The story on this BBC website of the human side of a small suburb of Calais and how amongst the 2000-3000 inhabitants are vulnerable children, professional men and women and of course a few criminals, all with nowhere to go reflects very badly on all of us. Although these people live in Calais, legally they are on the border of the UK and so we have some responsibility for their welfare and future, just as clearly as if they were in a boat moored in Dover, Newhaven Southampton or Liverpool. The risk to the more vulnerable among them is something we should be disturbed about. The fact that they have no home is no more of an issue than the challenge for the homeless on this side of the Channel, however homelessness is something that we should all be concerned about, wherever it manifests itself. It is unacceptable that the news we read and hear is usually confined to the story of those that have tried to stow away on a lorry. This story is an important one to read and we do as a nation need to find a solution that is better than building an even higher fence on our border.
I wrote recently of the mistake in my view of David Cameron supporting the appointment of his friend Andrew Lansley as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. If Mr Lansley is so suited to this role he seeks, perhaps he could demonstrate it by addressing the needs of these residents of Calais?