Opinion

Postcard from Calais

I like the French, always have, they are so like us in so many ways. I like their culture, food, wine and stubborn attitude. I like Philippe Mignonet, the deputy mayor of Calais so, why doesn’t he do what he says when he agrees with me on migrants?

Last year, when we met, he said he would round up all the migrants and put them on a plane back home. His excuse was the cost. We’d help to pay, David Cameron, would certainly sign the cheque. So, one year on, why hasn’t he done this? Simple, it’s politics.

I spent 48 hours in Calais a couple of weeks ago for a BBC Radio Kent ‘live from’ programme. Philippe was there again and I said to him “plus ca change”, he agreed, roughly translated it means, the more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.

Nicolas Bay MEP, the secretary general of the Front National, was kind enough to travel from Brussels to support me and to give his party’s take on the Calais crisis.

The BBC seemed surprised at his analytical and pragmatic solution to the situation, Marine Le Pen represents the Nord de pas de Calais and Nicolas, just over the border. They said he didn’t blame the UK government. Why would he?

I pointed out to the BBC that he wasn’t playing politics, unlike Philippe who was a representative of Sarkozy’s Republican party, who in fact did blame the UK government.

Guess what? The BBC didn’t air the clip.

Philippe agrees with me that we should, under the Dublin Agreement, round up the illegal immigrants and deport them. They are illegal immigrants, they did not claim refuge in the first country they arrived in; they are also criminals for breaking and entry into a ‘secure’ port and illegally breaking into lorries which are private property.

Hungary has got it right, the French should follow. In any case, it looks more likely day by day that Marine Le Pen will become president in 2017. Vive la France.