Over the last four years I have regularly taken short breaks in France and have always travelled via the Channel Tunnel.
Thankfully this year, I’ve holidayed elsewhere and avoided the inconveniences of Operation Stack and the sight of thousands of immigrants attempting to gain unlawful access to the Calais end of the tunnel.
It’s unlikely that I will choose to travel this route again during peak holiday season, as the delays and problems caused by the so-called immigration crisis are not suddenly going to go away. The indications are that Europe and the UK are going to be the target destination for millions of migrants fleeing their own war-torn countries for many years to come.
Whilst I have great sympathy for these people, I would strongly argue that the government should do everything it can to shore up our borders and keep as many illegal immigrants out of the country as possible.
However, I am also very aware of the total hypocrisy of my position.
Having learned a great deal about immigration issues from 2004 onwards, I am equally aware of how a twist of fate can turn anyone into an immigrant, urgently wishing to flee their own country.
The example that was given to me was one of an explosion at Sellafield or some other nuclear installation. Such an event would cause vast areas of this country to be uninhabitable and then just imagine how many people would want to leave the UK for safer shores abroad. Whatever anyone’s own view of immigration, the truth is very much a case of ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.
The immigration crisis is never going to be solved by the erection of bigger and more substantial fencing at our borders, although that action is necessary. The solution, if indeed there is one, must come from within the countries that the immigrants are fleeing.
The stabilisation of these countries is vital and that will take a combined and unified effort of our world leaders.
Unfortunately, Obama in his last term is a weak president, Putin appears to be ‘off with the fairies’ and Cameron has not developed into an influential world statesman. There is therefore no end in sight to the crisis and even more worryingly, just imagine how bad things could get if Donald Trump is elected president of the USA. God help us all!