The commentators 31-07-15
While thousands of refugees tried to enter the channel tunnel on Tuesday night, the Home Office had another crisis on its hands. Fred, 24, climbed on to the roof of a London detention centre and threatened to jump. He was about to be deported to Sierra Leone, a country he left when he was 11, and somewhere that our Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel. People are threatening to take their lives, and families are being torn apart, all because of their uncompromising stance. Is that, as well as Britain's response to those in Calais, really as “good as it could be”?
- Phil Miller, The Independent
The migrant crisis at Calais is a story of human misery, war-torn and broken states and European denial. It speaks to a world in which advanced nations have lost the will, and some of the capacity, to prevent and resolve conflicts. Their politicians will not find an answer by drafting in more police or building higher fences.
- Philip Stephens, Financial Times
Shornecliffe barracks in Folkestone is the base for the 700 soldiers of 2nd Royal Gurkha Rifles. Folkestone is where the Channel Tunnel emerges - I’m sure the Home Secretary must know this already. So why not ask a few Gurkhas to stroll up the hill and help the Border Agency search incoming lorries? More could be sent through the tunnel to support Border Agency staff on the French side. Would it really be that much trouble to mobilise them?
- Kevin Hurley, Daily Telegraph
I do not think the British army is going to be deployed in Calais because it is a very bad idea. Even if any military presence were to be required, it would plainly be less incendiary and more practical to use French troops; in any case, it is not clear why men whose primary responsibility is to kill the enemies of the British state would be more appropriate an expeditionary force than a large contingent of police officers, for example. And the idea that the French should cheerfully accept such an incursion doesn’t stand up to the simple test.
- Archie Bland, The Guardian
In the name of harmonisation and free movement, we have been left defenceless. Without the EU’s removal of borders across Europe, the migrants would never have reached Calais in the first place. Calais should be the place where European civilisation makes a stand against its own destruction. If our rulers continue to wring their hands over immigration, we are doomed
- Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
The only reason this case from Shoeburyness reached the public consciousness was because someone mentioned age. That turns out to have been a side issue, and we shall probably never know the full story. That may be right and proper, a family's private traumas should not be aired for public entertainment.
But if women are being coerced into signing away the right to look after their children when they are not mentally fit, in order that councils can meet adoption targets - as the grandparents' lawyer and MPs suggest - then we need to know.
The journalists covering this story have fallen for the clickbait angle and missed the real issue.
Editor's blog: Grandparents' tale of woe
Comment archive, 2015
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