungle is more motivated to find his way into England than you are to keep him out.

            Migrants won’t be deterred by you and your rules and regulations. Especially when so many of them do not translate into any kind of civil law, but are merely the dictates of your religion or your political views that bind nobody but yourself.

            It must be both exhausting and disheartening to live as a doctrinaire in the modern world…

          • carl jacobs

            Beware, Inspector! The French are angry. You might be assaulted with a souffle spoon.

          • Inspector General

            One is experiencing a pecking sensation around the ankles, Carl. Le Coq is greatly annoyed (again)…

        • cacheton

          I agree with most of what you write – there is a blind spot in this issue which is that whatever you do in France or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, migrants know that once they set foot in the UK they can claim asylum, and if their claim looks like it is not going to work, they can disappear into the black economy and stay anyway. Which they can’t in other European countries. People are claiming for a ‘Europe wide approach’, but that approach is already there. Except in the UK.

          If people in the UK felt that the system actually worked and was not wide open to abuse, there would be a lot less fear and general negative feeling towards migrants.

        • Manfarang

          Careful or we will send one of the Huguenots back who failed to win a seat in the Westminster Parliament recently.

          • Linus

            Any British citizen can come and live in France if he so desires. Such a right is guaranteed under the freedom of movement clauses of the European treaties.

            Your government can’t deport a British citizen to another European country however. That’s not allowed by either British or European law.

            If this “Huguenot” (how the British and their various colonial hangers-on love quaint historical terms!) wants to come back to the country of his ancestors, he can do so. If he doesn’t, you can’t force him.

    • perdix

      The UK is not a member of the Schengen area.

      • Linus

        Precisely. You don’t cooperate with us, so why should we cooperate with you? You should get your border police out of our country and deal with your own problems on your own soil instead of expecting us to handle them for you.

  • IanCad

    We are a generous people, and, of good intent.
    Such noble characteristics were evident on last night’s “Any Questions.”
    Kindness and sympathy shown by all hands. A little guilt thrown in – and rightly so.
    But, not one solution proposed.
    Not much talk either, about the low skilled workers who will find it ever harder to rise economically as their already low wages will be depressed further as multitudes enter the job market.
    It’s mighty fine to talk of helping the unfortunate and persecuted; and how generous we are, but let us remember that those who give the most will be the working poor of this land.

    I have to wonder as to whether Andy Burnham would have objected to a Labour Party member complaining that “Swarms” of Conservatives were the reason they got so soundly thrashed?

    • cacheton

      ‘But not one solution proposed’.

      There is a blind spot in this issue, an elephant in the room in Any Questions, which is that whatever you do in France or anywhere else in Europe for that matter, migrants know that once they set foot in the UK they can claim asylum, and if their claim looks like it is not going to work, they can disappear into the black economy and stay anyway. Which they can’t in other European countries. People were claiming for a ‘Europe wide approach’, but that approach is already there. Except in the UK.

      If people in the UK felt that the system actually worked and was not wide open to abuse, there would be a lot less fear and general negative feeling towards migrants.

      Maybe I should have rung in to Any Answers….???

      • IanCad

        So other EU countries have more control over their citizens?
        Give me our own disorganized government any day.

        • cacheton

          Control?

          You mean other EU countries have policies and means to prevent illegal working and payments, and that is a bad thing is it??

          • IanCad

            Absolute control over the citizenry is a bad thing in my estimation.
            We seem to strike a pretty good balance.
            A thriving underground economy is a healthy thing in my view.
            It gives the small entrepreneur a foothold from which – if successful – they can launch into the mainstream.
            Overly tight governmental controls make it hard to compete against the big boys.

          • cacheton

            I am wondering if your point of view is what is stopping DC and the government from tackling the problem.
            How does a successful underground boss illegally employing illegal immigrants launch into the mainstream without detection or punishment?
            In what way do ID cards give a government ‘absolute control’ over the people? I don’t think the French feel that their government has ‘absolute control’ over them! It means they have a document to prove they have a right to open a bank account, claim social security, work, etc etc. I do not see anything wrong with that.

          • IanCad

            Unless I’m very wrong – and my wife frequently says I am – it is not possible to open a bank account without ID. Certainly social security benefits are not granted without documentation. Neither would an employer be wise to hire non-legals, unless he ran a restaurant or other minor enterprise. Some pretty stiff fines for that.

          • Inspector General

            The maximum fine per each case of illegal employed is £10000 Ian. Case of 8 Chinese caught in a restaurant some years ago in Gloucester, and yes, it was £80K to pay,

          • IanCad

            That’s a lot of Chop Suey.

          • Inspector General

            They do a lovely marinated beef, as well as immigration scams…

          • IanCad

            You guys are making me hungry. Wife went out to eat with family. I’m not welcome as I tend to talk too much. She cooked some chicken thighs for the cat though. Some Uncle Ben’s rice, sweet sauce, onions – I’ll do alright. Tough luck Kitty.

          • Manfarang

            and peking duck

          • Manfarang

            Your wife is right.Not only ID but a utility bill with you name and address on it.

          • cacheton

            Who needs a bank account when you are paid cash, pay for everything in cash, and ‘give’ your money to an illegal banker who will send it back to your homeland for you? There is a whole black market economy out there.
            I heard on BBC radio 4’s Westminster hour last night that failed asylum seekers continue to get welfare. That is benefits being paid when the documentation shows they shouldn’t be. ?!?

  • magnolia

    I feel uncomfortable with the arrogant assumption that our way of life and culture are so superior that all must want to come onto this tiny island which Cameron betrays. Also with the description his Grace rightly hates of a “swarm”. What these people most want is not our “superior culture” but to live relatively comfortable lives in which hard work is rewarded in their own native countries surrounded by their familiar landscape and own relations and friends, which to them are special and superior and understood in their own deep way. They want to build up their own countries, donate their skills and make the whole thing work. Inveterate travellers endued with great wanderlust are few and far between. It is not the natural and normal state of people.

    Without some of the arrogant neocons holding sway in Washington, who try to manipulate the whole world, and its economies, unfair trade tariffs from the EU and other interferences in foreign affairs and fair and free markets they would have a lot more hope of getting what they actually most want, and which, if we were listening properly, we would respectfully hear that they wanted.

    • bluedog

      ‘ What these people most want is not our “superior culture” but to live relatively comfortable lives in which hard work is rewarded in their own native countries surrounded by their familiar landscape and own relations and friends’

      That’s precisely what our superior culture provides and which theirs cannot. We are told that all cultures are equal, but ours is more equal than most.

    • dannybhoy

      What these people most want is not our “superior culture” but to live relatively comfortable lives in which hard work is rewarded in their own native countries surrounded by their familiar landscape and own relations and friends, which to them are special and superior and understood in their own deep way.

      But Magnolia, although I would never say our culture is superior, we still have to ask the question why, after all this time are these nations still unable to live in stability justice and progress?
      We can’t put it all down to British/European/US supremacism. You have to look at what these people believe. Countries like Japan for example have retained their culture and progressed into the modern world. I respect that. Other countries seem to want to blame all their problems on say the Brits, who left their country years ago…

  • David

    Many generations of UK people have laboured long and hard for many long patient centuries, fought wars and endured hardships, started self-help movements like Building Societies, Trades Unions and reforming political parties and movements, until eventually we have made this country, with all its many faults, a half-decent, half- fair place to live.
    Why should a few middle class, arrogant young men, with a strong sense of entitlement, yet no understanding or affiliations for our country, traditions, faiths or culture, just be allowed to force their way in here, and without shedding any of the blood, sweat or tears of our past generations, leapfrog from the chaos and malfunction of their failing societies, to enjoy all the benefits of our way of life and economy ?
    No let them return home, work, save, plan and organise to make their countries a better place to live for all of their people and to benefit future generations. There is something deeply parasitic about this massive inward wave. These are the young, energetic people that their failing countries need at home, to build a better future. Let us ensure that aid money is used to build Jerusalem where they live, not in our hopelessly over crowded little island.

    • Dave Smith

      Please go and visit Syria, Sudan and Eritrea, and see how young people are living there. Then come back and tell me that they are just ‘parasites’. Their countries are failing because they are governed by dictators who have no regard for human rights and are murdering their own people.

      • David

        We too were governed by dictators but slowly, doggedly worked our way out of that plight towards what we have now; the far from perfect society that generations of our forbears have created here through the sweat of their brows and diligent improvements.
        They need to do the same.
        Indeed if the EU, encouraged by the World’s Banks, did not prevent them from trading their way out of their poor economic situation a slow upward recovery would be possible for them as well.

        The entire African continent cannot be resettled in the UK or even Europe.

        • Manfarang

          Many of the settlers from Africa have been resettled in the UK.
          Over the years I have known a number of them.They are known as the “When We Were Tribe” – “When we were living in Zambia….”

          • David

            Most of the Brit. descended East Africans fled to Oz, a few came back here. The same process in now underway in that violent and unstable nation South Africa.

          • Manfarang

            Some of those who left South Africa have returned.

          • David

            Indeed, and a few of those that returned came back here again.

          • The Explorer

            About a million white South Africans are said to have left. British settlers in the rest of Africa were only ever a few hundred thousand. Kissinger, when discussing the question of Rhodesia , said the White population was so small it was simply a refugee problem.

            But Nigeria alone has 180 million people. Bit different. As David says, the entire African continent cannot be resettled in Europe.

      • Inspector General

        Yes, very unfortunate. But we’ve seen if we topple their dictators, they tend to go on a killing rampage.

        One puts it to you again. It is NOT our problem. It is the way of man.

  • Shadrach Fire

    That as maybe but people are expected to obey the law of the land. Most of those in Calais are not the subject of a good Samaritan story. They are the very few from the North African and Middle Eastern countries that want to take what is not theirs, destroy property on their way and expect, not mercy, but what they see as their rights. In the meantime their fellow countrymen continue in their homeland because they do not wish or have the funds to perpetuate this stream of Illegals.

    Perhaps the Government should do more to help them in their own country so that they feel less need to come here.

  • len

    The’ elephant in the room’ so to a speak regarding the problem with Immigrants is the reason why they are all seeking to get to the UK.
    None of the immigrants seem to want to remain in France the UK seems to be drawing immigrants like a magnet.Until this issue is addressed the immigrant problem will remain regardless of more guards, higher fences, etc and the damage done to haulage firms will continue to escalate.
    Why lorries are so easy to break into remains a mystery to me immigrants with the most basic of tools seem to have no problem at all in opening what should be locked and sealed containers?.
    Cameron seems totally at a loss to deal with a problem which could be solved quite easily by dealing with ‘the carrot’ drawing immigrants to the UK…..
    (no offence is intended towards anyone by the words used in this blog post)

    • Dave Smith

      As long as David Cameron keeps telling people what a wonderful country the UK is, and how we “have a proud reputation of welcoming refugees”, then people will try to get here, especially when they are not welcomed in the countries they pass through.
      The main reason that we are witnessing these desperate attempts is that the numbers have built up over time because there is no easy way to cross the channel, and neither the French nor British are willing to document them. However, the numbers are peanuts compared to what the Italians and Greeks have to cope with on a daily basis.

      • cacheton

        The French do not document them because the migrants say they want to get to the UK, therefore do not want to be documented in France. This is because they know that if their asylum claim fails they will be deported. Can you force someone to be documented?

        The British cannot document them until they reach British soil. Once they claim asylum in the UK and their claim looks set to fail, they can ‘disappear’ as we do not have an ID system, so they can stay.

        • Manfarang

          ‘we do not have an ID system’
          Why do they ask me then for ID at the bank?
          Passport or drivers licence.

          • James60498 .

            Because the government requires them to tick money laundering boxes and this is the bank’s chosen way to ensure that you are who you say you are.

            It is not an ID system at all. If you don’t want a bank account or to drive a car or to have a job in an industry where you need a check (usually working with children or vulnerable adults) then there is little requirement for id.

          • Manfarang

            In todays world who can live without a bank account? A rough sleeper. ID cards are too Big Brother in advanced countries. I live in a country where all citizens have ID cards.It’s not a democracy.

          • cacheton

            If you do not have a bank account, you would have no reason to go to a bank.

      • Orwell Ian

        The Greeks and Italians are not coping. They are being overwhelmed as the system (if one can call it that) is completely breaking down. The same will happen here unless something is done. While there is money to be made by trafficking migrants across the Med and through Europe, the numbers arriving will just keep growing. The behaviour of those at Calais endears them to no one and raises serious questions about their suitability for asylum anywhere not just the UK. A record of intimidating behaviour, trespass and criminal damage ought to be an automatic asylum fail.

  • The Explorer

    Anyone have statistics for who’s in Calais? If they’re Syrians, are they Yazidi, Christian or Muslim? If they aren’t Syrian, who are they? How many are from sub-Saharan Africa?

  • Anton

    The Bishop of Dover has slammed Cameron for his “unhelpful” rhetoric and “forgetting his humanity”. Perhaps he could put these people up in his church buildings?

    • Albert

      Unfortunately, Anton, the thread on which we were discussing the immutability of God is closed, so I cannot reply to your last post (I’ve tried!).

    • IanCad

      Better yet! The vicarage.

      • Dave Smith

        Actually, this is what is increasingly happening! I run a National Charity called NACCOM (for asylum seekers with no accommodation). Despite the fact that our member groups cannot get any statutory funding for what we are doing, and refused asylum seekers cannot get Housing Benefit (or any other benefit for that matter), we are currently accommodating 270 refused asylum seekers across the UK. 6 of the houses used are vicarages. Here in Manchester we run a hosting scheme where people will take refused asylum seekers into their own homes. Two of our best hosts are a vicar and an archdeacon, who have separately taken in and cared for dozens of very vulnerable people. There’s a lot more than can be done, but actually 80% of the accommodation in our charity IS provided by Christians – including the clergy – so don’t knock them!

        • IanCad

          Bless them for it.

        • dannybhoy

          However laudable, It doesn’t address the long term problems.
          People seek out their own ‘tribe.’
          If their culture is anti your faith (and take a look around at the treatment of Christians in many Islamic nations for example), you are going to have problems.That’s why we are now spending billions on stopping terrorism.
          The Jews have been here a long time, we have given shelter to various Christian sects, and it has worked because we all share similar values. I am all for us helping our Christian brethren from Islamic states at war. But because we are no longer officially a Christian nation, but rather a multicultural, multi faith, equality, diversity and inclusive secular democracy…
          We can’t pick and choose who comes in.
          And once they’re in, it’s damn nigh impossible to get them out.

          • big

            you deserve “them” you have bombed , destabilized, and generally interfered in other peoples countries for centuries….. so stop whining.

          • Inspector General

            How silly of you to say that.

          • big

            Why?

          • Inspector General

            Where does one start. How about giving them civilisation as we know it as the Romans did for us. Yes, it’s been rejected, except India among others, so that leaves bone worship or that dreadful Allah.

          • big

            …….as the Romans did for us ……… now what a very interesting answer, does it infer the ancient Brits , where some kind of savage lesser race?

          • Inspector General

            In comparison with the Romans, yes they were.

            Do let the Inspector know if he gave the wrong answer…

          • big

            ……. and the prize for top murderous barbarians goes to ………..

          • Inspector General

            muslims

          • dannybhoy

            bug,
            that’s not whining. That’s me looking at a serious and growing problem and how we can best resolve it. Europe cannot absorb the world’s refugees, and there is no reason why we should.
            The people of this country have initiated and supported all kinds of charities to bring water, education, modern farming methods, healthcare etc. We relinquished our Empire and for the most part have maintained friendly relations with ‘them.’
            No one blames people living in poverty, misery and persecution seeking a new life in the West, and of course we should want to help them.
            But mass emigration is not the answer.

          • The Explorer

            Also built roads, railways, dams, irrigation systems,established clinics, cleared malaria etc.

          • CliveM

            What’s this you?

        • big

          Dave you have come to the wrong place , i strongly recommend you go somewhere else if you want compassion, this is not the place for you my friend.

          • Inspector General

            Why big, how astute of you…

          • big

            Hi Inspector,…. but its true though.

          • Inspector General

            Yes. You are both experiencing the thoughts of the hard right.

          • big

            Goose- stepping…….

          • Inspector General

            You’re thinking of the far right…

          • big

            funny, very, very funny.

          • Inspector General

            You find humour there. How strange.

          • Dave Smith

            Just sharing a bit of love around in the hope it might rub off on others!

          • big

            ….good idea, tell me how you get on.

        • cacheton

          But Dave, why should failed asylum seekers get Housing or any other benefit? They tried their luck, nobody would deny them that (I hope), but it didn’t work. There has to be a point at which the answer is ‘no’. Obviously if Heaven existed on Earth things would be different, but we haven’t got there yet have we.

          • Dave Smith

            The vast majority don’t get anything at all. When their appeal is refused they have 3 weeks to vacate their asylum accommodation, and get one final benefit payment. After that they have no recourse to Public Funds – that means no right to benefits, accommodation or work. Unless their solicitor thinks they still have a good case, they will also lose their legal representation, because Legal Aid solicitors (of which there are hardly any now, as it doesn’t pay) only get paid by results. Only those who have serious medical conditions or are heavily pregnant (at about 34 weeks) will get ‘no choice’ accommodation and £35 on an ‘Azure Card’ (no cash).

            At the Boaz Trust we accommodate and support those who are refused and destitute. That isn’t illegal, as they are nearly all reporting to the Reporting Centre as required, and the Home Office can detain them any time they want. WE find that, with support and further legal representation, which we pay for, they are often able to put in a fresh asylum claim, which the succeeds (often after a long wait!). So, my question is, if they are ‘failed’, and then, with support, they find fresh evidence and then ‘succeed’, what does it say about the original decisions?

            Simply put, they were WRONG!

            If you then deport genuine refugees back to their country of origin. what will happen to them? They will be imprisoned, tortured and maybe murdered. The government does not track those they deport, but Catherine Ramos wrote a report about returnees to the Democratic Republic of Congo entitled ‘Unsafe Return’. There’s a guardian article about it here – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2012/jan/16/congo-torture-refused-asylum-uk

            I am not saying that everyone returned is really in danger: those that are not usually give up after a period of destitution here and return home. 20% take up Assisted Voluntary Return.
            Bottom line – the UK government refuses genuine refugees. That’s why I do what I do. If that wasn’t the case I would go and get a proper job, as it’s neither easy nor popular, and I was earning over 50% more as a teacher before this. And for every one that we help to get their status, that’s one more person who is free to live a ‘normal life’ and contribute to society – and they really do! Doctors, architects, Social workers, teachers, interpreters and loads working in care homes.
            Sorry about the length of this – just wanted to explain that the idea that asylum seekers are having a cushy time is a myth peddled by MR Murdoch’s empire, perpetuated by our blessed political leaders and swallowed by Joe Public.

          • cacheton

            Thank you.
            You said in an earlier post that 50% of asylum claims are refused, even after the 25% of initially failed which are overturned on appeal, presumably the people you look after and help to get their status. What happens to those 50% permanently failed? Do they go on living with you and reporting ad infinitum, or until they get deported?

            I am not sure people think asylum seekers have a cushy time, though I suppose we assume that whatever time they are having it must be better than what they have come from. The family I told you about earlier however will be having a cushy time as the husband will likely be sending them as much money as they want, while they are living in a house paid for by British taxpayers!

          • Dave Smith

            The 50% refusal is after appeal – half refused, half granted. That’s about 15,000 last year. At that point, unless they have severe medical needs, an ongoing fresh claim or are heavily pregnant, they have no recourse to public funds. It’s at that stage that we start to help them at the Boaz Trust, though we always have a long waiting list due to the demand.
            They are considered ‘failed asylum seekers, but, with the right help, they can find more evidence and put in a fresh claim. Many then get their refugee status. It can take a long time, and there is always the possibility of detention and deportation in the meantime, but it clearly shows how many initial decisions were incorrect.
            We do have time-limit of sorts. The aim is to keep people for up to twelve months, during which time we work closely with them to advance their asylum case. As long as they are complying with what we want them to do, we won’t evict, as it often takes longer than twelve months to have a fresh claim accepted due to Home Office tardiness and the pressure on solicitors. If we decide that they really don’t have a case, which is fairly rare, we give two months notice. We also evict for bad behaviour or lack of compliance in moving their case forward. The average is probably about 18 months in our accommodation.
            It would really help if the system was not so adversarial. The Home Office solicitor is basically there at appeal with the assumption that the asylum seeker is lying. In 2008 the Independent Asylum Commission declared that there was a ‘culture of unbelief’ in the Home Office. In Sweden they have a different, inquisitorial system, which does not start from an assumption that they are bogus. Asylum seekers actually get to tell their stories properly rather than being bombarded with questions. This leads to a much higher rate of positive decisions. Because those who are refused probably don’t have much of a case, 80% of them opt for voluntary return, compared to 20% here.
            It also saves a shedload of money because there is less drain on the health service from destitute people using A&E, and the detention centres aren’t full like they are here. It costs £800 a week to keep someone in detention, and there are over 1,000 refused asylum seekers in there at any one time – that’s £40 million a year to lock up people whose only crime is to not want to return ‘home’.
            There are abuses of the system, and some people slip through the net. I have met a few that I would love to see deported! – but nothing like the number of genuine people who are refused.

          • cacheton

            Thank you again.

            Yesterday I read this http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/03/uk-funds-100-extra-channel-tunnel-guards-as-migrant-standoff-continues?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

            article which clearly implies (though this may of course be media scaremongering) that failed asylum seekers and their families currently get benefits even after having exhausted all their appeal rights. Why are they not deported? The approach seems to be that if you make their life hard enough they will choose to leave, but surely after all appeals have been exhausted they should be sent back. I can understand why people claim asylum here if they know that they can still survive here even if their claim has repeatedly failed! And they are presumably considered legal if they are supported financially by the state, which seems slightly weird – ‘you cannot stay here, but we will give you money and accomodation anyway’. That seems like a mixed message to me.
            Why is this?

          • Dave Smith

            In order to get any support once your claim has been refused, you have to fit into certain categories. 1. Too ill or pregnant to fly 2. Taking steps to leave the country (Assisted Voluntary Return) or 3. You have put in a fresh asylum claim which the Home Office has looked at and decided it is valid (i.e it is worth considering). If you don’t meet one of those criteria (the vast majority), you get nothing. If you do meet the criteria, then you are placed in no-choice accommodation anywhere in the country. Some of our clients, some of whom have lived in Manchester for several years, have been offered places as far away as Glasgow and Plymouth.
            Often the asylum seekers are kept waiting for weeks, during which time they are destitute, for their claims to be processed. In addition the HO has now decided that they must take the claim in person to LIverpool. First they must make an appointment, then they must find the means to travel there (again, could be from Plymouth or Glasgow!) with no cash, and when they get there the whole process takes about 15 minutes. Plymouth to Liverpool and back in a day can’t be done, by the way, unless you pay full peak time fare – at least a couple of hundred pounds.They used to be able to take the documents to their local reporting centre, where they would be forwarded to Liverpool. No one has explained why the change was necessary, and the only logical explanation is that the Home Office is doing all it can to discourage fresh claims.
            In terms of sending people back, that seems at first sight relatively easy to do, but actually that’s far from the case. Most asylum seekers come on false documents which can’t be used to return people. Also. you can’t send people back to their countries if the embassy is closed (Iran), or if there is no embassy here (unless a neighbouring country’s embassy agrees to process them), or the state from which they come refuses to acknowledge them as ‘one of theirs’, which frequently happens, e.g you were born in Ethiopia with Eritrean parents. You are Ethiopian, but the Ethiopian Embassy won’t give you a travel document, so you are stuck.

          • Dave Smith

            hi again Cacheton,

            I have just read the Guardian article. It’s a bit confusing, because it is talking about families, whereas the vast majority of asylum seekers are single – e.g the Calais migrants. The government measures recently announced will target families, which have, until now, been treated rather better than singles because of the duty of care to children and the Every Child Matters policy. However, many councils discharge their duty to children by taking them into care, leaving the parents destitute, which is frankly stupid, because it costs far more to foster children than it does to keep the family together.

  • Dave Smith

    Can we clear up a couple of misconceptions please?
    1. Most of the migrants in Calais are not ‘economic migrants’. Yes, they want a better life, but most of them are from countries at war (Syria and South Sudan) or with horrendous human rights abuses ( Eritreans in compulsory military service from 18, often up to 40, and Christians who are tortured and imprisoned in containers in the desert just for reading the bible with friends: Black Sudanese including Darfuris being ethnically cleansed by Arabs: Afghans whose parents have been murdered by the Taliban). Over 50 % of those coming across the Med are in that category.
    2. The UK gets off very easily because we are an island much further from Africa and Asia than most European countries. Last year we had 31,000 asylum applications. Germany 166,000, even Sweden 59,000. If Greece and Italy processed the asylum seekers coming across the Med, they would be taking several hundred thousand each.
    3. David Cameron keeps telling us ” Britain has a proud tradition of welcoming genuine refugees”. That’s actually a lie, or at least a half-truth, and anyone working in the asylum sector knows it’s certainly not true today. He can hardly blame refugees for wanting to come here if they hear him spouting such nonsense!

    • Inspector General

      Not our problem, old chap. If you are unlucky enough to live in these places you mention, then you must work towards improving the situation. One cannot accept the premise that the UK is open to all who want to come here. That would be every single individual in every country you mentioned.

      Perhaps you yourself would like to go out to these troubled places and see if you can make it any better so that these wretches need not make the journey to our civilised land.

      • Dave Smith

        Actually it IS our problem. We sell arms to some of these countries, who then use them against their own people. We also shove our snouts into their troughs when it’s to our economic advantage, support their despot dictators, and bomb them when we think there are terrorists or WMDs lurking there. I have been working with asylum seekers for 15 years, and can tell you that many of the people that we have refused asylum to in the UK have been persecuted precisely because they WERE trying to make their counties better. That includes human rights activists, teachers, doctors and journalists – all refused asylum by our ‘civilised’ country.
        Do you actually know anyone who is seeking asylum in the UK? Do you know how they are treated by the asylum system here? Until you do, please don’t be so smug and patronising.

        • cacheton

          I do know of one asylum seeking case, claimed just down the road. Family entered legally on visas for holiday from Guinea. Wife and kids claim asylum just before husband flies off to China on business trip. He is detained on his way back through the UK but denies responsibility for what his wife chose to do and flies off back to Guinea. Wife and kids granted asylum due to supposed threat of ebola and FGM. Given 3 bedroom house and education for kids. This is a rich family with several villas and servants, who now have added status quo back home because they have managed to ‘get into the UK’. Frequent trips back to Guinea will not be a financial problem. Earlier the husband had had ‘problems’ with the French authorities who would not grant visas, as they would have preferred France as they speak French.

          Would you call this a deserving asylum case?

          • Dave Smith

            If what you say is the whole story, no, it’s probably not deserving. However, I doubt very much that Ebola had anything to do with it. I know a few Guineans whose claims have been refused: they would equally have been in danger of Ebola. Being liable to FGM is a different matter, but even that on its own is very unlikely to succeed as an asylum case without other evidence of persecution.

            Have you seen the documents they submitted to the Home Office, and the letter granting Leave to Remain? That’s the only way of knowing why they were granted leave to remain.

            By the way, I doubt very much that they got a house straight away. Families are treated better than singles, it’s true, because of the ‘Every Child Matters’ policy, but here in Manchester single men are absolute bottom of the housing pile and often have to wait many years before getting a sniff of council or Housing Association properties. They have to leave their asylum accommodation within four weeks of getting a positive decision, but on average it takes 6-8 weeks before they get any benefits. Result? Our Winter Night Shelter for destitute asylum seekers had a couple for refugees with status in it pretty much every night last winter, because the Home Office had made them homeless!

            Only one in three asylum claims are accepted at the initial decision stage, and about 25% of refusals are overturned at appeal, which means that around half of all decisions are negative.

            While waiting for a final decision asylum seekers get £36.23 a week to live on. If they are refused they get nothing – no accommodation, no benefits, no right to work – unless they sign up for Assisted Voluntary Return or are too ill or pregnant to fly. Then they get no cash at all, just £35 on a so-called Azure Card which they can spend in the major supermarkets or Boots, and no choice housing anywhere in the UK. They can’t catch a bus or go to the launderette or corner shop. It’s a system designed to deliberately make life so hard that they give up and go home – but it doesn’t work. And it still won’t work, even if Theresa May carries out her latest threat to take away those ‘benefits’ from those who have been refused. Why not? Because the vast majority who have been refused asylum in the UK do actually have a genuine fear of returning ‘home’.

          • cacheton

            As I said in another reply, I think shame must be a big part of the fear of returning home. And there’s not much the UK can do about that is there.

            Presumably a pregnant failed asylum seeker will change status when she has her baby.

            In the asylum case I mentioned, the mother claimed her daughter was at risk of FGM, though it is difficult for us here to understand why she could not protect her daughter from it even in Guinea, if she wanted to. I have not seen any documents, I only know the people up the road who they were staying with when they claimed asylum. They claimed about last November. I don’t know when they got the house, but they had it a month ago.

            One simple solution to this kind of abuse (to my mind) is to put on holiday and business visas that are granted that asylum may not be claimed under any circumstances if you enter the UK with this visa. That should not be too hard should it?

            Thanks for your informative reply.

        • Inspector General

          If you want to spend your life aiding liars and cheats into this country, that’s your lookout, but don’t expect a medal for it.

          By the way, do you have anything to say to the 2 million who live here who have no permanent residence and are on housing waiting lists who watch aghast as their potential home is given away to some crafty blackamoor on the make spinning you a hard luck story?

          As for this country taking advantage of their rot holes, do look up the amount of foreign aid we send them.

        • dannybhoy

          We sell arms to some of these countries, who then use them against their own people.

          Isn’t this because these countries are most often ruled by a dictator or a junta or some ruling elite?
          How many years has this country and the western world been involved in Africa especially, and the Middle East, Australia etc? When we had an Empire we did try to set up infrastructures and civil services modelled on our own system.
          We found that in hindsight that once we left they didn’t work very well because the peoples of those countries had/have a different mindset.
          What you should ask yourself is why did we have more success selling them armaments rather than equipment for farming and civil engineering and health care?

    • Royinsouthwest

      If they are fleeing to safety why risk their lives trying to get from one safe country (France) to another? They have probably passed through other safe countries to get as far as France. If they are refugees why are they much more likely to be young men than women and children? Is it right to encourage even more to come here?

      • cacheton

        ‘If they are fleeing to safety why risk their lives trying to get from one safe country (France) to another?’

        Because if their asylum case fails in France or another EU country they are deported, whereas if it fails in the UK they can ‘disappear’ off the system and live here anyway as we do not have ID cards.

        • Manfarang

          Britain’s Home Office estimates that some 30,000 migrants and asylum seekers are detained indefinitely in the country while their immigration status is resolved. Many are held for months or even years. They are held in a number of detention centers (prisons) so they can hardly disappear.Special flights are laid on for their removal.

          • cacheton

            I am not sure that many people trust Home Office estimates any more do they?

        • Dave Smith

          Not entirely true, cacheton. While it is true that asylum seekers can go underground after their appeal has failed, the vast majority do not. They comply with Home Office instructions and report to their nearest Immigration Reporting Centre regularly. Of course, they have no recourse to Public Funds, so they have to borrow off friends, if they have them, rely on charities for food or do a bit of illegal work – often for a few pounds a day. No accommodation, no benefits, nothing. Surely, if they had anywhere that was remotely like a home to return to, they would take the £500 offered by the Home Office and take Assisted Voluntary Return – yet less than 20% will do that, and then often only after several months of destitution.
          Over the past fifteen years I have had the privilege of meeting many hundreds of ‘failed’ asylum seekers who have stayed here, managed to find fresh asylum evidence and eventually been granted refugee status. Put very simply, their refusals were wrong and totally unjust. Often they are very motivated and hard-working people who go on to excel here. Statistics show that migrants contribute 10% more to the UK economy than what they take in benefits, and that’s certainly true of refugees.

          • cacheton

            I think shame must play a large part in why they do not take assisted voluntary return more often. Their families have often pooled together money to send one usually young male member to try and get a better life and send them back some money. Like a young African living in the jungle at Calais who couldn’t tell his family, and lied to them saying he lived in a building in a flat. This presumably encourages yet more to leave their homeland.
            I am glad that justice is done and asylum granted to genuine refugees. But the current unease is due to the feeling that many of these people are not refugees, like the case I told you about.

          • Dave Smith

            You are right that shame does play a part,as does the desire for a better life, but it doesn’t alter the fact that they may well have a valid claim anyway. I would say that at least 80% of the Sudanese, Eritreans and Syrians are genuine refugees.

            By the way, asylum is often refused to genuine refugees, simply because they cannot prove their case or even because they get a date wrong. Yes, really – I have seen the refusal letters! I can’t even remember birthdays, much less when Maggie Thatcher came to power, yet they are supposed to know all sorts of things that aren’t important to them. In some African cultures they don’t even record when they were born: birthdays are not celebrated, and dates are deemed irrelevant. So I’m afraid that justice is often NOT done!

            Can I refer you to this article, which shows that many refused asylum seekers are sent back to torture? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2012/jan/16/congo-torture-refused-asylum-uk

        • Dave Smith

          I forgot to say that often ‘failed’ asylum seekers are not deported, either from here or from other countries, because you can’t deport people until you get the right travel documents, and often their embassies refuse to give them. They either say “We don’t believe they are from our country” or simply ignore letters and emails – I know, because I wrote to the Turkish Embassy on behalf of a Turkish Kurd, and never got a reply. I also went to the Ethiopian Embassy which refused to even interview the asylum seeker I was accompanying because one of his parents was Eritrean. The Ethiopian constitution says that you are Ethiopian if you are born there, but in practice that’s not the case. So when people say “Send them all home”, it just ain’t that easy!

          • The Explorer

            If they managed to arrive without documents, the obvious question is why can’t they leave without documents? Who makes the rule that they can’t leave?

            I can see two possible answers.

            1. Without documents, there is no way of being sure where they are from, so where should they be sent?

            2. The authorities might refuse to accept them back as returning citizens without documentary proof of the fact. Although if documents are so important, how were they able to leave without them in the first place? Couldn’t they be returned to the point of departure within the country of departure (where documents are obviously unnecessary). Perhaps not, if they would be returned by air, and arrived by sea.

      • Dave Smith

        First of all you need to look at the numbers, Roy. There are thousands crossing the Mediterranean every week. Italy can’t cope, and lets most of them travel North without processing them. Greece is in a total financial mess: About one in every hundred will be granted asylum there, and they have to sleep on the streets and in parks, which is really dangerous because the far right extremists in Greece regularly attack them.
        Secondly we have a reputation for fairness, which, having seen what happens in our asylum system first hand, I don’t think is justified any longer. However, it still persists, especially in countries where they are taught about British fairness at school. I have an Ethiopian friend who tells me that was true at his school. David Cameron adds to that every time he says, quite incorrectly, that “Britain has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees”.
        Thirdly, if you come from a strict Muslim country – Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan – then you will find it very difficult to get out at all if you are a woman. You won’t be able to travel alone, and even with an escort it is much more dangerous than for a man on his own. So that’s why most of the Calais migrants are young men – they needed to be fit and determined to get that far. Many don’t. An Eritrean friend of mine told me that he passed many skeletons travelling across the Sahara. People have to be pretty desperate to flee that way.
        Remember too, there are 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and nearly a million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. Hardly safe countries, and much poorer than ours, yet having to cope with several hundred times as many refugees as we are. There are over 600,000 empty homes in the UK, and 250,000 second homes. I know that there is a shortage of affordable housing, but it wouldn’t take much to take an extra few thousand asylum seekers. The Queen has a bit of room at Buck House, I believe!

  • John Waller

    In the parable the neighbour didn ‘t recover from his injuries and then proceed to force his way into the Samaritan’s home in order to take up permanent residence & live off his largesse for life. Putting it another way, he always remained a neighbour

  • Sam

    Dudes

    A while back when we discussed benefits and welfare in the context of austerity, we also touch on food banks. Both are met with visceral hysterical comments from our more left of centre friends , about British poor people starving. If this is a correct analysis, how can Britain adequately absorb thousands and potentially millions of refugees , when there are British who are apparently starving ?

    • dannybhoy

      Because those whose hearts are so full of faux compassion for the suffering and disadvantaged find the homegrown variety somehow less deserving.

      It’s like we said about hunting. More people get upset about a lion than they do aborted babies being sold for medical research, spare parts and cosmetics…

    • Dave Smith

      Hi Dudes,

      I suggest you ask the rich that question! I’m sure that Mr Cameron knows lots of millionaires with second homes, and investment bankers who caused the financial crisis that has led to so much poverty. If they were to give just half of their obscene wealth away, then I am sure there would be plenty to go round. By the way, we are not talking millions of refugees here – just a few thousand would be a good start!

      • Sam

        Dude

        Being rich isn’t a crime…..

        • Dave Smith

          No, it’s not, but meanness is! I don’t begrudge people wealth, but refusing to use your wealth for the benefit of others when you have the opportunity to use it for good is morally repugnant. It’s also true that most wealth in this world is made at the expense of others, whether that’s multinational companies exploiting their workers or bankers gambling with other people’s money. You can’t deal with poverty until you deal with the greed that causes it, and until you do that you will have situations like Calais, which, by the way, is nothing compared to what other countries are having to deal with at this time.

  • Sam

    The British Antarctic territory is 660,000square miles, compared to 94,058 to the British isles. So the solution is to give these chaps refuge on British soil. Namely British Antarctica (Samuelsland could be the capital) , which with enough investment could in the long term be developed into a tax haven, eco economy and tourist place for the rich, with a ready and willing labour force, who will be grateful for Britain’s benevolent help and give British companies a boost . We could also encourage long term welfare recipients to go there as well. A win win all round.

    • Hi Sam

      That’s a silly idea…..

      • Sam

        Okay gal. You and Rachel prepare a paper . I’ll read with interest.

    • Manfarang

      Prevented under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty.

      • Sam

        We could renegotiate the treaty. British Antarctica could become a safe haven for all refugees and an example of green environmentalism and human rights. The left would love it. The right would like the tax haven and business opportunity. Plus we save Cecil the lions or polar bears at the same time. Everyone wins and we get to feel smug and warm about ourselves at the same time. Okay it’d put a couple of do gooders out of their multi million pound businesses , sorry charities, but they can and will find some other crusade to fight.

        • Manfarang

          or use South Georgia.

          • Sam

            Agreed.

        • dannybhoy

          You could have solar panel farms generating free electricity for the inhabitants so that they could heat their igloos and such..

        • Dave Smith

          Hi Sam,

          I would love to invite you to our ‘do-gooding’ charity, so you can see that our fabulous staff are working for half what they would get in any other sector. Seriously, please take me up on the offer. You can meet some real asylum seekers at the same time, and see why we are mad enough to sacrifice so much for this particular ‘crusade’!

          • Sam

            Provide a link for this charity . I will read.

          • Sam

            Okay I will read later. Tonight the party goes on….

          • Dave Smith

            NACCOM is the network, so there’s not much to see on the ground, but the website lists all the projects around the country, so there will be one near you, wherever you are. I’m based at the Boaz Trust in Manchester. http://www.boaztrust.org.uk

          • Sam

            I would also add :What is your solution? I wasn’t attacking your charity specifically as I have no idea what it is about or what it is.

            NB: I’m the grandson of Jews who felt they had to flee their country because of Arab fascism so I don’t have a visceral dislike of” the foreigner” or refugees. I work with an Iraqi Kurd a Greek Cypriot and a Tibetan, among others.

          • Dave Smith

            There’s no easy solution – certainly not a political one – because there are so many wars around the world that cause the displacement of people. I heard last week that one our of every 120 people on the earth is now displaced.
            My personal opinion is that the only real solution is for people to come to God through Jesus Christ. When that happens the change on the inside will affect the way you treat others, and there is the possibility of reconciliation for past wrongs. Most disputes – even international wars – are simply people holding on to grudges and wanting revenge or insisting on ‘their rights’ or disputed bits of territory. Even a bit of rock off the coast of Argentina.
            Having said that, part of the problem is that certain Western nations and their leaders are deemed to be ‘Christian’, and then they go and bomb other countries. The innocent civilians (collateral damage) that lose loved ones are then likely to hate the West and all it stands for, and that’s what leads to evil organisations like ISIL.
            Sorry, I don’t have an ABC of solving the world’s problems, but I do think we can all do our bit, whether that’s through education, debt counselling, food banks or rescuing people from slavery. As Mr Tesco keeps telling us, ‘Every little helps”.

    • bluedog

      Excellent thinking, one had similar ideas. The remote outpost of Rockall beckons, with its name alone an attraction. Building the world’s tallest multi-storey accommodation facility thereon would be a worthy feat of British Civil Engineering, and once in commission would be an effective deterrent to intending spongers.

  • Inspector General

    There’s a jolly fellow called Dave Smith who is posting today. Dave has devoted himself to getting aliens into the UK. Whoever they are. So he says.

    Now, you’d think a genuine asylum seeker would be careful about bringing documentation and evidence with him. Ask Dave how much evidence he’s been privy to. Ask him how many torture marks are on the supposed victim. Don’t be surprised if Dave declines to answer your questions.

    Dave will also tell you that asylum rejects don’t tend to go underground. Quite correct. That’s because for the money these people have spent getting to the UK, it’s obviously not just them involved. On being granted asylum, here’s where the real numbers mount up. The man will be wanting to bring his ‘dependants’ over too. For an African family, you are looking at around 50 individuals.

    Dave will confirm all this. Well, he might…

    • Dave Smith

      Dave would love to answer your questions and has no intention of avoiding them. I have met some people claiming asylum that I frankly don’t like, and who drove me crazy. I have met others who did not have a strong asylum case – but I have met very few who I could look in the eye and say “You can go home and you won’t have a problem”. And yes, I have read their asylum determinations.

      The problem is that many people – and I suspect from your tone that you are one of them – have a very western mindset and simply do not understand what it’s like in other countries. For example, if you are a political opponent of a dictator (pretty much every African country), and your life is under threat, you can’t just get on a plane and hop over to England. One look at your passport and you would be arrested at the airport, imprisoned and tortured. So what do you do? You get rid of all the documents that will show who you are, buy a false passport and arrange for an agent to get you out of the country. When you get here and they ask you to prove who you are, you can’t! And to get that evidence from your country thousands of miles away is really difficult because your house may be watched, your phone bugged and your post opened by the authorities. To get the evidence without which the British authorities will not accept your case, which it is incumbent on you to prove (unlike in the criminal justice system where you are innocent until proven guilty), you will probably have to endanger your family and friends.

      Torture marks? Yes, I can show you torture marks. An Afghan shot by the Taliban, an Ethiopian with rope marks round his neck, Iranian given 100 lashes, Congolese with metal splinters in his arm…and these are just the ones I know personally. I’m sure I can find lots more.

      By the way, it’s really difficult to get dependents over here. I can take you to dozens of people who have not seen their families for many years and who are utterly devastated. If you seriously think that 50 Africans can walk onto a plane and join their family here just like that, …well, I won’t suggest a remedy, because there probably isn’t one. An Iranian friend wants to bring his wife and two single daughters over, but he can’t, because they are over 18. The wife won’t leave them behind because she fears for their safety, so they are stuck there, and he can’t go back because he would be in danger. And you know what? All you get from the Home Office is “Rules are rules”. Incidentally, you may like to know that this also applies to British citizens with foreign spouses. Unless they earn a minimum of £18,600 a year, they cannot bring their spouses here. One guy who used to be in the diplomatic service is here looking after his two children while his wife is in the Far East. He can’t get a job without putting the children i Day Care, which he can’t afford to do – so they are stuck. So I’m afraid your idea of it being easy to bring dependents is a total myth.

      • Inspector General

        If you live under a repressive regime, you owe it to yourself and your family to survive. That means not making a damned nuisance of yourself. So if you get the urge to jump all over tanks in a Chinese square, bloody well don’t. You might not be seen again.

        And what makes you think all asylum seekers are anywhere near deserving? We know from the Londonistan period that the so called oppressed seeking refuge here were a damn sight worse than the regimes they’d upset. Does that not bother you?

        And another thing. You think it wise to import so many political troublemakers? Agitators? People who don’t fit in? Today’s asylum seeker could be tomorrows terrorist, murderer, rapist, mugger, drug dealer, marriage arranger, female genitals mutilator, honour killer, Sharia law advocate.

        You sir, are a public menace!

  • Phil R

    This is interesting…

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6264/no-go-zones-germany

    It seems that even Germany has it problems in this respect.

    • Dave Smith

      I am not an advocate of multiculturalism. Just letting people in to the country is never the answer, because unless you welcome them they will just end up in a ghetto – and if they are unemployed and unwanted, then it will be much easier for gangs to flourish. Some countries and cultures have been in such a mess that they have imported some bad stuff alongside the good. However, drugs were here long before asylum seekers, so don’t pin it all on them!
      I personally have learned a lot about hospitality from the asylum seekers I have met, and I have also benefited from some fabulous food! However the culture of getting things done because of who you know (in its extreme form bribery) doesn’t sit easily in our culture, and I really don’t like that.
      At the end of the day, they are people, and often people with a lot of drive and determination. Maybe we need people like that here!

  • Sam

    Funny that Britain tried to sort out Afghanistan and Iraq , give them democracy and rule of law, but all we got was two very bloody wars instead. But now they have successfully fought against us and these concepts . In the 1960s the British empire was dismantled and freedom given . If the people of these lands wanted to fight us, thought we were bad, don’t like us , wanted their own freedom to govern themselves, why do they want to be here?

    • Inspector General

      The answer there Sam is that it is the children and grandchildren of those proud chaps who wanted their self destiny who are trying to get in.

      The Inspector has been privileged to meet a few of the last of the British soldiers who pulled the Union Flag down in these lovely places. One told him that as they pulled out of his garrison, on the side of the road was a sign “F__k off, and don’t come back”. Still, it’s gratifying the locals embraced the English language they were so honoured to be exposed to.

      • big

        Ah the Afghans have a long memory ……. maybe they heard such language the last time the “infidel” visited? its a shame British politicians never learn ……… Afghans 3 Brits 0 ….. utterly stupid.

        • Inspector General

          You might consider a holiday in Afghanistan. Do let us know how you get on,,,

          • big

            My brother thought it a wonderful place……. alas that was in the 1970’s ….. did you ever visit?

          • Inspector General

            Having seen “Carry on up the Khyber” the Inspector crossed the place off his list of places to be seen in…

          • big

            ………. sorry thought it may have been 1842…… no, possibly before your time.

          • Inspector General

            Yes. One was born 1890.

          • “One was born 1890.”
            It’s said, there’s one born ever minute.

          • sarky

            It was filmed in Wales???

          • The Explorer

            So cross that off your list of places to visit as well?

          • The Explorer

            It was on the Hippy trail then. Cheap drugs.

  • JustGreat

    Why are so many negative and unloving people on this page in the first place?

    • carl jacobs

      Because we live in the real world and don’t believe in problem-solving through application of a Care Bear Stare.

    • IanCad

      How many Muslim migrants have you had home to tea?

    • The Explorer

      Look at a couple of non-religious blogs on this topic, and see the comments there!

    • David

      Have you ever studied the Koran ?
      Exactly what sector of La La Land do you come from ?

  • sarky

    Why don’t we put a fast track asylum processing Centre in Calais? If migrants are successful they can come over. If not, then we haven’t got the problem of trying to deport people with no papers.
    Genuine people will be helped and we can weed out the scammers without them setting foot in the country.

    • Linus

      Organs of the British state have no jurisdiction in France. You bitch and moan about Muslims who want to institute Sharia law in your country, and then you propose imposing your courts and your rules on us in France?

      Typical British hypocrisy.

      The French government will never let this happen. If it did, your “processing centre” would go up in flames on the very first day.

      • sarky

        We have embassies that process visa applications in other countries, cant really see the difference.

        • Linus

          You have no embassy in Calais. If you want to deal with visa applications, let your embassy in Paris handle them.

          Calais is French territory and the only authority that has legal writ there is French authority. We already pander to your xenophobic paranoia by allowing your border police to operate on our side of the Manche. If it were up to me they would be expelled tomorrow.

          The idea of an organ of the British state operating on French soil outside of the clearly defined boundary of an embassy compound is unacceptable. Today it’s border police, tomorrow an asylum processing centre, and the day after will you be sending over your judges and juries and trying people under British law on our territory?

          Get real and understand that it’s never going to happen.

          • sarky

            We could also send over the army to shoot the striking dock workers.

          • Linus

            Even disguised as humour, the true British colours always reveal themselves. “Might is right” should be your national motto, not “Dieu et mon droit”…

          • Well, the French do have a tradition of failing to honour agreements when it comes to the la crunch.

          • Linus

            And the British have a tradition of making things up as they go along in order to justify the most blatant acts of self-interest. Your nation invented the concept of gunboat diplomacy, after all. “Perfide Albion” indeed…

          • True and very wrong it was too. However, it doesn’t justify the French lack of honour in meeting commitments.

          • Linus

            It really relieves your feelings of impotence and frustration to blame all your woes on someone else, doesn’t it?

            France didn’t sign up to protect Britain’s borders. We merely agreed that your border police could operate on our side of the Manche in order to facilitate the movement of people and goods through the tunnel.

            France’s task is to protect France, not Britain. Our membership of the Schengen area means we can’t stop migrants coming in from other Schengen area countries. But as their aim is to leave as quickly as possible, hindering their departure would be failing to act in our own best interests.

            If you think we’re not doing enough to protect your border (as if it were our responsibility!) then you always withdraw back to your own territory and implement your own controls. But you don’t want to do that. You prefer to accuse us of failings that are entirely your own.

            Perfidious Albion indeed!

          • Dave Smith

            Interesting you should mention the striking dock workers – how come the asylum seekers are getting ALL the blame for the bottleneck? I haven’t head a peep in the media about the strikers!

          • The Explorer

            Paris is one solution: and move all those asylum seekers now in Calais to Paris. Establishing an embassy in Calais is another.

          • Linus

            Your fantasies are getting the better of you again.

            Wishful thinking really is the hallmark of the Ukip voter, isn’t they? He believes that all he has to do is imagine a solution, no matter how impractical it may be, and reality will conform itself to his wishes with no further ado.

            Your embassy is in Paris, not Calais. The migrants are in Calais, not Paris. To move the embassy to Calais, you’ll have to get the agreement of the French government, which will never be forthcoming as it would be seen as an attempt to violate our national sovereignty.

            To move the migrants to Paris, you’ll have to get our government to agree to round them up, put them on prison trains against their will and ship them across the country to fortified camps. No French government will ever agree to do that. The last time such a thing happened, the camps had mottos like “Arbeit Macht Frei” over the gates.

            So if our government won’t cooperate, what are your choices? You could always invade France, install an occupying force and deal with the migrants yourselves. Good luck with that plan! European treaties would compel our other neighbours to help us defend ourselves and Britain would find itself fighting against the combined forces of the entire Continent, including Germany. Would the Americans come to your rescue like they did last time? Doubtful…

            So if you can’t tell us what to do in our own country, and you can’t invade and force us to do it, what can you do? Ooooh, I know! You can retreat inside your fantasies and hide your impotence from yourselves, and just pretend that everything is how you want it to be. And then you can vote Ukip …

          • The Explorer

            “WIshful thinking is the hallmark of the Ukip voter.” No idea: why not ask a Ukip voter?

            The thing is, asylum seekers presumably need to be near where their claims are being processed. So if you want them processed in Paris, that’s where they’ve got to be. Also, if there’s a seditious element among them, they’re right in situ for blowing up the Eiffel Tower.

            No one is suggesting moving the embassy to Calais. Paris, after all, is quite nice; nicer than Calais. Agreed there can be only one embassy, but there can be lots of consulates. A British consulate in Calais is, I think, what Sarky had in mind. That should be eminently feasible.

          • Linus

            There already is a British consul in Calais. Doesn’t seem to be doing much good though, does he?

            And there’s no reason why migrants need to be moved to Paris while their claims are processed. You British love your technology, and all the migrants have mobile phones. So just keep them informed by email, or give them secure logins to an immigration website. Then once they get sick of waiting for asylum to be granted, they’ll be perfectly positioned to take matters into their own hands.

          • The Explorer

            If there’s a Consulate in Calais already, even better. Use it/him. HE seems to be doing a lot of good: the asylum seekers are still your end of the Channel.

          • Linus

            Are you sure about that? Thousands arrive every week and yet the “Jungle” seems to be getting no bigger.

            Of the thousand who stormed the tunnel defences a few days ago, I’ve seem estimates in the British press of 900 getting through. That may be exaggerated, or it may not be. But I notice that no official denial has been issued by your government.

            In effect Calais is just a slight bottleneck in the steady flow of migrants into your country. So much for the efforts of your consular staff…

          • The Explorer

            No, I fear you are right. There’s a report on Sky news today that 70% of Calais migrants are thought to be getting through to Britain.

          • Dave Smith

            Was that in the Sun, the Express or the Mail? Don’t believe anything they tell you! Even the BBC talks rubbish when it comes to immigration. I have just read an article there that makes it clear that they don’t know the difference between an asylum seeker, a refugee and an illegal immigrant! They clearly have not read the UN convention on refugees either, otherwise they would know that, in order to seek asylum, it is accepted that you will often have to travel on false passports because you either cannot obtain a genuine one or cannot travel with one because it would endanger your life..

          • The Explorer

            I acquired WIndows 10, and it made MSN my home page. One of today’s items was by Sky News. No linked newspaper source given. It says research by the French has been passed to the Home Affairs Select committee that 70% are getting through in a four-month period: ie 3,500 out of 5000.
            So, if I am to believe nothing:
            1. There was no French research.
            2. Nothing was given to the Select Committee.
            3. There aren’t 5000 asylum seekers/refugees/illegal immigrants in Calais, and not one of them is getting through for the obvious reason that they don’t exist.

          • Dave Smith

            Just read the article. Not a bad piece compared to most, but it does clearly state “They cannot ascertain whether these migrants leave to go elsewhere in France, or whether they enter the UK”. I doubt very much if 70% are getting through, as lorry drivers are very aware that they can be fined, and they won’t let people in without checking. Also interesting that it says “70% of those documented” – well, if they are documented in France, it’s easy to send them back, so what is all the fuss about? And if they are documented, they are not illegal either. The French should be giving them a place to stay, not leaving them in the Jungle…but then, that would get us off lightly wouldn’t it? Yet again, not in our back yard. Let the Frenchies have the problem! (sarcasm intended!)

          • cacheton

            Explorer sorry for butting in here but these migrants would have to actually WANT to be processed in France, whether by UK or French authorities. But they don’t want that. You cannot force them to be processed, nor force them not to ‘lose’ their documents. They want to reach British soil, from where they know that even if their applications are refused they can find the means to stay anyway, which they can’t in France.

          • The Explorer

            Yes. I think you’ve put your finger on the problem.

          • John Thomas

            Fine, Linus, let’s have no British processing centre – and let’s maybe go back to Harriet Harman (British socialist politician)’s idea that France, ie,. the French government, takes total responsibility, and sorts it out. Great idea!

          • Linus

            We are sorting it out!

            Apparently 600 migrants got through yesterday alone. At this rate the Jungle will be empty within a couple of weeks and our migrant problem will be solved.

            They’ll keep on coming of course, but if numbers increase and they start pooling around the tunnel entrance, we can always leave the gates open (accidentally on purpose, you understand) until the backlog drains away.

            As for Britain’s migrant problem, that has nothing to do with us. Sort your own problems out on your own territory and stop whining that your neighbours won’t do your dirty work for you. Why should we? Mess flows downhill and you’re at the bottom of the slope.

    • Dave Smith

      In theory a good idea, but I’m not sure it would work. The asylum process isn’t very fast, and if you speed it up you deny people the chance of proving their case. I guess you could process those whose claims were very clearly genuine, but that wouldn’t be many. Apart from anything else, our government doesn’t do sensible ideas when it comes to asylum!

      • sarky

        Was just thinking that If people knew they were being dealt with they wouldn’t try so desperately to get here.

    • Anton

      We need French permission to operate in Calais and frankly it is impossible to tell genuine cases from economic migrants because they both tell the same story, true or false.

  • John Thomas

    Of course they are people who have needs; of course most of them are/have been the victims of bad situations, who need to be treated decently – but does that mean that we can physically find a home for all of them (even if we weed out all the dangerous Islamists who are may be intent on coming here to commit atrocities – if we actually could). All of them? All? Think how many millions – billions – of people in Africa, the middle east, and beyond might reasonably want to follow those who they see “fast tacked” into British citizenship? And not only right-wing “extremists” will realise, if they are truly honest, that a time will come – fast approaching, perhaps – when the billions who will come will render “British” society into something not unlike that which they have left, or at least their children will …

    • Orwell Ian

      An excellent assessment of the situation. Refugees that form themselves into gangs, demanding entry because of migrants “rights” and then proceed to tear down fences and stowaway on lorries, cease to be asylum seekers and become invaders. If they resort to lawlessness to gain entry they will certainly continue with criminality once inside the UK.

    • Ritamalik

      Well said! I don’t know why people assume that those countries that immigrants and refugees come from are in the bad shape that they are right now just by accident. The very people who are fleeing those countries made them the way they are. These people are fleeing the mess that they have made with their own hands and now instead of changing their ways and fixing the mess that they have made in their own homelands they are running away from it. Their culture is not conducive to building a functioning society. So of course it is unfortunate that they are in hardship. But if they flood the West, rest assured in a very short period of time they will make Europe exactly a carbon copy of where they came from. So then neither they will be happy nor the indigenous population of Europe, and because of that hatred and fights between the immigrant and indigenous communities will be inevitable. That will ruin Europe literally. I think those who want to show off their humanitarian zeal better come up with a way to help the immigrants in their own countries instead of sacrificing the whole continent of Europe and all its population in order to do a shortsighted and useless feel-good act by taking in millions of refugees from failed societies.

  • The Explorer

    Dave Smith makes the excellent point that there is widespread confusion about the difference between a refugee, an asylum seeker, and an illegal immigrant. (Certainly there are those who would say the first two are just posh names for the third.)

    Attempted definition. A refugee(under threat on basis of race/religion/politics) seeks asylum from embassy of host country before departure. An asylum seeker makes the journey first, and asks for asylum on arrival. An illegal immigrant is not under threat in his/her home country, but seeks a better life elsewhere.

    • Dave Smith

      in terms of the UK and our asylum system,
      Asylum seeker = someone who is in a country that has signed up to the 1951 Refugee Convention and has applied for asylum in that country. In other words, they are in the system waiting for a decision
      Refugee = someone whose claim has been determined and who has been granted Leave to Remain on grounds of persecution as set out in the 1951 Convention. At that point they become eligible for normal benefits and have the right to work (Other countries may have different rules)
      Illegal Immigrant = someone who is in the country without permission. They may have come in incognito and never applied for asylum, or be ‘overstayers’. Some overstayers are ‘failed’ asylum seekers who have gone underground after refusal (most do not; they continue to report as required, and are therefore not illegal), or they may have overstayed after their work ,visitor or study visa ran out. Interestingly Americans and Australians are near the top of that list, but I don’t see that in the press anywhere! Some are also from the West Indies who have been here for their whole lives but never got documented. And yes, we try to deport them too!
      ‘MIgrant’ is the term that covers the lot.

      I get quite annoyed, because even the Beeb gets it wrong, so what hope is there for the rest of the populace?

      • The Explorer

        No hope for the rest of the population. The rest of the population, I think, is increasingly driven by two questions.
        1. Are they Muslim?
        2. WIll there be enough of them to generate a civil war at some point in the future? In a discussions I had recently about defence – modifying the Portsmouth dock for the new aircraft carriers started it – the focus was on internal rather than external threat. The perception of an internal threat may be erroneous, but is nonetheless there and growing

        • Dave Smith

          There clearly is an internal threat from radicals. In fact, I really don’t think that many in Calais are radical Muslims,. and we are far better engaging with disaffected Muslim youth here than wasting money on building barricades to keep people out.
          Apart from that, surely there is a far bigger threat to our society from unscrupulous bankers, sexual predator celebs and greedy corporations than a few radical Muslims.