An Easter message

I attended a service at the invitation of the various Churches  of the Wokingham Christian community, and joined them afterwards in the Marketplace to see their Easter play. I am grateful to all who produced it and performed in it. It was thought provoking and hard hitting.

This year in line with the messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury and  the Pope they tackled the difficult issue of refugees and migrants. They captured well the dangers and troubles faced by migrants who travel long distances by sea in search of a better life. They appealed to our common humanity. None of us want to see people suffer. We all feel great pain  when we see the plight of children trusted to the people smugglers.

The play implied criticism of Wokingham Council for not accepting more refugees. It did not consider the pressures on Wokingham housing from people already here, and the obvious shortage of affordable housing. Nor did they consider whether perhaps it is better as well as quicker to accommodate more refugees in parts of the UK with lower house prices and  a surplus of homes with empty properties available.

The play also stated that no-one would trust their children to the sea unless that was safer than where they were fleeing from. The worry is that people smugglers taking children from Turkey are endangering young ones who would not be at so much risk if they were kept off the overloaded and unsafe little boats and inflatables that the traffickers use for their profit. The trade  is shocking, leading to the deaths of too many people and taking money from many who have little in the first place.  We need to find a way of making sure this trade  does not pay.

The play was effective at getting over the shock and the scale of the dislocation of the current mass migrations, but was not able to consider the wide  range of actions the UK is rightly taking to tackle the  problem closer to its source. The best way of helping the migrants is to work for peace and economic reconstruction in their own countries. It is good news that there is a kind of truce in more parts of Syria, and peace talks have begun their slow and difficult way.

Helping the most able and energetic to leave a country  intensifies the difficulties of the country losing its  talent. These countries will need much energy and ability to rebuild as peace slowly takes hold. We need to find ways of allowing more to stay and more to be near at hand to return as soon as peace does permit.

The UK also thinks it is better to help migrants closer to the country they are fleeing. It is cheaper so we can help and feed many more. It means they are better placed to return once their own country becomes safer. It keeps them more in touch with their own culture, friends, relatives and homeland. The UK’s overseas aid programme for Middle Eastern refugees is the largest in the world after the USA.

The play asked the question who is our neighbour? In a way I agree with their answer, that all mankind is our neighbour. They cannot all become our next door neighbour. I also think we have stronger obligations to those who live with us and need our direct help, as we are bound by not just our common humanity but also  by ties of fellow citizenship, and mutual obligations over the years of living under a common rule of law. Being part of the UK we all accept that the richer pay more tax and poorer receive more benefit wherever they live. We are not able to extend that system of redistribution to all the rest of the world given the numbers involved and the very different average living standards in many countries.

The UK should play a leading part in the worldwide response to the Syrian, Libyan and  wider Middle Eastern and African crisis, as we are doing. We need as we have tried to do to rally more of the richer and stable countries of the world to share in the task.  We also need to make sure that we do not  send out a signal to people traffickers that their business model is a good one which many more people should pay to use. We need to be careful lest the answer to every trouble in a  country is the exodus of that country’s brightest, most determined and  best to live somewhere else.





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  1. Mark B
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think it is a cruel trick to play on people when, you use both children and the emotions they garner from people, in order to coerce others to do that which they would not ordinarily do. it debases the argument in my eyes.

    The responsibility for those children are the parent and not the traffickers. The traffickers would not exist if there was no one willing to use them.

    The traffickers would also find it harder if the international community went after them. These people are gaining much from the misery of others. And we can start much closer to home. In Calais, it is alleged that UK citizens are actively helping illegal immigrants to enter the UK. Surely this is against the law and, I think it is high time that our so called government did something about it. A few arrest and a trial or two will make these people think about what they are doing. They may support open borders, but I am sure most do not.

    As for letting people into this country, I think there are quite a lot of other countries that can happily take more immigrants. Saudi Arabia for one. It has both the space and the wealth.

    Many of the people wanting to come here have little or no skill, let a lone suitable education. That is why they choose the illegal route. They simply would not be allowed in otherwise.

    Finally. Charity begins at home. Perhaps the good people of Wokingham might wish to visit our kind host at Westminster, London. Whilst here, they may wish to tour many of the streets. There they will see many homeless people sleeping in doorways and begging for money. perhaps they might wish to offer these people some of their charity, they surely need it.


    • matthu
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I think it is a cruel trick to play on people when, you use both children and the emotions they garner from people, in order to coerce others to do that which they would not ordinarily do. it debases the argument in my eyes.

      I seriously thought you were referring to Nicky Morgan warning children that Inter-railing and backpacking around Europe would be more dangerous and costly if UK were to leave the EU, and urging them to make the case for remainijg in the EU to their parents and grandparents.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the tosh from Nicky Morgan or indeed the gamble we cannot afford to take for our “children and grandchildren” nonsense from Anna Soubry the other day.

        I want my children and grandchildren to live in a democracy where they can choose the people who govern them please.

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        How come politicians like Nicky Morgan can be allowed to spout things which are diametrically opposite the truth and get away with it.
        She says leaving the EU would cost a generation jobs etc. No mention of 600,000 immigrants being allowed into the country annually.
        These people are liars and should be exposed at every opportunity.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          The biggest problem with the education secretary is her belief that parents should have no choice of school for their children, that they should be happy being allocated a shortlist of 3 schools of which 2 will refuse entry on “religious” grounds so no choice at all, and her belief that British children should be taught in segregated schools split on medieval belief system lines encouraging the very divisions which are the biggest problem our society faces. I believe myself that buying power in the school place buying decision should be firmly handed over to parents and that segregation on anything but exam results should be banned. The education secretary really does beggar belief, and you can be sure she would “do a Dianne Abbot” if her kids were faced with the rubbish schools with zero choice many others have to face.

        • Jerry
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:54 am | Permalink

          Ian Wragg; “No mention of 600,000 immigrants being allowed into the country annually. These people are liars and should be exposed at every opportunity.”

          Cough, yes indeed, half-truths should be exposed for what they are…

          No migrant stops a UK national who wants work from getting work, even more so when the migrant hasn’t even set foot in the UK yet.

          • Anonymous
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink


            “No migrant stops a UK national from working.”

            Perhaps not. But he either drives down wages and pushes up prices or becomes a drain on welfare.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

            Anonymous; “But [migrants] either drives down wages and pushes up prices or becomes a drain on welfare.”

            No, cheaper imports from places like China drive down wages.

            The drain on welfare is from the work-shy, those who could have taken the job before the migrant ever arrived in the UK, not those who are willing to work and perhaps do any job they are capable of doing.

            Oh and please do explain how migrants push up prices when you claim they also drive down (wage) costs?!…

      • Jerry
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        @matthu: Well Nicky Morgan does have a point, a Brexit might well have “a devastating impact” on those British youngster chances of going to Barcelona rather than Birmingham university to study for that Degree no job requires and HR department wants…

        • Edward2
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

          Universities be they in Birmingham or Barcelona want students to fill their courses and will accept those who meet their entrance criteria and can afford their fees.
          Whatever nation they come from in the world.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; So who is going to pay for that Degree course at Barcelona Uni’, not the UK governbment by way of their loans (many of which will never be paid back) once out of the EU.

            Of course no university will refuse money up front, no one is arguing that someone from the UK could not pay their own way and attend Barcelona or even Harvard…

          • Edward2
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            The loans system is to individual students.
            They pay it to the University of their choice.
            Birmingham or Barcelona it makes no difference.
            I don’t believe that leaving the EU will have much effect on this.

          • Jerry
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Even if the UK tax payer is prepared to carry on funding such overseas Universities there is still the little mater of UK citizens bothering with the -quite possible- extra paperwork and visas etc.

            The point you seem to miss every time is that currently under EU law people have the right to live, work or be educated in the EU country of their choosing as if they were living in the country of their birth/citizenship, that will not automatically be the case should the UK leave the EU. Should such privileges remain after a Brexit what strings might be attached to them for the UK generally -for example- such as the way Switzerland has had to accept a much higher level of boarder-less travel than we do currently (or indeed many Swiss would wish).

            Whilst trade, post a Brexit, might be somewhat or fully protected under WTO rules and good old common sense just about everything else will be up for (re)negotiation.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    As you say:-

    We also need to make sure that we do not send out a signal to people traffickers that their business model is a good one which many more people should pay to use. We need to be careful lest the answer to every trouble in a country is the exodus of that country’s brightest, most determined and best to live somewhere else.

    Though this concentration on “the evil people traffickers” is rather misleading. The people are to a very large degree trafficking themselves, they are often the traffickers.

    The problem is the “catch 22”, the kinder we are to people arriving the more will follow in their footsteps. We cannot take all who want to come and nor should we. The solutions must be found nearer to the countries they are leaving.

    What on earth is Nicky Morgan (yet another lawyer) on about?

    The EU has been a total disaster for jobs for the young, undercutting wages all over the place with open door migration and putting extra pressure on housing and services.

    The EURO too has destroyed youth jobs across the Southern EU areas from France to Greece, with youth unemployment rates from 25% to nearly 50%

    How on earth can a supposedly intelligent woman come out with such complete and utter drivel? The young in the UK have if anything the most to gain from a Brexit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      People like the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope rarely “tackle” any difficult issue such as refugees and migrants at all. Or indeed any issues at all, their logic is nearly always totally lacking.

      They just do a bit of half baked, “aren’t we nice and kinder than you, virtue signaling”. Usually, like governments they want to be nice and kind but nearly always using other people’s money to do it with.

      Irrational belief systems and the damaging wars & cleavages they cause in societies are, to a very large degree, the cause of the problems. Perhaps they should address these issues for a change.

      • Hope
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        I read today that those wishing to leave are named as the Redwood Goggle-eyed Brigade. Typical of Cameron’s club. He insults Tory supporters, Tory associations and now his MPs. No wonder he is behind Corbyn in the polls and could not beat Brown.

        I also read today that many EU convicted murderers and criminals were allowed in the UK without restriction or monitoring and tragically murdered and committed crime again. Anna Soubry needs to make a public apology for her deliberately deceitful article yesterday. The families of those victims will be incensed by her comments. Perhaps Teresa May could give us all a break down of EU people who have committed crime, those who were deported and the true immigration figures from the EU. I appreciate this might require a degree of competence that she does not possess.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          Where did you read that? Did he really say it.?

          I suppose it is better than John Major’s questioning their parentage. This after Major had buried the economy with the ERM fiasco and shortly before he buried the Tory party for 3+ terms.

          Still no apology from the man.

          • Hope
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

            Not he. Read the first line.

        • Iain Moore
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          Soubry doesn’t seem to understand the difference between facts and fear. Stating the number of EU criminals who have come here and offended again is a fact. A fear campaign is to make unfounded claims as to what they claim will happen, i.e much of the Remain campaign.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. Stating the large numbers of, often very serious, offences committed by prisoners who are on remand or are released early or the very large number of immigrant on very low pay who are a net liability to the state are also facts.

            Her figures were totally bogus too and she kept comparing apples and pears to confuse the gullible.

        • forthurst
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          “I read today that those wishing to leave are named as the Redwood Goggle-eyed Brigade.”

          It’s No 10 which is the residuum of English-hating fanaticism which actually is not very prevalent in the Tory Party or its supporters at large; in fact those who support the dissolution of our country through its total incorporation into the despotic Brussels regime, its embrace of Asiatic countries like Turkey (are traitors etc ed).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          There seems to be a Tory tradition of hurling around playground insults, at their own colleagues as well as opponents.

          The Sunday Telegraph editorial referred to “a report that a senior Downing Street aide has compared Tories who want to leave the EU to the extremists of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isil)”, and continued “That would be a truly appalling remark … “.

          But is it really worse than that “Turnip Taliban” insult deployed against those local associations where members were dragging their feet over Cameron’s “modernisation”?

      • Alan
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        I don’t think an “irrational belief system” did cause the civil war in Syria. I think it was caused by people trying to overthrow a dictator. Maybe we should have helped them, or at least encouraged the USA to help them. Then we would at worst have a problem like Libya, which is arguably less worrying to us than is Syria.

        Or we could do, as the Russians have eventually done, and helped the existing government to stay in power. That could have provided stability in Syria quite quickly. I’ll leave it to others to point out the disadvantages.

        But we did neither. If we want to provide leadership we have to do more than this. But then we would have to confront some really difficult problems, well beyond our capabilities as a single nation.

        • Hope
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          I think it was the west agitating for regime change. Thatcher made it clear every country had the right to self determination when asked why the alliance did not go all th to over throw Hussien. She acted within the UN mandate to free Kuwaite and prevent the threat. Cameron went beyond the mandate in Lybia and any assurance Russian had not to over throw Gadaffi. He then tried to achieve similar aims by funding the vile opposition of Assad with British taxes. None of our business or interest. The same with the Ukraine. At least it is not just the British people who do not believe a word he says!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

          Libya after Cameron’s half baked and ill conceived bombing is a total mess now.

        • stred
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Alan. We did try to help them. It’s called Transformational Diplomacy, invented by Condoleezer Rice when working for G.Bush II. Tony B went for it too. No 10 should be well schooled in it, as Eural’s main Remainer aide was seconded to help Condoleezer. Libya or Syria, it is difficult to choose which is the most successful bit of help for the Arab Spring, isn’t it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

          Perhaps not alone, but they rarely help.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          I think the eightfold explosion of the population of Syria since the war may have played some part in it.

          How well would we have coped if our population had expanded from 49 million in 1945 to 390 million, rather than just 60-odd million?

          • Iain Moore
            Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

            Indeed , that is a view I have of the situation. I don’t believe their culture, governance , let alone environment can cope with the explosive population growth they have had. It is the same in Africa, and as a result their over spill is heading our way.

      • Antisthenes
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Well meaning and pious people are the bane of our lives. They live in relative comfort well insulated against the frustrations and problems of every day life and pontificate their soppy ideas. Expecting us to act on them even though they are not in our best interests because that is the moral thing to do. These Bishops and champagne socialists rarely soil there own hands by practising what they preach except symbolically. The problem is they have the power or know those who do to compel us to do what they tell us we must.

        • Graham
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

          Well said.

          An archaic religious structure worth billions but uses none of it for good causes.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Much truth in that. These people are largely insulated and out of touch with the reality of people unable to get housing, priced out of jobs, unable to get doctors appointments or school places. It will not affect them, other than they can get a cheaper home extension, childcare or gardener.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          I gave up on the CofE after my vicar sat and drank wine and watched us all clear the tables away after our charity event. “It’s my day off” he said.

          It was our day off too !

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      I think that on Radio 4 last week, an MP said how very much she enjoyed going to Brussels. Everyone is there. She can meet colleagues from all over Europe. No doubt she also enjoyed being wined and dined by various lobbying groups too. And then, of course, she would be able to be included in various committees and so on. She is a member of one of the most powerful and interesting jobs in the whole world, she feels, no doubt.
      Because the whole of the EU is shrouded in secrecy, that is the only glimpse of the footwear of the Wizard of Oz we are likely to get behind the sustain, though.
      What we can assume is that MPs and Ministers are not going to leave this Club lightly after a referendum.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – I have always thought that the EU is just a club for ‘elite’ politicians and bureaucrats. Of course they want to stay in it, so as to prance on a bigger stage than plain old Westminster, hobnob with their own kind from 27 other countries and enjoy the sense of power and privilege without the tedious need to get the voters’ approval.

        Cynical? How could we be anything else when we are lectured at by self-aggrandising unelected nonentities from minor countries with fancy EU titles, and we are expected to pay for all of it. Remember Barrosso welcoming Obama to ‘The capital of Europe”? That said it all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Perhaps Nicky Morgan as education secretary might use her time rather better sorting out the dire state of many of the UK schools and the hugely dumbed down and PC/greencrap, exam system. Schools admittedly, rather over loaded due to the extra quarter of a million or so of net migration PA that Cameron clearly loves. No if no buts about it reduced to the tens of thousands as Pinocchio Cameron might say.

      Start perhaps by looking at Maths/Physics/Further Maths A level papers of the 1960 and 70’s and compare them with the trivial & superficial ones currently set. Often the current questions are not only trivial, but rather vaguely worded and rather badly thought through too. I often wonder about the quality of the people they have setting A level science exams currently.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

        Still if she can get the dead (& politically motivated) hand of local authorities out of state schools she will have achieved something useful. Better still just give parents vouchers to spend on their children’s education as they choose.

      • John C.
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic- One of the truest of the pessimistic truisms which have become common currency is the idea of A Dumbed Down Britain. And the one central cause of it all was the virtual abolition of grammar schools.
        This squashing of ability and ambition in favour of enforced equality has,of course, been repeated in a slightly diminished form in the expansion of the “uni” to include the most mediocre and talentless of students.
        The present generation of teachers, armed with their lesson plans and schemes of work, interactive whiteboards and total lack of individual creativity, are the first fruits of the D.D.B., as our country should be renamed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      “Parents who vote for a Brexit are “gambling with their children’s future” and risk creating a “lost generation” of young people, the Education Secretary warns today.

      Nicky Morgan will say that the economic shock of a Brexit would “damage the ability of young people to get on in life” in an intervention that will be labelled by eurosceptics Conservative MPs as “scaremongering””

      That is why we must convince voters that there will be no “economic shock”, there will be a smooth and seamless transition from the present unsatisfactory treaty arrangements to new and better treaty arrangements without any significant disruption, whether to trade or to anything else.

      • Know-dice
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Agreed, “economic shock” will only happen if our civil servants etc. don’t do their jobs properly.
        This is maybe why the Government/OBR should produce and publish how they are going to handle Brexit now.

        • Monty
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          “…economic shock will only happen if our civil servants etc. don’t do their jobs…”
          Perhaps what they are trying to get across, is the message that if we dare to disregard their “guidance”, they might make damn sure that after Brexit, we are confronted by economic storms.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          I expect there will be an economic shock if we don’t behave on the 23rd – followed by the opportunity to vote In again.

      • Hope
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        We do havena lost generation through lack of proper education. If Morgan did her job properly she would be advocating the opening of brand new Grammar schools. At the moment it is still illegal to open a new one! This is an argument between politicos and of no use to the public. This is the best way to achieve social mobility. Academies means failed school being given a load of money to buy equipment with no improved teaching or education. The teachers are substandard and are as poorly educated as the children they teach. Morgan should be arguing fo r the weed money on overseas aid and EU to be used in better public services at home. The EU spends a sixth of the overseas aid. Us get without any say from any British politician or minister. This amount is, again, not taken into account when adding up what the EU has from the British taxpayer. Perhaps Morgan could help education among the cabinet?

        • Hope
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

          Morgan needs to refresh her memory about geography and economics. Look at the mass unemployment in Eurozone countries particularly the youth unemployment. It might be a clue why there has been mass immigration to this country on the Eurozone. She could even ask Teresa May to provide us with a comparative analysis on true immigration figures. She might be better informed before she opens her mouth to spit utter nonsense.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        What about the lost generations and the youth unemployment in Greece, Portugal, Spain, France and Italy caused by the absurd EURO project. That is where Ms Nicky Morgan needs to look for lost generations.

    • Phil Richmond
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Can someone please explain to me what Nicky Morgan is going on about? How can an important Government Minister spout such utter nonsense and lies?
      How did someone like her even become an MP?
      How did someone like her become a member of the Conservative Party?

      • Hope
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Cameron surrounds himself with people like this. Your comments apply equally to Soubry, Fallon, Hunt, May, Osborne and Hammond.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and even Mr Carney is hardly being impartial.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        I assume Cameron just needed a token woman (with the usual wet Cameron Libdem views) to be a Minister for Women and Equalities then move her on to education. After all the house is really short of wet Libdim types with PPE or Jurisprudence degrees.

        It there not rather a conflict of interest in being Minister for Women and Minister for Equalities? Surely you are either for equality or you are for Women over Men? Perhaps as a lawyer she is too daft to see this basic conflict.

        • John C.
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Does the BBC still have “Woman’s Hour”?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:45 am | Permalink

            Indeed they do, and hilarious it often is too. Half the time saying women are just the same as men and any differences in pay and numbers doing any top job are due entirely to “discrimination”. This despite the fact that younger and single women already earn more than men.

            Then the other half telling us how different women are in the way they multi task or work as a team or how much better they are at empathy, languages, communication, asking directions and the likes. Then they bake a cake or discuss fashion or something.

            Perhaps then need to make their mind up.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      “What on earth is Nicky Morgan (yet another lawyer) on about?2

      Project Fear has morphed into Project Hysteria, where they make claims in favour of the EU on polices where the EU is directly damaging the prospects of British people. It is quite bizarre, if they were intending to flag up peoples concerns about the EU then they are doing a wonderful job. I await the next instalment of of Project Hysteria , where they attempt to tell us how wonderful the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy has been for our coastal towns and fishing communities.

    • stred
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Lawyers are trained to take any case, irrespective of whether it is ‘drivel’ and ‘polish the turd’ on behalf of the client- in this case, No 10.. She is just doing her job. Also, there are different types of intelligence. In a lawyers case, it is the type that depends on reading and understanding rules that can lead to qualification. Common sense, general knowledge or lateral thinking is not necessary.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Her current job is not a lawyer she is an MP. As such she is supposedly there to do the best she can for the country while bearing in mind the interests and views of the public she represents.

        It is not her role to deliberately mislead and lie to them. I do not think many of them would think it is a good idea to pay taxes and have them used to employ advocates to indoctrinate and mislead the public.

        • stred
          Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

          Ok . I agree, she is useless and should be sacked dafter the referendum.

    • getahead
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I also agree that all that all mankind is our neighbour but they cannot all become our next door neighbour.

    Why do Cameron and the remain side support a clearly racist, open door, immigration policy with the EU, but not with the rest of the World?

    We should have a points based system open to the whole World based on merit.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The best (and most cost effective) way to help people in poorer countries is from free trade and by assisting them in their home countries.

  4. The Active Citizen
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Splendid piece JR. A dose of reality into an idealistic world view. Compassionate and yet pragmatic. Spot on.

  5. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Theological note:
    The philosophy of Jesus was that we help individuals who are in our space. The Good Samaritan, for example,is all to do with individual needs. So are all the miracles. Even the feeding miracles met an individual need – the people were hungry and wanted their dinner next to Jesus and the disciples. And it does not matter what the victim believes, what the blind man thinks about God or what race the cripple happens to have been born into.
    It is a very powerful message.

    Other people have not done this in the same way. For instance, a lot of Muslims help – Muslims. The rest are Kufari. This certainly holds for IS who insist that their religion is limited to Salafi to the exclusion of everyone else.

    And Karl Marx insisted that workers of the world should unite as a class. No individuals there! The government, too, sees people quite often as numbers and stats. This is not the Christian message.

    And that is why the government may not be the best people to deal with welfare and schools and hospitals and social services.

    This is a truly radical approach and it is a shame my brother and sister Christians in Woking did not express it clearly.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Did the play include the fact that 73% of the refugees who seem determined to get to Britain are pushy young men ? Or that there are reports of women joining the ranks of foreign voluntary fighters making their way to Syria to repel ISIS ?

    There was a time when Britain’s experience of asylum was the defection of the odd Russian gymnast.

    Perhaps the Church could start by turning over its generously proportioned rectories, palaces and poorly attended churches to housing the homeless already in Britain – be they migrants or our own citizens fallen on hard times.

  7. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Your post highlights the ‘we must do something about this’ brigade’s modus operandi to a tee.

    First we is always the state so taxpayers foot the bill not those who seek to do good in our name. Then these hand wringers’ solution is always the most visible not the most effective. External interventions invariably have unintended consequences and our samaritans rarely consider these. Save us from those who would be seen to do good.

    Has Evette Cooper, Bob Geldof or the Archbishop of Canterbury housed an immigrant yet as they were extolling us all to do some time ago?

    How much have the rich gulf states contributed to their neighbours?

    Why must it always be us? As you write, we have our own home grown problems.

  8. Cheshire Girl
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I see that Oxfam is getting involved in haranguing us today for not taking more refugees. They say we are not taking our ‘fair share’ (whatever that is! ).
    I used to give to Oxfam quite a few years ago, but I never give now. I’m sure they would quite happily see this country sink into the Sea – no amount of migrants would be enough for them!
    I am sick and tired of charities telling us we are not doing enough. All this does is encourage our Government to feel guilty, and say ‘ we must do more’ . We are struggling to cope as it is – how much more do these overpaid Charity bosses expect us to do?

    • graham1946
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Hear, Hear.

      I don’t like the big charities either – those that think they are big businesses and pay their boards mega bucks. We don’t know where the money goes. Far better to support local charities or the Salvation Army. With our government giving away 12 billion to foreign aid on our behalf, I no longer feel guilty about the state of Africa or the rest of the world – we are doing more than our bit.

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        I lived and worked in Africa in the 70’s. We were pumping aid in then and every year since. Nothing has improved and in many ways have deteriorated.
        It’s a basket case and always will be.

      • John C.
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely right. I too have stopped giving to the big, professional charities, and give directly to local hospices and the Salvation army; charities which don’t have a political edge and do direct, simple good.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    “France has warned that if Britain opted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, Britons would no longer be able to access public healthcare.”

    Sure, the French would just let them die, as they just let all non-EU foreigners die if they have an accident or fall ill … and of course we would be just letting the French die here rather than giving them any medical attention, wouldn’t we?

    I wonder how much more of this tripe Cameron expects us to take.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      With London the sixth biggest French city, reciprocating on health care restrictions would give London hospitals some welcome relief on the demands being made of them.

  10. Antisthenes
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The natural reaction to the immigration crises is to let them come for humanitarian reasons. However before doing so it is well to think through this good intention will it have the desired outcomes. We know from old that so many good intentions do not turn out well because we have let the heart rule the head. The cure to a problem can work out as badly or even worse than the problem itself even making it effect others who were not hitherto involved.

    So it is with what our bleeding heart do gooders who want us to do now for these current immigrants. They want us to open our arms and doors to them (although you tend to find those who advocate such do not actually mean their arms and doors but other peoples) without any thought to the consequences. Many of those consequences you have named some you have not probably because they are ones that PC demands that you not mention them. You also name a better way to deal with the problem. Of course bleeding hearts are not going to allow that to happen. They want to control the agenda and will resist all attempts to stop anyone from them doing so.

    Newtons third law states that for every action there is an equal opposite reaction. This we forget and venture forth not realising that for every good we do some harm is felt somewhere else. So it is with allowing so many immigrants into Europe all in one go. It will in the end make victims of us all as has already been demonstrated by the behaviour of many of these immigrants on route and when arriving at their destinations. I do not see these do gooders having any sympathy for our plight as we bear the brunt of this invasion.

  11. The PrangWizard
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Thanks to the Russians the dangers in Syria are virtually over and it is time the so-called refugees were sent back en-masse. And we should be grateful to the Russians, and congratulate them, we should not be mealy-mouthed about their successes. We should also be thankful to that eastern European countries have been determined to protect their borders against the hordes.

    The West, and by that I include the government of the UK in particular, has been weak, it is dominated by weak people who think virtue signalling is action; what should dominate our actions is a resolve and physical action to defend our values, our children and grandchildren and their children and grandchildren, and to ensure we leave a free nation and society for them to live in, in Christian peace.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      As I suspect you realise Russia will get no credit.We have the continuation of the political ramifications of a thousand year old schism between Western and Eastern Christianity which has seen the West use every opportunity to attempt to bring down-or prevent the revival of-an Orthodox power,first the Byzantine,then its successor,the Russian,even to the extent of supporting Islamic powers.They have failed and ,to me,it’s the West,not the East that now looks the more imperiled.

      • stred
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

        Pope Frank and the Russian Orthodox bloke seem to be getting quite pally at the mo and thinking of making Easter the same date . Logic prevails, even after 2k years. Who knows, contraception next?

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 30, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

          I rather doubt there will be a true coming together;the Russian Orthodox church is a branch of the Russian state, always has been at least since the time of Peter the Great and arguably going back to its Byzantine roots.Subservience to the state was one of the main reasons Vladimir the Great “the Baptiser” chose Orthodoxy over the Latin church,Islam and Judaism when he converted his pagan people in the tenth century.It is likely President Putin is using Patriarch Kyrill to open up a new front of Russian influence,filling a void left by state secularization in the west and the increasingly liberal tendencies of the other strains of Christianity.

          • stred
            Posted March 30, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            Well, if Cyril can persuade Francis to make Easter the same date every year and point out the overpopulation problems in Africa and other places, good luck to him.

  12. Know-dice
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I notice that the “Easter Bunny caught in the car headlights”, was spouting dis-information about “a lost generation” this morning.

    Hmm… I’m pretty sure that youth unemployment in the EU is much worse than it is here, so why should we believe this missive from a discredited Government today?….

  13. alan jutson
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Yes indeed thought provoking.

    I wonder why two Countries who are hundreds and thousands of miles away, are the two largest financial contributors to aid.

    Is it because they also got involved in the problems in the first place, when perhaps they should have kept out of it.

    I wonder why these two Christian based countries are doing rather more than the more local Countries who surround them (other than Jordan) who are Muslim.

    Is faith part of the problem in this locality.

    Perhaps the lesson should be, leave another Country alone to manage its own affairs, as you cannot force democracy or peace on anyone.

    After all it took a couple of centuries for us to organise ourselves from our brutal past.

  14. Alan
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Do we play a leading part in the worldwide response to these crises? We provided some money to refugee camps in the counties bordering Syria but we failed to persuade the whole EU to take up that policy, I think because our government has failed to engage fully with the rest of the EU on this, or any other, policy. That could have provided much more money and perhaps made life more tolerable for those living in the camps. That might have made them less likely to leave the camps and try to come to the EU.

    We haven’t done much to deal with the problem of the Syrian refugees who have tried to come to the EU. We have an excuse here, since Germany failed to consult us before implying they would welcome the refugees, but we can hardly claim the credit for working out what to do. We have waited for the Schengen area to decide what action to take.

    We seem to be doing even less to cope with the other crisis, beyond a determination that anyone trying to get illegally into the UK should be stopped at Calais. That’s dealing with a symptom, not addressing the problem.

    We can act as Little Englanders and say these problems are far away from us and are not our problems. But we cannot at the same time say we are providing leadership (unless we think everyone ignoring the problems is the right answer: maybe we do).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      We have a pretty comprehensive treaty opt-out from the EU’s common asylum and immigration policy, and the real question is why we are contributing to the EU’s bribe for the Turks when we are under no legal obligation to do so. If the other countries didn’t like that they shouldn’t have agreed to the UK having the opt-out, and if they really don’t like it now they should be urging us to leave and certainly not helping the UK government’s efforts to keep us in.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    “Who is our neighbour ?” is as sly a question as “Who are the English ?” or “What is sovereignty ?”

    These questions are all directed at dissolving our nation.

    The Bible quite clearly meant of ‘neighbours’ those living in close proximity to each other, so that communities of simple men would live side by side peacefully.

    The Church exhorting that communities should accept masses of people who don’t speak their language, share their customs, their values or their religions is really pushing the definition too far. It will result in strife, not peace.

    If we are to do this the people must be told that the cost is a total redistribution of their wealth or that our country will drown in debt.

    We can see what the vicars get out of it. The all seeing eye of God will judge their work and they will get to spend eternity if heaven. That’s not altruism but a cracking good deal for the men in frocks.

    What’s in it for the rest of us ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 30, 2016 at 1:47 am | Permalink

      A good deal perhaps but surely the men in frocks cannot actually believe that, can they?

  16. agricola
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    There are three categories of internationally homeless

    Asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution for their beliefs or just being on the wrong side. After positive vetting they need to be cared for as we have done over centuries.

    Refugees who are fleeing war. They need to be cared for in the first humane country they enter until what they are fleeing is at an end. For them we have a vast Overseas Aid budget to spend on their sustenance. Better this than what it does get spent on.

    Economic migrants who, once identified as such should be returned whence they came.

    There is a fourth category of people to whom we owe an enormous debt. The Gurkhas and Afghani interpreters spring to mind. They should get unfettered access to the UK.

    Finally there are the terrorists hidden among some of the above and the returning home grown ones. Obviously ban them from entry or re-entry unless they have intelligence value. It is reported that the UK is harbouring fifty or so hard line terrorists and around 450 suspected of being such. Keeping tabs on them must stretch MI5 to the limit. They should be interned or deported. The risk of having them running around in the UK is unjustifiable.

    Our immigration system is bust when “asylum seekers” can arrive in the back of a lorry, as they did last week, be fed and then released to the community at large to join the two million illegals we already have.

    When the Easter Message from ISIS is to threaten the crucifixion of Father Thomas, one of their captives, our own Easter Message needs to be selective and pragmatic.

  17. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    “Nor did they consider whether perhaps it is better as well as quicker to accommodate more refugees in parts of the UK with lower house prices and a surplus of homes with empty properties available.”

    The North East/Scotland is that? Where no work looks ever to return. And our own people?

    No worry. the BBC World Service spewed the wide story of immigration/invasion from W. Africa, Templehof, Syrian Rock Band, Mexico and how wrong Trump is last night. I think I was supposed to feel ultra guilty?

    A very big problem in the USA and its weak government. Apple and the FBI with a little man fixing it? Won’t ever buy their stuff! Is GCHQ bothered by this little spat I wonder? Time to get heavy with terrorism..but guess who won’t.

  18. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink


    “Tory Outers are particularly unimpressed with one senior Cabinet minister after he was overheard loudly mocking them as “the goggle-eyed John Redwood brigade”.”

  19. brian
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I regret to say that the Church of England has become another left-leaning pressure group. It has been said that to become a Bishop one does not have to believe in God.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Well I suppose not believing in God is an improvement, but why are they nearly all daft lefty dreamers, keen on all greencrap, enforced “equality”, ever higher taxes, pro the EU and for open door immigration?

  20. Bazman
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Like dumping migrants in the north like Middlesbrough an area with a lot of problems and poverty already just because property is cheap and is Labour area John? Funding slum landlords who paint the migrants doors red.

    Reply Not so. What is your suggestion? We can only house people where we have empty homes.These may be Labour or Conservative areas as you call them.

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Cannot see how this equates with David Cameron’s integration policies.

      Would probably create some sort of northern ‘house’ but certainly not George Osborne’s ‘Power House’.

    • Mactheknife
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      The suggestion John, if I may reply, is that we take no immigrants at all. You answered your own question in your piece i.e. we should be housing them nearer to their homelands so that they may easily repatriate when appropriate. Where there are homes in the UK there are no jobs, that’s why the homes are empty, either there is large scale unemployment or the jobs do not pay enough to buy one. So how will dispersing migrants to these areas help exactly ?

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        There is no chance of this government or any of the LibLabCon repatriating anyone.
        Until we get a government representative of the population, we shall continue to be displaced.

    • Bazman
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      More to it than that John as you well know. Not even really about dumping in poor areas. Barrow-in-Furness has a large number of empty homes, and is poor, but interestedly there are almost no migrants. No Poles or East Europeans in general, never mid Syrians and the like, maybe a few Poles working for local authorities, but most came and went, in general it is a white English working class mono town and always has been. Not a foreign face in my school days, OK maybe a few local families there for decades and five or less refugees, from Vietnam and Argentina. Even during the height of the shipyards workload and at its lowest.
      Middlesbrough on the other hand is used for dumping many migrants as there is already a large ethnic population and is also poor.
      Rich areas like Wokingham have almost none like Barrow.
      Why do you all reckon this is? Its political.

      Reply not so. Many migrants gave come to Wokingham to take jobs

  21. DaveM
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Perhaps next year they could do a play about the homeless people who live less than 10 miles away from their comfy suburban homes. People who embarassingly rely on the generosity of others and who could easily get back on their feet if they were given the housing that so-called refugees get gifted, and if they were given a grant from the 0.7% of our national income which is squandered overseas on terrorists and tyrants and countries who ignore their own poverty to fund space programmes. Just a thought.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      My wife helps serve free breakfasts to such people in our nearby town.

      • Bazman
        Posted March 31, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Does that not encourage feckless people to do less and spend food money on drink?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 31, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Maybe, if they actually have any money and will actually spend it on drink if they’re given a free breakfast.

          • Bazman
            Posted March 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            This may well create a black market it breakfasts too in that case.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I an concerned that Christianity is being marginalised in public life. A man who expressed his Christian views on gay adoption was sacked as a magistrate although there is no evidence that it affected any of his judgements; he was then suspended from the board of the local NHS Trust following complaints from the local LGBT group.
    So most people now hide their Christian views in ordr that it doesn’t affect their job prospects.
    Cameron recently commended Christians, and the Church for their vital role in society, stating that we are a Christian country and should be proud of it.
    To me, it appears that Christianophobia is rampant in public life.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Most MPs in the UK still seem to claim to be Christians.

      Cameron, Brown and Blair certainly seem to.

      In the USA being an open atheist/agnostic and a politician is virtually impossible.

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It irks me to hear the likes of Oxfam and other pro migrant organisations and people demand we ‘take our fair share’ of migrants , making the assumption it is a one off and defined number, and not as it is a call for unlimited migration of unlimited numbers. Let alone them defining the argument of ‘fair share’ to one of GDP , and ignoring other possible limitations , like population density, environmental sustainability, housing supply an so on.

    If we looked at the issue on the basis of population density then France and Germany have room to double the size of their populations before they got any where near to our population density, and Ireland could accommodate a fourfold increase, after all as we are told migrants are hard working money making machines that enrich any country they turn up in, then GDP should be irrelevance to the calculation , the only criteria that should be considered is one of space to accommodate them, and where space is the issue that is something we have a very short supply of.

    • A different Simon
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I don’t think space is the only criteria .

      The carrying capacity of the U.K. is nowhere near sufficient to feed the current 70 million population .

      Everyone who arrives makes the balance of payments for food worse .

      I think it’s time to tie immigration to peoples pensions .

      A migrant can come in if someone is prepared to sacrifice their own future state pension .

      etc ed

      • A different Simon
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Typo : SPONSOR rather than DONOR

    • Know-dice
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink
    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, what about our “fare share” of migrants from all the war torn areas of Africa too? Or do these people not count?

    • hefner
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      F 121, PL 122, DK 130, CZ 136, CH 200, I 205, D 229, UK 263, B 367, NL 497,
      France (121) would indeed have the possibility, Germany (229) much less, and there is certainly not a factor 2 difference with the U.K. (263).
      I am sorry, those figures are not from the Daily Mail.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        My error doesn’t really matter , it doesn’t change the argument I was making , that space would be a more rational basis on which to calculate ‘fair share’ and England with a population density of over 400 per sq kl , where most UK migrants would seek to settle, could claim to be full.

        PS Germany just upping its population density to the UK’s, about 8 to 10 million people, would be able to take all necessary migrants on their own.

      • stred
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        Note that the figures do not include England, which is around the same as Holland. SE England is higher but similar in area. Scotland is largely (mountainous? ed) and no-one even the Scottish want to live there.

  24. Bert Young
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The moral direction and aim of the Wokingham play performance had to take into its consideration a) the effect of population on infrastructure ,b) the implications of (migrant ed) culture and behaviour in our society , and c) the timing and relevance of its production . Whether the producers had these influences in mind ,or , whether they should have , is another matter .

    Recent horrific events around the world show just how dangerous things have become and how lacking the powers of control are in preventing these events taking place . Society cannot be directed and driven by do-gooders who decide it is only their views that count ; the big picture – in any reasonable relationship , has to be one of rationale and democracy . If we are to live in a civilised and ordered world , the controls have to be there and we must all agree with the limitations imposed .

    Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Religions should of course set the Absolutes, the principles, of our civilisations.

    Human beings do translate that which is written in stone however according to, for want of a better word, fashion. By that I mean the particular national mindset prevailing whether that be the petty-bourgeois virtue-signallers one sees say on BBC Question Time who outbid fellow audience members as to who is willing to accommodate not one, not two, not three but four refugees in his house demonstrably turning a blind eye to their lack if ID and CV or, to cynical political gain of MPs by their currying favour in taking a pro-foreigner stance with as yet unassimilated former migrants to the UK. ( Yes, I mean the Labour Party and Lib-Dems )

    I feel it is true to say that the good-hearted Charity workers one sees assisting the Aegean Sea boat-people have in the entirety of their selfless work unwittingly done more harm, caused the deaths and injuries of more people, than if they had simply prayed for their deliverance. They sought to “Feed the 5000”. In some places in the Holy Bible “Feed the 4000”. Such contradictions are deliberate, I believe. It is to make us think of the number, again and again and again. To show us the Absolute impossibility of feeding thousands with limited resources,. Unless you are God Himself.

    Certain older and yet not wiser Christian spokespeople, in my view, have not learned the lesson. And they have encouraged hundreds of thousands to come for increasingly non-existent loaves and fishes. Building resentment and hatred. This should weigh on their consciences until the end of time if they can but realise their error. There can be no excuse. For it was written.

  26. Mick
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I watched the daily politics last Thursday and they had this stay inner women and Daniel Hannah debating eu issues and Daniel ripped her to pieces, so what is needed is more of this on main stream tv and not programs such as political shows which the majority of people won’t even watch

  27. Paul Cohen
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Ye God’s – A man with a plan!
    Better get those bags packed for Brussells JR, you’re going to be a sensation there!

    When you look at the mess the EU have made of this, despite the army of planners and beaurocrats which ought bring out the best solutions you have to dispair. Everything they touch seems to get fouled up.

    Incidentally re Wokingham – If you drove through as a visitor you might think hmm nice town, bit shabby and the roads need repairing, however what lurks is the imminent arrival of thousands of new residents from the numerous building developments around here, and which will quickly overwhelm the already stretched services.

  28. graham1946
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    They seem to think the number of migrants should be based on the GDP of the country, not whether there is actually any room for them. Thus Canada is considered to be doing more than its bit, even though their land mass is far greater and their population far smaller than here. It’s a crazy way to work it out.

    Why not send them to say Romania? – there must be plenty of room there (etc ed). The EU could support them much cheaper there than putting up migrants in our hotels and paying UK prices for everything. Thus we could support far more of them for the same money.

    This morning on the radio, someone from Liberia wanted to come here. Apparently their population is in poverty but can rustle up 2,500 dollars for people smugglers. How does that work out? I bet most people in this country could not lay their hands on that kind of money, let alone those in poverty.

  29. Kenneth
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I do not recall any criticism by the Church of Mrs Merkel’s invitation which undoubtedly led to more deaths and suffering.

    I do not understand why anybody would encourage people to risk their lives in this way, let alone the church. It is immoral.

  30. forthurst
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “The UK should play a leading part in the worldwide response to the Syrian, Libyan and wider Middle Eastern and African crisis, as we are doing.”

    I simply do not believe that JR is not aware that it was partly our involvement in destabilising these countries in the first place that has led to consequences which are not only extremely damaging for the people of those countries but also to ourselves as we are confronted with massive movements of people from Asia and Africa seeking to start a new life in a part of the world that neoconservative policy has as yet not earmarked for destruction and not yet rendered unihabitable. To try to lay the blame on ‘people traffickers’ is to try to divert attention from the causes of these mass movements in the first place: the unprovoked attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya which are still in turmoil as some of the terrorists that we have trained and introduced to foment ‘regime change’ have revealed themselves to be savages without any residual human quality.

  31. stred
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    I imagine the play was written by some Guardian reading lefty arm waver, you know, the sort that plays guitar to songs kids have to sing about being good- usually with the same tune.

  32. Mactheknife
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink


    I generally agree with your blog pieces but in this case I shall take an exception. You said this….”Nor did they consider whether perhaps it is better as well as quicker to accommodate more refugees in parts of the UK with lower house prices and a surplus of homes with empty properties available”.

    What utter tosh. By other parts of the UK you probably mean the midlands and north. Well here’s a reality check for you. The reason we have so much housing supply and low prices is that there is unemployment on a large scale and the majority in employment earn vastly less than those in the south east. So how exactly can you expect to accommodate refugees without creating more unemployment and social problems ? Just ask the people of Redcar as an example. Its also been reported that councils in the south have taken far less refugees that the poorest parts of our country, indeed some have taken none at all. Is this fair are you contributing to the efforts ?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      You have to ask why there is unemployment on such a large scale in the north.
      Unemployment isn’t high just because it is. It’s high because there isn’t a predisposition to entrepreneurship and self-employment on the scale of the south east. Perhaps an injection of “new blood” might aid that situation.

      • Mactheknife
        Posted March 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm | Permalink


        Just do some research on the imbalance in both government and private investment in the south compared to other parts of the UK. But let me be clear I work in London and live in the midlands so its not a pop at the south. You misinterpret my point and that is what good would it do pushing migrants into areas where there is no prospect of work? The only result is that social problems will increase and pressure on schools, NHS services etc in areas that can least afford it.

      • Northerngirl
        Posted April 4, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Part if the reason unemployment is high in the north is because quite often we are industrial towns and cities and now all the things that were made up here are brought in from abroad creating massive job loss. We don’t have high unemployment because we can’t be arsed or we have no motivation. Send the refugees up here, but also send the fair share of investment and balance out the cuts.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink


      It would be fairest if the incumbant government housed refugees in its own constituencies.

      So that the people who voted for it felt the full effects.

  33. Mick
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    France has warned that if Britain opted to leave the EU in the June 23 referendum, Britons would no longer be able to access public healthcare.
    It works both ways

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 29, 2016 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      I see elsewhere in the Telegraph that just the fear of possible Brexit is inducing British ex-pats to leave Spain at a net rate of 100 a day, a massive exodus.

      But then I see in the Mail that a net total of 72,000 have left Spain over the past two years, and 72,000 divided by 2 divided by 365 = 99 per day.

      So I think they must be commended for their foresight that they had already started to flee Spain back in March 2014, at a time when the coalition government still had over a year to run and there didn’t seem to be a particularly high chance that the Tories would get a majority in May 2015 let alone keep their promise on an EU referendum.

  34. graham1946
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    There is another aspect of this which I have not heard anyone mention in the main media.

    Our County Council has agreed to take a certain number of Syrian families from the 20,000 people the government are accepting and I think 5 families have now been settled so far, with more to come. However, on a recent local radio programme, the person in charge of arranging all this said that the cost was coming out of the Foreign Aid budget, not local taxes, which was quite reassuring, until pressed by the interviewer (better interviewer than on mainstream BBC, by the way), when he said that the cost was only guaranteed for 12 months and the government would not commit further funding beyond that at present. Why not? Is this just another grandstanding event for Cameron and cronies? Will the future cost fall on the Council Tax Payers? Do you know, John what is going to happen going forward?

    This person also said that as no Council Housing was involved, only private rented property, this would have no effect on local people. So the private rented housing is coming from outer space? This is the way government people think – that all they have to do is make a statement and it comes true.

  35. Margaret
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Who do we think we are.?Suffer little children to come unto me does not mean GB.
    We already have many professional migrants who have taken British peoples places professionally and all I hear is comments about furthering their careers .e.g. when can I get registrars post , when can I get a consultants posts , when can I get more hours? and the nurses why should you have a higher band than me , why can’t I get a band 6,7,8 and so on. I agree what has happened to many , including myself is unfair, but for goodness sake they are all forgetting one thing which is service to the people in our state. If we cannot cope with this, why try and crowd us out to make the situation worse!

  36. ian
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    No shortage of jobs and bonus for civil servants in Whitehall, aid fund 2000 workers the british empire only had 4000 office workers and bonus on top to give money away and of cos like all Whitehall departments money to keep mouths shut about who the money go to and plans the government have for the people of this country which as usual will not be good.

  37. Iago
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    This piece unfortunately begins with an evasion. But for a tiny minority, these people are not refugees, not even migrants. They have forced their way across the borders and are invaders. They are overwhelmingly male (etc ed) and are coming in unlimited numbers. They throw away whatever might identify them, papers or mobile phones. Reports of their actions, often suppressed, from Austria to Sweden are appalling. Most sinister of all, our political leaders encourage them to come and allow them to stay. The navy picks them up from the sea off Libya and takes them to Italian territory, perhaps it does something similar in the Aegean.
    The situation facing Western Society must be one of the (worst ed) in a thousand years, maybe since the dark ages etc ed.

  38. MPC
    Posted March 29, 2016 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if you have had a response to your question to Ministers as to whether Turkish nationals will be able to travel visa free to the UK under the EU’s proposed arrangement? Also whether you feel the 3000 ‘unaccompanied children’ which the HOL wishes the UK to take in, by amending the Immigration Bill, will mean many more times this amount if teenage ‘children’ later discover their extended families?

  39. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 31, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    The only important Easter message is that the United Kingdom will rise from the dead – no matter how many days it takes.

  • 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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