Cameron can solve the refugee 'problem' easily - here's how

It’s a shame Cameron wasn’t in the fire brigade. He could have arrived at burning houses and shouted: “We won’t solve the problem by helping you to get out of the building!"

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The Independent Online

A compromise may be possible for David Cameron in the problem of dealing with refugees. He could satisfy his instincts for remaining tough on immigration, while giving way towards the more compassionate attitude demanded in recent days, by agreeing to take in more refugees – as long as we get only the dead ones. Then no one can accuse Britain of not doing its bit. Because we will take in boatloads at a time, offering them a new start by chucking them into a skip. Kindness is the Conservative way.

But with the ones who are alive, as Cameron said, “You don’t solve the problem by taking in more refugees.” Because only a fool would think you help a refugee by offering warmth and shelter – that’s the last thing they want.

As the Prime Minister made clear, we’re being more helpful than that by creating stability in the areas they’re fleeing from. It’s a shame Cameron wasn’t in the fire brigade. He could have cut costs enormously, by arriving at a burning house to shout: “We won’t solve the problem by helping you to get out of the building. In any case the street’s full up already so we’ve no room out here. But we are going to try to deal with the cause of the fire, so that’s the main thing. Unfortunately I haven’t the foggiest idea how to do that, and we don’t possess a single bucket of water, but I’m sure you’ll agree this is for the best. Bye.”

Or he could make his own version of Titanic, in which he sails past the sinking ship and calls out through a megaphone to people clinging to lifeboats: “I’m here to help. That’s why I’m not going to rescue you, but I do suggest you get that ship fixed. Good luck, everyone.”

He was right to say you don’t solve the whole problem of Middle Eastern turmoil by taking in more refugees, but you might solve the problem of where to put some of the refugees by taking in more refugees. Or maybe Cameron is like that with everything. If Samantha asks for a sandwich because she’s hungry, perhaps he says: “Don’t be stupid – you won’t solve the problem of Syria being divided between a Western-backed tyrant and feudal jihadist maniacs with a sandwich.”

Cameron did say one thing which must have been of great comfort to the people scrambling off a boat, commenting that in the areas they’ve fled from: “We are trying to make sure there are worthwhile jobs and stronger economies.”

That’s true compassion at work, asking Isis to set up a new shopping mall, with opportunities for work in sword shops and suggestions for a series of evening classes in skills such as making short but pithy films and blowing up ancient monuments, so all the refugees have to do is bobble about on a dinghy until that kicks in and remember to send a thank-you card when they’re sorted.

One consistent line from Conservative politicians has been that our task is to stop refugees from thinking they’ll be better off by coming here. To put this another way, we have to make life in Britain worse than it is under Isis. So we have to find a group that objects to Isis, on the grounds that they’re too wishy-washy, then let them take over for a bit and just watch the problem melt away.

Because the reason these people come here is to exploit our generosity. They know all they have to do is float aimlessly for weeks on a rowing boat made of chipboard with 600 other people and on the off-chance they bump into land and are one of the 216 people we’ve accepted into Britain, in only two years they’ll be entitled to housing benefit, the spongers.

And let’s not forget they’ll earn more money by staying alive than they would if they stayed in Syria and got killed, so technically they are all economic migrants.

One MP explained yesterday that the refugees on the boats were “jumping the queue”, to come here. And the first thought of all reasonable people upon seeing the pictures of bodies washed up on the beach was that “they’re trying to jump the queue, that’s what they’re doing”. If they want to come to Britain, of all places, you’d think they’d learn our customs and keep in their place.

The politicians, of all parties, and the newspapers most practised at moaning about immigrants, may have misjudged their own power slightly. Because even many Ukip voters who complain loudly about asylum-seekers have a change of heart when they’re confronted with real refugees with real stories. So the Daily Mail and The Sun are suddenly having to adjust, with headlines such as: “What a tragedy, about the poor families who last week we were calling parasitic criminal human bacteria who will EAT your FURNITURE.”

Because the sentiment that’s seemed more mainstream has been that of the German football crowds who displayed banners welcoming refugees, the volunteers taking provisions to Calais, or the 10,000 people from Iceland who have offered to put up a refugee each.

But if Icelandic people really wanted to help, they’d tell the refugees their life will be even worse in their house than it is under Isis, and in any case they’ve written to Syria and asked the jihadists to create worthwhile jobs and a strong economy.

Because in the future, when people look back on this episode, they will remember fondly the people who did the right thing, in the same way that now we look back at the 1930s and have nothing but contempt for those idiots who let in the Jews who were jumping the queue. Whereas we well up with pride when we recall those brave souls who told the Jews to keep out as we had plenty here already, and in any case you don’t solve the problem of Hitler by taking in more refugees.