Two simple statistics which explain the terrible tragedy in the channel last night, and an equally simple solution.
1. 91% of those in the boats come from war torn or repressive countries where their rights and lives are at risk. They are desperate and willing to take any risk.
2. The UK's 'hostile environment' on immigration has closed off nearly all safe routes to them. The UK only resettled 1 person from Iran(top country of origin) between Jan 20 and May 21 and none from Kuwait, Yemen or Vietnam.
So people knowingly expose themselves to danger in the channel because the alternatives are even riskier.
Of those who arrive, 98% claim asylum and the clear majority succeed, either first time or on appeal.
So, why force them into the risk of drowning in order to be heard? Why not make the routes here safer and make it easier to claim asylum from abroad.
Create a compassionate environment.
For as long as people have to be here to claim, more tragedies will occur.

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More from @ReicherStephen

25 Nov
What is the relationship between mandatory vaccinations and the most famous of all psychology research: Milgram's obedience studies?
Well, Milgram's work is often interpreted as saying that people will follow orders no matter how extreme.... ImageImage
But that isn't what happened.
If participants hesitated, Milgram designed four 'prompts' to make them continue - from a simple 'please continue' to 'the experiment requires that you continue' to 'it is essential you continue' and finally 'you have no choice, you must continue' Image
Only the final prompt is a clear order. But every time it was used, people actually refused and asserted their autonomy ('I do have a choice, and I choose to stop'). We have replicated this in several studies.That is, Milgram's work shows that orders resistance, not obedience. Image
Read 6 tweets
24 Nov
I have a question to any anonymous civil servant out there - and it is a genuine question born out of my research into toxic behaviour and toxic leadership (and our reworking of Milgram's account of bureaucratic cruelty)
How do those working in the Home Office - ordinary civil servants and ordinarily decent people I am sure - live with and enact the cruelties of the institution?
How do you manage with operating the hostile environment?
How do you make and process the decisions which lead to deportations?
How to you face up to those whose lives you have destroyed and to whom you still deny the compensation they are due?
Read 7 tweets
21 Nov
Last month, 2,669 migrants crossed the channel in boats. This, apparently, is a national crisis requiring draconian action.
Last month 4,214 people died from Covid. This, apparently, is 'living with Covid', and requires no new measures.
Surely something is wrong here?
And just how wrong things are:
France takes 3 times as many migrants as the UK, Germany 10 times as many.
91% of those crossing the channel come from war torn countries where human rights abuses/persecution is widespread.
98% of those coming apply for asylum, and even our...
.. notoriously mean system accepts over 60% of claims from these countries.
And of those turned down, nearly 60% win on appeal.
What is more, these refugees are an asset rather than a burden to our country, being generally healthy and productive and providing scarce skills
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov
Any single figure is bound to be an over-simplification since the effects of masks will depend on multiple factors such as type of masks, how they are worn, numbers of contacts people have, context in which you meet people (is it in stuffy indoors settings) etc. etc.
Equally, no single study (or even set of studies), however well designed, can give you the ‘right’ answer. But what we can say - and what @trishgreenhalgh has shown in detail - is that masks do make a difference and in some circumstances more than others.
What is more, masks are a simple intervention, a cheap intervention and an intervention with immediate effects. Which is why Hans Kluge, WHO regional Director has implored people to wear masks as one thing we can all do to bring infections down.
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
Note that this ONS data - showing that 85% of people overall indicate that they have worn masks outside the house in the last 7 days - does not indicate that they have worn masks every time they went out. So let's say that, on average, these people wore masks 50% of the time...
Then, at any given point, some 40% of people would be wearing masks. In other words, there may not be as much of a discrepancy between these figures and your experience as is often assumed. More importantly,it has implications for how we use and interpret these data.
Since we don't know how often those who wear masks actually do so, the data say little about density of usage. What they do tell us, however, is the proportion of the population who are not refusing masks. And that has important implications for how to increase usage..
Read 6 tweets
19 Nov
This is a wonderful compilation from across the world about the solidarity that emerged during the pandemic.
Two key quotes from the introduction by Rebecca Solnit which encapsulate fundamental points about the relationship between governments and people in responding to Covid... Image
Solnit describes "both the ugliness of institutional authority's failure to take care of people and demonization of those people and the beauty of ordinary people's generosity, creativity, solidarity and bravery"
She also describes the joy that people found "even in the worst of circumstances, in finding the agency to act and the communion of acting together and finding a connection that can be hard to find and feel and have recognized by others in ordinary times".
Read 6 tweets

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