Twenty-four graves far from home mark the bloody red line of Britain’s border: its “open”, European border. This border is transparent for Brits travelling to Europe for work or play. It is transparent to vast flows of money and stocks on the international cable network. It is flown over by Royal Air Force jets transporting our fine armaments to Cyprus, to be dropped on Johnny Foreigner from a little piece of Britain that somehow cannot act as a first port of call if you are claiming asylum.

At least 200 children of the 6,000 souls at Calais’ “Jungle”, the Anglo-French concentration camp, are legally entitled to be in the UK to join relatives settled here, yet it is taking a court case to secure their rights. Somewhere between Syria and Britain, compassion lies dead and bleeding in a European ditch.

 Possibly the only thing worse than wading through shit and mud and death, in drenched, cold clothes with screaming, hungry children, must be digging those kids out from a living grave of masonry after being  weapons onto a people who have already experienced a surfeit. We source the steady lines of refugees by rendering their cities uninhabitable. Is it surprising that some of them hate the people that both smash their self-sufficiency and refuse them sanctuary? And this at Christmas, the Christian festival of the migrant carpenter. Many of those imprisoned at Calais are the modern-day equivalent of the itinerant craftsman: they are the wealthier and better educated, who could afford the trinkets and valuables they pawned for a passage out of Hell. From one level of Dante’s inferno to another. Just another place to bury their loved ones.

 I think the objective of the warmongers is to stem the flow of refugees by exterminating them: the Dresden Principle. U.S. Republicans trumpet their call for carpet bombing as if it were the weaponised form of keyhole surgery, rather than the ultimate terror weapon. Fighting terror with even greater terror kind of surrenders the moral high ground.


 “But something has to be done…!”. Indeed it does. Get out of the Middle East and take our fine armaments with us. Embargo the area with a ban on ammunition sales to Turkey, which is clearly aiding Da’esh. Stop treating the Kurdish resistance as a terrorist organisation. Revolution. But mostly, Stop the War: The War that stretches from Afghanistan to Libya; the War for Oil; the War on Drugs (unless our rulers are trading them for influence and power), the fake War on Terror, which has become the largest agent of terror the world has ever known. The Dirty War is there to distract us from our real enemy, our own rulers, against our real friends – the victims of Calais, Raqqa and Lebanon, of Cairo and Sudan, the dispossessed, the poor.

 Lets dig compassion out of that ditch and help her across the barbed wire fortification of Tory intolerance. Let’s turn the red line of the border into thered flag of workers’ resistance. Lets turn Death in Winter into the bright Spring of a new dawn!

Tim Nicholls