The commentators 10-09-15
...on the migrant crisis
Migrants are arriving in Europe in ever-increasing numbers because it is telling them they are welcome. Germany says it will take in up to 800,000 this year. In Italy, where the government has decriminalised illegal immigration, tens of thousands of migrants are pouring in every month from Libya and are being dumped in makeshift camps in town squares or train stations. The consequences of this will change Europe for ever. The vast majority of this tide are Muslims. The UN estimates 70 per cent of these people are young men. If they settle in Europe, their families will probably follow. Europe’s culture will therefore be transformed. Angela Merkel has already admitted Germany will be changed by this “breathtaking” influx.
- Melanie Phillips, The Times
Isis shares a large part of the blame for Syria’s fate. Its atrocities have provoked new waves of refugees, including from Kobani, where Aylan’s family came from. But though the world’s focus has been on Isis, the Assad regime and the militia allied to it still kill many more Syrians than the jihadis.
- Roula Khalaf, Financial Times
There is no disaster in the Arab and Muslim world, it seems, for which the West’s answer is not to drop bombs on it. As the refugee crisis in Europe has driven home the horror of Syria’s civil war, that has been exactly the response of the leaders of Britain and France. David Cameron has long been pressing for a new vote in parliament to authorise a British bombing campaign against Islamic State in Syria.
- Seumas Milne, The Guardian
During David Cameron’s address to Parliament Lord Ashdown suggested that the sanctuary Britain is set to offer vulnerable refugees displaced from Syria could be snatched away once they turn 18. Offering vulnerable children a home in Britain, a British education, and British cultural assimilation, only to mean-spiritedly siphon hope away would surely contradict the very humanitarian ethics that Cameron purports to be upholding; not to mention that ardent talk of heeding the “depth of public feeling” will be shown to be yet another hollow promise if deportation schemes take place.
- Christobel Hastings, The Independent
If the BBC and other media are to be believed, the British people have done a sudden U-turn, and are now positively eager to admit tens of thousands of migrants. And this remarkable revolution in thinking has taken place even though mass immigration is the public’s number one concern, according to recent surveys. The trouble is it’s not true. To judge by at least three different polls in recent days, there hasn’t been a miraculous shift in public opinion after the publication of that moving photograph.
- Stephen Glover, Daily Mail
What would have happened had the shootings taken place not in America, but in Norwich? What if the victims had been a local TV crew known to two or three hundred thousand people? Would our London-based newspaper executives have thought "We've never heard of them, so we'll use lots of gory pictures" or "They're British. We'll show some restraint"?
What if the victims had been a Newsnight reporter and cameraman, people we were used to seeing in our living rooms, people known all over the country?
Would the photographic coverage have been muted - in deference to our familiarity and their families - or even more excessive?
Editor's blog: Murder on camera
Comment archive, 2015
Virginia TV shootings
Boris Johnson, Greece
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