Sunday, September 06, 2015

The entire refugee crisis has been caused by a failure of policy

Very competent and reassuring interview with Chacellor George Osborne on the Andrew Marr Show this morning:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p031qkst

The entire refugee crisis has been caused by a failure of policy - a failure in EU policy towards the reception and processing of refugees; an entirely foreseeable failure of the Schengen policy; a failure of UN policy in administration of the refugee camps.

And yet the people responsible for these failures are wriggling out of accountability by a skillful use of emotive PR.

The United Kingdom, which has honoured all its commitments towards the funding of support for Syrian refugees and is providing vastly more support than the rest of the EU put together is pilloried in the German press as a "shirker" (Dirk Hoeren in BILD).

The only long-term policy that is sustainable is the British policy - EU countries must meet their foreign aid commitments and provide support for ALL the refugees in communities within their region of origin, not allowing rich middle class people to jump the queue (especially doctors and teachers who will be needed in the refugee camps to look after their fellow citizens).

Andy Burnham putting up a refugee family in his spare bedroom (for how long?) is just look-at-me posturing.

Angela Merkel had no choice but to open the German borders - to do otherwise would have meant abandoning the Schengen policy and the EU going backwards.  And yet, I would like to know much more about German liaison with the Hungarian government on choking off the onward flow of migrants.  At one point Hungary was waving them through, then they suddenly put the brakes on, then they eased off again - who is controlling this stop-go process, the Hungarians or the Germans?

We also need to be much more critical of countries such as Italy and Greece who claim to be "overwhelmed" - why are they unable to process the refugees in the way that the EU has specified?  Is the problem one of money or manpower?  Do they need to apply to George Osborne for some of the United Kingdom's foreign aid budget?

I was shocked when listening to The World This Weekend on BBC Radio 4 to learn how basic conditions are in the refugee camps in Lebanon.  The United Kingdom is pouring vast amounts of money into the UN refugee operation, and yet what is coming out the other end is such poor quality.  Perhaps we should fund our own camps directly, via private sector contractors, instead of going through a sclerotic and "big state" organisation like the UN.

Like a Save The Children chugger, accosting passers-by and bullying and "shaming" them into giving money, the United Kingdom has been "chugged" into changing a sensible sustainable rational policy into a knee-jerk emotive posturing reaction.  No-one is opposing this change publicly because it will lead to screams of "racist" by Emma Thompson and the rest.  But eventually the media will move on, and we can return to a more sensible long-term policy.

And also I am heartened that a recent Survation poll shows a majority in the United Kingdom in favour of leaving the EU:  http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/09/05/uk-britain-eu-poll-idUKKCN0R50X820150905

Anglea Merkel can have her fun pretending the Germans are the good guys.  Dirk Hoeren can throw his ill-informed insults around.  Emma Thompson can chant "racist" at people.

What will happen is that the British people (who are not fools, who know when they are being unfairly accused) will wait for the EU referendum and vote to leave.

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