Top 5 ignorant remarks by Richard Littlejohn on the death of Aylan Kurdi

More garbage from the Daily Mail's blowhard columnist


In the latest ‘yes it’s sad, but..’ column to emerge since the death of Aylan Kurdi, Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn assures us it’s nothing to do with us:

“Which brings us back to the child’s corpse on the beach in Turkey. I repeat, it’s awful. Heartbreaking. But it’s not our fault, and it’s not our responsibility, however compassionate we might feel.”

Littlejohn is keen to prove this lack of responsibility, but proves only his own ignorance.

Of many examples, here are the top 5:

1 . “Sorry, but while I accept that many are genuine asylum cases, most aren’t. What about those bouncing up and down outside Budapest station chanting ‘Germany, Germany’?”

At least half of the people risking their lives sailing across the Mediterranean are seeking asylum, according to Amnesty International.

EU figures show Syrians and Eritreans alone make up 46 per cent of those who reached Italy by boat last year. The numbers are likely to be the same for those now in Hungary.

Unless Littlejohn has information he’s keeping to himself, he’s wrong.

2 . “Just as at Calais, 99 per cent of them are young men, aged between 15 and 25. Where are all the women and girls? If you were truly fleeing tyranny and certain death, wouldn’t you bring your wives, sisters, mothers and daughters with you, instead of abandoning them to their fate?”

It clearly hasn’t occurred to Littlejohn that the people arriving in Europe might be the only surviving members of their families. At least 200,000 have died in the Syrian war, including many women and children.

The reason many of those who reach Europe are male, in other words, is the same reason that they are young – they are the ones who made it out alive.

It’s also possible families languishing in refugee camps in the Middle East have send their young men to secure a safe place for them to move to – and a safe means of travel – for the rest of the family. All these reflections must be beyond Littlejohn, who appears incapable of empathy (or research).

3. “But here’s what puzzles me. They’d been living in Turkey for the past year. So why didn’t he [Alan Kurdi’s father] apply for asylum there?

Syrian government policy under Bashar al-Assad denies citizenship rights to Kurds. Since they have no passports, Turkish law says they are not entitled to move freely in the country under its temporary protection measures for refugees.

They had either to register at a Turkish refugee camp or live outside of it as ‘irregulars’. They chose to apply for asylum in Canada, where they had relatives, but the application was refused.

4. “After all, surely culturally Syria has more in common with Turkey, another Muslim country, than with Tunbridge Wells or Trondheim.”

Not all ‘Muslim countries’ are alike, culturally or otherwise. He means: ‘Let them stay with their own kind where they will be happier’.

5. “We’re also told that he’s a Kurd. So why didn’t he move to Kurdistan? Who knows? And that’s just the point. No one knows anything for sure.”

Kurdistan is not recognised as a country by any international body. It is the historic homeland of Kurdish people, straddling the borders of Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

The Kurdish autonomous zone in northern Iraq, governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government and sometimes referred to as Kurdistan, is currently at war with ISIS terrorists, who are raping and killing Iraqi, Kurdish and Yazidi civilians, most famously in Sinjar.

Of the other countries, two are dictatorships (Iran and Syria), and three are at war, if you include the renewed fighting with Kurdish PKK guerillas in Turkey.

Perhaps this is why the Kurdi family might not have wanted or been able to ‘move to Kurdistan’.


No one knows anything for sure’. What’s ‘for sure’ is Richard Littlejohn doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But we knew that already.


If you’re sick of reading people like Littlejohn in the Mail, tell the paper to run a piece by a refugee. Sign our petition here.

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

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Read more: 

Richard Littlejohn calls new mother a ‘gypsy’ who ‘contributes nothing’ to society

Since when did the Tory press care about the lives of refugees?

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65 Responses to “Top 5 ignorant remarks by Richard Littlejohn on the death of Aylan Kurdi”

  1. will

    answer me question, you’ve seen BOTH photos you tell me how it can be so . . .WHAT PURPOSE are you mad, so little baby face can posture on the world stage n do a turnabout on so called refugees. . .which the ‘kurdi’s’ were not. . .not even their real name either. . .

  2. will

    good on ya

  3. will

    they’d been safe for three years, he went back to Syria to ‘bury’ his family. . . .his life wasn’t in any danger

  4. will

    answer the question if you can, dead at 2 places at once or staged photos

  5. will

    the yanks have been paying the turks to keep em there n house them etc. . .then when the yanks see fit they’ll stop paying n open the floodgates to Europe . . . .

  6. will

    tis all bogus , even the family name is bogus, kurdi means kurd in turkey n his kids name is alan

  7. will

    I never said any g’ment staged anything. . .answer the question, come on. . .keep ya head in the sand n swallow the lies n you’ll be OK

  8. Rai

    There have been two photos of the boy, Aylan Kurdi, but there have been MANY children to wash up on beaches. This one captured the public imagination because of a whole host of reasons such as the age of the child, the innocence of his posture and the harrowing imagery it invokes.

    But you stated “baby face” could do a U-turn. I assumed you meant Cameron… If that was the purpose then wouldn’t the government have staged it? I fail to see who would have staged it if it wasn’t a state body.

    I believe in absolute critical thought. I don’t trust the mainstream media. What I don’t believe is literally anything I read on the Internet… So I’d love to hear your next line of argument in this… As it’s

  9. will

    you still haven’t answered my question, why not , is it unanswerable. . .of course it is. . .’Alan’ actually shown washed up in two places at once, come on, come on. . .how can he have been. .hence staged photos, yes ?

  10. Rai

    I have answered your question. I’m saying that the two photo’s I’ve seen of this boy washed up have been two photos from different angles on the same beach… So really I have no evidence to back up your point.

    Also, you’re not answering mine. Who staged it, and to what benefit? Why stage this ONE child washing up when there have been countless others who have also washed up? A waste of time and energy surely?

  11. will

    no, photo 1 is amongst rocks, theyre almost touching him. . .photo 2 beach all around, no rocks. . .you best see an optician if you deny this. … .journalists , they, including the British Brainwashing Corporation pull these stunts all the time to further their own agenda, n if you don’t think the BBC has an agenda you best leave the optician n see a physchiatrist

  12. Rai

    I’m perfectly well aware of what the BBC is. However, you’ve continued to avoid telling me who stands to benefit from the fabrication of one photo when there are countless examples of the same thing… And I’ve yet to see the photo on the rocks… I’m meant to just take your word for it… I can’t find it

  13. Rai

    So I’ve just found the image of the rocky beach you’re talking about. BOTH images are in the same article as well as a video. So the first image is of the boy laying on the beach… The second image is of the boy in the rocks… The video shows the Turkish official picking up the body and walking up the beach behind the rocks, presumably to take the body away from the on looking public. No great mystery…

  14. will

    ha ha, your hilarious, who do you work for, really, who’s paying you to deny the obvious, . . . .

  15. steroflex

    Adam, we have a handful of Syrian refugees here – all called Mohammed. They get free College and put up in local homes under Social Services. A team looks after each. They arrived on a lorry.
    We have a couple of Ethiopic ones too. One is called Mohammed, the other Abdurrachman. We have one Kurd called Hasan. We have also two Albanians called Urim and Myslim.
    None of them possess any papers. All of them are on the phone to their home countries.
    You only have to look at the TV to see that most of the immigrants are young men. Yes, there are a few children with their Mums. But the vast majority are young, agile men.
    And all are Muslim.. As a Catholic, this makes me shudder after what has been happening in the Middle East/Levant.

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