The commentators 29-10-14
A couple of years ago the former BNP leader Nick Griffin infamously said he would solve the Mediterranean refugee problem by sinking their boats. The British government has now adopted the same policy. It’s simply decided to save on the ammunition. This is what happens. This is where the death spiral into a political bidding war on immigration leads us. To a position where in 2014 the British Government – our Government – is saying that we should stand aside and watch asylum seekers drown.
- Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph
There is a terrible irony in how recent British governments have made such play of being forces for good in the world, whether through military interventions against despotism or maintaining those aid budgets, but the same politicians treat human beings fleeing in search of tolerable lives like flotsam and jetsam to be discarded in the seas. Britain must resolve whether it wants to remain an open and optimistic force in the world or curl up like a defensive hedgehog, showing only prickles to the rest of the planet.
- Ian Birrell, The Guardian
If ssues of immigration, Europe and Scottish independence are, for many, the focus of a more general discontent, policy measures that partially address these specific problems are unlikely to have much effect on attitudes. If opinions are not based on facts, changing facts will not necessarily change opinions.
- John Kay, Financial Times
The decision to free Roberts is clearly of great public interest, so the story required prominence. Of course it was appropriate to seek the opinions of those close to the victims and interested parties. Their reaction, however, was predictable...it would have been good to learn what is involved in preparing an institutionalised 78-year-old man for life in the outside world? Where will he live? What money will he have to live on? What benefits will he receive? Will he be given a new identity? What, if any, consideration has been given to the company he will keep, bearing in mind that a man who has been incarcerated for two-thirds of his life is likely to be acquainted almost exclusively with criminals?
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