We are directly responsible for the disasters in the Mediterranean. The bombing of Libya into failed state status is now coming back to haunt us. The ludicrous idea, propounded by Blair, Robert Cooper and the Henry Jackson Society, that you could improve dictatorial states by massive bombing campaigns that targeted their basic infrastructure, is now a total bust. Sadly so are Iraq and Libya, to the permanent detriment of many millions of people. We caused both the Islamic State and the Mediterranean boat disasters, and we caused them with bombs.
But the lack of any effective policing is only part of the problem. What makes people so desperate that they are prepared to give all of the small amount they own, to ruthless gangs, in exchange for a dreadful sea crossing with a one in ten chance of drowning? Most of the refugees are sub-Saharan African. We only see the European end of the saga, not the terrible conditions on the cross Saharan journeys that they start with.
There will be no security anywhere if the world does not address the terrible scourge of African poverty and under-development. That is a huge subject on which I have written extensively and worked much of my life, and I do not wish to open it here. But what it does show is the utter stupidity – inhumanity yes, but also stupidity – of UKIP in thinking that cutting development aid will increase the economic security of the UK.