[Ed: in view of the continuing invasion across the Mediterranean, of so-called ‘refugees’ from Sub-Saharan Africa, aided and abetted by NGOs, we publish this Open Letter which the MSM did not publish. It is by our reader Roger Gough.]
To whom it may concern –
In January 2016, a letter of mine was printed as an opinion piece in the Western Daily Press, with the heading “Merkel’s migrant policy will mean more deaths”. In it I drew attention to what appeared to be relatively simple measures that could be implemented to stop completely the drownings of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe at the invitation of the German Chancellor, Ms Merkel.
Since that letter appeared an estimated further 5,000 migrants have drowned whilst attempting the crossing – at least 100 in two sinking hulks on 23.12.16 (UN figures). Inaction coupled with a lack of vision and enthusiasm on the part of the EU; national Governments; the UN; and other NGOs during the past year shows a collective and determined resolve not to address the problem effectively. Are they impervious to the misery caused by the death toll?
A sticking-plaster solution to the crisis had been proposed by the EU and Turkey in late 2015 when it was agreed that the EU should pay Turkey an initial € 3 billion to lessen people- trafficking and help stem the flow of migrants to the continent. The deal was bedevilled by arguments in respect of which countries were to foot the bill. Notwithstanding this agreement, Guy Verhofstadt – an impassioned supporter of the EU, one of its chief negotiators, and a former Belgian Prime Minister – was prompted to claim: “This Turkish deal is illegal and betrays Europe’s values”.
It was known before the deal was completed that part of what was proposed – the forced return of economic migrants to Turkey from Greece – was indeed illegal, having been outlawed by the 1951 UN convention on refugees which has been signed and promoted by the EU. He bemoaned too the fact that the EU was aligning itself so closely with Turkey “given the deteriorating human rights situation there and its brutal clampdown on the free press”.
In an interview with the BBC correspondent Lyce Doucet conducted on 2nd February – still available on the internet – King Abdullah of Jordan comments on the matter of aid promised to his country by “the international community” to assist in the care of the 1.4 million Syrian migrants his Country has taken in: “… there has been a tremendous shortfall”.
The interview prefaced a conference in London when the subject of aid to Jordan was to be discussed. Later, on March 31st, it was reported that “Nearly half the $12 million dollars pledged for Syrian refugees (at the London conference) is still unpaid”. The King had called the EU’s bluff by telling them that, “If you are going to take the higher moral ground on this (migrant) issue, we’ll get them all to an airbase and we’re more than happy to relocate them to your countries”. He was asked, “Has anyone taken up your offer?” He replied, “Of course not”. The King’s proposal was blindingly simple and would have solved the ‘deaths at sea’ catastrophe in short order had it also been adopted in all non – EU countries affected by excess numbers of migrants. It was such a simple and obvious solution, based on previous emergency procedures, that even I was able to suggest it in my January letter published in the Western Daily Press.
In May, 2016 the Greek asylum service ruled against sending a Syrian refugee back to Turkey and threw the whole deal between the EU and Turkey into doubt. “At its very first test, the EU-Turkey deal crumbles” said Amnesty International’s deputy Europe director.
By September, 2016 Ms Merkel had recognised the folly of her ways and admitted to making mistakes whilst dealing with the crisis: “I wish I could turn the clock back many, many years. I could have prepared the Government and the authorities for the situation which hit us out of the blue”. Out of the blue – really?
By October, 2016 the situation appeared not to have improved. ‘Save The Children’, in a newspaper advert headed “Stop Children Drowning” asked for funds to provide blankets for children fleeing in boats claiming, “…we are pulling them out of the water to safety.”
Whilst discussing the fallout of the terrorist nightclub massacre in Turkey on New Year’s Eve, a Turkish representative commented on BBC 4’s ‘Today’ programme the following day that his country was becoming increasingly annoyed at the reluctance of the EU to pay the full € 3 billion that it had promised Turkey (in the ‘illegal’ deal). Only € 380 million has apparently been received.
But the greatest example of a rescue mission to save imperilled people was, surely, the evacuation under heavy fire of 338,000 allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 during the 8 day period of May 26th and June 3rd. Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the operation was that the plan – Operation Dynamo – was, by necessity due to advancing enemy troops, thought up by Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay on the hoof. This utterly remarkable episode revealed bravery of an exceptional kind by both military and civilian participants. Can the EU not take inspiration from this historic scenario in their future attempts to solve this appalling, continuing and entirely misjudged humanitarian crisis of their own making?
Yours sincerely, Roger Gough