“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. . . .”
Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities.
In London we have the shanty town of Tamil Tigerville, set up on a World Heritage Site – Parliament Square, with the Police agreeing an extension to the protest/no-go area, and Westminster Council helpfully arranging that long forgotten privilege for British tax payers, of a weekly rubbish collection. The cost of policing this protest is estimated at Â£8 million to the ‘hard working British Taxpayer’. One can only assume that the DHSS have also helpfully set up camp in the area, for there appear to be hundreds of downtrodden freedom fighters/members of a banned terrorist organisation who prefer to sit in the weak summer sunshine in London, without the need toÂ deprive ‘hard working British families’ of anything so mundane as a job – nor to risk supporting their colleagues and catching the odd bullet for their beliefs. Has the government set up Portaloos for them yet? Showers? Translation Services? Tsk!
In Calais, we have the shanty town of Somaliaville, and its suburb, Afghanistanville,Â set up in a disused wood, where the United Nations is opening an office in Calais to tell migrants Britain is not the ‘promised land’.
UNHCR spokesman Marie-Ange Lescure said: ‘We will tell refugees that Britain is not an Eldorado, it’s not the promised land, and they should apply for asylum where they are, in France.’ She added: ‘We are also able to offer migrants Â£1,700 to help them return to their own countries, if that is what they wish.’
The French government has vowed to bulldoze the woodland shanty town known as The Jungle, which is the squalid temporary home to hundreds of mainly Afghan, and Somali refugees. The French are quite prepared to offer them asylum, indeed the French have taken many more immigrants than the UK – but not on such beneficial terms.
The British are planning a covert operation to fly the first group of 50 Afghans from Lille to Kabul which will cost the British government more than Â£1million. Further flights would send the bill soaring into the tens of millions – with just the ‘bare minimum’ being paid for by the French.
Is it any wonder that refugees flock to Calais? The Metropolitan Police have fought an eight year battle to remove one lone Englishman – Brian Haw – from demonstrating quite legally outside parliament, (as an individual he needs no permission) whilst assisting in laying on weekly rubbish collections for the benefit of members of a banned terrorist group to do the same thing. The French bulldoze an illegal encampment, and the British turn up and offer them Â£1,700 each and are prepared to lay out millions on flying them home again.
If taxpayers must lay out millions on free flights home – would it not make more sense to fly the Tamils home to continue their fight on their own land? – and lay on weekly rubbish collections for the ‘hard working British families’ we hear so much about? Perhaps a grant of Â£1,700 pounds each to those ‘hard working British families’ might not go amiss either.
Our heart seems to be in the wrong place.