You can always count on the Church of England to provide a soft, squishy, Christian lite reponse to any tragedy. The Bishop of Dover has weighed in on the migrant crisis gripping Calais, England and Europe in general,
“We’ve become an increasingly harsh world, and when we become harsh with each other and forget our humanity then we end up in these standoff positions,” he said. “We need to rediscover what it is to be a human, and that every human being matters.” the guardian
Migrants are, indeed human beings and they do indeed matter. But the current situation of desperate people trying to crash into England is not humane and it is not sustainable. While his Grace would, no doubt, feel it his Christian duty to run a few trainloads through the Chunnel that would be the very worst thing to do in the circumstances.
A conversation about migration and refugees is desperately needed but it needs to begin with England regaining control of its borders and, as importantly, making itself much less attractive to illegal migrants. So long as there is a good chance of getting across the Channel to a hugely over generous welfare state and virtually no chance of being sent home once you get there, the attraction of the UK will remain.
Regaining control of the English borders may not be easy but it is essential. That may mean saying, for a period of weeks or even months, that no migrant will be admitted, period. Those who come anyway need to be taken back to where they came from if that is in the EU. Once that has been accomplished and made to stick, the revision of the eligibility for benefits needs to take place. As well, the casual labour market needs to be curbed.
With those measures in place, if the English believe they owe something to migrants they can set up an actual system. For example, a Syrian Christian is almost certainly in danger of his or her life if returned to Syria. A Syrian Muslim might be in danger as well, but not to the extent of being hunted down and killed. Making choices is important. But it cannot happen in chaos.
Carving out enclaves for Syrians and Iraqis and Libyans who have been displaced by the horrors of ISIS and its knock on effects, is not beyond the capacity of the UN or NATO. But these enclaves need to be in the nations from whence the migrants come. (And an enclave strategy could be effective in other troubled sources of migrants – simply taking over sections of the Sudan, Somalia and so on could create safe places for the poor citizens of those countries. Yes, this would smack of neo-colonialism; but it is quite clear that these are failed states and equally clear that their populations need help.)
Creating a serious migrant strategy will run up against the likes of His Grace and all manner of bleeding hearts who would just as soon solve an immediate problem with compassion when that compassion will simply create a vastly larger problem a year or two hence. Cameron no longer has to appease the awful squishes in the Liberal Democrats so he can actually undertake policy which has a hope of working.