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

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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.

Comments are closed.