Trouble in Calais

With much disruption over the last few weeks at Calais and now reports of thousands of migrants trying to storm the channel tunnel, like a swarm of zombie’s from some B-movie, this has naturally been a story that keeps on giving for the tabloids (Farage :crazy: has suggested “sending in the army”although to do what I’m not sure!). However in amongst the rhetoric there is a failure to appropriate the root causes of the problem and what to do about it.

The British government, and the tabloids, have been trying to pin a lot of the blame onto the French for not doing anything to stop the migrants. However, the French would argue that they have arrested many thousands of migrants. But ultimately, they know many of them want to get to Britain, so short of them locking them all up in some sort of concentration camp there’s not a lot they can do. And contrary to tabloid rumours the migrants are not coming to Britain to live on benefits. Actually the opposite is true. The French welfare state is far more generous than the UK’s, but the migrants want to work and earn money, so they can send it home to their family, as well as pay off the people traffickers. Also many have family connections in the UK thanks to the UK’s colonial past.

There are solutions, the EU has suggested a system whereby each country will take a quota of migrants arriving. However the UK has refused to do so, largely because it suits Cameron to have tens of thousands sneak in unofficially off the books than have any more come in officially and lead to the inevitable tabloid backlash from the bigot brigade.

That said, the French could be doing more. After all some of these migrants are engaging in criminal damage to get into lorries, which has surely got to be a crime in France. I mean if these guys had a go at a French bank or tried to break into the local mayor’s car, would they be so passive? No I suspect they’d have em on the way to Devil’s Island before you could say “Vous n’êtes entaillé soleil”. As I’ve mentioned before, there is a need for some sort of principle that migrants, refugee’s or otherwise, who are clearly breaking the laws of the EU to be either sent home or imprisoned. But of course that, again, would mean a common EU policy on this issue, which the UK is opposed too.

So far from this being another reason why the UK should leave the EU. Actually, the crisis in Calais is another reason why the UK should stay and try to co-operate with its European neighbours.


4 thoughts on “Trouble in Calais

  1. It’s an immense problem with no easy answers. I’ve heard it suggested that there should be the creation of a safe haven somewhere – a bit like Freetown for freed slaves – where migrants could go and start making a life for themselves. It would be fraught with complexities but – nobody is coming up with anything that’s viable. What do you think?


    • I’d focus on what’s driving people here in the first place. The West has screwed over Africa and continues to do so, we’ve failed to deal with Syria & even co-operated with its regime under Bush/Blair and their “war on terror” (4,472 days since mission accomplished).

      Then surprise, surprise lots of citizens of these countries don’t want to live there anymore and want to come here instead. And people are surprised at this?


  2. electric fences might help stop them breaking into a secure perimeter like we have on private farmland here…had to junp over one the other day myself!

    I feel sorry for genuine asylum seekers – think the French should act responsibly and process people in a proper manner though..again all of Europe agreeing this would be sensible as it looks set to continue in the future.

    poor lorry drivers – if it were the bankers i think we would have a swift resolution.


    • Many of the migrants have been through Spain, Greece and Italy and have had to sneak across numerous other borders first.

      Technically, they are supposed to stay in the first country they hit while waiting for any asylum application to be processed. However this rule is being ignored because its obvious those countries can’t cope and can’t stem the tide, short of locking all of em up in some mass concentration camp.

      A European wide agreement is needed. But its parties like the Tories, UKIP or the Front national (ironically!) who are preventing this.

      So like Greece a lack of leadership and an unwillingness to take responsibility leads to more kicking the can down the road.


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