David Davies has joined the right-wing press in fomenting distrust of vulnerable children
Are grown men posing as children in order to abuse Britain’s hospitality by getting relocated from Calais?
It’s extremely unlikely, yet the Mail, Express and even the Telegraph have all reported concerns that the first 14 ‘children’ relocated from Calais to Britain — aged between 14 and 17, with a legal right to be here — are actually adult men.
And they take their cue from famously obnoxious Tory MP David Davies.
These don’t look like “children” to me. I hope British hospitality is not being abused. https://t.co/1CKwsPnfaS
— David Davies MP (@DavidTCDavies) October 17, 2016
The Telegraph has a longer quote from Davies:
“These young men don’t look like minors to me. They are hulking teenagers who look older than 18. I’m all for helping the genuine children but the well of goodwill is rapidly being exhausted here . . . I worry that once again British hospitality is being abused.”
‘There is no way of knowing if someone is a child,’ he continued, despite the fact that the Home Office has assessed each case, demanding ‘credibly and clear documentary evidence proving their claimed age.’
His extraordinarily inhumane solution? To ‘invite anyone who wants to come to the UK to take dental tests’ to determine their age.
When we draw back and look at the bigger picture, the shameless bigotry becomes clear.
Yesterday, 14 children were relocated from the so-called ‘Jungle’ in Calais, which is about to be bulldozed. About 85 more are expected by the end of the week.
They’re drawn from among 387 unaccompanied child refugees in the camp who have a demonstrable legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK, who in turn make up a tiny fraction of the 90,000 unaccompanied and vulnerable child migrants currently in Europe.
Admitting 14 of these children, or 100, or even the promised 300, is not an act of British hospitality. It’s less than the bare minimum that can be expected from a law-abiding, cooperative state.
What kind of person watches emotional footage of families being reunited, sees a tiny number of frightened children finally finding safety, and questions whether they deserve to be here at all?
Let’s call it what it is — a deliberate, cruel and dishonest attempt to foment hatred and distrust of children.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.