The solution to the Calais “migrant crisis” is very simple. The British government should help the migrants come to the UK.
Once here the migrants should be provided with healthcare, housing and education.
The benefits and help offered to migrants should be adequate and generous, not mean and miserly. The migrants should be treated with respect, not reviled as they have been by our filthy press and politicians.
If this happened we would quickly find these poor, unhappy, desperate people would become happier, normal, useful members of our society. And the act of solidarity would make our society a better, more caring place, too.
The alternative is to continue building up defences around the Eurotunnel entrance at Calais, at great expense and with little concern for the damage caused to the migrants who will inevitably try to find a way in.
In June and July nine migrants died in attempts to get from France to the UK. They fell from moving vehicles or we’re crushed by trucks. Many have broken arms or legs attempting to scale fences.
Why do so many risk so much to get here? Many of these migrants are refugees from the war in Syria, or from the despotic and paranoid Eritrean state. Many are fleeing war and persecution.
Why do some want to come to the UK and not France? Some speak English, not French; some have family or friends here.
The Mail and Express insist these people are attracted to the UK by high benefits. That’s almost laughable. The treatment of refugees in the UK is a national scandal. Almost all asylum seekers are prevented from working. Asylum seekers do not jump council housing queues and money for their accommodation does not come from council funds. The weekly rate for a couple seeking asylum in the UK is £72.52. A single asylum seeker gets £36.95. Asylum seekers are not entitled to JSA, Income Support or Housing Benefit.
Could you live on that? No!
So why should they have to?
Migrants and refugees are lambasted by the press and condemned by our Prime Minister using language that normally is reserved for insects. Cameron panders to all the worst, most anti-social, prejudices amongst the British public: small-mindedness, our insular, curtain-twitching petty meanness. These are not things to be proud of!
Cameron claims to care about the plight of Syrian refugees, but his Vulnerable Person Relocation scheme, begun last year, has allowed less than 200 Syrian people into the UK.
There are better traditions in the UK, of solidarity and internationalism. Let’s help the migrants. If it costs our society more money to help these people, let’s spend the money. There are plenty of rich people in the UK, who could pay a bit more tax - that would sort that problem out.
Let the migrants in! For freedom of movement for all!