6 september 2015, evian les no-brains

The migration/refugee crisis has hung heavy over the household these last weeks. With its media epicentre (keleti station) not a kilometre from our budapest base, we have followed every step as the border fence went up and succeeded only in drawing in the crowds, which eventually brought them to the station, where they were eventually stopped from getting on trains, through some combination of diligently applying european rules and stopping a muslim invasion at the gates of vienna. The tactic of allowing them on the train only to stop it and then forcing them into a refugee camp also failed, leading the hapless (and rather bruised and bitter) hungarians to give up and just bus them over the border to a rather more receptive welcome in austria and germany. No-one is talking about britain as the promised land any more. The tipping point photo of aylan kurdi, packed trains going to germany being stopped at borders and marches of thousands of migrants and refugeess across europe all prick subconscious nerves in very uncomfortable and confusing ways. The 1938 evian conference was an attempt to settle 200, 000 fleeing persecution at that time not to but from germany, and though that dismally failed, the world has since dealt successfully with millions, of vietnamese, russians, cubans, cypriots, rhodesians and of course hungarians after 1956. The upshot is a race to beat the winter for millions more of destitute and dispossessed, for whom germany is now the preferred destination and budapest the established route. With visegrad, london and others continuing to hold out against evolving the common eu migration policy, it is unlikely the continent's leaders will succeed in anything like leadership before the snow does the work for them, but leaves a mass of confusion and moral questions susceptible to an inevitable backlash, not least in germany, unchecked by any sensible gameplan. Even were we better able to mop up water caused by our leaky radiator, the root cause remains the leaky radiator, and until the world in general, and syria in particular, are fixed, the tide of humanity europe is singularly failing to deal wth will only increase. Media obsession has yet to focus public pressure on bringing britain, europe and the west's might and reason to bear on that problem, but it surely must.