What the editorials said
At the London Olympics four years ago, Britain “proudly projected the image of an open, tolerant, confident nation”, said The Observer. But how mean-spirited we have made ourselves look today. MPs calling for asylum seekers to be subjected to dental checks? Tabloids using an inaccurate “fun app” to analyse photos of arriving child refugees in order to “prove” that they are adults and therefore don’t deserve our help? “What has happened to us?” The liberal “posturing” over the questioning of migrants’ ages has been ridiculous, said the Daily Mail. Gary Lineker condemned critics’ concerns as “hideously racist”; shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said it made her “ashamed to be British”. Never mind that “every other country in the EU, bar three, uses dental and carpal X-rays to ascertain migrants’ ages”, or the fact that Britain has given more aid than any other EU nation to help Syrian refugees in camps in the Middle East. The concern over migrants’ ages is legitimate, agreed The Daily Telegraph. “The British people want to see children who need asylum helped to settle in the UK.” But they also want the asylum system to have integrity.