As the British public became more and more sickened by the idea of turning our backs on the men, women, and children literally washing onto European shores, the Prime Minister finally was forced to announce a ‘new’ policy.
“We are proposing that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of this Parliament,” he said. “We’ll show the world that Britain is a country of extraordinary compassion – standing up for our values and helping those in need,” he said.
Oh, he’s a big one for British values, that Mr Cameron.
He said the refugees will only be accepted from refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon – providing them with a “more direct and safe route to the UK, rather than risking the hazardous journey to Europe which has tragically cost so many lives.”
How noble. How considerate.
He then went on to update us all on a “comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy that seeks to prevent and disrupt plots against the country at every stage” – a counter-terrorism threat that “addresses the root cause of the threat – the poisonous ideology of Islamist extremism – by taking on all forms of extremism, not just violent extremism.”
“. . . on this occasion we ourselves took action. Today I can inform the House that in an act of self-defence and after meticulous planning Reyaad Khan was killed in a precision air strike carried out on 21 August by an RAF remotely piloted aircraft while he was travelling in a vehicle in the area of Raqqah in Syria.
In addition to Reyaad Khan who was the target of the strike, 2 ISIL associates were also killed, 1 of whom – Ruhul Amin, has been identified as a UK national. They were ISIL fighters and I can confirm there were no civilian casualties.”
Lest we forget that it is we, the great British public, who are in danger; not the Syrians wasting away in refugee camps.
Of course, it’s a bit of political PR spin worthy of Tony Blair.
Let me tell you I’m doing what you asked for, when, in fact, I’m not. (20,000 refugees between now and 2020 works out by my calculations to around 4,000 a year. That’s no change.)
Let me suggest we’re a great and caring nation, when the reality of my plan looks a bit different. (Focussing on those in refugee camps is without doubt important. Particularly now that the UN is finally out of money to feed them. It would have been nice if our ‘extraordinary compassion’ had kicked in early enough to extend to more than a couple hundred, before so many more felt compelled to ‘risk the hazardous journey’.
And what of those who have arrived and who continue to arrive in Europe each and every day.
What of them?
What of them?)
And, by telling you this, let me convince you to give me what I really want – because what I really want is an excuse to drop some bombs.
Years ago, thousands upon thousands of people marched and protested and cried out for our governments not to engage in a very questionable war. A few years later, we again asked our government please not to escalate our involvement. Both times we said this will destabilise nations; this will create unrest; this will do nothing to make our world safer.
Both times we were ignored.
And now, we are saying the least we can do is provide a safe haven for those who have been uprooted by this conflict.
The response from Mr Cameron:
“I believe there is a strong case for the UK taking part in air strikes as part of the international coalition to target ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq. And I believe that case only grows stronger with the growing number of terrorist plots being directed or inspired by ISIL’s core leadership in Raqqah.”
I do not agree.