Refugee crisis

Angela Merkel is making the refugee crisis worse

There have been plenty of bad decisions taken by European politicians in the last few years. But few will cause as much misery as Angela Merkel’s refugee policy. Her decision to rip up the Dublin Convention and announce that any Syrian can claim asylum in Germany will lead to more people putting their hands in the lives of unscrupulous human traffickers as they try desperately to make it to Germany. This will, tragically, lead to more deaths. In the magazine this week, I argue that Merkel’s policy is flawed on several levels. First, she has chosen to prioritise those Syrians who have already made it to Europe. These people are

Podcast: Angela Merkel’s mistake on refugees — and is Tom Watson Labour’s saviour?

Angela Merkel’s offer to welcome any Syrian refugees who reach Germany will have far reaching, potential devastating consequences. On this week’s View from 22 podcast, James Forsyth debates this week’s Spectator cover feature on Merkel’s grandstanding with Holly Baxter from the Independent. Has David Cameron done the right thing by not offering asylum to more refugees? Are all European countries pulling equal weight in dealing with the crisis? And what will the European Union as a whole do next to help the refugees? Dan Hodges and former Labour adviser John McTernan also discuss whether Tom Watson could be the man who holds the Labour party together. The former Brownite bruiser has made plenty of enemies in the party, but he is expected to be elected Deputy Leader on Saturday,

Isabel Hardman

Adoption begins at home

Would you open your home to a migrant child? If the reaction to the drowning of three-year-old Alan Kurdi is anything to go by, thousands of families across Britain are ready to welcome Syrian refugee children — including an impressive number of politicians. Bob Geldof has offered space for three families in one of his spare houses. Walking past the two empty beds in my spare room, I felt the same tug: why couldn’t those beds have two little heads nestling on the pillows, safe after years of horror? It’s the same instinct we feel when a toddler tumbles over on the street and his face crumples up into tears:

Cameron’s refugee announcement overshadowed by drone strike in Syria

David Cameron’s statement that Britain will take 20,000 Syrian refugees over the course of this parliament was overshadowed by his announcement that an RAF drone had killed two British ISIL fighters in Syria in August. Cameron said that that Reyaad Khan and Ruhul Amin had been killed in a lawful act of ‘self-defence’ as they were planning and encouraging terrorist attacks in Britain. He stressed that this was a targeted action and that he would come back to the House of Commons to seek permission for more generalised action in Syria; the Commons voted against military action there in 2013. Now, it is hard to think of many more serious

David Cameron confirms Britain will take ‘thousands more Syrian refugees’

One of the notable things about David Cameron in the months after winning the election has been quite how impatient and keen he is to get on with important reforms. As I wrote last week, the Prime Minister seems to have been invigorated by his victory, rather than lapsing into complacency – and that is largely a very good thing. But on one issue, he hasn’t stayed quite up to speed. Perhaps it’s because it’s not a domestic reform issue, or perhaps it’s because it relates to a question that politicians seem increasingly reluctant to address, which is Britain’s role in the world, but whatever it is, the government has

Sharing a photo of a dead Syrian child isn’t compassionate, it’s narcissistic

Have you seen the dead Syrian child yet? Look at his lifeless body. His head buried in the sand. His sad, resigned posture after he and his family made the treacherous journey from Syria to Turkey only to wash up dead on a Turkish beach. Isn’t this just the saddest photo you’ve ever seen? And gross too? Quick, share it! Show it to your friends — on Twitter, Facebook — so that they will feel sad and grossed-out too. Gather round, everyone: stare at the dead Syrian child. We all know about the problem of sexual pornography on the internet. Now we need to talk about the problem of moral pornography. And

Why don’t we launch a Kindertransport scheme for Syrians?

I never knew my paternal grandfather, who was apparently a bitter, angry right-wing journalist who thought the world was going to hell; although as this was the 1930s, he was pretty much right. Almost the only thing I remember being told is that in 1938 he and my grandmother took in an Austrian boy as part of a scheme in which 20,000 Jewish children were taken away from Hitler. (I only heard this story from my mum, as my father was too English to talk about his parents, and felt rather less uncomfortable in war-torn Beirut or Biafra than actually talking about his own emotions.) I don’t know what happened to

Podcast: how to fix the refugee crisis

Are there any immediate solutions for fixing the refugee crisis? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Paul Collier discusses this week’s Spectator cover feature on this topic with Douglas Murray. Are there any easy political solutions to this crisis? Where in the world should concerned politicians look to find solutions? What can the Jordanian authorities do to help? And what should the European Union be doing to fulfil its ‘duty of rescue’? Philip Delves Broughton and Freddy Gray also discuss how Hillary Clinton is winning the 2016 race — for the Republicans. Why is she failing to be an inspiring candidate? Has the Democratic party realised that Clinton is failing to deliver? Could