Following David Cameron’s announcement that Britain would be opening its doors to up to half dozen Syrian refugees over the next five years – but only if they have not already crossed into Europe – thousands of migrants were seen throwing themselves back into the Mediterranean Sea, desperate to return to the war and drought ravaged lands that are now their only route to a cushy life on benefits in Slough.
In scenes reminiscent of 70s nature documentary Jaws played backwards, the huddled masses yearning to be free were seen diving off any available piece of seafront and scrambling desperately to swim back to the shores of Africa and Asia.
Speaking at a hastily convened U-turn at the Aylan Kurdi Centre for Sincere but Stern Compassion (formerly HMP Holloway) Mr Cameron said: “We must not let ourselves be diverted from the very real suffering of those in the camps who have been ignored by the international community until they became a convenient distraction. These are the real victims and failing to act would be like refusing to throw a lifeline to a drowning child.”
“As long as that child is drowning because its a genuine refugee and not just after a widescreen telly and a job at Gregg’s.”
Our correspondent caught up with several of those making the perilous journey on a makeshift raft of driftwood and poster sized pictures of Angela Merkel off the coast of Cyprus. Economic migrant Adab El-Kouri said: “I’ve crossed two deserts and an ocean with nothing but the clothes on my back, driven by fear of murderous warlords and religious zealots and carrying my infant daughter in the only arm I have left. Now I find out that I’ve blown my chance of getting a fat cheque from Her Maj and bumping some hardworking family off the housing queue. Sod that, I’m going back to Aleppo!”
When asked if he had made his perilous journey just to find a better life, El-Kouri, 31,removed a clump of sewage sodden flotsam from his mouth and replied: “No shit.”
In Syria, the Islamic State is reportedly struggling to cope with the influx, with thousands of migrants packed on to trains on the border waiting to be processed. Spokesman Sheikh Viktor Al-Orbani said “These people were safe when they reached Turkey and Greece, they should have stayed there, we have no obligation to take them and they are only here because they are after a British life.”