Rod Liddle says send migrants back to Syria in the Sun’s shameful Calais coverage

Some papers sympathise with the victims, while others swim in the sewer of nativism


As politicians compete to find the most callous and militarised response to the Calais ‘migrant crisis’, a division has opened up among the Tory commentariat.

Finally, after some excellent reporting by several papers, columns sympathising with the victims of war abroad – rather than put out British tourists – have been published in the Tory press.

The Times has a thoughtful and stirring piece by David Aaronovitch looking at the real causes of the crisis, (dictatorship and war), which handily shames much of the press coverage of recent migration. Read it all here (£).

The Telegraph’s Emma Barnett (no relation) mocks emphasis on the supposed plight of British tourists stuck on motorways over ‘hundreds of displaced people from all over the world [who] live in some of the most wretched conditions’. She concludes:

“An island nation we might be, but that doesn’t have to mean our mentality must follow suit.”

The Daily Express and the Daily Mailby contrast, chose to blame ‘the French’ for being too lax, and demand that soldiers in Europe be used to pacify refugees who have fled soldiers in the Middle East and Africa.

30 7 15 send in the army

The worst of the bunch is probably the Sun. 

Along with blaming ‘Frenchies’ (which century is this?), and running a two-page story headlined ‘Farce-holes’ against a picture of migrants tearing through fences, the paper’s main comment piece belongs in the archives, alongside Katie ‘let them drown’ Hopkins’s infamous ‘cockroaches’ screed.

Veteran noise-maker Rod Liddle, who was a troll before there were trolls, has decided to restate and extend the ‘what a rubbish holiday’ model, in a piece headlined:

‘Go on holiday to France? You’d be better off in Syria’. 

Liddle doesn’t even attempt to justify this proposal, I suspect because he has little interest in what’s happening in Syria. Instead we are treated to sentences like this, describing the sort of holiday you can expect in France:

“…when you reach your home and empty out the car, you find Mohammed, Tariq and Abdullah from Somalia hiding in the kids’ lunchboxes.”

As against Aaronovitch’s solid internationalism, Liddle’s analysis is proudly nativist:

“It’s not a British problem. It’s not an EU problem. It’s a French problem.
They need to sort out Calais, and quick.

Deport the immigrants. Send them back to the countries they came from. Stop whining about not having enough help.”

What if they face torture, death or persecution in ‘the countries they came from’? The thought seems never to cross Liddle’s mind. Or perhaps it does, and he simply thinks, ‘Not my problem’.

When he half-jokingly says ‘you’d be better off in Syria’, what he effectively means is, ‘they would be better off in Syria’. Which is quite a presumptuous line to take for a Little Englander with scant interest in Syria, Somalia, or anywhere else he’s unlikely to go on holiday.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Express complains about bilingual children, as language stands in for race

Hard-left plot to elect Corbyn Labour leader? The numbers don’t add up

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

47 Responses to “Rod Liddle says send migrants back to Syria in the Sun’s shameful Calais coverage”

  1. Matt Booth

    Yeah, no offence, but there’s enough pressure from the right wingers about migrants in the country. Letting them all illegally cross into the UK from France is a fucking terrible idea.

    There needs to be a process of getting into the UK when you’re not an EU citizen, and it needs to be followed. These people should not be allowed to sneak in, and if they do sneak in, they should be deported. No questions, no fucking quibbling.

    I’m left wing, but on this issue, I cannot see eye to eye on laissez faire attitudes towards migrants illegally entering the UK. I’m welcoming, I’m open to new arrivals, but done properly.

  2. GhostofJimMorisson

    Believe it or not, Rod Liddle is no right-winger either. He has always been and remains a Labour voter. Barnett and his ilk simply cannot fathom that Liddle’s sentiments on this issue are much closer to traditional Labour voters than theirs. We cannot let sentiment get in the way of an issue as serious and complex as securing the nation’s borders. Barnett cannot offer any practical solutions to deal with this crisis, and instead resorts to self-righteous and banal name calling ( Little-Englander, nativist etc).

  3. GhostofJimMorisson

    Aaronovitch would happily let them all in. Of course, he won’t have to live alongside these poor, desperate people, who won’t be able to afford Hampstead prices. Nope, as always, they will be moved into poor, struggling working class areas, with the local population being told “immigration and diversity is good for you. End of. Shut up and get on with it, you bigots. Moreover, it’s your duty to see the new arrivals assimilate into your community, while we carry on our comfortable lives in white North London, which immigrants will only glimpse when they are looking after our children or cleaning our multi-million pound houses”

  4. MacGuffin

    How ridiculous. The migrants do not face ‘torture, death or persecution’ in their home countries. They are economic migrants with a few jihadis thrown in to spice it up.

  5. Cole

    What a stupid post. Haven’t you heard there are murderous wars in places like Syria and Libya with millions of people made refugees as a result? I guess you just could care less about these people.

  6. MacGuffin

    Analysis of the origins of the refugees shows that the overwhelming majority are from the horn of Africa, not Syria or Libya. When you look at the footage of the migrants, and see that they are almost all black, does that not make you realise that maybe, just maybe, they are not from Syria? Are you 100% thick?

  7. Cole

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there are nasty things going on in the Horn of Africa too. Would you care to live in Somalia or Eritrea?

  8. MacGuffin

    So every time there is some unpleasantness in the world, everyone in the area must be allowed entry into the UK? Ridiculous!

  9. Cole

    Of course not. But you’re simply wrong to claim these are mostly economic migrants. And only selfish right wingers think we should just shrug and not give a damn about anyone else in the world.

    Of course it’s ironic that this is all being stirred up by the Sun and Express. Murdoch is an economic migrant to the US while Desmond’s family came from the Ukraine.

  10. MacGuffin

    No, I’m not wrong about them being economic migrants. A simple analysis of their countries of origin shows that they are not coming from war zones. If they’re not economic migrants, why are they not making their applications for asylum in southern Europe? Hint: because the economies in southern Europe are tanking, and the benefit system in the UK is more generous to people who haven’t contributed to the system.

    Keep’em out, until there is an economic need for inward migration. Another hint: no such need is likely to exist for a very long while, if ever.

  11. Cole

    Oh right. All these folk from Eritrea, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria etc are all economic migrants. Don’t you keep up with the news? Or do you just read the Mail?

  12. GhostofJimMorisson

    I’d say a great many of them are, yes. Being sentimental and trying to show what decent, compassionate people we are will not address this complex and tragic situation. The Left are all about compassion but cannot offer any practical and realistic solutions (Mr Corbyn epitomises this)

  13. MacGuffin

    Yes I do keep up with the news, and I have the intelligence and education to look beyond the headlines and the virtue-signallers like yourself.

  14. Cole

    Shame you just ignore the facts.

  15. MacGuffin

    Your made-up facts? Yes, I certainly do.

    Keep the economic migrants out. There aren’t enough well-paid jobs and places to live for British people, so we don’t need to import any more.

  16. Cole

    It’s sad that you are such a blinkered and selfish person that you can’t accept that there are lots of people who have been forced to flee their homes because of wars and murderous dictators. Like the Tory press, you just smear these people as bums who want to scrounge off us.

  17. MacGuffin

    And when you’ve let in the two thousand presently at Calais, and you’ve let in the ten thousand that are there a month after, and the one hundred thousand the following month, what will you do when there are a million migrants on the shores of northern France, with millions more on the way up from Africa and the Middle East? Do you think calling people racist and selfish will be be an effective argument?

  18. damon

    As Adam Barnett still hasn’t given us a more detailed plan for what should happen, I think it’s fine for people to say the kind of things that Rod Liddle says. He’s just being irreverent most of the time anyway. Taking the Mick.

    Some of the suggestions that people put forward are ridiculous.
    Most former Communist countries in the EU don’t want African asylum seekers and migrants.
    Or that’s what I’ve been told by people from Eastern Europe that I’ve worked with.
    Driving through Camberwell in south London with its very big African community, I’ve asked a guy from Lithuania, ”Could you have this in your country?” – and the answer is always ”No”.
    They don’t want it – and why should they be forced to really?
    As soon as the asylum seekers got EU passports they’d be off to the west anyway.
    Like the ten thousand plus Somalians who moved to England from the Netherlands and Sweden did.

    I wish the pro migrant people would just argue for open borders and tell us that certain EU countries should have to expect rising populations.
    And racial politics more toxic than those seen in the USA right now.

  19. Cole

    No one in their right mind is suggesting letting millions in. But what is a required is a recognition that many of these people are the victims of wars and murderous dictatorships, and that we need to try to find a solution to this difficult issue. What is unacceptable is that the likes of Liddle and you (and the scummy Tory press) saying that these folk are a bunch of idle scroungers.

    Of course it’s nothing new. It’s exactly the same rubbish that was stirred up about Jews in the 1930s by the likes of the Daily Mail.

  20. MacGuffin

    But you ARE suggesting that. You are saying we must let in anyone who claims to be fleeing a war zone, and that it is selfish to say no. Tens of millions of people will come here to claim that.

    What’s most annoying about you and your kind is that you KNOW it won’t be allowed to happen because ‘evil right wingers’ (ie. anyone who disagrees with you) will find some sort of solution, while you are free to carp and signal your bien-pensant virtue from the sidelines.

    I certainly haven’t said they are idle scroungers. Far from it. In the main, they are economic migrants coming here to work, if they can find it. They will put massive pressure on the housing situation in the UK, drive down wages and yes, many will fail to find work, through no fault of their own, and increase the welfare bill. We are talking about millions of people wanting to come here to improve their economic situation.

    Your pathetic attempt at the Godwin Ploy was very funny. Thank you. You even managed to work in the Daily Mail. Well done!

  21. WhiteVanMan

    Wasn’t Rod liddle a socialist party member years ago
    I met him at the blue labour meeting at parliament, he had some great advice why we lost

  22. GhostofJimMorisson

    Indeed. Look at what’s happening in Hungary.

  23. Harold

    If you note and sadly these comments here follow the same path, no one is offering a solution, indeed I doubt many have actually thought what is happening? I do not know the answer. Watching news on TV none of the politicians offer much other than blaming others, the Government seems happy to let there mates in the press blame everyone else but the people in charge.

  24. KingHasNoClothes

    These would-be illegal immigrants are in FRANCE. Are you saying they face persecution there? – The whole thing is RIDICULOUS.

  25. damon

    The left are as bad as the right on this.
    All the migrants in Calais need to be taken into custody.
    And sorted out.
    Asylum claims need to be made in France.
    That’s it really. The Dublin convention needs to be followed.

  26. MacGuffin

    If Cole were here (he seems to have run away), I’m sure he’d say ‘But…but…but…they really really really want to come to the UK and it’s against their human rights to say no and you’re a big tory meanie and dailymaildailymaildailymail…!’

  27. KingHasNoClothes

    Sad…..but true.

  28. Cole

    I specifically say that we shouldn’t let millions in. You insist that’s what I am saying. What a strange way to argue. I’m clearly wasting my time.

    Oh, and by the way, the original article was about the Daily Mail, so I’m hardly working it in. And I do think that what you right wingers are doing parallels how the Mail and their friends demonised Jewish refugees in the 30s.

  29. David

    Aaronovitch being obviously Jewish is bound to be pro immigration and diversity. They want more immogrants so they can push for more laws to protect monorities but it’s really for their benefit. Their true colours are to seen in Israel where no blacks are allowed to live because they want to protect the Jewish state and the chosen race. They even put blacks in concentration camps how sick is that.Jews should be deported from Europe not Africans.

  30. MacGuffin

    OK, so you say we should not let millions in. You do, however, say we MUST let the two thousand in and that anyone who disagrees with you is selfish.

    So where, exactly, does the number of refugees cross the line, in your view, from saying Yes to saying No? Ten thousand? One hundred thousand? One million? Please state a figure, and explain what makes your figure fair and non-selfish.

    Oh, and please also explain what you would do with the hundreds of thousands of refugees who would STILL flock to Calais once you had allowed in your preferred number.

    You really are just mouthing off, aren’t you, and making yourself feel good by accusing other people of selfishness.

  31. makes sense

    Step up security.. these people are intimidating and attacking drivers and damaging property. Use plastic bullets and water cannon to keep them out and round them up. There u fucking go….genuine asylum seekers make a claim in France the rest put on boats and send on their way. Wont cost as much as currently daily cost to economy due to standstill of trade. Keep repeating till the message gets through and electric fences and snippers are in place.

  32. hateidiotslikeu

    David (or should I say ‘Ahmed’), your comments are inaccurate, very immature, paranoid and pre-moral – a bit like a 10 year just hitting puberty and not understanding what’s happening to his body. Grow up, and engage in some adult discussion.

  33. Matt Booth

    Yeah, this comment is unlike your username.

    Killing people isn’t an option. Just stopping them getting in and removing them immediately if they do is, though. It’s not about the cost of removing them, it’s the principal of the thing.

  34. David

    Ok Yitzak calm down. I’m a Christian actually.Truth hurt does it. You Israelis cause more trouble in the world than anyone else. You are obsessed by greed and your own self righteousness.
    You think you are so important. Trying scupper the Iran nuclear deal using your US bribed Congressmen. You don’t rule all of us and when r u going to pay back the money you stole from the US people to bail out your investment banks. Sub-prime was set up by greedy Israelis. Also every Jew I’ve met has swindled me and I will fight to expose your lies and deceit until I die.

  35. makes sense

    No of course dont kill them…Round em up and ship em out is what I said, plastic bullets, water cannon and electric fences are all sound security measures. Fed up of people taking the piss and pathetic response from government. No right to be here, using our resources, need to toughen up and put us first for once not bending over backwards to accommodate everyone else.

  36. Matt Booth

    Any kind of bullet is lethal, there is no non-lethal way to shoot someone… Unless you’re talking about air rifles or BB guns, in which case the illegals will just laugh.

    Electric fences? They are not cattle, they’re easy to overcome.

    Simple, non braindead solution is to beef up security at the borders. Inform France and the EU that the situation is unnacceptable and the free movement traties are no longer applying for the English Channel until they sort themselves out. Offer amnesty to any logistics worker who informs the border of illegals hiding their cabs

  37. hateidiotslikeu

    Like I said – grow up.

  38. Cole

    I didn’t say anything of the sort. I merely pointed out that many of these people are fleeing from civil wars and nasty dictatorships and are not economic migrants. Clearly we can’t let them all in, but people like you and the Mail should stop demonising them and recognise there is a real problem to which the UK (and other European countries) need to find a problem.

    I’m fed up with the disgusting language and selfish attitudes shown to the refugees by people living a privileged, comfortable existence in Britain.

  39. Cole

    In case you hadn’t noticed there are quite a lot of immigrants in London, including Hamostead…

  40. MacGuffin

    Right, so you agree with me, Rod Liddle, the majority of the public, and – as it happens – the Daily Mail (oh, how that must sting!) that we must not let in any of the Calais ‘refugees’.

    For you, apparently, it’s not a debate about public policy and what we should do, but rather, what we should FEEL, and – most importantly – be seen to feel.

    What a waste of time reading your posts has been.

    (By the way, nice try again at working in the Daily Mail. Are you not able to stop yourself? Do you socialise in circles where mentioning the Daily Mail stops all debate and results in instant agreement? Perhaps that is why your powers of analysis and debate have become so flabby).

  41. MacGuffin

    Every Jew you have met has swindled you? Gosh, I meet Jews all the time and I have managed not to be swindled by one, not even once. You must be really really really stupid.

  42. TN

    Fuck off you goat shagging Islamist scum.

  43. victoria linnell


  44. aga

    send them back to Syria or soon they will kill all of you; you will grow up people who will never understand your religion, culture etc
    you don’t know who will enter your country; they can be terrorists pretending poor refugees;
    you will feed them and soon they will kill your children

  45. caver38

    Nothing is ever said by the supporters of illegal migrants about the registered refugees who respected international agreements and went to the nearest safe haven and registered , then the UN and NGOs ignore them in favour of illegal migrants and gave no help .
    The real refugees are ion the camps around conflict zones , not the people who have paid thousands to get to the EU .

  46. victoria linnell


  47. victoria linnell


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.