Friday 7 August 2015

BBC - Songs of Praise being recorded in Calais migrant camp this weekend

BelperStuff had planned something different for today but reading this headline in today's Guardian, Songs of Praise to be broadcast from Calais migrant camp just had to be shared with you.

What a stunning riposte by the BBC religious broadcast team to David Cameron and his statement branding those poor folk suffering abject poverty in their makeshift shelters in Calais as a "Swarm". Even the Daily Mail had to report the backlash: Cameron accused of awful dog whistle politics describing Calais migrants swarm. I have to admit that reading that Songs of Praise headline this morning took my breath away. That an institution such as the BBC, which is being attacked unmercifully by political puppets who jerk on the end of strings manipulated by the commercial media; that there are editorial elements within the BBC so concerned about the plight of the poor folk in Calais that they have taken the bold step to cock a snoot at Cameron and his baying ilk. We look for champions to speak up for the dispossessed but little expected one-such to be Aled Jones. Well done all involved with the programme. 

BelperStuff has long thought of Cameron as a coward, too frightened to tell the truth about immigration and relying on rabble rousing words to gain support from a deceived public. The World Bank lists Britain as the 5th largest economy on this planet and yet our xenophobic PM quails at the thought of no more than 10,000 brave and desperate people who are trying to make something of their lives. 

All Cameron can suggest is that we take over a Kent airfield to cater for the trucks that are stuck on the M20 when the way to diffuse the tensions that are the root cause of Channel Tunnel delays is to open up a decent, humanitarian facility to house the immigrants and work out how to assimilate them into our society. 

It would appear that they come here because they speak English 

That's why they come here Cameron. Not because they seek benefits, not because the British economy is so much better than anywhere else in Europe. Why is it that there are 175,000 applications for asylum in Germany but only 24,000 in the UK?

Come on Cameron ............... grow a back bone and for once in your life tell the truth.

BelperStuff has nothing but respect for a person who has braved the migrant trail; journeyed from a home country with no idea where they will end up; been exploited by people traffickers; braved a sea crossing in an overloaded boat that should have been condemned as un-seaworthy; somehow managed to cross a continent with little or no money or resources; spent months trying to live in a makeshift shelter whilst trying to climb aboard lorries and trains to reach a land where they face being treated as sub-humans and deported back to the very places from which they fled in fear of their life.

(Edit: Monday 10th August 2015: A Syrian refugee talks about  his 17 month journey to BBC Nottingham)

I can do no better than quote this extract from the Daily Mail article:
The United Nations Secretary General's special representative on international migration, Peter Sutherland, said demands for economic migrants to be kept out of the UK are 'a xenophobic response to the issue of free movement'.
Mr Sutherland told BBC2's Victoria Derbyshire programme: 'In my opinion, the debate in the UK is grossly excessive in terms of Calais. We are talking here about a number of people - a relatively small number in the context of what other countries are having to do - who are in terrible conditions and have to be dealt with by France and/or Britain.'
The migrants crossing the Mediterranean by boat are 'in the main' genuine refugees fleeing violence and persecution, he said.
'Germany last year received 175,000 asylum applications. Britain received 24,000,' said Mr Sutherland.
'We are talking here about between 5,000 and 10,000 people in Calais who are living in terrible conditions. The first thing we have to do collectively is to deal with their conditions. Instead of talking about sending Gurkhas or building fences, we should be thinking of the humanitarian crisis.'

These people are brave and resourceful. They are not a swarm, nor are they a problem. They represent an opportunity for one of the richest countries in the world to gain self respect by demonstrating compassion and justice.

It is about time that our pampered rich elite led by this woeful example of a  Bullingdon Boy stopped all this nonsense about fortress Britain and started to realise what being a true statesman entails. For me the litmus test is who would I employ if they turned up for an interview .................. in this case Cameron or a Calais asylum seeker. I think you know which one I would choose.

A later edit:

Checking through the Googled references used in producing this post I realised that I had not used this interesting leader in the The Church Times 7th August 2015 . It's not a paper that I would normally subscribe to but I found it interesting and urge you to read it for background information that I've not come across before. I was drawn towards this:

Dehumanising language has, indeed, no rightful place in discussing how to respond to people who flee poverty even, let alone persecution and mortal danger. The direction in which it tends becomes clear if we compare the situation, as one of our correspondents does this week, to the Jewish refugee crisis of the 1930s. The echoes are from the wrong side of that particular problem. This was a prime-ministerial Enoch Powell moment, to say no more.
The Bishop of Dover’s response does not need a Bletchley Park to decode it: “we need to rediscover what it is to be a human, and that every human being matters.” 
I have to admit that I am not a religious person but have no hesitation in bringing to your attention the common sense being shown by both Songs Of Praise and the Church Times.

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