It’s summer and just like every summer since the Tories were in power (first in the coalition and now with a slim majority) it’s immigration time.
To be fair, the situation at the migrant camps in Calais has been high on the media agenda (and to be clear, this is a humanitarian crisis, despite the British media’s preoccupation with holidaymakers and truckers being disturbed by desperate people inconveniencing their respective holidays and commutes).
Nevertheless, the Tory Party is adept at seizing the agenda over the summer, which is traditionally the silly season and a time which Labour has consistently been MIA in recent years. One year, most of the shadow cabinet just went on holiday (not a bad thing in itself but there was no one taking the airwaves to respond to anything really); this summer it’s the moribund and never ending leadership contest* that has Labour distracted by its own navel.
First it was Cameron and his “swarms” comment; now Phillip Hammond has characterised the people in Calais as “marauding migrants” out to destroy the British way of life. Although he sees that the standard of living is low in many African countries, he appears to be labouring under the illusion that Europe has to absorb “millions” of African migrants. So…let’s do this again:
- Newsflash: Migrants and refugees are people. Giles Fraser did a moving and all too necessary report from St Michael’s Church in the refugee camp in Calais.
- Europe takes nowhere near as many refugees and migrants as developing nations. Millions? That’s a figure for Kenya. Or Lebanon. Or Turkey. Not Europe.
- If the standard of living in Africa is low….it’s worth considering why. (hint: Empire, Western multinational tax dodgers, corrupt regimes propped up by Europe and other nations…)
- Empire. Worth a look, mate.
- Syria. So…that’s still a thing.
- Empire. Seriously, dude. Check it out.
*with the exception of Corbyn. Watching increasingly hysterical media types from left and right, as well as politicians and Labour grandees scream that the man is unelectable and dangerous and/or stupid has become my summer past time. If he’s so ridiculous, why the noise, guys?