We don’t want the refugees already here, they cheated

COMMENT

David Cameron visited a refugee camp on Monday. The British prime minister, a man who can normally muster all the moral authority of Roman Polanski’s penis, has discovered his soul. Amazing what a three-week break away from Parliament can do.

It only took him six years to finally come out and take a moral stand, and all it took was the death of one toddler. You may call the Tories’ glacial crawl towards respecting human life a political and personal train crash. I call it compassion.

In Europe, we have the stereotype that Africans view life cheaply, but we have spent much of the summer watching van-loads of Syrians being washed in by the tide and all we worried about was whether this meant the beach might be closed during the October holidays.

Greek children incorporated human remains into their sandcastles but the big story here was that the drinks trolley didn’t make it down the Eurostar. One dog locked in a car on a sunny day, and the United Kingdom goes apeshit. Seventy-one dead migrants roasted in a truck … oh, that reminds me, Bake Off’s on tonight.

It seems we are naive about the workings of this modern culture, where people Skype each other masturbating before a first date, and forget that the general populace now don’t believe children are dying unless you show them a close-up picture of a dead child. The Kurdish family were trying to get from Turkey to Kos, so many people said: “Why would they want to leave Turkey? Turkey is nice!”

Turkey is nice if you’re a sunburnt Brit with a taste for overpriced kebabs, cheap jeans and waterslides. It’s not so nice for a member of their oppressed minority who speak a language that’s been banned by law.

What we haven’t heard is that children get washed up on the shore at Bodrum every single day. What are Turkish journalists doing? Generally about two to four years’ hard labour.

Of course, there are many people who say we shouldn’t be helping refugees when there are homeless people here. Indeed, Britain may have entirely forgotten how to be welcoming. We are only taking people from camps – we don’t want refugees already in Europe because they cheated and didn’t wait to shout, “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?”.

We don’t want any refugees who are already close to us, like there’s some kind of humanitarian offside rule.


Of course, when Parliament was asked to bomb Syria as part of Operation Hornets’ Nest, it was to avert a humanitarian crisis. Now that there actually is a humanitarian crisis, our government doesn’t seem to care. We were going to bomb Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; soon we will be asked to bomb the forces fighting Assad.

Perhaps I’m being cynical, and the way to bring stability to a region is to bomb both sides in a bitter civil war, creating a power vacuum to be filled by moderate groups like the Screaming Sword of Allah or Superjihadi Endgame.

Bombing would be an interesting response to a refugee crisis, resting as it does on the theory that Syrians are fleeing not because their country is at war but because the war itself is not big and dramatic enough to really hold their interest.

I don’t want to see the Islamic State in a war with our troops because they are just impressionable young men who have been manipulated into a life of murder by those who teach hate, and the Islamic State isn’t much better. Still, at least the United Kingdom is briefly considering the morality of its actions abroad rather than obeying the usual propaganda limits, where liberal elements debate the practicality of our involvement in international horror stories, and more honest elements the strategic importance.

The Dirty Dozen was classic psychological projection; it’s not the troops who are corrupt but the ranged forces of politicians, arms manufacturers, intelligence agencies, Gulf State despots and oil companies who send them in.

Yes, Britain is a beautiful place to live, and we are lucky to be born here. Because of other people’s oil, other people’s sugar, other people’s tea, other people’s money. You weren’t born in a country – you were born in a getaway car, and the victims have been chasing you down ever since by boat, by lorry and on foot. – © Guardian News & Media 2015

Frankie Boyle is a Scottish comedian and writer

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Protective equipment for schools in KwaZulu-Natal goes ‘missing’

Without protective equipment, schools in uMlazi, Pinetown and Zululand won’t meet the already delayed deadline for reopening

The statue of Louis XVI should remain forever handless

A statue of the French king in Louisville, Kentucky was damaged during the protests against police killings. It should not be repaired
Advertising

Press Releases

Empowering his people to unleash their potential

'Being registered as an AGA(SA) means you are capable of engineering an idea and turning it into money,' says Raymond Mayekisa

What is an AGA(SA) and AT(SA) and why do they matter?

If your company has these qualified professionals it will help improve efficiencies and accelerate progress by assisting your organisation to perform better

Mining company uses rich seam of technology to gear up for Covid-19

Itec Direct technology provides instant temperature screening of staff returniing to the workplace with no human contact

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday