The BBC website is leading with a story that the Uk has done a deal with France to sort out the 'crisis' in the English channel and stem the flow of refugees coming into the UK. For a mere £8 million, all of our problems will go away. I don't want to get into the rights and wrongs of the issue of migration, but the definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different outcomes. How many times have we done a 'done a deal with France' which would allegedly solve the crisis. I quit the Labour party at the sight of the then Home Secretary Alan Johnson crowing over images of the Sangatte refugee camp being forcibly shiut and French riot police bashing up women and children.
There is only one way to stop the flow of refugees. That is to make the place they come from safe and desireable to live in.If you are a country like the UK that has participated in wars all over the planet over the last couple of hundred years, you can't really complain too much if the people you've displaced decide they want to live here.
On Thursday a member of our football squad was complaining that the gym we use, which is attached to the Mercure Hotel in Watford was closing as the gym had been 'taken over as an asylum hotel'. I pointed out that this happened when Kabul in Afghanistan fell and the new residents were mostly people who'd assisted the UK armed forces in the country. If we'd left them there, they would have been murdered by the Taliban.
Putting my Mystic Meg hat on, I predict that we'll have a couple of months where the number of channel crossings declines. For arguments sake, if we say a Police officer costs £50,000 a year to employ, the £8 million will employ 160 French officers for 1 year. Given that some days, around 1,000 people are crossing, and if they are arrested they will need to be processed, you can see just how futile a gesture it is.
It seems to me that we have one expensive and rather bonkers scheme after another. None work. It is all simply a sop to the Tory right, many of whom would rather see people drown than be accomodated in the UK. It is all rather sad.