The SNP’s Humza Yousaf, various Labour leadership candidates and others’ condemnation of David Cameron’s “dog-whistle” reference to a “swarm” of migrants crossing the Mediterranean (your report, 30 July) is eminently justified.
Additionally though, the Prime Minister should be careful that this type of playing to the gallery doesn’t come back to haunt him.
For instance, on a visit to India in July 2010 he departed from his Foreign Office script to warn Pakistan that it could no longer “look both ways” by tolerating overseas terrorism while demanding respect as a democracy.
Not only has “looking both ways” subsequently been a very apposite description of Cameron’s own wilful disregard for terrorist atrocities in Syria by the rebels who mutated into Daesh; but the conflagration there, which he and other Western governments helped to ignite, along with their equally foolish Libyan adventure, have made a significant contribution to the refugee crisis from which he now seeks to derive political capital.
Since when was the word “swarm” a pejorative term? Normally used to describe the industrious, productive, selfless honey bee, it was clearly a generous compliment to an opponent.
Joyce McMillan (Perspective, 31 July) is in denial about the wider implications of the migrant crisis. Just as a common currency implies a political union so the same can be said of the EU accord on the free movement of people.
Italy can solve its migrant problem at a stroke by handing out passports. Thus armed, most migrants would rush northwards. Such is the power of the free movement accord. It’s time to choose how to regulate immigration.
Either opt out of the free movement accord, which probably means leaving the EU, or seek an EU policy on passports as well as non-EU immigrants, asylum seekers, and amnesties. It’s either a lot looser or ever closer.
In the meantime, Britain should introduce identity cards. It would make us a less attractive destination for illegal migrants.
Winterborne Houghton Dorset
This migrant human crisis situation at Calais has gone on for too long, with France failing to tackle the problem by herding them like cattle in terrible conditions.
There is a more sinister aspect to this situation involving human traffickers who are making money out of people’s misery and these criminals need to be identified and dealt with severely to stem the flow of the migrants.
This problem will simply not go away and David Cameron needs to take a firm stand with France in demanding urgent corrective action from the French government.
Dennis Forbes Grattan