Those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them – as Eton- and Oxford-educated David Cameron should have known today (January 27) before he voiced his ill-advised derogatory remark about “a bunch of migrants” in Calais.
His comment, relating to people of races foreign to his own, was made on the day we remember the persecution of another ethnic group – the Jews – by Adolf Hitler. Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.
Here are Cameron’s words:
“The idea that those two right honourable gentlemen could stand up to anyone in this regard is laughable.
“Look at the record over the last week. They met with the unions and they gave them flying pickets. They met with the Argentinians and gave them the Falkland islands.
“They met with a bunch of migrants in Calais and they said they could all come to Britain.
“The only people they never stand up for are the British people and hard working tax payers.”
Perhaps Cameron hadn’t noticed the date on which his divisive and discriminatory comments fell. Perhaps he hadn’t been told. Perhaps he didn’t care. Perhaps he is a fan of Hitler and his treatment of certain sections of society. Iain Duncan Smith certainly seems to be.
Whatever the case, Yvette Cooper was absolutely right to raise the issue before Commons speaker John Bercow, even though the response – that the language used was not unparliamentary and Bercow had no power to force Cameron to comment further – was unsatisfactory.
Labour’s refugee policy chief Yvette Cooper has blasted David Cameron’s use of the phrase “a bunch of migrants” – saying its timing on Holocaust Memorial Day was significant.
In a point of order in the Commons, she said: “In that light… it was inappropriate for the Prime Minister to use language referring to the refugee crisis to talk about “a bunch of migrants”.
“Does he [the Speaker] think it would be appropriate for the House to ask the Prime Minister to withdraw that language?”
She says there should be “much more statesmanship like language on the need to build a cross party consensus on such a sensitive issue.”
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