Nick Robinson comments that Cameron’s reference to “totally unacceptable scenes” in Calais is his way of saying “I get it”. But what Cameron doesn’t get is that sooner or later the unacceptable has to become acceptable. The efforts of Great Britain and Australia for example – to protect their prosperity from a tsunami of migrants, be they frightened, hungry, or simply wanting their share of that prosperity, is reminiscent of the legendary efforts of King Canute to stem the incoming tide. The difference, as I understand it, is that Canute was intelligent enough to know the task was impossible and just wanted to demonstrate the fact to those who would attribute to him superhuman powers; a lesson our governments, with the support of large portions of our populations, have yet to learn.
I believe we are witnessing an awakening of the have-nots, fuelled by the images on their TV screens and the messages on their mobile phones, to the global inequalities of wealth and privilege that can no longer be hidden and they are no longer content to sit in the cold hungrily watching the haves enjoy the feast.
To use another watery metaphor we are living in a fertile valley nourished by a steady flow of wealth from a global reservoir of under-privilege, and the cracks in the dam are beginning to show. From Cameron’s perspective in the fertile valley the trickle we are witnessing in Calais is indeed unacceptable but that will not stop it happening. Sooner or later the pressure between the inequalities must break the dam and the trickle become a flow until the water of humanity finds its true level. AND THEN THERE WILL BE PEACE.