Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat ratcheted up the world-historical stakes even further, in rhetoric as overblown as the sticky grapes with which he shares his surname:
“If Europe, if the global community continue to turn a blind eye to what is happening, we will all be judged in the same way that history has judged Europe when it turned a blind eye to the genocide of this century and last century.”
A less predictable intervention came from Nigel Farage, who made the too rarely-drawn connection between Conservative foreign policies and the latest demographic wave. He pointed out to the BBC,
“The fanaticism of Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya – and what they”ve done is to completely destabilise Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where for Christians the situation is virtually impossible. We ought to be honest and admit we have directly caused this problem. There were no migrants coming across from Libya in these quantities before we bombed the country, got rid of Gaddafi and destabilized the situation.”
The appropriately-named immigration minister, James Brokenshire, responded that Farage was making “cheap political points.” But it is true that when Gaddafi was alive, Libya was not a transit point for the surplus populations of sub-Saharan Africa. Except when Gaddafi chose to let some come – in 2010, he demanded four billion pounds to divert illegal immigrants and so prevent Europe from “becoming black.” But despicable though he was, at least when he was there Europe had one person with whom they could sometimes do business. Farage forbore from mentioning such other strokes of geopolitical genius as Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, all of which were abetted by Conservatives panting for imperial days. Not content with this record, Cameron sought to arm Islamists in Syria – while even now he wants unstable, refugee-conduit Turkey to be an E.U. member. When he spoke of these “horrific” deaths on Monday, did it cross his mind even for a second that just maybe he might bear some small segment of the blame? His Arab Spring has certainly sprung surprises for him and all the other naifs – and launched a flotilla of trouble that is now on course for the rest of us.
Daily updates with TM’s latest