The migrant situation - what to do?


(Mark Rimmer) #1

This is a very difficult subject to comment on without someone thinking it is racially motivated! In part I suppose it is, but not through any bigoted way. I could be accused of looking at things in a very general way & indeed that is the way I see things.


I feel that the UK is taking a bit of a bashing from other countries, being blamed by France for not doing enough to control the situation at Calais. It has not been the direct actions of the UK Government which has resulted in the thousands of migrants living in Calais - they have not been invited to the UK, they just want to go there. But that has altered slightly in recent months as now the UK government now provides a free ride across the Med if migrants from Africa can make it a few miles off the African coast! Personally I cannot see the logic of this. I understand the humanitarian aspect of rescuing people from sinking boats but why are they not returned to the land they set out from? What a boost this must be for the people smugglers who can now put their "customers" on even less seaworthy boats knowing that there is a fleet of modern ships who will pick them up, care for them & transport them safely to Europe from where the migrants can then make their way through a multitude of safe countries to join other migrants at Calais.


Some will argue that everyone has the right to a certain standard of living & talk about "redistribution of wealth" but what is an acceptable standard in central Africa is seen as abject poverty from a european standard. In 2009 the average wage in the UK was about £2000 per month, in India it was 1/10th of that but the average Indian lives a generally similar lifestyle because living expenses are proportional. In central Africa lifestyles vary considerably depending on whether you live in a town or village & the needs of a UK dweller are far greater than someone living in the Congo. It's a completely different lifestyle & not comparable but if a person earning the equivalent of £200 a month thinks that by moving to the UK they can earn a year's wage in a month it can be a big draw. These guys have no idea of the cost of living in Europe. A friend of mine spent many years in Tanzania before moving here & on a visit there invited his assistant to visit him in Europe. To listen to this lad's comments on his experiences here was very interesting as he was experiencing so much which we take for granted.


Another arguement for accepting migrants is that many are fleeing war in Syria & Iraq although nobody can give figures as most do not have passports. The fact that so many pass through half a dozen safe countries before arriving at Calais tends to indicate to me an economic reason rather than a humanitarian one. These predominantly young men, from eastern Europe & beyond, then decide to use violence to get to the UK. Why? What does the UK offer that they cannot get in the rest of Europe?


The scary thing is that the UK, being an island, has only so much space, housing & infrastructure which is already creaking at the seams regardless of which party is in power. Can it continue to take in & house thousands of migrants whose history & background cannot be checked? If prisons were allowed to publish the original nationality of their inmates I wonder how many would be british?


I suppose we brits are also migrants but for the most part we at least support ourselves!



(Shirley Morgan) #2

I was quite struck and saddened yesterday and this morning. by the UK television news pictures of both satellite proof of the total Destruction of the beautiful remains of Palmyra and the families boarding/ leaving trains with their families, carrying both children and black sacs with all their worldly possessions. Both are tragic consequences of I S/ISIL rise to power and success.

Palmyra - Where I S don’t want identification of the rise of Civilisation remaining.

Migrants - whether economic or refugees have been forced out of their own homelands. I listened also to what Angela Merkel had to say about Europe, whole situation and how migrants now need help from all in relocating in the European countries. This is where culture and language differences in those countries will start impacting on the lives of all involved!

No I was not worldlwise as a child, so grew up without prejudice in my life. I basically learnt tolerance from being only child of a single parent family and a bible, as to how I should treat people, as well as having fellow boarders from all walks of life and some different countries in my life.

I admit I’m not such a great adult now, after 45 years of living with 1 person of totally different character and outlook to mine and by bringing up 2 kids in the best way I knew.

Which leads me to speculate on the image on TV of migrant group of young single men, as are a lot of the ones at Calais, no girlfriends or family with them, also descending from trains, and appearing to be of similar age, and Jubilant to be in Europe!

I sincerely hope I am very wrong in wondering if some of those young men are, in fact, associated with I S, and now intent on ultimately wreaking havoc in Europe, once settled in, with legitimate papers handed to them once processed by the various Authorities!

Perhaps that is why the UK Government doesn’t want to take ‘thousands’ as Frau Merkel would like other EU countries to do. The ramifications of the migrant Crises I fear may well loom long and large! Sailing or Motor sailing from Holland to Essex, only took us from anything between 9 and 13 hours depending on size of boat and weather conditions in N Sea, over previous years!

Food for thought perhaps?

is the aim of I S or ISIL to dominate the countries they have emptied of


(Mike Kearney) #3

I wouldn't mind doing that, but the UK authorities would then waste taxpayer's money trying to track them down and send them back where they came from........


(Theo Fruendt) #4

Dear People in France: please donate!
Please pay for the tickets the refugees need for the Euro Star to help stopping the refugee onslaught on the Channel Tunnel. When the highly specialised professionals from Syria and Africa are landing in Albion it's a win for France, right? And for Britain’s labour market.


(Peter Bird) #5

A bit like a Chelsea home game...


(Brian Milne) #6

The riots on Kos are worrying too, simply packing refugees in a football stadium is asking for trouble.


(Mike Kearney) #7

From the Guardian - again.
www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/12/seumas?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2


(Mike Kearney) #8

They don't see themselves as "illegal." Our governments make them illegal because of pressure from some elements of the media (often owned by foreigners.)
It seems to me that the rule that requires people to apply for asylum in the first country of arrival is intrinsically unfair. Most of them arrive in Greece or poorer parts of Italy. We need a system that requires European countries to host asylum seekers according to GDP. Interestingly, it is often the poorest of Europeans who have the greatest sympathy for people who are even less fortunate than themselves.


(Simon Armstrong) #9

Mark wrote : Perhaps they will tell us why they have not extended the helping hand that they feel everyone else should....

Same reason as you I suppose Mark! Was your question meant to sound 'loaded'?

These people, families, human beings are not 'migrants' they are 'refugees' and should be protected by our government agencies - the ones we all pay for!

How It suits some of us to class them as 'migrants' - then of course we can absolve ourselves of all responsibility!


(Peter Bird) #10

Refugees or migrants or whatever you want to call them have been trying to get into the UK for decades. Several hundred en masse at a tunnel entrance is nothing in terms of the total trying to get to the Promised Land.


(Theo Fruendt) #11

"The "problem" is our own invention." this is the clear fact and nothing else matters in the end more. No regime changes, no interfering into sovereignty of countries. Iraq was bad, but Libya opened the gates, or can anybody tell me how many refugees came to Europe before murdering this fiend Gaddafi??? The barnstormer information are incorrect from the start: These are NOT migrants, they are refugees. Many have been cleansed out of their homes by ISIS/DESH and other ragtag gangs we support even today with lethal equipment.

Because these groups do not have any legitimacy consequently all those, supporting these criminals, are logically responsible of crime of ethnic / religions cleansing.

This is NOT blame and shame, these are facts and I get anoyed that government always want to tell me who the enemy is. How about staying in for our responsibilities and not pouring more oil into the fire???

Of course granting 20.000 to 30.000 REFUGEEs asylum in the UK, and this would be a fair share, will have its impact on the social system, but then there are much bigger thieves…


(Brian Milne) #12

I took it in the historical context of his grandmother, meaning an equivalent but not precisely the same today. Times and people have changed, the more 'liberal' period that came in the wake of the Holocaust in Europe did not apply to people from the non-white world, albeit it also remember 'No Irish' along with ' or blacks' signs up in windows where they had rooms to rent, so not a general rule anyway. However, I take it the sentiment is the intention, the true nature of our human race at present not matching that.


(Mark Rimmer) #13

Serious question, Mike, what do these people have to do to go from illegal to legal? The problem for both is the same as is the help they need.


(Peter Bird) #14

I think the inference from Mike being that the 'English' people are doing nothing to help the migrant situation is a bit misplaced. This has very little to do with 'English decency' but with world forces basically admitting defeat in not doing more to help the more underdeveloped countries move ahead. The average decent English person is powerless to help these people. The average decent French person certainly in the Calais area can do something to help but of course wont.

This (the migrant situation, not Mike !) isn't to do with 'decency' but human nature showing itself yet again to be hypocritical and selfish. Very few people of any nation would gladly give up a bit of their comfort zone to help such people in trouble.


(Brian Milne) #15

In fact what you are saying only actually reinforces and expands on Mike's choice of words. Between the two of you there is much said that the authorities and politicians should bear in mind. On the truckers, keep a far more open mind. A couple of cases that were at least examined proved that drivers who claimed they were set on had in fact taken money off people to take them. Under pressure one accepted he admitted he understood there was a high chance of being caught, but the money made the attempt worthwhile and he assumed the immigration officials would accept his version of the story. I can't exactly remember but I believe he was a black South African driving for a Spanish company. The HGVs going over to the UK are from all over, drivers of a multitude of origins but some newspapers have (possibly accidentally on purpose) only reported incidents involving 'attacks' on British drivers. My conclusion there is that Calais security is not working, which is a French matter but that given people are still getting through it would appear that customs and excise and their immigration pals are also not as thorough as they would have us believe on the other side is a UK one. As a consequence the people still try and some drivers still take. There I can only conclude that those oafs we overpay to run countries should wake up and do something about that. Once getting through there is done for word will get around and the 'problem' begin to get smaller by its own volition.


(Peter Bird) #16

@ Mike

English decency still exists. You cant blame the English (or British) for the current problems at Calais. This is a worldwide problem brought on by a million things.

If migrants wish to make a new life in Britain there are rules and regs to respect. I believe the UK government, which is a million light years from 'English decency' should take more responsability just like the Germans and accept more asylum seekers and carry out parallel operations with the rest of the developed world to improve conditions in the countries affected.

Aiding an illegal is indeed a crime as you say but so is breaking into the tunnel terminal and threatening innocent HGV drivers etc etc These are your decent English people trying to earn a crust who need to be protected, for example..


(Brian Milne) #17

Super comment Mike.


(Mike Kearney) #18

Unfair question, allowing someone to enter your country to seek asylum and work isn't the same thing as letting them share your home. Actually, aiding an "illegal" is a crime in France, though there are are some good burghers in Calais who risk a criminal record by providing food for migrants.
The "problem" is our own invention. My grandparents arrived in the UK at the beginning of the 20th century, did what work they could to get by until they found something better. My grandmother started her own business. She used to say "The English are very decent, you can do business with them."
Whatever happened to English decency?


(Peter Bird) #19

Maybe there should be an 'Adopt a Migrant' system ?


(Mark Rimmer) #20

This subject has certainly struck a chord with people everywhere, with strength of feeling running high. Some posts make their points succinctly & in detail while others use their disagreement as an excuse to dismiss comments that do not run alongside their own, sometimes in a way that does not help their own point.

One thing is very evident & it is that, although we all agree that there is certainly a problem that needs addressing, none of us can see how this can be done.

Something else struck me too. Those who are vehemently strong in their support for migrants have not, however, actually done what they are advocating “the government” should do – go to Calais, collect a few migrants, take them home, put them up in their houses, feed them out of their own pockets, provide them with a little cash & help them find jobs. I am referring to those who have a go at those who refer to nimbys & such.

Perhaps they will tell us why they have not extended the helping hand that they feel everyone else should?