Economic migrants, refugees and borders

The EU’s border and migration administration reveals a dithering, divided policy. In recent days we have seen Hungary try to keep migrants out of the EU altogether, but have to accept thousands without legal documents. We have seen Hungary tell migrants under EU rules they must stay in Hungary and claim asylum there or leave the EU, only to see Austria and Germany welcome them without Hungary doing its stated job. We have seen Hungary refuse to allow migrants to use trains and buses to cross their country, and then to offer free buses to some migrants who decided on a dangerous walk on a motorway. We still do not know if Germany really means she is only accepting Syrian refugees, or whether she will accept anyone from anywhere that has made the difficult journey to her border, refugee or economic migrant. The BBC said there were people from many countries crossing Hungary, and many were likely to be economic migrants. Will Germany send back those who are not fleeing violence against themselves in Syria?

We have seen Germany change the rules over how to assess and receive migrants unilaterally, and say there must be a quota system to take more. Germany has not explained how you make migrants go to countries within the EU that they do not favour, or how you stop them going to countries already above quota once the migrants have gained legal documents allowing them to live and work in the EU.

This muddled policy can also be dangerous. I am sure they do not intend it to be so, but holding out the hope of an EU welcome and citizenship to any who use people smugglers to make the hazardous journey from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere and who eventually arrive tired and troubled at an EU border is in danger of putting more at risk. It could simply fuel the people smugglers cruel bonanza. As we have seen, even when they arrive in the EU there are still travel dangers if the migrants walk with children on railway lines and motorways rather than have permission and tickets to travel safely.

I think the UK is right to say the best way to help Syrian refugees is to provide support and assistance close to the homeland they have left on a far bigger scale than the EU is thinking of doing for individual refugees coming to the EU by hazardous means. I also think the rich Arab states adjacent to Syria could offer more help and support. In the UK when our children in London and other at risk locations were threatened nightly in the Second World War bombing raids they were taken out of danger as evacuees to safer parts of the country. Shouldn’t the Middle east safer countries and areas be offering something similar to children at risk in the most troubled fighting zones, whilst the regional governments and politicians work out how to find a longer term solution to the wars?
There are so many tragic deaths of children in these conflicts, and many of them passed unnoticed as children are bombed or shelled in their beds at home in war zones or die away from western cameras on their long journeys seeking a better life.


  1. Mrs Rita Webb
    September 7, 2015

    Why not take CHRISTIAN Syrian refugees? From the ones I have come across in Germany and America they are just the sort of well educated entrepreneurial people the UK needs. What EU or other international law has stopped Poland, Slovakia and Belgium picking and choosing who it offers refuge too? Why is it that we always have to take in the unskilled and those who do not wish to assimilate?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      September 7, 2015

      Under this “quota” system any EU paperwork handed out to these law breaking immigrants should readily identify the country to which they have been allocated.

      Should these law breaking immigrants then travel onward to other EU countries their costs should be picked up by the country to which they have been allocated. Any taxes paid would not be distributed in this way as the immigrant (who arrived by ignoring laws and conventions and quite probably damaging property) is using infrastructure paid for by its new host country.

      This attributing of costs to the responsible country could be a pilot for allocating costs for EU countries’ free movers going forward.

    2. MikeStallard
      September 7, 2015

      Mrs Webb!
      You cannot separate people on the grounds of the religion, race or sexual orientation. Everyone knows that.
      (Excellent idea nevertheless!)

    3. libertarian
      September 7, 2015

      Mrs Rita Webb

      How and who and on what criteria will we assess an entrepreneurial christian Syrian ?

      1. Mrs Rita Webb
        September 7, 2015

        Probably using the same methodology that you used to arrive at student nurses running up £40k in debts. A proper “employment expert” would have checked the NHS website first to see as to how they fund their training.

    4. NickW
      September 7, 2015

      I agree 100%.

      This country will benefit from taking Christian refugees.

      It will most likely not benefit from taking those from the non peaceful religions of the region.

      Why isn’t it Government policy to favour Christian refugees and asylum seekers, who are well on the way towards demonstrating a desire and ability to assimilate into (what was once) a Christian country?

      1. Sid
        September 9, 2015

        Why isn’t it Government policy to favour Christian refugees and asylum seekers, who are well on the way towards demonstrating a desire and ability to assimilate into (what was once) a Christian country?

        I would also like this question addressed.
        It is a question the political elite will have to answer under oath when they are all arrested for treachery in 30 years time.

        Reply Government and Opposition have considered this question, and both say they do not wish to have any kind of religious test on who qualifies for UK entry.The government does take into account whether someone’s religion is the reason they are being persecuted and therefore qualifies for asylum. Christians are persecuted in some locations and therefore have a potentially good asylum claim where this is happening.

        1. Sid
          September 9, 2015

          Christians are persecuted in some locations and therefore have a potentially good asylum claim where this is happening.

          Where can I find the statistics and evidence for this?

  2. Mrs Rita Webb
    September 7, 2015

    JR they are two Gulf states that you always moderate their names out when I have mentioned them in the past. The best contribution they could make to stop the suffering is stop stirring it up in Syria.

    1. forthurst
      September 7, 2015

      Interesting, I wonder which is the other one.

      1. Mrs Rita Webb
        September 7, 2015


  3. Narrow Shoulders
    September 7, 2015

    The actions of this last week have just encouraged more to come.

    They should all be sent back to whence they came.

    That little boy was killed by his (law breaking) parents not by any western government and it is a shame that policy has been created on the back of it.

    The Hungarians had the right idea in the first place. We really are importing trouble into Europe and eventually the UK.

    Those volunteering their homes for immigrants must pay for everything, there should be no public funds for any of these law breakers who seem to have no concept of our rules.

    1. Denis Cooper
      September 7, 2015

      That little boy died as a direct result of a very risky decision made by his father, with indirect encouragement from the EU leader who the illegal immigrants are calling their “Mother” and other members of the German government.

      I don’t think we know what his real mother thought about it, but in any case she may not have been allowed to share in the decision.

      If I had suddenly leapt on my wife and small child and pushed them down onto a railway track beneath me as some kind of protest I doubt she would have stayed silent and passively accepted that as being entirely my decision.

      But I suspect that pathetic little scene may have been staged for the TV cameras, if not actually rehearsed.

      1. Richard1
        September 7, 2015

        That is a very disagreeable post by Denis Cooper

        1. Excalibur
          September 8, 2015

          I disagree, Richard1. The tactics of deceit employed by the radically leftist media would not stop at a stage managed pretence to gain sympathy for their political end game. It is that which is disagreeable !

        2. Denis Cooper
          September 8, 2015

          Reality can sometimes be “very disagreeable”, Richard1.

    2. MikeStallard
      September 7, 2015

      You cannot send people back. It demands a fascist state with papers and police and brute force. Anyway, who do you send back? Are you going to send my friend Chris back just because his mum happens to be the daughter of an Italian?
      The six or so immigrants whom I know personally arrived equipped with a mobile phone each and I know that they are in constant contact with their place of origin. What are they telling their families I wonder?

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        September 7, 2015

        Does your friend Chris have the required paperwork? did he arrive in Europe without breaking international law?

        If so he would not be on any repatriation list Mike

  4. Iain Gill
    September 7, 2015

    Apparently Cameron is going to accept a lot of orphans. Frankly we cannot look after our own as the Rotherham scandal demonstrates. Absolute disgrace the way policy is made up.

    1. Iain Moore
      September 7, 2015

      As shown by Cameron making a £100 million gesture to help migrants, while unable to come up with £100 million for the cancer treatment for our own people.

      It seems our own people’s lives are of less value.

  5. Pete
    September 7, 2015

    Perhaps the British government should stop sending it’s aircraft to bomb Syria and stop sending support to “moderate” rebels (who are all actually ISIS).
    It is ridiculous for politicians to incite and inflame wars as Americas lapdog then call for peace and solutions to wars that the same politicians have created.

    1. MikeStallard
      September 7, 2015

      Declaring war on Assad means declaring war on Russia.
      Declaring war on the ISIS movement means declaring war on Saudi Arabia.

      1. APL
        September 8, 2015

        Mike Stallard: “Declaring war on the ISIS movement means declaring war on Saudi Arabia”

        When you put it like that, it makes the decision so much easier.

        1. CdBrux
          September 8, 2015

          They probably have more of our weaponry than we do!

    2. forthurst
      September 7, 2015

      I seem to recall the Americans were heavily involved in promoting CMD as their preferred candidate to lead the Tory Party; I read now that they are already lining up David Miliband to succeed Jeremy Corbyn. In other words, the neocons are intent on installing their placemen in the UK to ensure that they have active support for their wars of aggression. It is now very obvious that these wars, not only cause great suffering in the Middle East and North Africa for the people that bear the brunt, but they also, through the huge refugee flows that they engender, represent a threat to our own survival; placemen who take their instructions from the neocons who are an existential threat us and much of humanity, must be regarded as the very worst kind of traitor. Parliament must act now to ensure that PMs are fearful of the consequences for them of acting against our interests by forcing through a law of treason backed by the most grievous of punishments.

      1. Mrs Rita Webb
        September 7, 2015

        Interesting theory however why did accept what the scientists at Porton Down say about the poison gas attack in Syria? If he was another Blair he would have ignored them and steamed right in, our troops lives at risk of course not his.

        1. forthurst
          September 8, 2015

          Has CMD backed down on his desire to attack Assad? Did he attack Libya? Why was it in the British interest to attack Libya? Why is it in the British interest to attack the only credible force opposing Da’ish?

      2. yosarion
        September 8, 2015

        I don’t think the Septics have ever forgiven us for not joining in that fiasco that was Vietnam.
        You know that Welsh one (just for you John, Di Lemma) the Septics had at the end of the war, should they back the French or should they back us, they chose the latter as I understand with Earl Mountbatten instructed to go into french Indo China, what they did then was hold him up at every opportunity so they could get there people on the ground talking to some bloke called Ho Che Min and thinking he was their Man.

  6. Sean
    September 7, 2015

    Welcome to a free for all Untied Kingdom ( The Promised land )

    I suppose Turkey isn’t good enough for the refugees anymore to seek safety.

    People around the the would know the EU and especially Britain will take thousands
    If not millions over the years.

    We are suck in a Liberal bubble, socialist Europe.

    I can only foresee this bite all so called politicians in the back side.

    We must hold over politicians to account once the poop hits the fan for uncontrolled imagination.

    This we not stop! This will continue from all countries they will come. I think that this is the strew that broke the camels back.

  7. Mark B
    September 7, 2015

    Good morning.

    Germany seems, if I recall correctly, of going it alone and forcing others to follow. It was German recognition of Slovakia (I think) that quickened the break up of the former Yuogoslavia and the civil war that resulted from that.

    Once again they are proving to be a lose cannon and I think it is time that someone reminded the German government and people, that when it comes to foreign policy, history shows that they do not have a particually good track record.


    1. CdBrux
      September 7, 2015

      If ex-Yugoslavia then it’s surely Slovenia and not Slovakia.

    2. Qubus
      September 7, 2015

      I don’t think that we have anything to learn from the Germans regarding refugees. Are they now acting out of a residual war guilt?

      Why does the BBC never mention that, certainly until recently, due to a decreasing population the German government was trying to encourage more German young women to have children by significantly increasing their child allowances.

      A further point is that due to the much lower population density in Germany, they could take 60 million immigrants and still have a population density less than the UK.
      They certainly weren’t very welcoming to the Gastarbeiter in the 1960’s. Even though they had been in Germany for many years, they were not entitled to German citizenship.
      Finally, I am getting a bit sick of Frau Merkel dominating the EU and changing the rules when she thinks fit, aided and abetted by her sidekick, M. Hollande.

      1. Robert Christopher
        September 9, 2015

        “A further point is that due to the much lower population density in Germany, they could take 60 million immigrants and still have a population density less than the UK.”

        I think it is … and still have a population density less than ENGLAND.

        And Scotland would need 25,000,000, but they would slide South.

    3. Hefner
      September 7, 2015

      Sorry, but you certainly mean Slovenia. And you also mean that parts of Yugoslavia turned to ethnic cleansing after the death of Tito, the event that started the civil war.
      Germany’s recognition of Slovenia (and Croatia) came somewhat later in an attempt to protect the Christian majorities in these two provinces of Yugoslavia.

      A lot of relevant information can be easily found on Wikipedia by anybody curious enough to look for it.

  8. alan jutson
    September 7, 2015

    The simple fact is Germany are breaking the rules because it suits Germany.

    Germany is suffering from a population decrease it is reported, thus it needs more people and has some empty houses, and thus it has room to import people.

    Afraid the Germans will always put themselves first, and I have no problem with that, if only we would do the same 0n more occasions.

    This present chaos just shows the policy weakness of the EU when things do not go according to their fair weather plans.

    How ironic that people power has made a mockery of EU policy and planning, but those people were not part of the EU, but outsiders from other Countries.

    1. alan jutson
      September 7, 2015

      Good to see that our Foreign Aid budget is at last being used in part for sensible humanitarian aid.

      Given the EU has a Foreign Aid budget to which we contribute, I wonder how much of that is being used to help, and where it is being spent.
      I wonder, will Germany and others get EU finance to help the new arrivals, if so I guess we have been claiming the same for the UK over many decades. ?

      Strange how many people in the World criticise the West, but when in trouble that is where they head for help, rather than countries which have similar ways of life and religion.

      Others have mentioned/questioned the resolve of the people to resist and fight for their own freedom, in their own Country.
      I wonder why is this, is it because it is easier to simply leave and ask others to do it on your behalf.

      I see it is reported that Afghanistan is now slowly losing the battle against the Taliban.
      For a decade we sent thousands of our young fit men and women over to help them, and at the same time, many of that age group (who could have fought to defend their own Country) were travelling the World to get to us for refuge.

      The World is becoming a vary unstable place, the last thing we should have done is cut our own Army strength and that of our other armed services.

      One wonders given the now multicultural mix of our own Country, how many would stay and fight, like the past generation if we were ever in real trouble.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      September 7, 2015

      But how many will stay in Germany after getting their papers? Not many I bet because many of them speak only English and it will make for an easier life for them. Look out England, here come the millions.

  9. Peter van Leeuwen
    September 7, 2015

    While there is nothing wrong with what is stated in this blog today, it might have mentioned that an overriding problem is the continuing lack of real cooperation and solidarity between European countries. Every country for itself is not the way to approach such crisis. Having left it solely to Italy, Greece and Hungary to deal with these huge numbers of people entering has now caused an uncontrollable human crisis. Politicians, fearing their “boze blanke burgers” (angry white citizens) have dehumanised the problem too much into economic figures, statistics (and “swarms”) until real people started with grass-root actions to help the real refugees.
    Meanwhile, although he may mean well, Cameron isn’t gaining any friends on the continent, because he stands aloof, “doing the right thing”, instead of addressing the current refugee crisis inside Europe. It has already made the Austrian chancellor remark that he could block Britain’s EU negotiations. I don’t think that the German chancellor is exceedingly impressed by Cameron’s performance either. The BBC site, under “EU migration: Crisis in graphics”gives a reasonable insight.

    1. alan jutson
      September 7, 2015

      SO as I understand it, you suggest you would prefer to give EU legal status to those illegal immigrants, over those who have stayed in approved refugee camps.
      Thus encouraging more illegals to cross seas and Countries to try and enter the EU.

      Pray tell me how many refugees you would accept, is there a limit in your mind or would you accept everyone.

      The BBC who you choose to say are to be trusted as knowledgeable, broadcast this very lunchtime that there are up to 11 million displaced Syrian people looking for help/escape, and that does not include refugees from other countries who are also attempting to enter the EU in addition to the above.

      The UK has been the second largest contributor ( £962 Million ) in the World, since 2012 in an attempt to help them in their own region, and has taken refugees for years in addition to the above.
      We may not have taken in a huge number of late, but we did have 630,000 immigrants arrive last year in total.

      Do you have a refugee limit that you would like to share with us or would you like to see the 11 million offered EU papers. ?.

      If not 11 million what criteria would you use to choose who could come who should be refused ?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @alan jutson: I had actually expected a little better from you. How can one give a gratuitous “upper limit”? That can only be worked out in practice. If the Netherlands (more densily populated than your country) were to grow from 17 million to 18 million or even 20 million, who is to say that this is either possible or impossible? In China, a single city with more than 20 million inhabitants is possible. So I won’t give an upper limit, I don’t want to ignore the major problems to face with housing, jobs etc.
        How does the UK’s £962 Million to relief the refugee crisis compare with the €6 Billion from Germany?
        I did say there was nothing wrong with the blog, but only remark that Cameron, by not lending a hand as far as refugees in Europe are concerned won’t make him friends among his EU partners.
        Maybe he doesn’t want friends and just wants to get out of the EU? In that case he is playing a clever game.

        1. alan jutson
          September 8, 2015


          The point of my response was that you were critical of what the UK was doing, and suggested it should do far, far more.

          All I asked was how much more would you suggest, because clearly we both know that the EU as a whole cannot even give 11 million people entry, let alone the UK.
          If we cannot take them all, then someone has to make a choice as to who to take, who not to take, and in what numbers.

          I agree with you absolutely that the EU is in chaos over this issue, and individual National policies would seem to be at odds with EU policy for what it is, but if you allow free movement of people, to become free movement of populations, then all of us are really in serious trouble.

          The problem needs to be resolved so that people do not feel forced by circumstances to leave their homeland in the first place.

          With regards to you last comment about Mr Cameron trying to play a clever game.
          Most of us have rumbled what he is up to, hopefully more will wise up before the referendum and he will fail.

    2. CdBrux
      September 7, 2015

      EU renegotiations: So it’s OK to play politics with these refugees? Cameron should refuse, if Austria and France don’t want UK in EU then they should say so.

      Each country, as has been pointed out, has different needs – German population decreasing, in need of workers – they are well placed to offer a home (but what happends to person number 800,001?). UK is by far not in the same position AND is contributing more than others to the camps in Lebanon, Jordan etc… Why aren’t other countries contributing more there?

      The problem with quota’s is that there is some assumption of one size fits all. It doesn’t and you shouldn’t need much nous to know that.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @CdBrux: I think that Britain could contribute in other ways than just accept many more refugees, but the overriding impression sofar is that the UK doesn’t even offer the bare minimum, including alternative ways to alleviate the refugee crisis. We’ll see how. things develop over the next few months.

    3. Kenneth
      September 7, 2015

      Whether we agree or not with Mr Cameron’s desire to take people into our country, at least he and our government have identified that the proper thing is to receive them from refugee camps near Syria rather from within Europe.

      Conversely, accepting them into Europe is an invitation for yet more people to risk their lives which is highly irresponsible. The German and Austrian governments are causing people to lose their lives which is callous.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @Kenneth: I agree that reception in the region is even better, but that too is only one aspect of a very complex problem. Ignoring what is currently happening in both the Mediterranean and between Turkey and Greece would be dehumanising the problem, which has been picked up by public opinion.
        “let people die, so that not even more people will risk their lives” is not going to work, as you may have noticed already. We have to work both at source and nearer home

        1. Kenneth
          September 8, 2015

          “let people die, so that not even more people will risk their lives”

          That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone suggest that. I don’t even know how you could think up such an idea.

          European countries would save countless lives by doing what Australia has done and organising safe havens, whether they are refugee camps, islands or other temporary places. They can then be dealt with in an orderly way. The worst thing to do is to accept them into Europe as immigrants as this just encourages more loss of life. The best thing to do with those that have arrived in Europe is to send them to these safe havens in order to discourage more of them.

          Your misguided ideals are killing people. There is nothing more dehumanizing than being dead.

    4. chrisS
      September 7, 2015

      “While there is nothing wrong with what is stated in this blog today, it might have mentioned that an overriding problem is the continuing lack of real cooperation and solidarity between European countries. Every country for itself is not the way to approach such crisis.”

      Welcome to the real world, Peter.

      This is the reason why “Ever Closer Union” and the Euro project will ultimately fail.The only people who can’t see it are well-intentioned dreamers such as yourself and those Apparatchiks in Brussels whose mission is to grab all the power to the centre.

      Why else do you think a majority of Brits now want to leave ?

      We’ve seen what’s coming and we don’t like the look of it. We’re also a lot more independently minded that the rest of Europe. It has a great deal to do with not being trodden under by Jackboots in 1914-18 and 1939-45.

      We are again determined to avoid being crushed, although this time it’s not Jackboots you’re at risk from (Germany’s peaceful EU control ed).

      It could be almost as unpleasant, just ask the Greeks.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @chrisS: I think that your mindset has more to do with living on an island, a bit sheltered from the continent and its challenges. You may continue to prophetise the end of euro, EU, Schengen, etc. but it still hasn’t happended. Try harder! 🙂

        1. chrisS
          September 8, 2015

          On the contrary, Peter, I am the very opposite of a little islander.

          I have lived and worked in Germany – a five year stretch in the 1980s. Our eldest son was born in a German hospital.

          We also have a house in France and spend 8-10 weeks a year there. We travel extensively in Europe and visit Germany, Austria and Italy at least once a year. I drive more miles on the Continent than here which is why I have an ( Italian ) Left Hand Drive GT car and because we appreciate their dynamic qualities, we have a brace of German cars for everyday use ( and one British one ).

          I love all the countries we visit for their individuality but I can’t imagine what it feels to be a citizen of a country that has twice been invaded, occupied and abused by the Germans within living memory.

          What I do know is that the kind of control that German regimes tried and failed to impose and retain by force, thanks to us Anglo Saxons, they are succeeding in imposing peaceably and with a modicom of acquiescence from countries like France and Italy. Others like the Netherlands seem to be perfectly happy to go with the flow.

          You may be OK with “Ever closer Union” which is de-facto control from Berlin, but, we remember our history and what our parents and grandparents sacrificed to secure our freedom as well as yours. As a result, we are not prepared to be subsumed into a single European State where one dominant country is calling most of the shots.

          Just one small example : had Brussels asked us to vote again on a treaty to come up with the “right answer,” I’m quite sure that we would have told them to get stuffed. France the Netherlands and Ireland simply did what they were told.

          That’s the difference between our country and many Continental States.

    5. Narrow Shoulders
      September 7, 2015

      Unfortunately grass roots movements to repel these invaders would have been subject to police or military intervention.

      It seems it is OK for the lefties to people smuggle though.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @Narrow Shoulders: Do the (rightwing?) miltary interventionists (Iraq, Afganistan, Lybia) been so successful?

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          September 8, 2015

          Completely off topic @PvL

          The lefties who are going to Hungary to bring back immigrants into Austria and Germany are people smuggling. That was the grass roots movements to which you referred.

          If I repelled these illegals by force then I would be castigated and probably arrested.

          1. Peter van Leeuwen
            September 8, 2015

            @Narrow Shoulders: If only it were off topic!!!
            You obviously have not seen how these interventions spent lots of money on waging wars, but very little to construct and forge peace afterwards, which has helped to create chaos and more conflict, hence, many of the refugees.

    6. fedupsoutherner
      September 7, 2015

      Well, bring it on. It might encourage more to vote to come out of the EU! Job done.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        bye bye 🙂

    7. ian wragg
      September 7, 2015

      . It has already made the Austrian chancellor remark that he could block Britain’s EU negotiations. I don’t think that the German chancellor is exceedingly impressed by Cameron’s performance either.
      Just keep the threats coming Peter van Brussels. You may have noticed that the latest Survation poll gives the outers the lead. Just keep helping us out.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @ian wragg: no threats, just observations. I won’t stand in your way if you want to leave.

    8. Boudicca
      September 7, 2015

      The content of Merkel’s discussions with Cameron was reported in the British Media over the weekend – during these discussions she apparently said that the other EU countries “hate the British.”

      That’s probably because we don’t meekly go along with EVERY moronic
      idea the EU (and Germany) comes up with and we’re a bit too big to bully.

      As we already have no real friends in the EU area, they won’t miss us when we go.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @Boudicca: I’ve read that too, but I doubt it to be true. In reality, Britons aren’t hated.

      2. miami.mode
        September 8, 2015

        Very interesting points Boudicca.

        I recently paid a repeat visit to the Airborne Museum at Arnhem after more than 20 years and was struck by how much it had changed.

        I vividly remember first time around seeing that the Dutch lost a similar amount of killed and wounded in losing their country as the Allies did in not gaining a bridge. I know full well that the circumstances were vastly different but the museum seems now as much about the Dutch suffering in the aftermath of the battle as about the Allies suffering during the battle.

        It just appears to be more about them these days.

    9. Anonymous
      September 7, 2015

      Peter VL

      Do you ever have an answer that involves less EU rather than more ?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @Anonymous: More subsidiarity means less EU, I do favor more subsidiarity, as officially proposed by my government more than a year ago. Less/better regulations (especially for SMEs) would in your perception also mean less EU

    10. bluedog
      September 7, 2015

      ‘It has already made the Austrian chancellor remark that he could block Britain’s EU negotiations. I don’t think that the German chancellor is exceedingly impressed by Cameron’s performance either.’

      We’re trembling! Not with fear, but in eager anticipation of some ham-fisted commentary that will further harden British public opinion against remaining in the EU.

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @bluedog: bye bye then 🙂

    11. David Price
      September 8, 2015

      Germany has demonstrated contempt for other members of the EU on many occaisions and has done so again in this situation.

      What you mean by solidatity is in reality submission to the desires of federalists such as yourself. Or have you also been chastising Frau Merkel over her unilateral action in breaking EU rules?

      1. Peter van Leeuwen
        September 8, 2015

        @David Price: “Nood breekt wetten” – which sort of translates into “necessity has no law”

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          September 8, 2015

          When it is in Germany’s interests.

          Go tell it to the Greeks

        2. David Price
          September 9, 2015

          If a law doesn’t work then work to change the law, don’t unilaterally break it or ignore it. The same goes for contracts, promises and agreements.

          In my experience the pro-EU governments are the ones that break and ignore laws and agreements the most, the EU is not a paragon of trustworthiness or ethical behaviour.

          Running around in the shadow of the playground bullies and taunting all who reject and criticise their behaviour is not a very good strategy. Your pro-EU German friends will fall out of power and then where will you be with no morals or principles or friends other than those you borrowed from your masters?

          1. Peter van Leeuwen
            September 9, 2015

            @David Price: One could also argue that Germany has lived up to the Geneva convention when other nations chose to look away.

        3. David Price
          September 9, 2015

          “necessity has no law” – sounds like “the ends justify the means”, used down the ages by tyrants and their lickspittaks

    12. Denis Cooper
      September 8, 2015

      We have a treaty opt-out precisely because we did not want to be part of it, and that was made clear to the other EU countries and it was agreed that we would not be part of it, as with Ireland and Denmark as well, so do not now try to tell us that we should be part of it anyway in some spirit of “solidarity” which we do not share.

  10. Old Albion
    September 7, 2015

    The real tragedy is that within this latest wave of mass immigration, we see on our television, there are undoubtedly genuine asylum seekers needing help. But the (dis)UK has seen so many chancers, bogus asylum seekers and economic migrants arrive on our shores over the last twenty years there is now an immigration fatigue. Which leads many to ask how many more will come, how many more can we sustain, when will it stop?
    Any reluctance to help the genuine, comes from the behaviour of the false immigrants and the government failure to deter and deal effectively with the problem.

  11. Denis Cooper
    September 7, 2015

    The only people in Hungary who could properly be described as refugees would be those who arrived direct in Hungary as the first safe country they reached. All the others who were safe in Turkey or elsewhere outside the EU, but then decided they would prefer to live in the EU, and especially in Germany, and set off to get there without any prior permission, are simply illegal immigrants and their actions should not be condoned let alone praised. I wonder what the mass of the Germans think about it, given that those Germans who are welcoming the illegal immigrants as heroes are small in number and may not be representative.

    1. alan jutson
      September 7, 2015


      Agreed, they should have been safe in Turkey, after all Turkey have actually applied to join the EU, and their membership is as I understand under consideration.

      Have you noticed that when given clothes, food, water and toys, hardly anyone ever seems to say thank you to those who are distributing such.

      Interesting interviews on Radio 5 this morning.

      A reporter asked many who had been given sanctuary in Germany “would they like to stay, or return sometime”.

      Most said they would want to return, but only when the war was over.

      Given most who were interviewed were of fighting age, who do they think is going to fight for their freedom in their Country.?

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      September 7, 2015


      The majority are illegal immigrants chancing their arms.

    3. Hefner
      September 7, 2015

      How could you arrive directly to Hungary without taking a plane? Do you really think the refugees could easily have a/ the money (likely) b/ an easy access to functioning airports c/ local airport police and border forces likely to let them go?

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 8, 2015

        They are not “refugees”, that is your mistake, and for your information I believe there are airports in both Turkey and Hungary.

        1. Hefner
          September 9, 2015

          Flying from Damascus to Budapest:
          The first leg is via Iran Air to Teheran, then plenty of choice:
          Second leg via Turkish to Istanbul,
          via Lufthansa to Frankfurt,
          via Austrian to Vienna,
          via Qatar to Doha,
          via Aeroflot to Moscow,
          Then third leg from wherever one has arrived to Budapest.
          Obviously some trips that refugees will do! Won’t they?

          1. Denis Cooper
            September 10, 2015

            The fact remains that those crossing to the Greek islands are doing so from Turkey. They are no longer seeking refuge from the war in Syria, they already have that, they are simply seeking a better life in the EU like any other economic migrants.

  12. Antisthenes
    September 7, 2015

    We knew the EU was not fulfilling its goals of creating greater security and prosperity for its citizens. The common market is not fulfilling it’s role as a free trade area that encourages competition and best practices because countries are pursuing their own agendas. The biggest Germany and France the former to promote its export market and the latter to enhance it’s protectionism and to milk other members to subside their rural communities. The smaller fish to borrow cheaply and spend freely which is not working out too well but believe the future will see them being able to do that all over again.

    The EU may have been touted as an institution to facilitate and enhance economic and cross border cooperation which it has but badly. Badly because it coerces inflexibly and undemocratically instead of encouraging truly free market competition and mutually beneficial cooperation projects. It has put a political agenda ahead of the practical and sensible and build a structure that is not needed the cost of which far outweighs it’s benefits.

    Not fit for purpose we already know the EU is, the immigration crises, the euro crises and others is showing that it is dysfunctional as well. The structure the EU has built has not lead to greater harmony and better relations between member states. Indeed frequently we see the opposite happening and worst of all see each state trying to gain at the expense of another state or states.

    Oddly the UK only became a member to enhance trade but as in centuries past we have become embroiled in the political struggles of mainland Europe and their quaint if dangerous way of doing things. Like the past it is costing us dear but unlike the past when doing so enhanced our influence this time it is not.

  13. Lifelogic
    September 7, 2015

    I agree fully.

    This muddled policy from the Germans can indeed be dangerous. It almost certainly will be.

    The best way to help Syrian refugees is to provide support and assistance close to their homeland

  14. BigD
    September 7, 2015

    It is clear that Germany has a much better system for receiving, processing & repatriating failed asylum seekers than we do in the UK – I note from the German press, for example, that the Bavarian Minster for the Interior aims to deport failed Albanian/Balkan migrants within 4-6 weeks of their entering Germany, through specialised handling facilities for these migrants. I think the UK’s aspiration is probably 4 to 6 years in comparison.

    Why, recognising immigration as the No.1 issue today is the UK Government incapable of properly developing & resourcing a robust system for receiving & processing migrants ? Why are political targets hit by going after the low hanging fruit of Commonwealth visa overstayers & ‘good’ migrants who are trying to do things by the book, but migrants who disappear into the black economy/their own local communities are left untouched until it is too late to deport them due to their yuman rites ? Why can we still not properly control access to National Insurance numbers – I note that the latest years stats from the ONS show 50k+ arrivals from Bulgaria & Romania, but 4x that number of NI numbers being issued to Bulgarian & Romanian nationals, how does that work ? Until there is properly resources, joined-up government on this, nothing will change.

  15. alan jutson
    September 7, 2015

    The answer to your headline is that it will be impossible to tell the difference between genuine refugees and economic migrants, given the volume of people arriving and seemingly roaming at will.

    The big fear we should all have is that all of them will eventually be given EU papers (because that is the simple solution) and will choose at will where they want to go.

    Thus we could be the only Country taking refugees from the camps,and eventually getting many of the others who have gate crashed into the EU as well.

    Can I suggest rather than give all of these people EU status forever, that they be given Provisional and restricted papers for one Country for one year only, which then has to be renewed should they wish to stay.
    That one year Provisional agreement should enable them to work and pay tax, but not claim benefits.
    Rather like the guest status that Germany used to operate.

    1. Anonymous
      September 7, 2015

      And among them will be (as well as the nice and deserving people) the psychos, the thieves, the terrorists, the wreckless drivers, the diseased…

      This is what happens when government abrogates its duty to its people.

      1. Anonymous
        September 8, 2015


    2. David Price
      September 8, 2015

      Good suggestion. However, I thought granting temporary permission to live and work was part of the process to assess asylum applications, the first step being registration which these migrants are refusing to do.

      You’d still rely on the authorities following through and deporting failed applicants, something I don’t see those in Germany, France or UK doing.

  16. bluedog
    September 7, 2015

    The real danger to Europe is increasingly the German habit of unilateralism. During the Greek financial crisis, German officials were continually berating the Greeks for failing to abide by EU financial guidelines. Now the Germans have torn up the EU’s Dublin Convention on refugees and asylum seekers, exposing Greece and every other country between Germany and the Middle East with a ravening horde on their way to the German promised land. Of course, the travellers are all ‘Syrians’ too.

    At some point a fundamental truth will dawn on the German electorate: you can’t run a welfare state with open borders. When the burden of incompatible migrants is added to the cost of funding the humiliation of Greece, the German taxpayer will be entitled to revolt. Elections in the EU Schengen countries are going to be very interesting indeed in future.

  17. agricola
    September 7, 2015

    You sum up the situation very well. As I said yesterday, the idiot policy of the last Labour government plus the free movement policy of the EU has soured the normal generosity of the English to genuine refugees. It is all about numbers. I am sure that amongst the Syrians we would find people of real talent and a positive addition to the UK.

    I have also suggested a policy for dealing with the cause of the problem in Syria, but it remains to be seen whether Parliament has the stomach for it, or in fact whether we still have the means. It would best be as a joint US, UK, Russian solution. The EU is too shambolic to be of any real use, and probably a negative one in practice.

    Absolutely correct in saying that the refugees are best looked after just clear of the Syrian border This requires the cooperation of Turkey, Georgia, Armenia , Iran, and possibly Lebanon with general UN financial support. The refugees are then best placed to return, and the financial cost would be less than the biblical exodus to Europe.

    During the make up your mind time we should use our special forces to make life very unpleasant for people smugglers and to target ISIS for the aircraft that are bombing them. I assume we are already doing the latter.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    September 7, 2015

    I am alone in wondering why, when similar tragedies have been happening regularly, a single photograph created such mass, almost hysterical, response from the MSM? The photograph of a child, drowned whilst leaving Turkey, where it was reported he had lived with his family for three years, not fleeing from a war torn country. Are politicians making policy from media headlines or are they complicit in a grand plan to bring in migrants into the EU and UK?

    1. Martyn G
      September 7, 2015

      Indeed. When I heard the news and the reaction of thousands of UK citizens at the tragic, entirely preventable death of that poor child in crying that they would open their homes to refugees, I thought to myself, oh dear, another Princess Diana moment whereby what seems like mass hysteria takes over the UK (mainly England I think).
      Born in WWII myself and living with it and the after affects of being bombed out of house and home, with years of rationing and shortages afterwards, I was not much moved by it all and now think that so incompetent are the EU rulers that we here in the UK are heading to disaster taking in thousands, maybe tens or even hundreds of thousands of souls seeking accommodation, food, health services, education, water and energy supply, seeing as how we cannot even build enough houses for those already here.
      Does anyone in government other than our host live in the real world?

      1. Denis Cooper
        September 8, 2015

        As usual it’s a very small but very vocal minority whose voice is amplified by sympathisers in the mass media. In the Survation poll the largest single block of opinion was the 29% who said we should accept no Syrians at all.

  19. Mike Wilson
    September 7, 2015

    A question for you Mr. Redwood. Why did your government allow over 600,000 people, half of them from outside the EU, into this country in the last year?

    If we had sane, controlled immigration – in the ‘tens of thousands’ (ha, ha) – we could easily accommodate and help refugees. As it is, there is a sense we are at breaking point. It is your government’s fault. You have done nothing to control immigration from outside the EU. If you have, why is the number still 300,000 from outside the EU?

    1. Mike Wilson
      September 7, 2015

      Must admit I was hoping to get some sort of reply. Why is your government allowing 600,000 a year into the UK – half of them from outside the EU?

  20. ChrisS
    September 7, 2015

    I think that Cameron’s proposal, if linked with Andrew Mitchell’s safe havens plan are the obvious best way of dealing with the crisis.

    All that Merkel has done is come up with a quick fix that get’s Hungary, Austria and Germany off the immediate hook but at the same time she’s given the people trafficers a wonderful marketing tool. I expect a huge surge in migrants heading North as a result.

    What she has done is make the whole problem infinitely worse.
    There will be also be a backlash in Germany over the sheer volume of people arriving and I see her popularity has started to dip as a result.

    When you analyse everything she does you can’t help the feeling that she’s nowhere near as good a states person as you would think from her popularity in Germany. From her handling of the Eurozone problems and her unreliability as an ally ( e.g. The Junkers appointment debacle ), she is found wanting.

    But then that has applied to many EU politicians over the years. At least we were saved from people like Miliband and Kinnock by the common sense of the British electorate. Other Countries ( France for example ) have not been so lucky !

  21. Bert Young
    September 7, 2015

    Identifying who is a genuine refugee and who is not is an absolute nightmare ; attempting any sort of registration and verification regime at the borders most concerned must be almost impossible . The Hungarian response was entirely understandable and the reaction of the Austrian and German transporters irresponsible . I am not often in agreement with David Cameron , but in this instance , he is right – support the Syrian refugees in Turkey until they are able to return to their own homes .

    It is also pertinent to highlight the way in which other Middle East countries are lacking in support ; of course Saudi Arabia should be giving considerable financial aid and accomodation ; the Sunni vs Shia problem does exist but it does not mean they cannot provide help . Overall Europe should not be the answer ; the solution is elsewhere with the leadership coming from the UN .

    The huge numbers now in Europe ought to be returned home as soon as the Syrian conflict is settled ; they ought not to receive European identification with the subsequent problem of freedom to move elsewhere in Europe again . Those who can be identified as economic migrants should be sent back immediately – their case ought not to be subject to any ruling of the ECHR . Re-establishing border controls is now a priority and should be in place due to the lack of an agreed co-ordinated programme between the Schengen countries .

  22. Bob
    September 7, 2015

    I hear that the German people are not as happy about the immigration situation as the liberal media would have us believe.

    Certainly you raise a good point about how the EU imposes quotas for it’s members when the immigrants will be free to move to any EU country once their citizenship is documented.

    Clearly we have no border security while we remain under EU control.

  23. Border Boy
    September 7, 2015

    JR is completely right. As things stand the EU policy on borders and asylum has completely broken down. There needs to be an early EU meeting to clarify and or restructure their system. Either Schengen has to go with a return to national borders, or Frontex the EU/Schengen external frontiers system has to be beefed up with clear instructions from members states. It is quite clear that Hungary and other small or less well off countries cannot manage their borders against the current tide on their own.

    For its part the UK and Ireland which are outside Schengen should try to agree a common policy which will help maintain the current British/Irish Common Travel Area. I was amused to see Romano Prodi saying that if the UK did not take part in a quota system for refugees it would scupper our EU negotiations. This is all hot air. This renegotiation like Harold Wilson’s in 1975 is likely to be presentational and superficial – meaningless. For my part I think we can engage constructively with the EU on this issue in exchange for substantive change to our conditions of membership.

  24. Bob
    September 7, 2015

    Peter Hitchens sums it up rather well:

    “Refugees don’t confront the police of the countries in which they seek sanctuary. They don’t chant orchestrated slogans or lie across the train tracks.
    And why, by the way, do they use the English name for Germany when they chant? In Arabic and Turkish, that country is called ‘Almanya’, in Kurdish something similar. The Germans themselves call it ‘Deutschland’. In Hungarian, it’s ‘Nemetorszag’.
    Did someone hope that British and American TV would be there? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: spontaneous demonstrations take a lot of organising.”

    Read more:

  25. DaveM
    September 7, 2015

    This is yet another golden opportunity for the PM to take a strong statesmanlike stance lead in a pan-European issue. If he did so he could sort out the terms we want regarding this issue and show the EU’s impotent non-leaders that he has the gumption to lead.

    But like the rest of the leaders of the EU’s richer countries, he doesn’t seem to have any capacityat all for solid policy making or leadership .

    1. turbo terrier
      September 7, 2015

      Dave M

      Sadly you appear to be right.

      But who would you put in his place?

      1. DaveM
        September 8, 2015

        Ha ha – who knows? Does Donald Trump have a British cousin?!

  26. Edward Saunders
    September 7, 2015

    I think we have the right to quote the famous Mr Oliver Hardy to Frau Merkel: “just another fine mess you’ve got us into.”

  27. English Pensioner
    September 7, 2015

    The major Arab countries claim they won’t take refugees from Syria because of the security risk. Why should we take this risk instead? We have already seen that a (few?ed)of Muslims living in this country support ISIS and have tried to join them, some successfully. What is more worrying are the ones who stay here, as suggested by ISIS, and form a “third column” who could carry out attacks here in Britain.
    Remember that these home grown terrorists are potentially far more dangerous than the IRA , as the Irish terrorists didn’t have this suicide cult and preferred to try to escape unharmed, whilst these Muslim terrorists don’t mind getting killed in the belief that they will instantly end up in paradise.

    Looking at the media photographs of the so-called refugees in Europe, the majority seem to be young men, often quite well dressed with smartphones etc. They are clearly economic migrants (and possibly ISIS fighters) and haven’t fled from anyone. Turkey is a safe Muslim country, any Syrian nationals who move onwards have become economic migrants. Those in camps are the genuine refugees, and Cameron is right to say that any we accept will come from these camps and I’m pleased to see the cost is going to be covered from the foreign aid budget although the BBC claims that this can only be done for a year. Why?

    Finally, I would observe that the father of the much publicised dead boy took him back to his home town for burial. Could you imagine a family of Jews, fleeing the Nazis, returning to their home town to bury a member of their party who had got killed during the flight? If this family can come and go, what are they fleeing from?

  28. bigneil
    September 7, 2015

    The photos that show young fashionably dressed men posing on the beach taking a “selfie” shows how “persecuted” some are. They really look “penniless” don’t they. Other photos of “people who have walked for days and slept rough” show people who are clean shaven, cleanly dressed, not even creased, yet all they have is in a haversack?
    By illegally entering countries, marching down motorways etc demonstrating loudly as soon as asked to do something they feel THEY don’t want to do, clearly shows their attitude to Europe’s laws and rules. Massing in the street and shouting with their arms waving about. It will soon be here, and Cameron will be paying them in benefits, housing and NHS as a thank you for turning up. The figure has already gone up from 3000 to 15000 – -as usual the govt cannot be trusted with figures and throwing our taxes to foreigners. How many will Cameron wave in to be given lives on money that we haven’t got? What happened to austerity? or are we to see even more borrowing for us to pay back?
    And John – how does your leader find housing for 15000 – when we have homeless of our own? it is time he started looking after our own – but he’d rather bow down to his buddy Ang wouldn’t he? He’s still wanting his dream of a seat at her side in Brussels for the destruction of this nation. At this rate he’s going to be on target. his family must be so proud of him.
    Having now read of Germany saying that ” they shouldn’t be overstretched” – is this a signal that they have realised what they have unleashed? – -an invitation to millions(words left out ed), to move here and get rewarded (etc ed). What signal does our own govt send when they put illegal immigrants in hotels, that photo would have been all over the world in minutes. One of the sickest jokes that could be done. Cameron shows nothing but contempt for us. I would say shame on him – but clearly he has none.

  29. oldtimer
    September 7, 2015

    This is another example of the EU being unfit for purpose. German policy is a muddle and will only serve to encourage more cross border migration. I also suspect that it does not enjoy the widespread support among the German population that the BBC would like to have us believe. There are already signs of backtracking by Austria and Germany in the free-for-all policy now that Budapest station has been more or less cleared of the many thousands of migrants that were stopped there. Yet thousands more are on their way.

    What will be revealing, in the weeks and months ahead, is the damage this episode will do to the prevailing Merkel hegemony in both Germany (among her ministers and the elctorate) and in the EU (among other Prime Ministers). From my perspective, it is difficult to see it being enhanced.

  30. Tim L
    September 7, 2015


    How long do you think it will be before some tragic death will be reffered to the European courts because the EU is encouraging migrants to take such risks?

  31. Javelin
    September 7, 2015

    Immigration is only going to increase. Germany has bankrupted the European gateway countries and they are only to happy to send the migrant North. If Donald Trump is successful with his anti immigrant “rule-of law” narrative it will be copied in the EU. It is a very, very serious error or judgement letting these economic migrants move into Europe. Many millions will try to follow and Europe will EITHER become a prison with walls around it or a (an area of political tensions etc ed). This can only end in tears. The vanity and optimism of the EU leaders that they can solve this crisis is the same vanity that leads them to believe they can unify Europe and solve the financial crisis.

  32. Timaction
    September 7, 2015

    The muddled thinking by the ruling class, especially Messrs Cameron and Osborne continues. The end result is more migrants here when it is not anything to do with us. Why haven’t the rich Gulf State Muslim brotherhood stood up to help their fellow Arabs?
    No, we the English will once again be shafted by the legacy parties and see my homeland disappear before my eyes.
    Even now Cameron has expressed a wish to get involved in more conflict. No, no, no. Not in my name. Who is he going to bomb? Look after our own, not involve ourselves with other peoples conflicts.
    It’s hard not to notice that the NHS has stopped a £100,000,000 to supply drugs to English cancer sufferers here, whilst Osborne commits the same amount to Syria in foreign aid! The man is an absolute fool. I didn’t vote for this and I’m one of the sensible 4000,000 with no representation!

  33. Paul Cohen
    September 7, 2015

    Both France and Germany seem to dominate policy where the EU is concerned.

    Statements and directives by the EU are regularly seen to be ill thought out and devisive and which we are (apparently) powerless to alter.

    We are not well served by the media on EU matters, which are rarely reported on and when they are, are not usually covered in any depth.

    In this present crisis we do not hear from them at all!

  34. Kenneth
    September 7, 2015

    “I am sure they do not intend it to be so, but holding out the hope of an EU welcome and citizenship to any who use people smugglers to make the hazardous journey from Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere and who eventually arrive tired and troubled at an EU border is in danger of putting more at risk.”

    At first I thought the same thing: “I am sure they do not intend it to be so”. However it is obvious – in fact it has been proven – that allowing more to come to European countries means that a lot more will attempt to make the journey, risking and taking more lives.

    I think we are past the point of misguided do-gooding. We are no at the point of callous disregard for human life.

    The media has done a good job in highlighting this, but the more politically active media, such as the BBC has gone a lot further by promoting the idea that more should be taken in.

    The BBC’s insistence on being a political player gives it responsibility and in that respect the people at the BBC have blood on their hands.

  35. Cheshire Girl
    September 7, 2015

    I am always concerned when I hear David Cameron say ‘but we must do more’ ‘ or ‘it’s our moral responsibility’. I know that it could be expensive.

    One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the plight of many of the migrants, and especially the children. I do hope however, that if a certain number is announced today that we will take, that number is not increased later. In view of the current pressure on housing, school places, and medical care, there has to be a cut-off point that we can’t exceed.

    1. Duyfken
      September 7, 2015

      I suspect it is the woman behind the man who is calling the shots. Samantha Cameron as an individual who seems to reflect an outlook which is really deleterious to the interests of the British citizenry.

    2. turbo terrier
      September 7, 2015

      Cheshire Girl.

      The number always will increase when they continue to (have children ed) and one or more with a British birth certificate gives them “human rights to stay “

  36. Chris
    September 7, 2015

    There is an interesting analysis of Aylan’s father’s version(s) of events (elsewhere on the web ed). There do indeed seem to questions to be answered over the family’s background history, the apparently different versions of the events given to the Press, and the photograph(s). That a media story, given maximum coverage, can cause our PM to waver and apparently change policy is both highly significant and hugely worrying.

  37. fedupsoutherner
    September 7, 2015

    As Christopher Houston said on your previous blog, when we had to fight the First and second world wars we didn’t all run and hide – no we stood and fought for what we believed in and that is why we are a free country today. All these illegal immigrants have a different culture and more importantly, a different religion which is what is causing much of the problems in the Arab world and beyond today. Soon, pretty much half of our population will be foreign with different beliefs and from what I have seen , with people going back to Syria to fight they don’t always leave their beliefs behind. This has the potential to create enormous problems over here in a short while. We can’t cope with social services now, we can’t cope with our housing crisis now, we can’t treat everyone on the NHS now, we are finding it hard to find new school places for our own children now, we are facing problems with public transport now, we don’t have enough jobs now, we need to stop immigration on a large scale NOW.

  38. CdBrux
    September 7, 2015

    I heard an interview with Ms Cooper on the Today program this morning. Amongst some rather too well meaning stuff along the Merkel lines (and John Humphrys at least put it to her that the migrants are far from being all refugees and also encouraging them to make the journey to EU was to encourage more potential drownings and the criminal gangs who people traffic) she did make one interesting point that although UK aid to the camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey was high, the overall money recieved from all sources for these camps is reducing making life there less good and so adding to the push factor for these people to leave and seek to better themselves elsewhere.

    If so then UK should be loudly campaigning for these camps to be properly resourced.

    I also think using UK foreign aid money to help whomever we accept to UK to integrate and be supported, as long as done well is fine. I do worry where the human resources in the UK are to properly deliver such a venture.

  39. Bill
    September 7, 2015

    Christian communities have been attacked by ISIS despite the fact that these communities have been in Syria for over 2,000 years. They, above all others, have a call on our charity.

    I agree that the policy seems to have been made up in response to social media but also think that there is some rationality behind it. I find it impossible, however, to listen to Mrs Cooper’s pronouncement on the subject: she asks for 10,000 migrants, Cameron offers 15,000 and then she complains the Overseas Aid budget is being used when, so she tells us, she wants to reduce the deficit.

    And, do we really have to listen to the outpourings of the opinion writings in the Press who know absolutely nothing about the subject?

  40. Iain Gill
    September 7, 2015

    Maybe Germany could take some of the people living on our sink social housing estates far away from any jobs market?

    Maybe Germany could take some of our orphans subjected to child rape and abuse in our care system?

    Maybe Germany could take some of our sick and vulnerable who get such poor medical and social care here?

    Maybe Germany could take some our children forced to go to sink schools here?

    The BBC coverage today has been truly nauseous

    1. turbo terrier
      September 7, 2015


      Second that, totally outrageous.

  41. Grumpy Goat
    September 7, 2015

    Good comment about the topics for your blog! The immigration debate, although an emotive subject, is not the only pressing subject worth discussing

  42. scottspeig
    September 7, 2015

    I have to say, when THE picture turned up, I was impressed with Cameron’s stance as I do not want policies created from individual cases – it makes for poor policy. Neither do I want the government to be emotionally blackmailed into action. Want I would like is for rational people to discuss and argue over the merits & de-merits and do the best while balancing financial, moral, legal duties etc.

    Is there a reason we cannot create a Syrian militia to send back? Of course, we’d have to decide which side to take, and while I’m sure Assad is a vile man (I do not know this, but it seems to be implied given the news), he at least held order…

    Welcome to the world of unintended consequences – something we hopefully learn from in the future when dealing with civil wars (aka Arab Spring & Iraq)…

    1. scottspeig
      September 7, 2015

      Of course, reality being as it is, and Cameron being a poll-led man, he did what I always expected (but took longer than I thought he would).


      1. turbo terrier
        September 7, 2015


        To quote George Bernard Shaw:

        The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

        Unreasonable he is not.

  43. Roy Grainger
    September 7, 2015

    In answer to your question John I suppose nothing at all would prevent all 800,000 coming to UK once they get their EU citizenship from Germany. So it seems Germany can unilaterally change EU immigration/asylum policy and everyone else gets no say. It is a dangerous situation, the far-right will be on the move in Germany and elsewhere now.

  44. Boudicca
    September 7, 2015

    Oh come on John. It isn’t a “dithering divided policy.” There IS no policy: it’s chaos, with Merkel unilaterally ripping up the Dublin Convention and then making up the rules to please her and expecting the rest of the EU do fall into line when she demands it.

    The people smugglers must be absolutely cock-a-hoop that Merkel has demonstrated so convincingly that their “business model” works for economic migrants desperate for a better life in the EU. It will just increase the number of migrants prepared to pay thousands of Euros for a trip on an overburdened boat or an airless lorry, for the chance to access the EU’s wealthier countries.

    It seems that for Merkel, this is yet another “beneficial crisis” that she will use to try and drive forward European integration and a federal state, dominated by Germany. As Orban is refusing to fall into line and has the heretical opinion that he’s there to look after the interests of the Hungarian people, I wonder if he’ll be the next elected President who the EU will arrange to dispose of.

    Maybe Merkel will be able to deport economic migrants who don’t qualify as refugees. But they won’t go quietly. In the UK, not one of the people Cameron imports from the refugee camps will ever go back. The British Government (whoever is leading it) doesn’t have the guts to do it and the Human Rights Brigade will block it.

    There is a reason why refugees are supposed to seek sanctuary in the first safe country they reach. It’s because that country is likely to be next door to their own, so they can easily return.

    I don’t often say Cameron is right, but he is right to pump more money into the regional refugee camps to ensure that the Syrians stay there. We can’t take them all in Europe – and we shouldn’t hold out hope that millions of them will be resettled.

  45. DaveM
    September 7, 2015

    Whilst on this subject, I’d like to point out that the heavily BBC-publicised petition to allow more refugees into the UK has reached 426,000 in 7 days. A less well-publicised counter-petition was launched 4 days ago and has 88,000 signatures.

    Obviously the latter will definitely not be publicised on the BBC. It will be interesting to see what the govt does when it reaches 100,000 though – which it will.

    1. M Davis
      September 7, 2015

      Here is the link to the counter-petition, if anyone is interested in signing:

    2. David Price
      September 8, 2015

      The counter petition is now over 100,000 signatures so we’ll have to see when this gets debated in parliament, ideally before rash decisions by the PM.

  46. Javelin
    September 7, 2015

    This is the biggest crisis since WWII and what happens.

    The European political classes think they are in a soppy John Lennon video with Yoko.

    No wonder Europe has had non stop wars for a thousand years.

  47. Rods
    September 7, 2015

    The only way you are going to stop the refugees is by fixing the Syrian and Libyan problems. With Russian troops and military equipment currently pouring into Damascus and the surround areas under Assad’s control , where Assad is losing, we are now beyond stopping the war on anything but Assad’s / Russian and Iranian terms which are unlikely to be acceptable to Western countries as Russia / Iran will then control the majority of the Middle East and their oil and gas. (There are currently many ‘selfies’ from Russian troops in the area on Russian social media, despite Putin’s denials, at the weekend, of any troops in Syria). Aircraft don’t control territory only people on the ground do that and the dominant forces on the ground over the next few months will Assad’s / Russian / Iranian. Obama’s abrupt withdrawal of US troops (as he was warned) from Iraq and his support of various Arab springs (with UK and France) has been an unmitigated disaster for the Middle Eastern people and US FP. With Russia keen on an anti-ISIS alliance are the UK / French / US going to join this to help Assad’s / Russian / Iranian territorial ambitions?

    With a strengthened Assad the Syrian refugee problem is only going to get worse!

    Russia’s current major FP policy is to try and discredit and split US / NATO and the EU and the current turmoil over refugees following the Greek crisis, suits them just fine. Expect to see an increase in terrorist outrages in Europe from ‘ISIS’ groups covertly supported by the Russian FSB as this will further empower Putin supporting far left / right parties like Le Pen’s NF in France and also where Russia after Ukraine wants be become an indispensable part of a joint ‘anti-terrorist’ alliance. I’m sure there will be a queue of Western politicians to his door (like Kerry at Sochi) as this is the path of least FP resistance!

    Expect to see plenty of Russian ‘Maskirovka’ over the next few months as Putin and Russia strive to make themselves indispensable partners in an ‘anti-terrorism’ solution.

  48. Barbara1
    September 7, 2015

    “This muddled policy can also be dangerous. I am sure they do not intend it to be so …”

    Well, it certainly seems like they intend it. If the person on the street can work out that incentivising people smuggling is guaranteed to produce more of it, why can’t supposedly intelligent, experienced, highly-paid policy makers?

    1. turbo terrier
      September 7, 2015


      why can’t supposedly intelligent, experienced, highly-paid policy makers?

      Because they have not got a clue about the real world and how it operates.

      Far too many if not 80% of them went to school, university, political researcher to become an MP.

      Our host has a fully comprehensive CV and I would suggest that the like minded 100 of his collegues who seem to stand apart from the main party are somewhat similar in life’s experiences.

  49. Edward M
    September 7, 2015

    Most migrants are refugees and should stop in the first safe country they come to and return when safe to do so. We have taken far, far more than our fair share of migrants over the last 20 years, and many of them have no grounds for being here and should have been deported. I have no sympathy for migrants wanting to come to our country – our overseas aid budget can be used to support them in refugee camps.
    Our country is now overcrowded, with a housing shortage and high house prices, and we have schools where the indigenous are in a small minority etc. Our own people on housing waiting lists keep getting pushed to the bottom. Who is protecting the indigenous population and its culture from this large scale immigration ?
    Certainly not that paper man Cameron – and Labour are outwardly disloyal.
    (words left out ed) our government now just caves in.

  50. Chris
    September 7, 2015

    There is much about the validity or otherwise of the father’s story Aylan on (the web ed). Our politicians should not be employing kneejerk responses to emotive media pictures. Things aren’t always what they first appear to be.

  51. miami.mode
    September 7, 2015

    I make no comment on the make up of the people coming into the EU nor the validity of their claims but it must be obvious that smuggling them across a sea is extremely lucrative and will attract the most evil of criminals. The most evil of criminals in the area must be ISIS and it would be naïve to ignore the fact that they probably take a cut, if not all, of the proceeds.

    It would therefore be an (un)virtuous circle handing them more money if they can ensure that more people want to leave and get into the EU.

  52. margaret
    September 7, 2015

    Some talk of not being emotionally back mailed. We are being blackmailed. We cannot afford the space, the benefits or the housing. Nobody likes the cruelty in other countries. Whole African villages being murdered and wiped out by their own African tribes. Remember Sri Lankan atrocities . Nobody said we will take all these young men or children . I cannot take all the worlds troubles on my shoulders ;why does the UK , think it can . Saudi can help, but why do we not hear anything about this possibility. If someone offered me a threatened child to bring up as my own , I would; many others would, so what it is about the middle east with vast empty areas and wealth that they do not share a similar empathetic attitude?

    September 7, 2015

    JR I see the Rt Hon Mr Cameron sidestepped your question today regarding whether he would honour his promise to the British people in regard to a reduction in overall migration, by reframing his answer in terms of his late-to-the party limitation of direct Calais migrant incoming and aiding refugee camps on Syria’s borders which, of course, we have no knowledge whatsoever. “. Such a cut-throat devious answer is unworthy of a Prime Minister to someone of his own party on such an important issue.

    Mr Cameron is of course at complete odds with the BBC which has a long history with its own documentary evidence of being a loyal supporter of the “progressive” and “left-wing” President Assad of Syria. Even as the street demonstrations against his rule before violence erupted, the BBC noted that the problem was perhaps not solvable in his country because “after all he is the leader of the majority tribe.”

    Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne are for intervention in Syria despite a Russian naval base being there and recently a freshly installed barracks for presumably Russian paras.
    Mr Cameron’s aspirations for global domination seems to show he has been mixing in the company of Ex-PM Blair. It happens on many Council Housing Estates. ..a good boy gets mixed up with a bad lot loitering on street corners amidst coincidentally smashed bus-stops… but usually not so expensive as a restaurant.

  54. LondonBob
    September 7, 2015

    John perhaps you could comment on the implication of carrying out bombing raids without the permission of the Syrian government or an imposition of a no fly zone in sovereign Syrian airspace, especially in light of the arrival of a Russian Expeditionary Force which includes MIG 31 interceptors? Surprisingly little discussion of this in the media and alarming comments coming out of the government wish would appear willfully ignorant of both international law as well as the potential of such actions.

  55. M W Browne
    September 7, 2015

    How may immigrants is Luxembourg taking. I think that Junckers should be telling us.

  56. Brian Tomkinson
    September 7, 2015

    Breitbart London today under the headline: “EU and Oxfam Launch Tax Payer Funded Campaign to Urge West into Taking 60 MILLION Migrants”
    “One of the world’s largest, (words left out ed) charities has joined forces with one of the world’s largest,(words left out ed) to guilt trip the Western world into welcoming 60 million migrants to their shores. On Sunday, the European Commission and Oxfam launched their YouSaveLives campaign to give “a face and a name to this vast army of invisible people.”
    What’s going on?

  57. margaret
    September 7, 2015

    Purdah :So during the EU campaign , you as an MP could still report progress , but not give an opinion for fear of influencing the outcome???

    Reply As a politician using my own money I can fully engage, but rightly could not put it on expenses and do it on my MP headed notepaper. I will join the Leave campaign and do it through them, assuming there is no fundamental change in the relationship on offer without leaving.

  58. Anonymous
    September 7, 2015

    Most of the migrants seem to be healthy young men. They are also aggressive towards the authorities of the host countries when asked for identities and to take a place in the queue for processing.

    Such people and behaviours seems most unlike WW2 refugee families or those fleeing Idi Amin. This does not auger well for hot summers in our cities when the issue moves from gaining entry to our country to wanting equal rights and more government support.

    The fact is that we are full and our good will towards real refugees has been exhausted after decades of abuse by this and previous administrations. It is not going to go down well.

    I read that electricity blackouts will soon become a reality as power stations are being closed on schedule with their replacements failing to materialise.

    I think you need to brace the public with some straight talking. Things are going to start changing dramatically and life will start to get a lot tougher. Increasing the rate of immigration is going to cost a lot and means someone will have to pay.

    The figures are going to be a lot higher than those quoted by the government. There will be an influx of newly nationalised ‘Europeans’ from the Continent of which the border agencies will be able to do nothing about.

    It is not fair to keep imposing this on the working class. The middle and upper class must share a very real and close up share of the burden. All areas must be used for dispersals.

    On a different note, I find it odd that the Left in our country have got so righteous over the picture of a dead boy (tragic as it is) when they fought for our own countries children to be aborted on a generation decimating scale in the name of women’s liberation.

    Perhaps the press should post some photos of that too.

  59. margaret
    September 7, 2015

    Amendment 53…Do they mean publications by HMSO for HM GOVonly?

  60. Ken Moore
    September 7, 2015

    Some much needed rationale analysis after the hysterical response of the media to this crisis. Mr Cameron needs to do what is right for the country …not what makes him and his Islington friends feel better about themselves.

  61. Chris
    September 7, 2015

    Congratulations on your victory tonight regarding purdah and the 4 month notice for calling the referendum. Very good to see you evoking the “spirit of Nissan” too.

  62. Iain Gill
    September 7, 2015

    John, well done in parliament today.

  63. sm
    September 7, 2015

    Assuming Germany needs immigrants because of its demographics.

    Why is Germany not competing for say EU/Greek workers or relocating factories or manufacturing to other areas of the EU?

    Or is it the case – thats the wrong type of competition and we need more population to keep wages down support GDP and the debt ponzi burden.

    Mass movements do not happen by accident.

    Is Germany as financially stable as it portrays. I think the EU is going down irrespective of whether we pull the plug on our contributions?

    I think i would prefer to be a little Japanese (words left out ed) and still be Japanese in relatively stable society. Germany i think is making a mistake.

    This is a wake-up call for the UK to take back powers unilaterally and consider the rapid demographic and cultural changes already in place.

    It would seem sensible in the circumstance. The chance of holding onto a stable country could well be the issue.

    The downside is the EU could throw us out of the EU immediately and return and refund all our contributions and also refuse to let us buy their products. They could demand the return of all their citizens ? and send our pensioners home.

  64. Lindsay McDougall
    September 8, 2015

    One thing that is crystal clear from all this: the UK must not allow its immigration policy to be dictated to us by the EU or by Germany.

    Consider the behaviour of Germany. It has announced a media pleasing “Let them all in” policy without being specific. It has had no regard to the encouragement that this gives to traffickers and risky migratory journeys. It has unilaterally broken EU protocol on immigration. It has inflicted misery on Serbia, Hungary and Greece without a shred of an apology. Worst of all, it has castigated Hungary for applying EU rules and trying to establish an EU external border.

    Manifestly, Germany is a nation that is NOT FIT TO LEAD.

    Having heard Mr Cameron announce the acceptance of 20,000 Syrians, my first (and second and third) thought was “20,000 in; which 20,000 have to go out?”

  65. David Price
    September 8, 2015

    So when is this issue going to be debated in parliament?

  66. agricola
    September 8, 2015

    I welcome your leaders statement in the HoC yesterday. It struck exactly the right note and laid out a planned approach to the problem that I can agree with. He would seem to wish to eliminate ISIL in Syria once your fellow members get around to backing him. I only hope he realises it can only work with the agreement of Russia and the need for an after the event plan for the recovery of governance in Syria.

  67. bluedog
    September 8, 2015

    Utter rubbish. We didn’t go to Afghanistan, or even Iraq, with the deliberate objective of encouraging (many ed) Muslim immigrants, which is what your post infers.

  68. Martin
    September 9, 2015

    Wonder how many of those young refugees or their offspring will be in Germany’s world cup winning team in 20 years time?

  69. The PrangWizard
    September 9, 2015

    Is there a plan to stop the thousands forcing their way on to trains to get through the Channel tunnel, or simply forcing their way through it on foot? That will make quite a picture for the BBC to get excited over, no doubt they will have their simpering reporters at the exit saying ‘welcome to England’, as they did with ‘welcome to the EU’ a while back.

    Will they be allowed to camp out in Hyde Park when they get here? etc ed

    Will Cameron back down again? Answers on a postcard.

  70. Monty
    September 9, 2015

    There are reports in the press that food distribution in the in-situ refugee camps has been curtailed by the World Food Programme and UNHCR, citing insufficient money.
    Surely that has to be addressed as priority one? It may well be that both organisations deserve to have their ears pinned back. But starving the camps must not be permitted.

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