‘British people don’t mind helping genuine refugees’ said Trevor Kavanagh in the Sun today ‘but they object to people elbowing their way to the front of the queue’.

That’s been gnawing away at me all day. Not just because I’m British and it riles to have the Sun speak for me, even if they are saying something self evidently true. If the Sun tells me most British people like breathing, or enjoy moaning about the weather I’ll look for a loophole. In this case, no need to look far. Because THERE IS NO QUEUE. Kavanagh’s implication is that these unphotogenic youths are taking the place of polite refugees that we are happy to love and cherish. We’re not. The only possible way to make logical sense of these words; to find a queue, is to tell them to travel back two and a half thousand miles across Europe to join the 5 million or so refugees in camps on the Syrian border. Then wait for resettlement. At 20,000 people being resettled by Britain every 5 years, that’s a queue that will take 1250 years to go down. Hope no one has any kids, or population growth might make the waiting time a bit irksome.

This afternoon it struck me what ‘Elbowing your way to the front of the queue’ actually means. It means claiming asylum. There are two sorts of refugees Good ones, who, being polite, don’t actually claim refuge in Europe, rather suffering death or persecution somewhere exotic. Or possible rotting in a refugee camp. And bad ones, who have the temerity to exercise the rights and require of us the responsibilities that we signed up to when we first drafted and then signed the refugee convention in 1951.

In the middle ages, if a woman was accused of being a witch, she was tied to a stool and ducked in a pond. If she drowned, she was innocent. If she lived, she was burned as a witch. After she’d dried, obviously. Here is a gratuitous link to a Monty Python sketch, because the reality is just too ridiculous and too horrible to contemplate. That’s what ‘elbowing to the front of the queue’ is about. If they claim asylum they’re guilty and should be sent back. If they don’t then they are innocent and so would have been welcomed. Schroedinger comes into play at some point. If they then claim asylum later they are both innocent and guilty at the same time. The Sun probably explodes.

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