politics

Johnson and Macron's despicable reaction to drownings of 27 people wanting better life


Short of wearing a clown costume to a funeral, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron could not have reacted any more inappropriately to the deaths of 27 people attempting to cross the Channel this week, writes Jason Beattie

"Johnson and Macron rejected the chance to behave with dignity and respect in favour of petty point scoring and rabble-rousing posturing"
“Johnson and Macron rejected the chance to behave with dignity and respect in favour of petty point scoring and rabble-rousing posturing”

You would have hoped the deaths of 27 people in the freezing waters of the Channel would have marked a turning point.

You would have hoped that a tragedy of such significance would have forced even the most cynical of politicians look into their souls.

And you would have hoped they would have reflected on the loss of live, the drowning of pregnant women and children, and the grieving relatives they have left behind, and then vowed to do everything in their power to make sure such a disaster never happens again.

How naive we are.

Even before the victims had been identified, politicians on both sides of the Channel started indulging in an unseemly blame game.

They rejected the chance to behave with dignity and respect in favour of petty point scoring and rabble-rousing posturing.







The remnants of the flimsy dinghy that sank in the Channel killing at least 27 people this week
(

Image:

Sky News)

It is obvious that the only way to resolve this crisis is through international collaboration.

It requires reaching out to other countries using tact and diplomacy.

This was the path Boris Johnson and France’s Emmanuel Macron could have taken.

Instead our Prime Minister dashed off an angry letter blaming the French for the failure to patrol its shores which he then amplified through the megaphone of Twitter.

In a fit of pique the French responded by withdrawing Priti Patel’s invitation to a meeting of European Home Office ministers to discuss the Channel crossings.







Johnson and Macron are too busy trying to play to their supporters than tackle the issue of people dying while seeking a better life
(

Image:

POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Short of wearing a clown’s costume to a funeral, it is hard to think how they could have behaved with less respect to those who died on Wednesday.

If they did dwell for a moment to consider how their actions might look, those thoughts would have been quickly eclipsed by their hunger to keep domestic critics at bay.

Macron’s primary concern is heading off the challenge by the far-right Marine Le Pen in next year’s presidential elections.

Johnson sees only the damage to his reputation by failing to police our borders despite having promised to take control.

In the end they care more about their own survival than the survival of those who risk their lives in flimsy boats on treacherous waters.


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