Never have the liberal elite imposed their will on so many so effectively and so quickly. This is what we have been witnessing over the last few days of hysterical coverage on the refugee/migrant crisis. Just a few weeks after net migration reached a record high of 330,000 people, we are now being told we are going to take at least 20,000 refugees.
It has been an astonishing rout of common sense.
I find myself asking if I have a heart of granite that I do not follow this ‘let them all in’ line. I am not going to articulate my feelings on seeing that photograph because, as Dominic Lawson said, it really should not be about me.
All of this compassion signalling is simply self-indulgent, self-regarding and dangerous. It leads to poor policy making and to hell with the consequences for everyone else. Yvette Cooper was at it again on the radio saying that our response should be ‘about what type of country we want to be’. And herein lies the conceit – it is all about us when it should be about the Syrians and others fleeing horrifying war and brutality.
The whole thing has been absolutely galling. First, we are lectured to by none other than the Germans on humanity and compassion – how nice to see the Germans welcoming people off trains as opposed to loading people on.
And then there are those that get to flaunt not just their spare rooms – Nicola Sturgeon – but spare houses – Saint Bob Geldof. That is lovely, both of you, but do you realise that there are thousands of British people on housing association waiting lists you could have accommodated before this crisis hit? Obviously these people do not cut the mustard.
I don’t oppose the aid budget being diverted to spend on humanitarian assistance in the refugee camps. I don’t oppose genuine refugees – even up to 20,000 – being given refuge in Britain as long as we realise that the Local Government Association’s initial bill for housing just 10,000 refugees is £150 million. I did not think we had that kind of money down the back of the couch.
The truth is that many of these migrants have already gained refuge in Turkey but conditions there are not as favourable as in the EU. They face discrimination and the children cannot go to school – a particularly cruel policy. But they do have refuge.
The desire to move on to the EU is understandable but does not mean you can maintain your status as a refugee. It makes you a migrant.
As we plough on let us note reality; we know that Sir Bob will not end up with a couple of refugee families in his country pile, nor will there be a couple of young immigrants couch surfing at chez-Nicola. The refugees will not go to Kensington or Islington on Cameronshire. Hell, they will not end up down my way. No.
These refugees/immigrants will be rehomed in the very communities who have already absorbed huge numbers of immigrants. But the people of these communities – both ‘native’ British and those who legally applied for work-permits or asylum or exercised their EU right to move here – will not get a say.
They do not get a say because they are working in minimum wage jobs day and night while the Twitterati have time on their hands to whip up a frenzy of sympathy and ill thought out policy.
It is the type of policy served up by my great heroine, Cher from the movie Clueless. Here she is, debating the motion “should all oppressed people be given refuge in America?’
We are effectively being asked the same thing for the UK. Cher – God please her rich Beverly Hills heart – thinks if only the government could ‘get to the kitchen to rearrange a few resources we could certainly party with the oppressed’, after all – ‘the more the merrier’! But this isn’t a movie, it is real life, and we expect real policy-making – not make-believe from our government.