Yvette Cooper calls for UN intervention over escalating Calais migrant crisis
Speaking to the Guardian, she proposed an agreement that would allow the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) to start registering asylum applicants among those camping in Calais.
At the same time, the UK government should also accept more UN-certified refugees who may be fleeing conflicts such as that in Syria, she said.
Some sections of the media spend so much time lighting a fuse under the British public on subjects like immigration that when a crisis does present itself all the obvious avenues to solutions are closed off. It would be humane and rational to do as Cooper proposes, or similar, and start tackling the issue directly by establishing at least a preliminary vetting process to speak to the migrants to see what their stories are and whether they can be let in, in addition to talks with France and senior people in the EU.
However, David Cameron has rendered the talks avenue unnecessarily thorny through his machinations over the EU referendum – other European leaders are not entirely well-disposed to assist him when the UK is already under-performing in terms of taking in refugees. Meanwhile the press barons who prop up his regime have turned the public into nervous wrecks on the subject of migrants. It’s all very well relying on propaganda to attain power but then how do you convince people that actually it’s not all as bad as was made out so you can implement simple solutions?
Once again it’s the media who rules the roost, with both immigration and the European Union (which the right have successfully established as synonymous in many people’s minds) firmly in the British voters’ doghouse, right where the press barons want them.
The bigger question now is: what does Cameron want from the EU referendum? Recently he has referred to “swarms” of migrants, language that was criticised as dehumanising. And his notoriously eurosceptic foreign minister has spoken of “marauding” migrants bent on the destruction of European culture. A prime minister who wanted to convince the public to stay in the EU might have made much more of an effort to cool the migrant story down.
So is Cameron now giving serious consideration to leaving the European Union?