The world is facing its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War with 50 million people leaving their homes according to the EU’s migration commissioner.
This after David Cameron’s comments about “swarms” of migrants making for British shores!
There followed numerous proposals for dealing with the crisis like, for instance, issuing ID cards, which provoked much flak from bleeding-heart liberals and the usual suspects. Now, I’ve never understood the problem with issuing these cards.
They’d solve lots of problems and are the rule in most advanced democracies. Straightaway after WW2, they were in circulation in the UK and I don’t believe anyone objected then!
Naturally, today’s ID cards would be far more state of the art than those war-time cardboard ones. But they’d represent a breakthrough in keeping tabs on who has, or hasn’t the right to reside in the UK, apply for benefits and, in addition, provide solid proof of identification for those members of the legitimate population who don’t have a passport or driving licence.
So many could benefit: the elderly, the very young, the very poor and the disabled.
As regards not registering those who leave the country, it’s beyond belief that successive governments (both Conservative and Labour) should have abandoned such checks at outward passport control. It’s preposterous, too, that the administration of applications and the consequent huge delays in granting leave to stay or, if refused, removing the claimant ends up taking forever.
A much more targeted, businesslike approach to this ever-growing crisis is what’s called for: a sea change from the traditional British ‘muddling through.’ But what about the EU’s response, you ask? Yeah, right, there goes another herd of pigs flying past my window! EU efforts to forge solutions routinely end in bickering and half-baked policies generally eliciting responses from countries within it that unsurprisingly rhyme with ‘bucket.’
I’m not saying ID cards are the only solution (try telling a professional historian that things were simpler in the past – and stand well back). What’s needed is to reverse the widespread perception that Britain’s a ‘soft touch.’
This might even lead to a more generous response to those in truly genuine need, like vulnerable Syrians in UN camps.
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’ ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. Profits to Cudeca.