Opinionomics | 2 April 2012

Must read analysis and comment. Featuring healthcare, welfare and the Euro scare.

1. Supreme court and health insurance (The Grumpy Economist)

John Cochrane presents a strong anti-Obamacare argument. He still accepts the need for healthcare reform, but as an ardent free-marketeer, wants the change to be focused on allowing the individuals more, not less, control.

2. Cameron's consistent error (Stumbling and Mumbling)

A few days old, but Chris Dillow argues that the fuel strike debacle highlights the fact that a lot of the government's errors seem based around the fact that they fail to appreciate the difference between what's best for each individual, and what's best for a government to recommend.

3. The Gold Standard and the Euro (Bruegel)

Two wonkish pieces next; the first, from Bruegel, looks at the Euro crisis now through the historical prism of the gold standard...

4. Banking Mysticism, Continued (The Conscience of a Liberal)

...and the second, from Paul Krugman, is a small primer on how banks do and don't make money.

5. Why the sun has not yet set on nuclear... (Independent)

Mark Leftly argues in favour of the continued expansion of nuclear power.

Gold bullion sits in a safe in Budapest. Credit: Getty

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

Getty
Show Hide image

David Cameron softens stance: UK to accept "thousands" more Syrian refugees

Days after saying "taking more and more" refugees isn't the solution, the Prime Minister announces that Britain will accept "thousands" more Syrian refugees.

David Cameron has announced that the UK will house "thousands" more Syrian refugees, in response to Europe's worsening refugee crisis.

He said:

"We have already accepted around 5,000 Syrians and we have introduced a specific resettlement scheme, alongside those we already have, to help those Syrian refugees particularly at risk.

"As I said earlier this week, we will accept thousands more under these existing schemes and we keep them under review.

"And given the scale of the crisis and the suffering of the people, today I can announce that we will do more - providing resettlement for thousands more Syrian refugees."

Days after reiterating the government's stance that "taking more and more" refugees won't help the situation, the Prime Minister appears to have softened his stance.

His latest assertion that Britain will act with "our head and our heart" by allowing more refugees into the country comes after photos of a drowned Syrian toddler intensified calls for the UK to show more compassion towards the record number of people desperately trying to reach Europe. In reaction to the photos, he commented that, "as a father I felt deeply moved".

But as the BBC's James Landale points out, this move doesn't represent a fundamental change in Cameron's position. While public and political pressure has forced the PM's hand to fulfil a moral obligation, he still doesn't believe opening the borders into Europe, or establishing quotas, would help. He also hasn't set a specific target for the number of refugees Britain will receive.

 

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.