The SNP’s Angus Robertson just gave David Cameron a heavy dose of reality at PMQs (VIDEO)

Support us and go ad-free

The SNP’s Angus Robertson really ruffled David Cameron’s feathers at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday. On Monday night, Cameron instructed his MPs to vote against taking in 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children. Seeing as only five Conservative MPs disobeyed the party line, we are now leaving 3,000 lone children to suffer.

At PMQs, Robertson’s second question drew comparisons between Syrian refugees today and Jewish refugees in the 1930s:

https://youtu.be/aGRp2I22I58?t=16m41s

Robertson cites the Europol estimate that 10,000 refugee children are missing. Lord Dubs, who originally called on the government to save the children, hints at where they might be:

We’ve got children adrift, children that have disappeared, children vulnerable to being lured into prostitution, vulnerable coerced into some form of slavery. It’s a pretty desperate situation.

The UK is one of the richest nations in the world yet we’re now going to stand by and let unaccompanied children fall into a life of abuse. The Queen could probably save them all just by selling her hat.

Robertson’s comparison to the 1930s is apt. There were thousands of refugee children before the Second World War. And there are thousands of refugee children now. Whatever their nationality, and whatever the causes, the crux is the same – there are thousands of unaccompanied children drifting around Europe. The question is the same – do we help them, or will we leave them to suffer? Unlike his predecessors, Cameron has opted for the latter, after paying lip service to the former:

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

One of those refugee children in the 1930s was Lord Dubs himself, who tabled the motion on Monday night. He arrived in Britain through the ‘Kindertransport’ initiative – a program for refugee children fleeing Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria before the Second World War.

When asked if today’s government would take in those 10,000 refugees – including himself – Lord Dubs replied:

It’s a very hypothetical question … I think this lot wouldn’t have, this lot would’ve probably said no.

Considering the government has just voted to reject a mere one-third of that number, it’s a fair comment.

Twitter hailed Robertson for getting straight to the heart of the issue:

It was a very pertinent question:

And Cameron’s answer is precisely what escalates the refugee crisis:

The person who is responsible is the country in which they are in.

The refugee crisis is a disorganised mess because of this type of attitude. Basing policy on where refugees happen to end up is an entirely incompetent position. If you outsource responsibility to contingent geographical circumstance, you end up with overflowing camps likes in Calais.

Former footballer Jermaine Jenas nailed the right response on Question Time in March – the crisis should be handled on a “pro rata basis”. It should be EU policy that a country takes a certain number of refugees according to its economic position. Isn’t that type of cohesive action what the EU is for?

At PMQs, Cameron continued:

And look, I want Britain to play our part, but you have to ask yourself, do we do better taking a child from France or Italy or Germany, than we do from Lebanon?

Aside from Libyan and Iraqi people, there are more than 4.5 million Syrian refugees in just five countries – Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. And these refugees are often in terrible conditions. Meanwhile, the rest of the world has only offered to settle a miserly 3.6% (162,151) of this number. It is absolutely disgraceful.

Angus Robertson is right. We can, and should, do so much more.

Get involved!

Sign Lord Dub’s petition calling on the government to accept the 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children.

Volunteer or donate to the refugees in Calais.

Featured image via Youtube screenshots.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed