The bare bones of cruelty

Oh, brave new world of Brexit Britain in which ‘aliens’ who have spent months in a cold, damp, inhospitable camp are to be x-rayed and dental checked to ensure that they’re young enough to merit a little of our compassion.

This after wasted months during which the British and French governments have wrung their hands over the difficulties of resettling what amounts to a tiny fraction of the dispossessed in two of the richest countries on earth.

Months, it should be added, during which charities and caring individuals have travelled to Calais and come back with stories of undeniable wretchedness. Months during which David Cameron’s proud boast of settling 20,000 Syrian refugees has proved to be so much chaff blowing in the wind.

Yes, a child is a child and an adult is an adult, and the horror of displacement for a ten-year-old is arguably more pitiable than the suffering of a twenty-year-old, but is there anything more repulsive than the accusations in the rightwing press that Britain is being taken for a ride by hordes of undeserving, scheming would-be immigrants?

The lies, the posturing, the little-England mentality were odious aspects of the Brexit campaign. This new outpouring of callousness applies the rubber stamp to that rancid nastiness – and it shames us all.

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