Germany’s vacillation over migrants is no way to care

Two weeks ago Mrs Merkel told the world that Germany would invite in all Syrian refugees who wished to come. Many commentators waxed lyrical about Germany’s generosity. Some in the UK wrote pieces contrasting Germany’s compassion favourably with the UK government’s wish to avoid false hope and encouragement to people to undertake dangerous journeys. Anyone who raised problems with Germany’s approach was in danger of being condemned as heartless.

This week the German approach has suddenly changed. Germany now wishes to place a limit on how many refuges she can take. Germany now wants other EU member states to undertake proper border checks at the EU’s external border, denying economic migrants access. Just in case they do not manage to do this, Germany has placed new border controls at her frontier, against the spirit of the Shengen open borders policy she subscribes to.

Some of us queried at the time how Germany would distinguish between Syrian refugees, refugees from other countries and economic migrants. We asked how she would avoid a very large number of people deciding they wanted to take advantage of Germany’s apparent generosity. We wanted to know how EU law could be changed overnight by a German statement of policy, when EU law seemed to say in most cases Italy or Hungary or Greece had the task of deciding entry into the EU if the migrants turned up there first.

There remain serious problems with Germany’s latest policy statements. How can a quotas system work? What if the refugees allocated to some of the countries have no wish to stay there, but insist on travelling on to another EU country like Germany with more jobs on offer? For how long will Germany suspend her open borders required of her by the Shengen agreement? As Germany is now cancelling trains that come in from Italy, how much impact will this new policy have on the movement of people and goods other than refugees and economic migrants? Above all, does Germany now regret her previous statements.? What does Germany say to a genuine refugees that has been attempting the dangerous journey to the EU, encouraged by Mrs Merkel’s statement? Why is there now a limit on numbers when before there was no limit?

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  1. Rita Webb (Mrs)
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile back in Britain our youth unemployment rate is dreadful. The cleverer ones leave university with a load of debt and a 50% chance of landing a graduate job. If you are made redundant you are virtually certain the new job will not be as good as the last e.g. no DB pension. At the other end of the age spectrum, if you need long term care bang goes the family fortune. Its obvious we have no capacity to take anymore, yet our borders will be defended by some chicken wire and guards of the calibre that were recruited for the Olympics.

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      Incidentally Deutsche Welle TV had an interesting report yesterday about an honest Syrian refugee. He came to Germany with all his papers (inc his professional qualifications) and has immediately found work as a dental technician. However most disturbing for their government is that 53% of asylum seekers have arrived without any formal education and you can guess how many are fluent German speakers too.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        I recall a comment Lord Lawson made some years ago, ‘Jobs in the future won’t be so much low-tech, as no-tech.’

        Perhaps these are the kind of people Germany is looking for, to drive unit labour costs down. Augers badly for the living standards of the already oppressed middle-classes.


        • Rita Webb (Mrs)
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Well they do not seem to be putting them to much use. I was in Hamburg the other week and they were plenty of asylum seekers hanging around on street corners with nothing to do. I would have thought the Germans would have enough on their hands with trying to integrate their second/third generation Turks. I moved on to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern where some local elections are due. The frightening thing there was the number of NPD posters on the streets. I hope Mrs Ferkel knows what she is getting into.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          Several companies in England make a lot of money recruiting cheap labour from the poorer countries of the EU. If this source was cut off, British industry would be obliged to get higher productivity from their higher priced labour. Government financed apprenticeships would become less necessary – companies would invest in their own labour forces because they would have to.

      • bigneil
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        When they were marching and shouting “Germany” instead of “Deutschland” it was a bit of a giveaway and their placards were in English too.

    • Nick
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      You’ve got a defined benefit pension. It’s the state pension.

      It works like this.

      Mr Median pays in 5K a year for 47 years. That’s 237K [all in today’s value terms]

      97% of that goes on pensions when you look at the NI accounts

      Average retirement is 18 years, and you get back under 6K a year. 108K

      In other words you get back less than half of what you put in. That’s a defined benefit.

      Then there is the real problem.

      You pay the money in. The state has an asset, your money, and the state owes you a pension.

      The state gives the money away. They have no assets, and they still owe you a pension.

      But there’s a problem. If it reported that debt to you people would notice that the debts are massive. So they hide them.

      Ask John for the debt number. He won’t tell you. None of the state will tell you. The reason is that they plan on defaulting on the pensions in addition to the recent defaults.

      Reply I have told you the present value of the pension promises, from an official government figure! MPs have no intention of reneging on pension payments!

      • Rita Webb (Mrs)
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        JR get off! Of course MPs renege on their promises e.g. The continual rising age till you qualify for it, no pension for less than 10 years NICs etc. Meanwhile they also keep their DB scheme intact and force everyone into a DC piece of rubbish called NEST instead.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Nick – Then they start calling the state pension a ‘benefit’.

        This is dishonest to those who have paid a lot of money into it. Just as dishonest is that unemployed people who have never contributed to the system ‘retire’ from not working and are then reclassified as pensioners – thus bringing down the unemployment stats.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        “No current intention” might be a better phrase and a well used politicians’ phrase. If Corbyn gets in they will probable just have to renege or pay them with worthless paper. One assumes that MPs pensions and Unite members ones will be protected in some way.

        How can we trust the “no if no buts”, cast iron and his inheritance tax ratter, robber of landlords and pensions pots and wage levels decided by government decree partner?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        I accept that the state pension is pay as you go so is not a debt per second but…..

        If the state has no intention of reneging on pension payments in the future what is the point of workplace pension schemes which are going to be an additional 7% employment tax from 2018 and are already an additional 3% employment tax?

        Why is the current rhetoric stating that pensions are a benefit rather than an earned payment.

        Plans are surely afoot.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply
        You could easily have said when you first became an MP that MPs have no intention of taxing dividends in pensions, then a Labour government does it and a Conservative one is happy to continue with such a tax-grabbing socialist policy.
        It’s clearer by the day that New LabLibCon can all be lumped together as Con-trick socialists, and then there are the clear blue water socialists under Corbyn and clear blue water Capitalists in UKIP.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 4:09 am | Permalink

          Indeed the Tories are really just con trick socialists light under the current leadership.

      • APL
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

        JR: “MPs have no intention of reneging on pension payments!”

        MPs have no intention of reneging on their own pension benefits.

        Fixed that for you. 🙂

        Now of course most MPs are not particularly economically literate, they mostly subscribe to the infinite money tree school of economics. So JRs comment is probably accurate.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      Rita Webb (Mrs) ,

      With very few exceptions , defined benefit pensions have not been available outside the public sector for 30 years .

      Legislation may be in place to ensure that long term permanent employees get some contribution to a defined contribution pension but an awful lot of people are temporary , on zero hours contracts or self employed and will get no help .

      I don’t’ want to get my hopes up too much but would like to think that with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of HM opposition that pensions of those outside the public sector may stop being a taboo subject and get a proper airing .

      • Rita Webb (Mrs)
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Who have you been working for? I started work in 1986 moved around since then in various fin services jobs and I have always been in one

        • A different Simon
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          For the first 15 or so years , small software houses as an employee .

          These companies generally exploit short term opportunities and only last 5-10 years .

          For the last 11 or so , self employed – exporting my services to overseas clients

          Now at age 48 am making less in numerical terms than I was at age 40 and about the same in real terms as at age 25 .

          I’m very highly regarded as due to the strength of the pound I’m earning more in US dollars terms than any other techy who does work for my multi-billion dollar shipping company client .

          They tell me I’m very expensive yet my fees are about the same as the remuneration package of a met police sergeant .

          What I can charge is pegged by what people in India , Malaysia and other countries are earning , not what people in the UK domestic economy are earning .

          No matter what politicians say , UK wages and those in developing countries will inevitably converge .

      • libertarian
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        A different Simon

        Do any of you actually live in this country? I ask because to nonsense you all spout about jobs is laughable.

        FYI less than 8% of people are on temporary or ZHC.

        You have heard of auto enrolment which means that ALL employers now pay 2 lots of pension contribution.

        You do know that ANYONE can start their own pension and contributions into it are tax free ?

        • Rita Webb (Mrs)
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 4:01 am | Permalink

          “Tax free’ eh? Can you be a bit more precise as to what you can actually put into a pension?

        • A different Simon
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Libertarian ,

          Of course I know that anyone can create a pension or pay into a private pension .

          For a few years I used to have a private pension but the charges and performance lead me to create a SIPP .

          Then my health deteriorated to the point where my life expectancy was such that a pension was the wrong vehicle for me .

          My point to Rita is that these are all defined contribution , not defined benefit .

          Rita ,

          You get 100% income tax relief on employees pensions contributions . That is all layed out on the HMRC website .

    • John C.
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right. Our priority is to put our own country right. We are not as rich as we pretend we are. There is enormous private and public debt; the basic foundations of our economy and our political structure are both shaky.
      And yet we are anxious to give away so much to foreigners. Are we trying to show off? Are we indulging in generosity because we want to feel good?
      There is so little reason and balanced judgement in the modern political class- and not only in our own country. Spin, image, posturing, hypocrisy- absolutely everywhere. At least in John Redwood, there is a sane and thoughtful politician.

  2. Richard
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    When considering Frau Merkel’s policies it needs to be remembered that her parents emigrated from West to East Germany where she learned to speak fluent Russian and was secretary for the Russian Agitprop organisation whose purpose was/is to disseminate Communist ideology.

  3. formula57
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Well said! Germany has intervened variously to make a bad situation worse and in so doing fails refugees, economic migrants and its EU partners, all of whom can rightly feel badly let down. Coming so soon after the punitive actions it led in respect of Greece, and one is left to look aghast at German policy.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      And coming after interference in Ukraine, as well.

    • Peter Stroud
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right formula57. What I find worrying is that Germany is taking the lead on too many aspects of the EU. It is galling that our Prime Minister feels he has to go, cap in hand, to the lady for approval of every concession he needs from the union. I feel that Germany treats us as a second class nation, and I don’t like it.

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      SpiegelOnline has drawn attention to the severe strain that has been placed on local government in Germany. Merkel`s intervention was misguided on more than one level; breach of Schengen and Dublin agreements; incapacity of German local government to cope with the influx; encouragement of people smugglers; promotion of false hopes of desperate people anxious for a new life. Cameron has read the situation and the needed response much, much better.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        Old Timer – The “We need 8 million immigrants urgently” seems suspiciously last minute in its announcement – and rather convenient bearing in mind the crisis.

        This is a politician trying spin something positive out of a situation that they’ve completely lost control of.

        Despite David Cameron’s posturing the less productive ones will be coming our way. And it is odd that those wishing to settle in Germany choose to chant ‘Germany’ in English.

      • zorro
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Mrs Merkel knows full well that these people will not stay in Germany….. And that they speak English. She also knows full well that when she gives them travel documents they will move elsewhere in the EU….. We will not accept just 20,000 Syrians. It will be that and a whole lot more that come in other ways than through the official camp route.


      • John C.
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Cameron is a famously lucky politician. While he dilly-dallied and then went on holiday, Merkel acted decisively and with total stupidity. Cameron is left looking a crafty old fox. That’s life.

  4. Duyfken
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    I have little time for Cameron’s political outlook and skills, but in this matter he puts the bumbling EU to shame, showing much more nous in addressing the problem. The incredible inanity of Merkel and by Juncker and others has turned a crisis into a catastrophe. It seems they will never learn and, in their pursuit of the EU dream and with professed good intentions, they seem not to realise the scale of damage to people’s lives their incompetence provides.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Yesterday night on tv, Mr Cameron’s policy of overseas aid and the help given to real migrants in the camp was shown up very clearly in the photo op.
      I think he should be warmly congratulated on doing the right thing decisively and calmly. Well done the government!
      (I should stress that I am rapidly drifting away from the Conservatives.)

      • Cheshire Girl
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        One would have to live on the moon not to know the policy on overseas aid and how much we are doing for the Syrians and the rest of the world. I would have been more impressed if there had not been a camera crew on hand to record every word and caring look. It almost seemed like we were being ‘softened up’ to take more migrants. I could’nt help wondering what was being promised out there! In my opinion the UK is more than punching above its weight in this regard, but it seems that we get scant thanks for our efforts.

        • Mercia
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

          It almost seemed like we were being ‘softened up’ to take more migrants.

          If I remember correctly Blair used to also visit refugee camps just before he started bombing someone. We are being softened up. James Landale of the BBC is an old school friend of Cameron and they both work together. What do you think the media are going to do when it starts getting cold and refugees/migrants are shown on the BBC freezing? The media will go onto emotional overdrive again and the BBC will start using reverse psychology techniques like “Cameron is being criticised for not doing enough to help the refugees”.

      • Horatio McSherry
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right, Mike.

        We’re quick to condemn Cameron for much of what he does – me included – but we should also be adult enough to give credit where it’s due. On this issue he should be praised for standing up against the barrage of abuse by the media and left wing politicians, and, it’s not taken long for the policy to be proved the correct one.

        Let’s also remember that whatever decision is made about taking military action Syria, he’s going to be damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Horatio McSherry

          Don’t be surprised when next year’s migration figures are 500,000 or higher.

          David Cameron is doing his usual. He has only ever put a limit on immigration from ‘outside the EU’.

          The issue isn’t refugees from war (for whom most of us sympathise) but the legal immigration we must take from the EU – including those economic migrants recently given EU status by countries even less discerning.

          We are getting these people whether we like it or not and Mr Cameron knows it.

          We are all going to see very big changes soon.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

            The 500,000 figure I mention is net, not gross.

            Conservative minded people leaving will be much higher too.

        • zorro
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          To be clear – this is 20,000 in addition to the thousands of others that will make their way here anyway.


        • Mark
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          I wonder if he asked for opinions about military action in the camps. The answer of course would depend on which set of forces the particular refugees fled.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    It was clearly a huge mistake by Mrs Merkel to encourage more to risk their lives and to take those to get to Europe, over and above those most in genuine need and at those most at risk. It is no surprise that she has had to do a rapid volte-face.

    • Mercia
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      It was clearly a huge mistake by Mrs Merkel to encourage more to risk their lives and to take those to get to Europe

      Yes, because Germany wants economic migrants in mu opinion, but to get to Germany they have to transit through Hungary and they have just said, (unlike our own traitorous political class) that they want to “defend their Christian culture”. If the German model is based on huge influx of migrants at regular intervals then can send them airplane tickets. Of course they wont do that as public opinion will not let them.

      • bigneil
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Merkel has reportedly threatened our country with giving thousands of EU passports to the migrants – next step – a one-way ticket to here. How to invade Britain without using one single German person.

  6. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Already months ago Mrs. Merkel stated that the migrant issue would prove a far greater challenge to EU unity than the Greek crisis. And that challenge is now being played out. All the same Germany has already helped many many many more refugees than Britain.

    Reply NOt so. The UK has been taking 600,000 migrants a year for several years now!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Indeed the over crowded UK has taken huge numbers due to Cameron’s open door to the EU (and other) immigration policy. Yet he has failed totally to provide for the increased demands on the NHS, schools, police, prison services, housing, roads and the rest.

      Still he did say “no if no buts to the 10s of thousands” and “the N H S was his priority in three letters”.

      Dishonest sound bites over substance every time alas.

    • Peter van Leeuwen
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: By now that excuse won’t work anymore, except perhaps in this blog. The breakdown of migrants shows how few refugees Britain has been taking. And Britain will only take a few thousand extra this year (twenty thousand spread over a five year period). While the UK, like other EU countries, spend millions in the refugee camps near Syria, Germany is also spending billions on accepting refugees in Germany.

      Reply The UK is taking over 600,000 refugees and economic migrants a year. If you are now saying these are the wrong ones then you should suggest which we should refuse in order to accommodate the ones you prefer us to take.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        We are a very tolerant and welcoming nation, being told recently that the Conservative government failed to address the influx of migrants just last year with a number of over 800,000 incomers. I’m not claiming they were all refugees but they all have to be PROVIDED for with jobs, child benefits, housing etc. I would be interested to see a comparative chart showing the last ten years for each EU state on net migration in comparison to ourselves.

      • Mark
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I have taken a detailed look at German migration data from DeStatis. Whilst Germany accepted 64,705 Syrians in 2014 it is very notable that they appear never to have taken in significant numbers of others e.g. Sri Lankan Tamils (a community now numbering some 300,000 in the UK). Grandstanding about Syrians is not reflecting the wider world. Many of the immigrants the UK has accepted would perhaps be treated as refugees by Merkel, were they Syrian. Indeed, the UK has quietly accepted Syrians outside the asylum system, issuing 17,922 visas to them since the crisis started.

        Germany had net emigration in 2008/9, while the UK was busy absorbing large numbers of East Europeans whom Germany refused to admit. German net immigration was only half the UK level over the period 1997-2010.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply: In 2014, according to your own “Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2015”, there were 641,000 immigrants – 25,020 refugees = 615980 economic migrants coming to Britain, almost half of them from outside the EU. It would be disingenuous to suggest that Britain takes in comparable numbers of refugees to Germany.
        I don’t suggest that you should refuse economic migrants, and why should I, I thought that it was UK government policy!

        According to me, a refugee is a refugee, whether inside Europe or still in the Middle East or Asia. The Geneva convention applies to all and so it is also a matter of taking responsibility and not of standing apart and being aloof.

        Reply The issue is one of definition. A Syrian who has lived in Turkey and then comes to the EU is surely an economic migrant, but seems to be scored as a refugee in Germany.

        • JoeSoap
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply
          Credit where credit’s due, you’re right there. A refugee who lands in Greece is a refugee in Greece but an economic migrant when he moves from there to a poorer country.

          • JoeSoap
            Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

            Richer country…

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Look, Peter, try to get this into your head: the UK has an EU treaty opt-out on this precisely because we did not want to be dragged into having to do what other EU member states may be legally compelled to do, and we still do not want that. If you and your German masters want to hand over your own homelands to foreigners then you should argue that out with your fellow citizens, but just leave us out of it because it is not what we want for our country, however ambivalent the British government may be at times. In a recent YouGov opinion poll in the UK 50% of respondents said that we should not accept any of these “refugees” at all, not a single person or family, and even of those Britons who were willing to take some of them most were looking at fewer than Cameron has mooted. Far better if your country offered to take whatever you think should be our share; after all you have declined to state any limit on immigration into the Netherlands when asked, so you should be very happy with that prospect.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper: Of course I know that the UK and a few other countries have an opt-out, but there is also a humanitarian side to migration, when it concerns real refugees. I now read that there may be different definitions about what constitutes a refugee status which makes the issue more complicated. In principle it is fine that the UK increases its efforts for refugees currently in the UN camps, although it won’t help Cameron in his negotiations. And to me it remains obvious that currently Germany does a lot more for refugees than Britain.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

            These people are economic migrants seeking a better life than that available either in their home countries, which in many cases is not in fact Syria, or in Turkey, which has given them safety even if not comfort.

        • John C.
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Well said! Peter van L. read this carefully. What you and your German masters want to do to appear wonderfully generous is up to you. Germans especially never strike me as personally generous, but if they want a new image at whatever cost, get on with it.
          What irritates me is being lectured by you PvL. Our history is proud and generous; we have gone to war to defend ourselves or redress wrongs; we are not keen, as you seem to be, to follow our German masters.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:05 am | Permalink

            @John C.: it’s ok with me if you’re irritated. I’m not lecturing the British, but just opposing that continentals being talked down to. The silly terms like “German masters” shows the rather primitive and simple state of mind out of which the need to use such terms emerges. It illustrates a poor grasp of Europe and European issues.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

            I use the term “German masters” because of your own supine acceptance of whatever the German government wants.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        PvL “The breakdown of migrants shows how few refugees Britain has been taking.”

        Whose breakdown would that be? Life in a refugee camp cannot be much fun, a fate which has befallen many as a direct consequence of the activities of neocons and their affiliates, however, once they leave a primary place of refuge, they become economic migrants; the solution to their woes is not to accomodate a non-ending stream of millions as the neocons go about their evil business, but for Western voters to realise their governments harbour some extremely vile and dangerous people and replace them with patriots.

        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          @forthurst: I’ve mentioned the source of the breakdown:
          “Migration Statistics Quarterly Report, May 2015”, which is the UK Office for National Statistics.

      • stred
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        This is all getting too confusing for the average person. I don’t think the UK has taken more than a few hundred Syrian Christian refugees any probably no Iraqi Yehadis?, who are really suffering and genuinely people with nowhere to go except other Islamic countries. My pal from the local shop had to leave his job when regulations were tightened up last year and his family’s position was horrendous. So, I googled the question about number of inward migrant to the EU and found Eurostat- Migration and population statistics 2013.

        Total from outside EU in – 3.4m , Total out – 2.8m. ie net 600k in.
        Considering the UKwas taking around 300k net, this seems rather low.

        Then, the no. of people gaining citizenship of the EU (enabling them to move anywhere within it) – 984k. Top performers-

        Spain- 228k, UK-207k, Germany- 115k, Italy- 100k, France- 97k.

        Perhaps the UK have been doing better in terms of size than Germany. I noticed in the part of France I have been going to for 30 years that over the last 3 years, there has been a very large increase in people who appear to be of African origin in the cities and trains and would guess that this is the first place anyone coming up from Spain would choose to stay. I certainly would. Others may prefer Germany, UK or Sweden as the most comfortable.

        The happy state of affairs is summed up in the Deutchebank research paper July 14 2014 where the author states ‘The UK and Germany, with the latter now no 1 in the EU, have benefited most from the new trends’.

        Rejoice. Happy news from the Vaterland.

        • stred
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Correction – the UK and Spain have been doing better than Germany.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: You know that and we who live here know that but this is all the thanks you get from the likes of PvL.

      No matter how nice the ‘nasty’ party tries to be it will never be good enough for some – so why even try ?

      I cannot believe anyone defends the EU. It is an unmitigated disaster requiring elephant sized blinkers not to see it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:24 am | Permalink


        There’s none so blind as those who refuse to see. I often wonder if it’s something that’s been added to the water. Why else would people be so obtuse?

        I know this much for certain, these pro-EU people are consistently wrong, wrong, and wrong again, but the erroneous decisions they make ultimately affect my freedoms, my liberty, the price I pay for everything, and much more besides, so they’re worth fighting against.


        • Peter van Leeuwen
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          @Tad Davison: Amazing then that those very clever (!) anti-EU people who have predicted for decades the break-up of the EU the eurozone etc. have always been wrong so far 🙂

          • Tad Davison
            Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            Great God almighty! You people are a joke! How many unemployed people are there across the EU?

            How much debt do individual countries have (excluding the only one that has really gained from the EU construct)?

            How is growth going in the EU generally?

            Are living standards going up or down?

            Only the brain-dead or those in total denial would say the EU is working as its advocates said it would.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      And please do not forget what we have actually done in the area round Syria too. That matters a lot more than bunging refugees in old army barracks.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Stallard: I don’t forget nor want to forget that at all. That is however not an isolated UK effort.

    • Bob
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      @Peter van Leeuwen
      Frau Merkel’s knee jerk reaction has only served to exacerbate the situation and put many more lives at risk by encouraging people place themselves and their families lives into the hands of human traffickers instead of seeking asylum in the first and nearest place of safety.

      By throwing the EU’s doors open she has made it even more difficult for genuine refugees as they now have to join the queues economic migrants, criminal fugitives and I.S. terrorists.

      • John C.
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        If John allowed ticks, I would be ticking furiously. Merkel has made the most serious and indeed ludicrous mistake of the last few years, possibly longer.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed John and despite CMD ‘ S protestations the figure of 600,000 is likely to rise as your government has no intention of reducing it. Germany is honest but our traitorous rulers do it by stealth. Just like slowly integrating into all EU policies whilst professing EU scepticism.
      Hopefully the migrant crisis will speed up the demise of the Soviet inspired EU.
      Azura. Lisbon

    • Chris
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Reply to PvL
      Look at the population density figures for the countries of the EU. That is the key figure, not the actual numbers that you are asking individual countries to take. Those with very high population densities such as the UK are obviously stretched already in terms of infrastructure, resources and so on, and to demand that they take even more migrants (on top of the 600,000 plus that they took last year) in my view demonstrates a lack of detailed knowledge of the problems facing the UK.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:12 am | Permalink

        @Chris: I’m aware of a high population density in certain parts of the UK, just as I know that the Netherlands has an even higher population density. That doesn’t mean however that the German efforts to help refugees should be scorned.

        • Mark
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          England’s population density has overtaken that of the Netherlands, and our most population dense city areas are also higher density than Dutch cities – our homes are much smaller than yours on average, especially in blocks of flats.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Have to say to Peter van Leeuwen – I get quite peed off at some of your daft comments. We have had immigration in excess of 600,000 a year for some years now. In the last 10 years many millions have come here and a lot of them do not integrate. etc ed

      Of course, not everyone is like this – we are a tolerant lot over here – as long as people come here to live and work like us – we welcome them. But, you can get off your high horse when it comes to us and immigration. A lot of people here think we have had too much and want it stopped – at least for a while. We have queues for houses, school places, doctors appointments and, in the South East, bloody traffic everywhere – all day – and more and more the sense of living in a pressure cooker.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      6000,000 a year – strange how the govt can afford them, their housing, their benefits and unlimited NHS – and a £1bn in aid – yet I get sod all after 45 yr contributions. As the heating is still broken and reports of the El Nino says it is going to be a VERY bad winter – I assume xmas day will be lower than the 8C inside here last year. Still – of course I will be happy knowing that the illegally here people , that we know NOTHING about, who got through Calais, will be nice and warm in their hotel rooms, endless hot water, endless electricity, License-free tv, Free wifi, meals to order. What a country. I bet Cameron even sends them a xmas card ( which he would claim for on expenses).

    • Horatio McSherry
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink


      You still haven’t told us how many refugees you want your own country to welcome. Can you give us a figure please? At least we can then gauge our generosity against your yard-stick.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        @Horatio McSherry: Not to be outdone by your Mr. Cameron, let me state that I’d be willing for my small and densely populated country to accept 1 million refugees! . . . . . spread over the next 50 years! 🙂

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          PvL – How many will you be taking into your house ?

          It’s rather important that the impact on your personal life is at least as much as you demand of the working class in your country, for it is always they who are most affected.

          Until there has been a vote by majority in support of culture changing immigration then those in support of it should at least give up their spare rooms, put people NOT of their choosing in them and be prepared to fund all the costs of them, including hospital, schooling and compensation to the victims of any crime they may commit.

          You give the impression of being comfortably off and probably remote from the worst effects – if only in terms of being well established and able to secure your position in the queue for goods and services. If your largesse is to be paid for by someone else (as most left wing intellectuals demand) then do let us know.

          So how many refugees will you be taking in, Peter ?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:16 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous: obviously, being such a fearless and sporty person, you will now leave your anonymous hide-out first, give us your name and address plus the number of people you are taking into your house, as that seems to be the way you want to deal with immigrants.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            This post should be stamped on the foreheads of all those advocating unlimited access to Europe by any immigrant who can get here.

            All those smug Twitterati flashing their #refugeeswelcome signs should have their addresses and detailed directions handed to the single young men flooding into the schengen area, these immigrants should be advised of the warm welcome awaiting them at these self satisfied people’s houses.

            It is easy to be generous with others’ existence

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 17, 2015 at 1:53 am | Permalink

            Peter van Leeuwen @ 5.16

            I am not fearless. I am scared.

            I do not hold the same beliefs as you. My beliefs (always misrepresented) are deemed to be the modern heresy and could put my job at risk or at least make things very uncomfortable for me at work. I do not have the luxury of being able to express myself as freely as you can.

            I expect I would put refugees up in my house long before you as that is exactly the sort of person I am. But really, it ought to be you doing so because it is you who likes to lecture the rest of us on it.

            You exhort politicians that others in far closer social and economic proximity to the refugees than yourself must pay the price of salving your conscience.

            If this is true then there is nothing noble or kind in this. You are being completely unreasonable. It is easy to be generous with other people’s money and the sacrifice of other people’s opportunities.

        • Timaction
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          But how many are your Country taking?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:18 am | Permalink

            Our country has no problem with taking the extra refugees according to the current EU-commission proposal. You can look up the figures, they are public information.

        • John C.
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          What about other people in your cramped little country: do you care about them or what they might think?
          Actually, I’m even more kind hearted than you are: I’d be happy for you to take 50 million this year! I feel really big-hearted now. Enjoy.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:23 am | Permalink

            @John C.: this talking about numbers only adds to dehumanising the issue, which is why I only gave a non-serious reaction to this continual question where my “limit” would be.
            Of course there are all the people to consider who already live in cramped Holland. And actually over here we do that as well. We just do less whining and try to cooperate with other EU countries to address these problems together.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            The problem Peter is not dreaming up a limit to how many the Netherlands is prepared to accept, but deciding how to deal with those who continue to turn up in large numbers on your borders after your limit is reached.
            How will you shoo them away? Will you build fences?

            Its a huge problem if millions want to migrate from poor nations to rich ones.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


          Adjusted for the relative populations, 1 million refugees spread over the next 50 years is only a tenth of the present rate for Germany.

          Any less than 200,000 a year will show up your countrymen as less generous, and more racist and xenophobic, than the Germans.

          And don’t forget to allow in plenty of others who openly admit to being economic migrants and do not pretend to be refugees.

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: Well well well, this name calling is getting worse by the week. So is your obsession with Germany.
            I made this non-serious reaction to a continued silly question “not to be outdone by Cameron” and 1 million over fifty years, is about twenty thousand a year, the number for which Cameron wants to take five years! Are you now going to apply your scornfully given attributes ( I read: “less generous, and more racist and xenophobic”) to Cameron and the British????

    • Dennis Anthony
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Peter said ‘refugees’ not migrants – get it right Mr Redwood

      reply And I pointed out that many alleged refugees are economic migrants as they come from safe countries.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Mr Redwood. We took over 634,000 migrants last year alone. It is a threat to our culture and way of life as well as being extremely expensive as most are on minimum wage jobs and a net cost in health and public services, once in and out of work benefits are taken into account.
      Germany needs 500,000 migrants a year to retain its numbers working in its economy as it has a shrinking indigenous population and growing longevity to its own.
      We are by far overcrowded and do not want building on the greenbelt each and every year. Its more than economics! We are also giving away £12 billion in foreign aid every year to help the Syrians and others!

    • libertarian
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Peter V L

      The Netherlands also closed their borders now, care to explain this based on what you’ve been telling us over the last few weeks?

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 5:36 am | Permalink

        @libertarian: The correct information (often gets distorted in international reporting) is that the marechaussee (border police) is intensifying checking with mobile teams in the border “region”, in order to establish whether there are changes in the streams (flows?) of migrants and how much increase there is. If you go into the details of Schengen, you will see that checks have always been there, only lust limited in number and area (something like: not more than 2 carriages per international train and not more than in 20% of the trains and only within 20 km from the border). I don’t know the actual parameters, but these are now relaxed, leading to more checking. It is (until now) quite different from closing the Netherlands border (something that the anti-Islam Geert Wilders is calling for).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          Why should Geert Wilders, or anybody else, be “anti-Islam”? It’s hard to see any rational justification for that, don’t you think?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper: it so happens he is.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 18, 2015 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I have asked several questions about immigration, to no avail. Perhaps Peter van Leewen can help me.

      (1) Why should Angela Merkel dictate to Britain what its immigration policy should be?
      (2) If Germany wants to take in 800,000 Syrian and other refugees, why doesn’t it lay on a shuttle service of ships from Pireas and other Mediterranean ports, rather than have the swarm trample across other countries?
      (3) It is the case, is it not, that if Germany issues citizenship and passports to 800,000 immigrants, these same 800,000 would have an absolute right to live and work in the UK?

      I don’t want another long spiel about the beauty of European co-operation. I want my questions answered.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I see in the report from the AA that local authorities are very efficient at least in one specific area, that of running motorist entrapment bus lane cameras. Is this mugging of the motorists really the best way to fund our dismal public services?

    They even absurdly claim bus lanes reduce congestion – complete nonsense in general, they just restrict road space for traffic overall by dictating road use by vehicle type. An idiotic, top down, command economy for the roads. Rewarding the council for intentionally inconveniencing, delaying and mugging the road users. Who are usually on their way to do some productive work and thus pay taxes.

    Interestingly the traffic also tends to flow far better when their traffic lights are out of action too.

    • Rita Webb (Mrs)
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Any resident of Bristol will tell you that Portway should be renamed a “taxi only” lane as they only seem to use it. You will rarely see a bus on it, while all the traffic trying to get into the city centre is clogged in the other lane. While its stuck there the cars are belching out all sorts of green house gases and other pollutants. The clever dickie Greenies really cannot put two and two together.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink


        I wonder if these same people consider the pollutants emitted from vehicle exhausts when those same vehicles are idling in a traffic jam of the political classes’ making?

        Vehicles that are doing zero miles per gallon at a stand-still. Add to that, the cost of lateness of deliveries, missed appointments, the fall in productivity etc. and it all adds up to a shambles.

        And in my experience, the buses that actually use these dedicated lanes that should be available to everyone, are grossly under occupied with typically six passengers per vehicle. By anyone’s calculation, that is an inefficient way to move people around, yet buses are still subsidised by the likes of little old me who never use the damned things anyway.


        • stred
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Along the embankment dual carriageway TfL are taking 2 lanes and turning it into a Cycle Superhighway. where 4 lanes go into 2 there is a constant queue of traffic, which used to flow reasonably quickly. TfL is advertising this as something temporary, which will all be worthwhile once the Superhighway is finished, taking huge numbers of cyclists all year from the East End to Westminster and no doubt beyond. Of course, being a 2 lane road before it opens to 4 at Tower Bridge, there will be permanent queues, all polluting much more than if moving.

          As a cyclist, I would much prefer to cycle along a dedicated lane through the quieter city streets just north of the Super. I wonder whether anyone at TfL ever considered that cyclists may not like puffing in traffic fumes from the queues of cars and taxis, probably with many more people looking at them with envy on their Superhighway, while stationary in the Car Lessthansuperhighway.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            Good point. I have always said it is far better to segregate cyclists and motorists for everyone’s sake and peace of mind.


      • lifelogic
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Indeed it is an irrational, group think, belief system. You cannot reason with these faithful greens any more than you can with most other religions.

        • Bob
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          David Cameron refuses to admit that CO2 is a by-product of global warming, not the cause.

    • David L
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      On Sunday afternoon in Reading several other motorists as well as myself pulled into a bus lane to let an emergency ambulance pass. I can now expect a demand for a fine since I read that this action is no excuse and that we should allow the ambulance to use the bus lane. Had I followed this guidance I would have had the only vehicle in the middle lane and would thus be solely responsible for blocking the ambulance.
      The best course of action for all of us would be to buy 8 seater vehicles, then we can all use the bus lanes!

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        David L ,

        The selection of Mr Corbyn is going to give a second wind to all the officious and authoritarian bureaucrats in the country .

        They are going to take it is a green light to make life a misery for everyone else .

        Goodness knows how bad it could get if he ever made P.M. and the boot really was on the other foot .

        Just look at the shadow cabinet he has selected .

  8. Antisthenes
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Mass migration is nothing new and generally it is caused by the same two things; conflict and the seeking of a better life. It has rarely turned out well for the indigenous people. Whole societies have been disrupted as those arriving become certainly better off but those whose territories have been invaded became become considerably impoverished culturally and economically.

    Those who believe that it is compassionate to greet the current wave with open arms will find that that compassion is going to be very misplaced. Apart from the considerable demands that large numbers of new arrivals will make upon a countries resources there will also be pressures on us to change our culture to one that the new arrivals feel more comfortable with even more than we already doing so.

    In my pessimistic view if some sensible solution is not found to deal with the current problem although probably too late now unless we use unpleasant and hash means we are going to regret it very much in the near future.

    Those things we need to do is to intern all the immigrants into refugee camps send back immediately the economic migrants send back those escaping conflict once the conflicts in their countries are over. Allow those to stay who can never be sent back because of the dangers of doing so are too great for them and keep those who will be of economical benefit to us. Not pleasant but necessary.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Antisthenes – Mass immigration is nothing new but stable and safe countries are – secured by properly guarded borders.

      Our over paid, over rated and obsolete politicians gave all that away.

      Safe countries are a rarity and not the norm. They took centuries of conflict to establish. Once dismantled and destabilised they may never return again.

      So many conflicting ideologies and fudes imported into our country in recent decades. So many new young men to become disaffected and restless. Britain will be at war with herself again well within 100 years. The Troubles will look peaceful by comparison.

      What I can’t believe is that we actually paid people to do this to us.

  9. Gary C
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:43 am | Permalink


    “We wanted to know how EU law could be changed overnight by a German statement of policy”

    Germany says ‘jump’ the rest of us say . . . . . . . . . How high!

    • Graham
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      How true – dominance achieved.

      • Atlas
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        We should not be surprised – the EU was set up as an alternative route to dominance by one country (and much to the annoyance of the French it is not them).

        By the way, I do like PvL’s contributions. It is fascinating reading the words of somebody that is so slavishly in awe of his masters.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    The usual outcome of knee jerk reaction to the something must be done brigade.

    Handouts beget handouts.

    Germany will always do the perceived best for Germany (in this case importing workers and consumers) riding roughshod over EU protocols and processes yet it is the UK that is accused of being a bad European. Better off out.

    Noteworthy that the beeb allowed the Vauxhall CEO to make the case for continued good trade with the EU after we leave.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      The beeb also took a pasting in an interview with the Hungarians politician over their approach to immigrants from this morning. Not a good morning for the pro EU let them all in mob on broadcast media

  11. Mark B
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    What a complete and utter shambles.

    Germany took the lead of the EU when France dropped the economic ball. And Merkel and the German government has proved totally inept at dealing with just about anything that is thrown at them.

    First they dither. Then they make sudden announcements. Then they realise that that they cannot fulfil their pledges and then backtrack and leave a trail of disaster in their wake.

    A strong UK government has always prided itself of being Europe’s moderators between all the continental nations. But today our so called government is weak, ineffective and devoid of any ideas of its own. We just get dragged along, unwillingly, from one policy disaster to another.

    At this rate, if the EU led by Germany does not end up fighting some other foreign power, they will end up reverting to type and start fighting each other.

  12. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:03 am | Permalink


    In recent years it has become increasingly noticeable, at least with respect to the BBC broadcasts I hear, that whenever an EU topic occurs the EU position is presented by the German position and what Mrs Merkel says. This very unsatisfactory state of affairs is made even worse when Merkel speaks twaddle.

    The forerunner of what has become the European Union was formed after WW2 to prevent the rise of Germany. It feels increasing like where Germany failed by war has been achieved through peace!

  13. Javelin
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    According to the UN 75% of the so called refugees are men. 12% women and the rest children. It makes no sense that those most able to look after themselves leave the most cumene table behind. Most of the men are young men of fighting age presumably all able to join up to the army and conscript. Presumably when these hundreds of thousands of men are given refugee status they will confirm with their nation states whether they are running away from conscription as it appears they are.

    Also the Lebenese education minister has told David Cameron that 2% of the so called refugees are from ISIS. This sounds like an exaggeration but let’s put the figure at 20. Can you say if anything is being done to protect the British people from letting terrorists into this country.

    If an attack does happen on British soil do you think that The Conservatives has any right to exist as a party as they have got the issue in immigration so wrong? The problem for the LibLabCon is they seem to be putting money ahead of safety. The political consensus appears to be to bulk up the population due to falling birth rates. No significant body in the general population asked for all these potential terrorists to come to this country.

    If an attack does happen I hope you realise the Conservatives will be swept away or hijacked and replaced by a party that can look after the safety of the British people. Look at what happened to New Labour I can see this happening to the Conservatives in the blink of an eye. It’s not about the money any more.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Mr Cameron states there will be a warm home for 20,000 refugees.


    But might we first provide warm homes for our pensioners who sacrificed so much in the war and to our own poor ?

    I do agree with offering safety to refugees but the last twenty years of abuse of our trust has left us with fatigue.

  15. DaveM
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    You refer to Germany throughout this blog, John. Realistically it’s Merkel who’s done this. Not only to her own country but also to Italy, Greece, Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. How could anyone possibly imagine that inviting millions of people to come “straight away now” would be a good idea? I’m not that familiar with Germany – does it have a million empty homes and a million empty jobs? If so, why had Merkel not previously sent out invites to all the unemployed in Italy and Greece, France and Spain?

    She has become like Thatcher near the end. She is surrounded by Yes Men both at home and within her EU circles. She’s lost in the myth of her own power, propped up by wet ministers and Juncker/Hollande. Msm has made it appear as if all of the German people are welcoming refugees with hearts and flowers. A few thousand bleeding hearts are easy to find in any country for the benefit of the media. What’s also easy to find – if you look beyond the BBC – is the opposite reaction to immigrants, in Germany and elsewhere.

    I think Cameron is doing the right thing this time. I just hope he sticks to his decision for once.

    Flicking between R4 and 5Live this morning – in terms of pro-EU, pro-immigration, pro-Corbyn, pro-Green agenda, anti-Osborne, the BBC isn’t just displaying bias any more. It’s blatant shameless propaganda now.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Good points Dave, and witness the shock and awe on the faces of BBC journalists recently now that Jeremy Corbyn is the new Labour leader, and not their own New Labour, pro-EU, liberal interventionist candidate (of which there were three).


    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Yes the German people have been let down (once again) by their politicians over EU policy made up on the hoof.

      On the BBC this morning I heard the CEO of Vauxhall declare Britain to be a good place to build cars whether or not we are in Europe and a Hungarian politician defend (eloquently) his country’s position on immigration of refugees and economic migrants. Neither was hectored by the interviewer.

      • DaveM
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I heard the Chief Director of Ford UK (an American) interviewed. He was not hectored, but was asked questions such as:

        “…and presumably the continued success of Ford [building and exporting engines] from the UK depends on continued membership of the EU?”

        To his credit, the American chap totally refused to make any comment on UK politics, merely saying that a “common market” was very important. Good lad!!

        • Mark
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Ford operates with common platform designs across its markets with factories spread round the world on five continents. It has three plants in the UK – a vote of confidence compared with other EU countries which can only boast at most one plant.

    • John C.
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      The BBC has decided that the Conservatives are paper tigers and will not give them a rough time, and have become, as you say “shameless”. All reports of the so-called “refugees” (all of them, apparently are fleeing for their lives) show weeping children confronted by the stern, unbending forces of law and order.
      These are not refugees in the classic mould; they are not old men and women, hobbling and broken and frightened.Watch non BBC reports and you see most are fit, young men, the sort who should be back home fighting for their own land rather than pursuing the dream of living in Adidas-land. They are demanding, aggressive often and ungrateful.

  16. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    As I understand it an ISIS terrorist posing as an asylum seeker has been arrested by German police in a “refugee” center in Stuttgart, and German customs officers have seized boxes containing 10,000 Syrian passports being smuggled into Europe, possibly to be utilized by ISIS cell members to blend into German society.

    I believe Germany wants economic migrants, but they have been forced to change position due to public discontent, strong protest from Hungary and security concerns. This would partly also explain why Cameron wants to stagger our own intake over 5 years as no one is sure what the security implications are going to be.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Western powers are totally inadequate and not up to the task protecting the public.


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      A clutch of reports that many of those claiming to be Syrians are not, a quarter of them according to one German minister.

  17. Gina Dean
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    We get told how bad we are not to allow the migrants in from Calais. Germany shuts its borders with no warning and it’s Ok. You can tell the EU is run for Germany and France not for the rest.
    I hope that the PM will not be fooled by Germany saying you support us with the EU army and we will look with favour on your changes the Uk want. Too many times the EU have gone back on its word after the UK have given ground.

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      I agree Gina, Germany change the rules all the time and now the starter of the two biggest wars we’ve had to defend our nation from is wanting to take charge of a European defence force. It’s unbelieveable.

      I admire the Hungarian PM, he warned Germany of the effects of Merkels statements. The bravado and stupid actions of her government have infected the whole EU with a situation that is unfundable and out of control.

      We have been the most generous to incomers (refugees, economic migrants, students on extended working visas) for years and to be held up now by the likes of Peter VL as not taking our fair share is pathetic, look to your own Country Peter if you want to do more and keep out of our decisions.

  18. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    We have hundreds of British Jihadists in Syria, what is stopping them returning to Europe incognito as bogus refugees?

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      When it all kicks off back here in Blighty , do you think we will be allowed to fight back ?

  19. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Let us imagine that the thousands moving across Europe get into Germany and decide they want to go further and it’s really the UK they want to get to. What is the government going to do if all those fit and healthy single men, along with some others for the ‘sympathy vote’ take to small boats to get across the channel? Where are our coastal and inshore defences – we don’t have any.

    And for those who are stopped will Cameron say they should be towed over, rather than back? He had better not – they are quite safe in France. But then he is weak, and the ‘bleeding heart’ hardliners will get the better of him no doubt.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Some years ago I attended a public meeting organised by a local church to give a platform for a woman from Sarajevo.

      I will say that in her case there was some justification in giving her sanctuary in this country, at least by her own account that she had been employed to help one of the international agencies and had been seriously warned that by doing that she had made herself a specific target for murder.

      I cannot recall her exact words, but when asked why she had come to the UK she said something like: “In Germany they (treat you badly ed), in France they (treat you badly ed), here you are given money and somewhere to live and maybe a car.”

      She also argued: “If a can of beans can cross borders, why can’t I?”, to which I pointed out that a can of beans was an inanimate object which would not behave like a person in certain vitally important respects, starting with a can of beans not spending its time going round and addressing meetings to urge that more cans of beans should be admitted to the country.

      However of course that is the fundamental, but quite deliberate, error in the EU’s insistence that freedom of movement of goods, services and capital between its member states must be accompanied by freedom of movement of persons, which actually dates right back to the 1957 Treaty of Rome setting up the EEC.

    • stred
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      How to we know whether there is not already a healthy trade in Dunkirk style evacuations at night with drop off points in Kent and Essex. Are the border force out there watching?

  20. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The BBC is reporting this morning that big business supports us taking in more economic migrants. Big companies and banks are even sending millions of pounds to “help people displaced”. Why?

    • yosarion
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Cheep Labor, another Generation left to rot on welfare or if they get a job never allowed to progress because it pays so little, with rents so high they have to have top ups from government and if they progress and earn a little more it is then taken from them so they can never save anything as they watch house prices go through the roof due to uncontrolled immigration to keep big businesses wadges down. Socialism by the back door, created by Brown and continued by Osbourne.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        That’s not so much socialism as a return to serfdom.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Can anyone else see a complete collapse on the horizon unless we get a grip soon?


    • Anonymous
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Mercia – Some things to consider:

      – Our education system is not producing the goods

      – Business gets a workforce enticed from abroad with in-work top-ups

      – Each job that could be done by a Brit but isn’t is subsidised in the form of one unemployed’s benefit. That the Brit may have turned his nose up at the job is down to the welfare system too.

  21. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel has done great damage to the EU and to the plight of migrants. She sent out a clear message encouraging mass migration. When she invited 800,000 into Germany this year she also extended that welcome to include all the members of the EU. The shear stupidity of opening borders to so many without any control or security checks should not be accepted just because it is accompanied by a continuous, emotional, propaganda avalanche from the media. If Germany needs migrants then they should take them and keep them in Germany but under free movement any number could eventually come to the UK.
    Is there likely to be any renegotiation that prevents that?

    • bigneil
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      No – Cameron is having their houses built right now.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Any EU country choosing to issue a passport to a foreign national should become responsible for the costs of that individual forever. There should be a note in the issued passport that the costs are to be borne by X country.

      This should be one of the first items of renegotiation of “free movement”.

      Any benefit claimant whose origins is outside the EU should have their full costs (in or out of work benefits; free education or health) borne by the country that issued the passport. (There are transfer mechanisms and tracking mechanisms that would make this work). Any taxes paid would be kept by the country where the taxes are paid to cover infrastructure use.

      This can be a prototype for future freedom of movement rules and will serve to protect better developed countries from subsidising (further) poorer countries.

      • DaveM
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

        I find it amusing that people are still talking about “renegotiation”.

        The EU’s on the verge of economic, political and social implosion. It’s only the Europhile leaders and MEPs and members of the EC that still believe their beloved “project” is on any kind of track!!

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          EU ruling against paying immigrants unemployment benefit. If we can now just solve the in work benefits payments it won’t be worth them coming here.

          Do not disagree about the renegotiation being merely windows dressing but if we are to have a conversation with our masters we may as well ask for things we want.

  22. JJE
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Even the Pope has worked out the potential problem with the previous approach.
    “It’s true, I recognise that, nowadays, border safety conditions are not what they once were. The truth is that just 400 kilometres from Sicily there is an incredibly cruel terrorist group. So there is a danger of infiltration, this is true,” the Pope said during an interview with Portuguese radio station Radio Renascença.

  23. forthurst
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    “Some of us queried at the time how Germany would distinguish between Syrian refugees, refugees from other countries and economic migrants.”

    According to local officials in Hungary, a third of those who have entered illegally refuse to identify themselves or allow themselves to be finger-printed, saying they wish to get to Germany first; the EU, which CMD so adores but which right-thinking real Englishmen so detest, is beginning to look like a badly managed pop festival in which people have only to join a large unruly throng to gatecrash it to enjoy for free what others had paid their hard earned cash to enjoy.

    CMD believes that the main problems emanating from the ME are from Assad and people traffickers; in fact the main problem is neocons like himself who believe they are entitled to invade other peoples’ countries and effect regime change and who are now claiming that Putin and Assad are causing the exodus of refugees from Syria, when it is their beloved ‘moderate’ opposition which has been immoderately transmuted into Daesh that is the problem and which without Assad and some materiel from Russia would occupy the whole of Syria and probably Iraq as well, turning every Christian and Shi’ite from two countries into a refugee demanding resettlement in CMD’s beloved EU.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      If it is true that Russia is organising an offensive in Syria for the coming weeks and that proves successful the next potential exodus from Syria will be the terrorists(neither Assad nor Russia distinguishes between ISIL and the anti-Assad factions favoured by the West);we will have to hope that Mr Putin’s bluntly stated policy regarding Islamic terrorists- “we kill them”-is borne out by events.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        Mitchel – I don’t think Mr Putin will be up to it after he’s had his talking to from Elton John.

  24. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile back in Britain our youth unemployment rate is dreadful. Meanwhile back in Britain our youth unemployment rate is dreadful. The cleverer ones

    Most of those unemployed do not want a job. Not just the clever ones either. With ever increasing family breakdowns. Some childrens parents divorce around the same time they are taking their exams and the child has to stay at home and look after the remaining parent who has had a nervous breakdown, ruining their education. This is very common.

    However, no one needs to be unemployed when they can very easily make money online.

  25. AndyC
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    German foreign policy has generally been incompetent – often dangerously so – since 1890. There was a brief period of lucidity in the 1920s, and of course between 1945 and 1990 Germany wasn’t allowed a foreign policy. But a reunified Germany soon reverted to form in Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, with disastrous results. Same now. There’s more than a whiff of Kaiser Bill’s meddling about Merkel’s quixotic migrant stance.

    And yet we in Britain are told we are not fit to govern ourselves and must be ruled by these people. I see the European Army plan is once again rearing its head. Hopefully it’s just a helpful Aunt Sally to be bravely ‘shot down’ by Mr Cameron as part of his ‘renegotiation’.

    • bluedog
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      ‘German foreign policy has generally been incompetent – often dangerously so – since 1890.’ Just remember that French foreign policy resulted in the Great War.

      • John C.
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        I blame Edward VII for pushing the Entente Cordiale, where we teamed up with our old enemies the French (don’t you love ’em!)and isolated our natural allies the Germans.

        • AndyC
          Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          I broadly agree, although you are harsh on Edward. The British government offered an alliance to Germany in 1900/01. The Germans rejected that offer, to the future detriment of both countries and indeed everyone.

      • AndyC
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        I agree, to a point. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can add Russia to the mix too, as I’m guessing from the tone of your comment you have read the Christopher Clark book.

        France has been very low key in all the current drama, especially given their historic insistence that Syria is somehow within their sphere of influence.

  26. Bill
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Just to say again that my concern would be with the Christians who have been ousted by what is effectively a Sunni/Shia conflict and then attacked by jihadist thugs and psychopaths. It seems reasonable to prioritise Christians rather than Sunni Muslims.

    One assumes that Merkel’s odd policy is driven backwards and forwards by behind-the-scenes argument within the German political sphere. It is certainly not a logical, calmly considered policy.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      “One assumes that Merkel’s odd policy is driven backwards and forwards by behind-the-scenes argument within the German political sphere. It is certainly not a logical, calmly considered policy.”

      Far from being a safe pair of hands, Merkel is a vacillator whose dithering and changes of mind, attempt to respond to her belief in her own moral superiority. One only hopes the German people will finally see through her and apply the order of the boot.

      • ChrisS
        Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Your comment abut Frau Merkel is absolutely right. She has a history of dithering and changing her mind : in many cases she goes with the view of those who most recently spoke to her. Cameron knows that only too well when she reneged on her promise to oppose the appointment of Juncker.

        It’s quote clear now that all the concerns about him were well founded, and that’s before you even start to look into his (word left out ed) dealings over corporate taxes when he was Finance Minister and PM of Luxembourg.

  27. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    CMD believes that the main problems emanating from the ME are from Assad and people traffickers; in fact the main problem is neocons like himself who believe they are entitled to invade other peoples’ countries and effect regime change and who are now claiming that Putin and Assad are causing the exodus of refugees from Syria,

    You are spot on with your analysis.
    The idea of focusing on people traffickers is a Jesuit initiative. If you google it you will see Theresa May has been attending Jesuit conferences on people trafficking at the Vatican.

    In a way this is a re-run of the technique used to justify the Kosovo war. NATO bombs largely caused a huge displacement of people who were fleeing NATO bombs (atleast in part) but was then used to justify continued intervention. If you listen to Jeremy Bowen carefully he is saying people are fleeing “war” and little is more terrifying than American fighter planes and drones flying overhead. etc ed

  28. Mercia
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    We have a synthesis between utopian idealism (as led by the BBC) and the capitalist imperative (mass migration to keep wages low). The ones being deceived are the general public and the deceivers are the likes of Cameron and Osbourne who are increasingly demonstrating they are neocon puppets (which is a danger to our own national security).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      A synthesis, otherwise known as an unholy alliance.

  29. Bert Young
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Merkel’s initial response to the refugee crisis was purely emotional ; the impact of the refugees into various parts of Germany has created a reaction she , now , dare not ignore ; she faces an election in the near future and she will not get the reaction she wants if she does not heed the warning voices . Many communities now face strange and punitive hardships in accomodating so many migrants ; they will react to protect their livelihoods and normal patterns of life .

    Merkel has now set an “uncertainty” into the EU relationship ; what was once a cast iron condition of free movement of people is no longer ; the border controls make a mockery of this . Her reaction is nothing more than a stimulus for countries to go their own way in a far more variety of things – France has behaved independently like this anyway . Furthermore this action of Merkel has exposed that Brussels counts for nothing and Germany rules . Within hours Germany then makes it clear that a European Army is a necessity – just what are the future implications of this ? – I shudder to think .

  30. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel has caused by her unilateral action the EU to be a torpedo beneath the waterline.

    The sheer numbers on the move make for an impossible situation, the EU are proving to be a disaster in so many areas.

    Mr Cameron has shown the way with his actions, but seems to have no voice within the EU. It should not be impossible that any migrants entering the EU via Germany and with the right to access other countries have this revoked.

  31. Iain Moore
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “We asked how she would avoid a very large number of people deciding they wanted….”

    And we still don’t know, for our media have been lacking any interest to get answers to these questions, they hound the likes of Hungary for having the temerity to exercise its sovereign right to manage its borders, but have no interest what so ever of casting a critical eye over Germany’s actions , or god forbid question the actions of migrants.

    As we saw yesterday in Channel 4 news the bias has become boringly formulaic. The first two questions Matt Fry asked the Italian Foreign Minister…

    ‘ Is Britain contributing enough to help out the migrant crisis?’

    ..the would you like to put the boot into Britain question, and when Paolo Gentiloni didn’t sufficiently avail himself of that opportunity in the view of Channel 4 news, they gave him a follow up opportunity to put the boot in….

    ‘Is Britain living up to its traditions of taking migrants?’

    Foreign politicians must loathe facing questions from the British media, for all they are faced with is a never ending list questions from a media who loathes Britain, or else up in ars that any country should say No to a migrant.

    • Paul Cohen
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Saw this item – Never seen such a blatant attempt to rig the answer quite like this before.

      Someone (who?) ought be outed , shouldn’t think it is the interviewer who set the questions.

      Also applies to most of BBC interviews.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Apart from Merkel’s folly, or probably worse, in announcing that in effect Germany would welcome as many migrants as cared to come, there is another important factor here which has received very little media attention – thanks to successive judgements from both the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and the EU’s European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, once so-called “refugees” have left Greece they cannot legally be returned to that country because conditions there are deemed inhuman or degrading.

    “The Court ruled that a refugee from Iran who had arrived in Germany from Greece should not be returned to the Greek authorities because he would “face a real risk of being subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment”.”

    “Cercone added that many EU countries were not sending asylum seekers back to Greece, where they first arrived on EU territory, due to concerns about their fundamental rights.

    The spokesman said that the Commission was “very worried” that an EU country, Greece, was seen as posing a risk of “inhuman or degrading treatment” for asylum seekers.

    Greece is still undergoing an infringement procedure for its asylum system, launched by the Commission in 2010.

    Cercone explained that the infringement procedure focused mainly on the living conditions of asylum seekers, adding that in Greece “there has never been a real asylum system” and that the EU was trying to help build one “almost from scratch”.

    The EU has funded the construction of ‘open centres’ for refugees. TV footage recurrently shows however that many asylum seekers in Greece are confined to ‘closed centres’, similar to prisons.”

    That was nearly two years ago, but of course what has brought it to a head has been the open invitation issued by Merkel.

    The Turks don’t want these migrants, despite almost all of them being co-religionists, even though many of them are not Syrians, and it seems that the Turkish authorities are happy to at least turn a blind eye to the well-organised activities of people smugglers to get shot of them to Greece, in fact in some cases they may be actively conniving with the traffickers to facilitate their lucrative business, and the Greeks know that once they’ve been allowed to leave Greece for another country they won’t be sent back.

  33. Tad Davison
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    This is just another example of the nonsense that is the European Union, and it beggars belief that some people actually want to belong to it. The former MP for Cambridge was on local radio recently, talking the place up, and began, ‘Now that all the myths about the EU have been debunked, and we can see that it is good for the UK……’

    And this bloke is supposed to be a scientist! He’ll be telling us the Sun goes around the Earth soon!

    John wrote:

    ‘Germany now wants other EU member states to undertake proper border checks at the EU’s external border……..’

    And there’s the problem – Germany now wants. It’s almost as if Frau Merkel is head of state of a thing called the United States of Europe, and is calling the shots.

    When did the coup happen, I must have missed it, and who on this side of the channel were the fifth-columnists who facilitated it?

    Tad Davison


  34. Qubus
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Germany: economic giants, political pygmies, a pale version of the USA.

  35. Kenneth
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Her invitation to Syrian refugees was reckless and put lives in danger. Now she is closing borders and leaving others to take in the extra that Germany has initially invited. She is also leaving it to others to pull the bodies out of the sea.

    The only good thing that comes of this is the precedent that an eu member can make up its own rules and defy the rules of the eu. Yes, we know that France and other countries do this regularly but to see Germany defy the eu is encouraging.

  36. English Pensioner
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    ………………. there already are Labour MPs who want to fill the country with refugees.

    Rachael Maskell, the Member of Parliament for York Central, declared:
    “We need to shout so much more and say 20,000 is not enough, 30,000 is not enough. We will keep going until we hit our saturation point because what does it matter if we have to wait another week for a hospital visit? Or if our class sizes are slightly bigger? Or if our city is slightly fuller? What does it matter if things are slightly more challenging? If we have to pay a little bit more into the system? Surely it is worth it to see those lives being restored again.”

    No doubt the new Labour leader would agree with her sentiments.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Just checked her majority, and noticed:

      “The NHS has been a big issue on the doorstep – that and the cost of living. People are really struggling at this time. We will make sure that we don’t let those people down, no matter what the administration is.”

      But now illegal economic immigrants must take priority.

    • John C.
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Self-congratulatory demagogy at its worst. The nadir of socialism.

    • Monty
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Note how she hasn’t bothered to define, in any manner, what she means by “saturation”.
      If she means full occupation of council houses and waiting lists for same, we are already well past saturation point.
      If she means full occupation of hospital beds, we are already well past saturation point.
      If she means full schools and parents being denied a local place for their child, we are already well past saturation point.
      If she means more passengers on public transport than seats to accomodate them, we are already well past saturation point.
      So in what respect does she seek saturation level immigration, and how on earth does she define it?

      And as for her subsequent declaration that her target is six refugees per constituency- does she realise that this amounts to just short of 4000 refugees, while the Government has already committed to about 20 000?

      Just how stupid is this girl?

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood – I wonder if you can explain why Germany seems to unilaterally run the EU? They say ‘less payments to EU countries that don’t accept some arbitrary ‘fair share’ of refugees/migrants and it seems to be taken as law.

    WHY? We get told we’ll get fined if we don’t comply with things – we seem to the only country in the EU that obeys the rules? Why don’t we just make blanket statements? We can always withhold our contributions if we are given less back.

    Better still, why not leave?

    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Look at the English translations of the German press more than a month ago around 8th August 2015. They reported their army was brought in to set up tents. Their usual refugee and migrant accommodations were overflowing by 50%.

    Germany WAS not capable of giving refuge to anyone quite some time ago. Like our Social Services even without the added workload of migration, some staff were suffering stress-related ailments of their own because Social Work is by no means easy. Their hospitals and schools WERE full to capacity and overflowing.

    Germany has engineered its southern debtor Greece to be devastated by an influx of people when it could not even manage with regulating its own population. The whole of southern Europe is now in social and economic turmoil thanks to Mrs Merkel.

    She had to know that even the comparatively advanced German State could not cope. Of course she did know the consequences of such an influx on southern Europe.

    Germany should be heavily fined by European countries. She should pay compensation in the billions for the damage done to her neighbours and made financially and practically responsible for the return of the migrants to their countries of origin or every single man-Jack and Jill of them accommodated in Germany without the possibility of moving to any other European country.

    A Conspiracy Theory I know. But I feel Germany has never accepted her defeated and humiliated economic and political position since the end of WW2. She seeks revenge.

    • DaveM
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      “Germany should be heavily fined by European countries….etc”

      Apparently, on the contrary, Germany is now threatening German/EU sanctions against E European countries who refuse to do as they are told by Merkel.

      This is madness, Mr Redwood. Surely even David Cameron can see that?

  39. lojolondon
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Hi John, I am sure you already know this, but I had to explain it to some of my friends, so decided to share again –

    If someone flees Syria into Turkey they are a refugee. If they walk across Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria, wanting to get to Germany, Sweden and the UK because the benefits in the first seven countries are too low, that is a hint they are economic migrants and obviously planning to live on welfare claims. If men are travelling alone, with families left in the “war zone”, that is also abnormal behaviour and very suspicious in my opinion.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 15, 2015 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Apparently the benefits in Denmark are now also too low, so it’s preferable to just pass through – I suppose that should really be represented as fleeing Denmark in fear of their lives, to escape the continuing civil war – and go on to Sweden.

  40. Brigham
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Come back de Gaulle, all is forgiven.

  41. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I read somewhere – I don’t know if it is true – that 80% of the Syrian migrants arriving in Germany are male and in the age range 18-25. Much to ponder there.

  42. Mark
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    The Lorelei Rheinmaiden has sung her siren song to ensnare the boatmen on the rocks. The Rheingold is open to the migrant Alberichs, who will seize power.

    Götterdämmerung ensues?

    Perhaps Frau Merkel should not have gone to Bayreuth – it seems to have given her delusions.

  43. Sue Jameson
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    “Merkel’s decision last month to guarantee Syrian refugees safe passage triggered a mad scramble to reach Germany. The move was a humanitarian gesture, intended to help ease a bottleneck in Hungary, where many refugees were stranded in makeshift camps in sweltering conditions.

    Back in Germany, state and local officials were “completely surprised” by Merkel’s move and given little time to prepare, Roger Lewentz, the president of Germany’s conference of state interior ministers, told German radio on Monday.

    “That was a mistake and I think that Berlin now realizes that,” he said of the communication breakdown.”

  44. ChrisS
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Merkel has done irrepairable damage to the EU over this issue. It will be impossible to impose quotas and anyway, the migrants will go wherever they want once they get an EU passport. A large proportion speak English so we can guess where they will head !

    The whole of the Eastern block of EU members including former loyal German ally Poland understand only too well just how much a massive influx of Muslim people will change their countries and they won’t have any of it. Saudi Arabia’s offer to build 500 new mosques in Germany is a real help here !

    We cannot have a situation in the EU where one misguided woman can totally re-write the asylum policy of 26 countries on a whim. No wonder everyone is up in arms over it.
    Blackmailing the others into accepting quotas by threatening to withdraw funding for some unrelated projects is not the way to win friends and influence people.

    Merkel created this problem all on her own and when 2m Syrians turn up on her doorstep in the next year, Germany is going to have to sort it out.

    Either way, Schengen looks dead and every week there are new developments that are ensuring we are heading inexorably for the exit door. Not before time.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Now, having arranged for the idea of reprisals against countries which oppose her will to gain widespread currency she says “Threats are not the way to unity”.

      She really is an evil woman, as I’ve said on several previous occasions.

      • Christopher Sheldrak
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        I would not go that far :

        Emotional, flip flopping on policy issues, reflecting the views of the last person she spoke to, yes to all of them.

        Evil ? well, no, not yet.

  45. ChrisS
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Almost forgot :

    It seems that Brussels has suddenly decided that Turkey is not deemed a “Safe Country” because of the local trouble in the Kirdish region which is hundreds of miles from any of the migrant’s jumping off points along the coast.

    That now means that anybody arriving in the EU from Turkey will in theory have to be accepted as a refugee and can’t be sent back.

    • stred
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Presumably, now that the Hungarians have closed their border and will send refugees back to Serbia, Serbia and other ex Yugoslav states will close their border to Greece. Then Greece will have no option but to follow EU directions, declare Turkey unsafe,and grant refugee status and EU citizenship, joining Spain and the UK as top performers. Then, with EU passports, they will be able to get on the bus to Dover if they choose to.

      • ChrisS
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        This has to be the end game for the EU. Why else would they declare Turkey to be unsafe ?

        The troubles in the Kurdish regions are many hundreds of miles from the coast where Western tourists like me enjoy going on holiday. The only reason we are not going to Bodrum again next month is because the area and the nearby Greek island of Kos are now full of young male economic migrants. It’s a shame because they are beautiful and peaceful areas for a holiday.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 16, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        As I pointed out in a comment submitted yesterday but not yet published, according to the ECHR and the ECJ Greece itself is “unsafe”, hence once an asylum seeker has left Greece he cannot legally be sent back there.

  46. MPC
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m waiting for the first independent think tank (part funded by the EU) to confirm that it’s obvious we should allow in at least 10,000 economic migrants per year (unskilled young men gathered at Calais and elsewhere) because it’ll be worth at least an additional 2% pa for the UK’s GDP

  47. margaret
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s not the muses calling , but the emotional reality of too many to feed and take over Germany’s national identity. There isn’t any use in talking numbers and statistics as when everyday people see themselves; their identity potentially being swamped, good will has its limits. It isn’t intellectual . It is survival of the fittest. Mrs Merkel does not , as other nations want to become unpopular. There is a situation where the better side of humanity reaches out to help others and then has second thoughts when’ the what about us’ question takes precedent.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Now the excuse is that the EU’s Frontex border agency is under-resourced:

    “Frontex in dire need of border guards”

    Well, why does it want border “guards”, anyway, when its main role appears to be to make sure that illegal immigrants can get into the EU as safely as possible?

    There was an item on Sky last night about a Norwegian coastguard vessel helping out by patrolling the sea between Turkey and one of the Greek islands, Norway being in Schengen even though it is not in the EU, and when it detected a boat with illegal immigrants the ONLY concern was to check that they were OK and that their boat was sufficiently seaworthy to complete the passage. If it had seemed to the captain that the illegal immigrants were potentially at serious risk then he would have intervened to take them off and deliver them safely to their destination, but as the boat was judged to be good enough they were simply allowed to continue on their journey.

    How exactly can that possibly be described as “guarding” the border?

  49. Terry
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t this yet another case of Political leaders out of touch with their electorate? Why do they do it? Why do they sweep aside the sentiments of the public and pursue their own sanctimonious agenda?
    Is it because they wish to appear one of the good guys on the World Stage or is it just so they may sleep at night? Knowing that they have helped somebody from a foreign land with a need to better themselves.
    That of course, is very admirable when there are limited numbers but a huge swarm of immigrants seeking a better life with no fees to pay is something different altogether. And who actually consulted their respective electorates on this matter? These unilateral declarations by our leaders serve no purpose but to alienate their own citizens. Ipso facto.

  50. Jon
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Think this highlights a countries approach to immigration where they (Germany) want an increase in population. They have not experienced the strains we have had so sent the message out that they could take a million. It took them only days to real;ise there are a multitude of issues when being flooded with migration.

    It showed how naive Germany and Merkel is on this subject. If we wondered what her thoughts were a few days a go on the subject of migration clearly. she is a naive and has only just begun to learn the basics.

  51. Colin Hart
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    For too many years we have taken German chancellors too seriously, particularly when they ‘lead’ coalition governments; which is most of the time, with all the soggy compromises that entails.

    It is time British politicians started questioning Germany’s occupation of the moral high ground (eg on energy where they still burn vast quantities of braun kohl shutting out imports from Poland and elsewhere while lecturing the rest of us on the need for ‘clean’ fuel). The migration farce speaks for itself.

    Mrs Merkel now lacks any authority. We should let it be known that we no longer consider that she speaks for Europe and that if Europe wants us a member of the EU it will be on our terms or not at all.

  52. Xombie Rainbow
    Posted September 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    You can have beer, bacon and bikinis or you can have cowards and deserters who will try to force Sharia law on you but you cannot have both.

    By the way, for the young men of fighting age who deserted their country, where are their mothers, wives, children, and younger brothers and sisters? Did they leave them to die at the hands of ISIS?

  53. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    If Germany wants to accept so many immigrants, why doesn’t it run a shuttle service of ships from Pireas and other Mediterranean ports to Hamburg? There may not be enough passenger ships available to do this but 40+% of Europe’s internal freight trade is by short sea shipping. It ought to be possible to make a rough and ready conversion of some of the freight ships to take passengers.

    Germany prefers instead to force considerable inconvenience on Greece, Serbia and Hungary (soon to include Romania and Croatia) coping with transit land passengers. Hungary is being pilloried for doing the right thing. More and more the EU is becoming a German empire. When Angela says “Jump”, everybody jumps. Germany is like a rogue animal that not only pisses on its own turf but everybody else’s as well.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      Just for once, the question posed in my first paragraph isn’t rhetorical. I would genuinely like to know.

  54. Know-Dice
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink


    After spending a very pleasant weekend in between Amsterdam and Utrecht…lovely smooth roads and very efficient railways and very nice polite and friendly people 🙂

    Just a shame my Dutch is not existent 🙁

    Any how…

    I think from the man or woman in the street in the UK they (Me) don’t care whether a migrant is a refugee or economic or whatever, what is important is the loss of access for the indigenous population to public services, doctors, hospitals, schools etc. with a population that is expanding at an unsustainable rate.

    So, some raw figures for net immigration for a basket of EU countries would be useful.

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Here is a clear example of the kind of twisted thinking which has dominated the ruling classes across much of Europe for more than two decades, an notable early instance being Blair’s minister Barbara Roche going on the radio in the Balkans to say that the UK needed immigrants – Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB:

    “Is embracing immigration important for Europe?

    In general yes. But there are two dimensions to this: one is the medium to long term issue of immigration and demographic developments, and the other is the short term crisis of refugees that raises a lot of logistical issues, among others.

    To me, it’s clear that immigration is one of the things that can improve the demographic potential of Europe, which is necessary, if Europeans think and care about the welfare of future generations. The working age of population of the euro area is declining 0.6 percent a year until the 2030s. That’s huge. To change the demographic trends, promoting birth is not enough, is also has to be done through immigration, if this is to be corrected. If not, we’re creating a great difficulty to growth and to the welfare of future generations. This is a very acute problem because for years Europe has been doing the sort of collective demographic suicide and no one is thinking about this.”

    Oddly enough, the “collective demographic suicide” of a nation which has lost the will to perpetuate itself through future generations, like the Germans, also cannot be corrected by bringing in large numbers of other people’s children to replace the unborn children, indeed taken far enough that itself represents a form of national suicide.

    • Chris
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      In line with Sutherland of the UN.

  56. Mercia
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    BBC Outside source have just said one of the main reasons Saudi Arabia or Qatar will not take refugees is they are worried about security concerns.

    • Monty
      Posted September 16, 2015 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      The Saudis are taking zilch. This despite them having a vast city of air-conditioned luxury tents standing empty. Of course, those tents are earmarked for their haj season, in which pilgrims spend vast amounts of money in the Saudi economy.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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