Cameron’s crocodile tears

by Daphne Liddle

JUST one month ago Cameron’s pledge to the nation on the “immigrant” question was for better fencing and more police dogs to be deployed in Calais to prevent the thousands of desperate people there from access to the Euro-tunnel and to freight lorries queueing to use the Eurostar trains.

We predicted then it was only a matter of time before Cameron would have to climb down and acknowledge that there is a very real refugee crisis and that Britain will have to take in and accommodate a share of the refugees.

Last Tuesday Cameron, putting on his “compassionate” face, made another speech in the House of Commons, saying that Britain has a “moral responsibility” to those living in camps bordering Syria “while doing all it can to end the conflict there”.

And he admitted that they are refugees fleeing war, not migrants simply seeking a better standard of living.

Britain will accept 20,000 over the next five years — that is 4,000-a-year. Vulnerable children and orphans would be prioritised in what would be a “national effort”, he said. Information from Paddy Ashdown later revealed that the “vulnerable children and orphans” will be kicked out of Britain once they reach the age of 18 — presumably back to the dangerous hell holes they have escaped from.

The depths of hypocrisy in Cameron’s speech are fathomless. The crisis in Syria started in March 2011 and Britain, along with its American and French allies, played a leading role in stirring up what is called a civil war but is really a proxy war waged by imported mercenary terrorists against the elected government of Syria, backed and financed by the imperialists.

9,000,000

That war against Syria has displaced 9,000,000 people from their homes. Two thirds of those are refugees still inside their own country. Most of the rest are stuck in refugee camps in Syria’s immediate neighbours: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

The European Union, after finally waking up to the tide of refugees — including drowned babies — washing up on the southern shores of Greece and Italy, has pledged to resettle 33,000 straight from the camps in the Middle East, with 28,500 going to Germany.

Even then, the Syrian refugees are only part of the problem. There are also floods of refugees still from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and those North African countries that used to be supported from the proceeds of Libyan oil sales when Colonel Gaddafi was in charge there.

All of these countries have been victims of Anglo- American and in some cases also French imperialist interventions. They have been bombed, invaded, hit with drones, undermined and turned into hell holes that are just no longer safe places to live and raise children.

The moral debt owed to all these people by the western imperialist leaders who have wrecked their homes is astronomical. If Cameron had any moral compass he would be pleading for their forgiveness and offering them his own homes.

Deigning to accept just 20,000 in the next five years — just 4,000-a-year — is pathetic. He could accommodate that number himself from his own income.

In his two hour statement to Parliament, Cameron also revealed that two British-born nationals believed to planning terrorist attacks on Britain were killed in an RAF drone strike in Syria last month. Without charge or trial this is extra-judicial murder. We have only Cameron’s word of their terrorist intent.

And the Government is coming under increasing public pressure to increase the numbers of refugees who could come to Britain.

Many organisations have set up petitions: aid agencies, refugee charities and campaign groups and on Wednesday in Westminster they presented petitions totalling nearly one-and-a-half-million signatures urging Camron to take in more refugees. Many people in Britain are feeling shamed at the welcome that other European countries are giving to the desperate refugees. As they make their way north they are being greeted by people offering food, water and other essentials and some are offering to share their homes. In Iceland more than 12,000 families have offered to open up their homes to refugees.

And in spite of the Government’s attitude many in Britain have also been doing their bit, cramming cars, vans and coaches with food, clothing, toiletries to take to the refugees camped in and around Calais who are still being refused entry to Britain, despite Cameron’s new found “heart”.