Katie Hopkins called for gunboats to meet refugees – Nato has kindly provided her with some

The EU-Turkey deal has allowed Cameron to push his two favourite policy responses: ‘contract it out’ and ‘send in the military’

When far-right shock jock Katie Hopkins last year wrote that refugees should be met with gunboats, her comments were met with outrage. But David Cameron seems to have taken her advice. The Royal Navy will be deployed, as part of a Nato presence in the Mediterranean.

The ‘refugee crisis’ has allowed Cameron to push his two favourite policy responses: ‘contract it out’ and ‘send in the military’. Because the other part of this week’s ‘deal’ is giving billions of pounds to Turkey to keep migrants outside Europe.

No matter that the Turkish government becomes more authoritarian by the day, and has declared war on the Kurds, who incidentally are in the front line in the battle against our ‘enemy’ Isis. More important right now is that we pay someone else to deal with the refugee problem, as we become a gated community, patrolled by private security guards, surrounded by a sea of misery.

Cameron has consistently fought against more humane policies – such as proposals for fairer allocations of refugees across Europe. Today’s crisis would not have reached this level had European countries each taken their fair share of responsibility. But Cameron helped defeat those proposals, and would have taken no refugees at all had not the reaction to the picture of dead toddler Alan Kurdi forced the government to take a few thousand people.

Our responsibility is not simply legal. Britain stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq. We turned Libya upside down. We armed the Saudis to the tune of £3bn last year while they were mercilessly pummelling Yemen. And still today the Prime Minister itches to bomb Syria – whether the enemy is Assad or Isis doesn’t seem to matter. Our governments have played an enormous role in the widespread turmoil and conflict in the Middle East that so many are fleeing.

Not to worry, because migration itself creates the opportunity to profit. Today the Home Office, along with the arms industry trade body ADS, are organising Security and Policing 2016,  which is being met this evening by protesters. This exhibition offers a “discreet environment” for 400 companies to exhibit “the latest developments in the UK security market” including “products which would be too sensitive to show in a more open environment”. Surveillance, border fences, patrols, and ‘crowd control’ all generate profits for these parasites on crises and suffering.

Another protest at the weekend will target the infamous Yarl’s Wood detention centre, run on a £10 million a year contract by Serco, where migrants spend months or even years behind bars, despite not having committed any crime. The UK is a world leader at privatising immigration detention, just as it is now contracting out immigrants directly.

There is a different way. We could welcome migrants whether they are escaping poverty or fleeing war. It is perfectly possible for Europe to take far more migrants than we currently see. In fact, our ageing population may depend upon it.

Comments