Culpability for the desperation of migrants crossing the Mediterranean

It has finally made it to the top of the political agenda; though the discussions amongst EU ‘leaders’ yesterday (including David Cameron) comes up with a sticking plaster rather than a solution. The suggestion that we should use bombs yet again, this time to destroy the vessels used by the human traffikers, is quite shocking in its stupidity. No doubt it suits arms manufacturers.

Ed_Miliband_2This morning, the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband (left), effectively put his hands up and said that the Western Powers – particularly the UK and France – failed the people of Libya by having “inadequate postwar planning”. He noted that “In Libya, Labour supported military action to avoid the slaughter Gaddafi threatened in Benghazi. But since the action, the failure of post-conflict planning has become obvious. David Cameron was wrong to assume that Libya’s political culture and institutions could be left to evolve and transform on their own.”

I’m not sure that was the ultimate reason for bombing Libya. In response, David Cameron, the Conservative Leader, presented himself as a statesman (and great military strategist) and suggested that the electorate will decide what to make of such criticism in the face of so much death on the seas. Perhaps we need to remind Mr Cameron that it was his Government that withdrew the funding from the EU rescue mission on the grounds that it only made refugees more likely to attempt the crossing.

Okay, if it is post-(post)war planning that we are after, then these so-called leaders should be sat around a table working out how to facilitate the integration of migrants into Europe. Not finding ways of preventing them from coming (some hope on the part of politicians) or repatriating them after weeks or months in internment camps.

Oh, and Mr Farage, your advocacy of some sort of egalitarian Australian quotas approach needs some careful Nauru_regional_processing_facility_(7983319037)consideration. There are plenty of refugees trying to enter Australia. They are held in camps run by our good friends Serco (and previously G4S). A number of these camps have witnessed serious human rights abuses,  Amnesty International described the extremely offshore Nauru detention centre (right) as “a human rights catastrophe … a toxic mix of uncertainty, unlawful detention and inhumane conditions”. Meeting that challenge is a test for civilising politicians and a civilised society.

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